back to article Mumsnet founder: Our members are 'very keen' on PORN ...

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 …


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  1. NinjasFTW

    people involved?

    <quote>But she recognised that often parents often don't take advantage of the tools already available, such as Google Safesearch.

    So, she continued, "I think the regulators should put pressure on the people involved, the ISPs to come up with a solution to this."</quote>

    Um isn't the people that are involved the parents?

  2. Nigel Brown
    Paris Hilton

    Hmm, a quandry

    I used to wonder why anyone gave airtime to this collection of pre-menstrual, hysterical saddoes. Now I'm considering joing purely for some Friday night fun.

    Paris. Explanation not needed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You may have heard of this.

      It's the internet. Everybody has equal airtime. It's your choice to read it.

      1. Intractable Potsherd
        Thumb Down

        @ AC

        "Roberts was on a panel discussing "The limits of free speech online" at a Google privacy conference." So, not just "equal airtime", but an invited speaker to a major conference. So, back to the original question - why does anyone give these hysterical, reactionary whingebags a platform?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Avoidence of responsibility

    The founder of "mumsnet" is not an authority on anything other than how to create a social network that brings together *some* likeminded people.

    She has no special authority on how to regulate the internet, nor even if such regulation is required. She doesnt even speak for all of mumsnet.

    This strikes me as yet another of the almost constant whine about "There are bad things on the internet but I dont want to have to supervise or interact with my kids so you have to make it safe for them."

    If people spent less time whining about some smut on the web and more time with their kids, joining in their activities and trying to learn about what was going on, this problem would pretty much go away.

    Just like TV a few generations ago, the internet is NOT a babysitter. Ignorance is not a reason to make others spend time and money to solve problems.

    As a parent, and member of Mumsnet (shamefully), I am happy to take full responsibility for what I see and do online and what my children see and do online. I do NOT want an unaccountable third party getting to choose what is or isnt suitable for my children.

    1. Chika

      The Right Honourable Lord Sir Postin the Response

      I've been arguing this point from a slightly different angle for years now, but I couldn't agree more. Some parents are too eager to abdicate their responsibility to whatever technology is around, then wonder why their kids grow up to be idiots or worse.

      If I can't trust somebody with a hammer (or whatever), then I don't ban all hammers, and I don't start some form of collective to decide on the size and distribution of hammers either!

      I feel that some bodies, gubbermint included, are too keen to look for ways to censor our lives just to score brownie points.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Avoidence of responsibility

      Too true, but all too common.

      A good example I saw the other day was in one of the wife's trash mags (and yes, there was a significant rise in blood pressure on reading it). Some stupid woman turned on the hot tap for kiddy's bath and then went to answer the door. Kiddy fell in bath and damned near boiled itself to death.

      The result, rather than an acceptance of fault (try running the cold at the same time or even not leaving unattended toddlers next to a bathful of water) is a bloody campaign to force domestic hot water systems to only allow a maximum temperature of 40 degrees. Obvious first objection, bit of a pisser if you have a large family and can no longer provide sufficient hot water for bathing / showering etc. from one tankful.

      I'm looking forward to the knee-jerk legislation resulting and then a good long snigger, as the UK goes down to an epidemic of Legionnaires disease and other such nasties that delight in a nice tankful of warm water.

      Is always "society's" faults and not mines yes???

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The UK

        should finally get rid of the obscure tradition for separate taps for cold and hot water. Winston Churchill was amazed by mixer taps in the 1940s when he travelled across Europe and yet these totally useless taps are still here.

        I therefore suggest making separate taps illegal through modification of Health and Safety Regulations (with the obvious exception of "there's no hot water somewhere - a single tap for cold water suffices)

        1. Cheshire Cat

          Theres a reason

          Theres a reson the UK has separate taps - I originally wondered why there are no mixer taps, too.

          The reason is that the UK houses normally use a gravity-fed hot water cylinder, rather than a mains-pressure system. This means that the hot and cold water systems are at different pressures, which means that you need a special mixer tap (which has only been available more recently) to prevent the cold water going backwards up into the hot water system.

          In New Zealand (and US, europe...) hot water systems are usually pressurised, so you can have mixer taps (and people usually do).

          End of trivial nugget. Now you know more!

          1. Wize

            Erm... but I have mixer taps...

