Ensuring Kid-Friendliness with Kiddle – Google Safe Search for Kids
Parents go to great lengths to ensure the safety of their children, especially when it comes to spending time online. The problem is that with a standard search engine, kids can find for anything, which puts them at risk for exposure to adult topics. Thanks to a new Google product called Kiddle, children can still search online while parents track their activity.
By nature, kids are inquisitive. They hear things at school and even at home that would never have come up even 10 years ago. Because they have exposure to so much, Google is doing its part by ramping up online safety. Kiddle, powered by Google’s Safe Search, is an innovative visual search engine that blocks out questionable content for young, impressionable minds.
The difference with Kiddle compared to the traditional Google search is that it is a kid-friendly search engine. Children can still inquire about millions of things without crossing over into areas intended for adults. With this, the first three results that appear in response to a search consist of pages specifically for kids, written and handpicked by Kiddle editors.
Although Kiddle editors do not rank the next three search results, those come from sites they consider safe. Results four through six are also presented in a way that makes them easier for kids to understand. Beyond search result six, the remainder is from websites for adults. However, Kiddle’s filter blocks out some of the keywords that might be offensive.
Most parents, grandparents, guardians, and even schools love the new Google Kiddle. Yet, some adults believe this product should have a stricter filtering system because some words are too advanced. For example, keywords like “lesbian,” “gay,” “death,” and “menstruation” all appear in search results seven and beyond. The other issue is that some parents are not sure that Kiddle’s editors should have the power to decide what is and is not appropriate for their children.
Although a small amount of controversy surrounds Google’s Kiddle, a vast number of adults feel it is revolutionary. Before this product, parents had nothing to rely on for tracking online activity while giving their kids the freedom to search. Along with Kiddle, experts recommend that kids use mobile devices in an open area of the home as opposed to a bedroom and that an adult is always present.