Google has rolled out a new SafeSearch feature that automatically blurs explicit (meaning violent, sexual, etc.) images in its results. This will occur for all users by default — including those who don’t have SafeSearch enabled. This setting was first announced back in February but was scheduled to roll out globally this month.
The announcement is part of a larger Google Search initiative to, as the company puts it, “help you stay in control of your personal information, privacy, and online safety.” The company also recently announced updates to its “results about you” dashboard, which make it easier to request the removal of your own personal information or explicit imagery from search results. It’s also making it easier for families to access parental controls directly from the search interface.
Don’t worry, NSFW fanfiction writers and company: provided that you’re not using a supervised account, you can adjust this setting at any time. See that little “SafeSearch” button in the top right of your Google Search screen? You can just click on that and select “Off.” But you didn’t hear that from me.