MetaCert Press Release on Company’s Technology and XXX Domains

Note: This is simply a posting of MeaCert’s press release. SafeKids.com is not responsible for any claims made. It is here for the convenience of readers only becuase (at the time of posting) it could not be found elsewhere on the web.

IRISH ENTREPRENEUR GIVES FREE REASSURANCE TO PARENTS AS .XXX DOMAIN LAUNCHES

 

Over 250 MILLION adult pages labeled by new software

 

An Irish entrepreneur has used new technology to catalog and label over 250 million sexually explicit webpages, creating the biggest data set of this type on the Internet – with a further million pages being labeled every three days.

Building on this, Paul Walsh and his colleagues at MetaCert have also engineered a free browser add-on called MetaSurf, enabling parents to set a pass code which must be entered to access a labeled page. This can be used to protect anyone wishing to avoid adult content or seeking to protect others from viewing it, including children and vulnerable adults.

Crucially, MetaCert’s technology is able to distinguish between a webpage containing sexually explicit adult content and a URL hosting important information about breast cancer, for example. It works not only for sites listed in search results but also for those ‘linked to’ within websites – including from within social networking sites. Facebook recently fell victim to a hacking attack during which violent and pornographic images appeared unexpectedly in some of its users’ News Feeds. MetaSurf also blocks access when the URL is typed manually into the browser.

MetaCert spent six years in research and development for the technology, which is the first of its kind. The company was then contracted by ICM Registry to provide every .xxx domain website owner with a labeling solution to help protect children from adult content.

The .xxx domain goes public on 6 December 2011.

MetaCert’s data set has also been made available to ISPs, call carriers, games consoles companies and browser vendors who wish to compliment their existing family safety controls, some of whom are already in talks with MetaCert. It meets the W3C Standard that MetaCert helped to instigate and which is based on Semantic Web software, meaning it can be seamlessly incorporated. It is updated automatically with newly-labeled sites.

The labeling software uses a backend crawling system, TrustServ, which itself uses a seeded process with adult sites containing sexually explicit content. It then automatically labels individual URLs with adult content – not just entire domains – and any other adult pages to which they link. MetaCert has labeled more pages than anyone else worldwide and expects to label over 350 million by the end of 2011.

Paul Walsh, who began his career at AOL in the mid 1990’s and later founded MetaCert, said:

“The labeling software gives Internet users an unprecedented level of control: no longer do all sites have to be uniformly blocked or unblocked, since responsible adults can choose whether or not to enter the pass code which will enable them to progress through to a labeled site. They can do this safe in the knowledge that others in the household are still protected.

“Importantly, MetaCert’s system does not block or manipulate content and does not affect search result ranking. All it does is to let users know that individual search results point to adult content. Whether a user follows such links remains entirely a matter of personal choice, but it’s an informed choice.”

“Similarly, we can reassure users that our technology does not in any way track what they do on the web – privacy of all users is important to us.”

“I would like to see updated family safety controls across all access points to the web – mobile devices, desktop browsers and games consoles. We are launching these products as an interim measure – that is, until the big players update their systems to make use of our data set which is based on open standards and therefore seamless to adopt.”

Notes to Editors

 

2)      To install the MetaSurf online family safety tool, please visit www.metacert.com/familysafety

 

3)      MetaCert is a United States registered corporation with its head office located in San Francisco and an EMEA head office located in Dublin, Ireland. MetaSurf is powered by TrustServ software,MetaCert’s labeling technology constantly crawls sites that contain sexually explicit content. It then automatically labels them and other adult sites to which they link.

 

4)      MetaCert’s labeling technique is a Semantic Web technology based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) labeling standard, POWDER (Protocol for Web Description Resource). MetaCerthelped to instigate the creation of POWDER by MetaCert in 2005 and it became a full W3C Recommendation in late 2009, formally replacing the old PICS standard. The labeling software uses a backend crawling system, TrustServ, which itself uses a seeded process with adult sites containing sexually explicit content. It then automatically labels webpages to which they link following a keyword analysis. MetaCert has labeled more pages than anyone else worldwide and expects to label over 350 million by the end of 2011.  In addition to the MetaCert labeling technology, webmasters from the adult entertainment community and members of the public have provided the URLs of websites for inclusion in MetaSurf. The system also searches for a number of keywords which have been supplied by child protection experts. MetaCert proactively labels adult webpages with no script or tags required of webmasters.

 

5)      More than 250 million webpages have been labeled between October 2011 – November 2011, with one million more being labeled every few days. Browsers are refreshed with newly labeled sites automatically, with no further updates required by users.

 

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