July 29, 2007

Google Video Still Peddling Soft-Core Porn Smut

I'm no prude, but I tend to believe that the higher the prominence a service has, combined with its ease of access, the more responsibility that service has to ensure its content is within commonly accepted guidelines. Barring those restrictions, the option should be offered to avoid questionable material. While Google does a good job with the majority of its offerings, the company's Google Video site is out of control - dominated by by soft core pornographic clips and innuendo.

Despite my noting several months ago that the Google Video service's most popular videos are almost universally offerings of a sexual nature, the world's number one information portal has done nothing to stop its direction. If no action is taken, it's likely that the adult portion of Google's video collection will so overwhelm other content that those seeking less titillating topics will head elsewhere.

Nearly a year after Google acquired YouTube, the main page of Google Video promotes videos they believe you would like (Recommended), Popular Videos, and a wide array of featured material. Also included on the front page are "Blog Buzz" items, similar to Technorati's Popularity rankings, Movers & Shakers, and a Top 10 list.

Today's Top Ten List as of midnight Sunday Pacific Time...
    2. Barbie Girl :D
    3. Woman In SHOWER!!!
    4. Girl caught by boyfriend
    5. Webcam Girls Go Wild ( full )
    6. Guy pwned by girl! www.videowhip.co.uk
    7. Ainda te amo
    8. sex hardcore xxx
    9. Beyonce falls
    10. loko da xuxa

It doesn't take a forensic scientist to see what is driving these rankings. In fact, if you click on the Top 100 link, the "brilliance" continues... offering... "Two girls teach one another how to French kiss"... "SEXY FART IN WEBCAM"... "close up half-undressed couple rolling around on bed"... "Hot Bikini Porn or Proud Vet?" ... "Kim Kardashian HUGE A*S AND TITS" and much more.

In Google's search results and image results, one has the option to add SafeSearch filtering to "not to have adult sites included in search results". Yet, even if I set my preferences to the most strict option, these videos don't change. Google's algorithm shows me the top 100 most popular videos, regardless if I'm looking for the PG-rated list or R-rated list.

Google is pervasive. As I mentioned last week, the site delivers me 95% of my blog traffic from search engines. With YouTube and Google Video, Google can dominate the video space as well. People of all ages are turning to this site to learn what's hot and what's not, and if Google Video is to be believed, sex continues to be hot. Very hot. I think the very least the site could do is extend the "SafeSearch" filtering to video, remove adult material from the Top 10 and Top 100 listings, or collapse the Top 10 list so the questionable material is off the front page. We wouldn't accept this ease of access to soft porn from AOL or CNN or Yahoo!, and we shouldn't accept it from Google.