Filters - The game of cat and mouse

A key point why filters fail to work

Posted by Cam on October 16, 2020

When individuals/parents seek out protection online, their immediate reaction is to find a filter. Filters have been around for ages, and the thought of simply blocking all content that’s bad sounds promising. However they rarely work as well as people think.

For a complete overview of why filters fail, see our blog posts why filters fail, and the chart summarizing filters vs accountability software.

Cat and mouse

What ultimately ends up happening with filters, is the individuals will find a loophole. A single website or app that allows them to access the bad content that the filter is supposed to block. Eventually they find it within themselves to block that website/app, and re-commit themselves to staying clean from porn (or social media, or gambling, or whatever temptation they need protection from).

Then some time passes, and they find there’s another app or website that allows the same loophole. This time they had to search a little harder, but they knew what to look for. Again they relapse, again they recommit. This process continues, until they stop and realize that filters are simply a poor solution.

Filters attempt to block traffic as it’s sent across the network to your device. The internet is becoming more and more encrypted though (which is good in general–just not for filters), and that makes this increasingly more difficult for filters to accurately block content. Unfortunately, almost all “innocent” sites like instagram, twitter, pinterest, facebook, snapchat, tiktok, etc that allow for users to post content online almost immediately have a porn problem once they become popular–even if it’s forbidden in their terms. These sites, as well as VPNs, proxies, and other networking bypassing tools, allow for endless opportunities for the individual to bypass the filter.

The correct solution

So what do you do? Get Truple’s Screenshot Accountability. It allows you to view whatever you want, but instead reports what you view and your progress to a trusted friend. If you’re concerned with your privacy, enable end to end encryption, image blurring, text redaction, and/or data sharing limits so artificial intelligence scans the screenshots first, then only high risk screenshots are sent to your friend.

Because Screenshot Accountability focuses on your screen, it gets to the root of the problem: what are you looking at online.

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