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Internet Porn Censorship

2022: Oct-Dec

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Citizen censors...

Louisiana now requires age verification for porn on the pain of being sued by residents for 'harm'caused

Link Here31st December 2022
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Republican Louisiana state representative Laurie Schlegel pushed through her bill  HB 142 earlier this year requiring age verification for any website that contains 33.3% or more pornographic material. The law takes effect from 1st January 2023.

According to Schlegel, websites would normally verify someone's age in collaboration with LA Wallet. An app available for anyone who has a Louisiana state ID or driver's license. Other options are also allowed.

It will be the website's responsibility to ensure age verification is required when accessing their site in Louisiana. There are no censors to enforce the law, instead the law allows residents to sue porn sites for any claimed harm to children caused by viewing porn on a website without age verification.

There is legislation in Washington, D.C. that looks to implement something like this on a national level. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced a bill similar to Schlegel's.



Extract: Porn reality...

Pornhub publishes its yearly review of viewing stats

Link Here23rd December 2022

The Searches that Defined 2022

1. Reality

Topping this year's trends is Reality porn. The Reality category grew by +169% to become one of the Top 20 categories, while popularity of the Amateur category has dropped slightly by 20319%. Our statisticians theorize that as more amateur models have become full-time performers, the quality of their videos has improved, but visitors are still seeking a real homemade porn experience.

2. Gender

The Transgender category grew by +75% to become the 7th most popular category worldwide. Transgender was the #1 most viewed category in Brazil, and 3rd most popular in the United States and Italy.

FTM (female to male) searches were 8 times more popular than MTF (male to female), with transgender threesome and transgender surprise among the top searches. Men view Transgender videos +22% more than women, while women view the Trans Male Transgender sub-category +115% more than men.

3. Group Sex 

The Threesome category grew +34% in 2022, to become the 4th most popular category worldwide, and made the Top 5 categories in 17 of our Top 20 highest traffic countries. We also found that Orgy videos were +113% more popular, as was “gangbang” by +88%.



Interstate Obscenity Definition Act...

A moralist US senator introduces a bill to redefine obscenity in the US and get porn banned

Link Here19th December 2022
US Senator Mike Lee has proposed a bill that, if passed, would redefine what obscenity means nationwide, which could effectively decimate the porn industry. The Utah Republican filed the Interstate Obscenity Definition Act (IODA) based on the Communications Act of 1934, and stated in the IODA that obscenity is not protected speech under the First Amendment and is prohibited from interstate or foreign transmission under U.S. law.

Lee's bill seeks to reinstate the obscenity rules that were established in the Communications Act of 1934. These rules include removing content that appeals to the prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion, depicts, describes, or represents actual or simulated sexual acts with the objective intent to arouse, titillate, or gratify the sexual desires of a person, and, --  lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, the IODA says.

The Free Speech Coalition tweeted its concern for the First Amendment, arguing the bill is a renewed attempt by conservatives to censor free speech and sexual expression. The director of public affairs with the Free Speech Coalition, Mike Stabile, told VICE News:

This bill, among our members, has gotten a huge amount of attention. Our members understand this for what it is: It's a threat to their business, to their livelihood. It's a threat to their community.

Obscenity in the US is currently defined under a Supreme Court test for obscenity: the 'Miller Test.' The Miller Test was introduced in 1973 and is named after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Miller v. California case that year. In that case, a California publisher and author Melvin Miller were prosecuted for publishing what was ruled as containing obscene material. Miller had mailed five unsolicited brochures to his mother and a restaurant manager revealing explicit images and photos of men and women engaged in sexual activities.

Following the court's decision, then-Chief Justice Warren Burger outlined guidelines for jurors to follow when presented with obscenity cases including whether the average person applying contemporary community standards would find the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.



Age of censorship...

Canadian Senate committee introduces law to change to require age/identity verification for online porn viewers

Link Here7th December 2022
A Canadian Senate committee amending the Liberal government's controversial Bill C-11 has added the requirement for online platforms to verify the age/identity of users accessing pornography, a move internet law experts say is likely unconstitutional.

Sen. Julie Miville-Dechene proposed the amendment, stating that online undertakings shall implement methods such as age-verification methods to prevent children from accessing programs on the internet that are devoted to depicting, for a sexual purpose, explicit sexual activity.

The committee passed the amendment, with seven senators voting in favour, five opposing it and two abstaining.

The amended version of the legislation must be approved by the full Senate and then go back to the House of Commons before it becomes law. #

It if does pass into law, it would be up to the CRTC to decide how to implement the age verification requirement.



