Sunday, 16 September 2007

Gmail: funny ad - but no adult filtering?

You know how Google inserts Adsense ads in your Gmail sidebar, depending on the content of your emails? Well I got this most peculiar ad just now in my mail, did a doubletake and, yes, my eyes weren't deceiving me:

Pole dancing, yep. Obviously very in keeping with the other mostly technology-oriented ads, isn't it. That's a subject of huge interest to me, of course (hah, I'd do me back in! Not to mention other parts of me. Supple I am not).

Hmmm, but maybe it's a new tech term I haven't heard of yet? Mashups first, poledancing next (or should that be vice versa)? Kinda go together don't they...

It's quite funny, in a way. But more seriously, if I were a "digital mom" I'd be a bit concerned about ads like this popping up in my daughter's email. Does Google's SafeSearch filtering, which you can turn on in your preferences for general Google searches to block adult-oriented or porn material and other "explicit sexual content" as Google put it, work in Gmail too? And even if it did, how would you prevent your kid from turning it back on??!

Google have been blogging about various lesser-known features of Gmail and labels and filters, but adult content filtering is probably something Google needs to think about if they haven't already, as Gmail grows in popularity.

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