New laws and legislation have been drawn up to compel British-based web sites to verify the age of their visitors before presenting age-restricted content after dubious statistics have emerged stating one in twenty visitors to adult web sites were ‘children.’
Whilst PornHub.com, who recently displayed an advert in Times Square, and YouPorn.com can provide access to their vast collections of free hardcore pornography to anyone in the World, including British visitors. UK based web sites will however be unable to serve their content as they always have.
They failed with the ISP filters and ATVOD has largely fallen flat with over five years supposedly regulating the video on demand sector and showing little progress for it.
The Top 100 web sites visited from the UK feature a number of adult tube sites all of which are outside of the UK and will avoid such legal action by the UK government and ATVOD. With piracy and free porn what it is today, all ATVOD and the Government will do by introducing this new legislation and not tackling International distribution is shut down responsible webmasters who would be happy to come to the discussion table if they were invited and only increase the flow of traffic to the typically more extreme and harder content available on the free sites.
I take issue with the statistics and believe them to be deliberately misleading, ATVOD’s language is all about access to children, in their annual reports they claim we prevented xxx number of children accessing adult content based. The simple fact is they do not know, they treat every debit card transaction that either fails verification or is processed without verifying the customer’s age as a child.
ATVOD and anti-porn media use loaded words to ensure their statistics are the ones that people are absorbing. The Daily Mail reports that ‘some 5 per cent of visitors to adult sites were under 18.’ Despite the legal definition of an adult being what it is, those figures would not be half as shocking if people over the age of 16, the UK legal age of consent, were excluded.
Interestingly you will see that Women are always nearly forgotten about when it comes to quoting porn statistics. There are a number of reasons for this but two fundamental factors are the stigma attached to porn consumption by a female audience. The Daily Mail hates them and it does nothing to help the ‘journalist’ and anti-porners use the stats to their own end.
The Daily Mail also reports that ‘one website alone, Pornhub, was visited by 112,000 boys in the UK aged between 12 and 17.’ Pornhub is by far the biggest web site for UK visitors, if you are not familiar with this site – it’s a tube site, a youtube of porn if you like, their is no subscription or payment necessary – that is to say that it is completely FREE – to view its vast library of clips – some full length and others between four and fifteen minutes. Yet as I say is being left alone, this site will not face any kind of restriction under the UK’s AV laws that are expected this November.
If the regulators and officials dabbling with regulation of the content available over the internet had any idea of they were doing, ATVOD and others should really be paying more focused attention to the tubes but specifically PornHub as this particular site enjoys a healthy mainstream reputation and in addition to the big-budget marketing campaign it recently launched it is often featured in TV shows and films such as Californication and the site have now launched its own record label.
What does the Daily Mail, the DCMS or ATVOD for that matter think is going to happen to the 112,000 ‘boys’ that visited Pornhub? They should be acting as Pornhub’s marketing team, if they enforce stricter policies on UK sites to verify age the ones that can’t or are unwilling to do so will move to a venue that doesn’t ask for the verification.
Interestingly with this move the government will inadvertently be pushing young porn consumers to the tubes, the torrents and be ultimately responsible for stimulating a renewed piracy market for the adult industry.
The focus tends to be around porn web sites but I would be interested to find out exactly what other sites will be affected by these laws. The Sunday Times reported ‘It would cover pornography sites, as well as those selling guns and other age-restricted material.’
Is Netflix, Amazon, LoveFilm etc etc… be caught by the UK AV legislation? No of course not, for one they are not UK based but it is also unclear whether the ‘age restricted content’ description will just apply to R18 equivalent video which ATVOD stole from the BBFC in order to provide a standard for what constituted adult content which in turn required a secure pay wall with either credit card only payments or debit card payments with additional steps in place to verify the age of the account holder.
Twitter too, twitter will not be caught and anyone who has a twitter can find access to an increasing amount of porn for free through the social media service. There is no filter or age verification step to ‘protect’ twitter uses from embedded media content sent through potentially millions of active Twitter accounts.