Age verification for adult websites in bid to stop children watching porn

child online 2ITV News 16 February 2016
Family First Comment: “We don’t want children to learn about sex and relationships through the warped lens of adult pornography – there are good reasons for restricting pornographic magazines and DVDs to adults which the NSPCC has long argued should apply equally online. The easy availability to children of online pornography, much of it extreme, violent and profoundly degrading, is of deepening concern. It can leave them feeling frightened, confused, depressed or upset.” Exactly!

Adult websites could be sanctioned if they don’t adopt age verification measures in a bid to stop children accessing internet pornography.

How to keep your children safe from online porn
A government consultation published today details plans to create a new regulatory frame-work to tackle the issue which campaigners say is of “deepening concern”.

The paper warns while porn sites based in the UK are already required to have robust age controls in place, the most visited porn sites in the UK are actually based elsewhere.

It says there is a “rationale for government intervention” as children would not be able to legally access this type of content in the offline world.

1.4m   unique visitors under 18 accessed pornographic sites from their computer in May 2015

13%    of children aged 6-14 visited a pornographic site in May 2015

20%    of children aged 11-17 surveyed for ChildLine said they had seen images that had upset them

The paper notes that regulators could notify payment providers advertisers who provide services to sites that are in breach of the regulations, enabling them to withdraw services.
Internet Safety and Security Minister Baroness Shields said: “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.

“So we are delivering on our manifesto promise by launching this consultation today, which proposes we require companies providing this pornographic content to ensure they have safeguards in place to ensure those accessing their websites are over 18.”

A public consultation on the new regulatory framework will run until 12 April.

” We don’t want children to learn about sex and relationships through the warped lens of adult pornography – there are good reasons for restricting pornographic magazines and DVDs to adults which the NSPCC has long argued should apply equally online.

The easy availability to children of online pornography, much of it extreme, violent and profoundly degrading, is of deepening concern. It can leave them feeling frightened, confused, depressed or upset.
– Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC
http://www.itv.com/news/2016-02-16/age-verification-for-adult-websites-in-bid-to-stop-children-watching-porn/

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