Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts piled back into the net-nannying debate yesterday, calling on ISPs to do more to guard their youngest customers while confirming that many of her readers are themselves avid smut fans. Roberts, who was slated earlier this year for supporting Tory plans for ISPs to impose wider blocks on content …
So, how does my wanting to objectify women either force your children to also objectify women or in any way prevent you from actually doing your parenting job and actually parenting?
Don't your children deserve the right to have caring parents who will protect them from inappropriate things on the internet rather than just bitching and doing nothing? More than they need to be protected from internet porn throughout their adult lives?
> As a parent, and a web designer, the answer is to remove the pornography from the Internet.
You would ultimately have to remove it from the dictionary too. But you sound like the sort of person who's already considered that.
I object strongly to your referring to the Bullingdon club in tones that imply that they are just a bunch of lads who need to look at smutty photos.
@ClareCares "All boys together then ?"
Anyone who wants government to intrude as deeply as Ms Roberts does (and I'm guessing you agree with her point of view) should be very careful about using words like "rights". Let government meddle to this degree in your parental duties and before long your children won't *have* any rights at all. Are you certain you want to step onto that slippery slope without considering the consequences?
"So this would be the forum of the Bullingdon club then?"
As an Old Wok, I find that highly offensive.
Funny thing happened last week. I sent my girlfriend some orchids. She sent back a photo. The orchids really weren't hiding very much.
Is she objectifying herself?
All boys together then? I think not....
As the AC who posted 11:55 GMT - try not leaping to assumptions, I AM a woman. Just one who would rather the whole world wasn't organised around parents who can't look after their own children properly. YOU can't use the perfectly decent tools available, so everyone else has to be restricted and controlled?
Then again, you obviously stereotype people e.g. if you like pron you must be a man, way to go raising your kids as balanced non-judgemental people.
@ClareCares - really?
So your need to neglect your duties as a parent supersedes anyone else's right to an opinion? Name calling isn't an argument, and you've just stereotyped anyone with an opinion different from yours (i.e. "make porn illegal").
I think children do need to be protected from porn. I think trying to make it illegal or ban it from the internet or get the ISP to do the job just ain't going to work, mainly because kids will still see it everywhere else (and still on the internet, given that it's impossible to clean stuff like this up).
Pick your battles Clare.
Now everyone stop beating Clare up and get back to the point... beating up Justine Roberts for her original comments
It is (or rather was) a solved problem...
Three letters: A O L
All ISPs should have a contract that basically asks:
I understand that the internet is full of questionable and/or objectionable content, and I am a responsible adult.
[ ] Yes [ ] No
Those that tick no, get signed up to AOL, the rest of us can get on with our day in peace.
I must say is that brush tarred regularly in order for your insulting broad-sweeping comments or is it just once in a while???
I use AOL and have done for many years now. Although i do not use their bloatware on any PC in my house. I, as a responsible (although you seem to suggest I am not) have:
1) Site blocking by keyword/website on my router (which I regularly update if I find that sites can be accessed)
2) K9 Webprotection installed on all PCs/Laptop used by the 2 youngest in my household.
So where does my lack of ability to be a responsible parent come into this??? Pray tell, as I would be fascinated to hear.
You've picked up that stick wrong.
Hold it the other way round.
There you go.
Totally agree, except...
AOL? Arseholes On Line?
OpenDNS free for home use
Its not as if you even have to sign up for a subscription service in order to put some safeguards in place. OpenDNS is free for home users and has the upside of usually being faster than your own ISP's DNS servers.
I get pretty tired of my friends who are parents coming up for excuses as to why thet can't keep their under-13's off Facebook and seem to have no spine when it comes to unfettered use of tech in kids bedrooms.
Can dear mrs. mumsnet please explain...
... why she feels it has to be regulation?
Let's be honest here. Parents forbidding their children access to certain material are flat-out censoring. That's what censorship means. It's also their right to censor as they see fit, for they're responsible for their children, and this is one of the tools of the trade.
I'm not saying this to be controversial but to make the point just why we don't want to put up with censorship by the state. We in the western world more or less agree that it's not up to the state to decide what grown-up citizens have access to.
That, say, the IWF does indeed censor with state fiat means that it's all too easy to get people to demand to have someone else remove the badness for them, heck no, for everyone. I think that's incredibly short-sighted, regardless of why these people demanded it in the first place. Even worse, it's "voluntarily" except that it isn't. It seems expressly setup to sneak around judicial oversight and as such is an assault on the integrity of the state.
