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Royal clampdown on Net ‘smut’

To the tune of 100,000 booklets

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The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme - a kind of Scouts organisation for young adults fearful of woggles, uniforms and over-friendly 'masters' - has ordered that 100,000 promotional booklets it produced be pulped.

The booklets promoted a Web site for young people called The Site. However, when the organisation started handing them out, it was appalled at what it calls the "smutty" and "inappropriate" information that appears on the site. The offensive material of course concerned sex and drugs.

This evil, Beelzebub-inspired site gave graphic advice on how to perform sex acts, for God's sake!!! Is there no end to the Internet's immorality? We, like the leaders of the DoE scheme, are sick to the stomach of such appalling material and think that the only way to deal with subjects like sex and drugs is to ignore that they even exist. If kids know nothing about them, then they won't do them.

The editor of the site, Dominic Waghorn - obviously a pseudonym for some drug-crazed Nazi - attempted to justify his site thus: "We try to provide information and advice. We don't tell people how to live their lives or what is right or wrong." Ridiculous. How would people know what to do if we didn't tell them? It'd be bloody anarchy.

Bravo to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme for making a stand.

Reality hits

We do actually take offence at the large number of sites/magazines offering confused teenagers advice on difficult and emotive subjects. But for different reasons. While some are offended at even their mention, we are offended at the poor-quality, cliché-ridden, sensationalist writing that the majority feature.

People, especially adults, find it hard to write honestly (and well) about subjects like sex and drugs - probably because they don't like to face their own inadequacies. And so they will tend to go for the over-the-top, jokey approach. This is as much a disservice to kids as the disciplinarian route. Drugs and sex aren't really a joking matter for those that have no real, first-hand knowledge of them. It's easier to make it light-hearted, but not better. ®

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