Google Gadgets are “Gadgets powered by Google are miniature objects made by Google users like you that offer cool and dynamic content that can be placed on any page on the web.” Common gadgets include todo lists, currency converters, calculators, and apps that pull in feeds from various sites.
These Gadgets can be used anywhere on the web, in Google Desktop, in Google Docs, and on one’s Google iTalk pages. There is a huge gallery of Google Gadgets here. I browsed over tonight looking for some functionality to add to a spreadsheet (didn’t find it). Imagine my surprise as browsing through the directory I selected New and was greeted by a score of pornographic images.
Had I accidentally clicked on another directory? Nope, it was New. Was it possible that someone had just spammed the first page? Nope, the second and third pages revealed similarly disturbing images.
Some may think I’m simply overreacting. I’ve seen a Sports Illustrated cover and am screaming bloody murder. This is not the case. I’ve become accustomed to flipping past trashy apps in Google Android Market…this is much worse. I’m talking overtly sexually explicit imagery.
I’m sorry to Google for posting this as a blog post – but I know that the fastest way to get a reaction on this topic is in this manner. Google, “Do No Evil” – a company which has set high standards in many arenas – needs to step up in this one. I don’t understand how an oversight like this has occurred – but it must be stopped immediately. I know Google can do it – I believe in them. 😉 Join me in calling upon Google to act in this manner by sharing this information (or a link to this post) with friends.
Whatever your position on pornography, I hope you can support the need for guarding our children against exposure to explicit images. Google SafeSearch does a fairly good job protecting our children against accidentally stumbling across pornographic materials – why is Google Gadgets not undergoing the same sort of filtering? Is it not as readily available to children? In fact, one does not have to search for the wrong words to turn up explicit materials – simply click “New” and you’ll be overwhelmed with the images.
Struggling with Pornography?
I’m concerned that some who read this post may be struggling with pornography or other sexual addictions and that this post could serve as a stumbling block for them (or you). If this is the case, I want to point you towards a couple resources that may help:
- XXXChurch – “XXXchurch is designed to bring awareness, openness and accountability to those affected by pornography. We are an online community that tours the world speaking at colleges, churches and community centers. XXXchurch.com exists to help those who are in over their heads with pornography, both consumers and those in the industry.”
- Porn Again Christian – A free eBook on pornography and masturbation by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church.
Continue to fight the good fight.
- google.com/webmasters/gadgets/ (page no longer exists)↩
- Working with teenagers I know that the compulsion to look at pornographic images is oftentimes irresistibly strong. Knowing that some teenagers might click through if a link was present, I have decided not to post the link. Anyone who knows how to perform a web search can easily get to the Google Gadgets page – I just don’t want to facilitate such action by those who are already struggling to resist temptation.↩
- Not that the apps in Google Android Market are acceptable either – especially b/c of their accessibility to young children.↩