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Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist? 561

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
theodp writes "Slate's Michael Agger wishes there was a website his 6-year-old son could visit on his own to watch amateur Star Wars Lego movies and other stuff he's curious about. 'But I don't leave him alone on YouTube,' he laments, 'because I never know if some strange-ass video will appear in the 'Related Videos' section.' Agger suggests that Google should create Google Kids, a search engine that filters the Web for children. 'Think back to when you were a kid and your parents dropped you off at the library,' explains Agger. 'In the children's section, the only "inappropriate" stuff to be found was Judy Blume's Forever, which someone's older sister had usually already checked out anyway. Similarly, Google Kids would be a sort of children's section of the Web, focused on providing high-quality results based on age.'"
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Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist?

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  • by bazmail (764941) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:27AM (#36417538)
    One bad video/image slipping through could cause Google a lot of problems. Think wardrobe malfunction x 1,000,000 Its why many companies shy away from this.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:38AM (#36417652) Homepage

      It surely would be a Nice Thing to make a playground on the Internet for kids, but why should Google bother to do it? Go make it yourself if it's such a good idea. "Oh, I don't have the resources to do that," you say. Well... there you go. Google isn't a charity.

      Now, YouTube Kids or something like that, maybe you can see something there. (Think, vetted content from the likes of Nickelodeon and PBS, actually rated as 'G' or 'E' or whatever by a real ratings agency.) It's probably easier to get profitable advertising in videos there as well; kids can't be the best at operating click-through ads.

      • by Idarubicin (579475) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (teiuqslla)> on Sunday June 12, 2011 @01:27PM (#36418528) Journal
        Bear in mind that relying on the "real ratings agenc[ies]" simply means substituting (and abdicating) one's parental responsibilities for one particular and frankly peculiar brand of moral hygeine.

        In the United States, The King's Speech drew an R rating from the MPAA. (Apparently, they objected to the use of profanity - including the dreaded 'fuck' - even in the context of speech therapy.) No youth under the age of 17 is allowed to see the film in theaters without an accompanying adult parent or guardian. The same goes for Billy Elliot and Erin Brockovich.

        The Lord of the Rings films, meanwhile, get a PG-13, despite impalements, beheadings, and the deaths of thousands. Casino Royale gets a PG-13, even with all its James Bond violence, and the sadistic clubbing of the protagonist's testicles while he's tied to a chair.

        All moral issues must be absolutely black and white--any adult who lets a teenager have a glass of wine must be a drug-addled older sibling living a life of failure, a corrupt businessman (Mafia or inside trader about to be brought down), or a pedophile. Any reference to sexuality will be harshly punished, and the children absolutely must be protected from anything but stereotypical portrayals of asexual homosexuality. (Homosexual males are child-safe only if they are portrayed shopping, prancing, lisping, and looking fabulous--surrounded only by women.)

        That's no world in which to raise a child.

    • Also, Google's thing is generally to come up with search algorithms to *automatically* give you something like what you're probably looking for. The sort of "Kid's section" for the internet would need a high level of judgement, and therefore would need to be curated. That's not really the sort of thing that Google does.

      I don't think it's a horrible idea. In general, with all the excessive amount of information on the Internet, I'd love to see some higher quality curation to really point people in the di

  • by trparky (846769) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:29AM (#36417560) Homepage
    Parents use the Internet as a babysitting tool more often than not these days. Then when they find that little Johnny or Judy finds something inappropriate on the Internet they cry foul about it and say that it shouldn't be on the Internet for their kids to find thus punishing everyone else. Or they run to some filtering program to hopefully block the bad stuff and then the kid finds their way around it and then the parent has a fit about it.

    How about actually being a parent? Sitting down with your child and help them use the Internet safely is far better than trying to either force the usage of filtering applications or ranting about why the content is there to begin with.
    • How about actually being a parent? Sitting down with your child and help them use the Internet safely is far better than trying to either force the usage of filtering applications or ranting about why the content is there to begin with.

      And what about plain parental frustration that they can't turn their back on their kids because using Google or Bing can be like playing Minesweeper with porn, violence and /b/ under every bad tile?

