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Mobile phones? Improper weapons in the hands of children



Mobile phones? Improper weapons in the hands of children


Rome – A science teacher dressed in traditional Muslim clothes comes to the classroom to give a lesson, one of his students shoots everything with his mobile phone and publishes it on the Internet. These are the ingredients of the umpteenth controversy on the use of mobile phones at school reported this time by Leggo’s freepress, a controversy also fomented by the complaint presented by the teacher.

He tells it himself: “We were talking about thermodynamic physics and I dressed up like this to make the boys understand that in the desert people dress like this to keep cool in summer and warm in winter. I then proceeded to submit a complaint to the Postal Police. Nobody authorized the distribution of that video, which was recorded without my knowledge in the classroom “.

The video, while we are writing still available on YouTube, was made with a tvcell by a student who in this regard would have written that “his role (of the teacher, ed.) Is to teach and not to perform as he seems good and trained to do “. To defend the teacher, who in any case assured that “I would not do a gesture of this kind again”, the dean of the Institute intervened, according to which “our school makes integration between the various religions a battle horse. Whoever put that video on the Internet, however old, was wrong ”.

This controversy also raises attention because it appears as a perfect condiment to the statements of the European Commissioner for the Information Society, Viviane Reding, made yesterday during the Safer Internet Day celebrations. According to a public consultation by the EU, in Italy practically all minors between the ages of 14 and 18 have a cell phone, but there is no shortage of 5-year-old children with a cell phone. The data highlighted by Eurobarometer speak for themselves: 70% of minors between 12 and 13 years have a mobile phone and there are many very young people who are left free to use it without any parental control. In this sense, Italians are “precocious” compared to what happens in other EU countries. All seasoned with a substantial ignorance about risks in using the mobile phone in particular in the video shooting functions and the consequences on privacy and the right to personal integrity.

Reding therefore applauded the agreement announced yesterday by the European telcos to find a way towards children’s cell phone . It is an agreement for the implementation of a regulatory code to protect younger users from pedophilia and bullying, and to avoid the risk that they can access adult material.

The appeal was signed by 23 operators, including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Orange and Telecom Italia, who have undertaken to develop “adequate control systems” on the accessibility of content prohibited to minors, but also to collaborate with the Authorities and to launch consumer awareness campaigns. “This agreement is an important step forward for the safety of children,” said Reding. The agreement provides for a maximum deadline: the introduction of new self-regulation codes must take place within one year.

According to the Commission, self-regulation is the best way to go to reach the goal of efficient protection quickly, given the long reaction times of the bureaucracies of the individual national institutions. Some companies have already moved, offering parents an “ad hoc” service that combines “parental control” with the desire to give minors a communication tool. An example above all, also known in Italy, is the Primofonino launched by Vodafone.