In a survey more about net neutrality than porn censorship, MoneySupermarket noted:
We conducted a survey of over 2,000 Brits on this and it seems that if an ISP decided to block sites, it could result in increasing numbers of Brits switching - 64 per cent of Brits would be likely to switch ISP if they put blocks in place
In reality, this means millions could be considering a switch as nearly six million having tried to access a site that was blocked in the last week - nearly one in 10 across the country.
It's an issue even more pertinent for those aged 18 to 34, with nearly half (45 per cent) having tried to access a site that was blocked at some point.
While ISPs might block sites for various reasons, a quarter of Brits said they would switch ISP if they were blocked from viewing adult sites - with those living with partners the most likely to do so!
Now switching ISPs isn't going to help much if the BBFC, the government appointed porn censor, has dictated that all ISPs block porn sites. But maybe these 25% of internet users will take up alternatives such as subscribing to a VPN service.
The BBFC has made a few changes to its approach since the rather ropey document published prior to the BBFC's public consultation. In general the BBFC seems a little more pragmatic about trying to get adult porn users to buy into the age
verification way of thinking. The BBFC seems supportive of the anonymously bought porn access card from the local store, and has taken a strong stance against age verification providers who reprehensibly want to record people's porn browsing,
claiming a need to provide an audit trail.
The BBFC has also decided to offer a service to certify age verification providers in the way that they protect people's data. This is again probably targeted at making adult porn users a bit more confident in handing over ID.
The BBFC tone is a little bit more acknowledging of people's privacy concerns, but it's the government's law being implemented by the BBFC, that allows the recipients of the data to use it more or less how they like. Once you tick the 'take it or
leave it' consent box allowing the AV provider 'to make your user experience better' then they can do what they like with your data (although GDPR does kindly let you later withdraw that consent and see what they have got on you).
Another theme that runs through the site is a rather ironic acceptance that, for all the devastation that will befall the UK porn industry, for all the lives ruined by people having their porn viewing outed, for all the lives ruined by fraud and
identity theft, that somehow the regime is only about stopping young children 'stumbling on porn'... because the older, more determined, children will still know how to find it anyway.
So the BBFC has laid out its stall, and its a little more conciliatory to porn users, but I for one will never hand over any ID data to anyone connected with a servicing porn websites. I suspect that many others will feel the same. If you can't
trust the biggest companies in the business with your data, what hope is there for anyone else.
There's no word yet on when all this will come into force, but the schedule seems to be 3 months after the BBFC scheme has been approved by Parliament. This approval seems scheduled to be debated in Parliament in early November, eg on 5th
November there will be a House of Lords session:
Implementation by the British Board of Film Classification of age-verifications to prevent children accessing pornographic websites 203 Baroness Benjamin Oral questions
So the earliest it could come into force is about mid February.
The BBFC has published its Age Verification Guidance document that will underipin the implementation of internet porn censorship in the UK.
Perhaps a key section is:
5. The criteria against which the BBFC will assess that an age-verification arrangement meets the requirement under section 14(1) to secure that pornographic material is not normally accessible by those under 18 are set out below:
a. an effective control mechanism at the point of registration or access to pornographic content by the end-user which verifies that the user is aged 18 or over at the point of registration or access
b use of age-verification data that cannot be reasonably known by another person, without theft or fraudulent use of data or identification documents nor readily obtained or predicted by another person
c. a requirement that either a user age-verify each visit or access is restricted by controls, manual or electronic, such as, but not limited to, password or personal identification numbers. A consumer must be logged out by default unless they
positively opt-in for their log in information to be remembered
d. the inclusion of measures which authenticate age-verification data and measures which are effective at preventing use by non-human operators including algorithms
It is fascinating as to why the BBFC feels that bots need to be banned, perhaps they need to be 18 years old too, before they can access porn. I am not sure if porn sites will appreciate Goggle-bot being banned from their sites. I love the idea
that the word 'algorithms' has been elevated to some sort of living entity.
It all smacks of being written by people who don't know what they are talking about.
In a quick read I thought the following paragraph was important:
9. In the interests of data minimisation and data protection, the BBFC does not require that age-verification arrangements maintain data for the purposes of providing an audit trail in order to meet the requirements of the act.
It rather suggests that the BBFC pragmatically accept that convenience and buy-in from porn-users is more important than making life dangerous for everybody, just n case a few teenagers get hold of an access code.
