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28 April, 2005

**** family values

The 'ticker tape banner' on the BBC News homepage says that a "survey suggests 85% of British parents want stronger laws on internet pornography".

However, when one clicks through to the story itself, it's more about internet-illiterate parents:

Many parents lack the skills to help their child's internet use... one in five said they did not know how to help their children use the web safely.
That identifies both the problem and solution: parents need to be better educated.  Fine.

Yet it doesn't naturally extrapolate to a need for 'stronger laws', for greater online censorship which would affect everyone – the responsibility is on parents to take greater care, not for the actions of non-parents to be restricted merely to accommodate the incompetent. It's for the parents to prevent children visiting certain sites, not for the sites to stop depicting certain content (within reason).

I'm not saying pornography is to be encouraged; I'm making the general point that this proposed censorship is not the answer. As a non-parent, I don't regard children as paramount, and oppose such measures skewing society towards 'family-friendly' mundanity. Parents need to keep up; the rest of us shouldn't be held back.

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