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The UK "porn ban"- what's your take?

chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
With the plan to introduce age-verification to limit children's access to internet porn delayed once again, I thought now would be a really good time to get everyone's opinion. 

You can read all about it in today's Metro article:

There's also a great perspective by sex and relationship YouTuber, Hannah Witton, here:

Is the "porn ban" good or bad? Useless? Dangerous? A blessing in disguise? 


  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 604 Extreme Poster
    Omg I had no idea about this. Thank you for the YouTube link because I think that sums it up so well. Scary actually that if you want to watch porn you'd have to give some kind of personal detail (they spoke about driving licence/social media/go to your newsagents to get a porn pass and verify your age ((WTF))) - I think a lot of people would rather not watch porn haha. Think of the data breaches, if you were linked to the kind of porn you were into...!

    I think tbh it would just divert people to use places like Twitter as they described to watch porn instead of actual sites. And technically savvy people will just get around it anyway. 

    So I do think this is probably well intentioned but probably not worth it.
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • SophiASophiA Posts: 59 Miniposter
    So glad someone has posted about this, I definitely think that the porn ban will do more damage than good. 

    I dont think its porn that is the issue, 
    I think its the education in schools, or lack of. Yes, school covers the basics; how a baby is made and you should always wear a condom but schools need to start addressing sex from a psychological perspective it needs to teach girls and guys that it’s ok to say no and needs to teach them that sex isn’t always pretty, vaginas fart and things dont always go up 

    I think one of the reasons porn is frowned upon is because of the expectations we form based on its content, ie with girl being submissive and male being very dominating or the girl being perfectly trimmed and prepped or the boy being well equipped- however this is something i feel we should be taught in schools, that everyone is different - i recently watched a channel 4 documentary called 100 vaginas it was so liberating seeing all these different types of vaginas and these women being proud of them 

    I feel like age restricting porn will make sex more of a taboo within our society and will make it even harder for people to talk about sex openly 
    I think we should be normalising sex

    lastly, very good point bought up on the video why are 16 year olds able to legally have sex, but wouldn’t be able to watch porn... that is something that baffles me 
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,215 Fanatical Poster
    edited April 4
    I think it's important to protect children from viewing pornography, but in a way that doesn't have potential to compromise people's sensitive date, censor the internet or any form of media and artwork, or have easy work-arounds.

    It doesn't sound like the proposed plan is sound, and in the end, rules and regulations only stop honest people.
  • MsBingoMsBingo Posts: 64 Miniposter
    I agree with @Aidan in that children should be protected from viewing pornography. I remember the first time I stumbled across it online I was really confused as I was still quite young.

    However, i think like most things, education is better than simply banning something, as there will always be ways around laws!
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
    It's great to see the discussions unfolding here! 

    You're totally right @Lucy307, the data breaches are a seriously scary thought. We aren't aware of what half of our 'harmless' personal information is used for, let alone something potentially inflammatory like porn preferences. I think you're spot on about people getting more creative to seek out porn on social media too. 
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
    I'm 100% with you on this @SophiA ;

    My sex education at school was pretty abysmal. We didn't even begin to cover same-sex relationships so porn was kind of essential to my learning as a bisexual woman. The rest was trial and error. Talking about consent and expectations should be the absolute minimum. 

    You make some really great points, especially about this kind of action being detrimental to the openness about sex that we've been fighting for in the last few decades. 

    I hadn't heard about 100 Vaginas so thank you for the recommedation! 
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
    You've got a good point @Aidan - there's been a real surge in internet censorship in the UK in the last few years. Outright banning things definitely isn't the answer, just like @MsBingo says, nothing is a substitute for a decent education. 

    I don't think that porn is harmful in itself, but it definitely can be for young children when they aren't provided with context or support to explore their attitudes towards it. 
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Noob Posts: 636 Extreme Poster
    In some ways this has been around for a while - I know that when I use my phone it blocks any "adult" content through my provider (three) and if I wanted to access that I would have to provide identification to my network that I am an adult. 

    I think education is so important though - it is one thing to ban something, but people will always find a way around it if they are determined enough and I definitely think that children should be educated about the realities of porn (the abuse of the women, how degrading it is, the unrealistic-ness of it) etc so that they can make an informed decision about it, and if they do choose to view it then it would be in the knowledge that it is not representative of sex in real life. 
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,717 The Mix Elder
    Well that would put me off using it ever again lol and im 20
    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
    I wasn't aware of that @Jellyelephant ! I think it's definitely something that should be monitored but it seems a bit ridiculous to me that people have to prove they are over 18 when the age of consent is 16. 

    But, like you say, that goes hand in hand with education. Kids are always going to find porn, and they're always going to be curious about sex. It's up to teachers and parents to provide the context and answer their questions. 
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
    Tell me about it :# @Shaunie ;

    I definitely don't thrill at the prospect of handing over my personal data and porn preferences like that ha!
  • independent_independent_ Boards Baby ScotlandPosts: 1,213 Fanatical Poster
    I would definitely be concerned about the data thing too. I understand that online websites collect data about me all the time, but I feel it is unethical to have to literally hand over your most identifiable personal data to porn websites. I also think education is important. I'm 16 and have had very little formal sex education, just the conception and STI presentation when I was about 13. 

    I also find it strange how, as a 16 year old, these rules would prevent me from accessing porn websites even though I am able to consent to actual sex? I find it strange that I'm sexually active yet unable to watch any sort of porn.

    Also, work arounds. My extremely internet savvy boyfriend would be able to get round these restrictions in a matter of minutes. I'm not so technical, but a lot of people my age would be able to do this relatively easy. 
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,215 Fanatical Poster
    edited April 21
    Preventing pornography negatively affecting children is in itself a good thing and a step in the right direction, but not at the cost of the freedom of the internet or the risk to data such as payment information.

    Internet censorship (and surveillance, but that's another matter) here in the UK is only getting more strict and it worries me because it's a slippery slope that could well spill outside of the internet or be used more maliciously.

    The UK is listed as an 'Enemy of the Internet' by Reporters without Borders, and the OpenNet Initiative comments on how in the UK:
    combating terrorism and preventing child abuse have been widely used by state agencies and private commercial actors (e.g., Internet service providers) to justify the implementation of interception of communications and direct filtering measures in the country

    So long as we are aware of state-implemented censorship and are allowed a fair say on it, it shouldn't cross the line.

    In a consultation on the policy of age verification for pornography, 48% were against the policy and a smaller 44% were for it, yet the policy is being implemented?
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,215 Fanatical Poster
    Here's the link the the official documentation on age verification if anyone's interested:

    AV will be a civil regime and not a criminal regime, so it will not be illegal for someone to use a workaround such as VPN or TOR if they want to protect their privacy.
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 278 Rampant Poster
    This is great stuff @Aidan, very insightful. Thank you so much for sharing these links!
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,215 Fanatical Poster
    @The Mix in the first PDF, regarding the consultation for AV,

    it says
    When we published our consultation in February, we mentioned work which the Government commissioned from Brook/Youthnet to gather views from young people on the themes and proposals in the consultation

    How was the mix involved in the consultation, and what stance was taken on the subject?

    The response to the AV regime was mostly negative, but reading the document it seems that organisations such as charities for young people were a large source of support, so I'm very curious about this!
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