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back to article Give porno danger classes to Brit kids as young as FIVE - parents

Schoolteachers should warn British children as young as five about the "dangers" of finding pornography online, say families. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) asked parents to suggest what schools should be doing to protect kids from smutty websites: nearly half (42 per cent) of 1,009 respondents believed …

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The baronesses bill reads as though she thinks it's possible for an ISP to guarantee a porn free experience. The only way they'll manage that is to drop all your packets, can't see that being a popular option.

Can't help think the parents were probably asked a loaded question as well. Guarantee it didn't start with "keeping in mind it's likely to be ineffective, your kids will learn to work around it, and the cost will be passed onto all consumers"

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Out lawing porn

This is back to the old ignorant politician problem again.

They really need to go and read the story of "King Canute".

There is no way to electronically sort out porn from non porn, lets face it, its unlikely that any two people can agree on what constitutes porn anyway. Successive governments have wanted to be able to say we wrote a law and so the problem has gone away. But it won't, no matter what is written on the statute books. Even if you ban access to all website with the "even bigger tits than the other sites" in their domain name, it won't get rid of the issue. Is the Whitehouse the seat of US Government or a source of depravity? Any black listing scheme will be constantly out of date as porn mongers perpetually morph to new domain names. Any white listing scheme will constantly is out of date since "legitimate" websites are created at a rate no one is ever going to be able to filter. That's before you get to the idea that sites change purpose over time and legitimate sites get powned.

The problem with legislating for the issue is that then someone has to be responsible, and that requires someone agreeing to take responsibility (note: when was the last time we saw an MP accept responsibility?).

If the government say use X as a system of ensuring that little Jonny doesn't see inappropriate adult entertainment, then the Ms Shrew will want to sue for millions because little Jonny has just discovered pictures of nuddies. While the same Ms Shrew will also want to sue the arse off the owners of X when they find that the new website they've created with little Tarquin has been put on a pending list for approval because its all about loving their new little kitty they've just bought for his birthday.

As someone said the other day

All you need to know about politicians and IT can be gleaned from the fact that they knighted Alan Sugar but not Tommy Flowers.

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Re: Out lawing porn

"They really need to go and read the story of "King Canute"."

I think you'll find that you need to read the actual story, Cnut was demonstrating that the power of the king was nothing compared to the power of their god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnut_the_Great#Ruler_of_the_waves

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If parents were being more responsible in the first place then there would be less of a need of this. It's interesting for example that some phone companies are coming up with simplified models of a mobile that can only dial specified numbers and is intended for children as young as 4. What's even more worrying however is that nobody seems to be asking why a child as young as four years old would need a phone to start with. Where are the parents in all of this? And just why are smartphones still available to children if they're capable of doing such bad things to those too young to view the contents being displayed?

It seems that parents are constantly trying to offload the responsibility of looking after their children onto others whilst at the same time undermining what efforts are being made (witness for example the parents helping their little ones create facebook accounts even though they're too young to have them, or ignore the age ratings on games).

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Ben Tasker

"... the parents were probably asked a loaded question ..."

The NAHT survey states that:

80 per cent said they were confident or very confident of protecting their children from the dangers of viewing explicit images of violence or sex online.

So either the parents who answered this survey are all IT experts, or they are very naive.

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@Vimes - As a parent I need to change what you said slightly

It seems that some parents are constantly trying to offload the responsibility of looking after their children onto others whilst at the same time undermining what efforts are being made (witness for example the parents helping their little ones create facebook accounts even though they're too young to have them, or ignore the age ratings on games).

I take my role as a parent very seriously, if the Government implement this filter it'll make bugger all difference to my parenting as I'm still going to be doing what (I think) every parent should be doing anyway.

The bit that gets me, is we don't expect the Government to tell our kids not to run across a road without looking, that's our job. Internet pornography is being touted as a safety issue (mental wellbeing etc.) which frankly puts the ball even more firmly in the parents court.

Personally I think blocking it is the wrong solution anyway. Sure filtering should be part of the solution, but the important but is explaining the issues surrounding it. Not sure that's the Government's job either though.

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Re: Out lawing porn

The story of King Cnut is applicable in either case: either the informal version where a stupid king cannot stop the tide, or the probably more correct version where a wise king demonstrated to obsequious courtiers that even he could not stop the tide. The point is simply that no-one can stop the tide.

Cnut, ironically, appears one of the names likely to be filtered ...

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The bit that gets me, is we don't expect the Government to tell our kids not to run across a road without looking, that's our job.

