Just caught this bit of news of the new Russian search engine, playfully entitled “Gogul,” which will allow parents the ability to carefully restrict which websites their kids have access to … although parents are not the ones who will be in control of the censorship process. I wonder who the unknown benefactor is?
But parents aren’t fully in control here. The “approved content” consists of over 7,000 Russian web sites which are filtered by a select and slightly shadowy team that consist of parents, professional child psychologists and teachers. The backers of the project are planning to categorize web-pages on an age-based basis and provide additional features till the end of the summer when the new school season will start in Russia.
The browser software is free now, but there are hints that it could become a commercial project. Why? Well an unknown benefactor has invested 15 million rubles (350,000 EUR) in Gogul – so one wonders of they are just doing it for the good of the kiddies?
Gogul has already provoked a lot of – largely negative – feedback on Russian forums, usually related to the controversial design of the website and software, it’s name and ideological connection with an infamous government project called School Portal. My favorite quote from the forums: “… even more, Gogul doesn’t search the word ‘Putin’.”