On Friday February 8th, through the morning of February 14th we made the decision to turn off Photos for Class while we investigated an issue with our safety filters not working correctly.
At of Feb 14th we are turning back on Photos for Class, with less photos, but we believe a working filter.
We will continue to update as we have more information. Feel free to reach out to us at hello @ storyboardthat.com
We wanted to make a better, safer way for students to find photos for class. After making a system safe enough for grade school, it is also safe for work.
At Clever Prototypes we firmly believe in freedom of speech and a completely open internet. We also believe there is a right and wrong place for certain content and that in a school setting, especially elementary school, a lot of content is not appropriate.
Specifically, we are concerned with doing our best to minimize exposure to scantily clad men and women and racially offensive material. At a personal level, while working on Storyboard That our team spends a lot of time researching time periods and costumes. It can be frustrating being constantly barraged with either (usually both) half naked women and hateful racial imagery.
We are less concerned with imagery of alcohol, drugs and violence since the user is typically specifically looking for that content and it is not accidentally shown, and can also be the focus of educational papers.
We use a four step filtering system that grows stronger as our community helps us.
Yes, there will always be images that slip by, but if you compare a search with Photos for Class vs Google images (even with safesearch on) the amount of inappropriate content is greatly reduced. We also monitor the top searches and are making sure they are extra safe. Give the system a try and you will see our commitment to safe, universally view-able content.
A sufficiently clever and tenacious student can almost certainly outsmart the system. It will also be very obvious that they were intentionally looking for inappropriate content and it was not an accident. They could also simply go to another website.
As stated in our beliefs and goals we believe the issue is primarily focused on students being barraged with unacceptable sexual and racial imagery. That being said, due to Flickr’s incredibly strong filtering, content relative to alcohol, drugs and violence are more PG than R rated.
We would love to hear your feedback and opinions on this subject listening to people’s perspectives helps us grow our own. Please drop us a note at FilteringFeedback@photosforclass.com.