Kiddle- A new safer search?

Have kids and Internet access? There’s a new search engine advertised as being “for kids”. But is the controvery around Kiddle something you should be worried about?

kiddle screen shot

Maybe I am the only one living under a box, but for any other cardboard condo residents, I thought I would write a quick post on the “new” search engine designed for kids: Kiddle.

As they state:

Since Kiddle results are either handpicked and checked by our editors or filtered by Google safe search, you know you get kid-oriented results without any explicit content. In case some bad words are present in a search query, our guard robot will block the search.

kiddle screen shot

It seems there is some controversy surrounding it so far.  I will try to save you a little time and summarize what it seems the large issues are at this point:

PROS:

  • search results in a more “kid-friendly” format
    • large thumbnails next to most search results
    • larger, more readable font for title & “blurb”

      Kiddle search results
      Screen shot showing search results
  • Search results incorporate Google safe search protocols “plus”
  • “Editors” curate top search results, so top results are from sites specifically written for kids

    Kiddle's posted criteria for search results
    Kiddle’s posted criteria for search results
  • “Problem” words that are expected may result in explicit/inappropriate content are blocked and result in a pop-up message from the robot
  • Screen shot showing blocked search results
    Screen shot showing blocked search results
  • Known explicit websites also blocked
  • Ability to request additional words or sites be blocked (and site states they will make a determination within 1 day)
  • Responsiveness of site- I have already seen changes in what things are blocked and how since I have been looking at the site!
  • Privacy-State they don’t collect any personally identifiable information, and delete their logs every 24 hours

CONS:

  • Not clear who Kiddle “is”- they are NOT affiliated with Google, per a BBC article, and my unsophisticated tech skills (looking at their “Page Info”) currently shows “This website does not supply ownership information.”
  • They may block things that your child legitimately wants kids appropriate information on- “atomic bomb” and “nazi” are blocked (although “Hitler” is not).
    • Note: Kiddle has already responded to prior complaints regarding blocking  “suicide”to allow sites for suicide prevention, and “gay”, “homosexual”, etc. to allow “clean” informational results
  • Ads show up on the search results page- not sure if which adds show up would also be limited by Google Safe Search (they were Google Ads)?
  • Based on the posted results criteria, looks like anything beyond the first page results are only filtered by the Google Safe Search (so questionable content more likely in subsequent results pages)

At this point, I am testing it out with my kids.  I am not personally ready to set them loose to search the Internet on their own yet, even with a filter like this. Of course, my kids can’t spell that much on their own, so their Internet independence is already pretty hobbled. :)

So, have you tried Kiddle yet? What do you think? If you have any other suggestions for how to keep your littles safe on the Internet, I would love for you to share in the comments!

P.S. Know anyone who wants to learn paino (including you or your kids)? There is a great KickStarter campaign ending 3/10/16!

 

 

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