Google posted about testifying before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations about protecting children online. I am glad that the people in Washington are finally talking about this. I think there needs to be more talk and more funding for this type of thing. Unfortunately stopping people from making money from something so vicious as hurting children is difficult to fund. This is where the government must help protect children.
Here’s google’s list of things they are doing:
- Google has a zero-tolerance policy on child pornography. We prohibit any advertising related to child pornography. When we become aware of child pornography anywhere in our search engine or on our site, we immediately remove and report it to the appropriate authorities.
- We work closely with law enforcement to help track down child predators, and respond to hundreds of child safety-related requests per year.
- We help families stay safe online with tools like SafeSearch, which enables users to filter adult content from search results. We also promote online safety through our support of the WiredSafety education campaign.
While I applaud the efforts of Google I just wonder if they couldn’t do so much more. The answer is of course an emphatic YES! However, why should they? This is the major problem we have facing us. There isn’t a good financial reason for Google or any company to REALLY address this problem. Sure, there could be some PR issues, but throwing up a smokescreen of effort and sincerity is enough to handle that problem.
I’m not trying to be critical of Google since they are running a business like everyone else. However, I just wonder what they could come up with if they spent as much time and money on child safety as they do on other projects like gmail. I think they could certainly do better than the list above.
Until we reach that point and the billionaires of the world unite their money to fight this pernicious evil we’ll have to go back to the real source of the problem. Families need to be stronger and parents need to be completely involved in a child’s life.