A few months back, UK Prime Minister David Cameron put out a challenge to online search giants like Google and Microsoft to help address the problem of child pornography. It seems like these companies paid attention, as today Google and Microsoft announced new initiatives to help deal with the issue.
Google revealed that, for the past three months, its had a massive 200 person team that working to make child pornography harder to locate on the search engine. Google says that 100,000 search queries which could have potentially been used to find this sort of illegal content have been cleaned up to only feature legal and appropriate results. This has reportedly led to a drop of 20% in traffic to these illegal sites.
Searches on topics related to child pornography will also now pop-up warnings to help educate users.
The new image and video blocking technology that Google is implementing is being shared with competitor Microsoft, who is also working to clean up its own Bing search service.
Critics of the decision say that its simply wasted effort on behalf of these companies and the British government, and that most people seeking child pornography either don’t use Google to find it or they will just find another way to locate it.
If you live in Britain odds are you can already see the changes made to Google Search, while other countries should start to see the protective measures put in place sometime in the near future.