Not quite true.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276264/Axed-TV-ads-taught-generations-children-cross-road-safely.html

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As a parent I need to change what you said slightly

Sorry, I didn't think to qualify that properly. I meant to include 'sizable minority' but neglected to do so.

Sure filtering should be part of the solution,

Not if it affects anybody else it isn't.

but the important but is explaining the issues surrounding it. Not sure that's the Government's job either though.

It might be if it involved teaching parents. Giving parents rather than the children the help needed to understand this is the key here I think. If parents feel more confident about the technology then perhaps they'll feel more confident about dealing with such matters themselves rather than having to rely on others to do the job for them.

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Re: Jim 48

Yes, I do know that, that is precisely what I was saying. The King could proclaim what the hell he liked, but it would have no effect on the tide at all. Which is why I was saying that the Parliament could write what ever laws they like to ban the "tide of filth" but it won't make the slightest difference.

This incident is usually misrepresented by popular commentators and politicians as an example of Cnut's arrogance.

When they can find a way to define what is "porn" and what is a work of art with a naked person. Then they might be in a position to start.

In the mean time they are just showing not only their arrogance in feeling they can force others to do that which they can not understand, but also their immense ignorance about how these things actually work.

I had chosen my analogy carefully.

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Re: Out lawing porn

"They really need to go and read the story of "King Canute"."

Which one?

The real on or the bogus tabloid version?

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Anonymous Coward

Loaded Questions

« "... the parents were probably asked a loaded question ..."

The NAHT survey states that:

80 per cent said they were confident or very confident of protecting their children from the dangers of viewing explicit images of violence or sex online. »

Well, so what are those « dangers » then? Not a loaded question at all, eh? :)

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Anonymous Coward

Online Survey?

« Can't help think the parents were probably asked a loaded question as well. »

The actual questions are in the link provided in the article: http://www.naht.org.uk/welcome/news-and-media/key-topics/parents-and-pupils/parents-want-schools-to-manage-dangers-of-pornography-says-survey/

And yes, the questions are loaded and/or ambiguous. E.g., the very first one: "How worried are you about your children seeing explicit materials of a violent or sexual nature on the web?"

Do I need to explain all that is wrong with the above question as part of any remotely half-pseudoscientific survey? Not to mention the choice of possible answers.

The technical report (if one exists at all) has not been published, and there is no mention of the sample choice and survey methodology used, but the last paragraph says: "The fieldwork side of the study was done by [obscure company's name], a leading global online sampling and data collection company". 'Online sampling'? Ahem... has this been a self-selected pool of respondents then?

For the love of Ron Jeremy, is this what they call "research"?

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@Ben - it also reads as if porn is something you just stumble across on the internet. Have to say that unless I'm actively looking for it, it's honestly not something I see on-line.

Still, not that facts and reasoned arguments have any place in this branch of politics.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Out lawing porn

What if some of us worship porn?

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Paris Hilton

So how do you break the subject to a 5 year old?

"Well kids if you find pictures of Mummies and Daddies do yucky things on the Internet, go and find something else to look at coz it's just so gross. Parents are so embarrassing!"

The idea might be good, but how do you explain the idea of pornography to someone who hasn't yet been taught the basic ideas of sex and what the difference is between seeing their parents walking to the shower and being overtly sexual.

(Paris, because if you find her on the Interweb, its probably porn)

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Mushroom

Re: So how do you break the subject to a 5 year old?

You can't teach 5-year old's sex education! It's immoral!

Can't we just teach them some things are good and some things are bad and they shouldn't do the bad stuff?

If the politicians don't have to qualify what is good and bad, why should I?

Should I add a disclaimer that I'm not being serious or is it sufficiently obvious - I guess the down votes will tell...

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Anonymous Coward

1000 parents?

Is that even statistically relevent?

Continue the frog boiling, no one's noticed yet!

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Sounds like parents who are just incapable of speaking to their children themselves for whatever reason so want someone else to do it. Massively cowardly if you ask me.

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Could actually be interesting

Some sort of corollary follow-up: "Please elaborate on why you shouldn't be doing this yourself"

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Anonymous Coward

Talking about cowards...

« Sounds like parents who are just incapable of speaking to their children themselves for whatever reason so want someone else to do it. Massively cowardly if you ask me. »

Hehe... who's downvoted the quoted post? :) (Not me, by the way. I'm just an anonymous coward, not a massive one, and particularly not one who's shy of discussing such things)

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Please start being parents...

Or do you want schools also to teach your children...

Sharp things cut?

Hot things burn?

Take at least SOME responsibility for the morals and well being of your child.

