Barry Soper is Newstalk ZB's Political Editor

Barry Soper: Internet revolution

Once the kid leaves the house with the phone, all bets are off. Photo / 123RF
Once the kid leaves the house with the phone, all bets are off. Photo / 123RF

Baby boomers grew up in a time of relative innocence.

Much was made of the swinging 60s but the only thing really swinging in those days, at least in my neck of the woods, were the wind chimes on the back porch.

Titivation was limited to a cellophane wrapped Man Magazine, more print than pictures that revealed women in bikinis that were closer to a one piece, given the amount of flesh exposed.

With the Internet revolution, nothing is left to the imagination.

Unfortunately innocent young minds can be tainted with the interactive touch phones that everyone has.

A child leaving home without one is almost unthinkable in these days of instant communication.

Parents want to be in touch but unfortunately too many are out of touch with what the phones can access.

Family First has presented a petition to Parliament calling for an independent expert to look at the damage online pornography is doing to the minds of our young.

Of course it's doing damage, many of our young now have a warped perception of what's expected of the opposite sex but what can be done about it?

Short of going down the Chinese road of strict control over social media, and a virtual ban on Google with porn sites out of the question, the answer is very little if anything.

At least the petition has got the politicians talking about pornography, something the Prime Minister said just last month wasn't easy to talk about.

Certainly he seemed uncomfortable, even having trouble pronouncing the word, but saying it wasn't a fast growing or overwhelming issue confronting our young people.

But in that short space of time, he's seems to have come a long way in his drive, well his spindoctors' drive, to have him become a social media, urban sophisticate, or at least seem like one.

Now he's saying a lot of people share the view that pornography can be damaging for young people but we live in an age where it's readily available and widely available.

English says he'd be interested in hearing from a Parliamentary committee whether there's action that can be taken to reduce the damaging effect.

Yeah well that's easier said than done.

Parents of course can filter what's seen on the home computer but once the kid leaves the house with the phone, all bets are off.

Countries around the world have been grappling with the problem.

In Britain they have an opt in opt out scheme for porn, where if you want open slather on the web then you have to opt in with the internet providers to get it.

And the same could go for phone companies.

But on this one, don't hold your breath.

- Newstalk ZB

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