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December 21, 2009

Young kids searching Web for 'porn'

Posted: 11:44 AM ET

Yikes. According to Symantec, the fourth most popular search term for children 7 and under is "porn" - just ahead of kids' networking site Club Penguin.

Symantec's top searches for 2009 arranged by age group
Symantec's top searches for 2009 arranged by age group

Symantec recently released the anonymous results of 14.7 million searches run by users of its OnlineFamily.Norton service in 2009. The service allows parents to monitor web activities and supposedly blocks questionable sites, so let's hope the toddlers searching for "porn" were unsuccessful.

It's understandable that "sex" is one of the top searches for teens, but I was surprised to see that children as young as 7 were familiar with "porn." While services like OnlineFamily.Norton may filter most inappropriate content, they are not perfect - and are no substitute for parental supervision.

Other search terms popular with children included social-networking sites, celebrities and online games.

Interestingly, "Google" was also a top search term, which leads me to believe a lot of kids don't really understand how search engines work.

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Filed under: browsers • Google • Internet • online news


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Nathan   December 21st, 2009 12:44 pm ET

Yikes is right. There's no software that can substitute good parental supervision.


Brandon   December 21st, 2009 1:53 pm ET

This begs the question what are parents doing today that kids 7 and younger even know about such things. Yes it is understandable that they may get that from outside forces but if good parenting was at use if parents were more involved in their childs lives then situations like that and then some could be of non effect to their kids.


Wally   December 21st, 2009 2:58 pm ET

Give me a break. Those under 7 porn searches were from the parents.


Wilson   December 21st, 2009 3:20 pm ET

Old enough to ask. Old enough to know. The internet just takes the parent out of the equation unfortunately. When you don't answer them truthfully they still want answers. Kids are relentless in the pursuit of knowledge that adults don't want them to know. Case in point.


John Doe   December 21st, 2009 3:28 pm ET

well.... the 7 year little kids looking for porn could of heard there older brothers/sisters talk about, and was curious about it.


mike   December 21st, 2009 3:46 pm ET

It doesn't matter what parents do, because the kids go to school and are exposed to other kids who talk about sex. In fact, sheltering them too much will actually hold them back from keeping up with their friends socially, and will make them feel left out.

Kids turn on the tv, and half the time the only thing on is Family Guy, which appeals to kids but isn't made for kids (but they don't know any better). They hear sex jokes, or see how sex is used as a punchline, and grow up acknowledging it a lot earlier than kids of past generations had to.

Sex is also all over the place in tv commercials, or the kids will watch the VMAs because they like Justin Timberlake or Lady Gaga or the actors from Twilight, and end up seeing Pink swinging from a trapeze with pasties on.

When kids type in "porn" on Google, the first two websites that come up have hardcore, uncensored porn plastered all over their homepages, a lot of the time with moving images. And these aren't even natural, traditional sex acts: there's group sex, fetish sex, and all the terminology they need to go talk about it to their friends.

It is a fact that kids are growing up exposed to sex on a regular basis - and not just whispers or rumors about what it could look like, but graphic images and videos. They grow up knowing, but pretending they don't because we pretend they don't.

I have a daughter who says things like "I didn't hear that" or "I didn't see that" whenever something sexual comes on the screen, when the fact alone that they KNOW when to say those things means that censorship has already failed its job.

It isn't a problem as much as a basic reality parents need to be aware of. If you play stupid, your kids will play you for stupid because they know better. I don't know what the answer is, but embracing it and not being afraid of it has to be the first step.


asdf   December 21st, 2009 3:57 pm ET

Probably wasn't teens or the search term would have been pr0n (l33t h4xx0r wtfpwned n00bcake)


jay   December 21st, 2009 5:36 pm ET

yes i actually agree with this finding. because every where children go, they are always exposed to sex and porn and all kinds of different stuff, and not to mention that our society is actually supports these kinds of behaviors and environment from kids. there isn't any kind of barrier that can stop a 7 year old from accessing that kind of stuff, internet is still in 21st century an uncharted territory for kids.


brcre   December 21st, 2009 6:33 pm ET

My guess is the first thing a parent does after loading filtering software would be to test it out. So my first guess is that it's weighted with parent access, however I agree with the other posts that kids are exposed to sex terms/images more now than ever before and they pick it up faster than parents acknowledge. Luckily my own at 2 is still too young to be on my computer let alone his own, however I'll be dealing with this issue soon enough!


Anonolous   December 21st, 2009 7:31 pm ET

It is quite simply human nature to be interested in the thoughts of others. The younger age groups hear things from the older, and immediately are interested in what they are talking about. It's how the human (Not child, mind you) brain works. We are interested in the matters of others, not just ourselves.

It is silly to say that simple software will be able to stop teens from looking at things like this, seeing as I am a teen. Our school's blocking software may work a bit, but that doesn't stop us from using encryption methods to get past it. It's a dark reality that advisers and parents have to meet and agree with, you aren't going to be able to stop your child from being exposed to these types of things.

It's sad that people are blaming this on parents. It truthfully is because of how easy it is to get access to these types of things. I'm not saying that a 7-12 year old is going to WANT to see these types of things, it's simply curiosity stepping in. Now, for teens, sex being a top search is obvious, we have issues too that we have to cope with, such as sexual pressure, and we have to communicate with people on what we should do. It's stupid to think that people think it's easy to speak to your parents about something like this, we need to talk to friends about sex and whatnot. It's not trust, it's just beliefs.

Seeing as many people are obviously just going to blame this on the parents, it's a standard that children are to hear of these things in American society. It's what happens, we get curious, and we find out. Thus, calling these searches "Alarming" when we live in a sexual oriented society is not just stupid, but naive too.


nathan   December 22nd, 2009 12:20 am ET

this is why we need to educate our kids earlier about this stuff maybe keep kids off the internet and make them go outside more often hell why are 7 year olds even allowed to use the internet with out the parent being around


Kevin   December 22nd, 2009 12:49 am ET

I highly doubt that this research was done correctly.

One, how were they able to know the age of the user?

Two, how could they magically tell if it was the 7 or under year old at the time on the computer, and not a teenager or adult?

The teens and tweens don't surprise me, its pretty much common sense that a kid will start looking that stuff up ones puberty starts. It's called biology. But the fact that Symantec considered "YouTube" and "You Tube" as different results tells me this search needs to be taken with a bit more than a grain of salt.


Jonathan   December 22nd, 2009 1:00 am ET

just in case people have forgotten, and it seems they have; having sex is a way of life for children so of course they would be curious to know what it is. its not like these 7 year olds are searching the term sex to "get off". more like they search it to see what it really is. im actually old enough but young enough to say that i searched the term sex back when i was that young because yes, computers and internet existed back then and it was a way of finding information.


Jack   December 22nd, 2009 1:01 am ET

This is riduclous. Most kids aged 4,5,6 can't spell or type. This data is flawed.


dj   December 22nd, 2009 1:06 am ET

I bet that a lot of parents don't use the settings correctly, and probably use the computer to test it as others have said. Or their siblings try to use their siblings account to look up things they shouldn't. I used to use my siblings computers or accounts to look up something i didnt want tracked, I know I'm not the only one.


Lurker   December 22nd, 2009 6:21 am ET

Actually, they probably understand how searching works fine. I often see people enter URLs into search boxes and search terms into location bars. And since the tools often do what the user wanted anyway, they have no reason to smarten up and become careful where they type.


