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Children and the Internet Although the US created the Internet in the 1960s as a communications tool for the military it was not until after the government opened it to the public in the late 1980s that the Internet became a unique communications phenomenon Nobody could predict the speed by which people all over the world grabbed onto this new form of technological communication In 1995 there were an estimated 56 million Internet users worldwide by 1999 this figure is expected to rise to 200 million This tremendous growth has caused something our world has never seen before for the first time in history the governments of this planet are facing something that is larger than all of them combined and they are terrified A wealth of information is readily available to those who possess the technological means to access and contribute to it It is the place where any person can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox Sheremata 22 This has made the Internet a very powerful and positive forum for free expression Parents however are concerned that the Internet makes pornographic hateful violent profane and destructive content easily accessible to their children But who is ultimately responsible for keeping the Internet safe for children parents educators Internet service providers or the government And how can one regulate this new form of communication without infringing on peoples right to freedom of expression Some would say that the Internet needs to be regulated by eliminating all pornographic destructive violent and hateful web sites This would ensure the protection and welfare of everyones children Pornography and adult-oriented sites are the main part of the Internet that parents do not want their children to have access to From text to images the graphic portrayals of almost every form of sexual activity are available to anyone regardless of age or gender
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