            Pain in the arse when you want a drink of tap water. Never really cold.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Uhh ok.

    What a rather flawed plot. First off it's NOT the ISP's job to filter smut. ISPs customers do not range strictly to nagging mothers, they have buisness customers et others to worry about more than Parents. If this organization, 'Mumsnet' wants to be respected, they should stop being hipocrites and actually practice what they preach. If it bothers them *SO* much, There is a simple solution

    1. Install Parental Controls

    2. Stop nagging the government, They'll never help

    3. Stop nagging the ISPs. They'll never help.

    4. ???

    5. Profit.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      The problem..

      is number 2 - they will, which is why it's pretty frightning, that or they'll legislate for #3 - also worrying.

      A good proxy or VPN will round all this stuff anyways which makes it all top-to-bottom pointless.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First site to censor...

    I'd put mumsnet on the list of things to censor immediately, all those people talking about babies and young children isn't natural..

    I find the posts about Controlled Crying particularly offensive

  6. Thomas 4

    Oh please

    Why do governments and companies insist on listening to these whiny, self-important overprotective people? It's really not rocket science to look at a browsers page history and if your juvenille-delinquent-in-training has been looking at something they shouldn't have been, then take their damn computer away. Want to know why the web is full of messed up shit? It's because people are messed up shit and like it or not, your precious little angel is one day going to wake up to the fact that s/he is messed up shit, just like his/her parents.

    Now piss off back to the Daily Mail forums where your kind is tolerated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well Said

      "I find the posts about Controlled Crying particularly offensive"

      Controlled crying is giving child abuse a more family friendly name. It even features in the NSPCC adverts.

      1. M Gale

        Sticky issue.

        When does "comforting a crying child" become "spoiling a little brat who's learned that all s/he has to do is bawl"?

        As the title says.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ok, done deal

          Some people don't like controlled crying

          Some people don't like porn

          I guess we should ban both just in case

          what else, oh, I really dislike red cars,

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            I really dislike red cars too! Silver ones are almost as bad.

            1. Luther Blissett

              Yes! +10^10

              Silver cars are terrible! If you have one, never leave it in large car park. You will only find it (or something like it) after everyone else has gone home.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I *thought* that

              Mumsnet was massively against the lovely (spit) Gina ford and her controlled crying campaign?

              FWIW, I burned the copy of her bloody awful book so it didn't end up in some impressionable person's hands.

              1. Anonymous Coward


                yeah, mumsnet, totally against controlled crying .. read how they tell you not to do it


      2. Shakje

        I'm not sure what sort of extreme controlled crying you're talking about...

        Real situation: baby (and by that I mean about a year old) won't settle at nights. You've got a choice of walking out and leaving him to settle, crying himself to sleep until he drops off (which is not something we did), or sitting with him and holding his hand until he drops off. Taking the first option is pretty difficult, but taking the second option means that if he wakes up he doesn't go back to sleep for half an hour because he gets worried that you're not still there. Or, if he's in a not-very-tired mood, you can be sat in his room holding his hand for an hour waiting for him to nod off.

        Now look, we wouldn't use controlled crying in its most regimented form, but simply put it's just a way of letting your baby know that you're still there and that there's nothing to worry about, but that it's not a problem you leaving the room. There's nothing barbaric about that. It's a straight-forward solution, and one that works.

        Unless you've never had kids, or they've all grown up long ago, or you're spoiling your kid rotten, or, possibly, you're very new parents who think they know it all because they've read a few books and have yet to lose that smug grin, I can't honestly see how you could believe that this sort of solution is at all wrong. If anything, it's the middle ground between potentially very damaging solutions.

        As regards Mumsnet, I don't share any of Roberts' views (AFAIK), and some of the topics on there are utterly ridiculous and Mail-worthy, but it can be a good resource for finding out about new places and facilities etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          You're missing a significant (and very, very effective) option through a dumb assumption: why does the baby have to be in a separate room from you?

          The best way to get them to stop crying is to answer the cry - that's what it's bloody there for, to register distress and need of comfort. If you're trying to rush back to your bed then the baby will pick up on this and cry louder. So take the baby back to bed with you (unless you're off your head on booze or stronger), cuddle him/her and both go back to sleep together.

