Most of us parents know that there is a lot of harmful content on the Internet and try to protect our kids from. My kid is becoming such a whiz at the computer that it will not be long before he'll be able to hack through any protected accounts anyway, so by the time he reaches that age I will not be able to stop him.
To be frank, I am a parent that truly believes that my children will be better off having as strong computer skills as possible. Our world is changing- fast. I do not rely on restrictive accounts or filters much; I try to get my children to respect the values that we as parents are teaching them. We believe in trust rather than locking them out. I do not count the cookies in the cookie jar or the coins in my purse. I trust my kids.
Lately Pokemon this and Pokemon that is all my son has been talking about. He must have about one thousand cards by now and is pestering me for a 'Black and White' new game for his DS. He has about five stuffed toys, what he calls Pokemon plush toys. He's gone positively Pokemon mad which considering his age and interests seems perfectly fine to this mother. His friends get together with their Pokemon cards, sprawl out on the floor and have a grand old time.
Now back to harmful content. Before computers, there were always some jerks about 16 to 18 hanging out on the corner and telling kids graphic details about sex and such. In the world, it's unavoidable. People for whatever reason become unhealthy. Now, I've been watching YouTube videos for years and honestly, though I've watched plenty of videos with mature content, I have never been overly disturbed and have regarded it as a pretty safe environment for my kids to wander in and out of (but not linger too long). I even tested YouTube by trying searches for things that I can not mention here. As I said, all parents want to protect their children from abuse. YouTube faired well in the test.
But I found abuse in YouTube in the last place I would have suspected it- game tutorials like Pokemon! It was just by chance that I stumbled upon it for there is of course no nudity in these and the titles are innocuous ( "Black and White, Episode 5"). It is the narrations that are most assuredly damaging children's minds. A lot of these narratives are not only filled with cursing; they describe abusive, graphic sexual and racial violence. You do not want your kids to be watching this and please spread the word to other parents.
We can not protect our kids from everything. The Internet has changed things, no doubt, but basically we parents have the bottom line responsibility of teaching respect and love to our children. Pokemon are great- just keep track of your children's tracks.