While I've discounted the OLPC child pornography fears of others and we've explored adult OLPC XO uses, I haven't spoken about the potent mix of Internet access and the natural curiosity of children, especially those reaching puberty, to go looking for images others may not want them to see.
Of course, the worst kept secret for any telecenter or cybercafe is what happens when you mix Internet access and young men: porn. I've seen whole computer rooms turn into porno galleries as boobie-gazing men replace women and children as the primary customers of a center. Yes, its sad, but its also human nature.
And human nature just bit One Laptop Per Child on its naked ass, according to Reuters Africa:
Nigerian schoolchildren who received laptops from a U.S. aid organisation have used them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported on Thursday. NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images stored on several of the children's laptops.Now I am not surprised that teenagers or even younger were getting a eyeful of "hot coffee" through WiFi mesh networking, exploring a whole new medical OLPC application, I can even see little XO icons grouping around navigators with the best "money shot" angles, I am only surprised that the NAN reporter wrote about it.
"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," NAN said.
Usually, everyone glosses over the issue, like the New York Times did. To focus on it this much means that the reporter really wanted a headline grabbing story or is against the project on a personal level.
No matter which, OLPC Nigeria reacted quickly and XO computers will now be fitted with filters. No word on exactly how those very filters will work since even lazy Americans have found multiple ways around them. Porn surfing is not a technical problem to be solved with filters, it's a human nature issue addressed through a comprehensive cultural integration process.