Poland has became the latest country to propose a national age verification law for porn.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, of the country's center-right Law and Justice Party, claimed that 60% of Polish boys between ages 13 and 16 had been exposed
Morawiecki made the remarks to a meeting of the Family Council, a group of parliamentarians, policy experts and leaders of non-governmental organizations whose mission is to support, initiate and promote actions that will benefit
Morawiecki did not specify what method might be used to check the ages of Polish people attempting to view online porn.
Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Bihar is blaming rising incidents of sexual crime against women in the state on porn. He has written to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to ban all porn sites and inappropriate
content available online. He wrote:
It will be my request to take appropriate action to ban all porn sites and inappropriate content available on internet immediately after giving due consideration to the serious issue, he
The incidents (of gang rape and crime against women) take place in some cases because of the impact of these sites.
People make videos of heinous acts (rape) against girls and women and get them
uploaded on social media such as Whatsapp, Facebook etc. Such content, which seriously affect the minds of children and youths, have been found as factors responsible for crimes (against women).
Long-term use of such content
negatively affect the mind of some people, which gives rise to social problems and increases the number of cases of crime against women.
The New Zealand Classification Office has been surveying popular porn on Pornhub and writes:
New research shows that while the most popular porn in New Zealand is not highly aggressive there is a concerning trend of people
The Classification Office has released its analysis of the 200 most popular videos that New Zealanders watch on mainstream porn site Pornhub. Last year the Office released the first stage of its Youth and Porn
research and further research is underway which will be released next year.
This separate analysis was done to break down and analyse the content of porn that is commonly watched in New Zealand.
Censor David Shanks said:
While porn is supposed to be restricted to adults, our research shows a significant number of young people watch it too, and this analysis of popular videos on Pornhub helps us understand what
they are seeing.
As regulators in this space we've been analysing explicit content for over 20 years. The porn industry's move online means that there is more porn available to a wider audience than ever before. Some of this
content can be extreme and illegal.
Our break down of content indicates that New Zealanders generally prefer content that is not so extreme. Of the top 200 clips analysed, just 10% showed physical aggression, 3% showed verbal
aggression and 9% contained derogatory language.
It was positive to find that extreme content does not seem to be what most New Zealanders are seeking out. However we were concerned to find some non-consensual behaviour in 35% of
the popular clips assessed.
We also found that 46% of the most viewed videos featured 'step porn' narratives involving sexual activity between blended family members. In these scenarios, initial refusal or reluctance by one
partner would often be shown as being overcome by persistence and pressure by the other.
Affectionate behaviour was spotted in around a quarter of the clips studied, and only 3% involved the use of condoms.
This analysis provides an important companion study for our initial NZ Youth and Porn research. That research established that porn is a fact of life for many young New Zealanders, and that they may view it for a variety of reasons, including to learn
about sex. Many of the young people we surveyed expressed concern about how porn might impact sexual beliefs, expectations and behaviour.
It is clear from this latest work that porn provides a very poor model for young people who
are developing their understanding of consent and of what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. They need a real counterpoint to the fictional and confusing stories that porn offers. Now it is more important than ever to give our young people the
information and education they need in this space, David Shanks said.
The reality is young people are seeing porn -- it's time to start talking with them about it.
Update: Let's not get too prudish
First, let's look at the content of porn: is it that bad? Three studies are cited relating to the aggression that is apparently rampant in porn.
The first , and purportedly most cited study, found that 88.2
percent of porn scenes contained physical aggression. The numbers seem big. But it depends on what you consider aggression.
Spanking (35.7 percent), gagging (27.7 percent), and open-hand slapping (14.9 percent) were the most
frequently observed physically aggressive acts.
To be honest, I'm not clutching my pearls at this revelation. It's certainly not nice and lovely in a kittens-and-ponies kind of way. But I guess, considering all the handwringing, I
was expecting something a lot uglier and a lot more violent (although even the thought of gagging makes me want to sympathy gag).
Perhaps then, the problem isn't the aggressive acts per se, but the treatment of women. But as it
turns out, in most cases, (95 percent of the time) women reacted to aggression with pleasure or neutrality.
The former head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), former 'eSafety Commissioner', Alastair MacGibbon, has told the House of Representatives Standing Committee On Social Policy And Legal Affairs looking to age verification for online wagering
and online pornography , that any form of online age verification would require a biometric component. He said:
I think biometrics -- with all of the problems associated with biometrics, and they are not a silver bullet --
is the only way you could really have an online system.
