Recently our attention was drawn to a website that after only a couple of minutes of browsing fell easily into the category of ‘dangerous’ for children. That website is called 4Chan.
Back in the prehistoric days of the internet ‘newsgroups’ were popular for sharing information online. Newsgroups were not about sharing news, they were a noticeboard or discussion forum that covered any topic.
Topics and groups were limited only by a person’s imagination and of course the volume of children having access to these programs was limited unlike today where sharing and communication is instant and constant.
This site was brought to my attention by a school that became aware of a post in 4Chan that made available hundreds of images to the public that depicted naked photographs of females from the internet, their full names and location. This site contains seriously disturbing and depraved material and information.
Like nearly all apps or websites, the name or logo in itself means nothing and does not indicate the appropriateness for children or what the capabilities, limitations and promises are to the user.
The site can be accessed either by visiting the website via an internet search or via an app that can be downloaded to devices from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
It is a website that:
Does not require an account to be created.
Does not require a password.
Users basically have free reign to say or post anything they want.
It took a split second to get to the site and almost as quick to realise this site has nothing positive to offer our children or family. Within seconds, by going to virtually any group, I was exposed to material including images, links to videos and conversation that was discussing and picturing sexual fetishes, male/female genitals, love for prepubescent females and bondage just to name a few.
The site contains what they call ‘Global Rules’ that users are to abide by. As usual, the rules are there to protect the owners of the site and make sure users don’t do anything to harm the site. Rule 2 states “You will immediately cease and not continue to access the site if you are under the age of 18.” This provides the owners plausible deniability as should they be aware a child is viewing some of the material it would constitute a criminal offence in most jurisdictions. They have placed the responsibility back on our children.
Considerations for parents:
The material that this site contains could be highly detrimental to our family. There is no identity verification, company moderation or monitoring. This website exists to make money and has no consideration for your family or children.
Even though our child may not stumble across this site or look for it a friend or online contact may direct them to it. Want to know more? Do a Google search and read up. There is no need to visit this site ourselves but should we choose to be warned, some material is very disturbing.
Under no circumstances should our children visit or use this site, end of story. Check internet browsing histories and apps on all devices used by our children. Ensure this website address is added to all blocked/blacklisted sites within parental control settings.
If you are aware your child has or is using this site a conversation must ensue. This is one of those times where we need to say ‘no’ you are not to use that site (Limiting the time our children spend on a site limits opportunity therefor reduces risk).
A snapshot of the site is included which depicts some of the more mild and subtle interaction between users. By no means is this a representation of the copious amounts of disturbing pornography contained in this site that could not be shown here for obvious reasons. As a reference the term ‘Lolicon’ means prepubescent female, this interaction is paedophilic behaviour.