Lightspeed, GoGuardian & CIPA: What You Need to Know

School web filters are responsible for keeping students from a variety of inappropriate and harmful content. One of the most basic functions of a school web filter is blocking pornography.

Lightspeed customers likely know that, in addition to violating the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), giving students access to pornography can have lasting consequences to their mental and physical health. Myriad studies (learn more here and here) show children who consume explicit sexual content have an increased likelihood of:

• Engaging in high-risk sex (e.g., unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, use of drugs or alcohol before sex)
• Sex addiction
• Perpetrating, and being victim of, sexual violence
• Anxiety and depression
• And more

Fortunately, Lightspeed Systems has you covered with our adaptive AI database, the ability to block unknown URLs, and AI for sites like Google Docs and Gmail.

We recently discovered that other filtering providers can’t say the same: GoGuardian Admin blocks only about 40% of pornographic content. This means, in K-12 schools filtered by GoGuardian, about 60% of pornographic websites are accessible to students.

Not only were 60% of those porn sites allowed by GoGuardian, many more were visible for up to 20 seconds before being blocked! (To learn more about our shocking findings on GoGuardian’s inability to block porn, click here.)

For almost 20 years, Lightspeed has earned a reputation for keeping schools safe from the types of inappropriate content that GoGuardian allows students to view on a daily basis.

Here’s why the technology behind Lightspeed Systems Relay and Web Filter is so amazing.

1. Lightspeed’s website database is unrivaled. Certain filtering providers claim that web filter databases aren’t important and the only way to filter properly is with artificial intelligence. Of course, this is a convenient point of view if your database is capable of categorizing only 2,000 websites a day, which is about .01% of what our database processes daily.

If you license Relay or Web Filter, you get the benefits of the best filtering database created for education, containing 72 million websites and 100 million videos.

2. Lightspeed leverages AI, robots and humans to allow what’s appropriate and block what isn’t. Robust filtering requires a mature, comprehensive and accurate database; machine-learning AI; robot crawlers; and human review.

This is what we mean when we talk about our adaptive AI database. These four components work synergistically to make the most appropriate decisions about what should be allowed and blocked in schools.

GoGuardian wants you to believe that all your filter needs is a little AI magic. GoGuardian Admin’s inability to competently filter porn proves our point that AI-powered content scanning, on its own, isn’t enough! Plus AI page-scanning is what causes the serious blocking delay mentioned above.

3. Lightspeed’s software reads multimedia and foreign languages. What good is a filter if it can’t properly block explicit images, videos and video thumbnails? And what good is a filter if it can block harmful content only in English?

Lightspeed’s filtering software is amazing because it leaves no loopholes for students to find inappropriate content, advertently or inadvertently. Again, AI alone fails in these areas. AI isn’t yet capable of accurately processing many images, videos, and foreign languages.

4. Lightspeed allows you to block unknown sites. Some other filters can’t block unknown traffic; their databases simply aren’t big enough, so blocking unknown content would lead to over-blocking. We can block unknown content because our database is so vast. Also, we typically categorize new sites within hours, so unknown content isn’t unknown for long!

5. Lightspeed blocks pornographic content as thoroughly as it blocks other harmful content. Now that you know how poorly GoGuardian Admin blocks pornographic content, just imagine how it performs against malware, extremist propaganda, pro-eating disorder sites, and other threats. Luckily, Lightspeed’s software ensures your network and students are holistically protected from danger.

If Lightspeed is your exclusive filtering provider, you can rest assured that your school is compliant with CIPA and powerfully protected against inappropriate content, including pornography. Click here to tweet it.

If you rely on GoGuardian Admin to filter your network partially or completely, we’ll help you block the explicit content GoGuardian cannot. We invite any school, whether or not it is a Lightspeed customer, to contact us for a list of explicit sites to add to their custom block lists. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to get this information.

Learn more about Relay, Lightspeed’s CIPA-compliant cloud filter for every OS, by clicking here.

Related: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Our URL Database
Related: This Competing School Filter Blocks Only 40 Percent of Pornographic Sites

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