The introduction of the new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 10, has not been without its hiccups, with one problem affecting iMessage.

It looks as though the tech giant is having some issues hiding porn from the newly introduced GIF search feature in iMessage. First of all a sexualized My Little Pony GIF was found to appear if users searched for the word “butt,” and now more problems have been reported.

iMessage
Image source: Flickr

8-year-old sees porn in iMessage GIF search

According to a report from The Verge, a woman called the publication to tell a story involving hardcore porn. The woman says that her 8-year-old daughter was trying to send a message when iMessage displayed “a very explicit image” of “a woman giving oral sex to a well endowed male.” The image was shown after her daughter searched for the word “huge.”

“I see the image come up like, holy shit, whoa whoa whoa, that’s a hardcore porn image,” said mother Tassie Bethany. “I grabbed the phone from her immediately. She typed in the word ‘huge,’ which isn’t sexual in any nature. It’s just a word, not like butt or anything else.”

Apple has built a GIF search feature into iMessage in iOS 10. While the company has banned searches for common sexual terms, it seems to have a problem preventing porn from being displayed when more normal words like “huge” are typed in.

Apple needs to move quickly to fix problem

Some images of naked people are displayed if you search for misspelled body parts, however none of them are as explicit as the oral sex GIF seen by Bethany’s daughter. This is a problem that Apple needs to rectify before too many stories emerge and cause a public relations crisis.

The pony GIF was deleted some ten hours after it was initially reported, however the search term “huge” was banned far more quickly. This hopefully shows that Apple is taking the issue seriously.

According to Bethany her daughter was not affected by the incident because “she had no idea.” However the mother did voice her concerns about other children being exposed to hardcore pornography on GIF search.

“My daughter uses it because there’s cartoons and fart jokes, that kind of stuff,” she said. “That’s hardcore porn. People making out she might see on ABC. That’s something that could potentially be pretty traumatizing for a small child.”

GIF problem could be an easy fix

You would have thought that Apple could come up with a way of blocking hardcore porn, even if it is searching for GIFs from multiple sources. There are usually some teething problems with new operating systems, but this kind of emotive subject is sure to draw attention far and wide, not just within the tech media.

If Apple doesn’t stop iMessage from displaying questionable images, it could have a serious issue on its hands. However it could be argued that at least the company devices aren’t bursting into flames without warning, like some Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handsets have been doing.

The battle between Apple and Samsung was supposed to hot up with the release of the iPhone 7. Despite strong early sales, the Samsung device has been impacted by real concerns over safety, and it may have done Apple a favor in the race to dominate the high-end smartphone market.