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Israeli youth at risk while playing online games

A study found that more than 40% of youngsters playing online games were exposed to inappropriate content.

Video game remote control. Credit: Lalesh Aldarwish/Pexels.
Video game remote control. Credit: Lalesh Aldarwish/Pexels.

According to the first survey of its kind in Israel, published by the country’s Ministry of National Security, more than 40% of Israeli youth playing online games have been exposed to inappropriate content.

The survey was titled “Risks in the World of Gaming.”

About 25% of the teenagers reported being asked for personal details in the first game played with someone they did not know. Higher rates were recorded among girls (about 30%) and among Arab teenagers (about 35%).

Over 40% of the youth were exposed to inappropriate content, including bullying, sexual content and even obscene offers. Particularly high rates of exposure to inappropriate content were recorded among girls (about 47%).

A recent report from the Anti-Defamation League investigating the hate speech saturating online video games discovered that while companies have tried to prevent racist or antisemitic usernames, less overt references can still appear.

“While game companies have filtered out some of the most obvious offensive terms and slurs, they have many holes in their filtering systems,” the researchers write.

Racist usernames the research team found included “HeilHitler” in the popular online shooterCall of Duty.”

The report concluded that companies had to do better to stay up to speed on linguistic developments among online bigots: “Given how hateful terms have dynamic meanings that often change depending on contexts and over time, game companies will need to keep track of how these terms are being used by extremists and other hateful actors,” it stated.

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