Share & Connect
San Diego, U.S.A – The subject of pornography is not a common topic of conversation in the K-12 industry, but Gaggle is changing that at ISTE (National Educational Computing Conference) 2012 with talk of their Anti-Pornography Scanner (APS). The APS is a sophisticated tool used to detect pornography in electronic communications and on websites. The scanner looks at embedded and attached images and URL’s to determine whether an image is pornographic. In 2010, Gaggle set out on a major effort to improve the accuracy of the APS and reduce the incidents of false positive results.
Gaggle offers the highest degree of CIPA compliance of any collaboration tools provider and is the only system that meets the CIPA requirement to block “visual depictions that are obscene; child pornography; or are harmful to minors.” With the sophistication of the APS, Gaggle is able to weed out the majority of the offensive material that is shared peer-to-peer. This enables students to focus more on their class work using the tools within the Gaggle system.
Just over half of the current Gaggle student users are between the ages of eleven to fifteen, and unfortunately there is sharing of inappropriate content between these users. Gaggle Senior Software Engineer, Jeremy Loss says, “At Gaggle, we have our finger on the pulse of the K12 market and what they are sharing. We are constantly filtering millions of images and with that we are able to define inappropriate content in this domain.”
Gaggle developers are now working to refine the filtering of mirror shots, personal photographs taken by cell phone camera in a mirror. These pictures, referred to as “sexting” are often taken in an inappropriate context and shared between young adults. This type of behavior may be inevitable, but the Gaggle APS is constantly evolving to improve cyber safety, protect students from bad decisions, and help them learn to be a good digital citizen.
“Computers only do exactly what you tell them to, and creating software that does something as intuitive as detecting inappropriate content is a great challenge,” explains Jeremy. “The combination of sophisticated technology and Gaggle’s decades of experience with K-12 has allowed us to create something that can contribute enormously to providing a safe environment for learning.”