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Using Google with a 6 year old

   
1:36 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just taught my 6 year old son how Googling works. See I just got a t-shirt from Google and was wearing it - so my son was interested. So after asking me why some links were purple and some weren't at Webmasterworld, and explaining to him why that was - we set off to Google "tyrannosaurus rex" and I showed him just what Google does.

He was thrilled, with page upon page of image search serps with his favorite dinosaur. He chose one, about 8 pages in, as his favorite, which now graces his pc as wallpaper. [url=www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/link/hist_10.html]t-rex[/url]

But the meaning of this post? New Googlers are being added to the ranks and it's exciting to see them discover it for the first time...

LisaB

8:52 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



so you want to say that you are not NUMBER 1 for the keyword your son is searching on?

LOL.

2:02 pm on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



No, but I don't have a web site about dinosaurs or t-rex ;) He loved the image search because he could see pages full of his favorite dinosaur. Maybe this would be a good first web site for him to work on.... I can see the headlines now, "Grade School Webmaster SEO Wizard" Full Story Page 12...

LisaB

2:22 pm on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



No SEO Wizard will be on Page 12!
6:19 am on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



We're always happy to get new users. :)
12:15 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've always loathed safe search and found myself impatient to switch it of to get full results.

But it makes me wonder how much I'd trust it. Havign seen what can jump you "out there" unsuspectingly, I wonder if I'd trust my own son there at that age (not got one yet though). I mean, supervised surfign is all nice and good, but I'Ve had things pop on my that, even while jumping for the close button left a scar on me.

Waht are your experiences while surfing with your smaller children? Has it ever been unpleasent or awkward in any way?

Just interested, as I seem to be getting to the age of worryign about that sort of thing ;)

SN

12:25 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Has he signed up as a webmasterworld user yet? ;)
7:13 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'd like to report a concern regarding the google safesearch feature.

My sister was reseaching for a project she is doing at her new school. She need photos of various animals. She got kangaroo, chicken, dragon etc. It was all well and good until she needed a picture of a male hen, the proper word for which is of course "c o c k".

Innocent as she is, she searched google images for "c o c k" and you can imagine how disgusted & temporarily disturbed she was when she was presented with explicit pornographic images.

google's safesearch feature has severly let my sister down.
Who can I report this too?

thanks
mark
p.s. I added spaces to the word in question to make it unsearchable (for some reason).
p.p.s why does google archive the c h i l d. s e x newsgroup. Thats appauling!

7:21 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



yonnermark:

I am sorry for what happened to your sister, I would hate to have that happen to one of my own...

But with all due respect, that is sort of a hard word to filter out for.

Websters might refer to the "C" word as a male Chicken, but the rest of the world might think of something else when they hear it spoken.

7:53 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Like any medium, there is no reason to let your children surf unsupervised. It's just a question of monitoring. I'm sure you can get all types of pornagraphic material searching for anything from apples to zoology.
12:18 am on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I agree. Given that even non-internet savvy people realise how prevalent porn is on the web, IMO content censorship is really a parental responsibility.
12:35 am on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



google should be clever enough to know if an image called "c o c k.jpg" is rude or clean. All it would need to do is scan the 10 words either side of the photo and I reckon it would be pretty clear from that.

What use is safety filter when it doesn't work?

4:10 am on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My son doesn't Google by himself - this was his first experience with searching for something that interested him. Luckily dinosaurs don't seem to be euphemisms for much that is porn related. He only surfs to Disney and Nickolodeon. His computer happens to be behind mine in our office, so supervision is close at hand when he's online.

He mostly plays games (educational and entertainment) - try working with Spongebob cackling in the background...

In all seriousness, I do plan to teach him how to search - because I think it is a very important skill. He "gets" the whole internet thing, he's just not far enough along with reading and such to need it yet.

The whole internet/web thing is a tremendous parenting issue our parents didn't have to deal with - it's more than censorship and vetting what your kids see/do, simply because we are still early in the process of formulating rules to integrate the internet/web into our lives. (ok, so the folks here at WW are ahead of the curve :) but our kids will base their future actions on what they see us do now.)

LisaB

10:45 am on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



very true bun, they will indeed.
most parents (in the uk at least) allow their children to surf unsupervised without firewalls or any kind of parental controls in place.

why can it not be made law for any adult content to be placed in .ad domains? Then parents can disable the .ad domain on their machine.

later
mark

1:34 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



yonnermark

I was curious (but not that curious) about your search so I tried it with the adult filter on. I did not get any pornagraphic results back at all. In fact - with the filter on, google returned no results and I was forced to search for the full term "cockeral"

Has anyone else tried this search with the filter on?

1:49 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



ah yes, I've just checked and "moderate safe-search" is enabled. I'll have to make sure that we change that to strict which does indeed return no results.

ugh!

1:50 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm sure this is a "cross-pond" vocabulary issue, but why not search for "rooster"? You're almost guaranteed to be innuadated with porn when searching under the term you mentioned. It's really a matter of "smart-searching", making your query itself do some of the filter work. You should teach your child to use a search like "farm animal poultry cock" or something with a couple identifiers that will narrow the search and bring what you are really looking for to the top. The less they are picking through SERPS the less chance they will come across something objectionable.
2:03 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



i havent checked but any search containing the words "farm, animal, cock" will not bring back pretty results.

Its not a cross-pond difference. That word has the same double-meaning over here..... but if you surround yourself with christian friends and don't watch filthy tv comedy, then such words regain their innocence.

