An excellent article from The Telegraph, released to
coincide with Safer Internet Day, highlights a study which examined online
video content. The study confirmed that in some cases children are only ‘three clicks
away’ from explicit video material online and that existing controls, whilst a
step in the direction need improving and made more widely available.
Image Analyzer is working to develop and deliver to market
tools to allow parents and guardians to manage access to explicit material,
over the coming months it intends to further enhance its existing image and
video scanning technology.
The sheer volume of explicit and inappropriate material
being captured, stored and transmitted on a daily basis has all but made manual
review systems impractical, the volumes are growing exponentially and new technology
must be deployed to help manage the issue.
It is vital that access is managed and not denied to all, as
blanket censorship has been proven not to work. What must now be a priority is
to make widely available the technological tools which can scan images and
videos so that the decision making process and choices are passed to the
parents and guardians. Also importantly those who choose to access this
material should still be able to. This is a clear example where technology can
empower and reinforce freedom of choice.
Children who watch Peppa Pig and Rastamouse on YouTube are
an average of three clicks away from videos with explicit content, according to
YouTube’s Safety Mode helps parents screen out unsuitable
content, but ‘can’t provide 100 per cent protection’
An examination of YouTube’s “suggested videos” – which sit
alongside children’s favourites – found that it was easy to access clips including
nudity and violence.
The study highlights the risks posed by video sharing sites
if parental controls are not activated or children are left unattended while
The study was released by online security firm Kaspersky Lab
to mark Safer Internet Day.
Kaspersky’s David Emm said: “It’s worrying to see just
how simple it is for children to access videos of an adult nature on YouTube.
“Safer Internet Day is all about educating and
promoting safer, more responsible behaviour for young people, but adults must
take responsibility too. Having parental controls in place is vital and can be
highly effective in combatting objectionable material. YouTube’s Safety Mode
feature aims to help parents screen out unsuitable content, but it can’t provide
100 per cent protection.”
There have been separate calls from campaigners to give
children as young as five lessons in how to use the internet safely.
The call comes amid fears that children are increasingly
exposed to online pornography and forced to send indecent images of themselves
The charity ChildLine is holding assemblies in every UK
primary school to tell children how to stay safe in the digital age.
Claire Lilley, of child protection charity the NSPCC, said:
“We are facing an e-safety time bomb.”
Ms Lilley said online abuse was one of the biggest child protection
issues of our time.
“Young people tell us they are experiencing all sorts
of new forms of abuse on scale never before seen.
“The internet and mobile phones are now part and parcel
of young people’s everyday lives. They are the first generation who have never
known a world without them.
“The benefits are huge, both socially and
educationally, but so too are the dangers.”