google image search

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  • Question
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Answered
I would like to filter out Google (or any others) Image search.  Can I do this with Covenant Eyes?
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Matthew Cottingham

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Posted 6 years ago

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John, Official Rep

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Matthew,

Sorry that it took so long for us to give you a response on this, I wanted to do some background research before I gave you an answer.

For the time being the only way to filter out Google Images (or any other image search engine) with Covenant Eyes is to block all access to the site using the Covenant Eyes filter. I realize that this is not ideal but it at least provides a measure of protection in an environment that has been traditionally extremely difficult to fully cover.

However, we do have our awesome developers hard at work on better solutions to this issue. While I cannot give you a time frame of when they may be released, just know that we are fully aware of and working on.

Thanks for taking the time to post.


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Steve Batt

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You've been working on this issue for over a year.  I inquired about this over a year ago.  I can block all other search engine image searches but CE still can't block Google images.  This is a real shortcoming.  How much time does your awesome programming staff need to address this issue. 
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Patrick Smith, Alum

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Steve, we're working on it. The Google image "playing field" has changed significantly in the last year. This change has complicated things substantially. If you're serious about blocking Google images, you can call customer service for help blocking the entire Google domain. I know that's a serious step, but it is a stopgap measure until we deliver a more nuanced solution.
Patrick Smith
Product Development Manager
Covenant Eyes
(Edited)
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Steve Batt

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Yeah.  Killing the entire domain is extreme.  When will you develop a more "nuanced" solution?  A couple of months?  Another year?  Google won't stop changing their "playing field."  If you ever do catch up to where they are will you ever be able to stay with them?  I know blocking software will never be perfect but this is an acknowledged issue that's been in front of you for a long time.
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Patrick Smith, Alum

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Extreme is relative to how seriously one takes the struggle. If you need it, blocking the domain is an option available to you through customer service. If you don't need it, know that we're keenly aware of it and we're working on it. 
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Curtis Anderson

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Hey dudes, just wondering, if he blocked the google domain, wouldn't it still be easy to just go to another web search for images? Like yahoo or bing? I mean, you'd kinda have to block every search engine to be completely effective that way. Ya know? then you wouldn't be able to do a web search at all... that'd suck. Just saying..
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Patrick Smith, Alum

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Not necessarily. Historically, Google has been the most difficult for us to track properly. Therefore the demand from among our customers to have the ability to get rid of it all together is higher.
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Jason Presley

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Can't you simply parse the requested URL?  Google passes in a flag to indicate if the search is an image or video search.  Do a simple Google search (I usually search for "trains" for safety sake) and you get the regular results.  If you click on the "Images" link it will take you to the image search.  If you look in the URL you will see the following flag "&tbm=isch".  This is the flag that Google uses to indicate that it is an image search (video searches us the flag &tbm=vid).  If you would remove this flag and hit the enter key the search returns to the regular Google search.  Thus if you would simply parse the requested URL and look to see if the text string "google.com" and "&tbm=isch" are both present in the URL string that would indicate that this is a google image search and thus should be blocked.  You could do the same for the video search as well.  Can you please explain to me why this is so difficult?  I'm a programmer and I can do it but when I talk to your reps all I get is that it's not possible.  What about it is not possible?
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Patrick Smith, Alum

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Hey, Jason. Thanks for posting. You're right; it's not impossible. In fact, you've accurately laid out a small portion of the work needed to make this fly in the current Covenant Eyes ecosystem. Truth be told, we're already parsing the URL. Unfortunately, the Covenant Eyes filter has never been set up to allow the user to enter keywords (in this case the "keyword" would be &tbm=isch) to be blocked. Creating that ability takes widespread work on the backend touchpoints (client, API, database, My Account). Thanks again.
Patrick Smith



(Edited)
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Jason Presley

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Thanks Patrick.  Understood and appreciated.
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Scott Neufeld

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Hi folks, I am also wondering if there is any way to block the google image search function using the CE filter? These posts are from two years ago at least...has there been any breakthrough on this? It would be really great if I could block the entire google image search function...thanks