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Censorship Google

Censorware Failure: Kiddle's "Child-Safe" Search Engine (thestack.com) 197

An anonymous reader writes: In a bid to protect young internet users from inappropriate content, a new visual search engine designed for children has launched this week. Kiddle.co filters its results so that only 'safe' sites are displayed and page descriptions are written in simple language. It also claims to get rid of indecent images and 'bad words.' However, tests have revealed that the odd risque image will still slip by into the listings. The words 'gay' and 'lesbian' have also controversially been removed from the 'child-friendly' platform. Other reports claimed that references to killing rabbits, naked images of Vanessa Hudgens and Khloe Kardashian's sex tape had initially slipped into the results. While Kiddle, based in the U.S. and the Netherlands, is a separate and unrelated venture to Google, the system uses the web giant's safe search mode in addition to its own team of human editors to pick out the unsuitable content.
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Censorware Failure: Kiddle's "Child-Safe" Search Engine

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    'Kiddle' is waay too close to 'Diddle', which is what my Uncle used to call our secret happy fun play time.

    heh. Captcha 'explore'

  • by sittingnut ( 88521 ) <sittingnut@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @02:47AM (#51613111) Homepage

    children in western countries are over protected and coddled, and as result, even as adults they have a warped sense of the world; they see moral landscape of the world simplistically, preach 'tolerance' of everything, but feel entitled to a lot, ignore the costs of that entitlement(be it blood or money), etc etc
    when those who are paying the costs ( be it victims/instruments of their governments) refuse to pay(voting for 'outsiders' or perhaps resist violently or otherwise), they are branded racists, reactionaries, or terrorists,

    of course in the long run those who pay will end up with the upper hand. its a ugly future for the coddled masses in west .

    • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @02:58AM (#51613141)

      There is porn on the internet. The kids should just be taught what that is and that they can ignore it, close the tab and get on with whatever they were doing. Instead they learn that there is something forbidden, something so dangerous that adults will go in to a panic at the thought of their seeing it. That's probably more damaging than an occasional glimpse of porn.

      • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @04:57AM (#51613437) Journal
        That sounds about right... I remember a porn mag circulating amongst the boys back in elementary school. We were suitably impressed but only because it was "forbidden stuff"; it was way before anyone got sexually active and the actual content was, well, boring as hell. And not one little bit scary

        Of course it helps if you get a bit of sex ed beforehand. And I don't mean the careful and considerate way modern educators go about it. Our sex ed consisted of one lesson slipped into biology class, with a drawing of a naked adult man and woman on the blackboard and the teacher talking a little about reproduction. Let the kids ask their inevitable questions, and I assure you they will quickly get bored and move on. That and the porn mag was enough to convince us kids that sex and porn are firmly in the "boring adult stuff" category.
        • That sounds about right... I remember a porn mag circulating amongst the boys back in elementary school. We were suitably impressed but only because it was "forbidden stuff"; it was way before anyone got sexually active and the actual content was, well, boring as hell. And not one little bit scary .

          For me, it was middle school. It was impressive, but not because it was forbidden. It's because it was sexually exciting and 'fit' with other things that were going on with me. I had been noticing various young lady parts for a while, and then to be able to see a picture of them uncovered was truly awesome.

          Assuming this is a fairly standard episode, the question is what this would mean for what kids should be exposed to. Does it mean that kids should be exposed to naked parts earlier (so that when the

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          When I was a kid, porn was definitely scary. It had big women, covered in hair, and not one bit of air-brushing.

          Hmm... It was black and white. Hugh and Larry have done great things for this world.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @08:40AM (#51613917) Homepage

        There is a reason we have an 18 certificate for films, and it's not just because people are prudes. Child psychology has learnt a lot about how children process certain things, and it's not just with a lack of interest.

        So while I agree that trying to block all access to porn until age 18 is a bad idea, we do need to make sure children get a solid education and controlled exposure so that they can interpret it in a healthy way. A lot of porn is quite violent and derogatory when you look at it objectively, and definitely is not at all realistic. It's really important that children understand that porn isn't normal behaviour and that they are not expected to act that way.