          What you're doing with 'controlled crying' is *not* letting your baby know you're still there - babies don't have that level of understanding; once something's out of sight, it's not understood to be coming back (this develops much later). So what you're doing is training your child to understand that their distress won't get answered. No wonder he/she will shut themselves down emotionally and stop crying. Good luck with the trying to get them to talk about their problems with you through their teenage years. But don't worry, boys/big girls don't cry, eh?

          No, not a smug new parent - 3 children, oldest is 9.

    2. John I'm only dancing


      Didn't those nice, shiny Windows 7 ads make a big thing of private browsing, which I'm sure these would-be porn loving delinquents know all about. Kids will do what kids do, like it or not and no amount of concerned mums will prevent it. At least in my day, it was a good game acquiring top shelf material to look at delightful women displaying their charms.

      The genie is out the bottle and the cork has been lost.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        No lost

        I don't think the cork is lost, it's just somewhere unhygienic.


        So I've heard, anyway....

      2. Smallbrainfield

        Windows Live Family Safety logs site visits.

        Not sure whether it covers inprivate browsing, but it defauts Google and Bing to safe search etc. Great fun can be had setting access times.

        Best option is keep the PC in a family room and keep an eye on what they're doing.

    3. Luther Blissett

      @ Thomas 4

      > Why do governments and companies insist on listening to these whiny, self-important overprotective people?

      You're in no fit state to party. I'll get your coat.

  7. Tom 15

    Pretty simple

    The answer to this is pretty simple. Come up with a best-effort, porn free DNS and provide parents access to it. Job done and then the ball is in their court.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Parental responsibility?

    > parents needed to be given tools to control what's coming into their homes.

    Parents already have this: they just choose not to, or choose not to find out how to, use it. A lot of people (still) consider having children to be a "right", rather than a responsibility - though it's really both. However, the willingness and ability to accept responsibility for raising YOUR children is the only measure of a good parent. It's not the state's job, it's not society's job, nor is it solely up to schools or the welfare services and it's definitely not the responsibility of a tenner-a-month internet service provider.

    Maybe what we need are two sorts of ISP, distinguished by the answer to a simple question on the sign-up screen: Will children have access to material from this internet connection?

    If the answer is "yes", the applicant is politely referred to the protected service, which has a cost structure that reflects both the additional work needed to screen the 'net connection of suspect content and the additional possibility of compo-seeking gimme's who will try to sue if they find their standards haven't been met. The other, non-protected, service would say simply: Here's our no-frills connection, off you go but don't come wingeing to us ...

    Maybe mumsnet should start it's own, premium, protected, ISP to practice what they preach I would be interested to see whether parental principles extend so far as actually paying for what they believe in, or it's it's just a case of assuming it's another "right"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      OpenDNS allows users to filter by category. You have to subscribe to use that feature, but it is still a free service. Not perfect, certainly - as with any content filtering there are ways around it, but as a way to help prevent accidental exposure to the garbage on the net it helps.

    2. Steve Brooks

      not good enough

      You already know thats not going to work. No matter how much you filter out, in fact you could filter out 99.99% of the internet, but someone, somewhere, will still find something to complain about. The correct answer is, when someone stands up and demands the net be censored we do it on an individual basis by going around and removing all their computers and disconnecting their internet. That way people who don't like the naughty stuff will never ever see it, and people who do like it can see it whenever they want, job done! Perfect, 100% accurate censorship, but we don't actually censor the intenet, we censor the poeple.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      parents needed to be given tools to control what's coming into their homes.

      They have - it's called the 'power' button.

      Press it and stuff can come into their homes.

      Press it again and it can't


      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        @AC 20:22

        Well, the problem bit is that any finger can press the power button, it's not restricted to just the parents.

        Back when I had a Siemens telly (B/W, that's how far back back when was) that had a key-like widget in the power button. Take it out and the button was blocked in the 'off' state. Not totally undefeatable, but good enough for the purpose, and, IMO, a sensible feature.

        Nowadays it should be easy enough to add a fingerprint power button, with settable access times (window and length). But these whinging procreating twats will then ask for subsidised installation and guvmint-controlled setup and logging.

  9. There's a bee in my bot net

    Child friendly ISPs

    I'm not sure if any still exist, but many moons ago there were several specialist ISP's that provided just such a service to schools and parents. So if these things still operate then problem solved. Switch to such a service. (Or as others have pointed out, stop being lazy and learn to use one or more of the plethora of tools available. Or as the UK apparently has an abundance of unemployed home grown techies kicking around, perhaps these mums can pay them for their time and expertise rather than asking a friend who 'knows something about computers' to set it up and then offering them a paltry sum as token payment).