The Children Online Protection Laboratory...

France announces a global initiative on child protection that includes identity/age verification for all

Link Here13th November 2022
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
The French government has announced a global initiative for online child safety.

The purpose of the Children Online Protection Laboratory is to incentivize researchers, campaigners, and tech giants to come up with measures to best protect children online.

Tech giants Google , Amazon, Meta, and TikTok , as well as Dailymotion said they will sign a charter.

In the first year, the participants of the Child Protection Laboratory will focus on developing systems for detecting sexual predators posing as minors and a shared database to detect and remove explicit images shared non-consensually. However, the other aspects of the proposal include looking into online age verification, a move that could restrict online privacy for all users.

In the past few years, Macron's government has pushed for reforms in online child safety. However, some of the efforts have not been successful. For instance, the legislation requiring adult websites to verify age has not been enforced, yet it was passed over two years ago. The highest court in the country, the Cour de Cassation has until January to rule on whether the Constitutional Council should review if the age verification rules violate the Constitution and if they are a major threat to privacy in the country.



Explicitly legal...

Georgia's constitutional court overturns pornography ban

Link Here11th November 2022
The Constitutional Court of Georgia has ruled  to overturn the country's blanket ban on the production and distribution of pornography.

The court effectively legalized the production and dissemination of pornography, ruling in favor of a claim that the current definition of 'pornography' was vague and open to interpretation. The judges also ordered lawmakers to come up with a clearer definition of pornography by May 2023.

Until the court's ruling, the making, dissemination or advertisement of pornographic works, printed publications, images or similar items was punishable by up to two years in prison.

According to reports, the four Constitutional Court judges found unanimously that the law left an 'unreasonably wide margin' for interpretation which could create the ground for 'arbitrariness and injustice.' The law did not differentiate between pornography and erotic material, or whether 'pornography' necessarily implied bodily penetration, nudity or a portrayal of sexual activity without showing sex organs.

The term obscenity, used to define pornography for broadcasting purposes, was also ruled to be too abstract.'"




Iraq blocks 400 porn websites

Link Here8th November 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Iraq...Draconian penalties for the usual computer offences

Iraq's Minister for Communications, Hiyam al-Yasiri, has decided to block all pornographic websites in the country, Iraq's State News Agency (INA) reported citing a statement by the ministry. A committee tasked by the minister has blocked 400 websites.

A similar bill was passed in 2015 by the Iraqi parliament but never implemented.

While the decision was widely welcomed, several others have argued that it is insufficient since the bill does not include social media platforms.

Many Iraqi social media users wrote that many could still open porn websites by downloading a free VPN application.



Monetised tweets...

Twitter is set to enable paywalled videos, maybe for porn

Link Here2nd November 2022
Elon Musk is looking for ways to make Twitter profitable after paying $44 billion for the site.

The Washington Post reports that Twitter is working on a new feature dubbed Paywalled Video, which would allow users to charge money for access to videos.

Gizmodo adds that:

It's for porn. People on Twitter are going to charge for porn.

When a creator composes a tweet with a video, the creator can enable the paywall once a video has been added to the tweet. The prices are preset, with creators allowed to charge $1, $2, $5, or $10 for access to the video, with Twitter taking a cut of the payment using Stripe.



Pause for breath...

The Government pauses the Online Censorship Bill to give the new government a chance to consider its business suffocating mountain of red tape and its curtailment of free speech

Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
PoliticsHome spotted the change to the House of Commons schedule last night, reporting that the Online Censorship Bill had been dropped from the Commons business next week.

A source in the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told TechCrunch that the latest delay to the bill's parliamentary timetable is to allow time for MPs to read new amendments -- which they also confirmed are yet to be laid.

But they suggested the delay will not affect the passage of the bill, saying it will progress within the next few weeks.

The change of PM may not mean major differences in policy approach in the arena of online regulation as Rishi Sunak has expressed similar concerns about the Online Safety Bill's impact on free speech -- also seemingly centred on clauses pertaining to restrictions on the legal but harmful speech of adults.



Offsite Article: Online Censorship...

Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Parliament debates in Westminster Hall that 'this House has considered online harms'

See article from



French pragmatism...

MPs are still discussing how age verification for porn sites could actually work in practice

Link Here25th October 2022
France has passed laws requiring age verification for porn websites and moralist campaign groups are clamouring for the implementation and enforcement of said age verification.

However the law does not specify how age verification should work. The country's data protection authorities have proposed a privacy preserving solution that seems way too complex to be practical.

