According to Mashable’s latest report, Apple’s built-in web content filters for iOS and macOS have apparently blocked any searches that include the word “Asian”, and the error has finally been resolved. This problem occurs when you use a device that has content restrictions enabled with “Adult Site Restrictions”.
This is not just blocking adult websites; it blocks almost all searches related to Asian culture, including “Asian market”, “Asian culture”, and even “stop Asian hate”.
According to The Verge report, whether the above search is blocked on devices currently running Apple software versions (iPadOS 14.4.1 and macOS 11.2.3) running content restrictions. Searches are blocked on both Safari and Chrome on iOS devices, but Chrome can perform searches on macOS. Devices that have not turned on content restrictions can perform searches and receive results.
The good news is that the problem should be resolved as soon as possible. The search can be performed on devices running iOS 14.5 Beta. However, it took so long to solve it is still absurd: there are reports on the issue starting in February 2020, and it shouldn’t have been a problem.
Of course, creating filters for adult content is very difficult, but it is obviously incorrect to almost completely block the words used to describe 60% of the world’s population.
In the current non-Beta version of the software, the filter behavior is very strange. “Asian restaurants” are blocked on macOS, but not on iOS, and “Asian food” is blocked on both platforms.
Although the problem has existed for some time, it is particularly embarrassing for Apple at the moment when anti-Asian sentiment and violence are increasing. I’m glad to see that this problem should be resolved in the next version of iOS, but it shouldn’t be possible after so long.