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The OLPC in green and white  (Source: The OLPC Wiki)
Nigerian children get caught up on the Internets with porn

One of the aims of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project is to give the underprivileged new opportunities and experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have. Interestingly enough, some school children are using their laptops to browse pornographic Internet sites.

According to a Reuters report, a reporter at the official News Agency of Nigeria discovered pornographic images on the donated laptops from a U.S. aid organization. It is unclear whether or not school children were actually caught in the act of browsing such websites.

"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," reported the News Agency of Nigeria.

Perhaps in response to the discovery of the OLPC’s side features, a representative for the laptop project said that the computers will now be fitted with filtering software.



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RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/23/2007 10:43:45 AM , Rating: 0
I see everyone here is still under the impression that these things wont end up in the hands of kids that are recruited into warlord factions, extremeist regimes, etc... and that these laptops also wont fall into the hands of adults and whatnot already in them. Holy shit, load up some IM service and you now have instant point to point secure communications between your warlord factions.

I think everyone needs to wake up and realize that giving these kids laptops is not going to solve anything. Yea, you get the feel good "We are helping the kids" mentality, but really, seriously, laptops in the classroom of grade schools are only distractions and not really a learning instrument. (I went through a pilot program for 3 years when i was in 4-6 grade) and it was worthless.

Laptops in a third world country in classrooms will not have any success, its just a waste of time, money, and resources. You would be better off trying to improve their agricultural infrastructure or teaching these kids trade skills to maintain vehicles, aircraft, buildings, plumbing, electrician skills, etc....


RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By Misty Dingos on 7/23/2007 1:21:46 PM , Rating: 1
That is a pretty grim view of life in general there Master K. I question whether you have seen a sunny day or heard a bird singing lately. If not I suggest you eat lunch out of doors for a week or so. Weather permitting of course.

Having spent some time in third world countries I have a view point that the vast majority of people in any country just want to get along with life and be within reason happy.

The infinitesimal numbers of these OLPCs that end up being used by people that are bent to do evil will not invalidate the program. The ones truly desiring to do harm to others will find the money to access the internet anyway they choose. I don’t think the OLPC is going to be the terrorists go to internet connection.

Another thing, simply because you did not benefit from the use of a laptop in the class room (in a first world nation with an enormous and hopefully effective educational system) does not mean that these children in there situation will not. Showing these kids what is available in information through the internet may radically change their lives. While yours saturated from birth in an information drenched world was much less likely to be influenced by a laptop for your use at school.


RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By MoonSword on 7/23/2007 2:26:40 PM , Rating: 5
Grim view, maybe. Realistic is more likely. Fact is that OLPC is a tool, but like any tool, it needs to be used properly to be productive. All tools, even those with great potential, do nothing on their own. Hence, probably what Mr. K experienced in grade school. And any tool, even those with great potential, when misused can cause great harm. Hence, the concerns for violence.

I think that the OLPC is a great idea, but you can't just dump computers into a classroom that has never seen technology before and expect children to become educated. The educators in the classroom are likely to be just as perplexed by the technology as the kids they are teaching.

But Mr. K's suggestion to teach agriculture and equipment repair... now that's an idea. These skills will build a community infrastructure, a much needed infrastructure to improve quality of life. The computers can come after running water and electricity is available in every home, after there is enough food to feed the whole community, and after roads are built for travel and trade.

I like the OLPC concept. I want to see it succeed, but to be realistic, 3rd world countries aren't yet ready. As it stands right now, OLPC is putting the carriage before the horse and that (at least it seems to me) is why Mr. K. is critical of the idea.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/23/2007 3:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
You pretty much nailed it.


RE: In a country where Aids runs rampant
By rcc on 7/23/2007 6:27:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But Mr. K's suggestion to teach agriculture and equipment repair... now that's an idea. These skills will build a community infrastructure, a much needed infrastructure to improve quality of life.


I agree, it's a place to start. But I can't help remembering back in the 60s and 70s, the uproar from the 3rd world nations when it was suggested in the US that we ship them farm equipment and knowledge rather than just food.

Now that was primarily the "warlord" elements hollering, because that would take power from their hands, but it's still an issue.

On a separate topic, given the main domestic output of Nigeria appears to be letters and emails trying to con people out of money, shipping their kids notebooks just strikes me as adding fuel to the fire and a providing training aids. If you haven't seen the 60 minutes piece on it, it's worth looking for.


By Ryanman on 7/25/2007 3:14:20 PM , Rating: 1
I Don't understand why we're giving laptops to kids that, I'm sorry to say, ARE gonna be soldiers or dead pretty soon. Why not open the net to farmers and adult workers who have already proved they can survive and who form the backbone of the african food supply.


By wordsworm on 7/25/2007 3:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
Education has the ability to give these children the chance at studying in ways that has been denied to them before. If some choose to educate themselves to become better warriors, then so be it. If others choose to learn about sex, I think that's good too. To each their own, and in nowise do I feel threatened by that. Teens doing research about sex is not a bad thing, pornography is not evil. Not all teens will choose these two things. Some might choose agricultural knowledge, it's hard to say. May those children follow their natural inclination regardless of its direction.

I think it would be quite useful for kids to send an IM that their house had just been raided, some perhaps raped, others killed. It's hard to see how this kind of technology will change the culture. In any case, education gives people power. If more people have power in the region, perhaps the balance of power will shift to that of the people rather than the few.

quote:
Laptops in a third world country in classrooms will not have any success, its just a waste of time, money, and resources.


Perhaps you figure the same about books, pencils, and the like. Education has no value in the hands of third world inhabitants. Well, my opinion is polar to yours. I think this project could be the greatest step to bringing global equality to the region. I believe in education, and this is the greatest tool that these kids have ever had access to.


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