What is censorware?
Censorware is a category of software products that control or filter web content. Some of these tools can be called web filtering systems or secured gateways. Blocking or filtering software helps users limit the types of content that can be accessed over an internet connection.
As the internet got older over the past few decades, censorware became popular with parents, school administrators, and other categories of users looking for ways to limit the types of content that end users, especially younger users, could access.
For many, the Internet has always been seen as a largely unregulated communication medium that can benefit from certain restrictive filters or resources in order to restrict or purposefully use different types of access and use. The idea of 'nanny' programs for children was particularly popular as those not used to such widespread distribution of unsolicited material were at times bombarded with pop-ups and other content before better search engine and web surfing technologies did intrusive forms paralyzed by advertising.
While censorware can be very useful to parents, guardians, or others like library administrators, some criticize that different types of censorware are applied inconsistently or too widely. Less accurate censorware programs can have a negative impact on web access by blocking relatively innocent pages based on just certain words or phrases.