New U.K. Search Engine Meorca Makes Ban on Porn a Selling Point

CYBERSPACE—Less than a year after the United Kingdom scrapped its poorly thought-out attempt to ban online porn, at least for internet users under age 18, a new U.K.-based search engine is selling itself based on the fact that it never returns porn search results. Meorca.com is a Google-like “crawler-based” search engine that says it always provides porn-free results, because its search algorithm does not add porn to its database. A crawler-based search engine is one that relies on automated “bots” to constantly search the World Wide Web looking for new pages. When the bot finds a page not already in the search engine’s index, it automatically adds that page. Google, the dominant search engine on the market, and the Microsoft-owned Bing are both crawler-based search engines. The other major type of search engine uses “metasearch” algorithms, largely piggybacking off of results found by the crawler-based engines, and then rearranging the results based on their own algorithms. DuckDuckGo is perhaps the best-known metasearch engine currently available. But Meorca will rely on crawler technology that simply crawls right past pages containing porn, without adding those links to its index. “We are on a mission to provide a protected space for Internet users, to build the world’s 1st pornography free search engine,” said the site’s founder, internet entrepreneur Muftau Akay, in a statement. “A search engine that does not index pornography, while providing safe, unique and unbiased search results.” Akay added that Meorca’s crawler “does not carry out an aggressive blanket crawl of the web but rather takes a measured approach indexing general websites deemed safe, family friendly and those submitted to be indexed which meet Meorca Search Engine guidelines for inclusion.” Sure enough, when AVN.com carried out a Meorca search for “Pornhub,” the search returned no relevant results. At the same time, a search for the 1928 D.H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterly’s Lover—which was once widely banned for its erotic content but has since been acknowledged as a literary classic—also turned up nothing, indicating that Meorca’s definition of “porn” may yet need some work.  After banishing porn from its platform in December of 2018, the social media site Tumblr ran into problems with its algorithm, which blocked images of Jesus and Wonder Woman, as well as in one instance, an image of a flower vase.  Photo via Meorca.com

written by: Lawrence Avery

source: New U.K. Search Engine Meorca Makes Ban on Porn a Selling Point | AVN