.. re designed to lure them into giving up a credit card number; however, there are various shots that could be access without a credit card. Portelli and Mead say the Supreme court in 1982 ruled the use of pornography involving children to be “harmful to the physiological, emotional, and mental health” of children and criminalized the practice, instigating strong enforcement and severe punishment for offenders (7). They further stated the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which strove to end the flood of pornography available on the Internet, was ruled to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court due to violation of the First Amendment (7). In other words, the issue of how to protect minor from Internet pornography without violating the right of free speech is under debate. The tendency of children to conjugate in on-line chat rooms is universal.
It is hard to regulate the nature of these chats as it is to censure live conversations among groups of children. Groups sharing the same interests and the same age levels usually create these chat rooms. Access to these rooms is usually not coded or barred, so the presence of a pedophile or other type of sexually twisted individual is a real and distinct possibility. The usual tendency of these individuals is an attempt to direct the conversation to a sexual subject, often using explicit and indecent language. If found, it is easy for a child to enter a sexually explicit chat in progress.
Since there is minimal monitoring of chat rooms, these are sometimes labeled in a manner that reveals the nature of the conversation going on within. For example pornography materials was just a click away from “Governors kid page” (fun facts, coloring books, etc.). Grooves state that once the children access this web site, all they had to do was to click on”links.” By their surprise, an adult chat room appeared with exchanges of sexually explicit messages within. The dangers of the Internet continue with a variety of interactive video games. These games are usually access through dial-up networks and through on-line services. Many of these games can be downloaded at no charge.
These interactive games include arcade type games, classic puzzle games, and role-playing adventure games. Cummins state a recent survey of nine hundred students in the fourth through the eight grade revealed that nearly half of the children stated that violence and fantasy was involved in their favorite video games (1E). Considering this statement one can conclude that it is these violent fantasy games, these role-playing adventure games, that have recently been the focus attention. Following the recent tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, FBI agents have been taking a closer look at the Internet and the consequences of its role-playing games. Alderson says the gunmen involved at Columbine, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, two Columbine seniors, were members of a dark on-line community calling itself the Trenchcoat Mafia (31A). In other words, this Internet world evolved from simple role-playing fantasy games to an on-line world filled with deep hatred and violent schemes.
Robert Denerstein, staff writer of the Denver Rocky Mountain News, reported that the events at Columbine “Underscored changes that have already occurred” and “point to the hidden life of many youngsters” (31A). A pertinent fact that needs mentioning at this point is that Harris and Klebold, Columbine gunmen mentioned above, obtained the knowledge to build their pipe bombs from the Internet. This is not the first time the negative effect of interactive games and the Internet have been the center of tragedy and the subject of scrutiny. In 1997 Michael Carneal, age 14, brought a gun to his Paducah, Kentucky high school with the intent to harm. Michael began shooting at students involved in a prayer group.
Parents of three of the victims brought lawsuits against various media companies on grounds that their products contributed to the violent episodes. Among the defendants were game manufacturers Nintendo and Sony, who produced games the young gunman was fond of playing — violent games such as “Doom” and “Mortal Kombat.” An Internet pornography site was also among the defendants. The parents of the gunman, as well as his teachers, school officials, and classmate, were also held partly responsible for the shooting. Cummins state that David Grossman, a United States Army retiree who now teaches psychology at Arkansas State University, says that some of these violent video games “are no different than military simulators..in some ways, worse” (1E). Considering this statement one can conclude that what the children of today are getting from these video games is military training, a process of continuous stimulus and response known as”operant conditioning”.
A process in which the main objective is to teach to kill. The violence of these interactive games available through the Internet needs to be scrutinized. The key to sheilding children from negative influences on the World Wide Web lies in knowledge. Parents and other influential adults such as teachers and librarians need to get to know the Internet, to learn the World Wide Web and what it has offer. Douglas Ruhoff observed in a 1996 USA Weekend article that the children are “native” to the high tech world of today where the parents are immigrants” (12). Bibliography Alderson, Andrew. “International: New Threat by Trenchcoat Mafia.” The Sunday Telegraph . April 1999.
31A Asch, Kim. “Teens Social Lives Woven Into the Web.” The Washington Times. August 1998. E1 Clothier, Mark. “TechReport: A Little Lying is Part of the Online Culture.” The Atlantic Journal and Constitution. February 1999. 2 Cummins, H. J.
“War Games – Are Video Games No Different Than Military Training Simulations? Are We Teaching Our Children To Kill ?” Minneapolis Star Tribune. January 1999. 1E Denerstein, Robert. “Into the Heart of Darkness – Two Killers Lived in Suburbs, But Inhabited Their Own Twilight World.” Denver Rocky Mountain News. April 1999. 31A Durkin, Keith F.
“Misuse of the Internet by Pedophiles: Implications for Law Enforcement and Probation Practice.” Federal Probation. September 1997. 14-18 Groves, Howard. “Conduct of Life”. Christian Science Monitor. 16 March 1999: 24 CD-ROM.
UMI- EBSCOhost. April. 1999 Madden, Lisa. “What Dangers Lurks Behind that Screen”. New Hampshire Business Review.
15 August 1999: 14 CD-ROM. UMI- EBSCOhost. April. 1999 Sources Cited Portelli, Christopher J. And Mead, Coralie W.
“Censorship and the Internet – No Easy Answers.” Contemporary Womens Issues. October 1998: 4-8 CD-ROM. UMI- EBSCOhost. April. 1999 Porterfield, Deborah.
“Ask Parents Why They Want a Computer and Youll Hear..” Gannett News Service. June 1997. CD-ROM. UMI- EBSCOhost. April. 1999 Rushkoff, Douglas.
“Are Screenagers Wiser Than Adults ?” USA Weekend. June 1999. 12.