ATVOD Chief Executive, Pete Johnson, explained to the BBC that his agency plan to prose a system of licensing for adult sites in a bid to restrict underage access.
Under the proposal, any operator who was not a notified provider with ATVOD would not be able to obtain credit or debit card processing services and therefore be severely hindered.
Of course, this proposal, along with many other Government backed ideas on stopping children watching porn, simply fails before it begins. Tube sites and forums don’t require payment or age verification and present streaming hardcore almost immediately.
Johnson said the licensing proposal was such an important one that it is crucial the legislation is enacted during the current parliament and before the next general election.
Clearly ATVOD are already busy marketing their proposal as the magical solution, they commissioned market research of 45,000 internet users which found that six percent of children aged 15 years or younger had accessed an adult website.
I have no faith in statistics, Politicians have seen to that over the years, but for me rather than taking the percentage as a definitive illustration I ask questions – if only more would.
Questions like what actually constitutes an adult site in the context of the survey? We have to remember that this Government and most ISP’s for that matter consider the lingerie pages of high street retailers such as H&M, Marks and Spencer’s and La Senza as ‘adult content’ that should be restricted.
Their own research also tells us that PornHub is by far the most popular among an underage demographic – we already knew this, I was telling ATVOD this three years ago yet they have made little progress on levelling the playing field between regulated providers and free content that continues to trade in the Global adult industry.
We already know how useless the ISP filter has been in this regard and I can’t help but feel that ATVOD deserves to be disbanded for their stupidity and utter lack of understanding in regards to the Internet and the online industries.
Johnson admits to the BBC that a multi-layered approach is best and one where the Parents take the lead is best however ATVOD, as an industry funded body, have yet to take any of the funds generated from the industry it regulates and sponsor, fund or contribute to Parental and minor outreach in relation to Internet access or Internet safety.
Surely before any other ham-fisted policies or legislation is introduced ATVOD she be made to explore a different approach. I think they’ll find it is a lot more complex than ‘we need more power to do our job’ and actually access and consumption of pornography is more indicative of social, cultural and personal problems that can not simply be fixed by a limp-firewall or law.
ATVOD have demonstrated that they are a small group punching above their weight in a Worldwide industry where more than half don’t even know who they are. It is an organisation that looks more and more like it was set up as a way to generate an income for an industry that was still making money during the recession and where the entire top-tier of management not only exceed the number of actual employees but their combined salary is one similar to a bankers annual income, minus the bonus of course.