Screening apps usage to regulate children’s Internet use still low

Screening apps usage to regulate children’s Internet use still low

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of parents who use screening apps to regulate Internet use among children remains low, exposing children to a variety of content that is not appropriate for their age.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith said according to the ‘Internet User Survey 2018’ conducted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), only 12.2 per cent of parents use the software, while 62.4 per cent of them know about the application.

“Hence, consciousness should start from the family itself. Parents need to monitor their children’s activities so that they are not easily influenced by browsing non-productive websites.

“This should be a shared responsibility because the devices used to access the Internet are under the control of individuals and their families,” he said in response to questions raised by Senator Asmak Husin in his adjournment speech at a Dewan Negara sitting today.

Asmak cited a July 2 report on a case of a 12-year-old elementary school student raping a girl cared by his mother after getting excited from a video seen on a mobile phone, and wanted information from the ministry on the issue of easy access to pornography by children and teens.

On the ministry’s side, according to Eddin Syazlee between 2018 and June 2019, a total of 80 investigation papers were opened by the MCMC on pornographic content and all had been filed in court, while a total of 3,973 pornographic sites were blocked from 2016 to June 2019.

“Pornographic content is indeed an offence on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or on video streaming platforms like YouTube.

“Through the MCMC, collaboration and coordination have already been established between the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the platform providers involved for such specific issues, where the reported content will be evaluated based on their terms and conditions and subsequently deleted if it is found to be in breach of these terms and conditions specified, as well as set community standards,” he said.

He said the government had also drafted the Cyber Child Protection Action Plan 2015-2020 under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM), which had been formulated by emphasising four key areas such as advocacy, prevention, intervention and support services.

Among the parties involved in the implementation of the action plan, he said included the KPWKM, Communications and Multimedia Ministry, MCMC, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Ministry of Education, Royal Malaysia Police, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private companies.

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