In order to curb child rape cases, the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) has ordered all Internet Service Providers (ISP) to ban access to 827 websites hosting adult content.
The ban order was issued after Uttarakhand High Court directed the Government to ensure these websites are inaccessible, as they have an adverse influence on children’s minds. The ISP’s license will be terminated if they fail to comply as per Section 25 of the Information Technology Act 2000.
The decision was heavily criticized by citizens on social media. However, schools and parents across the country have appreciated the government’s initiative to curb porn usage in the country.
The usage of telephones and other devices is very rampant among children. Working parents don’t always have the time to monitor their child’s activity online. Children are extensively using the Internet to access websites to help them with their academic studies.
Websites like YouTube and Wikipedia are some of the most widely used ones by children. However, there is a dark side to these websites. They are free and run by sponsored ads.
Children can easily be tempted to click on any of these ads that lead them to a totally different place as they are targeted depending on the user’s web search and can also be random, depending on the algorithm used by the website.
Thanigapathi M, a parent of two children said,” Both my kids are using online learning portals for their studies. I trust the apps and the websites to no target them with ads that are not relevant to them. However, most of the time I see ads being displayed related to products and websites which are not appropriate for their age group. The ban on adult sites is really comforting as I can be assured that they won’t have access to those sites hosting them.” he added.
Bindu M, a teacher at Bhavans Vidya Mandir said,” Children are getting phones and other electronic gadgets to schools even when they are not supposed to. We don’t know what content they are accessing when they are alone or on their breaks. The ban on adult sites will be really helpful.”
Dr. Vishnu Vardhan, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Raja Rajeshwari Medical College said,” Indian society carries a stigma around sex. Parents hesitate to talk to their kids on such topics. Sex education should be implemented in schools and colleges to create awareness among children. Parents should not let their kids wander off unmonitored in the online space. Parents should enable parental lock and install online activity monitoring software on their child’s gadgets and do a regular audit of their online activities.”