      The problem is that it's not really possible to say that stumbling upon it is

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is that's your problem and not Google's problem. I honestly couldn't care less about your frustration and Google shouldn't have to, either.

        If you don't want your children to view certain sites, it's your responsibility to either see that they don't(which is a very difficult thing to do), or, hey, you could also teach them things like the difference between right and wrong and judgement skills and compassion and things like that so that they'll be good people anyway and it won't matter what sites

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by Fractal Dice (696349)
        What if parents didn't try to raise their kids to live in a fantasy world where anything they don't want to talk about simply doesn't exist?
    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:54AM (#36417800) Homepage

      It's one thing to have rules and restrictions, it's another to babysit them every moment of their life. You find age-appropriate toys and books and tv series and movies and games, you don't sit shoulder reading in case someone decided to cut to hardcore porn. Like I remember I was asked to help once, the parents had an IM app installed to chat to their grandparents and some friends and family and all that, paid enough attention to who but didn't watch their every move. Well, turns out spambots were sending messages with porn links, and the kids were the age they'd click almost anything. So they asked me for help, is there some setting so they only get messages from people on their friend list. If anyone needed to be added, they'd vet them first.

      To me that's a perfectly sane attitude. The Internet is a mix of a whole lot of stuff, some obviously designed for 18+ people. And if you completely deny them web surfing, they will miss out on a *lot*. So you want to find some middle ground where you have some scope of control - like who they talk to on IM, but not everything they ever said. Just like they get to walk public streets but not into strip clubs, it doesn't mean you have to walk them door to door.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        This strikes me as something better solved on the client end than on the internet end. If somebody feels that strongly about it, they shouldn't be depending upon Google or somebody else to know what's appropriate for their children. I get that it's time consuming to constantly baby sit kids, but you don't have to. When I was a kid, we were turned loose with a bunch of other kids and that handled much of the time. Society hasn't gotten any more dangerous in the last 30 years, despite the opinions that some f

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Seumas (6865)

        I think this attitude of "we must find only age appropriate activities and content for our precious widdle childwen" is a fairly new concept. When I was a kid, there was no particular effort to review or control what was consumed nor what was provided. Yeah, there was Tipper Gore and all that shit, but when it came down to a parental level. We didn't even have special video games for kids, like we do today. Videogames were just games and you played them or you didn't.

        I mean, really, I don't get what the big

    • by fermion (181285)
      I think the ideal image of parenting does and really should not exist. When kids are responsible enough to venture on thier own, they have to be allowed to so do to a great extent, otherwise how will they learn to be responsible adults. Many are concerned about the number of kids who live at home, but isn't this cased by overparenting.

      What we have now is simply more ways for kids to see, not do, but see things that some think is dangerous. We are not in the age where girls go out to the woods to explor

    • by jamesh (87723)

      Parents use the Internet as a babysitting tool more often than not these days. Then when they find that little Johnny or Judy finds something inappropriate on the Internet they cry foul about it and say that it shouldn't be on the Internet for their kids to find thus punishing everyone else. Or they run to some filtering program to hopefully block the bad stuff and then the kid finds their way around it and then the parent has a fit about it.

      How about actually being a parent? Sitting down with your child and help them use the Internet safely is far better than trying to either force the usage of filtering applications or ranting about why the content is there to begin with.

      Is there a website that auto-generates these canned responses every time someone asks about appropriate use of the internet for kids? I'd much rather my 7yo worried about why their friends were mean to them today than the logistics of DP if such an image springs forth from the computer. If such an image did spring forth then I'd like to be around to answer any questions they might have, as awkward as they might be, but i'd still rather it didn't happen at all.

      And what's this "punishing everyone else" crap?

  • well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:29AM (#36417564) Homepage Journal

    This puts Google in the position of being mommy and daddy. What I consider "inappropriate" is unlikely to be the same as the next parent; what this suggests, though, is that everyone gets to deal with what Google decides, and frankly... that's not an appropriate role for a third party. That's the parent's job. If you don't have time for guiding your kids, and you can't seem to come up with rules and behaviors, or use a white-list facility competently, then perhaps you shouldn't be spawning anyway, rather than begging for a third party to do your job for you.