As many have already pointed out now and previously, there are perfectly viable alternatives that keep the decision to censor or not firmly in the parents' hands, on whose behalf this was to be done in the first place. All you need is a little seed money and half a clue, or you can buy those these days too, and well the intended audience is already gathered in mumsnet. Not so?
So, will mrs. Roberts pray explain why her preferences must forcibly be applied to everyone through regulation instead of through natural application of her righteous right-mindedness her compatriots obviously must share, and therefore need no regulatory assistance? Please?
Think of the children
Considering most of the people "Numptynet' want to keep off these sites, ie the children, know more about computers and networks, and how to get round blocks, exactly what do these do-gooders hope to achieve?
What a bunch of unpleasant commentards
Have been posting above.
Had any of you have come down off your high horse about it all being the parents fault, you will have understood what this woman was saying (and I have no connection with her or Mumsnet). She doesn't want porn off the net, that was obvious, she doesn't seem to want the ISP to be wholly responsible for blocking objectionable content either, she just want the ISP to be more proactive in giving people advice in how to protect their children. For example, I'm techie, and have children, and although they are still a bit young for sole surfing, I do wonder about what protection measures to put in place. Having Google searched, I'm still not that much better informed (Not heard of Google Safesearch for example, but thanks to whomsoever mentioned it). This is the problem that ISP could help with - getting information to the people who need it, rather than the hotchpotch of information that can be gleaned from Google searches.
I find it odd that people above have said that this woman has no right to comment in this area. She has just as much right as any other, and in fact, given that she does in fact run Mumsnet, a very large website dedicated to parenting (which I don't use BTW) means she is in a better position to supply input than those above seem to think.
Controlled crying works by the way, and I have three very well adjusted children on whom it has been used. It's not child abuse to leave your child crying in a controlled environment, as was implied above. In fact going in to them at the meerest noise makes them overly dependent, and in the long run much more demanding. Making your child dependent on you for every little thing could be considered to be more abusive than helping them become independent free thinkers. Of course, it depends on your implementation of controlled crying. I'm sure some take it much too far.
good, that's decided then
Lets put the mumsnet site on the censor list anyway, better to be safe than sorry
Easy there insult-boy
I think the 'parent's fault' angle is entirely correct. You have a child, it's your responsibility to safe guard it from the 'evils' that you don't want it to encounter, at least until it has amassed the knowledge to protect itself.......
Have you looked at your ISP's information to see if it includes anything about online protection? I'm with Virgin Media and they're very forthcoming in offering me safe-surfing software and tips for staying safe online.
If your child is too young to surf unsupervised, then what nightmareish dangers can you possibly run into surfing with them? If they start typing 'www.fuckinggreattits.....' then maybe have a word. If you fancy a bit of Dora the Explorer then surely it's a safe bet the site is going to be nice and cosy and fanny free?
As for mumsnet, it's groups like this that are responsible for this babying / H+S police landscape that everyone is forced to live in, replete with endless red-tape and over the top bureaucracy. They cry ceaselessly for the responsibility of the individual to be removed and placed in the hands of another body - sort yourself out FFS, you've got 5 senses, if you don't like something, avoid it - unless somebody's knocking on your door wafting pictures of naked whatnots in your face!
You call yourself a 'techie', yet have never heard of Google SafeSearch?? If you've used Google before you might notice the 'SafeSearch' at the end of the main search bar....you can use the drop down to select moderate, strict, or off altogether....I find it hard to believe you've never come across this.
Why is it the ISP's responsibility to be proactive in giving people advice about how to protect their children?
Maybe we should set up a website dedicated to giving parents useful information and advice on all aspects of modern parenting, this could include the information on protecting your kids and keeping them safe online, and it could be proactive about giving this message to parents, you know, something like MUMSNET perhaps?
But it is.
@ James Hughes 1
At the end of the day it is the sole responsibility of the parent to decide what the child can, and cant do. If they are incapable of discovering security tools themselves, they shouldnt be letting the child access the evil interwebs.
You dont need to put any protection measures in place, you just need to spend time with the child. You might be amazed at how LITTLE pron I encounter during my day, despite the fact I spend the vast majority of it surfing the web. Not a single parental control needed.
