Google and children

Parents to blame if children view porn online, says Google

Yep, Google are right on this occasion. And the very first comment I also subscribe to:

Good for Google. Whether you agree with the statement or not one can’t deny that Google never sits on the fence. All this bleating by the PC brigade and Governments becomes very tiring after a while. Ban this…..Ban that….Don’t these people realise that it’s literary “child’s play” to surcumvent any internet restriction imposed by anyone!!!

As against:

It IS parent’s responsibility to control access to adult things – not just pornography, and not just on the Internet. The nature of the internet in any case is such that realistically we can either go for the Chinese system of total government control, or the controls have to be applied at the individual’s computer. And the first is unlikely to work anyway, as everyone will be trying to hack it – often the 12 year olds are better at it than anyone!

Saw an amazing comment by a libertarian female yesterday who didn’t seem to understand what children actually were. I’ve some questions for her. Would you leave a knife near your four year old? Why not? Would you take your twelve year old drinking with you and let him down six pints? Why not?

I’m amazed I even have to ask such questions – that’s how far we’ve escaped from reality these days. Every teacher who ever did ed psych knows about the differences between chronological age, development age and emotional age. Every parent of the old type knew that some things just weren’t appropriate for their kids … yet.

“Appropriate” and “yet” are the two operative words here and they’re anathema to many libertarians who fail to understand that libertarianism does not necessarily need equate to licentiousness and free-for-all. I believe many libertarians refuse to consider the issue of children in their philosophy, except to see [quite rightly] the State’s attempt to use “the cheeldren” as a backdoor for more legislation.

Therefore, they would naturally mock any argument which attempts to protect children because the implications of accepting that children are different and lesser in varying degrees is that they’d then have to accept some form of constraint on freedom, if only on children.

The trick is not for the State to step in to make up for parent’s shortcomings and that of teachers – in fact, this should be opposed vehemently – but for those parents and teachers to start recognizing that children are different to adults and are different from each other in development age, even within the same age group.

Even if all the parents and teachers were willing to bring the children up better, with progressively diminishing safeguards as the child grew up, the portals are open through games, films, TV, music, everywhere and it’s got beyond the control of the traditional guardians.

Again, there’s no need to construct strawmen here – no one’s suggesting excessive mollycoddling or nannying. Kids explore, discover – you can never stop that, nor should you – but there’s a huge difference between having to overcome hurdles or never having heard of something as a kid … to open slather when the nasty elements of society bring these things to kid’s doors and make sure every kid has to confront them.

Nation of only halfway damaged kids [the norm] or nation of little monsters beyond control and ripe for State responsibility? It’s up to parents and teachers.

Your sons and your daughters are beyond your control – your old road is rapidly aging. [Bob Dylan]

I was wrong [Benjamin Spock, forty years too late]

9 comments for “Google and children

  1. April 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    A side issue: today, people feel freer when the state makes decisions for them. Slavery = freedom.

    I notice this with world faiths. The more restricted they are, the ‘freer’ they become for some of their adherents. (I disagree, but you know that.)

    In other words, if the decision is taken out of their hands, that’s one less decision they have to worry about making.

    Yes, let’s just abdicate all responsibility to the state. (Not.)

  2. Voice of Reason
    April 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    The things that my parents allowed me to do with them would horrify most parents today.

    • April 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      Same here! I often hesitate to mention it because of the opprobrium.

      Thanks, VoR! 🙂

    • David A. Evans
      April 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      Whilst I know not of what you speak, many things I was allowed to do, (Climbing 50 to 100′ rocks at Brimham Rocks, near Pately Bridge in Yorkshire,) would certainly raise some elfin safety issues.

  3. April 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    You would think that someone who claims to be “libertarian” would recognise that responsibility comes with the libertarian spirit of individual freedom.

  4. April 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    There is a libertarian issue here in that James’s libertarian might actually be a supporter of ‘libertarian paternalism’ described here:

    whereby our ‘betters’ (i.e. ‘change architects’ and ‘experts’) save us from ourselves.

    ‘Libertarian paternalism’ is part of the ‘nudge’ notion, which informs Mr Cameron’s Big Society.

    • April 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      whereby our ‘betters’ (i.e. ‘change architects’ and ‘experts’) save us from ourselves.

      Not from me there’s not. For anyone adult, you’re on your own, chums. You make your own decisions and the State has no right to interfere with your private life. Common sense says children are different at different ages.

      • April 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        I agree wholeheartedly, James, but they wouldn’t see it that way.

        I predict that the Left will redefine libertarianism in a completely opposite way, something the Left does. (Reference my posts on my Communism / Marxism page, specifically Bella Dodd and Richard Wurmbrand from last year.)

  5. Tarka the Rotter
    April 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    The people that want to do this are the same ones who think it’s morally right to bomb the shit out of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and God knows where…sick bastards. I see the Milibandwagon is all in favour…well his grandad headed a liquidation squad in the Baltic States after WW1 so he should keep stumm

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