    • And when "Google Kids" fails to filter something you consider inappropriate (either because they don't share your views, or just due to the challenges and limitations of determining and filtering content automatically) then lawsuits and bad press ensues. Bad for the Google brand all around.

      In general, Google's strategy seems to be focused on providing tons of really great free, best effort services. If Gmail fails to deliver your email one day, it's not like you can sue. If Google Maps gives you wrong

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      that's not an appropriate role for a third party.

      it is precisely the role of a 3rd party. That's why there are rules on what can be on TV and radio stations at various hours and so on, it's why bookstores and libraries offer kids sections, it's why companies explicitly make media for children. A 3rd party should establish a brand and a trust relationship with it's customers about what sorts of content they can access through this service - whether that is an aggregation or search of content creators or creating there own.

      It may not be the role of googl

    • This puts Google in the position of being mommy and daddy. What I consider "inappropriate" is unlikely to be the same as the next parent;

      I leave that up to Walmart, not Google!

  • The liability. As soon as someone creatively slides adult themed content into the kid-friendly search results, someone will go ape shit. Not to mention the "what you feel is right for my kid isn't what I feel is right for my kid" crowds. Parenting is subjective, and everyone has different opinions of what it entails.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Which will happen eventually, the lulz from such an endeavor is just way too great for all trolls throughout the entire world to resist. It's pretty much a given that at least one will do so. And probably enough to make the site pointless.

  • Use SafeSearch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arlet (29997) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:31AM (#36417574)

    I don't want to turn on SafeSearch for when my kids are using the computer and turn it off for me

    Create a different user account for each of your family members, and set individual preferences. You'll want that anyway.

    • Provided you're on an operating system that supports user accounts, which to my understanding means a PC. Do Apple's iPad and the various Android tablets support user accounts yet?
  • by js3 (319268) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:32AM (#36417584)

    You people disgust me. You go through the trouble of having a kid and yet you want to leave the responsibilty to big corporation. If you can't bother to spend time browsing the web with your kid, don't have one.

    • by reboot246 (623534)
      Worse yet, all too many parents are willing to leave the responsibility of rearing their children to government.
    • by Jaktar (975138)

      You seem to be of the opinion that either someone watches their kids 100% of the time or 0% of the time. Neither of those is true for any parent.

      If there were to be a "safe zone" for kids, I wouldn't trust Google to do it. It certainly seems like an area that's lacking in good solutions.

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      Being a good parent isn't just spending lots of one-on-one time with your kid. It also involves knowing when to step back and let your kid explore on their own and figure stuff out without running everything past you first. Of course, you want to sandbox that experience at first until your kid has a good sense of how to avoid the bad stuff (that is, until your kid is old enough).
    • Trouble having a kid? I lol'd

      My guess is that you were the one in 7 billion teenager that was immune to raging hormones. Take a look at daytime TV and its quite apparent that having kids isnt the hard part. Raising them is where the trouble begins
    • by DrDitto (962751)
      You must be one of those perfect parents who can supervise their child 100% of the time. Or that you never resort to sitting your child down in front of a television for an hour or so while you cook dinner or respond to an after-hours urgent work e-mail.
    • by cptdondo (59460)

      Do you actually have kids? You obviously have no idea that a big part of parenting is letting kids explore on their own. It's our job to insure that in general, the place they are exploring is safe. So kids can hang out at the neighborhood playground, because in general there's lots of parents there who keep the baddies away. But we don't micromanage our kids.

      The same way when my daughter goes to the school dance - I don't chaperone her. It's part of her life to explore. But I am secure in knowing tha

      • by russotto (537200)

        Do you actually have kids? You obviously have no idea that a big part of parenting is letting kids explore on their own. It's our job to insure that in general, the place they are exploring is safe.

        You only get to do that if it's _your_ place. Or some place catering to kids, like an elementary school or a daycare. You don't get to child-proof the world (or the Internet), against the will of the adults who would like to live there. You certainly don't get to demand that others child-proof the world (or th

    • by MWoody (222806) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @12:25PM (#36418064)

      I'm curious, do people who cover up outlets disgusts you? How about those who make sure there's a childproof fence around the pool? Or the ones who put a lock on the liquor cabinet?

