UK charity warns parents to check their children’s e-books
August 26, 2013 | 10:09 am
That’s what one charity is saying after a mother reportedly found her 13-year-old daughter and a friend reading “It’s All About the Sex Face: A Guide to Becoming a Celebrity,” according to The Telegraph. The book is how-to guide on becoming a celebrity, which is about making a sex tape.
The children were reading the book on a Kindle; the e-book costs $1.51 on Amazon.
The NSPCC is a UK-based child-focused charity. It aims to protect children and help those that are neglected or abused. It issued the warning after Melissa Crighton reported finding her daughter reading this guide.
According to The Telegraph:
“The 45-year-old web designer from West Hampstead, north London, said: “They were reading out the steps in the book about how to make a sex tape, how to produce it, how to get a co-star and how to leak it.
“I interrupted them and took the Kindle away and I spoke to them and said ‘this is not a book you should be reading.’
“I found the subject matter inappropriate. They have gone online to find books about how to get famous so it’s worrying if this kind of stuff is being sold.”
The mother-of-two said the e-book was downloaded by her daughter’s friend on her mother’s Kindle.”
The concern of the mother is valid. If she finds this inappropriate reading material for a 13-year-old (it is), then there has to be a better job done—somewhere along the line—in making sure these books don’t get into the hands of children. But the mother’s cry that the government should get involved is not the answer.
“I think for kids a novel on a Kindle seems more like an app, something you can quickly download,” she said.
“It’s more accessible than going into a shop, so it’s more difficult to monitor what children are reading.
“The Government should do something where they get publishers to say what is in the book or give them a rating.”
First of all, the e-book was purchased through a Kindle. Someone had to put in their credit card information for the Kindle to be valid. That someone was one of the children’s mothers.
I think the bigger responsibility is with the adults in this case. Parents should know what their children are reading and ensure they are not downloading books that are inappropriate. While easier said than done, I’m pretty sure people get alerts—at least in their inbox—when a book is purchased.
Getting the government involved will not solve anything, especially in this case.
How is the Kindle going to know that a 13-year-old is using the device at that moment if the parent did not set parental controls?
This isn’t a new problem just for e-readers and tablet. (Hello, Internet, I see you.) Teens have been getting their hands on these kinds of materials for decades, looking and reading at content that is not meant for them. With the Internet, it takes a few clicks to find an adult website. However, there is software available to block these types of sites from children.
Having said that, the parental controls on e-readers and tablets could be better.
However, if I were the parent of one of these two girls, I would be more concerned with their fascination to become celebrities through a sex tape than looking to blame a Kindle. Much bigger problems here!