back to article Online badness: The kids are not alright

One in eight kids are upset about content they've seen online - such as porn, sexual or bullying messages or harmful user-generated content. Less than half of parents are aware of their concern. These finding are contained in the report Risks and safety on the internet: the perspective of European children, based on interviews …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Flame

48% of 9-16 have acces in their bedroom?

I'll bet only 5% of those have had any controls put on it by their parents.. out of sight out of mind and it allows them to blame someone else for their screwed up little brat.

5 years time they'll be moaning to the Daily Mail about the sick depraved world and why doesn't someone (else) do something

12
0
Bronze badge

Beneficial

I can't see any evidence that any of those activities are beneficial, unless they mean compared to setting OAPs on fire.

My kids haven't got unattended internet access and seem fairly happy with the deal. They seem to prefer to play with other kids face to face, strange!

4
1

Accepting Online Friends

I am banging my head against a brick wall trying to stop my 13 year old niece accepting anyone as a friend and her Mum is so blase about it.

I am no Net Nazi but when 18 year old men are friending your daughter because they like the same things there is something wrong. I don't lecture I just point out the harsh reality of why they are interested, and its not the music.

I have not given up and regularly talk to them about it but its like "oh this one is fine he is a fan of .... and .... we just like the same music so its cool." It scares me that I am sure she will be meeting them soon, and there will be an excuse to that as well.

2
2

Genius report . . .

. . . young girls are bitchy and receive seedy messages; young boys find pr0n.

Wow, what a worthwhile report this is, because neither of these facts were true *before* the inter-tubes were a common-day thing.

And as per a poster above, the three online activities listed are not "beneficial", they are just the largest use most of this group put the 'puter to use for.

5
0
Unhappy

WILL NO-ONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

Oh, sorry.

0
1
Joke

won't someone think of the children?

how about their parents?

I don't really think I understand what this study is trying to say.

Something about boys being exposed to sexual images, and girls being subjected to cheap one-liners.

OK let me translate that... boys more likely to look up porn, girls more likely to accept friend invites from smarmy dickbags.

If it were my spawn in this situation, I'd kick myself for letting them have full net access at 12 years old. Unless they'd proven to me they were mature enough to deal with it.

The intertubes is a wild place, and just like real life you will occasionally bump into someone that says something or does something you don't approve of. But does that mean you need protected from ever witnessing that event?

Wouldn't the world be such a fantastic place to live if only we'd be protected from seeing things that might upset us.

I think perhaps that now internet access is seen more as a utility than a luxury or a tool for a specific job, there are far too many people jumping in without knowing how deep it is.

I propose a formal and compulsory Internet course with written exam which must be passed before a computer can be purchased. It will include such modules as proper grammar and spelling, basics like URLs and email, and a very explicit warning to never piss off 4chan.

7
0
Bronze badge

Only 1 in 8?

Thankfully it is only that.

There is enough here to sicken 100% of adults.

0
3
Silver badge

Pointless report

Some kids will find ick and be shocked, others will find ick and begin a life long spiral of depravity. This is not news. Nor is it news that loads of children have fairly unrestricted internet access, and - like GeorgeTuk's neice, an obsession to rank up as many "friends" as possible without considering who these people actually ARE. This is not news either.

What would be epic news is all these idiot parents thinking "OMG!" and doing something about it, even if - like Matt21, that means chaperoning their time on-line in some manner.

.

YOU (as a parent) are RESPONSIBLE for your child. Not telco, not FaceBook, not the government, but YOU.

9
0
Unhappy

This report implies

This report implies that seven out of eight children see nothing wrong with the stuff that they are exposed to on the internet. That worries me more.

5
1
Anonymous Coward

One in eight?

That sounds a bit low. I mean, it's teh intarwebz baby. There's rule 34 and then there's enough "shock sites" to scar almost anyone for life.

And people think I'm nuts for saying that it's the parents' responsibility what their children "consume on the internet". And if that means filtering and/or no unsupervised access until old and trusted enough, so be it. You don't get to ride your first bicycle in traffic unsupervised either. What's so strange about that?

It'd be nice to see some solid advice in this sort of report like, oh, "supervise your kid", but somehow the "think of the children" brigade seems utterly incapable of taking their own responsibility. Anyway, with luck some one in eight of the next generation will insist on not letting kids /on the 'net/ too early.

1
0
Silver badge

teenage boys are "more exposed" to sexual images

I'm shocked I tell you! Shocked!

2
0
Silver badge

Upset?

Is there a definition of 'Upset' that they use?

Is there a way of measuring the possibility of long-term harm by a few questions?

My kids grew up on-line (almost). They've done the BeBo thing in the past and had some odd messages and always asked me if they thought anything was dodgy.

"If you don't know who it's from, if you don't like the way it's worded, if you're not sure about a link you've been sent - don't click, don't reply"

They don't seem to have been scarred by it, one of them let me take over a chat from some twunt who was attempting to get her to download a 'cool little game'. He gave up after about half an hour once I told him it wasn't going to work and that he had also been reported while we had been chatting.

Trust and education rather than fear seems to be a better way, especially education. Rather than just be told there are bad things in the woods, teach them how to deal with the everyday hazards of being on-line.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Internet is not for kids

It never was - it was built for and by adults.

Thus there is some scary mature stuff out there. Why should young kids be able to roam free online any more than they can wander around a city unaccompanied?

They should be restricted to a small set of white-listed websites that are marked as 'child friendly' and assume everywhere else is off limits until they (or their parents) deem them responsible enough to handle it. If you give a kid an encyclopaedia, expect that they will look up the rude words. They will do the same online.