      Watching your child every second of every day is an equally dangerous proposition, in terms of their intellectual and emotional growth, as not watching them at all. They NEED to learn to think and operate independently, and being able to designate a subset of the Internet not filled with bomb instructions and donkey porn would be an excellent service to help them do that in relative safety.

  • What's the business model being proposed? I imagine such a filtered view of the Internet creates only liability when it fails, not any increase of profit when it succeeds.
  • Come on (Score:5, Funny)

    by debilo (612116) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:33AM (#36417594)
    Google kids? Why don't you have a seat over there.
  • Google Kids already exists - it's called "spending time with your kids on the computer". It works perfectly, they'll never see anything you don't want them to and as a bonus you'll develop that precious parent-child relationship.

    However, it sounds like what the author really wants is a product that would be named "Google Parent", where you plonk them down in front of a computer at age three and then fifteen years later an adult magically emerges. Sadly, that's still in beta.

    • by Jeremi (14640)

      It works perfectly, they'll never see anything you don't want them to

      If there was ever a sentence that deserved a surreptitious goatse link, it's that one.

      Although I suppose it does suggest an idea: a web browser that runs on two monitors, with a 5 second delay so that images brought up on the first monitor don't show up on the second monitor until they've been vetted on the first. (not that that sounds like "quality time with your kid" to me, but who am I to judge?)

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:35AM (#36417612)
    If he's not old enough to see a lot of the content on youtube, or elsewhere for that matter, then your son shouldn't be on the internet without your supervision anyway. Use the time as bonding time between you and your child. If you are too busy to sit with them while they are on the internet, then have them do something else (play with toys, etc) and only let them use a computer when you are around/have time to be with them. And, even if there were a "Google Kids", how would you keep the kid from accidentally getting out into the "real" internet? You would need a computer/account locked down tighter than an iPod. Moral of the story: the onus of raising your child is on you. Don't try to make Google/the internet/TV/the government raise them for you.
  • http://kids.us/ [kids.us] was a manual attempt in that direction. It seems mostly dormant.

    There are so many things which can go wrong with such a service, especially if you try to automate it: You might pick up something erroneously. Domain ownership or content changes suddenly. An inappropriate advertisement is included. Google would have to be right every time, or someone will spot the mistake and unleash the hellhounds. Parents are rather nervous about what their children might potentially see on the Internet, eve

  • by fruitbane (454488) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:37AM (#36417640) Homepage

    According to the ALA's Freedom to Read statement, librarians should not be censoring what children read, either. If a child you've dropped off at the library wants to wander into young adult or the regular adult stacks and start paging through books, the librarians should only be stepping in if the book is being mishandled. So while children's content is collected together in the children's area, the child is not prevented from accessing adult materials. You know, because the librarians aren't babysitters and are also not meant to be filters for your children the way you are, being their legal guardian and all.

    • The analogy is sound. The children's area of the library is one where you can let a child browse freely and explore his own interests with minimal supervision. So long as you trust your child to remain in that area, you know that you don't need to personally vet each piece of content he wants to view. If anything, the Freedom to Read statment makes the analogy more apt. There's nothing but trust stopping him from wandering off to an uncensored section of the library -- the librarians shouldn't step in.
      • by Warma (1220342)

        I don't recall ever being too young to go to the library unsupervised.
        And yes, Milo Manara and was there next to to Goscinny, Franquin and Herge, though I recall being a bit too embarrassed to read them at the time (this embarrassment didn't last forever, though). I also recall trying to read Sinuhe at the age of 10, though not finishing because the text was so heavy.

        Anyway, I'm trying to say that not leaving your child unsupervised in the library because some words are bad and others aren't, seems insane a

  • It isn't up to google to babysit your kids.
  • by fyrewulff (702920) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:40AM (#36417666)

    Crank up SafeSearch, then use OpenDNS for further filtering, and then actually supervise your kid while they use the internet and inform them of why certain things are bad/scary instead of leaving them alone to deal with it.

    Don't wish for a bubble and then wonder why after leaving the bubble they just click on everything.

