Family Friendly Award
Frequently I find Internet sites displaying badges saying that they are "Family Friendly" sites.
Now I, too, want to be friendly to families. Although my site isn't child oriented, certain parts of it, especially in my Personal and Literature sections, probably would appeal to readers of all ages.
So at first I wanted one of those friendliness medals, and I set out to find out what these schemes were all about. And now I'm not so sure ....
Mail order medals
Is such a medal any real proof that a site is family friendly? As long as you can get it by mail order, the possibility is always there that someone might display it just to trick people.
Would Hansel and Gretel's witch have classified her house as a family friendly site?
This would be illegal, of course, but perhaps they didn't care too much? Their site would be checked before delivery, but after that ....
Most of the time it's probably all right. But it's not a 100 % guarantee.
Rated high with the Net Nannies
The system of Net Nannies depend on sites being rated, and consist of special computer programs that prevent access to sites with certain rating values. I'm going to use the same term also about the people who configure the programs and who decide what ratings should prevent access.
The same goes as for the mail order medals - as long as you do your own ratings, most of the time it's all right, but there is no guarantee that someone might not change his content after he had been checked.
Parental choiceOne of the principles of Family Friendly badges and Net Nannies, is that the parents should be able to choose what their children should or should not be subjected to on the Internet. But this parental choice could be restricted by the "Board of Nannies" - they might have other ideas than you about what your children ought or ought not to see.
Missing out on time with your childrenIs it such a good idea anyway to leave your children with nannies much of the time? Isn't that time that you could have spent better with them yourself, teaching them to discern for themselves what is healthy and not healthy to watch?
You need perhaps to learn more of the technology - by all means do! It's worthwhile for your own enjoyment as well!
Adult babes and adulteryPornography is the most common no-no for what children should see. This is not very controversial.
Even less controversial is the problem of men in chat rooms who try to find out where young girls really live, and then try to seek them out. The Net Nannies don't seem to do anything about this, though.
Hate propaganda = anything the Net Nannies hate?The term hate propaganda sounds aggressive. It suggests sites that promote aggression or endorse hatred. Unfortunately, it is commonly used about - and against - sites that warn against forms of "political correctness" - e.g. gay promotion - in an essentially non-aggressive way, without endorsing hatred.
This propaganda-colored concept can easily be misused by the Net Nannies, in a way that violates the principle of parental choice. The parents might want their children to read particular warnings or critical exposes. They - and the site in question - will want to teach the children to judge for themselves what is right or wrong, not to hate the groups under scrutiny.
This might happen to be a Christian site, and thus the Net Nannies get the excuse to have the Christian message stopped as well - the possibility for misuse is very real.
Exposing children to violenceLots of videos and computer games contain violence and glorify or encourage it. It is widely agreed that children should not be exposed to a strong degree of violence.
But there are sites that want to expose violence in order to warn against it - kinds of violence that children are exposed to all the time. They want to tell the truth about what is being done to small children - very small children, mere babies.
In fact, so small that they haven't been born yet.
Some sites (with warnings that their materials are not intended for children) have got videos showing those babies being brutally killed.
This killing procedure is called abortion, and thousands of babies are exposed to it every year.
If my site is deemed to not deserve the badge of being family friendly, it would be because my pro-life page links to this kind of violence. I want to warn against it and make people realize what our doctors are really doing.
If using a "family friendly" badge prevents me from giving such warning, I prefer to go without it.
Anne K. Sorknes To the menu list To previous level:
Right to life
I take it that the badge of RSAC and the Family Friendly Award are for the readers' information. SafeSurf, on the other hand, has launched the SafeSurf Internet Filtering Solution (at http://www.safesurf.com/filter/) for schools, libraries, ISP's and corporations.
There are lots of schemes available. The examples have been chosen arbitrarily.