Latest InsideMicrosoft Posts: InsideGoogle: Kid Safe Google Search .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Kid Safe Google Search
Every so often, I browse through the search results for Google and other relevant terms for this site, hoping to find something interesting to blog about. Well, here's the number one search result that doesn't have Google in the name: OneKey, a kid-friendly version of Google. Basically, if you worry that your children will accidentally (or not) get around Google's SafeSearch, you can have them use OneKey, since it has SafeSearch on with no way to turn it off. Same results as Google, except no chance of getting "adult" sites. Not a bad idea for parents to use.

Good idea - too bad it doesn't work.

They've got a real simplistic (and ineffective) approach to kid-friendly searching. It's a framed manipulation of regular-old Google Safe Search.

Not only can you defeat the system by simply changing "safe=vss" to "safe=off" in the URL string, but try searching for "Lightspeed University" (long story, but I'm an LSU grad, and that place refers to itself as "LSU", so image results for "LSU" can be very interesting - so I use Lightspeed as a benchmark).

Or try searching for "Naked Cheerleader" - you'll see a note that "Naked" has been removed because of the safe setting. But then search for "Hot Cheerleader" and the first two results are porn sites.

At best, this is a semi-effective passive tool (the kid has to be using this site, so if he wants to find porn, he'll just go somewhere else). Any kind of real kid-friendly search controls will have to come at the ISP level where the ISP's browser can control and monitor where users go.
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