The British Board of Film Classification was designated as the age-verification regulator under Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act on 21 February 2018. The BBFC launched its consultation on the draft Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements and
draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers on 26 March 2018. The consultation was available on the BBFC's website and asked for comments on the technical aspects on how the BBFC intends to approach its role and functions as the
age-verification regulator. The consultation ran for 4 weeks and closed on 23 April 2018, although late submissions were accepted until 8 May 2018.
There were a total of 624 responses to the consultation. The vast majority of those (584) were submitted by individuals, with 40 submitted by organisations. 623 responses were received via email, and one was received by post. Where express
consent has been given for their publication, the BBFC has published responses in a separate document. Response summaries from key stakeholders are in part 4 of this document.
Responses from stakeholders such as children's charities, age-verification providers and internet service providers were broadly supportive of the BBFC's approach and age-verification standards. Some responses from these groups asked for
clarification to some points. The BBFC has made a number of amendments to the guidance as a result. These are outlined in chapter 2 of this document. Responses to questions raised are covered in chapter 3 of this document.
A significant number of responses, particularly from individuals and campaign groups, raised concerns about the introduction of age-verification, and set out objections to the legislation and regulatory regime in principle. Issues included
infringement of freedom of expression, censorship, problematic enforcement powers and an unmanageable scale of operation. The government's consultation on age-verification in 2016 addressed many of these issues of principle. More information
about why age-verification has been introduced, and the considerations given to the regulatory framework and enforcement powers can be found in the 2016 consultation response by the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport1.
New rules on audiovisual media services will apply to broadcasters, and also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms
MEPs voted on updated rules on audiovisual media services covering children protection, stricter rules on advertising, and a requirement 30% European content in video-on-demand.
Following the final vote on this agreement, the revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, such as Netflix, YouTube or Facebook, as well as to live streaming on video-sharing
The updated rules will ensure:
Enhanced protection of minors from violence, hatred, terrorism and harmful advertising
Audiovisual media services providers should have appropriate measures to combat content inciting violence, hatred and terrorism, while gratuitous violence and pornography will be subject to the strictest rules. Video-sharing platforms will now be
responsible for reacting quickly when content is reported or flagged by users as harmful.
The legislation does not include any automatic filtering of uploaded content, but, at the request of the Parliament, platforms need to create a transparent, easy-to-use and effective mechanism to allow users to report or flag content.
The new law includes strict rules on advertising, product placement in children's TV programmes and content available on video-on-demand platforms. EP negotiators also secured a personal data protection mechanism for children, imposing measures
to ensure that data collected by audiovisual media providers are not processed for commercial use, including for profiling and behaviourally targeted advertising.
Redefined limits of advertising
Under the new rules, advertising can take up a maximum of 20% of the daily broadcasting period between 6.00 and 18.00, giving the broadcaster the flexibility to adjust their advertising periods. A prime-time window between 18:00 and 0:00 was also
set out, during which advertising will only be allowed to take up a maximum of 20% of broadcasting time.
30% of European content on the video-on-demand platforms' catalogues
In order to support the cultural diversity of the European audiovisual sector, MEPs ensured that 30% of content in the video-on-demand platforms' catalogues should be European.
Video-on-demand platforms are also asked to contribute to the development of European audiovisual productions, either by investing directly in content or by contributing to national funds. The level of contribution in each country should be
proportional to their on-demand revenues in that country (member states where they are established or member states where they target the audience wholly or mostly).
The legislation also includes provisions regarding accessibility, integrity of a broadcaster's signal, strengthening regulatory authorities and promoting media competences.
The deal still needs to be formally approved by the Council of EU ministers before the revised law can enter into force. Member States have 21 months after its entry into force to transpose the new rules into national legislation.
The text was adopted by 452 votes against 132, with 65 abstentions.
A new section has been added to the AVMS rules re censorship
Member States shall take appropriate measures to ensure that audiovisual media services provided by media service providers under their jurisdiction which may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors are only made available
in such a way as to ensure that minors will not normally hear or see them. Such measures may include selecting the time of the broadcast, age verification tools or other technical measures. They shall be proportionate to the potential harm of
the programme. The most harmful content, such as gratuitous violence and pornography, shall be subject to the strictest measures.
Personal data of minors collected or otherwise generated by media service providers pursuant to paragraph 1 shall not be processed for commercial purposes, such as direct marketing, profiling and behaviourally targeted advertising.
