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Mature Content Filter Options

What steps does Duolingo take for a situation where an educator teaches at a private religious entity that does not condone certain parts of duolingo's learning experience outside of their definition of mature filterable content? Does one have to find an alternative digital experience for their student body?

November 26, 2019



Currently, Duolingo for School doesn't provide a filter for this specific content; however, we do have a mature words filter for teachers.

If there is a specific piece of course content that is inappropriate, please report this to us and we'll share it with the appropriate team.




Other problems exist on Duolingo too:

  • 1) a learner has to complete ALL stories of a given set, to unlock a new story set

  • 2) that stories are not tagged in any way right now.
    You do not exactly know what is hidden behind a skill (beyond the image).
    Shouldn't there be be a popup window with a short summary of the stories and an option to delete/exclude it from studying?

It is one thing if people are tolarent but to force them into things they don't want to read or hear against their faith, feeling or religion is another one.

I heard that your Honeymoon story falls into it...the next one is probably the Ouija thing (I have not done both stories).

And as I am starting to write this, many more comes up into my mind which I will probably address the next days in Dr. Luis von Ahn's "What changes would you like to see" thread:

  • 3) a Duolingo user is not given a possible way to IGNORE a single word, sentence or story
    (AnkiSRS supports suspended cards, Memrise has the ignore option for words or phrases / full sentences which are counted as "new words", why not Duolingo?):
    In the beginning of 2017, when I was ~3-4 months into Portuguese learning and I quickly wanted to jump over all the food and animal skill stuff, I never understood why I was basically FORCED into it when I had zero interest learning that stuff; actually I wanted to learn to speak "in real life" (like 30 or 90 day challenges).
    And as we know, there often are multiple skills for the same topic/theme with multiple words attached.

  • 4) a Duolingo tree teaches skills in a very fixed order: There is no way to jump over specific skills. Why?
    I know of one other learning site which allows me to select ANY topic in my tree freely!

  • 5) Duolingo sentences in the middle or bottom section can include FIXED wired words from the upper skills, if done / designed by the Incubator contributors or CEFR contractors or if automatically chosen by the robot engine (we often come across really weird sentences, where I am unsure if anyone other than a robot would bring those up):

    • 5.1) The Duolingo backend system does not check the user words database ahead, if these used words are actually marked as LEARNED or may not have been added yet!
    • 5.2) I tried it in 2017 and I failed horribly (old Python web frontend) because of this, to directly jump into much more interesting "grammar skills" as the WRONG words from previous - not learned - "vocbulary skills" had been used.
    • 5.3) If the learning system wants to be a reliable backend and have words/sentences arranged around on one selectable skill (topic), I NEVER should have seen multiple sentences with unlearned vocabulary further down in the tree?!
    • 5.4) At least there is an advanced user option missing if previous tree content (words, verb tenses) should be dynamically mixed and repeated in skills which come later.
    • 5.5) A newbie, getting his/her first touch into Romance languages, is probably not that much interested to learn (all) the food and animal or farm vocabulary first; a traveler has a different focus too (but of course is interested to learn about food or even add his own words and pictures about a specific country/region to the database).
      In one of my other courses these (animals, fruits & food, colors and numbers, body parts) are skills which come last in my tree, however an optional topic "Pets" as well as "Food and Drink" is provided somewhere in the middle....but if I want, I can first SKIP over them.

I know of another (different) learning website which allows to choose a special path or language "addon modules" to be able to focus on some course specialities.
The bonus skills in the lingot shop are not enough to accomplish this.

Hope you do not mind I am brainstorming my ideas what I am missing for a longer time and writing them down here immediately.

Please feel free to print them and to take them into the business surefix meeting tomorrow (Friday) ;)

With best regards from Germany


Some of the stories do not match up with the religious beliefs that our school is governed by pertaining to homosexuality. How is DL addressing this need to filter such material. If there is not a solution I may be forced to use a different resource. Please let me know ASAP, since we are on our thanksgiving break it would be great to have a solution before we return for school on 12/2/19


Just block the stories.duolingo.com sub domain in your schools firewall.

Or ask staff for an option to be able to deactivate stories in their student account (I don't think that this option exists already) as a teacher.

AFAIK, schools.duolingo.com and www.duolingo.com/learn is not directly related to stories, which have evolved from the "beta labs" not a too long time ago.

Because of this you can't expect to have all options available.

In the end it could maybe happen that your pupils create their own private Duolingo accounts (with the permission from their parents or not) and maybe access available content (stories, mature word, etc.) without YOU having any direct control over that.

Nowadays even the younger kids have their own smartphones...

How do you think about this then?


This is actually a great idea. What they do outside of the governing forces of the school is up to them so that is fine. Just in the confines our our institution guidelines must be upheld. Thank you so much for this. Hopefully, DL will allow us to further filter what children are exposed to for entities as such.


How is DL addressing this need to filter such material

No such need exists, so I sincerely hope DL is not "addressing" it at all.


I think that it is in the best interest of DL to accommodate such features. I imagine many private schools would use DL if this feature was establish. If a school entity has guidelines and people choose to put their children in that school they must trust that these guidelines are upheld otherwise it would go against the merit of the school.


I think that it is in the best interest of DL to accommodate such features.

Quite apart from the immorality of taking measures that suggest LGBT people are of lesser value and should be hidden away in shame, they would alienate a good part of Duo's userbase as well.


I have reported this issue and am awaiting more feedback from DL.


I’m afraid not. I haven’t seen any bad content on here, but if it is a sentence or a story you are not allowed to share you can just skip or not do it.

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