Sandra Laville reports for The Guardian that social media, mobile devices, and online pornography in the United Kingdom are exposing children to the dangers of sexual exploitation.
The exploitation “is violent, it is sadistic, it is very, very ugly,” Sue Berelowitz, deputy children’s commissioner, told the home affairs select committee. She said the issue of how social networking, text messaging and pornography was being used as part of the exploitation of children and young people – often by teenagers not much older than themselves – was of serious concern. She said she was concerned about the viewing of pornography by young people, which contributed to the problem of child sexual exploitation.
“They are watching it and then they are enacting it. Parents think they know what their child is watching … the reality is children can get anything they like on their mobile phones and they are,” Berelowitz said. “This is affecting children’s thresholds of what they think is normal behaviour. Social networking sites can be a source of real problems in this area.”
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