Member States shall ensure that media service providers provide sufficient information to viewers about content which may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors. For this purpose, media service providers shall use a system
describing the potentially harmful nature of the content of an audiovisual media service. For the implementation of this paragraph, Member States shall encourage the use of co - regulation as provided for in Article 4a(1).
The Commission shall encourage media service providers to exchange best practices on co - regulatory codes of conduct . Member States and the Commission may foster self - regulation, for the purposes of this Article, through Union codes of
conduct as referred to in Article 4a(2).
Article 4a suggests possible organisation of the censors assigned to the task, eg state censors, state controlled organisations eg Ofcom, or nominally state controlled co-regulators like the defunct ATVOD.
Article 4a(3). notes that censorial countries like the UK are free to add further censorship rules of their own:
Member States shall remain free to require media service providers under their jurisdiction to comply with more detailed or stricter rules in compliance with this Directive and Union law, including where their national independent regulatory
authorities or bodies conclude that any code of conduct or parts thereof h ave proven not to be sufficiently effective. Member States shall report such rules to the Commission without undue delay. ;
The Indian state of Uttarakhand has been hearing a rape case and has decided that porn was to blame. So the court is looking to resurrect an internet porn ban first mooted in 2015.
On August 3rd, 2015, three years back, the Government. of India had passed a notification which ordered all ISPs to ban pornographic content with immediate effect . Around 857 pornographic websites were ordered to be banned, and ISPs were duly
However, the Government faced massive backlash over this issue and were criticized for banning porn. Some even described this as Talibanization of the Internet. After two days, a new notification was issued; and this time, the responsibility for
the porn ban was passed over to the Internet Service Provider and limited to banning child porn.
Now the Uttarakhand High Court has ordered all Internet Service Providers to immediately ban porn websites, across India. If they fail to do so, then their license can be canceled!
While hearing a recent case of gang-rape in a school at Dehradun, the bench at Uttarakhand High Court comprising of acting chief justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Manoj Tiwari has asked the Centre Govt. to strictly implement a blanket ban on
pornography sites. The Bench observed:
Unlimited access to these pornographic sites is required to be blocked/curbed to avoid an adverse influence on the impressionable minds of children.
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has ordered the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to initiate effective steps against Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other private channels on Internet for broadcasting pornographic contents, crudity,
sexual or discriminatory language, and various levels of violence,
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Adv Divya Gontiya requesting the High Court to issue orders aimed at 'urbing the deluge of vulgarity, violent scenes and crude language on webseries. The screening of pornographic contents,
vulgar gestures and talks are overriding the Indian culture and morality.
The High Court has directed the concerned ministries to set up a pre-screening committee for curbing , crudity, sexual or discriminatory language, vulgar gestures, nudity, sex, immodesty on webseries, monitor the webseries and advertisements
before going on online media.
Nepal's Government will soon ban porn sites in the country. The Ministry of Communication and Information technology (MOCIT) has instructed the internet censor, the NTA, to ban porn websites and any other sexually offensive/indecent content.
The government cited an increase in the rate of rape incident in the country as the reason fir the censorship. It also claims that the easy sexual content access increases sexual violence in the country.
The ministry also requests all the ISPs, telecom operators, social media operators, and Internet users not to distribute, publish and broadcast such sexual content in the country.
Some popular porn sites have been blocked for some years. Whereas some websites are still operating freely.
Attempting to read a censored websites leads to a page simply saying: This website has been blocked as per NTA's Policy.
The often contentious subject of pornography is explored in a new book, which seeks to contribute to the ever developing academic debate on this topic.
The book, Pornographies: Critical Positions is published by the University of Chester Press.
The book is also a milestone in academic writings on this topic, as it marks the shift towards studying pornography beyond the idea that it is simply a manifestation of dangerous patriarchal oppression and provides valuable insights into
contemporary culture and politics, and our ideas about gender, sexuality and bodies.
The volume has been edited by Dr Katherine Harrison, Senior Lecturer in Media at Leeds Beckett University; and Dr Cassandra Ogden, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University.
