Google Helps You Find Iconic Movie Locations — Re-enacting Is Up To You!

Posted on February 9, 2020 at 8:52 am

I live near some of the most iconic locations in the movies (though of course many movie versions of the White House and monuments are re-created in Hollywood). Tourists love to visit the Exorcist steps.

And they there’s this scene at the Lincoln Memorial in “Forrest Gump.”

Harry Medved has a great book about movie locations in Southern California. What movie locations have you visited?

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Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Trailer: Lion, the True Story of a Lost Boy Googling His Way Back Home

Posted on September 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm

At age 5, Saroo Brierley was separated from his mother and brother in India and ended up in Australia, adopted but always longing to find his family again. That true story is brought to the screen in “Lion,” starring Dev Patel as a man who searched the earth — via Google, to find his way back home.

Here’s the real story:
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Based on a true story The Real Story Trailers, Previews, and Clips

More Problems with YouTube Kids

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 4:14 pm

The public interest and child advocacy groups that have charged Google and YouTube Kids with failing to meet their promise to screen videos and ensure that there is no material inappropriate for young children has come back to add new claims to the complaint they have filed with the FTC.

The complaint lists findings that the search function of the app provides children with access to a wide range of troubling content, such as:

Explicit sexual language presented amidst cartoon animation
Graphic adult discussions about family violence, pornography and child suicide
Jokes about pedophilia and drug use
Modeling of unsafe behaviors such as playing with lit matches
Advertising for alcohol products

Examples of videos accessible through the app and information about how to support the complaint are here.

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Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Parenting Preschoolers

Google’s YouTube Kids is Saturated with Stealth Ads

Posted on April 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm

In February of this year, Google launched the YouTube Kids app, specially designed for “little thumbs” to get kids hooked on devices and videos as soon as they can hold an iPhone. They assured parents that the app was completely safe to use and that all content was family-friendly.

I support the policy of the pediatricians’ association of no screen time of any kind under age two and strictly limiting it thereafter, but I recognize that there are times when it can be handy to have a way to distract and entertain a child. And I can appreciate how important it is for parents to have some way to allow kids to get what’s best on the internet without the risk that a search for say, “dolls” or “spanking” will bring up something disturbing or inappropriate.

Unfortunately, Google and YouTube Kids have saturated the app with commercials, including channels devoted to brands like McDonalds, Barbie, Fisher Price, and LEGO. A detailed complaint filed by a coalition of public interest groups representing children and consumers calls on the Federal Trade Commission to give parents the same kinds of protections that they have imposed on television programming directed at children, requiring a bright line demarcation between advertising and programming, for example.

YouTube Kids is a long way from that now. Much of the advertising is “native” and completely integrated with the other content. While some ads on the app have disclaimers noting, for example “compensation provided by McDonald’s,” this is a problem in an app for kids, who are (1) too young to understand what “compensation provided” means, (2) too young to comprehend the difference between sponsored and un-sponsored content, and (3) TOO YOUNG TO READ.

I was quoted in this SFGate article about advertising on YouTube Kids. “Google has said they are curating material they guarantee is OK for children, so they have to do better than this.”

Google says that they need advertising in order to keep the app free for all families. I appreciate that. But, as they say, on the internet, if you’re not the paying customer, you’re the product. We should not be selling our children to advertisers, and Google should not be acting as broker.  Visit the FTC’s website to file a complaint.

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Advertising Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Marketing to Kids Media Appearances Parenting Preschoolers
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