Video on demand regulator calls for porn site age verification

The UK’s video on demand regulator has called for the introduction of mandatory age-checks on porn site visitors to protect children from being exposed to graphic content after its own research showed 6 per cent of children aged under 15 had viewed an adult website.

This figure was arrived at after Nielsen Netview were commissioned to install monitoring equipment on 45,000 PC and laptops users for one month, with one website, Pornhub, racking up visits by 112,000 boys aged between 12 and 17.

Both these figures are thought to be underestimates as smartphone and tablet visitors were not counted.

To address this the Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod) is calling for a license to be created for adult sites that would only be issued if they had age checks in place, enforcible by blocking credit and debit card payments from British customers if they did not adhere to the new rules.

Atvod said that it was ‘critical the legislation is enacted during this Parliament’, but Jerry Barnett of campaign group Sex and Censorship said: "It won't make any difference to the sites that give all their videos away for free and sell advertising because they don't need credit card processing," said.

"And some sites are already accepting bitcoin and other anonymous online payment systems. A clampdown on card payments would just accelerate this trend.”

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