Grim videos showing violent and sexually explicit content are introducing the "dark side" of the internet to children, warns a committee of Britains MPs, who say more needs to be done to block clips showing inappropriate material by online companies. It cited research suggesting that 16% of eight-to 15-year-olds in the UK have come across “nasty, worrying or frightening” content online, and said there was “consistent” evidence that up to 20% of children have suffered cyber-bullying. The Committee also said there was a “lax approach” by some sites to removing illegal material and that it was “shocking” that the industry standard for removing material was 24 hours. The MPs also recommend software filtering to automatically identify inappropriate material and the adoption of an age-classification scheme for online games.
Apparently the"Great Firewall of China" blocks information the government views as improper, unhealthy or a threat to its internal law and order. Sites that contain obscenity, pornography, and criminal activity are banned. Severe restrictions are in force against sites that cover "taboo topics" such as police brutality, freedom of speech, and Marxist sites. [I find the last one amazing if true!]. It would appear that the BBC world news is well received on the other side of the bamboo curtain which is I suppose gratifying. Beijing Olympic Organising Committee spokesman Sun Weide told journalists: “We will be providing full access to the internet so that your reporting during the Olympic Games will not be affected in any way.” Some internet sites have been blocked by Chinese authorities, but these were unrelated to the Olympics. Our preoccupation is to ensure that the international media can report on the Olympic Games. And anything beyond that is a matter for the Chinese authorities.”
If no form of censorship existed anywhere in the world then I would be critical of those who practised it. As I see it the reporters who are in China are there specifically to report on the Olympic games. They do protest to much about censorship – are they angry because access to their daily ‘fix’ of porn has been removed from china.com?