MPs ask Online Video and Social Networking Websites To Monitor Dark Side Of Net

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee is putting forward the idea of an industry policing body to take care of the "dark side" of the web.

The MP Committee warned that many social networking websites do contain content that is unsuitable for young children and teenagers.

In a move that coincidentally happened a few days after the UK launch of Blockbuster, "Batman, the dark knight", MPs now want video-sharing websites like Youtube or Dailymotion, to have one click facilities that allow users to report suspicious clips directly to the police (ed: Youtube allows you to report a video with two clicks but Dailymotion does not).

The video sharing industry normally allow 24 hours for the complaints to be processed and there is always a risk of abuse that could affect legitimate and legal videos.

They want to push the ability of video websites to monitor content even further; more radical proposals include compulsory age certificates and those with erotic/adult content and violent content should not be broadcasted before a certain time.

MPs said in the report that “The law should not be the only means of controlling access... access to such sites [should] be blocked on a voluntary basis, possibly through the procedures laid down by the Internet Watch Foundations.”, backed by research that showed that one in every six British child aged between 8 and 15 had come across “nasty, worrying or frightening” content on the web.

Ultimately though, it is down to the parents to evaluate the content that their sons and daughters are watching and educate them about potential dangers lurking online; neither computers nor video consoles, should be viewed as substitute for good parenting.