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What is inappropriate content?

Inappropriate content is a term used to capture a wide and ever-increasing number of different types of problematic content online.

Generally inappropriate content is anything that violates the rights of the child as defined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and everything that violates human rights as defined by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, in particular the right to life, privacy, information, protection and the right to participate in society, to be protected from abuse and violence. It can be anything from hate speech to images of self-harm or pro-ana websites. Inappropriate content might include the following topics:

  • Pornography
  • Violence, Extremist behavior
  • Dangerous products
  • Racism or Hate
  • Pro-Ana sites
  • Sites with extremist content

To display the characteristics of these subtopics, we will have a look at them in detail:


Pornography is described as an explicit description or image intended to stimulate sexual feelings. However, pornography may or may not be obscene; as long as it is argued that the work has literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. But a lack of consensus hinders objective attempts to define pornography by one definition.


Definitions of pornography vary from time to time and place to place: Something defined as porno-graphic a few years ago may now be considered erotic.  Internet pornography is any pornography that is accessible over the Internet, primarily via websitespeer-to-peer file sharing, or Usenet newsgroups. The availability of widespread public access to the World Wide Web in late 1990s led to the growth of Internet pornography.

Depictions of nudity in which the subject is nude or minimally clothed, and where the clothing would not be acceptable in an appropriate public context.Here are some examples of  internet pornography:

  • Depictions, animations or illustrations of sex acts or sexually suggestive poses.
  • Content that depicts sexual aids and fetishes.
  • Content that is lewd or profane.
  • Content that depicts, describes or encourages bestiality.
  • Apps that promote sex-related entertainment, escort services or other services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.

Violence, Extremist behavior

Violence is not just the domain of computer games or movies. The Internet also gives it a lot of space, especially video-sharing portals, where brutal live-action videos appear as well as real attacks or real events with a tragic end. There are even specialized portals that focus on collecting links to brutal videos and photos. It is difficult to prevent violent content from being presented on the Internet, as most of the time there is no violation of any law.

Common violent content on the Internet refers to graphic depictions or descriptions of realistic violence or violent threats to any person or animal. We may also come across apps that include  manifestations of violence. These apps can promote self-harm, suicide, eating disorders or at first glance harmless games, or other acts where serious injury or death may result.

In extreme cases, you can meet with content related to terrorism, such as content that promotes terrorist acts, incites violence or celebrates terrorist attacks.


Content related to terrorism or violence can also serve for an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose. For that type of purpose it is necessary carefully consider the use of the content and consistently explain the noxiousness of that behaviour

Many people do not realize that the Internet is a means that can offer and facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition or certain firearms accessories. Other possibilities include components serving for the manufacture of explosives, firearms, ammunition, restricted firearm accessories or other weapons and instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic, or simulated automatic, firing capabilities.

Dangerous products

Darknet market or cryptomarket is an illegal commercial website on a special non-public website called darknet, which can only be accessed with specific software, configurations, or authorization.  It primarily functions as a black market, for the sale or brokering of transactions involving drugs, cyber-weapons, weapons, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, counterfeit documents, illicit drugs, steroids and other illegal goods, but also legal goods.

Racism or hate

Promotion or incitation of hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or any other characteristic is also a common type of inappropriate content that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalisation. Assertions intended are to prove that  these individuals or groups  are inhuman, inferior or worthy of being hated. These activities include negative characteristics (e.g. malicious, corrupt, evil, etc.), statements that the group is a threat or speech trying to encourage others to believe that people should be hated or discriminated because they are a member of some group.

The Internet offers unlimited space for publishing almost any content, text, video, photo or music. Besides, anyone – be it an individual or a group of people, an organization, or a business – can get their Internet presence through a blog, website or social profile. Despite all efforts to regulate, the inappropriate content , the people always finding the new opportunities and ways how to get it on the Internet. The common ways of spreading include:

Pro-ana sites

Pro-ana sites, blogs, forums, and social networking groups are the voice of a movement that understands anorexia as a lifestyle, not as a disease. Anorexics do not see anything wrong with their lifestyle, but they perceive the resistance of their surroundings, so they gather and support each other. By enhancing their own pathological experience and behavior on websites and social networks, they ensure a sense of really positive feedback. Opinions on pro-ana sites vary – the first part argues that pro-ana exists as a safe environment for anorexic  persons to discuss their illness and thus support those who opt for recovery, the second part uses pro-ana sites to support their view that anorexia nervosa is not a disease but a lifestyle that should be respected by doctors and family.

Sites with extremist content

Sites with extremist content often seem innocent at first glance: they provide attractive information such as historical events, but facts are distorted and refer to other sources of information already manipulated by a shifted perception of the world. Similarly, extremists make use of, for example, music group presentations, in whose texts published on the website there is usually hidden extremist content.

Social network

As in newspapers or television, it is not allowed to distribute illegal content – such as child pornography or violence – on the Internet. Despite all efforts to regulate, this content appears on the Internet. Besides, the Internet provides space for the distribution of legal but inappropriate content such as simple pornography or violent content that may interfere with the healthy development of children.

For online communication, it is becoming increasingly common to voluntarily send sexually suggestive messages and intimate pictures or videos. And with the boom of social networks, it is even easier to distribute such content.

Sometimes it is very difficult to tell what is inappropriate content and what is not.

Pornography is often confused with the term erotica.

What is the difference?

What constitutes pornography and erotica varies in the change between groups and also between individuals. It is also likely to vary with the time – what was considered pornographic perhaps in the early 1900s may now be considered erotic.

The criteria used for distinguishing between the erotic and pornographic is very steeped in personal moral, aesthetic, and religious values. Even though many people regard these two orientations to human sexuality as overlapping, there is existing the significant difference between them. Erotic unlike pornography doesn’t appeal exclusively to our senses or carnal appetites, it also engages our aesthetic sense, our judgment about how the figure illustrates an ideal of human beauty. Erotic is rather an artistic and aesthetic matter, pornography is more oriented towards the instinctive satisfaction of sexual needs.

Classification of pornography in terms of psychology:

  • soft = everything erotic, from an artistic act to a hint of a sexual act
  • hard = direct depiction of sexual act, including details of genitals, their irritation, erection, penetration, ejaculation
  • deviant = direct depiction of sexual deviations and practices that do not occur in a common and generally accepted sexual life in a given culture (society) – child, sadomasochistic, etc.

Pornography vs child pornography

Not every depiction of the naked body is pornography. For this to be the case, it must be such a work (photographic, computer, written or other) whose purpose is to induce or increase sexual arousal (pornography is not, for example, the depiction of genital organs in a biology textbook). Therefore, the determination of whether pornography is already based on the prevailing moral feeling.

Child pornography is one that depicts or otherwise uses a child or a person who appears to be a child. Currently, these include images of children depicting the positions of actual or feigned sexual intercourse (in extreme cases it may not even be directly visible to the exposed genital organs) or images of the naked children in positions challenging to present the genital organs. European and national laws prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography.   A violation of child pornography laws is a serious crime, and convicted offenders face fines severe statutory penalties.


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