Monday, February 8, 2021

iPhone’s Adult Content Filter Blocks Anything “Asian”

Victoria Song (via Hacker News):

Enabling Apple’s “Limit Adult Websites” filter in the iOS Screen Time setting will block users from seeing any Google search results for “Asian” in any browser on their iPhone.


The search result exclusion was initially reported by the Independent, but Gizmodo was also able to independently confirm that enabling the filter means any search tangentially related to “Asian” (i.e., Asian-American, Asian food, Southeast Asian, Asian restaurants near me, etc) will return a message reading “You cannot browse this page at ‘’ because it is restricted,” or, “The URL was blocked by a content filter.”


Shen also told the Independent that he had filed a report to Apple in December 2019 pointing out the issue, but that he never received a response.

I was surprised to find that it really does seem to be blocking based on the keyword being in the URL. Google and Bing searches failed for me, as did viewing various Wikipedia pages.

Update (2021-04-07): Matt Binder (via Hacker News):

Mashable has confirmed that in the latest iOS 14.5 Beta, the adult content filter no longer blocks web searches containing the word “Asian.”

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

Current society is sick.

You know what? Given how immature US/EU “communities” are compared to the rest of the world, and how there’s no pushback about Tim Apple “curation” this is fine.

Apple should totally license “Golden Shield” from the CCP and firewall anything “Asian” from the US and EU. And vice versa. /sarc

It actually blocked this comments page. I had to click allow website, which crashed the page, then let me in on reopening iOS safari

Given that half of humanity is Asian, it's hard to believe that someone literally added the word Asian to a list... so I guess someone must have given a Machine Learning algorithm skewed data, for instance data obtained by trawling through porn sites, without normalising it against data obtained from other sources (such as restaurants' websites). Then QA mustn't have done a thorough job generating search queries to see whether reasonable websites were being filtered out.

Nevermind, the article says what I just said.

Given that Asian creatives are still being hounded on sites like Twitter over “inadequate representation” — the latest is the Chinese devs of “Genshin Impact” I still maintain that this is fine.

Please keep all petulant western children, and especially petulant children in their 60s running AAPL away from anything “Asian” — thanks and bye.

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