A scenario relying solely on Home Affairs' Face and Document Verification Services to provide proof of age would not work on its own, due to the ability for children to be
able to take, for instance, a driver's licence and verify it with the system.
What will be harder for the child is to get my face in front of the camera and use it for the purposes of proof of age, he said on Friday.
I'm not advocating for it to be used as such ...BUT... it could be used as a way of saying, 'This face that's now in front of this camera is attached to a driver's licence and a passport in Australia, and that person is
over the age of 18'.
He was not very sympathetic to porn viewers who may end up being victims of hackers, fraud, identity crime, or blackmail. He added
Australians need to accept that there is no
such thing as a completely secure connected device, that there will be failures, and everything in life is about balancing value and risk.
You do run the risk that Australians who have a privacy concern will be forced into darker
parts of the web to avoid online verification and that will be an unintended consequences any such scheme.
Well with an 'eSafety Commissioner' like that, I think Australian internet users should be getting a little bit nervous.
The annual No Nut November online event which is supposedly designed to encourage people to stop masturbating, at least for the month of November, appears to have been a massive failure, according to data research by the site Mashable.
The No Nut
meme, along with the similar NoFap online movement (which advocates swearing off masturbation on a permanent basis) are basically anti-porn campaigns.
Consulting with the leading porn tube sites PornHub and xHamster, the Mashable reporters found
that traffic during November either showed no tangible effect, or in xHamster's case, actually jumped by 10%.
xHamster Vice President Alex Hawkins speculated:
Trying to energize a whole population to
not masturbate only results in them thinking about masturbating more.
Mashable also checked Google trending data to learn whether searches for the word porn showed any significant dips or rises in November. But for three straight
years, Mashable found, porn as a Google search term held mostly steady during No Nut November.
In October last year, an Indian court had ordered the government to reinstate its earlier ban on 827 porn websites including PornHub and xVideos. Porn companies initially put up a fight, launching mirror URLs such as pornhub.net after pornhub.com
became inaccessible. But a few months in, major internet service providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio also started blocking out the mirror URLs tool.
However Indians haven't been taking the censorship lying down. Mobile downloads of virtual
private network (VPN) apps in India grew 405% to 57 million in the 12 months starting October 2018, as analysed by London-based Top10VPN, a website that reviews VPNs.
The vast majority of users in India are using free VPN services, which are in
effect not free--they often fund operations by selling user data. But the use of paid VPN services remains limited in India.
But not all Indian users have caught on to VPNs. Nearly half of the visitors of the banned websites have merely shifted to
other adult content sites that aren't blocked in the country, such as RedPorn and SexVid, according to research from the analytics firm SimilarWeb.
I always wonder if this response is one of the reasons why age verification for porn was cancelled
by the British Government. The security services surely didn't want vast numbers of people to start using VPNs. They needed the AV services to be easy and safe enough for porn users to be willing to use. And in the end most of the methods on offer were
Hundreds of porn stars and sex workers had their Instagram accounts deleted this year, and many say that they're being held to a different standard than mainstream celebrities.
I should be able to model my Instagram account on
Sharon Stone or any other verified profile, but the reality is that doing that would get me deleted, says Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild and one of the leading voices in the battle that adult stars are waging to stay on the
Ms Evans' group has collected a list of more than 1,300 performers who claim that their accounts have been deleted by Instagram's content moderators for violations of the site's community standards, despite not showing
any nudity or sex.
They discriminate against us because they don't like what we do for a living, Ms Evans says.
A creepy software app lets evangelical Christians out themselves as porn addicts to their own church leaders and friends.
The app, Covenant Eyes , recognises when a user is viewing a porn site. The app then takes a screen shot of the site and
emails it to a list of acquaintances, clergy, and anyone else the user has designated as someone willing to help with that person's porn addiction.
The app, which also filters and blocks porn sites.
Last October, Nepal's government blocked 25,000 porn sites, but a new report shows that the effort was inevitably futile.
A year ago the government introduced stiff fines of approximately $4,200 on ISPs that failed to adequately block porn sites.
But now a new report by the Nepalese news site Annapurna Express shows that little has changed. Nepalese porn surfers have actually been watching even more porn than a year ago, Annapurna Express reported, based on data provided to it by xHamster. In
fact, according to research by the Nepalese news site, internet users based in Nepal visit porn sites more often than they visit any of the country's news portals.
In another unsurprising finding, the site found that the porn ban has done nothing
to curb rising levels of sexual violence in Nepal. In the year since the ban, reported rape cases in Kathmandu have climbed from 145 to 225.