Scott   December 22nd, 2009 1:34 pm ET

And how, exactly, did Symantec determine the age of Web surfers?


shawn   December 22nd, 2009 1:47 pm ET

I been reading this and true about 7 and under


Greg   December 22nd, 2009 2:11 pm ET

So much for responsible reporting!!! Let me see, I want my story seen so I'll come up with a knee jerk headline and not report that there is actually no way to tell who or how old the actual person was...Good Job Symantec


BestBet   December 22nd, 2009 6:07 pm ET

I have to agree that this must be slightly flawed, most likely due to erronous settings on the parents part. As for the reason kids search for "Google" I know adults that do the same thing. They use the default search engine that pops up to search for the site they wan't to go instead of using the Address bar. Not sure why, but I have poked fun at many people for searching for google or youtube in yahoos search bar when its just as easy to type it in the adress bar.


Fammy   December 22nd, 2009 6:19 pm ET

So... assuming it wasn't parents testing the software, these 7-year-olds probably heard someone else talking about the word, and like smart little cyborgs, they asked Google what it meant.


Alex   December 23rd, 2009 10:04 am ET

I agree, this is ridiculous. I like that the top searches are "arraigned" by age group but there is no way to know who was on the computer.

Who searches for YouTube? It's youtube.com.


Willy   December 23rd, 2009 10:05 am ET

Gee.... Symantic found kids searching for porn. Then you would need to buy more of thier products to prevent this. Hmmmmm.


AJ   December 23rd, 2009 10:10 am ET

Cool. I wish I had the internet when I was 7.


Chris L   December 23rd, 2009 10:15 am ET

Well the under 7 thing is the only thing I don’t agree with the rest I can see as normal since I cannot lie I did the same when I hit about 11 myself… I have 3 sons and all are under 7 and when they are on the computer I sit with them (as all parents should when on the internet) so I know what they are doing online (mostly Disney and cartoon network)…@Jay tho… yes there is a barrier it is called ‘parenting’


Potion   December 23rd, 2009 10:18 am ET

As a man I'm angry because the porn is getting the kids at a young age its truly sad. Interesting enough most of the virus software can block some web-sites but the sites are starting to get smart by changing the site names so that it’s not picked up by the virus protection. Parents: the kids are smart my son used proxies to get around my parental controls; so I would advise parents to look at internet reports to see if sites like oddproxy.com or any proxy web site appears in the report; if you see proxy websites I can guarantee they are visiting porn sites. I was advised when I contacted most of the virus companies that I really couldn't do anything about it (wow). This is where the Government needs to get involved, I think that all sites before going live must identify the type of site it is i.e. for porn it should be "P" so if I configure my virus protection to block "P" websites it should be successful. The issue with the proxies is another monster. Any thoughts!!


Richard   December 23rd, 2009 10:32 am ET

"nterestingly, "Google" was also a top search term, which leads me to believe a lot of kids don't really understand how search engines work."

Take this article with a big grain of salt. The writer has not done a lot of research. Since the beginning of the internet, terms like Google, Yahoo, Youtube and the like are the top search terms in search engines, adults and kids alike.


James   December 23rd, 2009 10:37 am ET

I seriously doubt this report. If something is too shocking to believe, 99% of the time it isn't true.


Brian   December 23rd, 2009 10:38 am ET

This is freaking hilarious. I wish I had the internet when I was 7 instead of trying to watch for unscrabled snipets of the playboy channel.


Bud   December 23rd, 2009 10:39 am ET

My chief complaint is ED; I do not appreciate having to explain the terms erection, erectile dysfunction, or Erections Lasting Over Four Hours to my eleven-year-old daughter. Or why those people are in antique bathtubs all the time, that there is no answer for.


Drew   December 23rd, 2009 10:47 am ET

Proving once again that parenting cannot be done from the couch or from across the room.


tk   December 23rd, 2009 11:00 am ET

So...my brief thoughts on this (ok–not so brief). My 7, 5, and 3 yr old have heard a couple of occasional cuss words from their dad :), but they have NO idea what porn is! School classmates or not, my kids are interested in what they hear, but have judgement enough to know when something is not appropriate, and therefore will not go there. If kids are whispering about it, they will be curious, but they know that there will be trouble from mom and dad if it goes further than mental curiousity. I personally didn't know about sex until I was probably 11 because of a sex ed. movie. I heard, but didn't question further knowing I wasn't ready for that information no matter how much I wanted it. You raise your kids well and they will always be curious yet know their boundaries!


Tyr   December 23rd, 2009 11:00 am ET

Symantec is assuming that the people using their software are proficient with a computer or software.


Ed   December 23rd, 2009 11:02 am ET

These results are very strange, even 13-18 year olds "searching" for Google, Youtube, ebay and Facebook???
Every teenager I know has these sites clearly bookmarked, they don't "search" for them.

Clearly this audience does not know anything about how to use the Internet, perhaps these are families without any experience using computers?

I also wonder how many "daddies" are actually using these computers when the Symantec software actually thinks it's kids doing the searching.
I would not rate anything by Symantec as the most intelligent software around to be perfectly honest.
These results are not accurate for the majority of these age groups.


Pete   December 23rd, 2009 11:03 am ET

Wally is right... this just seems to be a bad report... do you honestly think children under 7 are looking for "porn" online? Clearly the parents are testing the proctection software they just purchased or are in fact looking for porn themselves.... Come on people lets not all believe what we see in the news...


Jayb   December 23rd, 2009 11:09 am ET

parents- don't let kids under seven on the internet unless it is controlled. Seriously. And saying that kids don't understand how search engines work because one of their top search terms is google is WRONG. They understand much more than most of us think. The reason this is a common term is because a lot of kids have aol and yahoo as their default and don't like using those search engines. I ca't tell you how many times I have had to type 'google' into yahoo in order to use a competent search engine.


justme   December 23rd, 2009 11:09 am ET

Flawed? Maybe. Maybe not.

In response to people saying that its impossible for them to determine age groups, perhaps you should read the article a little more carefully.

"results of 14.7 million searches run by users of its OnlineFamily.Norton service in 2009. The service allows parents to monitor web activities"

Obviously, these parents are using a service/software created by Norton to monitor and/or filter websites and search results. I am not familiar with the service, but I would assume it is set up in such a way to allow the parents to know who is doing what on the internet in their family, and subsequently allowing Symantec to log, categorize, and determine age groups in regards to search terms.

Also for the other comment about it being flawed for not being able to differentiate between "Youtube" and "You Tube", you must understand that this is not a study by humans, it is a statistical log created by software designed and programmed by Symantec. Although the software could have been designed to recognize similar search terms that are essentially the same thing, it would technically not be statistically accurate. A computer recognizes a space as a 'character' (or letter as you know it) by default. Therefore, to a computer, "Youtube" and "You Tube" are completely different 'character strings' (as the term is in programming lingo) or words rather. It is, I assure you, statistically accurate.

The real question of accuracy comes down to who is really making the search, on whom's account is this search being conducted, and how often? Its either the parents, or the kids. I would believe that parents "testing" the software isn't necessarily the culprit, but that is purely an assumption and opinion. Children are more likely to conduct repeat searches for the same subject matter, rather than remember the web address and type it in when they wish to visit that particular website.

Personally, I knew all about sex, masturbation, and how babies were made by the time I was in first grade. The real culprit? Highschoolers on the bus that I road on the way to, and from school. They were VERY liberal with information.

Just food for thought.


Tony   December 23rd, 2009 11:20 am ET

When users of most content protection software install, they create user profiles to distinguish between 7 year old Johnny, 15 year old Fred, and 43 year old Daddy.

That's how the ages are determined. Whoever logs on, the age is recorded, as well as the search term. It's by no means accurate, but even if the term "porn" is searched 50% as much as described in the article, it's a surprising find for children so young.

I agree with a lot of commentors – the information age is here. Young children know EXACTLY where and how to obtain information. And young children are sponges. So if they overhear a term like "porn", they'll search it out on their computers. Porn is an easy term – one syllable and spelled exactly how it sounds.

The solution is simple: you can shield your children, or you can educate them. You can also supervise them more when watching movies, TV, or using the computer.

-Happy Searching!


