Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Perfect Man For The Job?

The BBC are reporting that the chair of the committee conducting an inquiry into dangers on the internet and computer games - Conservative MP John Whittingdale - today discovered that his own daughter was breaking the rules of a social networking site.

During a hearing on Tuesday, the MP asked what the minimum age was appropriate for joining Bebo - and was told under US legislation, 13 was the minimum age. The following is, according to the BBC, the exchange that took place:

He said: "My daughter is 12, she's been on Bebo for at least 18 months. I think every single one of her friends is and she spends, oh, hours on it - it's universal, way below 13 - do you think that that is inappropriate?"

Dr Rachel O'Connell (Bebo safety chief) said when parents reported under-age use, the child's page would be deleted.

Mr Whittingdale asked: "But you said in the US it's 13 - whereas there is no such thing here." However, Dr O'Connell replied: "That applies for our whole service."

Mr Whittingdale said: "So my daughter shouldn't be on Bebo?" Dr O'Connell answered: "That's true."

So obviously that'll turn out to be the internet's fault, and not him failing to adequately supervise his child. It has been said for YEARS that children should not have a PC in their room and that their use of the internet should be supervised so that they don't sign up for something only appropriate to adults. While demonstrating this quite so eloquently, Whittingdale will probably demand more net censorship thus removing his responsibility to his own child.

As I've said previously, if you want children, you take the responsibility. Don't try and stop me from doing something just because you're worried your child will be offended by it.

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