Policing your kids isn’t the world’s job

posted in: Dave, Media | 0


A woman’s 12-year-old daughter found erotica books listed on Amazon’s site, and the mom is trying to go nuclear against the etailer.  The only saving grace about this story is she’s not American, but British.  I say that only because it’s usually Americans who get prudish and narrow-minded about anything involving sexuality.

Here’s the deal, which apparently does have to be said over and over and over.  And is still ignored.  Worse, is still challenged as wrong, as not relevant, and ‘for the children’.

Raising your kids is your job.  Not the world’s.  The rest of us should not be expected, certainly not required, to do it.  The world is mostly adults.  Kids are important, and kids should be kids; but making adults part of the parental network for your children is unrealistic, offensive, and just plain wrong.

But Dave . . . no, sorry.  Not interested.  If you want to have and raise kids, that’s great.  A fine thing.  Tons of joy, memories; it’s the major life goal for an awful lot of people in the world.  Knock yourselves out.  But that’s your choice.  You’re the one who wants to be a parent.  You’re the one who put yourself in a circumstance where you have to monitor not only your behavior, but the kid’s or kids’ as well.  Continuous chain-of-custody for eighteen years, that’s what you signed up for.  Not me.  Not us.  You.

Back in the day, before the internet, stores and places where adult material was available could be easily restricted; buildings aren’t that complicated to ‘secure’.  They’re physical.  They only have so many doors.  Windows can be covered.  Signs can be controlled, can be censored to not be explicit.  But the Internet is the Internet.  It’s wide open.  By design.  Expecting the net to cater to your parental desires is bullshit.

Let’s have a look at Amazon’s terms and conditions.  They’re on the page.  No one ever looks, ever reads, stuff anymore.

If you use any Amazon Service, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and for restricting access to your computer, and you agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account or password. Amazon does sell products for children, but it sells them to adults, who can purchase with a credit card or other permitted payment method. If you are under 18, you may use the Amazon Services only with involvement of a parent or guardian. Alcohol listings on Amazon are intended for adults. You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase alcohol, or use any site functionality related to alcohol. Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in its sole discretion.

Emphasis mine.  What does this mean?  It means it was – is – the woman’s fault her child was permitted unsupervised access to Amazon’s site.  If the woman wants her child to never encounter the wide world of adult material, in any more, it’s her job as the parent to chaperone.  Not ours.  Not Amazon’s.  Not anyone else’s.  Hers.  She’s the one who chose to be a parent.  If she wants to shield her kids from whatever it is she wants to shield them from, that’s on her.  Not us.

Let’s just hope sanity settles in, before all of us are stuck watching Barney the Dinosaur reruns as our only options for content consumption.  Because that’s what happens if these pro-kid advocates get what they want.  It’s impossible to sanitize the internet to be kid friendly.  Impossible.  I’m an adult.  Don’t make me live in a kid world just because you don’t want to supervise yours.