Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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United Kingdom says porn is for adults only

By Sydney Shaw

It’s about to become more difficult for minors in the United Kingdom to access porn websites.

Prime Minister David Cameron worries that access to pornography puts innocence at risk. (AP Photo)
Prime Minister David Cameron worries that access to pornography puts innocence at risk. (AP Photo)

Under the new system scheduled to be introduced at the end of the year, users must prove they are over 18 before being granted access to online pornographic material.

I understand the idea behind the push for reform — according to Atvod, an industry regulator, 200,000 children under the age of 15 view “extreme” adult material each month. Atvod went on to say that Pornhub, a site based in Luxembourg, received 112,000 visits from British boys aged 12 to 17 during one month last year.

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that the Internet is “putting the innocence of our children” at risk and “corrupting childhood.”

“(The Internet) has an impact: on the children who view things that harm them, on the vile images of abuse that pollute minds and cause crime, on the very values that underpin our society,” Cameron said.

It’s not hard to see why parents wouldn’t want their children looking up risqué photos and videos on the web, but this new system might not be the easy fix parliament was hoping for.

One of the more popular ideas for users to prove they are of-age is based around being prompted for a driver’s license number upon entering a porn site.

Regardless of whether a user is 15 or 45, I can’t imagine that the majority of people who frequent porn sites would be willing to give up their identities to do so. It brings up issues of privacy and Internet rights.

In most cases, pornography is a victimless crime. It’s not the end of the world if a 17-year-old looks up a sex tape of two consenting adults who were paid a salary and signed contracts to partake in said video. Pornography is a popular business and global web traffic patterns prove it.

Child pornography, on the other hand, is a serious offense with real victims. That’s why it’s so ironic that the UK “War on Porn” leader Patrick Rock was arrested last month on suspicions related to child pornography.

If you’re going to put up a fight against something, it might help your cause to not be guilty of the most serious form of the very thing you are criticizing.

It’s a noble crusade to try to protect the world’s youth, but the UK is doing it all wrong. Find a better campaign figurehead and find a better way to keep kids from exploring the raunchy reaches of the web.

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