Applauding Google’s “No Porn” Stance for Glass

Google Glass

My radio segment today on The Son Rise Morning Show with Brian Patrick broached the topic of Google’s recent decision to ban a particular adult-oriented (read “pornography”) “Glassware” application on the new Google Glass device.

If you’re looking at that sentence and have no idea what I’m saying, here are a few basics:

  • Google Glass is a new “wearable” technology, a computer that you wear like eyeglasses. On it’s Google+ profile, Project Glass says, “We started Project Glass to build technology that’s seamless, beautiful and empowering. To share the world through your eyes. To get answers and updates, instantly. To be there when you need it, and out of your way when you don’t.”
  • Google Glassware are the programs/applications that function on Google Glass. Google states that, “Glassware refers to the web services that can send content to and receive content from Glass. They range from services like Gmail, which let you know when you receive new messages, to Google Now where you can see information personalized to you and your location, like your favorite sport team’s score on Glass.”

This week, the company “MiKandi” launched the first known pornographic Glassware. Google immediately prohibited the app, stating that it did not comply with use policy:

Our policies make it clear that Glass does not allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Any Glassware that violates this policy will be blocked from appearing on Glass,” a Google spokesperson said. The same section promises harsh penalties for any app featuring child pornography. Google also bans gratuitous violence, hate speech and gambling on Glass. 

This stance mirror’s Apple’s anti-porn policy for iPhones, but veers from Google’s own acceptance of adult-themed apps for Android smartphones. I’ve been pondering that discrepancy and it’s my perspective that Google is erring on the side of extreme caution here since so many folks already have an “ickkkk!” sort of feeling about Glass. It’s hard for many skeptics not to look at the product and imagine some sicko standing next to a playground, videoing little ones without their knowledge, or two “consenting adults” using Glass to “document” stuff they do…

One of the questions that Brian asked me today during our interview gave me a bit of pause:

“How should we applaud companies that take stances we agree with even when the rest of their business practices might not necessarily line up with our beliefs?”

Great question – so often, we Catholics raise our voices and our pens loudly when corporations or our political leaders make decisions we consider to be wrong. Do we do the same when the opposite occurs? Do we cheerlead for policies that fit our moral compasses? Probably not with as much gusto or energy.

So hey Google, this is me saying “Great job!” You may have made this decision for calculated reasons that have to do with marketing or research. Regardless, in this moment as a mom I’m saying:

“Thank you for doing the right thing! I love technology and can’t wait to try Glass. Thanks for making the extra effort to develop a product that won’t be used in negative ways, but rather for the greater good. Need a mom tester for Glass? I’m ready!”

You guys already know I’m a geek, so you won’t be surprised by me stating categorically that I can’t wait to try Google Glass. I’m already daydreaming about its use in the New Evangelization and our ability to employ a tool like this to share our faith and to reach out to others in new and unique ways. I have a little “Glass savings account” and am psyched about the incredible potential this tool holds. Stay tuned!

A Question for You: What do you think about Google Glass? Will you try the product or steer clear? When was the last time you complimented a company for good business practices?

 

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.

  • http://sfomom.blogspot.com/ Barb S

    Good to know–I appreciate that Google has taken this stand. Would I use Google Glass? Well, I doubt they’d play well with my progressive bifocals…so it’s probably a NO.

  • JoeBlow

    Do we live in a free country? Why does “adult content” suddenly turn into “child porn”? The great thing about the United States has always been the right to express ourselves freely. This means the right to read or watch what I choose while allowing another person to read or believe in what they deem appropriate… By no means am I condoning exploitation of minors, but rather questioning why this is a moral discussion? Are you suggesting that my beliefs are less valid than yours?

    • lisahendey

      Dear “JoeBlow” or whatever your name is… thanks for commenting. I do welcome your perspective on this. But as a parent, I feel like when we put new tools such as Google Glass in the hands of anyone, but especially minors, we need to err on the side of being cautious with content. As an adult, you’re free to choose the content you want to take in. As a parent, I would strongly prefer that companies like Google make policies that keep minors from being exposed to adult content. I’m not equating adult industry sites and apps to child pornography — clearly those are two separate issues. I’m saying as a mom, and as a woman, I think this is a good move until we all learn the power, the applications, and the implications of tools like Glass. Thanks for your comment.

  • Sue

    My son has been telling me about these glasses for months. Thanks Google for trying to keep them safe…for now!

  • kenofken

    I have no immediate interest in Glass because it just seems too smarmy and hipster. If and when I do adopt such a technology, I won’t be giving my business to any provider which decides for me what I should be viewing.


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