Online porn puts pressure on teens, leading head warns

Tue, 10 Dec 2013

Online pornography “gives a distorted image of human relationships to young people”, warns a headmaster at one of Britain’s leading co-educational schools.

In an interview with The Times, Uppingham school’s head teacher, Richard Harman, described online pornography as an additional pressure that teenagers face today.

“From an early age kids are bombarded with images of what it looks like to be apparently perfect”, he said.

Pressure

“If you add all those up, this is a different kind of pressure than really can ever have been the case in the past and [it] doesn’t really have any borders”, he explained.

Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) estimate some two million children are unprotected from explicit internet content.

Tesco Mobile – which has over 200,000 British customers – came under fire last week for failing to apply automatic ‘porn filters’.

Filter

The revelations came amidst the introduction of a new Private Member’s Bill calling for adult content filters to be a legal obligation.

If passed, the Online Safety Bill would replace existing voluntary agreements between the Government and the internet industry.

It would ensure that internet and mobile phone companies provide porn-free content with an age verification option that allows those over 18 to deactivate the filters.

Protect

Earlier this year, David Cameron said: “It’s great to report that all operators have now agreed to put adult content filters on to phones automatically.”

Although Vodafone, O2, EE and Three have instituted age-related protective measures, Nola Leach, CARE’s chief executive, said the voluntary approach is not working.

“Mobile phone operators and internet service providers need to be compelled to take action to protect children”, she explained.

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