Wouldn't google be all the more respected if it banned porn sites & pictures altogether?

2:24 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>Wouldn't google be all the more respected if it banned porn sites & pictures altogether?

Respected by whom? What about banning hate speech too? Or banning my protest sites?

I believe Google is respected because it does not ban any sites. It is not in the business of censorship. On second thoughts, Google will get more respect from me if it banned my competitors' sites because those contain nothing that is useful. ;)

2:42 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



ok, how can anyone respect google when it archives p'philia newsgroups?

If parents knew that google archived c h i l d p o r n I suspect they'd choose a dif. SE for their children.

Would they send their child to a library if they knew that the back room was used as a meeting place for local p'philes? I suspect not.

The analogy is not exact, but its not too far off.

mark

4:21 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think having your child use a different search engine is a great idea. I'm sure you can find a good one out there that is geared towards a younger audience and employs more stringent filtering by default. Google has such a varied audience that gearing it just for your tastes, which I may just agree with, is not feasible.

Google's integrity of search is their focus, and they attempt to have useful results appear first is their goal, regardless of who is searching, be it someone looking for sex sites or barnyard animals (or both for some folks apparently.) I know it seems appalling to yourself that it would be accessible to you, but you ARE actively searching, and if you don't word your query properly by narrowing your search you are going to get non-relevant results, be them offensive sites or just plain unrelated.

Honestly, you were asking for it searching for "cock". Not just for sex sites, but sites about pistols, people tilting their heads, etc... Granted the worst meaning was predominant, but the point is: broad queries return broad results, and you honestly have only yourself to blame until the day search engines learn to read your mind.

I do think they should not be caching the afore mentioned newsgroup, and you might want to drop them an email to point it out to them. They may not even be aware of it as I'm sure that is a more or less automated feature.

4:44 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>ok, how can anyone respect google when it archives p'philia newsgroups?

My suggestion is that you inform the federal authorities about these sites and newsgroups. Nobody wants such illegal sites.

Most sex sites, while geared towards adult audiences and many in bad taste and vulgar, are not illegal though.

4:44 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



just to clear a few things up:

"I think having your child use a different search engine is a great idea"

I don't have a child

"Google's integrity of search is their focus"

Agreed

" I know it seems appalling to yourself that it would be accessible to you"

Do you? I never said as much

"Honestly, you were asking for it searching for "cock".

I didn't search for that word. My sister did. She is a novice so naturally she just went to google and started searching. Moderate filter was on. should be ok then. If erect ****es are moderate search results, then someone needs a new yardstick.

"and you honestly have only yourself to blame until the day search engines learn to read your mind. "

Thats ridiculous. When moderate filter is on, I expect moderate results.

"I do think they should not be caching the afore mentioned newsgroup, and you might want to drop them an email to point it out to them. They may not even be aware of it as I'm sure that is a more or less automated feature."

Good call. I'll do that.

I had to straighten out some of those false assumptions there.

mark

4:45 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Okay,I'll admit it, I'm young (17 years old), I have had access to the internet since external dial-up modems on Compuserve when I was about 5. I was the kid who had the "Reader Rabbit" DOS command written on his monitor. I have seen so many disturbing things on the internet thanks to google and some sick webmasters and it didnt hurt me at all. I don't think kids are as fragile as you think they are, let us explore, if we continue searching for the "c" word not referring to chickens then we were messed up long before google. If anything we will use google to find out the scientific name for a male chicken is Gallus domesticus and I am sure you won't get naughty images searching for Gallus domesticus on image finder... although I havnt tried it.
6:18 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I used to work with children in an after school program and we had computers available for them to use. Often, kids would mis-type something in the address bar, looking for a Sailor Moon or Hello Kitty site and get porn. Just another phenomenon to be aware of, as I'm sure most of you are. Also, Yahooligans.com is a good "portal" for kids, complete with a search engine (though I'm not sure how good the results are).
7:01 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



You are right, I was confusing the original post with the one regarding your sister's search experience.

I'm not sure about the filtering levels, I've never used them and I've never thought that the accuracy could be the best given the limits of technology to determine human context. Also, if the site is mostly graphics, that poses a roadblock as well. Additionaly, for whatever reason, webmasters of XXX sites tend to try to get around filters and spam results. It used to be far worse as I recall.

As to the scarring of children, that's a social issue really, but I can recall pre-internet days of kids in the school library looking up dirty words in the dictionary just to see if they're there. Same concept I suppose, though the dictionary definitions were decidedly less visual :)

12:45 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The default safe search level, moderate, does not do any filtering of web search results, only image search results.

From google's preferences page:

o Use strict filtering (Filter both explicit text and explicit images)
o Use moderate filtering (Filter explicit images only - default behavior)
o Do not filter my search results.

4:54 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I tried "strict safesearch" to see what would happen on a search for "cock". It brings up 0 results, saying no "standard" results were found.
6:42 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"Use moderate filtering (Filter explicit images only - default behavior)"

I'm afraid it failed.
An explicit list of results came up

1:51 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Maybe it refers to image searches only. I think that is what the wording suggests.

I still assert that the animal is called a "rooster" and I can't really remember a time that I've heard anyone in normal recent conversations refer to them as a "cock", outside of "cock fighting" that is. :)

Incidentally, with strict filtering enabled, "rooster" returns 770,000 results and 23,000 very nice "male chicken" photos in the image search.

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