WebInternet censorship (Is it possible to keep children safe from potential internet dangers? ) by: Eko Setiyo Utomo The Internet has become a part of modern life style for most people. In developed countries, most people use the internet at home. Children can access the internet for everything, from playing games, to doing schoolwork, to chatting with friends via e-mail, to surfing the web. Most online services provide children with a vast range of resources such as encyclopedias, current events coverage, and access to libraries and other valuable material.
However, there can be real risks and dangers for an unsupervised child because most materials on the Internet are not only uncensored but also unedited. Adults can be expected to make their own evaluations of what they find. Children, who lack experience and knowledge, can not do this. Strohm (n. d. ) claims that the essential issue in the internet is internet pornography, which is a topic debated by many experts, but many other issues dangerous to children are of concern too.
Children who have access to the internet can easily be lured into something dangerous.
As stated by Manista (2002), “censorship on the internet has become an issue for a number of very specific reasons”. Parents should not assume that their children are safe online from internet dangers; and they should not just rely on soft ware to protect their children. According to Schwartz (2004), using filters to block access to undesirable materials may never prove to be the solution. In addition, governments should have the power to decide what is not acceptable for the minds of children. In contrast, it is argued by some people that supervising access to the internet could limit the creativity of children. n addition, according to Males (2000), statistical evidence does not support to filter the internet. He describes that several kinds of sex offences has declined since period internet (1990s) access in America. This essay will investigate the unsuitable nature of much of the material on the internet for children. It will also examine the devastating and lasting effect of pornographic images on children. Thus, parents must play a key role to keep children safe from potential internet dangers. Finally, it will suggest that parents should teach children how to choose suitable materials on the internet.
The first section of this essay will explain why internet pornography and some of the various resources unsuitable for children can have a harmful effect on children. The next section will maintain that soft ware is essential to protect children from site danger. Finally, this essay will argue that parents themselves should be aware of the dangers on the internet. It is important to recognize that pornographic images on the internet can have a devastating and lasting effect on children. Children using the internet unsupervised can view free pornography pictures through accidental accessing.
Strohm (n. d. ) has claimed that it is a commonly held belief that pornography on the Internet presents a serious danger to children online, and that the effects of pornography are progressive and addictive for many people. He further points out that most pornography sites are very easy to find. These sites always invite children and teens to take part in exposure. Children using internet chat rooms are the main target of sexual predators, often with traumatic results (Nuss 1999). Pornography isn’t the only thing parents don’t want their children to see on the Internet.
Parents are also concerned about anarchist, Neo-Nazi, and all sorts of other propaganda, as well as information on computer hacking and building explosives. There are hundreds of thousands of web sites promoting illicit activities. However, many individuals and organized groups at the same time are attempting to protect children from information on homosexuality, violence, drugs and alcohol, hate speech, and the environment. In addition, according to Males (2000), children can become victims of internet crime, such as pedophile contacts with children and child pornography distribution.
It is possible that some children may be visiting internet sites and communicating with potential internet predators without parent know. Otherwise, some pornographers argue, “In the right hands porn has its place. As anyone in the industry will readily proclaim, millions of men and women enjoy Web erotica harmlessly, and some couples turn to porn to enhance their sex lives” (Jerome et al. 2004). Children may have the opportunity to become informed about adult lifestyle. Pornography materials on the internet or ther media can be a valuable educational tool for children to understand about the concept of sexuality (Reisman & Ray 1999). Furthermore, according to Males (2000), the internet access period (1990s) does not seem to have brought about any particularly bad effects. Nonetheless, children have access to computers and the internet not only at home, but in many other places, what they choose to view is very difficult to control. It is a concern of many parents that freedom of information presented by the internet can pollute their main of children.
Many kinds of methods have been implemented to avoid some of these negative effects of the internet. First of all, “School on the Web”, for example, is a program has been developed by Microsoft and MCI to assist many schools attending information about education world on the internet. Moreover, Cyber Patrol, a popular soft ware, is a soft ware program that contains a twofold filtering technique. It can block unsuitable sites from a list of restricted web addresses (Reeks 2005).. Others products are Bess/N2H2, CyberSnoop, I-Gear, Internet Filter, Library Channel, NetShepherd.
On Guard, Parental Discretion, Rated-PG, SmartFilter, Tattle-Tale, WebSense, and X-Stop. These soft ware are designed to present at one or more many kinds of computers. According to Schrader (1999), these products offer five basic approaches – bad word, bad site, bad topic, site content rating systems and bad service – to control expressive content on the internet which may be set by the individual user or built into the program. In addition, children using the internet can also be prevented from disclosing their personal details via e-mail or chat room with the application of soft ware, such as Net Nanny.
Meanwhile, The Platforms for Internet Content Selection (PICS) provides particular-labeling vocabularies, which work in different way to filter, to block inappropriate materials. According to Resnick and Miller (1996) the parent, as a user, can select every material in the certain label that is provided by software to block unsuitable sites. Nevertheless, it is an impossible task to be able to censor everything on the internet because the internet is an infinite global network. Males (2000) maintains that the internet would be a useless tool for students if it is blocked, or filtered.
Filters can easily block student out of websites that they need to access for research simply because they contain words that have been flagged as inappropriate. He also believes that People who worry about the internet have a phobia or anxiety disorder which is not concerned about real problems. However, using appropriate soft ware can help to minimize the negative effects of the internet, even if many weaknesses exist in various software. Parents can play a key role in helping young people to be aware of the dangers and can get practical help on keeping children safe online.
Governments especially, which have the power to decide what is not acceptable for the eyes of children, should make many regulations to help parents to keep children safe from potential internet danger. In late 1999, the Australian Government established NetAlert to provide independent advice and education on managing access to and usage of the Internet (NetAlert 2005). First of all, parents need to build trusting relationships with children and set a good example. Most parents teach their children not to give out information to strangers, not to open the door if they are home alone (AACAP 1997).
As a result, it is hopped that children never give their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture without their parent permission. Furthermore, parents should also teach children how to search and find many materials that are suitable for young people (in Healey ed. 2002). Parents are strongly encouraged to speak openly with their children about online dangers and monitor their online activities. Moreover, it is important for parents to be aware that they can not assume that their child will be protected by the supervision or regulation provided by the online services.
Only parents can judge when a young person is mature enough to access the internet. Nuss (1999) also claims that children will be much safer accessing the internet if parents take the time to learn to use the internet first. However, children often feel that as Internet users, they know how to make a decision about what materials are harmful. Moreover, when students are exploring the Net for different kinds of materials, they are essentially exploring the real world (Singhal 1997). The internet is one of the contexts in which young people can discover themselves, what is normal and abnormal in their behavior (in Healey ed. 002). However, because most children do not understand what materials on the internet are real or just imagined, parents should not trust children to use the internet without supervision. In conclusion, the internet is a valuable tool for assisting in the education of children.
However, when children are online, they can easily be lured into something dangerous. Children have access to online information that promotes hate, violence and pornography. These can influence their behavior and even be harmful. Filter soft ware is the most effective way to protect children from inappropriate materials on the internet. Therefore, parents, who play a key role, should talk to their children about what is online and what might happen online. Finally, the government should use its power to control those sites that provide unsuitable material for young people.
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