Parents must step up and parent

The tendrils of the dark side of the web can reach into any home.

The tendrils of the dark side of the web can reach into any home.

Published Apr 27, 2024


Durban — While Anthony Stonier’s guilt or innocence will not be determined for a while yet, the arrest of the well-known entertainer gives pause for thought on the insidious crime of child pornography.

Unlike in the past, when it was difficult to produce pornography, modern technology ensures that the tools – any cellphone with a camera will do – are present in most homes.

And while that same technology makes it easy for people to connect with one another instantly across vast distances, it also helps adults pretend to be children to gain the confidence of young people to be exploited for their sick ends.

However, the producers and purveyors of child pornography are often children themselves, exchanging nude and other compromising pictures without thought for where they might end up, or how they could be used.

Children, being irresponsible and immature, have little thought for consequences, and exchanging nudes is practically de rigueur, with a coded text speak being developed to keep watchful parents in the dark.

Cellphones, computers and tablets are indispensable even for children these days, given their various applications in the field of education, but they must be taught to use these with caution and responsibility, and how to safely navigate the social media world, the playground of child abusers and pornographers.

Certainly it is the job of the police to prevent and investigate crime, but they cannot be in every home.

Parents must therefore step up and parent.

The time for guarded, coy conversations punctuated with winks and innuendo is long past; the current era demands open, honest conversation to make children aware of the perils of the world they live in.

The tendrils of the dark side of the web can reach into any home; parents must ensure their children are able to respond appropriately when this happens.

Independent on Saturday