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Apple blocked some searches with the word ‘Asian’, and now it’s fixed

Apple’s built-in web content filter for iOS and macOS has apparently blocked searches containing the word ‘Asian’ for almost a year, and the bug will finally be fixed, according to a new report from Mashable. This issue occurs when using a device that has a restricted content restriction for “Restrict adult sites”. But it doesn’t just block adult websites; it blocks almost all searches related to Asian culture, including “Asian market”, “Asian culture”, and even “stop Asian hatred.”

The Verge was able to confirm that the above search was blocked on devices running current versions of Apple software (iPadOS 1

4.4.1 and macOS 11.2.3) with the content restrictions turned on. The searches are blocked on both Safari and Chrome on iOS devices, but Chrome managed to perform them on macOS. Devices without content restrictions turned on can perform searches and receive results.

The error message that appears when a search is blocked by the content restrictions on an iPad.

The good news is that the problem will soon be solved. The searches work on devices running iOS 14.5 beta, Mashable reports. Still, it is ridiculous that it took so long to fix: There are reports of the problem from February 2020, and it should not have been a problem in the first place. Of course, it’s extremely difficult to create an adult content filter, but blocking a word used to describe 60 percent of the world’s population is obviously wrong.

In the current non-beta software, the filter behaves very strangely. “Asian restaurants” are blocked on macOS but not iOS, while “Asian food” is blocked on both. And while the problem has been around for a while, it’s particularly embarrassing for Apple at the moment, as anti-Asian sentiment and violence have increased. It is good to see that it will be solved in the next versions of iOS, but it should not have taken so long.

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