    Plus, you're just going to have the usual issue that one community / city / state's idea of what is acceptable for kids and what is not is going to be drastically different than another community / city / state.

  • Two problems with that:

    #1 Age appropriate is pretty much impossible to automate. Every entry would have to be human-reviewed, and that's expensive.

    #2 What you consider age-appropriate, someone else may note, and vice-versa. It's not objective, it's subjective.

    • by Arlet (29997)

      #1 Age appropriate is pretty much impossible to automate. Every entry would have to be human-reviewed, and that's expensive.

      No kidding. Poor filtering algorithms lead to stuff like this:

      Daddy, why does it say "cu***mber" here, instead of "cucumber" ?

      Try explaining that...

  • Not the first time this has been proposed. I know things like this have been talked about in Google, and proposed by bloggers before.

    The first time I saw this proposed was here at Slashdot, circa 1999/2000. A Cnet article that proposed exactly the same thing, I believe.
    I would be hard pressed to produce the article. The search function here has improved, but it's still not especially grand for finding anything old and useful.

    Anyway, my guess as why it hasn't happened would be that Google is ad supported and

  • Why no special child-censored google? For the same reason the child-censoring market in general is so spotty: It's a fool's game.

    Why? Because it's all a game of outrage. You'll never come out with a good reputation in a game of outrage, outside of a tiny community of people who rigorously train themselves to think identically.

    Let's take the idea as a simple problem - filtering out the big english dirty words, then allowing a voting and challenge system to establish anything else as kid-unsafe.

    The first t

  • Their filters are not foolproof, which is impossible, but you can specify by category which things (websites) you don't want accessible on your home network.

    There are other products for this purpose such as Blue Coat K9 and Net Nanny.

  • I agree with the original poster that Google should offer a Kid search engine or a kid's version of YouTube. That would be awesome and I am very sure a lot of schools would love this concept as well. That said, there are plenty solutions available that can be implemented on the client side. I have absolutely no stake in any of the following companies but I am a father of three and love what they offer. My kids love Zoodles [zoodles.com] which is pretty much a collection of age appropriate content for kids of all ages. Yo
  • by acomj (20611) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:49AM (#36417756) Homepage

    The World isn't for children and the internet is part of that world. This is a fundamental thing.

    Just as you wouldn't let a child run around un-supervised in a city, you don't let them run around free on the internet. Suburbs were supposed to be a child safe environment, but ultimately they aren't either (I would argue they are about the same as cities, but thats getting off topic).

    Some web sites are for kids, but to allow them on the internet they should be supervised.

    The internet is not the same as TV where there is much greater control of what is coming in. The internet is all about interacting, while TV is about consuming.

    There are services that promise to make the internet "safer" but I doubt they work well. I wouldn't trust them.

    • by FriendlyPrimate (461389) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @01:19PM (#36418468)
      Sheesh. All that's being asked here is the equivalent of a kids playground in that big bad unsupervised city you speak of. I think a Google search engine that filters based on vetted content for kids (i.e. a whitelist) with user-preferences is a GREAT idea. It gives them the freedom and experience of learning about how to use the internet without having to deal with traumatic experiences like random goatse-like websites. And who cares if it doesn't work 100% of the time? If it filters out 99.9% of the stuff, then I'd consider it useful.

      By your logic, I shouldn't even be letting my kids outside to play because it's not "safe". Or if I do, I should be a helicopter parent, constantly hovering over them to make sure they're 100% safe 100% of the time? Even playgrounds aren't 100% safe either...they're may be sexual predators lurking in the bushes after all. Does that mean I shouldn't take my kids to them? No. It means I still watch my kids if they're in a playground, but I don't have to watch them as closely as if they're running around in a ghetto.
  • Being Human (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @11:52AM (#36417774)

    'Think back to when you were a kid and your parents dropped you off at the library,' explains Agger. 'In the children's section, the only "inappropriate" stuff to be found was Judy Blume's Forever, which someone's older sister had usually already checked out anyway.

    This is the entirety of the issue in two simple sentences.

