PurpleJelly are a local IT support company dedicated to offering quick and intelligent IT solutions to our customers in Hampshire and Surrey. Our team is always on the look out for the latest industry news as well as any new developments or websites that could be of use to our readers, including child-friendly services and search engines.
Google is a tool that many of us (including our IT solutions Hampshire team) reach for pretty much every day without really thinking about it, but the rise of this search engine has allowed us greater access to information than ever before – but as with all tools, it is in itself neither good nor bad, and instead depends on how you use it. With this in mind, many parents these days are concerned about just what their children are searching for, as well as the possible results that could show up, for even the most innocent of searches can turn up some rather unsavoury links if safesearch is disabled!
A new kid-friendly search engine, Kiddle, aims to rectify this by hand picking search results and blocking more risque search terms from being viewed at all, which they hope will set parents’ minds at rest. The company has no affiliation with Google but is powered by Google safesearch in order to help keep results clean and safe for children. What Kiddle believes makes it superior to simply using Google safesearch as-is is that their results aren’t just filtered for but tailored to children; the first few search results from Kiddle are hand-picked by editors, and include links specifically written for children, or written in a simple enough way for children to understand. Many of the results are also highly visual with lots of images to help break up blocks of text and maintain interest.
However, not everyone is happy with the filtering process and there are some who question the search terms that have been blocked, especially compared to those that are still allowed. Certain celebrity names such as ‘Pamela Anderson’ and ‘Paris Hilton’ turn up no results whatsoever, whilst a search for ‘50 shades of grey’ is not blocked at all – somewhat counter-intuitive, perhaps? Search terms connected to LGBT were also initially blocked from being accessed, but it appears that this decision has been reversed after the company received criticism from the LGBT organisation Stonewall.
A site like this seems to be a step in the right direction towards ensuring child safety online, but certain terms slipping through the cracks or being wrongfully blocked means that parental supervision is still the best option for protecting your child when browsing online.