How are web content categories determined?

Family Safety groups many websites into categories that are designed to save parents time. Some examples of categories are: Child-friendly, Social networking, and Adult content. Instead of entering individual websites on the Allow or Block lists, parents can rely on categories to control what children can see. If the parent chooses a web filtering setting that blocks a website category, the child won't have access to sites in that category.


  • Although Family Safety uses the latest technology, no system of this type can be 100% accurate. Web filtering is an evolving technology that might sometimes categorize a website differently than a parent or site publisher thinks it should. If a parent or a website publisher thinks that a site should have been blocked or allowed, but it wasn't, they can report this to the Family Safety team.

Websites are categorized initially by computer analysis and then the results are verified by human reviewers. If a website is popular and its content is stable, its address will be stored on the computer in a content rating list. If a website isn't popular enough to have an entry in this list, or the content on the website changes frequently, Family Safety checks with a content rating service to determine the category of the site.

The content rating service evaluates websites based on a set of rules. The service tells Family Safety that either:

  • A website belongs to a particular category (such as adult websites).

  • The website is a general interest site and doesn't belong to a category.

  • The website is unknown, and the service can't categorize it with a high enough confidence level.

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