    Q) What would mums net pron fiends do for their pron fix once their ISP is filtering pron for them?

    A) Ask their child how they would setup a proxy, VPN or Tor!

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge


      There were a few some time back, they spent a lot of dosh pimpingthemselves at school IT exhibitions. They were all, pretty much, rubbish. They provide thier own list of who and who not to connect to - if you want anything useful, tough.

      I had some fun with one of them who boasted that they were porn free - they were not filtering search engines properly so I found a quiet spot on thier stand and went to Altavista, did a quick search on a female name and viewed the results in graphics mode and then called one of thier reps over. After a bit of headless chickens imitation one of the company heads came over and quietly said that the fix was in thier next build.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Marcus Aurelius


      The World Wide Web experience that you know has up to know has been pretty much funded by porn. Providers of such are often the ones that have been willing to pay for large amounts of high speed bandwidth to support more customers. It is only in the last few years that other sectors of internet have started to outdo porn in the bandwidth consumption stakes.

      The ability of the basement dwellers to watch other people doping what they don't get much chance to do themselves is pretty limitless, it seems...

    2. david 63

      You're detracting from my internet experience...

      ...remove yourself from it at once.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes lets ban all PRON on the internet.... NOT

      " it just detracts from the whole world wide web experience. It is a disgrace."

      And I find the somewhat sordid lives of soap "stars" or football players detracts from MY experience of the internet. So I just avoid areas which have lots of this kind of thing, though it does intrude quite often e.g. most news sites.

      If you don't like, don't look. And as a parent maybe you should manage your children rather than expect everyone else to change their lives around what you want?

    4. Anonymous Coward


      As a parent, and a web designer,

      - Classic kick-off here. Roles that have no more relevance to the next assertion than if you'd written "As someone who periodically dresses up as a chipmunk".

      the answer is to remove the pornography from the Internet.

      - Flesh that one out for us. A detailed "why" and a proposed "how" would be a good start. Pretty sure other answers have been proposed.

      Aside from the constant issue of access by children,

      - Access is something that is granted. Responsibility of the parent comes into play here to control that.

      it just detracts from the whole world wide web experience.

      - In your opinion of what the "world wide web experience" is.

      It is a disgrace.

      - See above.

      I've really got to assume this was flame bait.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ClareCares (not really safe for work - but funny) - I start with this because I suspect you are trolling, however I suppose there is an outside chance you (or someone reading this) actually believes your post..........

      Now, on a serious note, there are many things that are considered restricted, some such as cocaine are restricted to everybody - in effect removed from society (yes I know that you can still plenty get coke but there are legal consequences for making, selling and possessing it).

      Others, such as cigarettes, alcohol, restricted films/videos, voting, driving cars, having sex, etc. are deemed inappropriate up to a certain age and OK after that with the acceptable age dependent on the restricted content.

      So why should the internet be any different? letting 10 year olds drive cars on the road would be absurdly insane and very dangerous to the child and those around them - but we don't ban cars we restrict children from driving. So clearly the way to address legal, age restricted porn on the internet is to ban children from going online - simples as the really irritating meerkat would say.

      Or we could be sensible about this and leave the responsibility up to the parents - I imagine you control your children's access to any tobacco and alcohol products you have in the house (with consequences if they steal any) and if you have a physical porn stash you keep it safely locked away - so why should the web be any different?

      Or are you trying to make things easier for the really bone-idle lazy parents who 10 years ago would have just sat their child in front of the TV rather than actually parenting - safe in the knowledge that someone else controlled the content so not only did they not have to bother bringing up their own kids but they didn't even have to take any interest in what said kids were doing during the time they couldn't be bothered parenting them - rather than now where they cannot just sit their kiddies in front of a computer all day without having to answer questions like "mummy, why has that man put his hand up that lady's bottom?" or worse?

    6. BryanM


      How dare you put all those 'web designers' out of work!

    7. CD001


      Would it not be simpler just to ban children from the Internet? As the song goes "the Internet is for porn"...

