Chil­dren ‘see porn as they watch Peppa Pig’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Focus - By Sanchez Man­ning

CHIL­DREN as young as six are be­ing ex­posed to porno­graphic videos that ‘pop up’ while they are watch­ing in­no­cent car­toons on­line.

Hun­dreds of youngsters in­ter­viewed in re­search for a new play re­ported hav­ing seen the ex­plicit ma­te­rial.

About 900 chil­dren aged six and seven were spo­ken to by play­wright Abbey Wright for her mu­si­cal Why Is The Sky Blue?, which ex­plores the ef­fect of pornog­ra­phy on the young through a se­ries of ver­ba­tim in­ter­views and songs.

She said a num­ber of chil­dren re­called sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences of watch­ing Peppa Pig on­line or play­ing com­puter games and SO­CIAL AF­FAIRS COR­RE­SPON­DENT sud­denly be­ing con­fronted with porno­graphic ver­sions of the an­i­ma­tion.

Seven-year-old Ma­rina, one of the per­form­ers in the play cur­rently be­ing staged at Lon­don’s South­wark Play­house, told how shocked she was when pornog­ra­phy sud­denly ap­peared as she played a game.

She said: ‘I was play­ing Sub­way Surfers on my sis­ter’s phone and there was a film ba­si­cally about peo­ple fall­ing in love.

‘They were both in the swim­ming pool. They were naked and they were fall­ing in love. I didn’t like it. It was re­ally weird. Some­times when you’re play­ing those things just ap­pear – they just come on.’

Ma­rina, who has her par­ents’ per­mis­sion to take part in the play and to talk to the MoS, ad­mit­ted the ex­pe­ri­ence had put her off us­ing the in­ter­net, say­ing: ‘I just like colour­ing in.’

Ms Wright spoke to 10,000 young peo­ple aged six to 22 about their ex­pe­ri­ences of in­ter­net porn, go­ing into schools, youth clubs and theatre groups across Bri­tain be­tween April 2017 and March this year.

De­scrib­ing her in­ter­views with six- and seven-year-olds, she said: ‘I would ask them what was great about the in­ter­net and were there any dan­gers. They would de­scribe see­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate, naked pic­tures.

‘They would say these images would pop up some­times when they were do­ing home­work.’

The cast of Why Is The Sky Blue? is drawn from the same age group as those who were in­ter­viewed. Younger mem­bers wear head­phones on stage so that they do not hear the more ex­plicit ma­te­rial. An NSPCC study in 2016 found that 94 per cent of chil­dren had been ex­posed to pornog­ra­phy via pop-ups by the age of 14. A spokesman said: ‘Our re­search found that one in four young peo­ple have seen in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent on sites and so­cial net­works. It’s im­por­tant par­ents have reg­u­lar and open con­ver­sa­tions with their chil­dren about how to stay safe on­line.’

IN­NO­CENT: The ver­sion of Peppa Pig chil­dren love

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.