There has always been bullying as school between kids - don't blame the internet if they bring it online too. It's a problem that still needs solving wherever it occurs.

3
1

Except ...

on the Internet the bullying is frequently anonymous. So even if the Internet is not to blame, it does lower the barrier to entry.

At least on the playground a parent knows who to go after.

0
1
Silver badge

By and for adults? Not really ...

"It never was - it was built for and by adults."

For small values of "adults". I was in my late teens and early 20s when ken got to Berkeley and Cerf got to Stanford ... Trust me, us kids played a major roll in its development.

That said, my kid didn't have unsupervised Internet access until she entered Uni when she was 17 ... and she assures me that my grand daughter (6.5 weeks old :-) is unlikely to have unsupervised Internet access until a similar age.

Seriously, parents, take SOME responsibility ...

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Bullying a problem that needs solving?

Considering that bullying is probably older than us as a species, it's not something that can be "solved" as such. The internet didn't change anything, really, for it merely transports that as well as everything else it carries to places where it wasn't before. That means that while you're "surfing teh intarwebz" from your own bedroom, you've effectively turned the room into some sort of public space. So turn off the computer, put it somewhere else, and so on. You do have that choice and it doesn't do to blame others for your choices.

Believing otherwise is being irresponsibly lazy or perhaps deluding yourself. That goes doubly so for the do-gooders that are doing their level best to bully others into adding "panic buttons" to their sites.

It is also so thoroughly a people problem that there is very little in technological things you can do to get rid of it. The only thing you can do is to deal with it. Support your kid, put him or her on judo lessons or whatever, teach them to neither bully nor stand for being bullied. It's part of growing up, part of how our social fabric works. But you can't wipe out the phenomenon.

That doesn't justify bullying, but that isn't the point. The point is that you can't "solve" the fact that bullying will be with us.

0
0
FAIL

it' just like the street.

Letting your kids in the streets at night is a choice. Yes it is the real world, yes danger exists anyway, yes you can't hide everything eternally, but as parents, what a lack of vision and understanding.

0
0
Bronze badge
Stop

When I was a lad....

No one ever got upset about anything right?

Being upset as a child is good training for the rest of your life. As an adult I find myself increasingly getting upset by things. Won't you think of the children, the internet is going to kill them drivel like this report being an example.

The levels of politically correct bullshit, green eco tosserism, and precautionary principle risk aversion I experience daily have me so upset I am beginning to see death as a light at the end of the tunnel.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Raise smart kids and they'll be fine.

Meh, I had pretty much unlimited access to a computer/internet as a teen and yeah, I looked at porn sometimes, but I didn't start looking at hate sites or try to learn how to make bombs, because I just wasn't interested in that stuff. Sometimes I stumbled upon questionable stuff, that I might have had a curious look at, but then left it alone because, well, it was questionable and I wasn't interested in it beyond being a little curious. I guess the internet is a little different now-a-days, and a 12 year old is a little different from a 16 year old, but I don't think the internet is as dangerous as people make it out to be.

And I'm sure all the kids told the complete truth when interviewed for this... right.

1
0
Gold badge
WTF?

I think most p()rn sites are registered with filter systems

The presumption being parents will *want* to protect their children. Something to do with the idea that "adult" entertainment is *for* adults.

BTW Does anyone think this is a candidate for the (Ig)nobel prize?

Honestly.

Children given *unlimited* access to the biggest supply of data and media on the planet may see and hear stuff that they have trouble dealing with.

Younger children are more likely to have trouble than older children.

Well knock me down with a feather. I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.

1
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Key Findings...

Looking at Section 1.2 of the report it says:

"Most risks are encountered by less than a quarter of children"

"The most common risks reported by children online are communicating with new people not met face-to-face and seeing potentially harmful user-generated content. It is much rarer for children to meet a new online contact offline or be bullied online."

"Significantly, risk does not often result in harm, as reported by children. Being bullied online by receiving nasty or hurtful messages is the least common risk but is most likely to upset children."

"Sexual risks – seeing sexual images and receiving sexual messages online – are more encountered but they are experienced as harmful by few of the children who are exposed to them"

"1 in 12 children have met an online contact offline; this risk rarely has a harmful experience."

"Among those children who have experienced one of these risks, parents often don’t realise this [...] Although the incidence of these risks affects a minority of children in each case, the

level of parental underestimation is more substantial."

In other words, the kids *are* pretty much alright, but the parents are ignorant and need to take a bit more notice of what their kids are up to online.

0
0
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

shavin'

I don't think there can be any doubt that the internet affects kids/teenagers.

Amongst my generation (late 30s), 10 years ago I remember asking my friends (that are girls) if they shaved below the belt - they all thought it was ridiculous and no one did it.

These days you'd be hard pressed to find a girl in her 20s with fluff.

Reason - the internet: exposure to pr0n.

is this good or bad ? I'm not saying it's either - but it does show the power of the net to dramatically affect the behaviour of a generation.

paris icon for obvious reasons.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Teh intertubes is making our wimmin shave their muffs?

Seriously?

Really seriously?

By your logic pretty much every bloke you see would have a crap moustache and every woman out there would have an uncontrollable desire to have lesbian sex with other women.

Oh, and all the pretty women would sleep with men purely on the basis of the chat up line "fancy a fuck", regardless of how fat, bald and old they are.

Or maybe you seem to be mistaking correlation with causation.

0
0
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Teh intertubes is making our wimmin shave their muffs?

Er, I think he's got a point, actually - he was just talking about fashion, essentially, and that has to be led by something. It's a subtle process. I don't think anyone's suggesting that everyone of a certain age has been irretrievably warped and has altered their behaviour according to what they've seen online.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums