Internet filters may fail to shield kids from disturbing content

A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of tools some parents use to filter and block children’s online contact with bullies, predators, pornography and other inappropriate material.

“Internet filtering, on its own, does not appear effective for shielding adolescents from things that they find aversive online,” said lead author of the report – Andrew Przybylski. He conducted 1,030 in-home interviews with 515 British parents and their adolescent children. A psychologist, Przybylski is a senior research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford in England.

“Parents may feel reassured in knowing they have internet filters in their home, but our results suggest that such filters do not safeguard against young people seeing things that may frighten or upset them.

“As young people grow into adults, there has to be a degree of risk tolerance as they build their own resilience. Keeping open lines of communication is key,” Przybylski said.

via Reuters