Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tangled Web We Weave; as the Government Considers Measures to Make Online Pornography Harder for Children to Access, KATE PROCTOR Asks Whether Explicit Content Should Be Automatically Blocked

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tangled Web We Weave; as the Government Considers Measures to Make Online Pornography Harder for Children to Access, KATE PROCTOR Asks Whether Explicit Content Should Be Automatically Blocked

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE PROCTOR

THE thought of children being left to their own devices on the internet is, for many parents, a disaster waiting to happen.

As quickly as the internet revolutionised our lives, it brought with it a raft of new concerns for families on what their children might uncover if left free to roam the online world. Without a filter system, online pornography remains just a few clicks away.

Today North East parenting and family experts have backed Government plans to create an 'opt in' system for viewing adult content. In future pornographic sites could remain blocked unless a customer specifically asks to have access. "This will make life easier. I think most families would find it reassuring no matter how competent they are with their internet settings," said Jeremy Cripps, chief executive of charity Children North East.

"It already happens on public computers if you go to a library or at a school and in the home it would mean that children and youngsters wouldn't be able to access anything unsavoury. I think children get frightened and shocked by some of the things they see and there's also real concerns that it can lead to the over-sexualisation of children."

For years child safety campaigners have argued it is far too easy for children to access explicit adult content on their phones and computers. After years of pressure, the Government has now agreed to consult on ways of making the internet safer for children.

Continued Currently, parents who want to ensure their children do not have access to internet pornography must opt out of services. But under the plans, internet service providers will be forced to ask customers if they wish to access sites when they sign up for broadband. Plans are still a long way off and Mr Cameron is yet to meet with large internet providers, but for campaigners it remains a policy that could give parents unprecedented peace of mind. Suzie Hayman, trustee of North East charity Family Lives and Woman's Own magazine agony aunt, said she deals with regular reader letters about the damage freely-available pornography is doing to families.

She said: "Twenty years ago all we considered was kids buying top-shelf magazines when we weren't looking. Pornography is more hardcore because it's moving pictures - and can be accessed straight into our homes and it is invasive. "As a society we ought to be having this discussion. I would object to porn being banned, but I think we need to as an adult make that decision to go looking for it rather than being in a situation where, without realising, young people are accessing images that are not doing them any good."

She added readers often tell her pornography isn't something children ever intended to discover but are too easily left with the damaging consequences. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.