Its a perennial silly story that gets repeated around the world, that Net Nanny type software reports how many attempts to access porn are made by government ministers, or their staff, or whatever.
Journalists are quit to jump to the conclusion that
people are trying to watch Pornhub whilst at work.
In the latest example New Zealand's prime minister has ticked off public servants after it was revealed that staff at several ministries had their access to explicit material blocked hundreds of
times. Documents showed, among staff from other ministries, Department of Conservation staff have been blocked from accessing pornography websites 148 times since January 29.
In reality 148 times is hardly any, 15 times a month for the whole
staff. And of course there is an easy explanation for those 148 times. Sites like Melon Farmers are often classed as porn by internet filters as the reason for blocking them from children. Fair enough Melon Farmers frequently references porn and may
indeed not be suitable for children...but it is not a porn website. Those 148 access attempts could easily explained by blocked access to Melon Farmers.
In fact I would argue that 148 blocked access attempts in 10 months rather proves that the
staff in question are NOT spending their time watching porn.
Global consumer giants Kraft Heinz and Unilever have come under fire for advertising on the world's massively popular porno website, Pornhub.
Both companies launched huge advertising campaigns on Pornhub in the last year.
Unilever, which makes
Dove soap, Marmite and Hellmann's mayonnaise, ran a campaign for it's grooming company Dollar Shave Club which sends members razors in the post. It joked that Pornhub viewers won't need to visit the site so often if the use the advertiser's grooming
The company reportedly spends roughly £6billion a year on marketing and Dollar Shave Club's creative director, Matt Knapp, said the company chose to advertise on the porn site because it has guys backs'.
Yesterday Unilever vowed
it would never advertise on the site again after miserable PC campaigners questioned the company.
Meanwhile spokesman for Kraft Heinz played down the significance of its activity on Pornhub, but did not explicitly say it would not advertise on the
site again. He said:
The Devour frozen-food brand, which is only sold in the US, had a one-day promotion solely as part of the brand's Super Bowl activation. The brand was explicitly talking about #Foodporn, which has
become a cultural phenomenon on Instagram.
Pornhub has 110million daily visits and is the most popular pornography site in the UK. It is surely an attractive site for advertisers who are targeting campaigns toward men.
Several popular camgirl sites have exposed the email addresses and other sensitive information of millions of users and sex workers after a backend was left wide open.
VTS Media, a company based in Barcelona, runs the affected sites, out of which
amateur.tv is one of the most popular cam sites in Spain, according to traffic-ranking service Alexa. Others include placercams.com and webcampornoxxx.net.
This data exposure does not come at the hands of any sort of hack or exploit, instead, just
an oversight by the company, TechCrunch reported. The administrative backends were left open, without a password, for several weeks. This allowed anyone to access the network's database, which included usernames, email addresses, IP addresses, browser
user-agents, private chat logs, login timestamps, and even failed login attempts, which stored attempted passwords in plaintext.
The backend also contained data related to the videos that registered users were watching and renting. Users who
broadcasted sexual content to viewers on these sites also had some of their personal information revealed.
With millions of users affected, this is one of the largest data exposures for adult sites since Ashley Madison's massive breach in 2015,
and rather highlights jsut how dangerous it is to hand over personal details to porn sites, and just image how much worse it would have been if UK age verification were in place, the date would include names and addresses, birthdates ad passport numbers.
More than £2m of taxpayers' money was spent preparing for the age verification for porn censorship regime before the policy was dropped in early October, the government has revealed.
The bulk of the spending, £2.2m, was paid to the BBFC to do
the detailed work on the policy from 2016 onwards. Before then, additional costs were borne by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where civil servants were tasked with developing the proposals as part of their normal work.
Answering a written question fromthe shadow DCMS secretary, Tom Watson, Matt Warman for the government added: Building on that work, we are now establishing how the objectives of part three of the Digital Economy Act can be delivered through our online harms regime.
It is not just government funds that were wasted on the abortive scheme. Multiple private companies had developed systems that they were hoping to provide age verification services.
The bizarre thing was all this money was spent when the
government knew that it wouldn't even prevent determined viewers from getting access to porn. It was only was only considered as effective from blocking kids from stumbling on porn.
So all that expense, and all that potential danger for adults
stupidly submitting to age verification, and all for what?
Well at least next time round the government may consider that they should put a least a modicum of thought about people's privacy.
It's not ALL about the kids. Surely the
government has a duty of care for adults too. We need a Government Harms bill requiring a duty of care for ALL citizens. Now that would be a first!
Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, issued a written statement cancelling the government's current plans to require age verification for porn. She wrote:
The government published the
Online Harms White Paper in April this year. It proposed the establishment of a duty of care on companies to improve online safety, overseen by an independent regulator with strong enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance. Since the White Paper's
publication, the government's proposals have continued to develop at pace. The government announced as part of the Queen's Speech that we will publish draft legislation for pre-legislative scrutiny. It is important that our policy aims and our overall
policy on protecting children from online harms are developed coherently in view of these developments with the aim of bringing forward the most comprehensive approach possible to protecting children.
The government has
concluded that this objective of coherence will be best achieved through our wider online harms proposals and, as a consequence, will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 concerning age verification for online pornography. The
Digital Economy Act objectives will therefore be delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime. This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care. As currently
drafted, the Digital Economy Act does not cover social media platforms.
The government's commitment to protecting children online is unwavering. Adult content is too easily accessed online and more needs to be done to protect
children from harm. We want to deliver the most comprehensive approach to keeping children safe online and recognised in the Online Harms White Paper the role that technology can play in keeping all users, particularly children, safe. We are committed to
the UK becoming a world-leader in the development of online safety technology and to ensure companies of all sizes have access to, and adopt, innovative solutions to improve the safety of their users. This includes age verification tools and we expect
them to continue to play a key role in protecting children online.
The BBFC sounded a bit miffed about losing the internet censor gig. The BBFC posted on its website:
The introduction of age-verification on pornographic websites in the UK is a necessary and important child protection measure. The BBFC was designated as the Age-verification Regulator under the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA) in February 2018, and
has since worked on the implementation of age-verification, developing a robust standard of age-verification designed to stop children from stumbling across or accessing pornography online. The BBFC had all systems in place to undertake the role of AV
Regulator, to ensure that all commercial pornographic websites accessible from the UK would have age gates in place or face swift enforcement action.
The BBFC understands the Government's decision, announced today, to implement
age-verification as part of the broader online harms strategy. We will bring our expertise and work closely with government to ensure that the child protection goals of the DEA are achieved.
I don suppose we will ever hear the real
reasons why the law was ditched, but I suspect that there were serious problems with it. The amount of time and effort put into this, and the serious ramifications for the BBFC and age verification companies that must now be facing hard times must
surely make this cancelling a big decision.
It is my guess that a very troublesome issue for the authorities is how both age verification and website blocking would have encouraged a significant number of people to work around government
surveillance of the internet. It is probably more important to keep tabs on terrorists and child abusers rather than to lose this capability for the sake of a kids stumbling on porn.
Although the news of the cancellation was reported today,
Rowland Manthorpe, a reporter for Sky News suggested on Twitter that maybe the idea had already been shelved back in the summer. He tweeted:
When @AJMartinSky and I broke the news that the porn block was being
delayed again, we reported that it was on hold indefinitely. It was. Then our story broke. Inside DCMS a sudden panic ensued. Quickly, they drafted a statement saying it was delayed for 6 months
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual, sexually explicit digital videos, tagged deep fakes.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute
the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted.
The issue is particularly pertinent in California as Hollywood and US TV stars are very much those targeted by the deep fakers.
The Screen Actors Guild-American
Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a union representing many of the film and TV stars.
SAG-AFTRA has commended California Newsom for signing the legislation into law. The group said that the legislation was meaningful
recourse for the victims, many of whom are members of SAG-AFTRA. The group's president Gabrielle Carteris said:
We are absolutely thrilled that Gov. Newsom stood by the victims, most of whom are women, of nonconsensual
pornography by signing AB 602 into law. I want to thank the governor; the bill's authors, Assembly member Marc Berman and Sen. Connie Leyva; and all the California lawmakers who unanimously voted for this legislation. AB 602 is a victory for all
Californians. Deepfake technology can be weaponized against any person. Every person deserves the basic human right to live free from image-based sexual abuse.
Update: A second deep fake bill protects
politicians from having words put in their mouths
Governor Gavin Newsom in fact signed two bills into law that limit what people can do with deep fakes. The second law makes it illegal to make and distribute a malicious deep fake of a politician within two months of an
Presumably the lawmakers are worrying that politicians can be depicted as saying thing that they did not in fact say.
However this bill seems a little ahead of its time as deep fakes are not really being used for this reason so
far. A new report by DeepTrace, a company that builds tools to spot synthetic media. The company says that it has identified 14,678 deepfakes on the internet but most of them weren't created to mess with elections. In fact 96% of the deepfakes were still
plain old fake porn.