School shootings in the US have left many parents railing against depictions of violence in the media. However, few parents are making use of technology that can restrict what their children watch on television or see on the Internet, according to a recent study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia.
The V-chip, a device that can block programs with violence, sex, and crude language, is required on all TV sets 13 inches and larger, under a 1996 telecommunications law. But the device has failed to gain widespread use: Although 40 percent of parents have a V-chip, only half activate it. Software filters that can block certain Web sites pre-date the V-chip, but are even less popular - one-half of families say they have Internet access at home, but only 32 percent of those families use filters.
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