Plex’s no Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

If you’re not a parent of a very impressionable kiddo capable of doing basic search on your, or their managed Plex account, you’re probably not going to be particularly interested in that for the past week Plex’s new Discover feature, which unified tons of streaming services into one search, was also serving up quite not appropriate recommendations.

When Discover first launched I managed to verify that you could watch some quite inappropriate trailers and have recommendations based on… I’m not entirely sure. Short of it was Discover was bypassing parental controls and could not be disabled and as such searches were pretty much returning anything, often with trailers.

BTW, while I’m an admitted Plex fan, this would have been up a bit sooner but was out since Thursday. Also to be clear, assuming everything’s what it was, this could be accessed with a default Plex account from your TV.

Lemme tell you there are some trailers I checked out from the Discover fiasco last week that were not appropriate for my kiddos… but that was supposedly fixed.

Then last night it was posted that … well, if you went to a movie, in this case being promoted as “new on your services,” and looked at “more with” you’d see everything they were in .

Plex
Image source: bweez21

Checking out what they… whoa yeah don’t search that at work. I’m assuming the blurred image there is what I’m seeing as the box cover and that’s not… yeah…

The Discover Beta feature has been plagued with porn, rating, and otherwise inappropriate recommendations since inceptions and there’s still no way to turn the feature off. Managed accounts no longer have access, but a somewhat buggy, incredibly cool, parent of a teenager nightmare that was rolled out it seems without much thought.

Plex claims to have fixed the latest issue…

While “Stripped Las Vegas” was the example here, pushed as a recommendation, plenty of mainstream movies were one tap away from an actor who appeared in porn pulling up a fairly robust catalog of X rated box covers. There were no sources listed for the content, you got all the box art which included plenty.

Plex, once a really great way to organize your media (still is,) and keep you in control (not any more,) has thrown a whole lot of unwanted, unconfigurable third party server integration into the mix in an attempt to become the one stop destination for everything. Unfortunately they’re not testing with a representative audience, or evidently even one 13 year old boy.

Many people pay for Plex. Many people have managed accounts and kids. I mean I can’t tell you how much easier it’s been to rip all my DVDs and not have to teach a child how to operate a Blu-ray player. I had content they could just press a power button, open Plex, there’s all the movies and TV shows they can choose from. That was how the account was set up and it worked, my server, my media, I was in control.

The past week since Discover rolled out I’m at the mercy of someone else’s untested and very very porny system.

Oh yeah, speaking of porn and inappropriate being served up by Plex, if you’re not aware a default install gives you “Movies & Shows” on Plex, an amazing library of free to watch content which includes such fine content as the 2010, 2013, and 2015 versions of “I Spit on Your Grave” Which is somehow only listed as “R.”

Honestly surprised this is only R

I really try and not be a prude, but if you’re unaware that there’re three movies in which the main woman in them is naked quite a bit of the time, raped and brutalized, and comes back to sexually ensnare then torture and kill her rapists, yeah it’s right there all you have to do is watch an advertisement for a glucose monitor.

So yeah… hoping they get on this, it’s not particularly difficult to test these things out with people dedicated to breaking parental and user controls. Seems like this would have been caught and fixed in a matter of minutes since Plex is connecting clients to their servers. But there we ended up this weekend.

[Plex forums]
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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts