‘Web Watchdog’ suggestion welcomed
by child protection campaigners
The possible creation of a new ‘Web Watchdog’ to monitor internet content was welcomed today by Britain’s largest Christian media organisation, following the publication of the official report from the Parliamentary Inquiry into on-line pornography.
Premier Christian Media Trust, which launched its ‘Safetynet Campaign’ in conjunction with Safermedia to protect children from internet pornography earlier this year, had already called upon the Government to introduce legislation to ensure that Internet Service Providers [ISPs] filter pornography at source. ‘Safetynet’ organisers, therefore, welcomed one of today’s key Inquiry recommendations – that the Government should now consider introducing a new regulatory structure for on-line content.
The Inquiry’s findings would also find favour among UK Christians who took part in a recent ComRes survey commissioned by Premier Christian Media which revealed that a massive 88% thought internet pornography should be automatically blocked by ISPs, requiring customers who want to access porn to actively ‘opt-in’. Similarly, three quarters of those polled (75%) thought that the Government should force ISPs to block internet content. In addition over 60,000 people have signed the Safetynet petition calling for Government action.
Sponsored by Premier Christian Media, the Inquiry’s report reflects much of the thinking behind the ‘Safetynet’ campaign which has been pressing for a network level filter with an ‘Opt-In’ facility for subscribers over the age of 18 – switching default settings for internet pornography to ‘OFF’.
Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media, which owns Premier Christian Radio, said today; “Right now ISPs are not required to place filters at source, which means that pornographers can reach children with explicit material – whether they like it or not. We were delighted to see that the Inquiry found strong support for our suggested ‘Opt-In’ model and concluded that there would be no adverse cost implications.”
Well over half (57%) of the Christians surveyed in the joint Premier and ComRes poll said they would be happy to pay more for internet use to fund an ‘Opt-In’ scheme.