Yes, but is it also going to become as bland and tedious as television? There's no word yet on which sites will get the Disney seal of approval, or whether news sites will receive special dispensation from Walt's boys to speak as freely as necessary. "Filtering mechanisms prevent children from obtaining a great deal of useful and appropriate information," says a new report from the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They should know — in tests on engines not unlike Disney's, searches for, say, "American Red Cross" blocked 90 percent of all sites mentioning the name.
Still, a Disney search engine — no matter how widely used — would only be one of many. And AOL's Steve Case — who also plans to introduce filtering software Monday — points out that at least the industry is being seen to do something. "Regulation is not necessary," insists Case. Congress, where men even more powerful than Disney execs reside, awaits convincing proof.