The Internet’s impact on children is also a cause for concern – a perceived boom in online pornography and reduction in active pastimes also rank very highly in the list of the public’s concerns.
‘How Important an issue for society, if at all, are the following?
Rated a very important or fairly important issue by x % (in brackets)
- Internet being used by terrorist networks to facilitate their activities (79)
- Internet taking children away from active pastimes (75)
- The boom in online pornography (72)
- Internet helping charities raise funds faster (69)
- Internet giving greater freedom of speech for countries with state censorship (69)
- Some countries trying to curb freedom of speech through the internet (66)
- Internet helping ordinary citizens to express opposition to government and business in ways that were not possible before (62)
- Unequal access to the internet growing the divide between developed and undeveloped nations (60)
- People becoming addicted to the internet (61)
- Piracy of copyrighted materials (59)
The AOL research also asked about people’s hopes for the future of the internet and it reveals an optimism about its future. The results reveal the majority of people want to see the internet becoming an accessible library of entertainment and reference materials, storing information for the future.
The Internet is likely to change and develop significantly in the near future. Which two or three, if any, of these future possibilities would you most like to see happen because of the internet?
- The internet will increasingly become a public library accessible to everyone (54)
- The internet will make it possible to share knowledge with the developing world and raise standards of health across the world (42)
- The internet will make it easier to share skills and interests worldwide (38)
- The internet will make it possible for people face to face at any time (29)
- It will be possible to access any form of entertainment ever created (22)
- The internet will increase democracy by making it possible for the public to vote online (18)
- Local communities will be able to bond together in daily life much more effectively (12)
- None (4)
Timothy Ryan, director of brand marketing, AOL UK comments on the campaign:
We have seen a massive focus on price and speed in this market, but not on some of the serious issues raised by the internet. There is a substantial debate about the internet’s impact on people’s lives, which is being missed. We are pleased to have provoked such a huge public response.