A police leak about child prostitution over non-dating websites includes statistics that implies self-regulation of big mobile web companies are not working as expected, Mainichi reported [J].
In 2009, 1,136 minors under the age 18 were involved by violence of ordinance on juvenile protection, the law banning child prostitution and child pornography. 716 of them, 63% used top 10 websites.
The problem is, 7 out of those top 10 sites belong to Content Evaluation and Monitoring Association (EMA) [J] certified mobile sites. The 7 sites are Gree,
Slooolife(was Putige Friends)
The organization was established to certify if a mobile website is “healthy” and safe for children.
EMA Certified sites, currently 33 sites, are excluded from Japanese cellphone carriers filtering for kids. Those certified sites are supposed to track their users age, messages on child’s diaries, community board and even direct messages among them (Gree said they are censoring them [J]).
EMA commented to Mainichi “it might be because EMA member sites have huge number of users. Who committed those crimes are users, we service providers try to prevent those criminal activities from occurring.”
There are critics that EMA members and certified service providers are much overlapped. EMA members guarantees their own web services are healthy and safe for kids. What EMA requires certified mobile site can be only managed by big companies, which also prevents new start-ups from entering to the industry, because those newcomers’ sites are not accessible from teens.
Also, some point out that this could be that police trying to take initiative over the internet and mobile contents industry. The industry is a late comer and rather free from traditional regulations and their enforcers, who are typically extra-government organizations accept parachuting retired bureaucrats.