The culture wars seem to be alive and well on the pages of the ABCs web site as the national broadcaster is accused of portraying farmers as evil and telling kids how much carbon they are allowed to produce during their lifetimes.
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The Planet Slayer website, which can be accessed via the ABC home page, shows people who eat meat and those involved in the nuclear industry as evil, a Senate estimates committee heard this week.
But the ABC is hardly the worst offender when it comes to exposing children to inappropriate material.
A global survey in December last year found that one-quarter of adverts on websites popular with seven to 16 year olds were aimed at adults, including for gambling and dating services, and contained inappropriate content.
Credit cards, online dating agencies, some with pictures of topless women, and online gambling emerged on some sites.
The report called Fair Game looked at the commercial pressures that children were exposed to on their favourite sites, including online gaming forums such as Fingertime and Mousebreaker, plus the social networks Bebo and MySpace.
The report was based on analysis of a list of 40 websites most popular with a sample of more than 500 children aged nine to 13 taken from previous research. Researchers who looked at just two web pages for each of the 40 sites found 211 marketing messages.
Most of these says the report were “selling or promoting something, or instilling ‘brand buzz’, and 95 per cent of the websites contained some sort of commercial activity, ranging from marketing and advertising to selling goods and services”.
Only CBeebies and CBBC, two BBC websites aimed at young children, remained free from criticism
Getting back to the ABC, that site has several sections including the cartoon series, Adventures of Greena, and Professor Schpinkee’s Greenhouse Calculator which is designed to help children work out their carbon footprint by comparing their carbon output with the “average Aussie greenhouse pig”.
When the carbon levels in the calculator reaches a certain level, a cartoon pig explodes in a pool of blood.
Although the ABC has promised to review the website, it is not clear when this review will be completed.