I agree that this woman from Mumsnet has as much right to her opinion as everyone else, but for some reason she is the one on the panel giving her opinion. Why is that? Why is she better placed to give parenting advice because she can run a website? How on Earth do the two follow?
And - going off the IT route - I have three well adapted children who are far from dependent on their parents and not once did we practice controlled crying. In the long run they learned that if something was wrong, if they were scared, there was someone to help them and it has allowed them to become brave enough to try new things (one is now a Royal Marine Commando). Young children have no way of communicating other than crying, so we discovered that if you solve what is wrong, the crying stops. No need to leave them crying themselves to sleep in the lonely realisation that no one is coming to help them.
@ James Hughes 1
"This is the problem that ISP could help with - getting information to the people who need it, rather than the hotchpotch of information that can be gleaned from Google "
On Virgin Media's main page it took all the effort of typing "parental controls" into the search box and clicking search within the site to find their offerings to support such restrictions. First hit. I'm sure it's reachable without having to know the phrase "parental controls" but tbh I'm not going to waste time clicking around. Not quite sure what more you expect them to do here. Should they be prioritising such information over other support information? Why and how? There's got to be a limit to how much spoon feeding can be expected to educate someone in use of a service they have elected to subscribe to.
RE: But it is
"No need to leave them crying themselves to sleep in the lonely realisation that no one is coming to help them"
PS, I know whe have upvotes now, but I felt this warranted something more
"PS, I know whe have upvotes now, but I felt this warranted something more"
It may actually explain why we seem to be breeding a society of sociopaths now - a generation of children who feel abandoned by their parents so they turn to their equally sociopathic peers for support....
I hope not.
Just don't call yourself a techie please? It waters down the experience for everyone when fuckwits that can't read beyond the end of a search term input box pretend to be tech savvy.
As it happens, I'm a parent too, I restrict what my kids see on the internet in a very simple way, I sit with the youngest when he wants to use the PC and the PC is in the living room so anything they might 'stumble' across by 'accident' is in view.
Uncontrollable crying always has a cause, it's far kinder to actually spend the time working out what's causing the problem than abusing a child in the hopes that they'll give up crying when they realise it's not working.
@James Hughes 1: What if that's the appropriate response?
Heh, unpleasant commentards are the only suitable response to someone acting on the basis of unearned authority staking a claim to an informed opinion in an area where she is utterly unqualified.
Given its scope, I have to assume that Mumsnet has a range of poster types, from the hand-wringing numpties who want everyone else to be responsible for making the world kiddie friendly through to practical parents who take upon themselves the responsibility for educating and raising their children.
"Official" Mumsnet spokespeople (ie the founder of the site, who isn't actually a professional in the fields of either internet content dissemination, childcare or child psychology) are no different to anyone else, but by virtue of the volume of the site's users their own personal views are given an undeserved weight (ie the assumption is "Oh, so and so is from Mumsnet, therefore everyone on mumsnet must agree with what she's saying, so millions of people think the same thing....wow, that's a compelling reason to do what she's suggesting"). When actually, what she's saying boils down to "Yes, regulation might be passing the buck, but ISPs should still be liable so that if My Jimmy sees wangs on the internet I can blame someone else."
She's also saying, in effect, "Neither I nor anyone who agrees with me have read the contracts that we signed with our service provider when we signed up for the service, specifically the parts concerning responsibility for granting access to the service", and "I haven't bothered contacting my service provider to ask what tools are available to help me ensure my children only see suitable content, nor have I read through any of the emails or documentation they have provided" and "I know that if I let my kids watch TV before the watershed it's unlikely they'll see anything that I consider particularly shocking, and may well have wrongly assumed that internet access works the same way".
None of these things are compatible with the idea of responsible parenting, and so the response that has materialised here takes form.
Hot housewife action???
I'd suggest you go the MN's forum and read a select few 'Am I being unreasonable' posts.
I can guarantee any with to have to 'housewife action' will soon have their ardour dampened.
mumsnet - where harpies go to, well, harp.
The Internet is a place for adults.
I'm sorry that's all there is to it. Filtering stuff that is illegal at source is often justifiable. The rest of it is up to parents to sort out.
As a certain musical would have it...
The Internet is for Porn!
It's blatantly obvious
that any mechanism that can be implimented will immediately be bypassed by 14 year old boys in their bedroom on a PC that their parents think is 'safe'.
