Sex Toys In Unity’s Dash: What’s The Big Deal?


What’s This About?

An interesting bug report cropped up on Launchpad a couple of days ago.  Apparently, it is quite easy to bring up search results for sex toys, pornographic materials and other adult-related merchandise in Ubuntu 12.10 via the Dash.

Here is the description of said “bug”:

Shopping suggestions can produce results that contain inappropriate images in the preview pictures, and links to items that are clearly not suitable for all ages.

There appears to be no easy way to restirct what suggestions are shown apart from removing unity-shopping-lens altogether

This is an interesting ‘bug’ report as it seems not to represent any sort of broken functionality whatsoever, though despite that fact, people seem to be heated in debate over this discovery.

If anything, this begs the question about whether or not Canonical should be censoring results and considering users of all ages.  Here are some comments from the bug report:

Michael Scherer responds,

If you type “sex dungeon” and that it give you “sex dungeon”, that’s hard to avoid. Now if you typed something else, yes, that’s a issue. So could you give how someone could find a inapropriate result based on a rather regular search ( ie, if I type “kitten” and find something pronographic, that would be a problem. If I type “penis” and I find pictures of penis, there isn’t much to do )

coversnail, who filed the bug report that has since been confirmed provides screenshots of some of the results he had been given.  Pictures of a penis-pump and XXX movies are attached.  He later claims;

The only time I have noticed explicit content through general use was when I typed “Dungeon” (because I have a game installed that starts with dungeon), and that brought up erotic ebooks. Obviously the examples I posted pictures of can only really be stumbled across through typing explicit words.

So, it seems that his searches for penis-pumps had been deliberate after all, and searching for his dungeon game had been the catalyst for this experiment.


Since these shopping results are provided by Amazon, why not take this up with them, since they don’t filter for their shopping results.  If you are a child and you are so inclined to search places for the word ‘penis’ or ‘boobies’, you can just as easily do so on Amazon’s website or on Google and obtain some far more interesting imagery.

We at The Powerbase do not condone censorship in anyway, shape or form, but it is perfectly fine for Ubuntu to allow people the ability to censor themselves and their own families.  Whether or not Amazon’s API’s allow for this sort of filtering is yet to be seen.

What do you think?  Should Canonical take responsibility to restrict search results from users?

Source | Launchpad

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
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  • Mike Yontz

    I think if Ubuntu wasn’t in bed with Amazon to begin with, this wouldn’t be an issue.
    sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping should get rid of the ads, so will it remove the porn too? Not sure, don’t use that Ubuntu bloat.

  • stevemorse

    Announcement. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth decided a new name for the popular Linux Distribution. “JooBuntu sounds more in line with the new corporate policy – squeeze every penny from it’s users through ads and affiliate revenue” – says Shuttleworth.

    • Jonas Kulla

      Yeah, like the ridiculous prices they’re charging these days for distributions.. oh wait.

    • Dean Howell

      Racist comment and mispelled Jew. Great work.

  • Amir Dizdarević

    Shopping also probably turns up a lot of bibles and qurans that say I should be killed. I am afraid of that. Where can I report it?

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