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Almost half a million kids in Britain -- 20 per cent of those using the Internet -- claim they have been 'upset' by something they have found on the Internet, according to a survey published by the NOP Research Group. Of these, two-fifths say that they found something "rude", a quarter something that they thought "would get them into trouble", and one in seven something that "frightened" them. The survey highlights some of the problems associated with the unregulated nature of the Internet, especially where kids are concerned. But it also raises questions about whether content needs to be policed as a way of protecting children especially when it comes to pornographic and other unsuitable material. "These findings suggest that a significant minority of young Internet users in Britain are uncomfortable with some of the information they have encountered through the Internet," said Rob Lawson from NOP. "But it also shows that kids are tremendously positive about the Internet," he said. But while some children are offended by what they come across, others -- and it appears to be a sizeable majority -- are attracted to the Net exactly because of its unregulated nature and don't have a problem with the content. Other findings from the survey suggest that a further 1.8 million kids expect to be using the Internet within the next 12 months. In addition, the research demonstrates that children are generally Internet enthusiasts -- they find it easy to use, they like to use it for information, for fun and to chat. Two-thirds think that it helps them with their learning, and a third would like to use it for lessons if they were away from school ill. Yeah, right. ®

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