Savvy kids can access explicit online worlds: FTC

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even a minimally savvy youngster can figure out how to access violent or explicitly sexual content in some virtual or Internet worlds, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

Technology

In its survey of online worlds, where users create digital alter egos called avatars and interact with other users’ avatars, the commission found that seven of the worlds with the most explicit sex and violence set a minimum age of 13 and an eighth set a minimum age of 18.

If children below age 13 attempted to register, they were rejected at five of the sites.

“However, two worlds, Kaneva and There.com, rejected child registrations, but then immediately permitted users to re-register as an adult from the same computer,” the report said.

Kaneva did not respond to an attempt to reach it for comment but Michael Wilson, CEO of There.com, said that they were looking to address the situation and that they tried to keep their world relatively free of sex and violence.

“We recognize that that’s a problem and we’re trying to deal with it,” he told Reuters. “The amount of violent content and sexual content that they’ll find in There is minimal.”
Full article available here (courtesy of Reuters)