What's so dirty about Ami?
March 7, 2012 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Why would google delete the word "Ami" from my query because safesearch was enabled?

Someone mentioned the actress Ami Dolenz on facebook this morning, which led me to googling her name. I had safesearch on because I had been looking at chest tattoos and wanted to filter out the peen and titty shots. Anyway, this is the message google returned when I hit enter: "The word "ami" has been filtered from the search because Google SafeSearch is active." What the hell is dirty about "Ami"?!

Thanks in advance.
posted by msali to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you in the US?

I don't know why it would be considered dirty, but when I lived in Germany(a few years ago) a lot of people referred to Americans as 'amis' - once a friend of mine started talking to me and referred to 'amis' and then apologized. I didn't care but apparently he thought I might.

So, it could be meant (by some) to be offensive, but I think in that case it's like calling a French person a 'frog' or a German a 'kraut' where not everyone gets offended by those terms.

In some cases it could just be a nickname for Americans.

That's just my experience - it could be filtered for some totally different reason!
posted by fromageball at 2:54 PM on March 7, 2012

Looks like you're not the only one who's noticed this, but I can't find anyone who's figured out why.

Might it be something dirty in another language? I've found Google to be surprisingly smart about things in languages beside English.
posted by Gordafarin at 2:55 PM on March 7, 2012

My guess: There is a major gay porn company called Bel Ami. It's very, very, very popular and ubiquitous, to the point that filtering it out any other way is probably a futile exercise.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:07 PM on March 7, 2012 [7 favorites]

I had a similar thought as Sys Rq, but then why wouldn't they filter "Bel" or "belami" as well.
posted by FreezBoy at 3:14 PM on March 7, 2012

Ha. That was me, right?

I'll just note that this does not happen with SafeSearch set to Moderate while I'm logged into my Google Account, with Search Plus Your World enabled. For what that's worth.

Oh, it seems there are quite a few, uh, actresses with the name Ami. But the term 'ami' by itself turns up nothing hinky in the first few pages. It's probably just one of those algorithmic things.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on March 7, 2012

For the record, I am not in the United States. I am in Brazil, and Ami doesn't mean anything strange in Portuguese. It doesn't mean anything at all.

Thanks you guys!
posted by msali at 5:29 PM on March 7, 2012

Ami means "friend" in French (as in "Google is your friend"="Google est ton ami"), and it's also filtered out by safesearch in google.fr, which is completely crazy. The porn hypothesis is the most likely one, even though "Bel ami" is primarily known in France as a novel by Guy de Maupassant (the porn company is actually named after it according to Wikipedia). I wonder if Google would also exclude the word "friend" if the company was called "Pretty friend".
posted by elgilito at 7:15 AM on March 8, 2012

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