Apple’s built-in web content filter for iOS and macOS has apparently been blocking all searches containing the word “ Asian ” for nearly a year, and the error is finally getting fixed, according to a new report from MashableThe problem occurs when you use a device with the “Restrict adult websites” content restriction enabled. 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 hate’.
The edge was able to confirm that the above searches were blocked on devices running current versions of Apple’s software (iPadOS 14.4.1 and macOS 11.2.3) with the content restrictions enabled. The searches were blocked on both Safari and Chrome on iOS devices, but Chrome was able to run them on macOS. Devices without the content restrictions enabled can perform the searches and receive results.
The good news is that the problem should be resolved soon. The searches work on devices with the iOS 14.5 beta, Mashable reports. Still, it’s ridiculous that it took so long to fix: there are reports of the matter from February 2020, and it shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place. Creating a filter for adult content is of course extremely difficult, but blocking a word used to describe is almost completely blocked 60 percent of the world’s population is clearly incorrect.
In current, non-beta software, the filter behaves very strangely. “Asian Restaurants” is 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 especially embarrassing for Apple right now, when anti-Asian sentiments and violence are on the rise. It’s good to see it should be fixed in the next versions of iOS, but it shouldn’t have been that long.