Mollie   December 23rd, 2009 11:21 am ET

haven't trouble believing this research... I'm from a generation that grew up on the internet.... i never looked for porn. and i didn't even knew what it was when i was 7...


RK   December 23rd, 2009 11:40 am ET

What's the big deal about censoring porn anyway? We're simply watching humans engage in things they like to do....same with watching sports. I'm not saying we should advertise it to kids or anything like that, but if they're curious about it, why don't we start having those conversations at an early age?


Amanda   December 23rd, 2009 11:42 am ET

I do not believe that the 7 year olds are searching the term "porn". I think this is just like any other search blocker where a particular term that can be twisted into something pornographic is searched...where when searched porn sites may come up...this happens to plenty of people in the work place...where a completely innocent term is searched...and not so innocent sites come up as the search result. Let's report these things accurately people.


Jason   December 23rd, 2009 11:47 am ET

Kids see the same commercials as the parents do, hear the same morning radio shows, and see the TV channel guide that parents surf. Kids are back seat listeners in an adult world. What do we expect?


skip j   December 23rd, 2009 11:47 am ET

this shouldn't be surprising. i'm sure a lot of people will be aghast over this fact, but it doesn't surprise me in the least.


Mollie believe it   December 23rd, 2009 11:52 am ET

I was intensely interested in girls from the age of 5 on, always looking for Dad's mag's under his bed as a kid. Fortunately my son didn't start noticing them until he hit 12 just this year. Now I got my work cut out for me.


Sniffit   December 23rd, 2009 11:54 am ET

And I bet the Republicans are going to blame this on Clinton and Obama!


Lea   December 23rd, 2009 11:57 am ET

perhaps it's the parents testing to make sure parental controls work?


Mark Ciccarello   December 23rd, 2009 11:57 am ET

This list is completely fraudulent, and cnn.com should be ashamed of themselves for rewriting Symantec's marketing b.s. and calling it a news article.

First of all, consider the source. Symantec is well known for putting out press releases hyping every virus threat under the sky because they sell anti-virus software. Now they are selling software designed to monitor your children's web access. Gee, I wonder what sort of press release would be helpful to them?

Second, consider the data. People, except the very dumb ones, don't search for youtube or google. They just go to youtube.com or google.com. Certainly that's true of most teens, who are pretty sophisticated about web use. And according to the alleged "data," the 7 & under crowd spends all day searching for "porn" but never searches for "sex." Then at age 8 they magically start to search for "sex." What a load.

CNN's journalistic standards have never been so low. This is a disgrace.


Evan   December 23rd, 2009 12:06 pm ET

I don't see that this web site is not banned by any filters that I know of. The words and topics discussed in the adult experience are viewed and are being paid attention to by our children. It's not only older brothers and sisters, not only peers or even careless slips of the tongue by adults. It's everywhere that you would find any form of media. The more adults banter, discuss and debate a topic; the more our children are going to witness and be curious what all these things are that are getting us so worked up about. Kids will always have some time to explore a newspaper left on a table or bus seat, look at the nightly news with their families or explore the news sites they see older family members reading. They want to check out the grown up stuff too. They see the words, they want to know the meanings. Not a far stretch.


Ashley   December 23rd, 2009 12:16 pm ET

I personally think that kids are curious about the world around them and if they over hear or hear others talking about sex or porn they are gonna want to know what it is. In this day and time on tv and all around is nothing but sex. Everything has got to be sexy before someone will be interesting.. am I wright or wrong?? Most cartoons have some kind of sexual remark or content. I think it all is overated.


FedUp2   December 23rd, 2009 12:18 pm ET

Maybe parents, teachers and librarians could do more to protect children, if companies like Yahoo weren't as dishonest about the adult content and questionable characters they harbor. Yahoo now hosts the largest collection of hardcore porn known to man on their Flickr website. Yet, they misrepresent this unlabeled adult oriented social network as being a family friendly place that evades most filtering software on purpose.
Millions of pornographic images and short videos are available in most homes, schools and libraries without question by an unsuspecting public. Even if there is software in place to thwart this onslaught of hardcore content being shared by countless pervs, sex predators and pedophiles, specific instructions are given regularly on how to use proxy servers to get around them by the Flickr users themselves.
Yahoo gets to have their porny cake and eat it too, as they have pulled off this PR stunt of masquerading Flickr as a non-pornographic site, safe for use by anyone over 13 yrs old. Despite their lame age verification that only involves having any e-mail address and using a pull down menu to claim whatever age the user chooses, hundreds maybe even thousands of grade schools, public libraries, YMCAs and other child oriented institutions use that site regularly.
Our tax dollars even go to pay for The White House, The State Dept., The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian and several other government places to support and participate in the Flickr porn-o-rama everybody loves. Time mag voted them website of the year. Of course, Yahoo has been feeding our kids to pedophiles on their chat rooms and sex groups for over a decade, and provides lists of links to tons of porn sites that pay to be on their own directories, without even needing to be searched.
It's no surprise that Yahoo's number 3 search item for kids is porn. It's a huge part of their business, and that business is booming thanks to them and their unlabeled porn sites like Flickr.
(CNN regularly censors this information whenever it's posted here)


mandeesa   December 23rd, 2009 12:22 pm ET

I'm not sure if the information in the article is acurate...and that is not my point of response. I've worked as a teacher from Kdg to high school. I also used to tutor struggling kids in the area. Kids 7 and under can understand and search for porn online. Kids in those age brackets now are being taught in school how to use computers and conduct searches online, even in kindergarten, it's often part of the curriculum. Those kids are going to pre-school and the following year to all day kindergarten knowing how to spell simple words and writeand type on a computer. It doesn't take much to sound out the word porn. A 6 year old i worked with had to go to counseling for asking a girl in his 1st grade class repeatedly to have sex with him. Upon questioning by the school counselor he was found to know exactly what sex was, how to do it, etc. and he didn't learn it from sex ed but rather from older siblings and their friends, other kids at school and from television. Kids are like sponges. They absorb everything.


Sanjose Mike   December 23rd, 2009 12:27 pm ET

WHAT ABOUT KIDS WHO (WERE) ARE RAISED ON A FARM?

The enormous fear of children learning about sex (and actually seeing it) is a typical American fear, exacerbated by religion.

For centuries, kids as young as 2 have seen sex on farms, between farm animals. They have also seen births, and in some cases, kids as young as pre-teen have "assisted" parents in artificial insemination of farm animals, or actually helped lift animals to engage in sex to get offspring.

My guess is that they not only "survived" but also did not grow up permanantly damaged.


Kana   December 23rd, 2009 12:29 pm ET

Where do children learn these things? How about through the "Politicaly Correct" public school system.

Children today live in a more technologicaly advanced world than many of their parents and grandparents grew up in.

Internet access is availbale in so many differant mediums other than the typical desktop\laptop computer. There are also various gaming systems and handheld devices in childrens bed rooms and backpacks.

And you're surprised why?


donttreadonme   December 23rd, 2009 12:42 pm ET

Parents need to use parental locks on their children’s computers. No matter how well you raise your children or how much you try to shelter them, if one of their classmates knows what porn is guarantee that they will too. Be prepared to discuss it with them in an age appropriate manner if it comes up.


Steven   December 23rd, 2009 12:55 pm ET

Throw the TV away, lock the computer, move to a farm. That's my plan for kids. And maybe homeschool. Will just have to figure out how to keep them from becoming hermits. Team sports, perhaps...


sad:(   December 23rd, 2009 12:57 pm ET

I, being a 'tween' can understand why someone my age would do this because, they don't really have anyone to talk to about it and once you hit puberty its like..."hmmm i wonder what thats is?", but when I saw that children 7 and under looked that up I was shocked. I didn't they were exposed,but I think we really need to be aware of that because the world is changing and children are being exposed younger and younger and that could lead them to do things they should not be doing and this is just the first big thing.Its sad it really is. I don't know if anyone's directly to blame. Our society is sexually based and that is the simple truth. Children are bound to see some thing on TV or on the computer or maybe even in their own homes.


