Blocking Amazon's Look Inside Feature

Mar 03, 2011

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Yesterday one of our customers asked in our forum how to turn off Amazon.com's Look Inside! feature. If you aren't aware, Look Inside let's you page through a certain number of pages from books online- it's a clever and nicely implemented way to let customers browse and flip through a book to see if it's what they want. I've always loved that feature.

So it caught me off-guard when our customer, M, asked how to turn it off. He rightly points out that the previews in Look Inside are just images, not text, so Net Nanny doesn't 'see' anything bad. But if it's a bad book it may be granting previews of bad content we don't want in our homes.

Far from blaming Amazon, I would say this is just a case of a company wanting to do something really cool and not even thinking of the parental controls angle. It happens a lot, unfortunately. I'm going to write to Amazon and ask if they're attempting any kind of protection there or not and at least bring it to their attention.

As parents, we need to be deeply and actively committed to protecting our families if we're going to catch subtle things like this.

If you want to disable Look Inside, just disable the domain sitb-images.amazon.com in the Blocked Web Sites tab of Net Nanny for Mac. In Windows®, add a Web Exception for that domain. Even though the Look Inside interface will come up normally, all the preview images will be blocked.