“Lesbian,” “gay” and “bisexual” are blocked, but “transgender” isn’t. “Pamela Anderson” is blocked (“Oops, looked like your query contained some bad words! Please try again.”), but “Fifty Shades of Grey” isn’t. “Circumcision” is blocked, but “female genital mutilation” isn’t.
Those, reports the BBC, are the strange censorship choices being made by Kiddle, a new kids-oriented search engine that is powered by Google but not affiliated with it. Kiddle’s parent company is not listed on the website, but one of its early testers blogged that it was launched by the Russian founder of a site called Freaking News.
A form on the site welcomes users to submit suggested additional words for blocking. When “LGBT” was entered into the site, it read: “You have entered an LGBT related search query. Please realize that while Kiddle has nothing against the LGBT community, it’s hard to guarantee the safety of all the search results for such queries. We recommend that you talk to your parent or guardian about such topics.”
The UK LGBT group Stonewall has spoken out against the site’s exclusions. “Young people regularly use the internet to find information on LGBT issues,” a Stonewall spokesperson said. “Kiddle should rethink its approach to blocking valuable LGBT advice and information.”
The site even blocks the term “sex education.” (More “bad words.”)
It is unclear as of press time whether site founders realize that the very name of the site itself, Kiddle, sounds a bit suspect.