      So much pioneering tech on the web (probably on the Internet as a whole) came about because of the porn industry (streaming solutions, micro-payment and subscription systems and so on) - hell, we've even got computer games characters appearing in Playboy now (Triss Merrigold, Playboy Poland for instance) - what better advert could you have for just how good your CGI team is?

      If you were a "Web Designer" of any calibre you'd know this; you obviously have no interest in the field you're working in and should, maybe, look for another line of work - try volunteering for Childline or something.

      Why is porn a disgrace anyway? You've got kids - therefore you've done live action porn yourself - what's the big deal? Or are you so terribly puritanical you have to lie back and think of the pope and remember you're only doing this to propagate the species?

      People really do make way too big a deal out of shagging IMO.

      1. ClareCares
        Thumb Down

        All boys together then ?

        So this would be the forum of the Bullingdon club then? I ask the majority of commentators above should your desire to objectify women supersede the rights of the children of my partner and I?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Here I sit

          Broken hearted...

        2. Oli Wright

          You're really not helping your cause here you know

          Absolutely not, and the same in reverse*. I wouldn't even want to begin to get into an argument over the comparison between those two sets of "rights". Unfortunately, as is pretty standard in discussions where someone starts assigning perceived "rights", this has little to do with rights and everything to do with responsibility. You have every right to grant your offspring access to the wealth of information available on the internet. With this comes your responsibility to ensure that there are limits in place on that information as per your own requirements. There is no responsibility for others to do this for you. There is also no such thing (and I'll qualify that with an "in my opinion" to avoid some unforseen pedantry) as an implicit right.

          The debate over whether porn objectifies women is irrelevant here, this is about information control and censorship, regardless of the content. Please stop littering your posts with irrelevancies for the sake of rhetoric.

          * Just to make it perfectly clear, what I'm saying here is a) the rights of people who desire to objectify women don't supersede the rights of the children of you and your partner AND b) the rights of the children of you and your partner do not supersede the rights of people who desire to objectify women.

        3. cyborg

          Oh, so you have no problem with gay porn then?

          Just men objectifying men.

          Are you for real? Because I can believe there are people that oblivious to reality.

          Never mind anyone else's rights.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Rights and wrongs..

          ClareCares: I ask the majority of commentators above should your desire to objectify women supersede the rights of the children of my partner and I?

          Your right they should not superceed your rights.

          However by the same token why should the rights of you, your partner or children superceed anyones elses rights to use porn if they wish to?

          And in most (and I accept not all) the female talent in these movies *KNOW* what they are doing, they know what many people will be doing whilst watching these films, and they don't care that people objectify them when they pick up the pay cheque.

          1. Titus Technophobe


            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.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          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?

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Big Brother

          @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?

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "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?

        8. Corinne

          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.

        9. Billa Bong

          @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

    8. Anonymous John


      Then next week we'll remove war, disease, poverty, and hunger from the planet. It just detracts from the world experience. It's a disgrace.

    9. Paul RND*1000


      Oh, OK then, let's remove everything from the internet which might degrade the experience for someone out there (got to be even handed about it after all).

      So, no more porn. Good start.

      Better get rid of all those online forums, after all anyone can post anything there and I've seen some nasty exchanges and moderator favoritism which really annoyed me (and "degraded my web experience"). Buh bye, Mumsnet, and every other forum including this one.

      People get pretty riled up about politics, so best remove all political opinion from the internet just to be safe. Official party political websites? Gone. 90% of Rupert Murdoch's content? Trash-canned. Wow, the web's starting to look pretty pleasant now.

      Anything to do with religion? Delete.

      News is so depressing. Let's get shot of it. neighbor, a die-hard Chevrolet guy, has one of those "Calvin peeing on a Ford logo" things on the back window of his Silverado. Better get rid of Ford's corporate site in case those Chevy guys get all bent over it. Of course the Ford fanbois will want Chevy taken down too, so it must be so. Since we're on this track now, there's a lot of product fanboi rage out there. To dissipate it we must purge the sources, right? A swift rm -rf *linux* nikon.* canon.* ..... (continues for some time) and the web will be just dandy! Yeah!

      Let's not forget college and school rivalries. Purge their web presences!! Sports teams? Wow, get rid of THAT lot immediately, people get violent over their ball-games so those must be bad!

      I could go on, until the web was empty. This pathway is gated by misguided good intent, paved with unintended consequences and your guide is a government which is just mad keen to control and monitor as much as it can. If you really give a damn about your kids you'll do everything you can to STOP government from meddling any more than it has to, surely?

