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Google Being Banned At Schools
Due to many porn-related searches, schools have blocked google
brendan3eb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 8:40 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Students today at my middleschool shrieked in fear when they discovered that google's image search is now banned in our elementary&middle school district. For the past years High Schools in the area (notably Maine South, high school alumni including Hillary Clinton and Harrison Ford) have been blocking google's image search. Data on google's image searches included hundreds of searches including sex slang (words such as 'nude' or 'sex' not being included). Students are already suffering the loss, many not knowing of other image search engines took the deperation of going to clipart sites for their projects, others made stick figures for presentations, that average project grade went down 3 percent. Today, while talking to several friends on instant messenger from different locations, I learned that their schools had too already lost the privledge of google's image search.

I posted this as a heads up to webbies who own sites that attract students and also gain alot of their visits from google's image search, I advise to look at getting high on different image search engines while these banning go somewhat unnoticed.

 

fclark

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 2:53 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Simple solution is to install antivirus software with a web filtering component. If the schools' antivirus software doesn't do this, it's time to look for another. Most vendors give 50% discount to edu customers.

Many of these are available in network-configurable versions that don't allow students to disable setting. There are also appliances available that will filter the content at the central network connection to the Internet.

Jon_King

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 3:27 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure Google really fits this market.

Seems to me that all steps need taken in order to ensure content from a network is appropriate for small kids. This is not currently G's model.

I see more primary and secondary schools looking to completely closed info networks supplied by specialized and audited vendors.

Brett



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 3:33 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am responsible for a web filtering solution across 300 schools in an English County Council.

Google is on one hand a really useful tool with great educational benefits and on the other it is the bain of our lives because of google images.

Even in strict safe search mode a legitimate search can result in an inappropriate search result. Due to googles caching it usually is the case that the image being displayed is from a site that we have already filtered but the image is still visible. We can take steps to block these images individually but they can pop up for any search phrase.

I had a conversation with a google tec a while a go who suggested that Google were looking at a new solution fo r schools web searching but I've not heard from him for a while.

Our educationalists don't subscribe to the idea of a "Walled Garden" approach to internet browsing because you are limiting individualism and forcing everyone to use the same resources. Therefore we don't filter google or google images in this county.

Brett

Jon_King

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 3:38 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>Even in strict safe search mode a legitimate search can result in an inappropriate search result.

Really negates its use for young children by my way of thinking. I think perfection in filtering would have to happen before willfully installing these search possibilities in young children's classrooms.

mrMister

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:09 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sigh, yet another knee-jerk reaction from the public sector.

Personally I'm alarmed that our children are being exposed to these educational establishments and their wonky thought processes! Ban the teachers I say :-)

Critter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:31 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google's searches are all done through GET form postings.
One of the parameters in the querystring is for safesearch.

Simple solution: install a proxy that adds a "safesearch on" querystring variable to every search done at Google.

Duh.

That's why I didn't stay in school: most of the employees are too stupid. :)

Brett



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:49 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Critter - you're solution doesn't work - I've tried.

Google's safesearch is not safe! If you search for some (legitimate) terms you will still see wholly inappropriate results.

Matt Probert

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 6:24 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google's safesearch is not safe! If you search for some (legitimate) terms you will still see wholly inappropriate results.

This is regretably true for *all* the Internet (by which I am also including Usenet).

As a publisher of an "educational" site - though it is definitely NOT marketed at under 16 year-olds I shall ironically say that I am not a great fan of the Internet being used by children. Far better they learn how to use libarries and books, where at least the information is accountable, if not always accurate. The Internet provides a wealth of disinformation and eccentricity which young children, I feel, may have a problem filtering.

Matt

rytis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 6:56 pm on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Haha. Ban computers idiots ;)

Teshka

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:18 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Students are already suffering the loss, many not knowing of other image search engines took the deperation of going to clipart sites for their projects, others made stick figures for presentations, that average project grade went down 3 percent.

Why are teachers assigning work that requires pictures from the Internet anyway? I can see using a graph in a presentation, but why in the world would you need an image of a person, stick figure or otherwise?

Teknorat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:27 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Ban computers"

Well he internet maybe. Why bother paying for the connection if it's not made use of?

BReflection

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 6:57 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Due to googles caching it usually is the case that the image being displayed is from a site that we have already filtered but the image is still visible.

Google only cache's the text content and links to the images on the original site.

sem4u

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 8:47 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

No the images are cached too. Often when you click on one it is no longer on the original webpage.

Critter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 4:02 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Heya Brett:

Are you saying that purely innocent terms will show inappropriate results when safesearh is set to "max" (rather than moderate, which is the default)?

Ever if this was true it'd still be relatively easy to filter out those terms in the search because, (anyone?), the search terms are in the query string.

:)

BReflection

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 8:32 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

No the images are cached too. Often when you click on one it is no longer on the original webpage.

I thought he was referring to web search. Google doesn't cache the images, it makes thumbnails of them (you could be pedantic and consider that cacheing, but it is not cacheing the full size image). The Google URL for these thumbnails contain the original.

So I don't see an issue. It's no more difficult to block them based on their URL since the Google URL contains the original.

Jon_King

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 8:42 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>Our educationalists don't subscribe to the idea of a "Walled Garden" approach (reffering to England's teachers' use of the Internet and Google)

You are suggesting that an "Unwalled Garden" Internet is the approach taken in England. I would beg to differ. No such attitude exists, no such attitude at all in elementary grades.

Labyrinth

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 9:39 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Students today at my middleschool shrieked in fear

Pretty skiddish kids, eh?

So they don't have access to other people's images for their projects.

Color me distressed.

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 12:19 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yet more proof that most schools are clueless about the internet.

brendan3eb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:13 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

posters, collages, etc. Kids with OT use labtops for all their classes, I do my homework online sometimes, students rely on the internet for everything.

The funny thing is that several kids already created a site that allows you to search google images without the site being filtered using php.

reply to critter: I don't think thats what Bret was suggesting, I think he was making the point that if a student wanted to get innapropriote results on filtered mode, they could. But why punish the entire student body for a few pranksters.

spaceylacie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:25 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's not even legal for kids to be using other people's images for projects, is it? This is allowed in schools, with no mind given to COPY RIGHT LAWS?

spaceylacie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 5:32 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is what Google says about it. I hope schools that allow kids to take images off the Internet to use in their projects follow these guidelines. Are they required to contact the site owner for permission? What kind of proof do school adminstrators get that the permission was actually granted?

Quote From Google's Website:
"The images identified by the Google Image Search service may be protected by copyrights. Although you can locate and access the images through our service, we cannot grant you any rights to use them for any purpose other than viewing them on the web. Accordingly, if you would like to use any images you have found through our service, we advise you to contact the site owner to obtain the requisite permissions."

truth_speak

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 6:10 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Brett, I appreciate your take on this subject. I too am against a "Walled Garden." I've been teaching at a K-8 school for the past 15 years and feel that the best approach to this stuff is to have rules (eg., no searches for sex related images) and have consequences for breaking the rules (eg., loss of computer priviledges for the quarter).

More than that, the higher purpose here is to teach children how to navigate the world using good judgment. The media is awash in sexuality, and teaching children about self-control and how to exercise critical thinking skills is a must. Abstinence and denial are from an earlier epoch that no longer applies.

spaceylacie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28346 posted 6:22 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Amen truth_speak

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