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Re: Please start being parents...

Have you tried talking to any teachers of reception year and infants recently? I think you'll find that they are constantly having to teach kids that "Sharp things cut?" and "Hot things burn?" usually with side lessons in things like how to hold a knife and fork.

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Re: Please start being parents...

+1 - what this chap said.

I know it's easy for us types that seemingly spend our working day online, and as such are meant to be a little more intelligent when it comes to dealing with the internet and it's many dark corners BUT maybe parents should have some more assistance. Most of the rejects I meet when picking up my Son can barely stop themselves from swearing like sailors in a brothel. In fact most of them can't actually stop themselves!

I doubt that the majority have the understanding on how to configure a browser or how access to such sites can be blocked.

Now I don't want an imposed opt in scheme, so maybe parenting classes wouldn't be a bad thing. Oh jeez, I realise I have just suggested that we bring back the ECDL.

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Re: Please start being parents...

"Have you tried talking to any teachers of reception year and infants recently? I think you'll find that they are constantly having to teach kids that "Sharp things cut?" and "Hot things burn?" usually with side lessons in things like how to hold a knife and fork."

Agreed. Some of them turn up to my girlfriend's classes in their first term still wearing nappies.

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Re: Please start being parents...

The parents?

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Trollface

Re: Please start being parents...

You're girlfriend is an infant?

;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please start being parents...

« Agreed. Some of them turn up to my girlfriend's classes in their first term still wearing nappies. »

How young is your girlfriend???

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WTF?

Analogy Time

Most schools try to do Religous Education, though often they don't try very hard.

The basis of this generally seems to be: let the kids see the main tenets of the major religions, then discuss and allow the kids to make up their own minds.

Kind of similar with sex education of teenagers, but how in all that's holy do you have a sensible discussion about porn with a pre-pubescent child? (Even if it wasn't illegal for teachers to show them what you are talking about?)

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Re: Analogy Time

Do religious education classes carry mental health warnings these days ? Are there warnings about recognising and avoiding religious web sites ? If not then they ought to. Far more harm is done to young minds by religion than porn.

And ... don't get me started with the violence in kids' computer games, but that is somehow OK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Analogy Time

"don't get me started with the violence in kids' computer games, but that is somehow OK"

Extensive research has been carried out numerous times and found no link between antisocial behaviour in children and video games. Drawing a comparison between religion and porn is also a bit daft as there is insufficient evidence to substantiate your claim.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Analogy Time

> Are there warnings about recognising and avoiding religious web sites ? If not then they ought to.

Gentlemen, please do not get the wrong impression from the chap above. Not all of us atheists are intolerant zealots. Some of us even choose to respect those who do not share our theological points of view, and understand that religions can be a positive and rewarding part of people's lives, even if we do not partake of it.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Re: Analogy Time

> understand that religions can be a positive and rewarding part of people's lives, even if we do not partake of it.

They can be positive, but I see a lot of harm coming from religions: wars, one religious sect against another; theft from people, look at some of the USA TV evangelists; psycological damage, I know plenty who have had their minds screwed by religion - and that is not just the more wacky sects like moonies.

I think that on balance the world would be a better place without it -- unless, of course, they can demonstrate some reality in their myths.

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Please leave the Internet alone

Letting a five year old loose on the net is essentially the same thing as letting them wander the streets alone. Some streets may be safe, but not all of them worldwide. I'm not into parent bashing really but this is down to them. I took/take responsibility for what my kids did online while they were growing up.

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Ridiculous religious garbage

I honestly wondered what these 'dangers of porn' actually are. Naturally, searching for that phrase turns up hundreds of religious groups' sites, all feeding off each other in a massive orgy of mutual confirmation.

The real danger is that mind-warping crap like this might come up when someone's innocently searching for porn. Religion can cause lifelong addiction, reduced respect for others (outside the in-group) and even death (and highly destructive behaviour) in some cases. I think maybe that angle needs to be explored too.

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Re: Ridiculous religious garbage

Religion can cause lifelong addiction, reduced respect for others (outside the in-group) and even death (and highly destructive behaviour) in some cases.

I seem to recall one comedian referring to religion in the context of a contagious illness. It does you no good and you end up with an unnatural urge to pass it on to somebody else... :)

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Re: Ridiculous religious garbage

The danger of porn, and anything else which may educate kids about sexual matters, is that it makes them hard work for the paedophiles in frocks, that constitute a substantial part of the clergy of the major christian cults. "Innocent" children are more easily groomed.

The idea that it is beneficial to keep children ignorant of what most people would regard as the greatest human pleasure, does not stand up to even the most cursory intellectual examination.

