The internet is an endless source of content, filled with billions of websites, app stores with millions of apps, and YouTube consisting of so many videos no one could watch all the content over an entire lifetime. This huge selection of content makes it difficult for people to find what they are looking for, and also has the potential to expose them to content they find inappropriate. As adults, we have our personal filtering mechanism, and we know what we should or shouldn’t be looking at.
But if adults get lost in this huge amount of content, how do children feel? How do they decide if something is appropriate for them, and do they know to differentiate when it is not? Kids grow up in a world in which content has always been filtered and adapted for them, whether it is their parents explaining things in a way they believe their child will understand or content created specifically for them.
While, in theory the same rules should apply for digital content for kids, they oftentimes find information that is not created for them and therefore not necessarily right for them. Of course, kids should not be exposed to violence and porn, but there’s also no reason for them to see an ad about “great mortgage terms” or hear about next week’s change in oil rates.
To avoid that, many parents, educational institutions, and children’s content platforms oftentimes blacklist certain content or tagwords, which denies or limits children’s access to unwanted information.
So why not turn it around and help kids find good and suitable content instead of just denying the “bad”?
To provide kids with the best discovery experience the KIDOZ content team decided to whitelist content, instead of blacklisting which is preferred in the content-recommendation space. This entails hand picking kid-safe content, going through every video, every website, every game and every app before adding it to the KIDOZ Network. The team ensures kids will only receive content that is suitable and relevant for them, and every item is checked for kid-safe contextual content with actual value for kids, targeted by age and language.
I see it as our responsibility to help these content creators to be found by children; they create amazing, beautiful, passionate, and smart content that oftentimes doesn’t reach children since it gets lost in the large pool. The concept of whitelisting, finding content for kids and helping them to discover it, allows us to minimize the gap between the two. In this sense, whitelisting content provides kids with the freedom to discover information they find interesting, and decide to interact with.
At it’s core whitelisting promotes the discovery of content, while blacklisting limits the information users see. By dedicating time to ensure kids have access to as much information as possible, we ensure nothing they find interesting is left behind.
Children are naturally curious and creative, and it is the task of the children’s industry to provide them with information that encourages and excites them. Instead of focusing on what we should limit them from seeing, the industry should instead strive to find and create content they will benefit from. Through constantly searching and discovering content through the whitelisting process, we make sure the best content makes it to kids.
Written by Mimi Eksner-Levi, Content Manager at KIDOZ