    First is the fact that the library section is managed by humans. It is not collected programatically. It takes human intervention to select tittles for this unique collection. This is something that Google either simply does not do or tends to avoid. Google's selections are handled by infamous algorithms that, while generally effective, are not without error or immune to manipulation. It was Yahoo that, over a decade ago, hired librarians to try to catalog the web.

    Secondly, even with human librarians making selections for the library's children's section, mistakes and interpretation come in to play. Is Judy Blume's Forever appropriate? All the controversy over this particular book highlights the indistinct boundaries of determining the "appropriateness" of material. And the fact that the article's author even raises the spectre of controversy over this particular book highlights the difficulty in managing even a small, distinctly controlled environment much less anything as vast and fluid as Internet content.

  • http://kids.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] Be sure to still watch em. The internet can go from kids to adult in about two seconds.
  • Being 12 year old, I find this entire discussion incredibly discriminating. It's bad enough that I'm subjected to taxation without representation, but now mandatory censorship?

    I'd like to remind you adults out there that the goatex guy and goatex posters are "adults", as are most child pornographers. Maybe it's better to perform censorship on the production end by licensing and regulating the ownership of cameras.

  • by Teun (17872) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @12:01PM (#36417856) Homepage
    Although there's a market for such a 'walled garden' it'll be hard to implement.

    Billy Bob wants his son to get an early grasp on the difference between an AK-47 and a M-16 while a parent from Amsterdam might consider instructions on how to grow weed very insightful.
    At the same time Fatimah hopes to teach her girl on how to become a martyr, or even worse, Gertrud and Wilhelm want their kids to be comfortable with FKK (Freikörperkultur).

    You get my drift.

    • Why not a funny fake name for the parent from Amsterdam? I just made up "Yohan van der Donk" and there seems to be at least one guy on the internet who's name really is that, plus it is funny.

      Plus, what if Gertrud and Wilhelm's daughter is really hot, wouldn't it be lovely to have her prancing through the wold wearing nothing but a red ribbon in her long blond braids, with her parent's encouragement no less. FKK just needs stringent admission criteria, that's all.

  • Your kid can watch mayhem and murder and war on TV 24x7, but Gawd forbid he should via the intertubings see a human or vulva or penis, or one sliding into the other . Better put a chastity belt on your little sprat, lest he uncover the horrible vileness of procreative plumbing lurking betwixt his legs.
  • Why should it be Google to do this?

    Of course it's parents' job to supervise and make decisions for their kids, but they do delegate that to people they trust. But I'm back to: why Google?

    My idea of what's appropriate for kids is very different from John Boehner's, which is different from that of Sheik Sadeq Abdallah bin Al-Majed, who would differ from the standards of that nice hippie commune on the other side of town. Google is not in a position to accommodate all of them (and the many other standards);

  • The important aspect about the library is that it is a walled garden. Anything that comes into a library is catalogues and sorted into sections. There is a specific, generally accepted criteria that defines what is children's literature. Anything that is not categorized does not get in. This classification process does not exist on the internet; nor should it. The contents of the internet is too dynamic to be able to keep such a classification accurate or up to date.

    The other issue is that children do not j

  • He considers the novel "Forever" to be harmful to children. It is a book aimed at kids to help them understand their sexuality and feelings as they grow into their teens and become young adults.

    It is probably not a book a 6 year old would be intrested in but won't harm them as a 6 year old who IS interested in it and can understand the subject matter, is EXACTLY the audience. Young people curious about the emotions happening to them. Who is to say a child of few more years might not be interested? Or a you

  • The area where Google becomes very, very incompetent is whenever you cannot automatize something completely. For example they have legal action pending against them in Switzerland for not reliably blurring out faces in streetview. Why they not just use something like the amazon mechanical turk, or give a small amount of money to anybody that reports a non-blurred face first, is beyond me.

    This, however, is exactly the problem with Google: Their accuracy overall is atrocious. Normal search is often cluttered

  • It sounds like the author's concerns are pretty similar to those the Chinese government has for all its citizens. Maybe an English language Baidu would be a good place to start.

  • >'Think back to when you were a kid and your parents dropped you off at the library,' explains Agger. 'In the children's section, the only "inappropriate" stuff to be found was Judy Blume's Forever,

    What a bunch of hooey.

