Moral search engines squeeze out sin on Internet
Sunday 26 September 2010
Seek and ye shall find.
A number of new Internet search engines created by Christian, Jewish or Muslim entities aim to filter out queries from Web users in a way that is more relevant to those users and keeps them from temptation, alcohol and pornography.
"We think that the other search engines are way too 'main street' oriented. We wanted to provide a solution to explore the Web in a safe environment, where you won't bump into explicit content or immoral websites, like pornography," said Reza Sardeha, the Amsterdam-based founder of the Muslim-oriented search engine I'mHalal.
If one types the world alcohol into imhalal.com, the search engine produces results that explain the Muslim viewpoint on drinking. Type in "pornography," and the search engine produces... nothing.
The 21-year-old Kuwaiti says the site attracts users from places like Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates as well as the United States.
"Actually we know that our users are not only Muslims, and once a week we get an email from non-Muslims as well saying that they like the content of our safe search engine and they allow their children to search knowing they won't bump into offensive content."
For Christians, SeekFind offers "a research tool for people who are looking for biblical and theological content from an evangelical Christian prospective," says founder Shea Houdmann, who operates from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
According to the seekfind.org website, the search engine functions by "only indexing websites that are Biblically-based, theologically-sound, and in agreement with our statement of faith.
"That way, you can have confidence that you will find content which will be God-honoring and spiritually encouraging," it says.
For the Jewish community, the niche is filled by another engine called Jewogle, which bears a passing resemblance to Google.
Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of SearchEngineLand.com, said none of these website has "taken off and caught fire" but that "it doesn't mean to say that they can't be good, profitable businesses."
But he said some of the niche websites fail, like the African-American search engine called rushmoredrive, which was closed by its parent firm IAC in 2009.
"It was designed so that when you do a search you get sort of an African-American spin on the Web results that you got back. But that never took off."
Michael Gartenberg, partner at technology research firm Altimer Group, told National Public Radio that some of these niche groups are bringing more users to the Internet.
"You have an emerging generation and emerging culture that wants to take advantage of technology... search engines and the things that they provide but at the same point, be true to their heritage... and not stray from their belief system," he says.
Life & Style blogs
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary
McDonald’s launches clothing line using Big Mac prints
Facebook to test 747-sized drones that will beam broadband to the entire world
The distress of some Zayn Malik fans is real, and they need support, say experts
Chair-bound workers 'should move around every hour to reduce physical and mental health risks'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...
£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...
£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...