Parents reported that their children are exposed to content inappropriate for their age through electronic means directed at children, including animated films and games that may contain advertisements inappropriate for their age, stressing that they are trying to intervene to protect their children from any misconceptions they may be exposed to.
Educators and education experts called on parents to impose comprehensive control programs on electronic content provided to children, after the recent spread of inappropriate materials to which they are exposed via electronic platforms, stressing the need to tighten penalties on its promoters.
The Executive Director of the Media Regulation Office at the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Dr. Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, stressed that all artistic and literary works registered in the media content system in the country are subject to a follow-up and evaluation system for circulating content, whether they are films shown in cinemas or video games sold in retail stores or A book that is circulated in commercial libraries in the country, stressing that the evaluation is subject to the standards of media content and the age classification system.
“Emirates Today” monitored the spread of means directed at children, including content inappropriate for their ages, which witnessed widespread criticism on social networking sites, including animated films and electronic games, most notably the movie “Light Year”, which the UAE banned from showing represented by the Office of Media Regulation for violating the film. Media content standards applicable in the country.
It also included electronic games that direct children towards ideas that are inappropriate for their ages, including the famous (subway) game, which included in one of its updates the presence of a slogan promoting “behavioral deviations”, as well as the game (pop it), which sparked widespread controversy in the Arab world, due to connotations their colors.
In detail, the guardian of Muhammad Abdel-Fattah stated that he had monitored inappropriate content that appeared in the form of advertisements for his children on his “iPad”, which infuriated him and prompted him to try to change the settings for “YouTube” to ban any content that is not suitable for them, stressing that there is an attack Electronic websites from outside the country seek to promote ideas that contradict our customs and traditions, which we should pay close attention to to protect our children, adding that the state is making a great effort in this regard, but the role of parents is necessary to filter the content coming online.
A female guardian (AMZ) said: “I was shocked when my daughter fell into a trap for inappropriate content on a social networking site, and then she was blackmailed through her pictures, and then I contacted a family counselor and dealt with the situation with complete confidentiality and acted with all Wisdom with the situation, and thank God I gained through this bitter experience calmness and recourse to specialists, as well as containing my daughter and dialogue with her.
The guardian (Alaa.M) said that he used to dedicate part of his time to his children and play with them, and while his son was playing the game (subway surfers), he was surprised by one of the levels that contained references to (behavioral deviations) spread all over the road, which angered him. He added, “I tried not to pay any attention to what I saw so as not to draw my son’s attention to its meaning, but what is the motive behind presenting such a message to children who do not understand it now?”
Mona A. said: “When we encounter advertisements with my children with me that call for content that is inappropriate for them, our role is to explain and explain to the children our customs, traditions and teachings of our religion, which forbids imitating the opposite sex, and this matter I followed with my adult children when they were young, and thank God after they grew up they understood what It goes against our religion, and now my turn continues with their younger brothers.”
The guardian (Amira. S) expressed her annoyance at the spread of violent games presented on an electronic game store, noting that her son is four years old, and he used to download games on her phone randomly, and I was surprised to download a large number of violent games on the phone, and the biggest problem is his desire Continuing to imitate it with the children around him. Information security expert, Dr. Ehab Moawad, stated that inappropriate contents reach children through many electronic channels, although search engines have become smart, and they can distinguish what the user is. If there is a 10-year-old child looking for an animated movie Or games, the search engine starts serving the requested content, and then inappropriate ads appear within that content.
He added to “Emirates Al-Youm”: “The question is: Does the search engine choose the appropriate content for children?” And he continued: “I think that this does not happen, especially in light of the recognition by many countries of the world of inappropriate ideas that they are normal, but in that case, It is up to the parents who have to pay attention to this and filter the content by other means.”
He pointed out that there are new generations of Internet transmitters (routers) through which content can be purified by placing identifying words on any content that can be accessed, and there are programs that help with this, but I think that there is an additional effort on international companies to educate parents on how to use them. To ensure that families choose content appropriate to the prevailing societal culture.
For his part, Executive Director of the Media Regulation Office at the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Dr. Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, said: “All artistic and literary works registered in the media content system are subject to the follow-up and evaluation system for the circulating content, whether it is a movie that will be shown in cinemas or a video game that will be sold in stores. retail or a book that will be circulated in commercial libraries in the country.”
Al-Nuaimi indicated to «Emirates Today», that all cinematic films are subject to a special system of follow-up and evaluation before they are officially shown, according to media content standards and the age classification system, which contributes to involving society with responsibility for choosing appropriate content according to the age group, as well as with the rest of the types of content. Offered in the markets such as video games, books and magazines, all of them were approved after entering through the country’s ports.
Al-Nuaimi added that the office contributes to the discipline of the media sector in general, by intensifying periodic inspection and awareness campaigns for media facilities, in order to ensure their compliance with the laws and regulations in force in the country, where the commitment rate of these institutions reached 92%, and this reflects the maturity and cooperation of these institutions And trust those procedures followed. While the head of the Education, Culture, Youth, Sports and Media Affairs Committee in the Federal National Council, Adnan Hamad Al-Hammadi, said that the family is the first responsible for socialization, which is the beginning of educating the child about what he follows and reads, and the main factor in directing and controlling the child indirectly so that he does not feel that he is under pressure. . Al Hammadi added to “Emirates Today”: “After the family comes the school, which expands the child’s perceptions and directs him to the useful programs he goes to,” noting that “the cybersecurity platform in the country is high, accurate, and able to address electronic programs that affect children and promote inappropriate ideas.” for them”.