Soda Bob   December 23rd, 2009 1:06 pm ET

For those few asking for government involvement here, I suggest instead that you do not allow your kids to have un-supervised access to the Internet! Move all computers out into a common room, where kids can be easily monitored at all times – nobody said children have a right to unsupervised computer access! Whenever parents look to the government to parent for them, they end up losing rights as parents to raise their kids in the way they choose...


Tim   December 23rd, 2009 1:08 pm ET

I was looking at playboy at seven.

If only they would have had the net...


payload   December 23rd, 2009 1:13 pm ET

Can you say "auto-complete?" These kids aren't searching for porn, it's coming up in the search history, from someone else (parents) searching for porn.


Kayla   December 23rd, 2009 1:26 pm ET

holy crap! how do 7 year old kids know about porn in the first place?


Doug   December 23rd, 2009 1:42 pm ET

I have to say, Kevin's post @ December 22nd, 2009 12:49 am ET
was dead on. This study couldn't have been done correctly. I could understand one age group having porn or sex in the #4 position, but all three?

Also, Youtube and google being top searches for teenagers? c'mon.. that right there should tell you this poll isn't accurate. I have never heard of any kids having to search for those two sites.

I'd love info on how they pulled these numbers together....


simmons   December 23rd, 2009 1:48 pm ET

7 year old kids don't even know about porn, this data is ridiculous. obviously older kids or their parents are doing the search under their 7 year old's name. how did this reach the front page of cnn when it is so obviously flawed. idiotic


Nick   December 23rd, 2009 1:49 pm ET

It's VERY unfortunate that children at THAT age are already exposed to pornography. Definitely NOT something I'd want my 7 year old to see!


Reason   December 23rd, 2009 1:59 pm ET

The genie is out the bottle. The internet represents a trend of open ended communication and fluidity of human expression, both good and bad. Those foolish enough to think they can stop this trend are wasting their time. Nothing can stop it. We are headed for technological convergence on a scale you can't possibly imagine, with people seeing and knowing everything everywhere. Symantec is a joke and is trying to profit off of the fears of parents and the public to try and convince them that using their product will stem this inevitable tide. You would sooner stop the sun from rising than stem the insatiable curiosity of all human beings at all ages, especially the young. Better to accept this reality and prepare the proper public health policies to address what people will do with this new found knowledge and reality, rather than trying to turn the clock backwards. BEHOLD! God is on the horizon....


born2soon   December 23rd, 2009 2:04 pm ET

I've been a school bus driver for elementary schools and now senior high. I'd rather haul the teenagers. They keep their hands to themselves. Trust me, 7 year olds know a lot more about sex than you think. Especially when they have a big brother or older friend teaching them. A 7 year old engaged in (oral) sex on my bus. A 6 year old brought a condom on my bus. A 5th grader gave it to him. I use to be against sex ed in schools. Now I think it needs to be taught in kindergarten.


Jeff   December 23rd, 2009 2:07 pm ET

Parents are just typing porn in to check to see if their filters work. What parent wouldn't check the software after installing it?


Jason   December 23rd, 2009 2:08 pm ET

I'm 27 years old and I type "GOOGLE" into google search engine all the time for easy access to all of their extra features. You can scroll down through all the great stuff like Google Maps, Google Videos, Google News, etc. You might even find a useful feature you've never even heard of before! If teenagers are doing this I would say they are smart and we should not underestimate their internet efficiencies,

I have also typed "YOUTUBE" into google on many occasions. Since google is set as my homepage, going to youtube this way will save a few keystrokes. Typing "youtube.com" is a total of 11 keystrokes, but typing "YOUTUBE" followed by a single click on the result list is only 8 keystrokes. This lazy method works great everytime i'm on a computer that doesn't have youtube bookmarked.

The writer of this article fails to realize that teenagers are simply smarter than us, and its the ADULS who don't truely understand how a search engine works! It can be used for way more things than just searching!


Concerned parent   December 23rd, 2009 2:14 pm ET

I have a 7 year old and let me tell you, they are a curious bunch and all it takes is an older sibling to tell one kid about porn, then the word spreads like wildfire on the playground. My child knows how to navagate the computer better than most adults. Youtube has all kinds of inappropriate stuff on it, yet my friends seem to think their child would only be using Youtube to look up cartoon type stuff. Wake up parents! Put filtering software on your kids computer (Bumper Car is great for Macs) and NEVER let them have internet access in their bedrooms. You're just asking for trouble.


kyla   December 23rd, 2009 2:19 pm ET

Where the heck are the parents now days?!?!? I have to young girls and do not allow them on the computer at all. I know the trash that is on the internet, they are just way too young to be on the internet without supervision. I don't understand young kids having Myspace accounts, facebook, their own cell phones, etc. It's opening up a world to kids that they don't need to venture into.

Sex is EVERYWHERE. Even during the day on regular television stations I can't believe the stuff that is shown. Even a lot of the so called "kids cartoons" have suggestive things that kids shouldn't be subjected to. Things have changed a lot since I was a kid and I'm only in my mid 30s...so I'm not old at all. It's sad that the innocence of children is taken away from them.

People need to get back to the basics and stop being so selfish when it comes to their kids. You know, talk to them, have family time, play with them, have dinner together at the dinner table. Those things that seem to have been done away with. I think the majority of parents now days, especially my generation, are poor excuses of parents. That's just my opinion.


Alexander   December 23rd, 2009 2:22 pm ET

Am I nuts? Why is someone under 7 even on the net unsupervised? And I agree these numbers seem ridiculous, but let's say they're real... so what? Do you think your little one will become a deviant now?

That's the real question. But let's break down a little here. Ever met a little boy who really liked the ladies? Hm do you think it's for their mind or the "sense" of safety they get? Nope, it's because he wants to get a big hug and have his face mashed in their chest :-) Sorry if that's a rude awakening for the disneyland twit crowd. My wife stole a magazine with men and took it to school at eight. Made her very popular. And when she got home, they gave her a spanking and told her this was stealing. From her recollection that was the end of it.

And she didn't turn out to be an insane person or a hooker. The real problem here is that some adults assume that when a kid sees something they have the same understanding of the social "meaning" as the other idiot adults do. They see naked people doing something weird. And they probably like the nakedness (be glad, if they didn't then they probably would be sociopaths or killers ha ha) and they look at the rest of it and probably think "huh" or "okay, when is barney on?" they're kids idiots. they know stuff is out there, but it doesn't mean the same thing to them.

Of course, this brings us back to the same question? WHAT IS A 7 YEAR OLD DOING ON THE NET UNSUPERVISED? HAS THE WORLD GONE INSANE? Why do you people have children if you're not going to raise them?


jps4   December 23rd, 2009 2:38 pm ET

When a parent installs the security/filtering software, what's the first thing they're going to do? A responsible parent, in the absense of their child(ren), is going to test it to confirm it is indeed denying access, blocking results, etc. This is a natural step in the digital parenting process, don't you think? I believe Symantec should omit searches from the first 24-48 hours after installation, and they would have significantly more accurate results in a study like this. It's so obvious to me, it worries me their executives (and the media) are completely out of touch and arguably "dumb"...


Concerned parent   December 23rd, 2009 2:39 pm ET

Many kids at age 7 HAVE heard of porn. Older siblings tell younger siblings and the word spreads quickly. My kids since age 4 were typing in search terms accessing You tube. A simple search on You Tube for something innocent can lead to an eyeful. Don't let your kids surf through You Tube. You wouldn't believe the trashy smut that you can stumble upon by one simple search term. The government does need to step up and protect our children because too many parents are clueless and don't take the necessary steps to put internet filters on their computers.