      "As a parent" why are you so insistent that society take up the challenge of parenting for you? Shouldn't YOU be doing that? The best parents I know are the ones who take time with their kids and teach them how to cope in this messed-up world which the internet is just a reflection of. The absolute worst parents I've encountered are those who take no time to be with their kids, try to protect their kids from everything, fail to train them for coping with the world at large, then try to make that world conform to what their inadequately parented children are equipped to deal with.

      And "as a web designer" you should just plain know better than to think technology is the answer. Responsible parenting is the answer.

    10. Luther Blissett


      > 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.

  11. Shonko Kid
    Big Brother

    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.

    1. Znort666


      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.

      1. BenR

        Hang on.

        You've picked up that stick wrong.

        Hold it the other way round.

        There you go.

    2. Chika

      Totally agree, except...

      AOL? Arseholes On Line?

  12. Graham Anderson

    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.

  13. John I'm only dancing
    Thumb Down

    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?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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?

  15. James Hughes 1

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      good, that's decided then

      Lets put the mumsnet site on the censor list anyway, better to be safe than sorry

    2. rob kendal
      Thumb Down

      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 can use the drop down to select moderate, strict, or off altogether....I find it hard to believe you've never come across this.

    3. Rimpel

      Why ISPs?

      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?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        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"

        Yeah, that!

        PS, I know whe have upvotes now, but I felt this warranted something more

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "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.

    5. Oli Wright

      @ 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.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please don't..

      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.

    7. Captain Underpants

      @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, 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.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    As a certain musical would have it...

    The Internet is for Porn!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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

  20. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      @ AC 12:14GMT 19 May 2011

      Bravo Sir (or Ma'am). +1 internets for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      +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?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


        "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?"

        Stop, stop.

        You're making me quite nostalgic for my youth.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @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.

    5. Steven Roper

      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.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Piss off!

    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," 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."

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Am

      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.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      re: "hats to jerk off"

      No, no, you need a helmet for that. With chin strap and reinforced mouthguard.

      (with thanks to Henry Rollins)

  23. g e

    Dear mumsnet

    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....



  24. Alan Brown Silver badge

    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"

    1. Red Bren

      Surely you mean...

      The Internet. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious...

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @Red Bren

        "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.

  25. doperative

    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.

    1. Templar
      Thumb Up

      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.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Dear mumsnet

    K9 protection.

    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.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Start censoring their own site first 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.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Daughter of Mrs Whitehouse, I presume?

    Now that's a scary thought.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    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.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ISPs are responsible?

    What? I can understand "software makers are responsible" and "web site makers are responsible" and possible "os makers are responsible" but wtf have the ISPs got to do with it?

    Of course, the parents are the only ones who should be responsible for what their children see. Mumsnet is very useful, but if it thinks it can tell me what's right and wrong it can fuck off.

    Nice precedent though. I'd like to sue the post office for my junk mail...

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Oh the irony...

    ...I'm guessing from the article that some mumsnet users have used the forum to attack the parents of Madeleine McCann for not supervising their child. I really hope these aren't the same parents that can't even be arsed to supervise their own children's Net use.

  32. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Stop using the Internet as a babysitter

    It's not Cbeebies!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Kay Burley ate my hamster

      "It's not Cbeebies!"


    2. Chika

      It's not CBeebies...

      Nope. It's SeeBoobies!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I'm not mistaken; there's something that helps protect children from the "horrors of pornography."

    It's called PARENTING.

  34. Lamont Cranston

    My son is 4

    and I do sometimes leave him unsupervised online. However, I am well aware of a) what is on the internet and b) his level of computer literacy, such that whilst I may leave him alone perusing CBeebies, I watch him like a hawk on YouTube.

    It is a fact that computers are everywhere (Martha Lane Fox exists to make sure we all get online) but many people know very little about them, so I have no problem with tools being made available that could help parents regulate what their children will see online (something as simple as the 9pm watershed wouldn't work here), and ISPs are probably best placed to deliver such tools. But they must be opt in, and that is the responsibility of parents (TV doesn't turn itself off a 9 on the off chance that someone unsuitable might be watching).

