Civil Liberties

Mom! Dad! Help Me! There Are Dirty Pictures on My Computer!


"Pornography Greater Threat to Children and Teens than National Study Indicates," warns a press release from the Christian News Wire. It notes that a study in the February issue of Pediatrics found that 42 percent of 10-to-17-year-old Internet users reported seeing online pornography in the previous year, and 66 percent of them said it was by accident. These numbers probably understate the problem, the press release says, because 1) the survey was done a couple years ago and 2) "children and teens often don't respond openly and honestly to researchers, especially discussing something as uncomfortable as pornography." True enough, which is why the respondents' claims that they inadvertently stumbled on pornography, something teenagers have been known to actively seek, should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, it's a relief to see that the press release, rather than a call for censorship, is a sales pitch for Integrity Online, an Internet filtering service.