Pope Francis said on Thursday that technology company executives and investors must be held accountable if they put profit before the protection of children, including from easy access to pornography on the web.
“Companies that provide (internet) services have long considered themselves mere suppliers of technological platforms, neither legally nor morally responsible for the way they are used,” Francis said. “There is a need to ensure that investors and managers remain accountable, so that the good of minors and society is not sacrificed to profit.”
Francis said the Church’s “painful and tragic experience” with its own sexual abuse crisis gave it a “duty to approach these issues with a long-term vision.”
Citing studies that show the average age of first access to digital pornography is 11, Francis said companies must make greater efforts to identify the age of users and intensify cooperation with law enforcement to combat child pornography. “I make an urgent appeal to them to assume their responsibility towards minors, their integrity and their future,” Francis said.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, protection of children online is in desperate need of strengthening and tech companies should do all they can to provide useful tools for parents to use to protect their children.
Pope Francis’ full speech to “Child Dignity in the Digital World” Congress via RomeReports can be read here.