Dennis   December 23rd, 2009 3:00 pm ET

Why would a 7-year old search for the word "porn"? Obviously, it was the parents testing the system to make sure their kids couldn't accidentally reach porn while online. It's obviously difficult to filter some words, because "breast" shouldn't really filter information about breast cancer, etc, so in the end, the most obvious word to check their filter system with is "porn." No 7-year old even knows that word, with the exception of maybe a few who hear their older siblings using it.

Another possibility, is that parents set up their system so that even their teenagers could only log in under an account meant for youngsters. There is no way of telling that it was 7-year olds who typed that word.

What a useless story!


Butch   December 23rd, 2009 3:00 pm ET

You chumps, kids are naturally curious and have lots of question about sex at an early age. These results suggest the parents are either not answering those question or they are making it a taboo subject about which there kids are afraid to ask. That is an unhealthy situation! The right time to take to your kids about sex is when they start asking. If your turn it into something dirty you will have a little pervert on your hands before you know it. When kid find out they usually think it sound pretty icky!


Cap. Obv   December 23rd, 2009 3:00 pm ET

How about...most parents who run this software test it by typing ___


Alex Nyeverko   December 23rd, 2009 3:10 pm ET

ok this research is B.S. because not everyone has their home page set to "Google" and not everyone has their search engine set to it either, so you have to search for google to get it up


RM   December 23rd, 2009 3:16 pm ET

Oh, for God’s sake people, wake up. In this sex-obsessed, sex-mad, sex-saturated, sex-centered society you are wondering how and why little kids are doing web searches for porn? Are you daft? Porn is the #1 form of entertainment in the nation! And of course parents, too busy watching porn themselves or passionately following the antics of Tiger Woods and the bedroom adventures of silicone-implanted Hollywood denizens; have little time to devote to actual parenting. The media are parents to our children. The media give them what they want. The media dictate what we see, hear and believe. It all started with the sexual revolution of the 60’s remember? Well, the revolution is over and we are now living in the utopia we created. What else? Priests abusing children? No, really? School teachers sleeping with their students? NO! Who'd have thunk it.


me   December 23rd, 2009 3:17 pm ET

I think everyone should get back to work, go shopping or watch your kids so they don't surf for porn..


Stephen   December 23rd, 2009 3:28 pm ET

@Mark Ciccarello:

"First of all, consider the source." Are you accusing Symantec of deliberately falsifying data to boost the sales of a product? It's one thing to release a press release hyping something that they are selling, and quite another to alter statistical data.

"People, except the very dumb ones, don't search for youtube or google." Or, perhaps, except the very young ones? And I think a lot of people on here will be glad to know you consider them very dumb.


Bob Foolery   December 23rd, 2009 3:29 pm ET

Relax. It's just parents testing the search engine. Isn't that something you would do if you left your kids with this software?


MadMax2010   December 23rd, 2009 3:33 pm ET

When I was 7, there was no internet, let alone the search engines!


Elaine   December 23rd, 2009 3:35 pm ET

Kids have radar for words that are supposed to mean "something." Whether they have any idea what the words mean is irrelevant. In the mid-1960s when I was a first-grader, someone started a rumor that the "real" lyrics to "O Suzanna" were "O Sue-sexy." I had never even HEARD the word "sex" before that, but within a minute, just the tone of voice my friends used conveyed that it was something that would put my parents into hysterics if they heard me say it. So it was something we were always careful about when we said it. If there had been an internet back then, I'm sure we would have been looking for it. Some things never change.


RM   December 23rd, 2009 3:40 pm ET

The internet is anything you want, all the time. Porn is a huge part of the web. Why? Because there is a huge demand for it. We get what we ask for. Now why is it, again, that we’re soooooo surprised that kids are just like the parents?


KW   December 23rd, 2009 3:44 pm ET

OK... I have severe doubts as to the veracity of this story...
first- are you really trying to tell me that the "under-7" crowd is more interested in porn then the teenagers are? -Which leads into the second problem- I've used that program- there is NO WAY to accurately determine the age of the user.
and Thirdly (and most importantly) are you trying to tell us that these guys have been implanting "spyware" on our machines all along?
I'm hoping that these figures are just normal marketing "fiction" to try to manipulate parents into buying their product... if they are actually tracking their users searches then it is a bit more nefarious


TechGuyInTX   December 23rd, 2009 3:46 pm ET

This article jumps to several wild conclusions in the space of only a few short paragraphs. Here are some facts:

(1) Searching for "google" is very common among all age groups–I do it every day–as a lazy alternative to typing "google" in the URL bar. Hit enter, click first result, tada, it's Google.com,

(2) This isn't a study of all internet searches, or even a randomly selected population of kids. These kids all have something in common–Symantec is on their computers. So maybe, possibly, they were searching for something, clicked a website, it got blocked by the filter, which then gave a reason why, as our filter does. "Reason: Porn"

Hmmm, if I am a six-year-old, and something I haven't heard of is blocked, that sounds interesting, what will I do next? Search for it to get a hint of what it means... hence, not many searches for that word from the other ages. They know about it, and have access to it in many forms.

In any case, the author of this article needs to do the following: walk around the office and ask non-tech people to go to yahoo.com or google.com, and notice how many of them type in the search bar, rather than the URL bar.


John   December 23rd, 2009 4:07 pm ET

Thank god! Those results are fantastic.

Notice none of the top search terms related to violence or drugs. Sadly none of the top search terms are scholastic.

Nonetheless, if all our children are interested in is human sexuality and you tube we are doing a great job. I would be very worried if sex wasnt in the top search terms for teens and adolescents.

j


Jason   December 23rd, 2009 4:20 pm ET

I'm gonna say this again because obviously people dont read comments before they post them. SEARCHING FOR GOOGLE MAKES SENSE, because you get a whole list of features such as google maps and google groups. GO TRY IT. its VERY USEFUL to type GOOGLE into the search engine


Denial   December 23rd, 2009 4:21 pm ET

I think the problem is parental DENIAL, i work with computers everyday i cant count the times ive seen some < 10 year old watching some
offensive video on you tube, or looking for porn.

This reminds me of this thread many years ago, where the parents where in denial about kids abusing prescription meds , and or selling them to friends.. WAKE UP. being a parent is work. Not something you hope for ,something YOU DO! if you dont want to do it . you should not have had kids.


Clay   December 23rd, 2009 4:23 pm ET

I have 4 kids, 2 of which have their own laptops and access to wireless internet. I realize I cannot censor everything they see and do, like friends at school or on the bus. But at home, I control it. I have filtering software on their computers. I block all sites. Period. I manually have to go in an specify each site and any alias that the site uses that they want to go on. This forces me to review each site and know where they are going. We also require that the computers are used downstairs in the living room at all times. They are never to take them out of the room. If they need to do research for school such as using Google, we do the google for them as we can review the hits and help them find what they need. Also, only my wife's computer is open to the internet for using Google, and they don't have access to the login password to get on.


nuruto   December 23rd, 2009 4:39 pm ET

Older Siblings. It’s always the older sibling ( say 13 ) who thinks its funny to tell their little siblings to look up stuff theyre not ready to see.


Elijah101   December 23rd, 2009 4:47 pm ET

Most children are raised by the system and there enviornment to me it is not a surprise! This world is dekcuf!


Concerned parent   December 23rd, 2009 4:50 pm ET

The parents who are saying "relax, it's just parents testing their filtering systems". It's sad that you are living in an imaginary world where children are innocent and would never do such a thing. Wake up folks...it IS happening under your noses and you are negligent if you don't put the filtering software on your kids computer. Don't put it off another day. The folks that are saying...big deal..so it's a little nudity. It's not just nudity...it's scary bondage, group sex....stuff that a child really psychologically can't deal with. It's not what we were exposed to....Nationaly Geographic pics of tribal women breastfeeding. PLEASE PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN!


