Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The curse that threatens all our children

The internet is awash with pornography.

The US citizen is well informed of the extent of internet porn. Charisma News, a leading American Christian magazine, says that

* The internet pornography business makes more money than top companies Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, eBay, Google and Yahoo combined.

*  About 12 per cent of the world's websites offer pornographic material.

* The average age at which children first see pornographic material is 11. Ninety per cent of those from eight to 16 say they have viewed it online.

*  Twenty-one per cent of Christian girls admitted to sending a naked photograph of themselves to someone else by their mobile phone.

An article in the Christian Post, another US Christian magazine, says - can you believe this? - that according to a survey 50 per cent of Christian men and 20 per cent of Christian women are addicted to pornography.

Trying to find similarly detailed figures regarding the situation in Britain seems more difficult. It is suggested that British teenagers spend an average of 87 hours a year looking at internet pornography, and that four out of five regularly access pornographic material online. A recent report showed that 40 per cent of children under 12 have seen pornographic images online.

When I contacted people in Britain whose ministry is to pornography addicts, all they seemed able to say was that they wouldn't be surprised if the figures here were similar to those in the United States.

UK charities have been pleading for action for long enough. They favour automatic anti-pornography filters used by internet service providers. Internet service providers generally have resisted, no doubt because of the amount of money to be made.

Earlier this year Prime Minister David Cameron instructed Government officials to look into the possibility of such filters being used by internet service providers, which would mean that adults wanting to see pornography would have to "opt in" with their provider for the service.

Last Friday the Government announced rather quietly that proposals for such a block on pornography had been rejected. The Government's excuses: first, parents would then assume that the internet was safe for their children; second, an automatic block might also prevent children having access to "helpful information on sexual health or sexual identity." Instead, the Government had decided, parents should use internet filters if their children were using computers at home.

Countless thousands, if not millions, of children are having their lives ruined.

Will someone please stand up and sort out this situation?