Microsoft Corp. and the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) today released a new free add-in for Microsoft® Office FrontPage® 2003, the premier Web site creation and management application. This new tool helps Web site authors more easily add ICRA content labels to their Web pages. The ICRA labeling system works with a variety of content-filtering tools to help protect children from potentially harmful content on the Web by giving parents a way to assess which sites are safe for young people to visit.
Users of Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 can download the free ICRA Content Rating Add-in at http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/downloads/addin/searchdetail.asp?a=584 . Once installed, the add-in takes Web site authors to the ICRA Web site, where they can fill out a short questionnaire about the content of their site. The ICRA site then generates a content label (a short piece of code) that authors can affix to the page using the FrontPage add-in, ensuring that browser filters recognize the site’s content label and can automatically block out inappropriate content. In this way, parents are empowered to make choices about what their children can or cannot see on the Internet.
“Microsoft’s leadership in adding child-protection tools to its Web-authoring software and encouraging content providers to label their sites will enhance parents’ ability to protect their children online,” said Stephen Balkam, chief executive officer of ICRA. “We have long believed that the best way to accommodate the global diversity of individual and family values and preserve the vibrancy of Internet content is to empower families to tailor their own Internet experience. That is why we are committed to working with vendors like Microsoft to create technologies that will result in a safer Internet environment for all.”
Microsoft and other Internet industry leaders founded ICRA in 1999 as part of their efforts to create an internationally acceptable online content labeling system that helps protect both children and free speech on the Web. By providing direct access from FrontPage to ICRA resources that encourage Web administrators to self-rate their pages, Microsoft and ICRA are strengthening their commitment to making the Internet safer for children while respecting the rights of content providers.
“FrontPage has long been a powerful and popular tool for Web site authors and designers, thanks to its intuitive WYSIWYG interface,” said Erik Rucker, group product manager for FrontPage at Microsoft. “With the new add-in, FrontPage users can label their sites quickly and easily using ICRA’s labeling system. This enables Web authors to have their FrontPage sites be viewed and recognized by Internet browsers that have been set to block unlabeled sites, while respecting people’s right to choose what kind of content they want to see when they go online.”