John Morris   December 23rd, 2009 4:59 pm ET

There's hardly alot of "good parenting" these days anymore, unfortunately.


David   December 23rd, 2009 5:15 pm ET

If i busted my 8 year old son looking at porn, i would at least hope it is not Gay Porn. I have worked in the Porn industry for 10 years and could care less. Parents that have an issue with sex are insecure in themselves. If you educate your children as proper parents, the kids can make their own educated choices. Parenting is not about telling your children what to do. Its about educating them to make the correct choices in life. Life has taught us 1 thing, Prohibited items are always the most popular. Look at drugs. I would rather the son have protected sex than cocaine. Would you?


Rob   December 23rd, 2009 5:19 pm ET

Wally has it right....those aren't seven year olds (and younger) searching for "porn"


Mary   December 23rd, 2009 5:25 pm ET

There is no such thing as being too vigilant over the lives of our children. When parents allow children to watch programming of their own choosing, they've already opened the door to soft porn as most of what is available on TV is just that! The talk shows, so called "cartoons" (Family Guy, South Park, The Simpsons, etc.) are laced with sensual, suggestive images and innuendo that leave little to the adult imagination, while prying wide open the door to a child's inquisitive nature.

Americans cried and fought for "freedom of speech" and used that freedom to open Pandora's Box. The price that we're paying for opening that box is the loss of our sense of common decency, the innocence of children, and in the worse case scenario the loss of our children's lives to kidnapping, pedophiles and the child sex slave trade.

It takes a disciplined, caring, principled individual to recognize that just because you can do and say anything that you please, doesn't mean that you should. Until Americans are willing to reckon that school of thought children will continue to awaken to sensuality and sexuality earlier and earlier.

I weep over the condition of our children, families and nation in my prayer time. But until parents, guardians and other authority figures return to their roles as protectors, defenders and keepers of the lives and future of our children, Hollywood, pedophiles, child molesters, child murderers and the many other things and people who prey on children will continue to gain strength and momentum, and be shrugged off as just an ugly thread in the fabric of our society.


Ryan   December 23rd, 2009 5:39 pm ET

Kids are dumb – don't they know that more specific searches will yield better results? "Porn" is way too generic.


Kathy   December 23rd, 2009 5:43 pm ET

This article saddens me. Number one, I really don't care where, how or when the child heard about porn, there should be some type of restriction in place for a young child. There are ways of taking websites out the the equation. This falls on the parent. This is disturbing and sickening. Pay attention to your kids and what they are doing. You are their role model. Prove it.


cptn T   December 23rd, 2009 5:47 pm ET

Try Blue Coat K9 web protection. It's a free down load and they will not get through the filter. it is customizable and we have found it to be nearly infallible.


Lisa   December 23rd, 2009 5:52 pm ET

Everyone on this sight is trying to provide and explanation for this or put blame on the parents. The thing is parents can't be with their children 24 hours a day no matter how good a parent you are your children can always get into things you don't want them to. If you want to put blame somewhere you should put it on the companies and people to put this stuff out there. Why do we need porn on the internet? It is sick enough that you can get this stuff in print why do we need it on the internet too. I can't even watch a good movie without someone in it taking their clothes off. Some people would respond that I should just not watch the movie and my reply to that is why should I not be able to watch a perfectly good movie all because the put two or three minutes of sex in it. This stuff is unhealthy and it does noone any good. I think it should be banned and anyone caught with it should have to go to therapy.


Questions   December 23rd, 2009 5:52 pm ET

#1 – Does this surprise anyone?

#2 – I'm more concerned about a company collecting information on your family's browsing history.

What's the next report? Telling me that young boys like to break things, and for proof, they have video archives of all your family activities, indexed and on-Line.


Jimmy   December 23rd, 2009 5:55 pm ET

Old news, this has been going on for HOW LONG NOW... dont act surprised. great example... go to BING.com and serach Brazil... see what pops up. G/L


machater   December 23rd, 2009 6:48 pm ET

oh my god kids are looking at naked people having sex. oh the horror the terror.Oh please. First of all what do you expect they are kids. they curious kids of course they are going to search for sex. dont tell me noone here stayed up late and watched blurry cable porn. Noone seems to care about the violence they see everyday or the violence on t.v.,movies or video games no however, look at a tit and they put it on cnn go figure.


C   December 23rd, 2009 6:54 pm ET

I doubt that so many kids age 7 and younger would look for porn. However, kids in their early teens are experienced with the searching. As a teenage girl in 1994 or 95, there wasn't so much porn on the internet as there is now. I did search for it, but I was a little shy about it for a while. It was my parent's computer I was using! I did, however, look up tons of information regarding sexuality, health and later porn when the temptation grew too great. Lots of porn! NOt being monitored benefited me. I think my parents knew what I was doing, but they let it go because they didn't want to talk to me about sex. I'm kind of glad they didn't. My boyfriend was forbidden to look at porn, got the talk and became uncomfortable about sex. But I ended up being more knowledgeable than most of my experienced friends and didn't have sex until I was 18. Friends came to me for advice for everything from yeast infections and birth control. It sounds weird, but I hoarded information. I grew to have an appreciation for erotic photography and I do artistic "porn" now. I did know a few people who really could not be unsupervised, though. They were impulsive, had friends I didn't trust? It's a lot of work to supervising kids. This is why I won't have them. Parents need to know their children. The internet isn't the enemy, video games aren't the enemy. But you stay informed and to have some kind of rein on your little ones.


JollySpace   December 23rd, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Or maybe they search Google too find other Google products?
Use your brain?


chris   December 23rd, 2009 10:54 pm ET

It's totally obvious that the parents are testing the software by searching for the number one term that they were using this software to protect against – "PORN" – hello!?! Anyone who wrote this story paying attention.


Franko   December 24th, 2009 1:28 pm ET

Young, aspiring students of human behavior, are lied to.
Did the stork bring the babies, how was the order form filled out ?

"How are babbies formed? How girl get pragnent?"
Embarrassed parents will tell lies.
But the explanation is just a search away.


Soothing Ringtones   December 24th, 2009 6:44 pm ET

They probably just hear the word mentionedon tv while their parents are watching any regular daytime, even news, tv shows that mention the word periodically. Then they probably say to their parents, 'What is porn?' to which their parents awkwardly dodge answering it, which then leads them to search it since it's fairly easy to sound out the spelling.


RawR   December 25th, 2009 3:11 am ET

Um why are people searching up google?


Franko   December 25th, 2009 3:19 am ET

Hinted at, but culturally hidden,
How is a child going to learn ?
Dogs and cats are neutered,
Watching guppies do it, is hard to identify with.


Johnnie99   December 27th, 2009 10:42 am ET

For once I seem to agree with the majority of comments. In addition though, it is a very simple thing to block routers from allowing access to sites and URLs with certain keywords. Reading the manual helps. Really, it's simple.


The Kidd   December 27th, 2009 5:59 pm ET

Come on lets be for real... Who searches the word "porn"...


John   December 28th, 2009 12:02 am ET

One major free way is using OpenDNS, on your router or network settings. This way you control the content,

No software, just your browser powered by the largest online community.


Billy M   December 28th, 2009 4:16 pm ET

So porn shows up as #4 for 7 and under and not-at-all for the next age group and appears again in the thrird age group? Something does not sound right here.


Dad   December 28th, 2009 8:44 pm ET

I installed Symantec's product this last weekend and ran tests to see what alerts I would be given if my kids searched for porn. So, I logged onto one of their accounts and searched for porn (promptly clearing cashe, history, cookies, temp files, etc).

I wonder how many other parents did that too causing false positives in Symantecs reported results.


Trish   December 29th, 2009 1:20 am ET

I would love to hear some recommendations from parents who have tried blocking software. I've been researching and all "claim" to have been awarded by companies like CNN.


