Science and Tech

New ‘child-friendly’ search engine blocks LGBT related content

Joe Williams March 1, 2016
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The site is intended to help children navigate the internet, but could be cutting them off from important advice and support.

Kiddle – a ‘child-friendly’ search engine launched today – has blocked all LGBT-related search queries.

Kiddle results are handpicked by editors or filtered by Google safe search – although the new site has no official affiliation with the internet giant.

New ‘child-friendly’ search engine blocks LGBT related content

If users do attempt do search for LGBT related content, they are greeted with a “friendly” message telling them to ask their parents permission,

“Please realise that while Kiddle has nothing against the LGBT community, it’s hard to guarantee the safety of all the search results for such queries,” an error message reads.

“We recommend that you talk to your parent or guardian about such topics.”

As well as blocking the all LGBT-related terms – such as gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex and bisexual – the site also bans other “dangerous” terms such as porn, murder, rape and drugs.

“Sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as we filter sites with explicit or deceptive content,” the company says on its website.

Last year, Microsoft announced changes to Windows 10’s family settings – after PinkNews warned it could ‘out’ children to their parents.

In September, PinkNews raised concern about Windows 10’s ‘activity reports’ feature – which is enabled by default for users who have set up registered family accounts – sending weekly breakdowns of children’s browsing history to their parents.

Testing the feature using a mock family, PinkNews found that a child’s gay-related search history and visits to LGBT support sites were flagged in emails sent to parents, alongside detailed information about gay pornography the teen had attempted to view.

The teen was not informed that this information had been sent to their parents.

New ‘child-friendly’ search engine blocks LGBT related content

In a blog post, Microsoft exec Terry Myerson responded directly to concerns, and pledged to amend the feature to respect people’s privacy.

He wrote: “Listening to your feedback has been the foundation of Windows 10, and feedback on privacy is no exception.”

More: Google, LGBT, microsoft, search engine

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