Monday, 29 July 2013
Putting Children First
This week the Prime Minister announced some major changes that will put children first and help ensure that they are not growing up too quickly. The Government has just obtained agreements from all the internet providers committing to install family friendly filters automatically, unless you don’t want them.
The internet has transformed our lives, making the world a smaller and much faster place to work and play. In a second we can now communicate and trade with the other side of the world from our phone, tablet or PC. But this revolution has brought with it a darker side that we all know exists but rarely discuss.
Naked pictures have been around since time immemorial and adult material has long been available for those who seek it, but the advent of the internet has brought pornography into all of our homes. Even the most innocent search can bring up some of the most extreme explicit images and whilst the majority of us just disregard these, is it right that anyone should have to sift through them? Moreover is it fair that our children are exposed to these most graphic scenes from a very young age?
I am far from an advocate of censorship, having previously been Chair of Open Democracy, a forum which pretty much does what it says on the tin. However children should be protected; that is our duty. Safeguarding issues are a top priority for parents but it is also a key responsibility of the government to help and support our families.
At present parents have to opt in to set up online filters and the media regulator Ofcom reports that only 46% of parents do have these filters in place on their home internet. We need to make life easier for mums and dads across the country.
The PM additionally promised to crack down on the most extreme forms of pornography including those depicting simulated rape. He told search engines like Google and Yahoo that they should clean up their acts and take the campaign against child pornography much further. With internet now available almost whenever and wherever, I for one am pleased that action is being taken to tackle the proliferation of these most abhorrent of images.