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Try parenting your kids for a change

You wouldn't leave them unsupervised on a city center street so you shouldn't leave them unsupervised on the internet. You are supposed to watch your kids at all times, not leave them with the TV or Internet while you go off and drink a bottle of Merlot.

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Re: Try parenting your kids for a change

Indeed, translates as - "83% of parents surveyed think that teachers should be responsible for bringing up their children".

Nonsense

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Anonymous Coward

OpenDNS

Just set all UK ISP's to create an OpenDNS account with ANY broadband connection sold. Believe it or not they already have a great deal of catagories that you can block on.

Porn

Gambling

Religion.

Filesharing

Then it is up to the parents what can be accessed or not all through a handy dashboard.

No I dont work for OpenDNS but I do use their software

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Re: OpenDNS

A lot of ISP's use their own DNS Servers to redirect to their own search pages on a typo, therefore getting advertising money. Suspect they won't like giving that up.

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No way...

...this is the parent's responsibility.

The kids should be learning basic maths and reading no being taught stuff parent's can't be bothered/too scared to.

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Anonymous Coward

"Schoolteachers should warn British children as young as five about the "dangers" of finding pornography online, say families"

Indeed, some of it is pretty rubbish and some of it downright disturbing. Children should be taught how to search for it properly!

I haven't read the article but that *is* what they're trying to do, right?

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Anonymous Coward

Porn lessons at 5?? WTF?

Its a parents job to educate kids about that kind of thing, and to ensure they are looked after online, I know my kids are fairly safe online, and I can trust their reactions to things (because I know my kids personality) and I talk to them about things they don't understand, its called parenting!

If the world was not so puritanical, then maybe kids would be more well adjusted...

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Mushroom

Internet, video games, movies, music, all just a little bit of history repeating..

Why can't a single politician just take a stand and speak the (Chair Leg of) truth:

"Everyone's looking for someone to blame. Society. Culture. Hollywood. Predators. Looking everywhere but the right place. Children are very simple. Very easy devices to break, or assemble wrong. You want to know who did this to these kids? Only their parents. That's the thing no one wants to hear. Every time you stop thinking about how you're treating your kid, you make one of these. It really is as simple as that. It's got nothing to do with the failure of the society or any of that. It's got everything to do with the responsibility of making a human. Why are your kids looking at porn on the internet? Because you fucked up the job of raising them. That's what no one wants to hear. That we can't blame anything outside our houses." [With apologies to Mr Ellis for the slight bastardisation]

There are many technological stops to this specific problem, be they blacklists, whitelists, etc. But ultimately, the single biggest solution to any of these problems be they internet porn, violent video games, violent movies or "suggestive" music, is for the parents to monitor and control what media their children have access to and consume.

"But I can't watch them 24 hours a day", "They don't listen to me", "I don't have the time" are just bullshit excuses. You chose to have that kid, you do the job of raising them. If you can't, then give them up. Only at that point does their media consumption become the problem of the state: when they are in state care. Otherwise, do your damn job.

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Re: Internet, video games, movies, music, all just a little bit of history repeating..

"But I can't watch them 24 hours a day", "They don't listen to me", "I don't have the time"

1: You shouldn't need to if you raise them properly and give them an understanding of things rather than just hearing 'No' and 'Yes'

2: Make them

3: Find the time

As you say, all bullshit excuses. My favourite though, is "kids nowadays are so switched on with tech, there's no way for the parents to keep up". You either take the time to read-up, or pay someone to impart the relevant knowledge. If your kid was 'good' with explosives, would you let them make and ignite roman candles in the cellar?

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Re: Internet, video games, movies, music, all just a little bit of history repeating..

Peter Jones 2: "do your damn job."

As a parent and step-parent, I can hardly express how much I endorse this. The main thing that kids need to avoid is - having kids. Parenthood is intensely rewarding but frustrating, onerous and serious. *THAT* is what children need to be taught. By teaching them that sharp things cut; hot things burn; that all drugs - from weed to crack - are (implicitly equally) dangerous; you are really teaching them that it is the school's place to teach this --- and that, years later, school will also shoulder the burden of it when *they* become parents.

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The most important lesson

Regardless of the outcome of any debate on whether children should be shown pornography as part of sex education, the most important lesson on the dangers of pornography will always remain true: delete your browser cache and history, turn a blind eye, and never report it if you find something that's actually illegal.

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Re: The most important lesson

Unless you are under the age of criminal consent about 8 I think which suggests that only youngsters should report illegal porn.

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