Would you let children look at porn?


The internet is full of porn, photo graphs, video and stories. It's very easy to find, just tap a couple of words into Google and your away, millions of pages of it. If Googles filters are turned off, you can discover some very dark pornography as well. I few years ago I was preparing a presentation about Christ's victory over Satan and I was looking for some images of the devil to put into the presentation. What I found then was some stomach churning horrible images and I hope that no children ever stumble across images like those, and that my friends is the reason for writing this article today.

The UK government is currently consulting to gauge opinion on the best way to protect children from harmful online material. You have a chance right now to think and act if you want to. You only have until September 6th, that's one month from today, to complete the consultation document and upload it.

How do you feel about an unrestricted internet? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

It does allow anyone to access anything whenever they like. Freedom of information is a gift and one I personally greatly enjoy. I can say what I like on this blog, and anyone with a computer can read it. I can access information from both sides of a debate and get the latest news and if I wanted gossip from around the world.

On the other hand, there are people out there selling pornographic images and videos, or giving them away and making money from the advertising. It's my choice as an adult if I want to access this. I may not like these images, I may not want them there, but I understand why people look at them, and many other people are perfectly happy that these images are available.

However, they are just as available to children, and I feel very strongly about that. As a kid in school I remember looking up sexual words in a dictionary in the school library with friends trying to understand what all the fuss was about. I hate to imaging what I would have found if I had the same access to IT and the internet that most modern kids have.

It's possible to filter adult content centrally, your broadband provider would then automatically filter porn unless you opted into receive adult content. These adult content filters, which are already used by mobile companies, also filter more than porn, for example they filter gambling and other over 18 content. Some reports I have read say this is easy and free for internet service providers, but having worked for one, I would disagree. There will be a small cost to them, and a couple of difficult projects, but these types of filter are not rocket science, and I believe should be put in place. As a small aside, please spare a thought and a prayer for those people employed to put these filters in place, some of them, always volunteers, have to review the images caught by the filters to make sure they work and continue to work correctly. While some people may joke about having a great job where you get paid to look at porn, in my experience no one doing this job was happy or comfortable doing it and no one did it for long.

So if you feel that you have an opinion and are living on the UK, please take a look at the government consultation here : Department of Education - Parental internet controls - Consultation

Or if you want a little help, this is a very helpful site that provides some background and an easy way to complete the consultation, click here: www.SafeOnline.org.uk

Please think about how children, maybe your children, will be effected by seeing pornography. Once you have thought, I hope you decide to act.
Thank you. John.

[Additional: You may be interested to know that as soon as this article was posted on my blog, Google started to filter the adverts they display. They don't show any adverts against this post or the homepage when this post is there. It shows that their filters work and they use them as I am sure they are picking up the word porn. Good for Google.]

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