Franko   December 29th, 2009 11:17 am ET

On Christmas day, to my great surprise,
I was told that Dora The Explorer is now a Teenager
Long hair, short skirt, but not yet full figured.

What and how did Dora learn ?
Searching for porn, or exploring by playing doctor ?


NottiLogic   December 29th, 2009 2:35 pm ET

They probably get the age of the child from the registration data... You can run reports for any demographic in an instant. Have you fools ever used a computer before?


NIck Heer   January 9th, 2010 10:50 pm ET

This just in: water still wet, sky still blue.

That's some fine reporting there, CNN.


Manny   January 10th, 2010 9:47 am ET

Geez, its very telling of a society that no longer cares about what their children do. Maybe they should start airing those "its 6pm do you know where your kids are?" PSAs.


Manny   January 10th, 2010 10:06 am ET

you know what? its totally possible to police your children at any time of day, its called a phone. Not just that, parents can also make "surprise trips" home to check what their kids are doing. Look at the history to see where your kids have been on the internet. As long as your child lives under your roof, they have no right to privacy, parents should be the CIA, FBI and NSA.
And its not about being overly protective about what you children look up. Its that If you allow your children to break the law (because you must be 18 to look at porn) that leaves the door open to other illegal activities.


LPW   January 11th, 2010 11:30 am ET

And this is why I don't bother watching CNN anymore. Most of their news stories are just a bunch of unsubstantiated crap.


D.Joelee   January 11th, 2010 1:51 pm ET

I don't understand how people can pretend like, porn, images of sex and questions about sex are somehow new to JUST this generation. The only real answer to this problem is to educate children young so they wont have these questions or desires to look or ask.,


Todd   January 12th, 2010 3:05 am ET

So, you just installed a parental blocker on your PC. Now you want to test it. What should I type in?
Hmmmmm?

So, I'm in a hurry andI need to find something on the internet. OOps, I forgot to change the login from the kids name to mine. That's ok, I am just going to http://www.google.com anyway.

Just because the results seem fantastic doesn't mean we should take them at face value.


Dave   January 12th, 2010 10:36 am ET

Maybe the problem starts with network TV and the majority of the advertising. There seems to be nothing anymore that doesn't have some reference to sex and/or porn. Our kids are bombarded with it every day. Sadly another example of technology destroying our worlds morals and values.


prodson   January 12th, 2010 6:09 pm ET

@Dave:
You cant blame kid wanting to watch porn on network TV and advertising. The only thing they do is sexually objectify people, but that objectification doesnt mean someone is going to be more or less interested in sex or porn. In fact little has changed... It used to be looking at your dad's magazines and the Sears cataog lingere section, now its looking on the internet. The only thing thats changed is the "hardcoreness" of the images/audio in question.

I doubt there is a single man alive who doesnt remebering looking for something of this nature when they were a child. Kids now just have better access than we did (well i grew up on the tail end i was about 12 when i first started using BBS's and as AOL became common place).


John   January 12th, 2010 7:37 pm ET

It said at the end of the article that the author was surprised that "Google" was one of the top searches.

When I was in high school, they had an MSN search engine set as he homepage, and I would often search for Google rather than type it in the URL bar. And then use Google to find what I was actually looking for.

It's a couple seconds faster, makes sense to me.


fireboy   January 13th, 2010 4:08 am ET

dam im speechless kids these days do grow up fast gilrs gettin pregnant at 12 yrs old wat the world cuming to


Z   January 13th, 2010 1:03 pm ET

This is the price we pay for poor parenting and a terrible education system. The problem lies in the country's leadership. It's not a race thing, for those who think I'm blaming our president – it's the whole government and all the people in it. While we waste away and toil our whole lives, the people who essentially pay for us and run our lives and determine our fates basically get to sit around, do nothing, and order us around. Naturally they want us to remain where we are and never ask questions. This of course explains why children today are stupider than they were years ago. This also explains why they search for porn on the internet – they are not intellectually stimulated enough to search for anything better. Well, this is no surprise anyway. Forget the children – what's the most common thing adults search for? Porn. What are the most frequently visited web sites out there? Porn. What are the majority of the web sites out there dedicated to? Porn. Our Internet is nowhere near porn free, so why should it be a surprise that children know of it and search for it out of curiosity? I bet you couldn't navigate the Internet and block out the racy or porn ads without significant effort/software that the average person couldn't figure out in 2 minutes.

Look at these comments. Nobody is trying to figure out how or why. The result of poor education. Also, whoever it is that always posts comments that relate to God – you're stupid. I see your posts every day on these comments. Every time I see it, I think about how uneducated, how biased, and how much of a waste of time your words are. "My prayers go out to "- so and so. "Thank God" – blah blah blah. Yeap. You people are probably THE VERY REASON why there are children who sit around idly and search for porn. When you are writing ridiculously pointless comments, you could be watching your own children. Nope. Instead you sit idly by, just like every other poor parent out there.

HERE'S A HINT: CHILDREN LEARN FROM THEIR FRIENDS, AND THEIR FAMILY, MOST OF ALL, THEIR PARENTS. EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT IT IS, SO WHY HIDE IT OR BE ASHAMED OF IT? IT IS ONLY NATURAL AND ONE DAY THE CHILDREN HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT IT ANYWAY. THE ONLY THING IN THE WAY IS SOME STUCK UP TRADITIONAL RELIGION-INFLUENCED STICK UP PEOPLE'S BRAINS, GETTING IN THE WAY OF RATIONAL THINKING.

Censorship has destroyed us and clouded the way we think. It continues to do so. Only the stupid are too dumb to realize it. This is the reason why articles like this exist – to keep your stupid minds entertained.


Chicago   January 13th, 2010 9:46 pm ET

My six year old niece was visiting and I caught her on a porn site. Her mother said this was the fourth time she's been caught. What is her couriousity about at six years old? It makes me wonder if there is something else going on in her life, like child molestation. I am very concerned about her.


Woo hoo   January 14th, 2010 1:29 am ET

Long live porn!


Mathman025   January 14th, 2010 3:52 am ET

Well, to those parents who are too squeamish to show a little sex to kids, you are too weak. If a child wants to explore his or her mind, let it happen. You don't want your child's friends to explore it for them. That's how you lose them in the long run. If no parents have the "gems" to talk to their children about sex, then what's the point of giving them advice on everything else? We're not in the 60's anymore, ladies and gentlemen.


j-awesome   January 14th, 2010 9:16 am ET

what better way to start them little ones on the path to enlightenment like good ol' internet? I wish I had this when i was growing up, I would be way cooler than i am now.


peter   January 14th, 2010 11:20 am ET

I agree with Wally on Dec 21 on this one. I'd bet those were parents testing the system. As a parent myself, I'd periodically check that the software I was using to protect my kids was working. It's like pulling on the seatbelt after belting in my kids to make sure it's plugged in correctly.


ChristBetts   January 14th, 2010 4:42 pm ET

I have to agree with some but not all on this topic, being a teenager with my own computer I know that the software and blocking programs are not perfect, but those are not the only things you have to rely on. The first computer I had to share with my sister (three years younger than me) and it was full of viruses and I wanted to know where they were coming from, but it was to late the computer crashed. So, when we got a new laptop I put timers on it to know when she got on and off and with that I could determine what web sites she was visiting at what time. Although they weren't as bad as porn they were still web sites I did not want my younger sister looking at. So, if you want to see who has been on what web sites Windows Vista and up and this nifty feature where you go into the control panel and look up account activity and it will tell you the date and time of what user is getting on. From there you can look up the history of what web sites they have been on at what time. There are many programs made to block web sites but there not the best, none are. For instance there are two codes you type in the URL address bar and it's a proxy to unblock web sites. I won't give the two away that works for the parents out there, but for example in the URL the very first part, instead of HTTP going there it would be PASV. Like I said though this one does not work, but you see what I'm getting at that's why I would suggest checking the history. Then you can find out who it was and talk to them about it.