He continued, “We also have a sector that monitors the media, which falls under the Ministry of Culture and Youth, but it should be more than just a sector in a ministry. We need a ministry, authority, or council with reference for what is going on in the media. Today we no longer have traditional media, but it is parallel media in The hands of everyone is the digital media, and here the responsibility expands with the expansion of the base.”
Al Hammadi continued: “The time has come for us to have a Ministry of Information or a major institution or body in the country that specializes in supervising the field of media, with the aim of following up, monitoring and scrutinizing the content that is published, including electronic means of receiving, and therefore our responsibility begins with the family, then the school, then cybersecurity, and finally the responsible party.” .
For his part, Chairman of the Sharjah Education Council, Dr. Saeed Al Kaabi, said that the most dangerous thing is that commerce enters the lives of children, which may introduce ideas contrary to the environment of their upbringing. Today, companies must respect the culture and religion of the country, and there are norms around the world that must be followed and adhered to. Al-Kaabi added to “Emirates Today”, “When a child sees slogans inappropriate for his age, the idea of cancellation grows with him by getting used to, at first he will refuse, then refuse, and finally accept it, and this is a very dangerous intellectual extremism that is no less than religious extremism. ».
He continued, “It is necessary to tighten oversight and penalties for promoters of harmful content for children, whether through games or cartoons, etc., and to address the importing authorities that all these ideas are totally rejected, in addition to the importance of spreading societal awareness.” Hiam Abu Mashaal, a psychological and family consultant, said that electronic platforms have recently played a major role in guiding the lives of our children and adolescents, especially during the period of the (Covid-19) pandemic, as online technology provides good services and benefits for our children, especially children, if it is done. Providing them with good content, because it plays a major role in improving communication skills, creativity and excellence.
She pointed out that unfortunately, we have witnessed electronic platforms that provide harmful content to children, which entails great risks to their physical health, psychological stability and privacy, and threatens their sense of safety and exposes them to electronic bullying, sexual solicitation, seduction and exploitation in various ways and ways, especially by using personal information and images in a harmful and harmful way for them, as it is It develops undesirable behaviors, enhances aggression, affects values and principles, as well as their self-confidence and self-esteem.
And she continued: “Protecting children is a shared responsibility of everyone, and parents bear a great responsibility in the first place, as parents should educate their children, especially children among them, not to share their personal information with anyone via the Internet or social media, and care must be taken not to leave them unattended. Or follow up, and not allow them to sit for long periods on the Internet and meet strangers without a parent with them,” calling for keenness to check the content of Internet platforms through certain security and protection measures and monitor the electronic devices that are with them. In turn, the educational expert and director of the National Charitable School in Ajman, Dr. Maher Hattab, said that in light of the dominance of modern electronic technologies in the educational arena, and the excessive demand from students to use electronic devices in their lives for educational, recreational or social purposes, it entails educators and parents Matters have great responsibilities towards their children in order to protect them and prevent them from falling prey to malicious actors from different sides. Their responsibilities are to monitor and follow up on their children, in what is presented to them through these technologies. Not all content is useful for children under the age of 18.
He stated that the Internet is full of materials, commercial offers and advertisements, some of which are suitable for children, and many of them are not suitable for them at all, either because it is harmful in its origin because it leads to crime or vice, or it is not suitable for their age so they cannot use it in their lives in a right direction, hence the responsibility of the school The home is in control and follow-up in order to protect our children from malicious parties that hunt their prey from vulnerable groups, and educators and parents should pay attention to electronic content, work to filter it from all harmful materials and ban all sources of malicious and inappropriate propaganda for their age.
Tighter censorship of YouTube content
YouTube announced its endeavor to increase the protection of children who use the site from exposure to inappropriate content, through a five-point plan to tighten control over content and ensure that inappropriate content is prevented, namely:
■ Strict application of social rules and guidelines and acceleration of implementation of these rules through available technology. À Remove ads from inappropriate videos targeting families.
■ Block inappropriate comments on videos of young people.
■ Provide the necessary instructions for video makers suitable for family viewing.
■ Recruiting experts in these fields and benefiting from their expertise.
The Digital Quality of Life Council defines inappropriate content as “any type of communication or electronic content that is considered obscene, disturbing and inappropriate, such as advocacy of self-harm (such as eating disorders) or unsafe behavior, real or simulated violence and disturbing images, including This includes promoting aggressive behaviour, violent extremism/intolerance, hate speech; offensive, inappropriate or obscene content, being asked inappropriate or personal questions by someone you don’t know, being asked to submit intimate pictures or doing things online that make you feel uncomfortable, and sexually explicit content.”
Harmful content for children poses significant risks to their physical health and psychological stability.
Information security expert:
Smart search engines submit their content to various categories without redaction.