Dr Katherine Harrison said:
Pornography is no longer considered to be a single, homogenous 'thing'. Nor are debates about pornography limited to the reductive anti-porn versus anti-censorship controversies of the mid-20th century. Whether we like it or not, porn is a major
part of global culture, economy and society and -- if only by that virtue alone -- deserves to be studied seriously. The Internet is ubiquitous in our everyday lives and its significances and effects are widely studied on Social Sciences
degrees. However, one of the major uses of the Internet is the production, dissemination and consumption of pornography and this is rarely studied directly at undergraduate level. The book aims to address this omission by making the academic
study of pornography accessible to readers at all levels. It is worth noting that one of the contributors, Professor Feona Attwood, is Founding Editor of Routledge's international journal Porn Studies , the pre-eminent publication for porn
research and scholarship in the world.
Niche porn producer, Pandora Blake, Misha Mayfair, campaigning lawyer Myles Jackman and Backlash are campaigning to back a legal challenge to the upcoming internet porn censorship regime in the UK. They write on a new
We are mounting a legal challenge.
Do you lock your door when you watch porn 203 or do you publish a notice in the paper? The new UK age verification law means you may soon have to upload a proof of age to visit adult sites. This would connect your legal identity to a database of
all your adult browsing. Join us to prevent the damage to your privacy.
The UK Government is bringing in age verification for adults who want to view adult content online; yet have failed to provide privacy and security obligations to ensure your private information is securely protected.
The law does not currently limit age verification software to only hold data provided by you just in order to verify your age. Hence, other identifying data about you could include anything from your passport information to your credit card
details, up to your full search history information. This is highly sensitive data.
What are the Privacy Risks?
Data Misuse - Since age verification providers are legally permitted to collect this information, what is to stop them from increasing revenue through targeting advertising at you, or even selling your personal data?
Data Breaches - No database is perfectly secure, despite good intentions. The leaking or hacking of your sensitive personal information could be truly devastating. The Ashley Madison hack led to suicides. Don't let the Government allow your
private sexual preferences be leaked into the public domain.
What are we asking money for?
We're asking you to help us crowdfund legal fees so we can challenge the new age verification rules under the Digital Economy Act 2017. We re asking for 2£10,000 to cover the cost of initial legal advice, since it's a complicated area of law.
Ultimately, we'd like to raise even more money, so we can send a message to Government that your personal privacy is of paramount importance.
Pornhub's Age verification system AgeID has announced an exclusive partnership with OCL and its Portes solution for providing anonymous face-to-face age verification solution where retailers OK the age of customers who buy a card enabling porn
access. The similar AVSecure scheme allows over 25s to buy the access card without showing any ID but may require to see unrecorded ID from those appearing less than 25.
According to the company, the PortesCard is available to purchase from selected high street retailers and any of the U.K.'s 29,000 PayPoint outlets as a voucher. Each PortesCard will cost £4.99 for use on a single device, or £8.99 for use across
multiple devices. This compares with £10 for the AVSecure card.
Once a card or voucher is purchased, its unique validation code must be activated via the Portes app within 24 hours before expiring. Once the user has been verified they will automatically be granted access to all adult sites using AgeID. Maybe
this 24 hour limit is something to do with an attempt to restrict secondary sales of porn access codes by ensuring that they get tied to devices almost immediately. It all sounds a little hasslesome.
As an additional layer of protection, parents can quickly and simply block access on their children's devices to sites using Portes, so PortesCards cannot be associated with AgeID.
But note that an anonymously bought card is not quite a 100% safe solution. One has to consider whether if the authorities get hold of a device whether the can then see a complete history of all websites accessed using the app or access code. One
also has to consider whether someone can remotely correlate an 'anonymous' access code with all the tracking cookies holding one's id.
newly published study that examined a large representative sample of highly watched pornographic videos from a leading online streaming website, we found no evidence for the claim that pornography has become more violent over the last
We also found no evidence for often-heard claims that viewers increasingly prefer aggressive content.
Pornography and sexually explicit materials have long been a matter of intense debate. Since the so-called
sex wars of the 1970s, activists and academics have been embroiled in disputes concerning the production conditions, future directions and long-term consequences of pornography.
Since the rise of online porn along with social media, discussions about pornography have taken on a life of their own, largely unhinged from a credible or systematic evidence base.
Debates about aggression in porn
Our interest in the topic of violence and aggression in pornography came out of reading and hearing claims both in the popular media and in academic circles that pornography is becoming "worse and worse."
Part of this argument has been the result of
scientifically dubious claims about pornography being addictive and users needing to constantly "up the stakes" in order to be satisfied.
According to this logic, porn viewers -- who are mostly men -- become desensitized to "soft" pornography. This forces producers to increasingly generate videos that are more hard-core, creating a growing demand for and supply of violent
and degrading acts against women in mainstream pornographic videos.