Sources: Myself, Grandfather (who's teaching about computer programming), and Google for searching about web site blockers and Proxy's.


Franklin   January 15th, 2010 11:35 am ET

This is a completely irresponsible article. There is no way to conclude that 7 year olds are searching for pornography without more information.

Based on what is stated here, my guess would be that 7 year olds are not searching for "porn". I suspect siblings or parents. Caveat: If its actually a search for the word "porn", its possible older siblings are telling younger children to go look up that word as a kinda joke... the way my older friends use to tell me to ask teachers or parents what certain words meant (yup dirty words).


Father of 4   January 15th, 2010 2:29 pm ET

Don't leave your kids on the Internet by themselves. And install content filters. K9 web protection is a free filter and works really well.


Seriously   January 16th, 2010 5:55 am ET

Really? Have we really become this ignorant, then pass it off as scientific fact? It's the parents who are looking at porn under their kid's accounts to hide the fact they are doing it. That way mom has no idea that dad is really surfing porn. She will look at dad's account and see nothing, but why on earth would she look at a 5,6, or 7 year-old's account? Hell the kid can't even type. Dad knows this. Very sneaky. Wake up people.


JoeCitizen   January 16th, 2010 6:02 am ET

CNN printed this. Amazing. What ever happened to editors? The title should read: "Young Kid's Accounts Searching For 'Porn'". There is no evidence these really young children are searching for porn, only their accounts have been used to do so. Were this even to be presented at a symposium of either science or statistics, it would be used as comic relief. Come on CNN, even you can't truly be this juvenile.


Linux   January 16th, 2010 1:23 pm ET

Look into opendns.org free works well when ip dont change

I have to blame the schools partially too Kids just dont belong on the net period. I just dont see why the ISP cant filter this crap out too. Its a shame we have to pay more (filters software, Spector Pro ) to get less.

I'd recomend Spector Pro to get you kids social networking password etc etc – many will have 2 or more accounts one for mom & dad another for their frieds, so look at their friends friends – set up a fake account bait them in. I was shocked to learn these chil molestors have 100's of accounts and play a "Mission Impossible" like game with our kids. Check out and educate yourself onhttp://www.icactraining.org/


White Lotus   January 16th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

Anyone who says that kids will get eventually get exposed to sex images outside the computer/internet are completely nuts and ignorant. The images and videos of sex you see on the internet are so much more graphic than anything you would possibly see on the streets or on television. Even if you went to a adult bookstore and watched the videos you would only be scratching the surface compared to what you find on the net. Internet porn is definitely something that needs to be more regulated.


Nate   January 16th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

This is probably because norton online family software relies on the designations of ages made my the user when setting it up to determine the age of the searcher. This is probably adults or older teens trying to use the child account in some instances.


Coaster   January 16th, 2010 11:40 pm ET

I wonder how many auto fills caused that search term, or browsing histories that caused hits. oops, daddy forgot to clear his history last night.


Adam Swan   January 17th, 2010 12:55 am ET

do you think that the "porn" could be from parents testing out the software?


J   January 18th, 2010 11:41 pm ET

Umm..that what the internet is for. Porn. The kids are on the right track, and early, eh? oh what a lovely thing it is to be young and have internets. because the internet is for porn.


Stephen   January 19th, 2010 1:29 am ET

Just a note: the searches for "Google" would make sense if the author of the article knew how modern web browsers work. A common result of simply typing a term into the URL bar that isn't a valid URL is a search of that term. For example, if I type "Google" into my Internet Explorer or Firefox URL bar, it automatically does a Google search for the term "Google".

Makes most of those statistics make a whole lot more sense now, doesn't it?


Jeff   January 19th, 2010 3:48 am ET

These results are not at all surprising given the social taboos associated with the words "porn" and "sex." Given that no parent wants to even talk about these concepts (necessary to our survival) with our children, nor any teacher etc., it is understandable that children would become curious and go to other sources to quench their curiousity – namely the proudly and justly unpoliced and unashamed world wide web. Perhaps if people as a whole were not so afraid of exposing their children with these concepts, they wouldn't have to satisfy their righteous curiosity to an anonymous source for information. I believe that its a race to the finish, and if the world wide web is doing a better and faster job of information children about sex than parents, the www. will win out. Of course, exposing one's children to such concepts scares most people because they believe that if they are exposed to it, they are more likely to engage in such activities or engage in them earlier. Of course, that is the risk of living. However, when respected adults refuse to inform their children, they run the risk of their children being misinformed by an anonymous source about the same concepts, and thus more likely to misuse them. Because we do not live and cannot live in a 100% sterile environment (aka people have to have sex), we should probably (instead of providing a temp solution and making such terms unsearchable) make these concepts more open and accessible in the form of reliable information and choices children can make regarding such actions.


Allan   January 19th, 2010 3:57 am ET

Oh come on. By the time I was seven (almost fifty years ago) I'd seen porn mags, and if there's been an internet then I'd certainly have been interested. Let's not pretend 7-year-olds are innocent and perfect – they're mostly little terrors who lie, cheat and manipulate to get their own way, and who certainly want to try 'naughty' things as part of their 'education'.


darkangelx   January 19th, 2010 9:21 am ET

Maybe the parents should talk to the kids about sex and porn. Nothing wrong with discussion, and the inquisitive minds of the young should not be left in the dark. Honesty and truth is best way to start.


jthroo01   January 20th, 2010 12:37 pm ET

parents are responsible for the actions of their offspring


Alex   January 21st, 2010 3:16 pm ET

How do they know the ages of the people doing the searches? I do not trust this data at all; too many unknowns.


Johnny Obscure   January 21st, 2010 3:51 pm ET

When I was a kid I found a bookbag full of porn in the corn field behind my elementry school. I showed every single kid I possible could. Whether there is the internet or kids going through parents things or their friends going through their parents things or in my case a bookbag in a cornfield. Sex is not a bad thing and i think we need to have a new way of explaining it to children because keeping it a secret makes it more appealing.


KIDS READ THIS   January 22nd, 2010 4:27 am ET

Kids, make sure you google the specific software your parents install. There are a ton of ways to remove it. Check for keyloggers, too. Lots of parents like to record every key you type.


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winst   July 20th, 2010 8:48 am ET

as I know, google can't see age of users, and for click to website with porn content or images people have to answer on the question about there age. Of course people under 18 can't enter to such websites. So I think this search statistic with people age is far to be truth

p.s./ Someone buy steroids from this store http://rxheads.com, is it safe ?


anthony   August 24th, 2010 4:05 am ET

whats new? its part of life.

How To Grow Basil


ledbowman   November 1st, 2010 11:41 am ET

This just proves that boys use the Internet.


Jen   November 1st, 2010 2:29 pm ET

It was the parents TESTING the settings of the service to make sure it worked before setting their kids loose on it. . .


DG   November 1st, 2010 2:57 pm ET

I find those to be very flawed findings, I am willing to bet big money that 99% of those statistics are the parents using a shared account and computer which never gets logged out of.


Lurkhard   November 1st, 2010 3:25 pm ET

It just seems like for the 7 and under dad forgot to just turn off the internet filter. :D


Miranda Rasmussen   November 2nd, 2010 2:01 pm ET

WOW! It looks like in the 7 & under category that age might be looking for what those words, like Porn, actually mean. I agree – with proper parental supervision, the internet can be a safe place for kids to explore. But that does require parents to be INVOLVED in what their kids are searching & looking at. now, I remember being 7 and finding my dad's 'adult' magazines under the bathroom sink and being VERY curious and man! I'm sure that was an awkward conversation for my parents at the time but it did stop me from sneakin peaks after that... time to go back to the old school ways of talking to our kids instead of letting them explore the untamed world of the web.


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