Advice for parents: protecting against iPod porn

“It’s not ‘dirty books’ that parents will be confiscating in the future, it’s an iPod Video packed with porn clips downloaded from the web,” David Richards writes for Smart House Magazine. “The launch of the new iPod Video has created an immediate problem for parents and schools. iPod porn which can be downloaded from the internet and concealed in the new iPod video player. [Apple’s iPod video] can download everything from video clips to TV shows to banned porn.”

Richards writes, “US newspaper the Seattle Times said that the development scarcely surprises technology watchers such as Marcus Rogers, a University computer-technology instructor. Pornographers are always looking for new distribution channels, he said. ‘It’s the nature of the industry,’ Rogers said. ‘They were early adopters of the Internet and bulletin-board systems, precursors of the Internet. They embrace anything that allows them to distribute this stuff quicker, better, to more people.'”

So, for adults entrusting young ones with video versions of the players, a bit of an education is in order. Here are points to keep in mind:
• The iTunes software has parental controls. This restricts what can be downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, an online bazaar featuring music and music videos and audio and video podcasts. The explicit among these are typically labeled as such and can be filtered out. You also can disable podcasts and the music store.
• Kids can get around those controls. One way is by manually obtaining video podcasts and other easily downloadable content. So, Mom and Dad, try to familiarize yourself with iTunes’ content areas. The key one is ‘Library.’ Click it to see a listing of audio and video content. A search field lets you look for keywords such as ‘sex.’
• Ask to inspect your kids’ iPods. Make sure they aren’t password-protected to lock you out. Or, if you let your kids use this Screen Lock feature so they can protect personal information while on the go (iPods now serve as digital calendars and address books), ask for those combinations and tuck them away for future reference.
• Don’t be overly dependent on technology. If you think you can stay on top of every tech trick, think again – your teens will outsmart you. So cultivate good relationships.

Richards writes, “‘It is incumbent on parents to teach what is right and what is wrong,’ Rogers said. ‘Don’t make this into a taboo. That is as bad as waving a red flag in front of a bull.'”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Porn-filtering V-chip for Apple iPod? – October 26, 2005
Porn industry rushes to adapt offerings for Apple’s new video-capable iPod – October 21, 2005
Podfather: iPod porn is going to be huge – October 14, 2005
Get ready for the iPod video torrent search sites – October 13, 2005
Using QuickTime Pro to create videos for playback in new Apple iPods – October 13, 2005
Apple unveils new 5th generation iPod, now plays music, photos, and video – October 12, 2005
Playboy brings soft-core porn to Apple’s iPod photo – December 30, 2004

23 Comments

  1. I’m just waiting for some born-again preacher to hold up the new iPod and curse the device for its devilish properties. Soon every righteous christian will be told to rid themselves and their families of this evil contraption.

    Strangely many holy orifices in the US and abroad will be praising the lord for the kind but unexpected donation from the Bill and Melissa Gates foundation. Even more oddly no-one mentions that most video porn is distributed using microsofts wma system which has drm in place to prevent perverts from getting the stuff for free!

    MW hands: as in wash your hands boy, don’t you know ipods are dirty!

  2. How about doing a search for a .mpg or .avi files. That would be the smarter way to go about it. I think it’s funny how this sort of thing is brought up after the iPod with video capabilities comes out, yet for the several years prior, when kids were surely filling CDs with porn, no one had a problem.

  3. Sex is not bad, but porn is manipulative, fraudulent, and lets people focus an awful lot on their own gratification. Adults can take their lives down whatever paths they want presumably because they know the consequences and make choices. Kids should be allowed a chance to grow without being jaded at the outset because often kids’ choices are not balanced because they don’t have the same intellect adults might have.

    It makes me laugh when people turn developmental issues into politics– like censoring porn is somehow more aggregious on a human rights bent than exposing emotionally and cognitively undeveloped individuals to staged reality that they can’t comprehend or process. I wonder if people who place political issues above developmental ones have ever thought it all through…

    Flame on…

  4. “So cultivate good relationships”

    That is the best advice from the article. You will not always be able to watch over your kids and protect them, so why not spend time with them and help them learn constructive things.

    Technology is inherently neither good nor bad, it’s what people do with it that makes it either good or bad or both. Is nuclear energy good or bad? In some cases, it is good and in some it is bad.

  5. Please Stop publishing this crap and come back to being a MAC news site.
    WTH?
    Porn is not an issue with iPods PERIOD.
    if its an issue with Ipods then it is an issue with all other computing devices which can play/view images, video, sound AND text.
    that covers pretty much all digital devices.
    so why don’t we prohibit the use of anything digital, turn off the computer, the DVR, the cell phone, the pda, the gameboy, the ps15.

    come on people get a grip, a cell phone is just as able to contain porn as an iPod, and is MUCH MUCH more conspicuous.
    so get your mind out of the gutter and focus on something interesting.

    HOW about the world series? Pretty interesting right?
    2 teams with really really old stigmas broke them in the past 2 years.

    or more on topic, what should Mac users make of PA semi’s new PPC chips.

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