Why Does Haiku Deck Have a 12+ Age Rating?

We’ve heard from some educators that they want to be able use Haiku Deck with their students, but are concerned by the recommended age rating in iTunes. Here’s the story.

When you create a Haiku Deck, our app combs through more than 35 million Creative Commons licensed images that were tagged with keywords when they were posted on the Internet. Our goal is to bring back beautiful and relevant pictures to accompany your words. Some photo sources have filters to prevent inappropriate content from being returned in the results. Whenever possible, we use these filters. We’re also working on ways to prevent inappropriate words from being searched at all. That said, the problem is more complex than preventing younger users from doing inappropriate searches. Photos are sometimes tagged by the photographer in unpredictable ways.¬†For example, you could search for a word like “green” and come up with a photo of a nude body painted green.

We’ll continue to work on a solution that strikes the right balance between returning great photo results and protecting little eyes, but for the time being, we feel the 12+ rating is the best way to communicate to teachers and parents that, despite our intentions, inappropriate content may appear in the app. For some creative workarounds, be sure to check out our top Teacher Appreciation Tips. Over time we hope to make Haiku Deck more accessible to a broader audience.

Until then, enjoy this inspiring deck, safe for viewers of all ages.


  1. What about a parent permission slip?

    Or, for now we can have students do CC image searches through engines we already are using “safely” and use those pictures. If we did that, would we still fall within your Terms of Use?

    • It’s tough teaching “digital citizenship” and “appropriate use” when it’d be so easy to say, “We’re going to use the app, but we’ll just use our own pictures. That fixes it.” I’m trying to comply with the TOS but also find a way to use this with elementary students.

      And maybe I don’t understand the TOS. Perhaps the wordage, “you represent that you are of legal age to form a binding contract” excludes elementary students all together?

      I’d love to discuss this more. It’s such a clean and easy tool to use, plus it’s free. All are bonuses for schools at this time.

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