Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

You've only yourselves to blame.

WOULD you let a child cross a busy road on their own? Play with knives? Drink whatever they find in the kitchen cupboards?

Then why in the name of all that's holy would you let them loose on the information superhighway without keeping an eye on them?

There's a lot of kerfuffle about what's available on the internet and that because children are as capable as anyone else of accessing it that this is the fault of the medium, which should be forced to bring in some filters.

I'm not against the idea of sieving out the stuff you'd rather not see, in fact I'd like a filter for twats, idiots and trolls as much as I would the inadvertent filth you find with a fairly innocuous search term. I once got locked out of the company internet for Googling 'breast cancer' for a story, a fact which was explained at some length and increasing volume to a succession of IT geeks before my access was restored.

But are parents seriously expecting search engines to do their parenting for them? Are there mums and dads out there who believe that because they can't be bothered to turn on the very simple child-locks on their home internet that a massive corporation ought to sort the problem out?

It beggars belief. If you let a child use a computer, whether it's at home or school, you should make sure they're safe while they're doing it. It's like sending little Jimmy out to navigate a motorway, or play with a chainsaw, and thinking nothing could possibly go wrong.

And I'm afraid the facts of the matter make it fairly likely that, if little Jimmy comes across cybersmut while doing his homework - and that's how 90 per cent of them find it - it's there because of mummy and daddy.

How many dads look at relaxation videos online? How many mummies read erotica? There were - at the last very rough estimate - 420million pages with adult content on the internet, and 72m people a month visit them. A fifth of men watch it at work, and 1 in 3 visitors to adult websites are women.

Around £2m is spent on 'privately observing rude nudes' EVERY SINGLE SECOND. I know children's pocket money is more than it was, but they're not paying £62billion a year to fund the industry. Mummy and daddy are.

The research also shows that children's first exposure to adult online content is at the age of 11. That's dreadful, but it's not the fault of the internet any more than jazz mags are the fault of the paper they're printed on.

Filth isn't being pumped into our homes any more than sewage is, but if you let your children play in the drains the chances are they'll find dirt. And if you're the ones who made them filthy in the first place you've frankly only yourself to blame.

It's a ridiculously simple process to ensure your home internet has a 'top shelf' section your children won't be able to access, and if you can't be stuffed to find out how to do it you're either a terrible parent or someone just too dense to operate a spoon.

Sadly, there isn't a filter for those either.

"Do you want to play on Daddy's laptop next?"

10 comments:

Bill Kruse said...

There, in a nutshell, is why you won't be getting a column for the Daily Mail. You see what I'm saying here, Fox?

Darryl said...

Agreed, as I said in my comment on the Granuid.

You owe me groat Fozy.

Anonymous said...

Well said. And the hypocrisy of the Mail launching its campaign on the day it had ten stories of celebrity nudity on the home page.

Anonymous said...

It's the phone access that's the biggest problem, and the other kids at school

Les King-Smith said...

What common sense you speak.

Gin and Bacon said...

Well said Foxy!
It is unfortunately not just the internet, there is a growing trend in all walks of life. First the parents abjugate from their responsibilies, then the government legislate against the action rather than the parents and finally the Daily Wail screams how the Village are trying to run rough shod over our liberty.

My daughters do not watch TV or go on-line without my wife or me present. It is simple and means we are part of their lives.

fr3kysnail said...

Bill, blogging is different, then straight out writing for a newspaper you ___. This raises interesting issues, is well written with logic. What is your problem? Where's your blog?

i didn't agree with all the points raised; however, there is traction in the overall theme, that parents are to blame. It's a cycle of of influence. Where parents, tv and friends, all play a role.

some parents, have no clue what goes on the internet. there is a genuine naivety in some cases. I had to fix my sons psp awhile back. When I received his machine, I had a look at his browsing history, only to find the most hardest core adult video on there.

His mother, had parental control on the internet service, which even I felt was a bit regimental. He was able to circumvent this security by using a gaming device. He was fourteen at the time.

Unless, you have knowledge, of router level security, many parents will be oblivious, what goes on iphones, blackberrys, playstation and xboxs.

Porn is like the flu, it is very viral and spreads throughout our lives.

jaljen said...

Parental laziness pure (ahem) and simple.
My kids (now early 20s) had no TVs in their rooms. We watched TV together or they read a book. We had a rota for computer time. The computer was located in the living room and subject to my scrutiny should I wish to exercise it.
To my certain knowledge neither is a prude nor has either ever accessed any porn sites nor has any interest in doing so.

Bill Kruse said...

Fox, do you want to explain my point to your admirer here?

Foxy said...

Bill was being sarcastic, leading on from an earlier remark on Faceache. He wasn't having a go.

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