5Rights' pernicious playthings
In a cheeky and effective campaign, the children’s rights group turns genuine online worries into innocuous Twisted Toys.
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Ideally, toys should be simple trinkets that we're happy to leave our children to play with, unsupervised.
However, as this lo-fi but high-concept campaign for children’s rights group 5Rights goes to show, mistaking connected devices and online services for harmless curios can have devastating effects.
Through a series of enjoyably kitsch commercials, all created in-house by the 5Rights team, that demonstrate the damage with a cheeky wink, Twisted Toys presents the horrors as seemingly harmless, before the rug-pull of how we would find this unacceptable if genuine.
The Twisted Toys each represent a different aspect of the exploitation, surveillance and danger that children face online.
- Stalkie Talkie is the classic hand-held toy which uses child-friendly algorithms to match kids with adult strangers. Just press the button and wait for billions of random people to find you!
- Share Bear is the cuddly companion who just loves to share: he wants to know every data point from your favourite colour to your sexual preferences, as long as it can be sold for profit!
- Wakey Wakey: this night light keeps you updated on everything you don’t need to know 247: it’s designed to perpetuate cycles of sleep deprivation and over-stimulation.
- My First T&C’s: essential reading for any child, just set aside 250 hours (the average time required to read T&Cs) [source] and you can sign your life away.
- Mystery Friends is a whole new sticker collection for the digital age. Who can tell what you’re gonna get? A new best friend? Or a pesky predator?
- Fishing For Likes makes popularity competitions easier to judge than ever, and all you have to do to win is distort your self-worth! It’s compulsive, obsessive, destructive fun for the whole community.
- The Eye-Con 3000 is the eyeball tracking, retina scanning, handheld device kids just can’t put down. As big tech becomes ever-thirstier for more data, military-grade surveillance tech will become common in our kids’ hands.
Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, 5Rights Chair, says: “Too often, people forget that digital products and services are consumer goods – and as such they need to be safe for those who use them – especially children.
"We don’t share personal information about children with random strangers, we don’t allow strangers to knock on the door and ask for a naked polaroid, we don’t allow people to assess their emotional state to sell them something. But all of this takes place online every day. Twisted Toys shows just how dangerous and inappropriate data surveillance is; that terms and conditions are not fit for purpose; and that the tech sector is failing to offer even the most basic safety requirements. Parents want change.
"Simply put, we don’t allow this in the real world, and we must not allow it in the digital world.”