Friday, April 3, 2009

A Warning about Kindernet

Earlier I ran a post about Kindernet which markets itself as a "kid safe" search engine. As an anonymous commenter pointed out, some search terms revealed pornographic material. I had tested Kindernet before I ran the post, but I did not use any health education terms in my search. "Civil War" and "US History" are typically my test search terms for search engines. Those terms did not reveal anything inappropriate. I am hoping that the problem with Kindernet is that it was hacked and will soon be returned to normal. I have emailed Kindernet to notify them of the problem and I will let you know if and when they respond if they fix the problem. My apologies for any problems or inconvenience caused by my post about Kindernet.

Update
The email I sent to Kindernet was bounced back with a message informing me of an invalid domain. I also noticed as I dug deeper into the Kindernet site that it doesn't appear to have been updated since 2008 so I am wondering if it has just been left unmoderated for a while. We saw something similar happen last fall with another service that provided a gradebook platform.

Update #2
Thank you to Michael for his comment notifying us that the Kindernet domain is for sale. I guess that closes the book on Kindernet as a resource for education. Fortunately, there are plenty of other good kid safe search engines on the Internet.

Update #3
Through a comment from Mark at Kindernet we now know that it wasn't Kindernet that was hacked, but some of the sites within the search engine that were hacked. Mark informs us that Kindernet has fixed the problem. I just tested this myself by trying a wide variety "health education" terms including the terms that generated the inappropriate results yesterday. Kindernet has been fixed and can safely be used again.