Parental Censorship Essay

  • Parents shouldn't block a child's eyes from the inevitable.

    Parents should not censor the inappropriate content, since many kids who go online are much younger than your average teenager. For example, if a child were to see a bad website online they will click the exit button immediately and may never return to the site. Saying if they were small enough children. For that reason, eventually they will find out the mysteries of the world, since suggestive topics are brought up in even children shows. Furthermore, while somethings online can be bad and should probably be to know and learn from a young age, so that when they are older, they may not be so curious as to what really goes on “behind the scenes”. All in all, parents shouldn’t block kids from seeing the world on their tablets, computers, and/or phones. Censored from small beady eyes (that of a child), it is also not horrible for them

  • Children should see

    It themselves and learn from their own mistakes. They have a right for their own opinion and don't be limited to certain sites. If their end up on a bad site by accent, they won't go there the next time. So what is the point of forbidding it in the first place?

  • Children should make their own decisions

    Children need to lean to be independent and how are they going to do that if everyone is making decisions for them? There is going to be a point in their life where something bad happens and if you are not their, they will have relied on you so much they will not know what to do.

  • Regardless of censorship, still ways around it

    This is in fact the reason why Pornography cannot be accessed without first asking your Internet Service Provider, even though there are ways of bypassing their blacklist without getting express permission from the provider.

    The same goes for censorship for children, if the child is intelligent enough they can bypass the measures by their parent fairly easily and access whatever content they desire. The best way to keep a child safe on the Internet would be to educate them; the same principle applies with the law, no rule is going to stop people from committing that crime, in fact it does quite the opposite in most cases. Education is far more powerful than just simple rules, you should explain the rules clearly and precisely to your children instead of just making them up, otherwise they will have any excuse to commit the crime.

  • “Our inquiry found that many children are easily accessing internet pornography as well as other websites showing extreme violence or promoting self-harm and anorexia,” said Claire Perry, who launched the study in August with the backing of Ed Vaizey, the communications minister.

    She described the situation as “hugely worrying” and said that plans by internet companies to restrict access were “lacklustre at best”: “Not all [internet providers] are planning to provide a filter that will protect all internet-enabled devices”.

    Just one internet service provider (ISP) offers a service that blocks access to websites that are inappropriate for children. TalkTalk spent two years and an estimated £20 million building HomeSafe, which restricts access to a pre-determined list of inappropriate websites in a range of categories. Because the optional service is built in to TalkTalk’s network, customers only have to ask the ISP to activate it.

    “The most blocked category we have is 'suicide and self-harm’ and second is 'pornography’,” says Mark Schmid, director of communications. He says around 350,000 of TalkTalk’s four million customers are using the service.

    Claire Perry wants all ISPs to be compelled to provide such services and to turn them on by default, requiring customers who want access to banned sites to contact their service provider and ask for the filtering to be turned off. “It’s time that Britain’s internet service providers, who make more than £3 billion a year from selling internet access services, took on more of the responsibility to keep children safe.”

    TalkTalk would like all ISPs to have the capability to restrict access to inappropriate websites but thinks that it should remain optional, rather than be turned on automatically for all new customers. This distinction between an “opt-in” and “opt-out” approach is now at the centre of much of the debate.

    Naomi Gummer, a public policy analyst at Google, says that parents should take responsibility for their children’s online activity: “The idea that laws can adequately protect young people is a myth.”

    A Google spokesman adds: “Laws alone can’t teach kids to cross the road. The same is true of learning to be safe online. We work with government and child safety organisations to promote sensible legislation and have developed technology, including Google Safe Search and the Family Safety Centre, that parents can use to protect their children online.”

    No technological approach, whether required by law or not, is perfect. Last December, an IT expert discovered that HomeSafe failed to restrict access to Pornohub, a major pornography website. It was not clear whether pornographers had circumvented HomeSafe or whether it was a technical fault, but TalkTalk said it would fix the problem.

    Mobile phone operators already restrict access to certain websites for customers who are under 18 or whose age is unknown. This is mostly because these companies recognise that mobile phone use among young people is usually unsupervised by an adult.

    But these services can be flawed, too. O2’s mobile broadband service was last year found to be applying an adults-only rating to Google Translate and a motoring website, among others. Users quickly discovered that blocked websites were still accessible by using the Opera Mini mobile browser, which sends traffic through its own servers and was therefore unrestricted.

    None of Britain’s other major ISPs offer network-level protection but BT, Virgin and Sky agreed last year that they would offer new customers parental control software, which would prevent children from accessing inappropriate material online.

    BT has worked with the technology security company McAfee to offer Family Protection. After installing BT’s software on the family computers, parents can choose to block certain categories of website based on a list maintained by McAfee. Specific websites can also be blocked by adding the web addresses.

    Parents should investigate parental control options for their children’s mobiles, too. The filtering service that mobile operators provide applies only when the phone is using the mobile internet. A phone using a Wi-Fi connection is likely to be unfiltered and therefore unprotected. This is one problem that network-level filtering can solve: ask your ISP to block inappropriate websites and your children’s smartphones and tablet computers won’t be able to access them over Wi-Fi.

    As with other technical solutions, parental control software sometimes blocks harmless sites and allows access to inappropriate ones. Much as dirty magazines used to be passed around behind the bike sheds at school, a determined teenager will be able to find pornography by hunting around in places that the parental filters haven’t blocked.

    While such software is clearly better than nothing, children are often the most technology-savvy members of the household and will quickly defeat filtering software that has not been properly installed. Some enterprising teenagers have been known to install computer programs that record what is typed on the keyboard and thus gain access to their parents’ passwords.

    The potential for teenagers to outwit their parents is frequently used as an argument for network-level filtering. Its supporters argue that too many parents lack the technical know-how to secure their computers properly and too few will opt in to a filtering system that is not compulsory.

    Set against that are free speech concerns: is it right that an internet provider decides which content is acceptable to be viewed and which should be banned? How do they decide what constitutes “adult” content – and what happens if they get it wrong?

    Further, as Nicholas Lansman, of the Internet Service Providers Association, argues, such technology can give parents a false sense of security, leading to less active monitoring of what children are up to online. Filters can fail or be circumvented, and left to their own devices, teenagers will find a way to get what they want.

    Technology can help but it can only go so far. Parents must set boundaries and discuss the risks with their children.

    Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, says: “It is very important to talk to your child about being safe online, taking them through the risks and what they mean. This includes not just your home PC, but anywhere where internet access is involved – including mobile phones and game consoles.

    “Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions to get a sense of what they are getting up to online.”

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