News24

Cellphones a big porn risk to children

2011-09-26 22:41

Johannesburg - At least 90% of children aged between 8 and 16 with internet access have viewed porn online - often by mistake, says the cellphone industry's self-regulating body.

It said on Monday that 22% of teen girls and 20% of boys had sent inappropriate photographs of themselves via SMS, which were finding their way on to porn sites.

Russel Stromin, head of the Code of Conduct Committee for the Wireless Application Service Providers' Association, said children had easy access to mobile devices, such as cellphones with the internet. This meant the number of children viewing and sending inappropriate material was widespread.

"As the industry body for the mobile applications industry, we encourage our members to provide parents with tools to protect their children," said Stromin.

This could mean blocking access to adult sites on a child's cellphone, but also talking to children and warning them, Stromin said.

All cellular providers could block access to specific sites, he said, while illegal sites could be blocked for everybody.

"Parents can dial their provider's customer service number and request the site to be blocked."

Mobile phones were increasingly being used to solicit youth aged 12 to 25, and protecting young people had to become a priority.

"Globally, mobile service providers have taken the lead in this area, with the mobile alliance against child sexual abuse content being launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2008," Stromin said.

"Blocking your children's cellphones from accessing adult content is a good start, but it's only the beginning of what parents need to do."

Comments
  • RVQ - 2011-09-26 23:08

    Tools are there I just don't know why they aren't opt out instead of opt in? http://www.vodacom.co.za/vodacom/services/Peace+of+mind http://www.mtn.co.za/MTNSERVICES/MTNPERSONALSAFETY/Pages/MTNParentalControl.aspx

      amandajoybester - 2011-09-27 07:08

      Thank you very much for this info, more than I got from Vodacom upon enquiry. Now to get it onto my teenager's phone - he even sleeps with his hand attached to it!

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-26 23:38

    Yeah, *By Mistake*, lets go with that one, shall we?

      amandajoybester - 2011-09-27 07:07

      I can assure you Martin, there are exceptions to every rule, but you seriously don't have to go searching for it like the boys in earlier days deliberately did!

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-27 07:54

      I believe it.....when i was a kid i accidently found my dads porn stash. Funny thing though....i made that mistake often. So did many of my friends at that age....some even brought them to school to emphasis their error.

      Derrick - 2011-09-27 19:53

      @Oryx_ZA: Man that is funny!!! hahaha

  • NZdreamer - 2011-09-27 01:31

    Well simple solution, make sure that age do not have access to the internet, unless under supervision!! 8 year old's viewing porn...WHAT? What the hell happened to dolls, hide and seek and games for that age group?? ....for pete's sake, freaking disgusting!!

      amandajoybester - 2011-09-27 07:05

      You will be even more appalled if you know the reality my friend!

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-27 05:27

    www.cellphonesafety.co.za - great site.

      Willem - 2011-09-27 08:09

      Thanks - appreciated

  • Deeteem - 2011-09-27 06:50

    Another thing we inherited with "democracy" .... MORAL DECAY !!

      amandajoybester - 2011-09-27 07:04

      I completely agree the moral decay of our world, but it has nothing to do with democracy - it's every person's personal choice to allow it in their own life or not!

      x - 2011-09-27 08:16

      Oh please you sound like any parent over the past couple of decades. I can remember how, in the 70s, we were also accused of being responsible for 'moral decay'. Ironic, don't you think?

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-27 08:18

      Are you guys joking right? Moral Decay? 10 years ago the world was shocked my terrorism and oil wars. 20 years ago South Africa had a system in place that placed one race above another. 30-50 years ago. There were multiple genocide. There was Korean war, Vietnam war (which wiped out 14% of their population and the USSR-AFHAN war. We were always a push of a button away from nuclear war. 50-100 years ago. Two world wars that killed a combined total of over 90 Million people and wounded triple that. That excludes the 6 million Jews that were systematically “culled”. The west were just as guilty though. Two atomics bombs were dropped on largely civilian towns and the British annihilated Dresden. A town which had no strategic importance. 100-300 years ago. The Slave trade was at its peak. The industrial revolution had arrived. Children under the age of 12 were ordered into smoke stacks to clean them, even though it would cause irreversible damage to their lungs, and leave them with burn marks. There was much worse then this. Colonialism was in full force and an untold number of human atrocities and of course the ever friendly Spanish inquisition. And this is only our recent past and all through this there have been child molesters, rapist, serial killers, child prostitution and porn. So please explain to me about this moral decay? As far as I can tell…things have got better, but we now have better access to information?