        Young children might just close the tab, but as they start to reach their teenage years they will be curious. What it really boils down to is that schools need to show children much more graphic depictions of healthy, consensual and respectful sex. It's really hard to overcome society's objection to that, and to produce something that doesn't come over as cheesy and lame. There are porn companies that specialise in this sort of thing who could be involved.

    • children in western countries are over protected and coddled, and as result, even as adults they have a warped sense of the world; they see moral landscape of the world simplistically, preach 'tolerance' of everything, but feel entitled to a lot...

      Preach it. But it's even worse. The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Disagree with almost all of that. It's been a fashionable thing to say since the dawn of time. Lots and lots of child poverty in the west. Ludicrous generalisation.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's the opposite, people have realized that they have the power to change things and are taking it, even at some risk to themselves. They have become more willing to speak up on divisive social issues, that previously people just tended to stay quiet about because they knew they were controversial.

      Some people get rather upset about this and describe it as preaching or even shaming, but actually it's just that young people today are more willing to exercise their right to free speech and an opinion. We got

  • Kiddle huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @03:00AM (#51613145)

    Not sure I'd want my kid using a 'visual search engine' that's a portmanteau of 'kid' and 'diddle'.

  • what next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @03:00AM (#51613147)
    Internet censorship doesn't work?? Oh, come on! Next you'll be trying to tell us that Ebay is a bunch of crooks.
    • Are they? I've always had great success buying on eBay, but maybe it's the things I buy. I mostly use the shops rather than auctions. I even had one of those Chinese vendors with a fulfillment warehouse in England ship me a power transformer when the one in my cheap re work station died, quickly. Given they don't sell them as independent items, they must have used quick shipping from China, not the slow boat.

      Maybe I avoid things that look too good to be true?

      I also use it as a source of very much second han

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The biggest issue with eBay is the way it circumvents consumer protection laws. For example you get commercial sellers using private accounts, which gets them out of the usual commercial vendor requirements for accepting returns and the like.

        The worst aspect is PayPal. In most European countries there are rules requiring credit card companies to deal with disputes and pay a full refund if the item is over a certain value, regardless of what the seller does. There is also the possibility of doing a chargebac

        • To be honest, as a US Paypal user (and as someone who sets up Paypal payments for clients), Paypal is overly generous with refunding customers, to the point of sellers not wanting to deal with it anymore and enabling fraud by the consumer.

        • The biggest issue with eBay is the way it circumvents consumer protection laws. For example you get commercial sellers using private accounts, which gets them out of the usual commercial vendor requirements for accepting returns and the like.

          Interesting... I've not personally encountered that. At what point do sales turn from being a private transaction to covered under the sales of goods act? I don't know the law on this, but you automatically become a sole trader whether or not you register with HMRC at

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            eBay has a per month selling limit for private individuals. What some businesses do is have a primary account and a number of burner private accounts. The private accounts get all the crap that is likely to be returned, like old hard drives marked as "untested" (meaning they were tested and found to be broken and out of warranty) or fake goods.

            eBay tries to detect them by looking at the addresses and banking details they use, but it's easy to avoid.

    • Re:what next? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @07:54AM (#51613777)

      I assume that censorship blocking on certain words is just a sneaky way to get the kids to learn a foreign language...

  • It also claims to get rid of indecent images and 'bad words.'

    What does it replace "censorship" with?

  • Am I the only one who read the entire summary and thought the entire time that this was an extension for the Amazon Kindle, only to finally realize that I was reading the name wrong all along!?

  • Kid internet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @03:38AM (#51613225)
    Make another internet just for kids.

    Really.

    We already have mobile versions of websites. Why not kid versions? Little Billy can go to Samsung.kid and get treated the kid friendly page, instead of blah blah blah about investor relations and global operations etc. If Samsung doesn't want to put in a kid page with cartoons advertising their wares, they can just not have anything at all

    Other educational sites can operate at whatever level of maturity the account holder can view.

    Don't allow anonymous access. Have registration through the school system. Make it a crime to post content unsuitable for children on it.

