Apple's upcoming iOS update unblocks 'Asian' as adult content

Screen Time's adult filter has been blocking search queries with 'Asian' in them.

Mat Smith / Engadget

If you toggle on "Limit Adult Websites" in Screen Time on iOS, you'll find that you won't be able to search for anything with the word "Asian" on Safari. Doing so will only return a page that says you can't browse the results for your query because it's restricted — it doesn't matter if you were only searching for "Asian food" or "Asian countries." Now, the tech giant is finally fixing the issue. According to Mashable, the latest iOS 14.5 Beta's adult content filter no longer blocks searches containing the word "Asian."

Screen Time's adult filter has been blocking queries with Asian in them since at least December 2019 when iOS developer Steven Shen discovered the problem and reported it to Apple. It remained unresolved, however, and was put into stark relief when "Stop Asian Hate" trended online to combat the rise of anti-Asian sentiment in the US. Yes, the adult filter also blocks the campaign slogan on most search engines. When we tried to replicate the issue last year, Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and even Baidu showed us a notification that we were trying to browse a restricted page. The only search engine that was able to process queries with "Asian" in them was Yahoo.

Mashable says that when it installed iOS 14.5 Beta on an iPhone, it was able to successfully search for terms such as "Asian," "Asian food," "Asian actors," "Asian art" and "Stop Asian Hate" even with the adult filter on. Apple rolled out the beta platform to the public last week, so you can download and install it if you're part of the company's Beta Software Program. The final version of the platform is expected to be available sometime this spring.

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