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-27 08:56

      things HAVE gotten slightly better, but it only looks worse cause it's THAT MUCH harder to hide your dirty laundry these days.

      tony_w - 2011-09-27 09:18

      @Deeteem: Maybe not democracy, but "human rights" before "order". @Oryx_ZA: 30 years ago, children could play safely in the park across the street until bath time, today .. 30 years ago, public nudity was forbidden. Today ... This weekend, people (homosexuals to be specific) were walking naked all over the city of San Francisco - legally. And YOU HONESTLY en REALLY believe that this will stay with California and a couple of other places??? 30 years ago, 14 years old did not even know what a condom was, today ... they want to hand it out freely to 12 year olds .. I honestly don't understand the relevance of adding all these wars to your list. Sometimes absence of war could also imply a "moral decay". If the police should decide to stop their war on criminals/ farm murderers etc in the name of "human rights" or in the name of "tolerance"> that is "moral decay". I could go on, don't have the time now.

      greatgodpan - 2011-09-27 10:06

      @oryz-za...i agree the human race is immoral by nature......just sometimes a little more or less so.......my young daughters will have no cell phones and no internet access until they work then they are adults and then they can buy their own and make their own choices......problem almost solved easy.

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-09-27 11:58

      Ever child 14 years ago was safe where they grew up? People being gay are a new phenomenon? These children were never harmed, raped or exposed to anything violent? Did you consider that the reason these children (i presume you are talking about the white ones) were safe was because the government was spending an unsustainable amount of money trying to keep them safe from the "swart gevaar". Little did they know that these children were in threat of being sexual assaulted from their friendly man next door or the local priest.Not the dodge looking man in a long trench coat that we were all taught to fear. Rape, Murder , child abuse are all a constant…we as a society are only now becoming more open about that. You cite that children 30 years ago never knew what a condom was? All I can say is that God they know now…imagine all those accidental pregnancies and transfers of STD. Or would you prefer this still happen…but behind close door?

      tony_w - 2011-09-27 14:46

      "Rape, Murder , child abuse are all a constant" > what nonsense! How old are you? I remember in the days before apartheid when we lived together in an Eastern Cape city, white and non-white children playing together in the streets. We were safe because of a mostly decent shared value system. No apartheid government to protect us.

  • letsee - 2011-09-27 07:01

    Don't blame the cell phones. If it wasn't the cell phones it would be something else supplying porno. Education starts at home, one can't stop chldren from having access to everything but one can teach and give a sane and constructive mening to it.

  • amandajoybester - 2011-09-27 07:03

    I have firsthand experience of this with my young teenager. VLive! home page opens to very explicit ads of very skimpy dressed women, so will they have a special home page for children? By the time good and caring parents realise that their kids are viewing porn it has already gone past the first inadvertent contact. Pornography is addictive and the first contact may very well be by chance, but follow up means that you are getting more and more hooked and will go to any length to retain access. I'm sorry, anyone who says this fact is ridiculous and tries to downplay it, don't have children of that age or far underestimate their ingenuity.

      buzz - 2011-09-27 07:50

      Of course kids will try view porn - they always push the boundaries, because thats what they do - it seems to me that you asre the one having the problem with enforcing those boundaries. If you catch your kid with porn on his/her phone, take it away from them for a couple of weeks! And then do random checks on the phone - if they don't like it, they can get and pay for their own phone... Well, thats what I would do, but it ain't gonna work for everyone I suppose...

  • Alana - 2011-09-27 07:17

    This is a great idea which must be enforced

  • TheNwsReader - 2011-09-27 07:30

    The problem comes in with the definition of porn. The movie industry for example had to change views on the definition of porn for the sake of making money. A nude person constitute as porn in my view.

  • Derek Watts - 2011-09-27 07:34

    It is nof fair, In my young days porn were not freely available. Today's youth have everything so easy!

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-27 07:53

      Lol, Derek, the closest thing regarding porn I saw was the Scope magazine....that was hectic enough in those days. But hey, we had stunning childhoods, unlike today's kids!!

      buzz - 2011-09-27 08:31

      Ha! I remember Scope with the nipple stars... For us it was a major coup to get hold of a vhs tape that had been all messed up during the good bits because the peeps used to rewind and rewind... Ah, good memories(!)

  • H2O - 2011-09-27 07:58

    Wow, I wonder how long did it take them to figure this out. I did not think that cellphones has access to the internet. Amazing!!

  • Leon Swart - 2011-09-27 08:01

    The best way to protect them is to educate them, and bestow good morals so that they understand the implications and potential risks.