    I can see this not being ideal when you might start expecting a child to do research into subjects. 11? 12?
    But younger than that, I can't see why children would need anything close to unfettered web access.

    It still has the pitfalls of stolen identities/credentials being used to view or post inappropriate content.
    And how do you handle children posting bad content? That I do not know.
    • Because what you mention as examples of other "special" forms of internet are what the user wants. You really think kids want to be censored? Please. If anything, being "cool" (or whatever the word for it is today) entails evading parents' limitations.

      Can I somehow keep you from surfing to a non-mobile page with your cell phone? Nope. Can I keep Billy from watching porn? Nope.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We already have mobile versions of websites. Why not kid versions?

      Because mobile sites double as the kid version.

    • This is about at "nanny state" bullshit as it comes.

      What the hell do you really want? -Mandatory- "kids internet"? What if the parents think you should stay out of their fucking business? I don't want your creepy morals near my kid. Now GTFOML.

    • Make another internet just for kids.

      It would have a *lot* less content. And it would probably consist largely of content harmful to kids. Not porn, cuss words, or violence -- worse than that.

  • There is zero evidence that an uncensored web causes any harm to children. This is witchcraft all over again.
    • Parents want it, parents pay for it, so there's a market for it.

      In the end, if everything works as it should, parents are happy they did something to protect little Billy from the bad reality out there and little Billy, being far more computer savvy than his parents, easily circumvents it and is happy that he can still have all the content he wants. Plus a company makes money from gullible people.

      I.e. internet business as usual.

  • observations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @03:42AM (#51613241)

    death is a bad word, die is not. mass grave is not, 2 clicks later I am looking at something I don't want to look at. suicide is a bad word, but right to die is okay. Searching for gay or lesbian returns a special message "You have entered an LGBT related search query. Please realize that while Kiddle has nothing against the LGBT community, it's hard to guarantee the safety of all the search results for such queries. We recommend that you talk to your parent or guardian about such topics." searching for suicide or kill myself just returns the same bad word message. Gun is a bad word, rifle and pistol is not. deep throat is banned, throat deep is not.

    Why did they choose a mad looking robot as the mascot?

    • "Die" is a good example of why blocking on words is too inaccurate. As well as the meaning related to death, it's also a forming tool and the singular of "dice". My kids encountered Suetonius's "The die is cast" ("alea iacta est") while still at primary school (although they didn't know at that stage it was Suetonius, only that it was said to Julius Caesar, who they thought was a character in the Asterix comic books). If you block on "die", you get too many false positives, if you don't block on "die" (and

      • My kids encountered Suetonius's "The die is cast" ("alea iacta est") while still at primary school (although they didn't know at that stage it was Suetonius, only that it was said to Julius Caesar, who they thought was a character in the Asterix comic books).

        Caesar died in 44BC, Suetonius was born in 69 or 70AD. So Suetonius never said anything to Caesar,

        Plutarch wrote that Caesar, paraphrasing or quoting Menander, said it in Greek. Suetonius reports Caesar saying "iacta alea est".

    • When I looked up "homossexuality" (sic), I got 2 results and an ad for a gay dating website full of porn. Are they supposing that all children will have proper spelling?
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @03:55AM (#51613271)

    Demand to censor all the religious texts. You know, the ones where they stone people to death, and where they nail the good guys to crosses. That's scary for kids! Scarring them for life! Get rid of that filth!

    Then let the religious nuts and the SJWs duke it out. I bring the popcorn.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      You peeps are super fond of that SJW aconym aren't you. Was with you until you apparently unironically used that. Yuck.
      • And I was with you until this [kym-cdn.com] became the generally accepted SJW behaviour. Shoveling shit on other people and accusing them of all kinds of detrimental behavior DESERVES a reaction.

        You're no special snowflake, you're not entitled to anything. Grow up and stop being a whiny little asshole.

  • I can't actually get it to work (other than complain about certain words, like lesbian).

    Is it slashdotted?

