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Warning: Your Child May Have Access to Porn

Make sure your parental locks are engaged on your home television sets; otherwise, your child can pull up just about anything you don't want him or her to see.

Warning: Your Child May Have Access to Porn

As an editor in a family-oriented community and a responsible parent, I feel an obligation to share with my readers an unfortunate, and all-too-preventable, incident that occurred in my own family recently.

My 6-year-old daughter awakened early on Saturday morning, and instead of waking up the rest of the family, she went downstairs and turned on the television to find an appropriate show to watch. She later told me she wanted to watch a show about cats, and being a newbie speller, typed in C-A-T to find something "On Demand."

When she hit the search button to scan through the many offerings from our AT&T Uverse, the word "cat" did, indeed, come up. She clicked on it, but, instead of finding some educational programming about furry felines, she was literally smacked in the face with a preview of a hard-core pornographic film. Shocked, she brought in her 9-year-old brother, who also viewed these extremely offensive scenes.

When the kids told me what had happened, that they saw something so "very disgusting" that they "couldn't even talk about it," I was thinking they had seen some sad animal video. It didn't even occur to me that they had witnessed pornography on what I thought was a safe-guarded television.

When I went to check it out for myself, I was appalled at how easy it was to call up a triple-X film just by searching on the innocuous word "cat."

 

My husband and I immediately contacted Uverse to complain. We were told that mature programming was supposed to be automatically locked upon installation, which clearly it was not, and the customer service rep had no explanation as to why we were able to get it. He walked us through the parental lock procedure to ensure that access to the adult content was disabled.

My children are still emotionally traumatized by what they saw, and we talked about it with them to let them know they did nothing wrong by viewing it.

I want to take this opportunity to urge all parents and guardians to re-check your parental controls to make sure they are engaged. It's bad enough we've got the Internet and violent video games with which to contend. It's very serious when your innocent child wants to watch a show about kitty cats in the safety of his or her home and gets a crash course in explicit sexuality.

If you have had to contend with a similar situation in your home, I want to hear from you. Leave your comments below.

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