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Google's terms of service, while ignored by the vast majority of users, contain a pretty shocking clause: Under 18's are not permitted to use any of Google's Web properties. That's right, kids--no search, YouTube, Gmail, news, or images.
Under 18s wishing to watch YouTube videos of skateboarding dogs, or perform research for a school project will have to go elsewhere--Ask.com or Microsoft's Live.com search, perhaps. The message from Mountain View seems clear: We don't want your (underage) business.
Google's terms of service, thick with legalese, state that:
"You may not use ... Google's products, software, services and web sites ... and may not accept the Terms if ... you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google.
Google is currently running a Doodle 4 Google contest, in which K-12 students take a shot at designing a Google company logo. The winner will receive $10,000 and their art will appear on Google's home page for a day.
When viewed in light of the "no kids here" policy in the terms of service, Google's school outreach seems rather strange. Ironically, the winner of the contest will be forbidden from viewing his or her artwork on the main Google page, unless a parent types in the URL for them.