For the first time now, there is an Islamic search engine which aims at providing a general purpose search that is free of “haram” content, i.e. offensive contents that contradicts with Islamic laws and beliefs. The search engine is wisely called ImHalal.com, and I bet we will see widely increased interest in such a service from conservative people, and parents who want to keep their kids off the harmful web contents.
To reach it’s Halal goal, the site seems to be using two methods. One is by filtering out “Haram” sites and contents, and this can be seen clearly from the Image search, which is still in Beta. When searching for various keywords or celebrity names for example, results from ImHalal.com are much more decent in this regard than Google and Yahoo in their strict mode.
The other method, which I don’t like as much, is the black listing of keywords, ranking them with “Haram” scale of 1 to 3. If the “Haram” level is 1 or 2, you get a warning plus an option to move forward.
Annoying but bearable. The bad thing about it is, it seems to have no intelligence in it, as it blindly blocks Haram words disregard of the actual context or full search or purpose. Example?
Breast is a black listed word, disregard of what you’re really looking for. Even “Wire Stripper” is a level 3 Haram word for including Stripper. I love wire strippers :(.
And the devil word Haram is also a level 3.
Now here it completely misses the point. There is a difference between doing wrong, and reading about what’s wrong. And trust me, offensive sites won’t use the word Haram anyways. It doesn’t help their marketing. Add to that that you can actually search for Haram in Arabic حرام and it works. I have also managed to pass through several bad words, and reach some blocked sites eventually. So this paradigm isn’t the best. Some intelligence needs to be built-in.
Now as to where does this magic come from, It’s still unclear. Is it an engine built in-house? If so, credible search engines usually list their IPs and spider name for webmasters to allow or deny it. But I couldn’t find anything in my log reports. I wasn’t able also to tie it to any of the famous search engines. Is it powered by any of them, or any other service? Usually there would be some information about the source of those indexes, but not here.
[via Social Media Portal]