    None of this is difficult, nor should it be controversial.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Lamont Cranston

      "But they must be opt in, and that is the responsibility of parents (TV doesn't turn itself off a 9 on the off chance that someone unsuitable might be watching).

      None of this is difficult, nor should it be controversial."

      Agreed. Nor is it.

      However that is *not* what is being advocated.

      Remember the Tory MP who said one of the major ISP's (Carphone warehouse IIRC) did a survey and 89% of parent thought were worried about their children seeing "inappropriate" content but not enough to actually *do* something about it?

      The sort who will say "I'm very worried..." But not enough to actually type in "Microsoft parental controls" into a search engine and IDK clinck on a few links.

      The actual issue is how far should legislation should control personal behavior.

      I think it's fair to say most people posting here feel that what is being requested by a *vocal* minority is a *lot* more than what most people want or would accept.

      1. Lamont Cranston


        Maybe we should license computer ownership? Most people I support would have to go without, though!

  35. Digibull
    Thumb Up

    Trekkie sang it best...

    In Avenue Q: #The Internet is for Porn!#

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      Helpful linkies

      Just in case you're one of the few people who don't know what Digibull is on about, allow me to elucidate:


      World of Warcraft version:

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Just more evidence of the wider problems

    Sorry but this touches a nerve with me and hence this'll be a bit of a rant in places.

    Personally, I feel that the only legislation required here is one which makes parents be responsible and accountable.

    You don't need technology for this*, just (un)common sense. Put the computer where you can see it.

    It really does feel like we're breeding generation after generation of mindless idiot drones who understand absolutely nothing about personal responsibility (warning: contents may be hot on a McDonald's cup of tea or coffee...well it f*cking ought to be otherwise, why would I have bought it springs to mind as an example).

    Isn't it just another brick in the wall of a complete breakdown of society?

    Like these parents that say things like "My little Tommy is a good lad/is uncontrollable" (delete as appropriate)...what a load of garbage - YOU are the adult and YOU are the parent. Make time for them, give them the attention kids deserve and need, help them be a kid for as long as possible (you're a long time as an adult if you're lucky) and BE ACCOUNTABLE. Children turn out the way they do because of how they're brought up, not because of the state or because someone (be it an ISP or a video game producer or the government etc) "lets them down" and/or "corrupts their minds".

    If little Tommy starts breaking and entering at age 12, then take a two-pronged approach. One - the time they should serve simply accrues until they hit 16 and they do it all concurrently. Two - the parents should be made accountable and if necessary, punished. I bet it wouldn't take long before they started to make their kids behave a bit better?

    My eldest son is 9 soon. He can't add friends to his XBox without my password (he doesn't know it).

    He can't use a computer unless it's where I or his mum can see it.

    He isn't out wandering the streets at 10pm.

    We spend time together - walks, the park playing football, board games etc as a family.

    It ain't fecking rocket science, just (un)common sense.

    Sorry but these self-proclaimed "experts" (in what, exactly? What're your qualifications in this particular field, Justine? You founded a website for and people who pass the buck really get up my nose. If you're a parent, then in terms of your child's behaviour and well-being, the buck stops with you.

    *Yes I realise there is technology available and K9 web protection is great for this, BUT it doesn't need to be used.

    </end rant>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I agree with much of what you say apart from the breaking and entering thing.

      Having lived on a council estate in the dim distant past I can promise you the threat of future action does not matter one jot to a 12,13,14,15,16 year old scrote. It's not happening 'now' so it doesn't exist as far as they are concerned and if they're going to prison for 6 months then there's no incentive for them to stop breaking the law, their future is already set so might as well have a few lols eh?

      Similarly punishing the parent has diminishing returns, you're not punishing people who were brought up with 'normal' values, you're punishing people who were proto 'Tommys'. It might work in a few cases but I'm pretty sure I know the reaction of most of the problem parents.

  37. illiad

    no, no, no!!! this old thing again...

    the whole thing about stopping child access to porn, is rather hopeless...

    A 5 year old kid these days usually has far more computer knowledge than the average adult, and can run rings around any 'prevention' put in place, and even if they do not know why, they will see it as a challenge to get into the 'forbidden fruit'...

    It is far simpler to teach morality and respect to your children at an early age, so they know why it is not nice to smoke & drink too much, and all the other evils that exist outside in the real world..

    And teach them properly about love and respect for the beautiful thing that is men & women...

