Block all porn websites

A posed photo of a person typing on a computer keyboard.
A posed photo of a person typing on a computer keyboard.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The adverse publicity in the case of university undergraduate Monica Baey, the victim in a Peeping Tom case, appears not to have deterred four other university students from outraging the modesty of women despite the potential punishment, the risk to their reputation and their future prospects (Suspected voyeur caught in NUS dorm, May 13).

Last August, The Straits Times released statistics given by the Singapore Police Force highlighting the sharp rise in the number of molestation cases, largely in entertainment nightspots and on public transport (Molestation and scam incidents on the rise, Aug 24, 2018).

These number of molestation reports rose by 21.5 per cent in the first half of last year.

The sharp spike is most likely due to easy access to pornography via the Internet, now also available on the ubiquitous smartphone.

Touch Cyber Wellness, the main agency that gives online safety talks in schools here, revealed in a survey in 2016 that 9 in 10 teenage boys in Singapore had watched or read sexually explicit materials within the previous year.

Local experts say that this could lead to sexual crimes because those who start with online behaviour quickly start to act out in new ways offline.

Thus, a pornography watcher may commit sexual crimes against women when the opportunity arises, including filming women showering.

These statistics show where all this is headed.

The answer does not lie in punishing individual offenders but, rather, by interrupting the trajectory of such anti-social behaviour.

We need an aggressive multi-pronged approach to handle the root cause.

All pornographic websites should be banned by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, children and parents should be educated on the dangers of watching pornography, and filters should be made to prevent pornographic material from seeping into smartphones or Internet television.

Some citizens have developed software applications to circumvent Web-blocking.

It is time to harness the expertise of the many law-abiding Internet-savvy citizens to counter this and, together with the Government, block all pornographic websites.

Roslyn Snodgrass Seah