UK Conservative party plans mandatory age checks on porn sites

UK Conservative party plans mandatory age checks on porn sites

If elected in May, the Conservative party has promised to introduce mandatory age-restriction controls for porn sites. Any who do not comply will face closure.

Shared in a Facebook post on the party's page, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said they would commission an independent regulator to work with these sites and implement a this age verification technology.

What this age control looks like is unknown at the moment. So it could be anything from clicking the "yes I'm over 18" button (pointless), to a block that you manually opt out of by contacting your broadband supplier (embarrassing), or maybe something more sophisticated (Sajid recently hinted towards the use of credit card data for example).

This follows a recent ChildLine poll, which claimed a tenth of 12-13 year old children fear they are addicted to online pornography.

As expected, the idea has received support. But this is amidst some concerns about the sheer cost and time to implement, plus the doubt that the party are pointing fingers at the wrong people.

My opinion falls somewhere between the two camps. True, it's the responsibility of the parents to educate their child and ensure this issue doesn't arise, and if it does to have the mature conversations.

But if the parents themselves are not technologically savvy, then there's a clear gap to bridge. Not sure whether this is the government's best use of their time with that in mind, but maybe if the likes of ChildLine adapt their response to educating the parents on methods to restrict and monitor, alongside how to have "the talk 2.0" (a phrase I've coined, apologies), then that leaves families better armed for this in the future.

You only need to take a look at the comments in response to the Tories' post below to see that this would be a better option, rather than opening the door to potential censorship options in the future.

Legislating to put online hard-core pornography behind effective age verification controls is an important part of our...

Posted by Conservatives on Saturday, 4 April 2015


I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.