Children ‘see porn as they watch Peppa Pig’
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