‘Counting On’: Jill and Derick Use Covenant Eyes Filtering Software

When you think about taking marriage and sex advice from someone, you probably wouldn’t pick Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar to give you counsel. After all, the couple had only gone on a handful of dates before becoming engaged and running down the aisle. They also happen to be each other’s very first relationship. Regardless, the couple has dulled out marriage and sex advice over the last couple of months. Jill offered her take first, and now Derick has shared how he keeps his marriage exciting and joyful. While many of his tips are actually good advice, there was one little tip that had fans raising an eyebrow. Derick admitted that he and his wife utilize an internet filtering service and share their social media passwords with each other.

What is Covenant Eyes?

Jill and Derick have chosen to use a filtering software known as Covenant Eyes. The software, built for the religious crowd, crawls the web and grades individual websites based on their content. The admin can set up perimeters to ensure sites that fall under a specific rating are blocked from use.

According to the software’s official website, a weekly report of a user’s browsing history can be emailed to the administrator of the account. The report allows the admin to track what sites are being accessed and by whom. Allegedly, the filtering software allows the user to set up perimeters for several different users.

Why do Jill and Derick use it?

In his post, Derick alleges that he and Jill decided, together, to utilize a filtering software. Through the software, every website is graded, and sites are blocked based on the perimeters the admin sets. Allegedly, this is done for “accountability” reasons.

Derick goes on to explain that they also have each other’s social media passwords, so they remain pure and committed to their partner. Considering the fact that Jill’s older brother, Josh, was caught in a cheating and pornography scandal shortly after Jill married Derick, it makes sense that online behavior would be a concern. 

The rule seems to go both ways for the couple. Jill can access Derick’s browsing history just as he can access hers. It looks like the couple believes that the knowledge that your partner can look at your account is enough to deter shady behavior.

Is it healthy for couples to have so little privacy?

While transparency in a relationship is always a good idea, it’s possible that sharing so much of one’s online life could lead to problems. According to the New York Post, research has found that 28% of men and 16% of women felt a greater level of trust for their partner when they had their social media passwords, but there is more to the story. The accountability of allowing your better half access can be affirming and help the relationship, but social media access must be wielded in a benevolent manner.

The same research also found that more than 50% of respondents admitted to going through their partner’s social media accounts without their consent, and 16% found incidences of cheating when they logged in. About 12% of the respondents ended their relationship because of perceived online slights.

Whether the indiscretion is a perceived slight, an incident of micro-cheating or a full-blown affair, it’s hard to say having complete, unfettered access to your partner’s online habits is a good thing. After all, it’s easy to assume things from browsing history without context. Jill and Derick are taking it a step further than just social media passwords, though. Derick, at the very least, is getting access to everything Jill looks at in a day, indicating maybe the trust isn’t there in the relationship.