Moralist campaigners in the US have been pushing for computers and smart phones to be pre-loaded before sale with unspecified porn blocking software that can only be removed once users pay an unblocking fee.
But the campaigners haven't really done
much to specify how this idea could be implemented in practice. Now the proposal introduced by representative Susan Pulsipher has run into a wall of dissent in the Utah legislature at an interim committee hearing, and the idea was rejected without a
Pulsipher said the goal of her effort was to create another wall of defense to help protect children from the damaging impact of pornography and empower parents and legal guardians to limit a minor's exposure to such online harmful material.
But committee members balked at Pulsipher's approach, noting that it would be extremely difficult to identify which entity in the consumer electronics supply chain should be held liable for ensuring that software was activated.
Bramble, R-Provo, pointed out that Pulsipher's proposal failed to identify whether the responsible party was the manufacturer, the company that distributed the product, or the store or reseller that sold the product to the consumer.
she appreciated the opportunity to field the concerns of committee members and promised to work on revising the bill in time for further consideration in the next interim session. But Senate Majority Whip Dan Hemmert said he was unlikely to end up a
supporter of the effort, regardless of what changes Pulsipher came back with.
Ofcom has published its burdensome censorship rules that will apply to video sharing platforms that are stupid enough to be based in the UK. In particular the rules are quite vague about age verification requirements for the two adult video sharing sites
that remain in the UK. Maybe Ofcom is a bit shy about requiring onerous and unviable red tape of British companies trying to compete with large numbers of foreign companies that operate with a massive commercial advantage of not having age verification.
Ofcom do however note that these censorship rules are a stop gap until a wider scoped 'online harms' censorship regime which will start up in the next couple of years.
(VSPs) are a type of online video service which allows users to upload and share videos with members of the public.
From 1 November 2020, UK-established VSPs will be required to comply with new rules around protecting users from
The main purpose of the new regulatory regime is to protect consumers who engage with VSPs from the risk of viewing harmful content. Providers must have appropriate measures in place to protect minors from content
which might impair their physical, mental or moral development; and to protect the general public from criminal content and material likely to incite violence or hatred.
Ofcom has published a short guide outlining the new
statutory requirements on providers. The guide is intended to assist platforms to determine whether they fall in scope of the new regime and to understand what providers need to do to ensure their services are compliant.
also explains how Ofcom expects to approach its new duties in the period leading up to the publication of further guidance on the risk of harms and appropriate measures, which we will consult on in early 2021.
Ofcom will also be
consulting on guidance on scope and jurisdiction later in 2020. VSP providers will be required to notify their services to Ofcom from 6 April 2021 and we expect to have the final guidance in place ahead of this time.
YouTube of porn: longitudinal measurement, analysis, and characterization of a large porn streaming service
A University of Auckland study by Cameron Wong, Yo-Der Song & Aniket Mahanti.
Video content on user-generated content services has redefined entertainment and business on the Internet. Adult video streaming services have embraced this evolution to form YouTube style porn sites which combine the features
of video hosting websites and online social media services.
This paper presents a comprehensive measurement study of one of the most popular new-age porn websites with social networking features, xHamster. Using active
measurements, we have obtained metadata on almost 4 million unique videos that span the lifetime of xHamster from 2007 to 2018.
An analysis of this corpus allowed us to characterize the service and gain insights into the key
players of the website including the website owners, video uploaders, and the viewers. By studying the characteristics of videos such as views, duration, the number of uploads, tags, ratings and comments, we give an overview of xHamster's current state,
compare it to traditional and adult streaming services, and find the niche that xHamster occupies as an amateur content focused service.
We find that there are significant differences between adult streaming services and
traditional streaming services. The injection rate of new videos is lower but the website does not need a large number of new uploads as long as the front page is constantly refreshed. The length of an average adult video is shorter than that of the
average video on traditional streaming services, and we find that there is minimal engagement with ratings and comments. Video tags are actively used to organize and filter through content, and we observe that the more tags a video has, the more views it
is likely to obtain.
The porn trade magazine AVN comments further about the research:
YouTube, according to the internet data site Alexa.com , is the second-most trafficked website in the world. The porn tube site xHamster
ranks 111th . But content creators looking for engagement are much better off uploading porn to xHamster than posting a mainstream video on YouTube.
The study found that xHamster contains only a small fraction of the number of
videos on YouTube -- about four million compared to YouTube's five billion videos. In addition, while xHamster users uploaded an average of 2,000 videos per 24-hour period, YouTube receives 500 hours of video uploads every minute.
But xHamster can get by with much less content, because viewers are hungrier for porn than they are for the variety of offerings on YouTube. According to the University of Auckland findings, an average YouTube video will be viewed 5,500 times. But an
xHamster video receives an average of 68,000 views.
The study also showed that despite attempts around the world to ban it, porn only continues to grow in popularity. According to the study, between 2013 and 2017, the number of
videos uploaded to xHamster increased by a factor of three.
Ofcom commissioned research has identified (but not named) 2 adult video sharing sharing platforms that are based in the UK. It will be interesting to see how age verification requirements will effect these UK services trying to compete with the rest
of world with no such requirements (for the moment).
We are seeking evidence and information related to the new requirements that will apply to video-sharing platforms.
Video-sharing platforms (VSPs) are a type of online video service where users can upload and share videos. VSPs allow users to engage with a wide range of content and social features and are particularly popular among young people. 90% of adults and 98% of children aged 8-15 who use the internet have used a VSP in the past year.
Ofcom will be given new powers this autumn to regulate UK-established VSPs. This will include a duty to ensure that VSPs have in place appropriate measures to protect young people from potentially harmful content and all users
from illegal content and incitement to hatred and violence. Services will also need to ensure standards around advertising are met.
This call for evidence sets out the background and legislative context to forthcoming VSP
regulation in the UK and an overview of the VSP regulatory framework. It also sets out Ofcom's approach to VSP regulation based around some core principles: protection and assurance; freedom of expression; adaptability; transparency; enforcement;
independence; and proportionality.