Almost 80% of parents reject automatic porn blocking

What’s the best way to protect kids from adult content and harmful sites?

The majority of parents in the UK are against automatic filtering of adult content online. That's according to a new survey, conducted by research company YouGov on behalf of broadband provider TalkTalk.

We firmly believe that internet safety is the road safety of our children's generation

More than 2,000 adults were quizzed about different ways to shield children from potentially harmful material on the internet, such as pornography and websites promoting self-harm and eating disorders.

Almost eight out of 10 respondents (78%) were against automatically filtering the web - a system that would require users to "opt-in" if they wanted to access adult material. Only 22% of participants supported the concept of a total upfront ban on grown-up content.

Active choice, where broadband customers are asked when they sign up whether they want to restrict certain sites and types of content, was a more popular option, with 37% of participants suggesting that this system was the best for protecting children online.

However, almost a third of people (30%) believe that internet content should only be filtered if they specifically ask for it.

Earlier this year, the government's Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Children and Young Peoplerecommended that broadband providers offer parents an "active choice" about parental controls when they sign up. To date, TalkTalk is the only provider to do this, alerting customers to its HomeSafe parental controls service.

TalkTalk's chief executive, Dido Harding, said: "We firmly believe that internet safety is the road safety of our children's generation. Road safety required all of us to play our part; teaching the Green Cross Code, using seat belts, fitting car seats and so on.

"Internet safety requires the same approach, where tools like HomeSafe are one very important part of the overall approach, along with better education and information for families."

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