Consultation For New Age Checks For Porn Sites Underway In The UK

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Public consultation has begun in the U.K with the aim of finding the most appropriate way to enforce age restrictions on pornographic web content. In a culture that had seemingly embraced this as normal, it’s a laudable step. The UK government intends by this plan, to enforce the age checks that are required, but most times ignored, to block access to porn sites for children under the age of 18, in line with a Conservative Party manifesto pledge.

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The consultation has already been launched and invites comments from parents, teachers, academics, charities, internet service providers and even the websites that provide these contents. A murky area remains in questions on how the government will enforce this same restrictions on sites not based in the UK. Internet safety and security minister Joanna Shields says;

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“The internet is a tremendous resource for learning and creativity, but it is important to make sure that children are able to make the most of all it has to offer in a safe way.

Just as we do offline, we want to make sure children are prevented from accessing pornographic content online which should only be viewed by adults.”

The intended plan has to imbibe more than the usual date of birth entries that have become increasingly easy to skim by, credit card checks are also more than likely going to prove hugely unpopular, so the government is really expectant of innovative ideas through this public consultation. The consultation is meant to run up onto the 12th of April this year, a set date for the implementation of the law has not been set by the government as at this moment.



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When the law is fixed however, the government will empower a regulatory body to enforce the new laws and impose civil sanctions when breached. Even payment companies and other businesses that work alongside the porn companies will be allowed to withdraw backing if they violate the new law.

Of course this article is about a localized plan for the UK, but a lot can be gained if African censorship bodies follow the process closely and adapt methods that could possibly work in their country’s framework as porn is becoming a more widespread issue on the continent as more and more people get connected to the internet. Kenya’s censorship bodies seem to be the most active, with earlier moves in the year seeing them regulating radio programmes and restricting them from broadcasting any sexually explicit content during the day and even having talks with Netflix over regulatory options.

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It is important that we direct the energies of younger people towards safer and more wholesome expressions, as Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC puts it, the issue is “a matter of urgency” and children who have ready access to content rated over 18 could develop a “warped” view of sexual relationships.

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