  • Me deciding what not to read is not censorship, and the means by which I choose to not read it is not oppressing you. Me helping my children decide what not to read is not bad parenting and using this or any other means at our disposal to be selective about our choices is our business. Calling this censorship is as ludicrous as calling the nyt best sellers list censorship because it's a finite list of all possible books. Get over yourselves.
  • I thought it was Kim who made the sex tape, with Ray J?

  • by Daniel Matthews ( 4112743 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @05:32AM (#51613505)
    Since when are sites that require "Adobe Flash" safe for kids when a child can be manipulated into turning on the camera and microphone in the flash settings?
  • I am so very certain that a five-year- old will be disturbed for life if he finds a Playboy magazine and sees nude girls. Oh! the horrors, the agony, the moral outrage, are just too wicked to bear. Really people, is it 1930 again?
  • Wouldn't it be more effective to educate children about the internet and how to surf it safely? This goes beyond protecting them from things that are considered "obscene" or "vulgar". I can only imagine the application for this search engine is children who are surfing unsupervised. Do you trust your child not to accidentally download malware? Do you trust them to recognize a phishing attempt? Are these guys at Kiddle (yeah it's a stupid name) actually able to filter all of these things out as well? At lea
  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @08:47AM (#51613949) Homepage

    I entered an ambiguous search term: "cute chicks", figuring a child-friendly search engine would probably show me pics of fuzzy baby chickens:

    - It's either broken or incredibly slow. I waited...and waited...and waited... What is it, do the editors manually answer every query?

    - I went to KidzSearch, which is also powered by Google Safe Search, entered the same term, and there are simply zero results. Zero?

    - Enter the same term in Google Safe Search, and the top five results are baby chickens. So the search term works.

    Ok, so I was trying to trick them, so let's try something ordinary: "puppies". Still zero results, even though Google Safe Search has zillions. Same result, i.e., nothing happened. I guess it's kid-safe if you never return any results. Boring, but safe...

    - - - - -

    Update: I tried refreshing the page, with the search term "puppies". This time I got a clear message "looks like your query contained some bad words." Bad puppies, bad! Somebody whack this site with a rolled up newspaper.

  • And found that : http://la.buvette.org/vrac/kid... [buvette.org] but on the other side, http://wemakeporn.tetalab.org/ [tetalab.org] :)
  • I hope for their sake they block results from Wikipedia, have you seen the sexual deprivation [wikipedia.org] and, gasp, child pornography [wikipedia.org] on that encyclopaedia of filth, won't somebody please think of the children!

  • "...Kiddle.co filters its results so that only 'safe' sites are displayed..."

    Every few years something like this comes along and it always ends up being an abject failure.

    The fact is that effective censoring is difficult, especially when the subject matter is fluid and subjective.

  • Will prevent everyone to spot a naked female nipple, but just do an image search for "beheadings", "execution" or "crucifiction" and you well get graphic pictures of extreme torture.
    Yeah, the word "homosexual" is censored, but it is no problem to look at a picture showing Nazi soldiers executing people in a concentration camp.
    This is obscene and disgusting, not nipples or "bad words", motherfuckers.

  • This search engine blocks searches for things like Childline [wikipedia.org].

    https://twitter.com/LaSouvarine/status/704651356351520768 [twitter.com]

  • People have the right to speak, and other people have the right not to listen. If someone wants to browse a version of the internet where everything "inappropriate" has been removed, they have that right. This company is trying to provide that for them. When they block certain content, that isn't censorship. It's giving their customers what they want, and performing exactly the function those customers came to their site for in the first place.

    You can argue this will never be very effective. Possibly t

  • Why do people keep making the same mistakes over and over again, ad infinitum?

    If you're so damned worried about what your kid might see on the Internet, then maybe, I dunno, you should supervise all their time using the Internet, instead of expecting some total strangers on some allegedly 'kid-safe' search site to do it for you?
  • They successfully built the ultimate filter: whatever words I type, it keeps telling me the query contains bad words.

    "Atom", "China", "Kid", "Robot", "Obama", "School", "Neutral" are reported bad. Even "Mickey Mouse" is bad (well, I may agree...)

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