How a Porn Filter Blocks Porn

Most people are not incredibly interested to know how a porn filter actually works. When someone starts looking for a porn filter to install on their computer, they are usually looking for a good price and something that instinctively looks credible. Porn filter developers tend to place a lot of information on their websites, but truthfully, most of it is not so useful.

To know if a porn filter is going to be effective for your needs, there are a few key issues you need to know to help you choose the best porn filter.

1. Does the porn filter use a database?
Most porn filter vendors do not mention how the filter actually works. Why? Because it may not be a terrifically impressive story to tell. The majority of porn filters filter based on a URL database. That means that they have gathered or purchased a database of pornography websites that they know should be blocked due to the type of content they include. This means that there will always be a significant volume of sites that get through the filter since they are not updated in the database. Further, it can mean that many sites that are not porn sites, but contain porn-like content on pages within the site, are likely to get through the filter.

2. Does the porn filter use technology to block pornography?
A true filter, has the capability to work on-the-fly. This means that any page requested with pornography content, no matter when it was created or whether it has been previously reviewed, will be caught by the filter. How? A Few porn filters are using a type of artificial intelligence that allows the filter to work on-the-fly and scan each incoming request.

3. Does the porn filter use both a database and technology to filter content?
Since scanning each and every request can be cumbersome and time consuming, in order to reduce the likelihood of browsing delays, filter engines may have a mechanism to streamline the process. Furthermore, these sophisticated engines can be self taught and the more users the filter has, the more it learns and can add to it’s own database. A streamlined process may look something like this:

-User makes a request to view a web page.

-Filter checks its database to see if it should be blocked. If yes, it is blocked and this is a very short process (undetectable by the user)

-If the page is not in the database, the filter deploys its scanning engine to review the page for the parameters it knows to be common to pornographic content. That could include language, percentage of page taken up by images, specific colors, layout and many other parameters not noticed by the naked eye.

Today, even with this process added to the browsing time, it should be negligible and completely undetectable by the user.

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