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Parents want Android to be more kid friendly, and they are half-right [OPINION]

May 3, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka


Parents want Android to be more kid friendly, and they are half-right [OPINION]

Hey, baby, come over here and get some of this Android loving. And do it quick before the Parents Television Council gets in the way because it has Android in sight for some old-fashioned American censorship.

According to an ArsTechnica article, the PTC inspired Apple’s porn-purge of iTunes, and the council now wants the Android Market to have some form of controls to prevent racy apps from being installed.

“We plan to draw attention to other platforms, such as Android, or Verizon’s Vcast service, that aren’t really doing anything,” McKiernan told Ars.” We definitely want to see progress from some of the other handheld devices.”

This is the part where someone says, “When I was a kid…” and someone else makes an all-too-easy reference to The Simpsons classic “Won’t someone please think of the children?” joke. Let’s skip all that and get to the point: the PTC is half-right.

I get sick of lazy parents who expect big corporations to do their jobs, but that’s beside the issue. What matters is that Google shares the PTC’s views but has a poor job of enforcing rules already in place concerning adult materials in the Android Market. As I pointed out last year, the Android Market doesn’t permit adult material; yet there are hundreds (if not thousands) of adult apps ready for your dirty little fingers.

I can search the Market and be inundated by apps that brazenly violate those rules. The self-reporting method is useless because I have personally reported apps that violate the Market terms of service yet absolutely nothing was done. Why set-up a rule if you will do nothing to enforce it?

With that said, I still say the PTC is only half-right because they’re fighting an unwinnable war. Android should not have parental controls baked into the browser because it will be circumvented just as quickly and easily as desktop solutions have been in the past. Anyone old enough to have a smartphone is old enough to get the birds and the bees talk and figure out how to get around parental controls.

Parents need to educate their kids and hope for the best or buy their children one of those crappy feature phones. “Children” can go on YouTube or the web and find material just as bad as what they’ll get on the Market. Heck, teens are doing a lot of the very things their parents are trying to protect them from seeing on the Internet.

ArsTechnica via Phandroid