The knowledge of how to (offshore VPN a connection) will immediately be shared and passed around to lots and lots of other 14 year old and younger and the whole mechanism will be rendered redundant withing 2 weeks.
The only people left being filtered will be the parents, who should have known better in the first place
I'd suggest contracting a VPN in the Ukraine, or using Tor
People who think this kind of filtering is a good idea are damning themselves to having to learn about stuff they've got no hope of understanding if they think they can stop little Johnny from looking at porn with ISP filtering
reminds me of how throughout the last few decades (at least) there have been vast no.s of parents (apparently) who don't believe kids swear or hear swearing until some reprehensible adult lets the cat out of the bag. As opposed to, say, in the first few weeks in the playground at the Infant school. And though now I only vaguely recall those days congregating by the climbing frame establishing one another's credentials as a little proto adult, I certainly don't recall seeing other kids in the near distance holding their hands over their ears and going "La la la!" Or the headmistress - 'Mrs Frankenstein' - interrogating us because some kid's parents complained to her that little Johnny (thereafter none as 'Rubber' Johnny) repeated a filthy word he'd heard from some naughty boys the day before.
@Speckled Fleeby Doo
"eminds me of how throughout the last few decades (at least) there have been vast no.s of parents (apparently) who don't believe kids swear or hear swearing until some reprehensible adult lets the cat out of the bag. "
Yes it's amazing how the quality of childrens language has improved over the last few decades.
in HS I don't think a day went by when someone wasn't a c**t to someone else and most of them were evil little m*********ers a lot of the time.
Good to know some bad language is a thing of the past.
Now where did I put that super glue remover to get my tongue moving again.
@ AC 12:14GMT 19 May 2011
Bravo Sir (or Ma'am). +1 internets for you.
+10 awesomeness, that poster
So, while these mums are busy on their forum, who exactly is keeping an eye on little Johnny to make sure he's not out playing in traffic, getting drunk on Buckfast, lobbing bricks at passing buses, shoplifting from the corner store, mugging pensioners or downloading more bare boobage than has been printed on every Page 3 ever?
While Justine Roberts is busy charging around on her moral high horse, or looking after her little online empire, who the hell is parenting the Roberts children?
@AC, RE: giving MumsNet a voice
"Who the fuck gave mumsnet a voice anyway?" = Asked
"seeing the likes of prime ministers catering to the housewife daily mail reading crowd that plagues mumsnet whilst turning a blind eye to those of us...<rant edited for sanity reasons>" = answered
"Who the fuck cares what mumsnet thinks, " - given they have a lot of members and are a fairly coherent force and with their free time are pretty much guaranteed to be bothered to vote then I would say any politician who doesn't care what Mumsnet thinks is being foolish.
If you, as the hard working cog (with plenty of free time to post a Daily Mail-esque rant [ironically accusing Mumsnet of being Daily Mail-esque] during the working day) wants your voice to be heard then you need to startup your own website for like minded individuals (you can call it cognet, or dipshitnet or something) and start lobbying for what you want. Or you could just fuck off. I would advise the off-fucking track - you don't seem rational enough for anything else, really.
"who exactly is keeping an eye on little Johnny to make sure he's not out playing in traffic, getting drunk on Buckfast, lobbing bricks at passing buses, shoplifting from the corner store, mugging pensioners or downloading more bare boobage than has been printed on every Page 3 ever?"
You're making me quite nostalgic for my youth.
Sites like Mumsnet have the ears of government
because such sites advocate a reduction of freedom. Sites that advocate increased freedom, such as the EFF or Pirate Party, are either ignored or derided as "left-wing liberal commie hippies" etc. If you had a site calling for banning something, you'd be front page news and have politicians beating down your door. If you set up a site about opposing internet censorship, however, the media and government will either ignore you or, if you gain too high a profile, portray you to the public as a subversive hippie terrorist paedophile.
The reason for this is that government by it's very definition is opposed to freedom. A truly "free" society, if such could exist, would have no need of government. Indeed, the very word "govern" means to restrict, restrain or impose limits on. It's like a ratchet. It clicks over very easily in the direction of reduction of freedom, but locks tight when trying to turn it the other way. You can readily observe this effect by, for example, watching how a computer game gets instantly banned or censored because two people found it "offensive" and complained, while getting an adult rating for computer games in Australia takes 3/4 of the population and six years of lobbying, investigations, reports, committees and bullshit and still nothing's changed.