However, we found no evidence to support these claims, and most of the existing evidence for the idea that porn is more hard-core than before was anecdotal.
Studies on the presence of aggression in pornographic videos have produced wildly diverging estimates, ranging from about
two per cent to
90 per cent . Differences in the way porn is studied can cause this wide gap in results: Researchers who have looked at aggression in porn have looked at different forms of media and have used various methods to both study and choose their
They have even used various definitions of aggression. Aggression can be strictly defined as a purposeful act resulting in harm in which the target of aggression
attempts to avoid the harm , or more broadly defined as a purposeful act that
results in harm to either the self or another . The choice of definition can have an impact on what is considered aggression, creating the potential to either under- or over-estimate prevalence.
Previous studies have not examined systematically changes in depictions of aggression over time, nor the relationship between aggressive contents and the popularity of videos.
Testing the claims porn is more violent
We set out to test the accepted wisdom of the "harder and harder" argument.
We also tested the assumption that viewers prefer increasingly hard-core pornography by analyzing 269 videos uploaded to PornHub over the past decade.
one of the world's top adult websites and, according to Alexa Internet, the 36th most visited site on the Internet as of 2017, with more than 80 million daily visits. PornHub is a freely accessible video-sharing website similar to YouTube.
Most of the videos we analyzed were frequently watched, but we also analyzed a smaller random sample of less frequently watched videos so that we could compare the highly popular videos versus the less popular ones.
We tested two related claims: One, that aggressive content in videos is on the rise and two, that viewers prefer such content. We used both the number of views as well as the rankings ("based on likes") for videos containing aggression
to help us assess popularity.
We used multiple definitions and measures of aggression (including visible, verbal, non-verbal and non-consensual aggression). Our results offered no support for either of these two claims. Viewers did not show a preference for violent content.
Visible aggression was present in slightly less than 40 per cent of the videos, non-consensual aggression appeared in about 12 per cent of the videos, and nearly 10 per cent of video titles clearly suggested aggression.
None of these showed an upward trend.
In fact, while in 2008, nearly 13 per cent of the average videos portrayed non-consensual aggression, by 2016, this figure had dropped to less than three per cent. This decline in non-consensual aggression and a similar decline in aggressive
video titles suggest that aggression has become less frequent in pornography over the last decade.
We also found that videos containing aggressive acts were both less likely to receive views and less likely to be ranked favourably by viewers, who preferred videos where women clearly demonstrated pleasure.
Whether the women are actually experiencing pleasure is another matter altogether, which our study cannot assess. Nevertheless, videos where women respond with pleasure are more likely to be watched and be "liked" (given a thumb's up by
These findings clearly challenge the assumption about the popularity of aggression, at least among those viewers who choose to share their preferences.
Indeed, it seems like the majority of mainstream viewers are gradually moving away from depictions of aggression and degradation, particularly non-consensual aggression.
This shift away from non-consensual aggression may signify lower demand and, depending on the responsiveness of producers to the preferences of most consumers, might result in reduced distribution of material featuring non-consensual aggression.
That said, surveys and interviews with porn viewers are needed to further explore preferences for aggression-free pornography.
Our research suggests that those making the "harder and harder" argument may be confusing supply (what a substantial portion of mainstream porn still looks like) and demand (what most viewers actually want to watch.)
Azerbaijan's government has begun to block internet pornography sites. While this is far from the first time the country has tried to control what websites its citizens access, it does appear to be the first time it's restricting pornography.
The blocking was carried out by the Electronic Security Service of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies. The move was reportedly made due to a local court decision, but no further details were released.
In December last year, Azerbaijan's parliament adopted a new set of laws penalizing the online dissemination of banned materials. The legislation referred to a list of prohibited information that was first put into use by Azerbaijani courts in
May 2017 authorizing the government to censor online information including terrorist propaganda, suicide videos, pornography and weapons-production manuals, but also gambling and defamation.
It's not clear why the ban on pornography was implemented, but it has generated some speculation online. Journalist Habib Muntazir of Meydan TV noted that on August 15, a Facebook parody page, Politicians of Ã ayxana, photoshopped the logo of the
pornographic website Pornhub onto a picture of President Ilham Aliyev reprimanding the head of the state energy company for the country's recent blackouts. The caption read: Boss punishes sexy secretary.