Google planning child-friendly versions of YouTube and Chrome

Google will launch new versions of some of its more popular products next year in order to protect children from unsuitable content.

The company’s VP of engineering Pavni Diwanji told USA Today Google will introduce new tools that are fun and safe for kids aged 12 and under.

The executive did not go into specifics but it seems like Search, YouTube and Google Chrome would be prime candidates for an overhaul, given so much content appears on those platforms unfiltered.

The tech could be used at home and in schools according to Pavni, who expects the plans to cause controversy given attitudes towards marketing tech products to pre-teen children.

She said: “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.

“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.”

Such product launches are sure to earn Google more criticism in some quarters. Allegations Google wishes simply target children with advertisements are almost certain to follow this initiative

Web censorship has been a hot topic over the last couple of years, especially in the UK thanks to David Cameron’s drive to filter out all adult content unless account holders opt in to see it.

Would a child-friendly, porn-proof version of Google Chrome give you peace of mind? Or would you rather steer clear of Google targeting your child with advertisements? Share your thoughts below.

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