Why does anyone ever listen
to parents who claim they are incapable of looking after their kids properly?
Surely being so incompetent that they can't control what their kids do should disqualify them from having an opinion on the subject.
Actually, maybe they should be paid more attention to
Especially by the various child protection agencies around the world - after all, they are publically declaring they cannot look after their children...although that probably wouldn't result in the parents getting a visit from the authorities asking pointed questions about their claims.
I have taken my kids to galleries and they snigger a bit when they see a nude statue or portrait but we simply go "Yeah, yeah they haven't got clothes, we all look the same in the shower. Very funny.". Same when my kids see underwear ads, we get 10 secs of "They're in their pants!", then it's done and we all grow up. I can probably assume they a very large percentage of other parents it's much the same, it's the way you teach kids to grow up. You introduce things very gradually, have a laugh about it and so each time it's less embarassing than the last time you saw it.
Despite what this self-important "yummy-mummy" thinks, we don't all sit our kids down in front of the PC and show them "www,doing-it-with-donkeys.com" as way of teaching them facts of life! FFS! Most of us are quite capable of knowing what is and is not suitable for our kids and we know when they're ready for the next stage of life. We also have the intelligence to try take precautions to ensure they don't get a face full of "60 Plus" when they least expect it.
I know that some parents don't know when it's too much, like the assistant nurse I met in hospital thought it was hilarious that her 4 year old could shout "fuck" a lot, but why do the rest of us have to have our lives dictated to because a few morons don't have a f**king clue how to bring up their kids.
George Carlin said, "Save the children, save the children! Fuck the children, they're getting way too much attention! Hats for cycling, baseball, skateboarding sooner or later they're going to need hats to jerk off! You can't save 'em all, some unfortunate ones are going to slip through the net, that's a sad fact of life and natural selection."
re: "hats to jerk off"
No, no, you need a helmet for that. With chin strap and reinforced mouthguard.
(with thanks to Henry Rollins)
Why don't you hire some application developers to create a mumsnetguard tool to install on windows/linux/mac machines so that it can filter according to mumsnet rules and protect the pc user (from themselves, presumably).
Or, you could pay a hardware company to develop custom mumsnet firmware for their adsl router that has a mumsnetguard option built in and enabled by default, thus protecting the whole network at connection source.
Or, just maybe, you already looked into all this and shat yourselves when you saw how much it would cost and decided it was far cheaper and there was more media inches to be gleaned from whinging like a bunch of ineffectual attention-seeking bastards who want to delegate all responsibility for parenting away from actual parents.
So, in summary....
GET A CLUE OR FUCK OFF
As an ISP....
(long time ago)
I used to tell people "The internet has some of the deepest darkest recessess of humanity on it. Filters often don't work and kids usually see them as a challenge to be bypassed. If you want to make sure they're safe, don't let them use the 'net unsupervised"
Surely you mean...
The Internet. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious...
"The Internet. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious..."
And it's bad side is worse.
regulators to come up with a solution?
"I think the regulators should put pressure on the people involved, the ISPs to come up with a solution to this."
How about OpenDNS configured at the router not on the desktop computer where little johnny knows more than his parents about how to bypass it.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
Maybe you should go on mumsnet and post the link to them and simply explain how it can help them.
Maybe they have to pay for the service they want, but if they are made aware of such things then they might calm down.
It's free, it's simple, it works. What more do you need?
Oh you DO have to download it and click a few buttons.
Sorry my mistake. Best go with a costly unamanagble, over comlex solution instead.
Start censoring their own site first
mumsnet.com is littered with swear words, all searchable by their little darlings. When did the founders become spokespeople for anyone or anything anyway? I wish the media would stop asking for their worthless opinions.
Mumsnet internet security/parental control advice section??
I may be missing the point...but couldn't Mumsnet have a whole section about how to ensure children don't see stuff on the internet.. I understand Mumsnet is a forum, but would it be that difficult to have some articles, do a deal with some parental control software provider...
One handy by product of this is that ;-
1) We don't have flame between 'parents are bad' etc
2) The phrase "wont somebody do something" (but we dont know what so "regulate"), no longer applies.
3) Perhaps given a shinning example of how to help yourself, others may be more amenable to the mumsnet point of view.
Daughter of Mrs Whitehouse, I presume?
Now that's a scary thought.
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