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Al Gore says Web violence had hand in highschool massacre

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Vice President Al Gore is expected to pander to public pressure today when he delivers some choice words about the corrupting influence of the Internet on young minds. According to a report by CNet, a White House representative confirmed that Gore would deliver some carefully chosen words about the "Net, violence and parents" in an attempt to appease the growing outcry following the killings in Littleton, Colorado last month. Despite many people outside the US believing that the nation's liberal gun laws were to blame for the death of 12 students, a teacher and the two teenage gunmen, others place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Net. They claim that easy access to violent and disturbing content is at the heart of a problem that has ostracised a generation of social outcasts and given them the means to feed their appetite for destruction. It is these people Gore will address today. He is expected to announce the creation of Internet-based resources designed to focus on ways of combating the problem, CNet said. One such initiative is believed to be called "One Click Away" and will include links to safe sites and others offering filtering software. There will also be a mechanism for children to report any material they find disturbing. Although any initiative that protects children from the more sinister side of the Net is to be welcomed, any form of legislation -- which was hinted at in the CNet report -- would be fraught with difficulty. ®

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