Safeguard the Web for children

I keep running into the “Safeguard the Web for Children” campaign, which urges bloggers to put pressure on webmasters of adult websites to lock down access to them until visitors can verify they are over 18.

My answer so far has been the same:

Hmm .. I can see where they’re coming from; but I’m not quite sure I agree with the sentiment. Would YOU password-protect your blog to make sure it’s only visible to a closed community? I wouldn’t, and wouldn’t expect other people to do it either.

Let us say, for the sake of argument, a webmaster DID password-protect his/her website; how would he/she know who to give the password to? Would you expect someone wanted access to post them a notarised copy of their birth certificate?

If under-18s want to get onto their website, they will anyway; I remember how ingenious I was as a curious teenager … I prefer focusing on educating my children, rather than trying to keep them in a padded cell to make sure they don’t hurt themselves.

A friend once told me that raising a child is like having a butterfly in your hand. You don’t want to open it, for fear that the beautiful creature will fly away. But if you hold it to tight, and don’t give it enough sunlight, the pretty butterfly will perish and die. Give your kids their due, they are might brighter than you think!

I suppose it’s a testament to the Internet and free speech; as to how easy it is for someone to come up with an idea and then try and change the world to conform to their beliefs. I wish they would think their ideas through though. I’ll end the post in the same way these campaigners spread their “word”

“If you love your children, forward this on to 5 of your friend. If you don’t care, just delete it”


  1. I ran the post. I honestly don’t know that a pornsite operator would see that on my blog and decide to lock his site down. I suspect not. I debated for a day before deciding to post it. I’m pretty ignorant about these things. I could go to porn sites without lying about my age, but they don’t interest me so I’ve never seen what they offer. I didn’t know that they offer “sneak peeks” before log in. I wondered if parents were aware of that. That was why I decide to post it. Parents need to know that their kids could be “accidently” exposed to stuff that they didn’t actually choose to see. I’m not talking about teens. They’ll see it if they want to. But the idea of a young kid doing a social studies paper on say, how going to school in Japan might be different from the American experience, and ending up at the Asian schoolgirls site that used to spam my email … that’s just icky! (The pictures they sent me could have been used in any med school for gynocological training.)

    Verifying age is a joke. You are who and what you say you are on the internet. The bottom line for kids and the internet is that if parents want to protect them, they need to monitor them closely and give them rules. And they need to accept that if they chose to let their kids have access to the internet, they’d better also accept that their kids are still likely to see things that Mom and Dad didn’t choose.

    I hope that your final line above is a joke. If it’s not … I’d have deleted.

    I don’t want to ride your site for free links. I wrote up the item above a few days ago. It’s got a link to an opp I used a while back to talk about parental responsibility and kids online . Check it out if interested.

  2. I wrote mine up several days ago too.

    Education goes a long way and if informing one parent to be more conscious of what his or her child might be exposed to, I’ve done my job.

    Even better, if one porn site operator switches to a password-protected site because of a post someone wrote on this topic, then we’ve succeeded.

    It’s all about changing the world one person at a time.

  3. Owen, I love your rotating avatars for guest commenters! I keep coming back to see who I’ll be next! :0D

  4. I got a tag for this and took it up on goodwill. I doubt it will make a difference cos ultimately our kids are our own responsibilities. No amount of control will help unless the parents take that responsibility.

  5. I think they are focusing on the wrong issue here. It is not about having adult websites lock down so children do not happen upon them, it is about the parents of these children being responsible and knowing what exactly and where exactly their children are going online. It is about setting limitations from home, and monitoring what your kids do online. That is where it should all begin.

    -Do not have a computer in the kids room where they are free to roam online whenever.
    -Set a time that they can be online, sit with them, be involved where they go, and what they do online.
    -Add software to the computer to block out the websites, and or set the ones they can visit.
    -Monitor, monitor, monitor.

    Just my $.02.

  6. I had a password protected blog for 3 years, not because it’s content was of an adult nature, it’s because it contained posts about very personal things I only wanted to share with a certain grouping of people. It did work. People without the password could not get in.

    I think there’s some miscommunication with this safeguard the web thing.
    I do agree that porn and adult themed sites should be pass protected, but they should be allowed a certain amount of content and information on the entrance page to let people know exactly what they would be finding inside.
    I wouldn’t want any crotch shots or money shots on that entrance page, but maybe covered up (black bars etc) images and then text letting people know what the website contained after you verified your age or paid by CC.

    Make sense?

  7. Definitely parents have to monitor the children. But i think that there is a way to reduce access to pornography to children by putting up a barrier for them. No need age certification documents… just having a credit card (which is easily verifiable online) is good enough.

  8. The way you safe-guard the web for children is for parents to get off their arse and do their job of parenting. They should monitor their children’s behaviour and not expect the rest of us to be their nannys.

  9. I still think it is a good idea to do it…

    Nobody can stop the willing boy but at least the non willing boy will not be force accidentally to see it.

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