Skip to main content

Google prepares censored YouTube and Chrome services

Google is planning to launch child-friendly versions of some of its services, with YouTube and Chrome expected to be among the first products to receive the feature.

The search engine giant’s vice president of engineering Pavni Diwanji explained that the intention is to ensure children under the age of 12 are not subjected to unsuitable content.

Read more: YouTube toys with paid subscription model as half of users go mobile

Diwanji did not go into the exact details of the project, but did suggest the technology could be used both at home and at school as children can often access unfiltered content via Chrome, YouTube and Search in both those environment.

“The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there's a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children,” she told USA Today.

"We expect this to be controversial, but the simple truth is kids already have the technology in schools and at home, so the better approach is to simply see to it that the tech is used in a better way.

"We want to be thoughtful about what we do, giving parents the right tools to oversee their kids' use of our products. We want kids to be safe, but ultimately it's about helping them be more than just pure consumers of tech, but creators, too."

Despite the firm’s seemingly good intentions, Google is sure to face criticism that the scheme is simply an attempt to target the child and pre-teen market with advertising.

Read more: Ofcom: How to protect your children online

Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would be implementing porn filters that households had to opt out of in order to see adult content. The scheme has been heavily criticised as ineffective and a form of censorship.