Aderonke Oyelakin, the Lagos State Coordinator, Child Protection Network (CPN) has says teens using the internet without supervision are more likely to experience cyberbullying.
Oyelakin spoke to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday on the sidelines of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) workshop themed “Content Inclusiveness in Digital Era”.
She said the teens could also go into through depression from believing in everything they read on the internet or see in movies was always reality.
The coordinator said that without any restrictions can cause them to misuse the sites and inflict emotional harm to themselves or others through cyberbullying.
She said that CPN, an initiative of UNICEF expresses her concerns that we live in a world where our children are vulnerable to different kinds of risks and threats on a daily basis.
“Some of these may harm them physically, but there are many other threats that can cause psychological damages if we fail to protect our precious innocent children from them.
“The media has often been accused of exposing kids to graphical violence and explicit sexual content that often leads to aggressive behaviour and increases the chance of kids becoming sexually active at a young age.
“This is where the role of censorship in public broadcasting enters the discussion.
“However, I am happy that this event is timely organized by National Broadcasting Commission tagged *Content Inclusiveness in Digital Era’ “,she said.
Oyelakin said that in society today, our children and youths are being exposed to things beyond their capacity and social media was playing a greater role in the life of young people, more than stories and books.
She said that this calls for the need to give proper attention to the idea of censoring content.
She said that CPN Lagos joins other parents and NGOs to emphasize the need to protect children and that the effects of violence in movies and video games, full or partial nudity, vulgar scenes, depiction of criminal behaviour, and underage drinking have been inconclusively debated over the years.
Oyelakin said that every stakeholders have a responsibility to protect the physical and psychological well-being of its youngest citizens.
She concluded that the costs of censorship in the name of child protection far outweigh any demonstrable benefits.
“Are you aware that children who are exposed to television violence and sexual content, more likely to be fearful of the world around them and/or more aggressive towards others?
“Critics of media censorship argue that monitoring children’s television viewing is a personal and parental responsibility, and the government and other regulatory bodies cannot assume that kind of responsibility for them.
” It is the parents’ obligation to stay informed and to nurture their kids with the appropriate behaviour, not by pushing the responsibilities towards a third party.
“As for censoring news and current affairs programs on television, critics of censorship believe that similar to adults, children have the right to be informed about what is happening in the world around them.
“Regardless of whether a media censorship is in effect, you, the parents, need to be personally involved with monitoring what your child is watching on television, what video games he or she is playing and what websites they are browsing” she said.
Oyelakin however, implored everyone to be aware of the content of all the media their children consumes to make an informed decision about what your child was restricted and/or allowed to view.