Kiddle has many parents excited at the prospect of a search engine that is completely safe for kids to use. It is being talked about as Google’s official search engine for children, but the fact is that Google has no association with Kiddle. The other thing that parents should know is that Kiddle may not be completely safe and may bring up results that are not child friendly. You should allow your children to use Kiddle with caution.
Ever since the invention of the internet, parents have been wary of letting their children browse the Internet for fear of them discovering inappropriate material. If a child is doing a search on Google for almost anything, it is possible that they could be exposed to nude pictures, violent videos, and more. Kiddle aims to eliminate that risk.
— MrsBsmartcookies (@MrsBsmartcookie) February 19, 2016
Kiddle is being touted as the safe search engine for children that can let parents relax. Kiddle is being shared socially by parents and educators. But don’t relax yet!
According to TechTimes, Kiddle is a search engine that “ditches the plain white background found on the popular search engine’s homepage, and instead features an outer space theme, complete with planets off in the distance, along with a robotic alien under the search bar that lives on the crater-filled planet seen in the forefront.”
The first thing you should know is that Kiddle is not owned by Google and is not officially affiliated with them in anyway. According to Whois.net, you’ll see that Kiddle is registered at GoDaddy.com, and the domain is set to expire on October 31st of 2016. Does this mean Kiddle will expire? Not necessarily, but website owners that are highly invested in a site and have intentions of keeping it online will usually buy the domain for at least five years. Kiddle may be waiting to see if the site will garner enough traffic to warrant renewing the domain.
The confusion about the site being owned by Google comes about because the Kiddle main site does look a lot like the Google setup, but with more child friendly colors and a fun robot. Many sites have said that Kiddle is a Google product, but the fact is that it is not associated with Google in anyway. Nowhere on Kiddle does it claim to be a Google site.
Kiddle is a search engine that gets its results from Google safe search. So yes, it should be safer. The top 1-7 results are chosen by editors, who block out sites that may be unsafe for children to view. The results for 8 and on are not edited, so parents should understand that although it might be safer it is not perfect.
Some Twitter users have done a little research to find out just what kind of results can be found. They discovered that there are still questionable results on Kiddle that should make parents pay attention.
Just heard of a "search engine for kids" called Kiddle. I was disappointed on my very first search. Yikes! pic.twitter.com/1KKlXPbbqy
— Nate Smith (@nthdesign) February 28, 2016
Is Kiddle completely useless then?
[UPDATE: Kiddle has been taking note of these reports by using and adapting their results. Since Kiddle is moderated by editors, Kiddle users can expect to get better, safer results as time goes on.]
No, there are some benefits to Kiddle that you may like. One of the benefits is the previously mentioned edited results. According to the Kiddle About page,
Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors.
Typically, results 1-3.
Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors.
Typically, results 4-7.
This means that although Kiddle is not storing your information, Google still might be. Kiddle uses an embedded Google search bar on the front page of the Kiddle site. It is a Google tool that follows Google’s policies for privacy. You can read more about Google Privacy to understand it better.
Another nice feature of Kiddle is that certain words are blocked. So if your child goes looking for things like “butts” or “penis” or “Pamela Anderson” on Kiddle, they will get the fun robot visual and the message, “Oops, looks like your query contained some bad words. Please try again!” You can add words to the Kiddle keyword block form or even add sites to the site blocking form. This does make Kiddle more child friendly.
Mirror reports that it is not completely successful though in blocking undesirable results saying, “But in some cases, it does not manage this too successfully — such as in these searches for Khloe Kardashian and Vanessa Hudgens.” Mirror provides several results from their searches on Kiddle that show sites that you would not want your children to view. You might want to try doing some searches on Kiddle on your own, too!
The truth is that most of what Kiddle does can be accomplished with a good site blocking tool, parental supervision, and knowledge of how to control your Google settings. No matter what technology you use to keep your kids safe on the Internet, the best thing you can do is make sure that you are present when your children use the Internet. Kiddle can help but having a parent in the room will always be your best bet. Use Internet tools like Kiddle with an observant eye!
Photo source: kiddle.co