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Search for Pornographic Material on Rise; Children are most Vulnerable
  Written By: Moneer Al-Omari (YEMEN POST STAFF)
  Article Date:
January 12, 2009



The search for bad material surpasses by far the search for useful and good things available on the internet for many in Yemen. According to Google Trends, Arabs are ranked first concerning search for sex and other linked material.

Yemen Net or Teleyemen, Yemen's internet providers have sought to block any website containing porn content and other materials that goes against the Islamic principles.

Further, Information Ministry has ordered the owners of internet cafes nationwide to remove the shields that were made in the past to separate one user from another. According to the resolution, computer screens should be directed towards the front and there should be nothing that prevents others watching what are you surfing.

Internet café owner Ibrahim Sa'eed, 26, pointed out that there is less browsing of pornographic websites because these sites are regularly filtered out and blocked by internet service providers through placing special programs.

"There are a large number of sex materials and websites. Their number is increasing markedly day by day. I think it is a hard task to filter all porn website, mainly because new websites are introduced every day," said Sa'eed.

He added that Information Ministry did well when it ordered internet café owners to keep all screens open to the front, where it is impossible for internet users to browse porn websites.

In addition, some internet café owners have programs that allow them to monitor what their clients are browsing. "Through a program I can closely find what my customers are browsing. When I find that a customer is navigating pornography website, I shut the customer's system automatically from my disk and I ask him to leave immediately," mentioned an internet café worker in the capital.

But an internet user interrupted me while speaking to Sa'eed and noted that he is against filtering, emphasizing that programs meant for filtering could not decide what is pornographic and what is not.  He continued that there must be something that we are in need for a better developed programs to filter and block only websites with bad content.

Yemen’s internet providers offer users the service to report the existence of porn internet site and the company will block it as it receives an e-mail from the user confirming the existence of a porn website. They also use programs to filter the websites from any porn content.

However, their trials have failed under the inordinate growth of porn websites, sometimes under names not directly related to sex. Some websites are designed with special attention to trap children and adolescents and to direct them to immoral behavior or bad habits.

Apart from the use of internet for cheating, blackmailing and other direct threats, children are being seduced through chatting rooms and electronic mailing services where children, mostly underage, are subject to harassment.

Experts hold that children's uncontrolled exposure to internet might badly affect their lives because they are not ripe enough to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. They can simply accept anything as something normal.

According to Internet Filter Website, over $3,075 is being spent every second worldwide on pornography. Every second, 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography and 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. In addition, a new pornographic video is being created in the United States every 39 minutes.

The same website revealed that pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink.

How to protect children

Education specialists stress that parents should direct the use of internet by their children right from the very beginning, to useful, scientific and educational  websites. They should always keep an eye on what their children view in the internet.

Specialists also agree that the parents should be a model in using the internet so that his children can imitate him in the future, hinting that the parents should have deep knowledge about internet and should know how to access the internet pages his children had viewed.

In this respect, parents can seek the help of experts to protect their children against obscenity on the web.  They can install filters to help bloc the pornographic sites; though it is not the best way for protecting children.