This new child-friendly search engine doesn’t block these 11 inappropriate things

This new child-friendly search engine doesn’t filter out these 11 search terms, raising questions about its efficiency.
Mar 01, 2016

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  • Update: This article previously said Kiddle was created and owned by Google, but it is actually owned by a separate party.

  • There's a new search service to help your child stay safe online. It's called Kiddle, and it's essentially a Google search engine for children that filters out inappropriate content.

  • Kiddle allows users to search any term, but will only show results for family-friendly websites. Inappropriate searches send children to a page that reads, "Oops, looks like your query contained some bad words. Please try again!"

  • The search engine has a specific group of editors who have "handpicked and checked" all the appropriate search terms.

  • Of course, not everyone's happy with this new search engine. Critics have spoken out against Kiddle for "promoting ignorance," according to The Next Web. Words like "death, birth, terror, self harm, self harm help, suicide" are all marked as unsafe, which keeps children away from learning about these topics.

  • The search engine also has a pretty deep flaw: misspelling a word doesn't keep explicit material away. So, if a child searched "deaht" instead of "death," all images and stories related to the word would still pop up.

  • "While the intentions of Kiddle's creator may have been good, it needs some work before it can be regarded as truly useful in my opinion," The Next Web reported. "Right now, the search engine isn't protecting kids because it's still possible to find explicit content within seconds."

  • More so, Kiddle also still allows child users to find information on a number of topics that parents may not favor. Here's a look at 11 searchable words that will expose children to possibly inappropriate content.

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  • Victoria's Secret

  • Your child won't be able to search "sex" or "love," but he or she can easily find "Victoria's Secret." A Kiddle search opens children up to links to the lingerie store's website, as well as photos of the company's models.

  • Netflix and Chill

  • Sure, the term has become somewhat of a cliche for brands, but teens originally used "Netflix and Chill" to talk about physical intimacy behind their parents' backs. Children can find the term through a Kiddle search, with most results tied to different news stories that reference the phrase.

  • "The Walking Dead"

  • It's a show blanketed in blood, gore and violence, and yet children can easily find it on Kiddle. The search results reveal TV show reviews and links to the show's main website and other pages where episodes are available for viewing.

  • "Game of Thrones"

  • Like "The Walking Dead," teens can search for the HBO series, which is riddled with violence, sex and alcohol use. Not only can youngsters read detailed reviews of the show, but they can also find links to HBO and other websites where the show can be watched.

  • Kim Kardashian

  • She's a reality TV star who's influencing culture, sometimes in very provocative ways, but she isn't blocked by Kiddle.

  • Kanye West

  • Kim K's husband can also be found on Kiddle. One search of his name will send children links to biographies of the rapper, as well as links to his recent diss track "FACTS."

  • Drink recipe

  • Don't want your child to know about alcohol yet? Good luck using Kiddle. The search engine allows children to find all sorts of drink recipes, including many cocktails.

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  • Rolling papers

  • Many drugs can't be searched on Kiddle, but using the term "Rolling papers" will send children to a list of different cannabis-related products.

  • Bomb

  • You can't search ISIS, but bombs are searchable. There are some kid-friendly history lessons about bombs that children may enjoy for educational purposes, but there are also some fact sheets that describe the weapon in more detail.

  • Donald Trump

  • While it may seem like a good idea for children to learn about the GOP front-runner, Trump has been quoted saying some pretty inappropriate things, like that he'd "bomb the [expletive] out of ISIS."

  • Infidelity

  • Searching infidelity will show children links to different movies and poems about cheating. Similarly, ads on the side of the page will show advice websites for adults who have been cheated on or who embrace cheating, exposing children to the dangerous sin.

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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