    Judy Blume was never in the Children's Section. She was in the Young Adults section. YA

    Also... YA books?

    Pfft.... Amateurs. Why bother when you can cruise on over to the Adult section and read the "real books"? I had my own library card at 7, the minimum age. I could check out whatev

  • Did you know that eating dirt is good for kids? Did you know that years of scrubbing hospitals of every bacteria has made them an incubator for resistent staph? It is not the occasional exposure to internet filth that alarms me as a parent. What would bother me would be my kid focusing on it and consuming it in unhealthy quantities. Building a filter to stop all exposure is lazy parenting. What you want is a relationship such that your kids, when they happen on something, talk to you about it rather

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Sunday June 12, 2011 @12:22PM (#36418032) Homepage Journal

    Think back to when you were a kid and your parents dropped you off at the library

    Um, I think what I did was pretty quickly wander out of the kids section, because the books in that area were boring. If a kid wants to read Peter Benchley stories about sharks or eels, they will. (Er, at least that was my thing at the time. Person next to me was into knights and dragons, also not in kids section.)

  • Why no Google Kids? Because kids don't have any money to spend on advertised products?

  • As others have pointed out, Google is not a charity. Google Kids would be a lot more expensive to run than Google search (because it would need human monitoring) and they'd want money.

    That means that, if they ran Google Kids, they'd want to sell things to your kids (or get your kids to pester you to buy things). Don't you get enough of that from TV?

  • Because Google is not interested in human filtering tasks, they want everything automated by computer. Since there's no way to automatically filter content without AI you're stuck.

    Besides that, who decides which content is acceptable and what isn't? It just isn't going to happen. Now Yahoo or some other "portal" type would be happy to do that.

  • The commercial market for net censorship is tiny. Most of the people making noise about this want the net censored for other people, not themselves. You can't sell a commercial product on that basis.

    There's NetNanny [netnanny.com], which is generally considered to be mediocre at its job, but does enough to make some parents happy. Smart kids can usually bypass it. The next step up is a Christian ISP [truevine.net], where filtering takes place at the ISP end. There are a few of those, but they're really tiny.

    Interestingly, there is

  • Sheltering kids from reality has always seemed stupid to me. It builds up a false image of the world in their eyes, just so we can idealize children as innocent. Children are what they are: selfish, thoughtless, loving, needy, playful, energetic, manipulative, and stupid, as a rule. You can replace "stupid" with "ignorant" and then with "innocent", but I find it a conceit to do so, and a harmful one. Don't add to children's ignorance just because you feel uncomfortable describing people's sexual practices a

  • Stop Censorship. Censorship doesn't have shades of gray ... it's black and white. There is either free speech or there isn't. If there is free speech, you don't censor anyone, regardless of age. If there is just ONE content in the world that is banned to even a SINGLE person, then there isn't freedom of speech.

    Treating kids like that is awful.

  • Tossing out all the "be a parent" bullshit posted here since parents have to do stuff like go earn a living sometimes, the correct answer is also in some other posts. Doing this correctly requires a lot more manual intervention then "normal" Google does. You can't automate this without mistakes happening (and that's even if you discount pranksters trying to sneak adult stuff into it deliberately), and the cost of a mistake is a lot higher then it is with the safe search option.

    That means they need a staff m

  • What would really be nice is some kind of (SlashDot) moderation for YouTube comments.

    I'm a pretty thick skinned guy, but its far too easy to wallow around in youtube comments and get a distorted view of the world. I'm all for free speech, but the level of racism (whether earnest or trolling) , eventually is wearing. The obvious solution is not to read, but its like a car accident on the road, sometimes I look when I shouldn't! I try my best not to read comments now, and have installed YouTube comment Snob.
    N

  • I wouldnt leave it up to $_megacorp to decide what is best for my kid unless I vetted their content first. Stuff from websites like NickJR, CatroonNetwork, PBS, Disney and the like all offer kids content that i find appropriate for my 5 year old niece, and its stuff that she is interested in.

    If you have any sort of programming knowledge there are a few resources on the web that detail writing simple web crawlers in $lang_du_jeur. Create your own solution that grabs content from sites you approve of and o

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