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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Google's excellent new online safety campaign
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Google has just launched an excellent new online safety campaign and website that includes new tools, materials and videos for parents looking for help in protecting their kids from potentially objectionable online material. Over at the Google blog, Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs, outlines the new offerings. Schrage discusses the partnerships Google has struck with other safety groups and the other initiatives it has underway. He also mentions Google's excellent "Safe Search" tool, which I have praised in my report on parental controls & online child safety. It really is amazing how well that tool works. (Note: other search engine providers also offer excellent safe search tools).
Google safe search

Google also has released an excellent new online safety video with the forks at Common Sense Media:

What I really like about Google's new online safety campaign is that it focuses on the same 3 principles that I stress in all my work on parental controls and online child protection. Namely:

* Empower parents with tools to help them choose what content their children see online;
* Educate children on how to stay safe online;
* Protect children through partnerships with law enforcement and industry.

Actually, I use "Enforcement" as the label for that third prong of the plan and refer to this as the "3-E Solution" to online child safety concerns: "Education, Empowerment, & Enforcement". That's the sensible approach to these issues because there is no single silver-bullet solution to concerns about objectionable online content or contacts. As I say in my book, as parents and a society, we need to adopt a “layered” approach to parental controls and online child protection to do the job right.

Anyway, all of Google's new efforts can be found on its new family safety website and also in this excellent Online Family Safety Guide.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:13 AM | Free Speech , Online Safety & Parental Controls

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