Free laptops help kids juggle smut, studies

It turns out kids in impoverished regions of the world want the same thing as most Web surfers: porn.

Now that we are breaking down the digital divide by getting computers to children in impoverished regions of the world, let's take a look at what the kids are doing with their new laptops. It turns out they are using them the same way most of the people surfing the Net use them: searching for pornography.

A reporter for the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) found that pornographic images were stored on many of the laptops donated by the One Laptop Per Child project.

"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," Reuters quoted NAN as saying.

However, an observer of the One Laptop Per Child project questioned the news value of the story and the motivation behind the report.

"To focus on it this much means that the reporter really wanted a headline grabbing story or is against the project on a personal level," Wayan Vota wrote on an OLPC news site.

"No matter which, OLPC Nigeria reacted quickly and XO computers will now be fitted with filters," Vota wrote. "Porn surfing is not a technical problem to be solved with filters, it's a human nature issue addressed through a comprehensive cultural integration process."

It's probably also worth noting that the school children are also using the laptops for their stated purpose: education.

Update:This posting has been changed to correct the spelling of Wayan Vota's name. Olpcnews.com is a site independent of the OLPC project.

 

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