  • Allo Allo - 2011-09-27 08:02

    Blooming disgusting that because of the demand created by adults who have no respect for themselves, the abused women used in porn, and their families it now trickles down to innocent kids. All you adults who view porn....get real, get a life and stop behaving like pigs.

      buzz - 2011-09-27 08:37

      Um, Hello! (hello), the days of porn movies being about exploited women are long gone, these days its all about super-rich porn stars who dictate how and what is going to happen on set. They get to do what they love as their work, and its they are not being taken advantage of in any way. Certainly, there are exceptions I concede. But if you watch porn, it does not mean that you have no respect for yourself, that is ridiculous. If you watch porn it could also mean that you are an enlightened individual who has an open mind and would like to explore some possibilities. Thats what I suggest for you, because you sound quite judgemental in your post; relax, and live a little - it doesn't always translate directly into sin you know...

      Allo Allo - 2011-09-27 09:04

      Hello Buzz, can't agree with you i am afraid. But you responded decently so I suppose I can dismount from my high horse for a moment. I have watched some porn in my day, and when I think back to what was happening to those women it now makes me sick. Yes, many actresses will call it empowering etc.....but if you listen to the stories of any women who has broken out the cycle they tell of how awful it was. 75 % contract some STD but it is the emotional damage that is hardest to undo. There is not a 12 yr old girl in the world who one day dreams of growing up and having herself laid bare to the world while men simply "do" her over and over again for someone elses entertainment. It has to be one of the sadest things to happen to a woman. Dreams and self worth destroyed. In short.....how would you feel if it was your daughter or future wife getting banged by numerous men (often at the same time) in front of a camera so that other deprived men can watch and feed their fantasies. I am all for sexual excitment and adventure with my wife, but I will say it again....Real men don't support porn!!!

      buzz - 2011-09-27 09:17

      'ello - A much more measured response from you, and see, you don't seem judgemental at all. That was my point, the judgemental bit. But sure, I agree with you to a certain extent, but remember that we all choose our lives, bar those who are literally imprisoned in some way or another. My point is that women choose to do porn these days, and are not forced. Whether they get any enjoyment out if it is a moot point. Whatever their reasons, they choose it. For the record, I am no big supporter or watcher of porn, but its out there, making big bucks these days - and yes, I suppose that is kind of sad. Course I wouldn't like it if it were my daughter - or my son! For the life of me I can't quite figure out how porn exploits women but not men - any thought on that one?

      Allo Allo - 2011-09-27 09:45

      Hello Buzz, Of to a better start.... I saw some stats that 85% of strippers, porn actresees and prostitutes had been sexually abused. It is said that sexual abuse is the breeding ground for these industries. Granted it was a survey done in Las Vegas and was commisoned by a large church from Seattle to point to why decent men should not promote this industry by being a "customer" in any way or form. As it was commisoned by a church I realsie that there may have been a bias although the team that ubndertook the survey where indipendent. With regards to guys being in porn, yip would hate it if it was my son. But maybve differently as I want my boy to protect women and be honourable to them. It's a dated way of thinking and is formed by my faith but I still think it takes good men to put a stop to the abuse of women simply beacause the majority of time it is men who are the abusers, who run the porn studios and own the clubs and brothels.

  • x - 2011-09-27 08:21

    Exactly what are "illegal sites"? Unfortunately for most kids, the only weapon kids have against this is caring parents that take the time to discuss and instill responsible behaviour. Viewing a porn site is one thing (and detectable and manageable) but sending a pic of your private parts to other kids is basically not preventable. If the child wants to do this, they will. Educate your kids.

  • Lee - 2011-09-27 08:52

    I agree and they should not allow or incourage to download porn by dailing ...... which they advertise on TV. I think it is wrong because all ages have cell phones. Sex shops don't advertise to come and buy sex toys and porn and neither do web sites actually advertise unless there is a link to take you there. But those adverts they put on TV to entise you to download is wrong. Many kids stay up late on weekends and watch TV and then these type of adverts come on.

  • Gennath - 2011-09-27 09:12

    Wow, ye THINK?!

  • brown_bread - 2011-09-27 09:50

    I sometimes wonder what 'current' parents did when they were young! They usually act all surprised when teenagers act LIKE teenagers. What did you do as a teen current parent? Of course you had no cellphone/internet...but Im sure you had something?

  • Scarlett82 - 2011-09-27 12:15

    This Is really scary ..... there are bad people out there posing as young boys and girls, getting other kids to send them inappropriate Photo's of themselves. Parents need to talk to their kids educate them.

  • Abe Moshabeane - 2011-09-27 13:48

    I use those pics they send to *fap*fap*fap*

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