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Yahoo Image Search Is Spiked With Porn


It’s been a really bad day at Yahoo. Today, the company handed out over 500 pink slips to employees, laying off 4% of its workforce less than two weeks before Christmas. And now there’s something seriously off with its image search: do a query for just about anything using Yahoo’s web search, click an image result, and there’s a good chance you’ll be looking at some very graphic pornography.

The photo that appears is a closeup shot of a man and a woman fornicating. I’d post a blurred out photo, but the result would just be a giant blur. Suffice to say, there’s no question that this is XXX-rated. To be clear, this only happens if you run a search using Yahoo’s main ‘Web’ search engine and then click on one of the integrated image results — if you use the dedicated image search feature, it won’t work.

And it’s not like this is a freak occurrence — I’ve had the same photo show up for queries for “puppy photos” “car photos” and “TechCrunch photos”.

This could be the work of a disgruntled former employee, or it could be the result of a bizarre glitch (less likely). We’re reaching out to Yahoo to find out more.

Update: This issue has been going on for at least 30 minutes now, which is far longer than I expected it to last. And it’s a big deal — it’s affecting a lot of people. According to the counter on the image, as of 5:56 PM PST it has been viewed 192,082 times (though I don’t know how high that count was before this evening).

Update 2: Alright, as of 6:10 PM PST it looks like Yahoo has fixed this by removing all images typically displayed as part of its web search.

Update 3: Here’s Yahoo’s statement:

Yahoo! is experiencing issues with some of our image search results. We are working with Microsoft to correct the issue as quickly as possible. We understand that this may have caused some inconvenience and apologize to users who have been affected

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2 Comments

  1. admin says:

    Bad news for certain Yahoo employees this week after the Internet pioneer announced plans to axe some 600 jobs?a figure that equates to around four percent of its global workforce. An entrance some staff won’t be using for much longer. Image: Barmala/Flickr.

    Affected staff began receiving termination notices on Tuesday, according to company spokesperson Kim Rubey, who also said the majority of cuts will mainly impact Yahoo’s product group.

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