Porn sites must have age checks? Say Conservatives

You may have seen my post early this week encouraging first time voters to register to ensure they can vote in the up and coming general election, as well as how to decide who to vote for!

 I happened to tweet my local MP for a retweet, he kindly obliged but also come back saying that he noticed I had an interest in online safety (Correct!), and to watch out for the new announcement from the Conservatives stating that pornography websites must adopt age-restriction controls or face closure.

In case you haven't seen this, the BBC ran this article 

Ok lets just think about this for a moment......  This sounds like a great thing! As the article states a recent poll said that a tenth of 12 to 13 year olds are worried they are addicted to porn! 

So surely regulating them is a good thing, no? They are targeting both website in the UK and overseas! 

Now lets think about this in practical terms:

  • How many 12 to 13 year olds know their way around the internet very well?
  • How many would know how to get around these age restrictions? 
  • How much would this cost to implement?

Call me sceptical, but I think if they were to introduce these it would only impact UK sites, I then wonder are many hosted or run in the UK by UK companies?   That leads to the question if they are overseas what power does the UK government have over them, virtually none!

Most teens would know how to establish a proxy server connection to make the site believe they are accessing it from overseas.  I also firmly believe the money could be better spent by educating teenagers in school about the dangers of the internet, not just porn! 

Recently coding was added to the curriculum this academic year, so we are teaching kids how to build websites, apps and programme software, but how much is going into helping educate them about the dangers of excessive internet use, as well as over sharing of personal information through social media, as well as using the internet to search for porn?

It makes me wonder how much thought has gone into this proposal and could this be a massive waste of money?

Experts have already stated this would difficult to implement, so should they look at other ways?

Of course at present this would only come in if the conservatives are voted in for another term, but I think whoever is voted in for the next parliament they should consider reviewing some proposal to help educate children in using the internet safely. 

There are already a number of organisations out there doing great work Insafe (funded by the EU), and CEOP, but more support would be welcomed no doubt! 

Read this: Talking to your child about staying safe online