Now MPs are getting frustrated by the impasse leading to a suggestion that using a bank payment card could be a pragmatic solution to the dilemma.

France's Secretary of State for Children Charlotte Caubel has been speaking in the National Assembly and has suggested that the use of a bank card to watch porn online could act as a filter to guarantee the prohibition of access to pornography for minors.

We are going to make things happen quite seriously , assured Charlotte Caubel before the Delegation for the Rights of the Child. She notably mentioned the use of a bank card as a filter, for zero or one euro in order to allow access to pornographic sites. She added that

It would not be a perfect filter, but already if we can protect 30 or 40% (of minors), let's be pragmatic. My child, when he uses his credit card, I have an alert, I'll see if it's on Youporn or on McDonald s,



Harming British industry...

UK's internet censor threatens that the few adult video sharing websites that are stupid enough to be based in Britain should introduce onerous age verification

Link Here21st October 2022
Full story: Ofcom Video Sharing Censors...Video on Demand and video sharing

UK adult sites not doing enough to protect children

Smaller adult video-sharing sites based in the UK do not have sufficiently robust access control measures in place to stop children accessing pornography, Ofcom has found in a new report.

Ahead of our future duties in the Online Safety Bill, Ofcom already has some powers to regulate video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK, which are required by law to take measures to protect people using their sites and apps from harmful videos.

Nineteen companies have notified us that they fall within our jurisdiction. They include TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, Vimeo, OnlyFans and BitChute; as well as several smaller platforms, including adult sites.

Ofcom is concerned that smaller UK-based adult sites do not have robust measures in place to prevent children accessing pornography. They all have age verification measures in place when users sign up to post content. However, users can generally access adult content just by self-declaring that they are over 18.

One smaller adult platform told us that it had considered implementing age verification, but had decided not to as it would reduce the profitability of the business.

However, the largest UK-based site with adult content, OnlyFans, has responded to regulation by adopting age verification for all new UK subscribers, using third-party tools provided by Yoti and Ondato.

According to new research we have published today, most people (81%) do not mind proving their age online in general, with a majority (78%) expecting to have to do so for certain online activities. A similar proportion (80%) feel internet users should be required to verify their age when accessing pornography online, especially on dedicated adult sites.

Over the next year, adult sites that we already regulate must have in place a clear roadmap to implementing robust age verification measures. If they don't, they could face enforcement action. Under future online safety laws, Ofcom will have broader powers to ensure that many more services are protecting children from adult content. Some progress protecting users, but more to be done

We have seen some companies make positive changes more broadly to protect users from harmful content online, including as a direct result of being regulated under the existing laws. For example:

TikTok now categorises content that may be unsuitable for younger users, to prevent them from viewing it. It has also established an Online Safety Oversight Committee, which provides executive oversight of content and safety compliance specifically within the UK and EU.

Snapchat recently launched a parental control feature, Family Center, which allows parents and guardians to view a list of their child's conversations without seeing the content of the message.

Vimeo now allows only material rated all audiences to be visible to users without an account. Content rated mature or unrated is now automatically put behind the login screen.

BitChute has updated its terms and conditions and increased the number of people overseeing and -- if necessary -- removing content.

However, it is clear that many platforms are not sufficiently equipped, prepared and resourced for regulation. We have recently opened a formal investigation into one firm, Tapnet Ltd -- which operates adult site RevealMe -- in relation to its response to our information request.

We also found that companies are not prioritising risk assessments of their platforms, which we consider fundamental to proactively identifying and mitigating risks to users. This will be a requirement on all regulated services under future online safety laws.

Over the next twelve months, we expect companies to set and enforce effective terms and conditions for their users, and quickly remove or restrict harmful content when they become aware of it. We will review the tools provided by platforms to their users for controlling their experience, and expect them to set out clear plans for protecting children from the most harmful online content, including pornography.



Offsite Article: How the EU's revised internet TV law affects the UK...

Link Here 21st October 2022
The EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive: Obligations on Providers and Incoming Reform. By Burges Salmon LLP

See article from



Not before time...

The BBFC continues its policy of cutting verbal references to underage sex in sex films

Link Here4th October 2022
The BBFC board meeting from July 2022 reveal a continuing policy for cuts to sex films. The BBFC minutes state:

Following recent cuts made to a sex work -- KATIE K'S TEENAGE RAMPAGE 5 -- to remove verbal references to sexual activity below the age of 16, the Board reviewed the BBFC's policy in relation of such references and confirmed that there should be no reference to sexual activity below the age of 16 in sex works.

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