    You would be surprised how well they accept this, all they want is plain facts... then they will leave it alone..

  38. mittfh

    Parental Controls?

    Don't make me laugh. The kind of parents who are worried about their children accessing undesirable content and demanding technology solutions are probably those that leave their children to browse the internet unsupervised. Many of those parents probably have a limited knowledge of technology, so would set the Parental Controls password to something simple like their car registration number or date of birth.

    Several years ago, I was a school IT technician. Despite a combination of county-wide and school-wide filters, it was still possible for some pupils (oddly enough, quite often in the "Alternative Curriculum" group for whom a full GCSE course was considered too demanding) to access material that they shouldn't. Web games such as Line Rider and The Adrenaline Challenge (some kind of BMX platform game - IMHO more like Watching Paint Dry Challenge) were endlessly popular, and available on an almost endless variety of websites so as soon as you blocked one, the next day the grapevine would have given everyone another half dozen URLs to try. Another popular activity was finding unblocked online proxies, so they could access Bebo or Meebo.

    If they can do that at school, what's the betting they'll easily be able to evade parental controls at home?

  39. SteelVenom
    Paris Hilton

    Rebecca black Parody

    Gotta make my mind up which hand will I use?

    It's Friday, Friday

    Gettin off On friday

    Everybody's lookin forward to the porn fest, porn fest

    Paris because...well that should be obvious.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Concerned parents" are the worst kind

    Someone who is enough of a "concerned parent" to be this deeply involved in censorship discussions (at a national level, no less) should have realized by now that the best, most reliable way to protect your young'uns from objectionable internet content is to take responsibility for it yourself instead of expecting society at large to do the parenting for you because you're too busy posting to a parenting forum and going on moral "think of the children" crusades to actually be a parent.

  41. John I'm only dancing

    They have the answer

    All these mumsnet posters are so busy writing on their forum that the kids don't have access to the wonderweb.

  42. Alex Walsh

    I wonder

    which netfiltering tool is going to be the officially endorsed net filter of Mumnet, netting them a hefty sponsorship deal?

    Oooh, I'm an old cynic...

  43. illiad

    the original from 2006 World OF Warcraft..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You disgust me sir, the original is from Avenue Q - shame on you!, shame!

  44. maff
    Thumb Down

    Justine Roberts

    Apparently this woman has four children. The only content blocking needed here is around her vagina.

  45. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    "I agree that this woman from Mumsnet has as much right to her opinion as everyone else, "

    But in a fair society *no* more.

    That is all.

  46. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    K9 protection?

    You mean it only block zoo p()rn?

  47. JaitcH

    The UK government needs a single, coherent policy

    My understanding is that UK law holds that websites that host chatrooms, such as this, are not responsible for content UNLESS they actively edit content.

    Then people want ISPs, etc. to get in the business of moderating websites their users access, which, IMO, puts their heads in line for potential legal action.

    On the other hand telco's are completely free of these encumbrances if their users plan so called acts of terrorism or just a simple break and enter.

    Both classes of entity are 'common carriers'. Maybe the government could hold electricity supply companies responsible for supplying electricity to a indoor marijuana growing operation?

  48. E 2

    I fail to see the point

    Qua porn the horse already left the barn. Also, what exactly is wrong with sex anyway?

  49. Anonymous Coward

    the only good porn

    is well, all of it; just some it better than others you know.

  50. Arbuthnot Darjeeling
    Paris Hilton

    should it be


  51. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Won't somebody please think of the children!

    Paris: no more porn online so make your own!


  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think that's illegal these days.

  53. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Once you start

    Once you start letting governments stick their oar into censorship you end up letting them ban all sorts. Books that are 'against the public interest', pictures that are 'too perverted', discussions that 'might reveal secrets', pages that 'might encourage terrorism', or just plain anything some minister or copper just doesn't like because he doesn't agree with it.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Children Expose Gaping Holes, Net Nanny Penetrated

    Many people who block porn in their households forget to also block anything informative about computers and networks. This is their first major error. They also forget to lock their children in the house in case they go to a friend's house where they also have this new fangled Internet thingy.

  55. Andy 4

    Snatch, arse, boobs

    Police your own fecking children when they are online or box it up and send it back to the shop.

    I'd prefer it if people had to gain a license to use the internet.. most of Mumsnet and the gov'ment would be offline for talking rubbish.


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