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The government wants to block children and young people from accessing pornography. Expert comments

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The government has adopted a bill on blocking children and young people’s access to pornography on the Internet. The goal seems right, but there are questions about the effectiveness of the implemented solutions. It turns out that the vast majority of computers and phones in Poland do not have parental control programs installed. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

A computer or telephone in the hands of a young person is a powerful tool that often becomes a gateway to a world where children’s words and pornography should not go hand in hand. A bill to solve this issue has been submitted to the Council of Ministers.

– This is an act on the protection of minors against access to inappropriate content on the Internet – says government spokesman Piotr Mueller. “There has been a long discussion in recent years about how to protect minors from inappropriate content online, we are talking about pornographic content here,” he adds.

According to the act, Internet providers will be obliged to create a free tool that will allow you to block pornographic content on the web. – Companies that provide Internet services must provide mechanisms that, at the request of the subscriber, introduce restrictions on content inappropriate for minors – explains the government spokesman.

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Unclear provisions in the government act

– It hurts us that, as entrepreneurs, we may very likely be the ones who will fulfill these obligations – says Jakub Woźny from the Media Law Firm, representing the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communications.

As he explains, the assumptions are clear – limiting children’s access to online pornography, but how to do it and at what cost is another matter. – They cannot be implemented at the sole expense of telecommunications undertakings who do not want, cannot and should not be arbitrators in deciding whether a given content and website is suitable for someone or not – he emphasizes.

The government has adopted a bill on blocking children and young people’s access to pornography on the Internet.Shutterstock

There remains the question of what the legislator understands by pornography? As the legislator emphasizes, the definition of pornography does not exist in Polish legislation. For example, the Penal Code or court judgments may be helpful. The number and type of websites more or less defined as pornographic also does not make things easier.

Most children have encountered pornography

– There are plenty of places like that. According to experts, the amount of pornographic content on the Internet is practically incalculable, says Katarzyna Nowicka from the Association Your Matter.

The scale with which the youngest people reach for pornographic content is quantifiable. According to research by the NASK institute, 53.3 percent. of young people between the ages of 12 and 16 have seen pornography online at least once. And 18.5 percent. saw pornography when under the age of 10.

– They claim that unintentional associations with this content are the most common reason for first exposure to pornography. These are primarily search engines and social media, points out Agnieszka Ładna from the NASK National Research Institute.

– Before they even go on a first date, before they look deeply into someone’s eyes, before they fall in love with someone, they are bombarded with content that is vulgar, brutal, objectifying the other person, and children believe what they see and with such an image they enter adulthood life – emphasizes Katarzyna Nowicka.

Poles do not use parental control programs

In the digital market, such parental control solutions already exist, and as research shows, parents do not use them anyway. Nearly 68 percent desktop computers and 67 percent. there are no parental control programs. – Tools are one thing, but the best protection tool is talking, talking and talking again – believes Katarzyna Nowicka.

– If we entered the class of 13-year-olds, three-quarters of them already had access to such content, and parents are afraid to say the word “sex” in front of them – points out Agnieszka Ładna.

The law is expected to come into effect in September.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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