Inquiry finds majority of children have accessed adult material
An inquiry has found that six out of ten children have accessed internet pornography at home.
The inquiry, formed of MPs and Peers, found that the high level of children accessing pornography was due to the lack of appropriate filters on home computers.
The last three years alone have seen a decline, from 49 to 39 per cent, in the use of protective filters in homes.
The inquiry has released a report which recommends asking internet service providers to set up automatic internet filters to protect children.
There could be ‘one-click filtering’ for all internet-enabled devices. Adult content would then be automatically blocked from domestic broadband users, and would have to be clicked on deliberately to be accessed.
According to the report, web savvy children are leagues ahead of their parents when it comes to filters, and most parents are unaware of the kind of material available to their children.
Witnesses before the inquiry highlighted the alarming increase in accessibility of hard-core images, a trend that witnesses described as ‘a social experiment with unknown long-term consequences’.
Only three per cent of adult sites ask for proof of age, and it was found that two-thirds of sites contained no warning whatsoever of their exclusively adult content.
Claire Perry, the Tory MP who chaired the inquiry, said that the findings of the panel are “hugely worrying”.
“While parents should be responsible for their children’s online safety, in practice, people find it difficult to put content filters on the plethora of internet-enabled devices in their homes.
“It’s time that Britain’s internet service providers, who make more than £3 billion a year from selling internet access services, took on more of the responsibility to keep children safe.”
The panel has called on the Government should launch an official inquiry into internet filtering.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:
“The sexualisation of our society is touching even the youngest children in this nation. Internet filters may provide part of the solution.
“But society also needs to take a wider look at how much damage the promotion of radical sexual permissiveness has done to marriages and families across the nation.
“Turning from the Christian faith has produced rotten fruit for our society, from fatherless homes to unwanted pregnancies, mass abortions and STDs. Everyone is a victim in some way.”