Feeds

Mumsnet founder: Our members are 'very keen' on PORN ...

... But regulators, ISPs should help police content

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts piled back into the net-nannying debate yesterday, calling on ISPs to do more to guard their youngest customers while confirming that many of her readers are themselves avid smut fans.

Roberts, who was slated earlier this year for supporting Tory plans for ISPs to impose wider blocks on content some people find objectionable, called on net providers to do more help parents police their web connections. If they didn't do this, she said, regulation should be considered.

Roberts was on a panel discussing "The limits of free speech online" at a Google privacy conference.

While the audience of academics, lawyers and net activists generally struck a hardline laissez faire tone, Roberts was unapologetic about Mumsnet's policy of calling time on some threads, for example attacks on the parents of Madeleine McCann. "It's not what Mumsnet stands for." The site also had a run-in with childcare guru Gina Ford over comments in its forums.

When it came to the issue of porn, Roberts said Mumsnet, and presumably its legion of members, was not suggesting legal porn be removed from the internet.

"Lots of people on Mumsnet are very keen on pornography," she said. Apparently late on Friday night is the best time to verify this, Roberts said.

"We're not saying we need regulation," said Roberts. Rather, she continued, parents needed to be given tools to control what's coming into their homes.

But she recognised that often parents often don't take advantage of the tools already available, such as Google Safesearch.

So, she continued, "I think the regulators should put pressure on the people involved, the ISPs to come up with a solution to this."

Roberts gained some support from John Kampfner, head of Index on Censorship, who said he had no problem with mechanisms to prevent children seeing content not aimed at them. He cited existing examples such as the film classification system, or restrictions on inflight movies.

The right of parents to block what their children see "doesn't impinge on censorship", he said.

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, said the company had no objection to removing child abuse porn, "which is illegal everywhere".

However, Roberts appeared to be on shakier ground when it came to other questionable sites which affect children, for example suicide or anorexia sites, which are not in themselves illegal.

Nevertheless, she said, "I want children to be protected from this stuff ... I think there should be regulation about sites that encourage kids to commit suicide." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.