'Government's Porn Block may not work' says Sunderland University professor

The Government’s so-called Porn Block has been labelled an “easy point-scoring political exercise” whose intended outcomes are not deliverable.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 21st June 2019, 12:02 pm
New restrictions on accessing porn in the United Kingdom have been delayed for a second time.

Professor of sexual cultures at the University of Sunderland, Clarissa Smith, fears the proposed restrictions – likely to be delayed for a second time this week – will instead trigger other consequences.

Professor Smith said: “Verification of adult content has not been well thought out, objections to the proposals were ignored even when they pointed out the difficulties of creating a workable system and, consequently, it has now been delayed.

Professor Clarissa Smith

“While most people agree that under-18s accessing pornography is not good, controls of this kind were unlikely to prevent inquisitive teens accessing content.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright confirmed the impending postponement until the end of October, saying the Government had failed to tell European regulators about the plan.

The idea was that all pornographic websites would be required to have verification of a user’s age before they can permit them to view the website.

Enforcement would have been the responsibility of the British Board of Film Classification, with the power to require internet service providers (ISPs) or mobile network operators to block sites that don’t comply.

Professor Smith said: “This decision to create the block appears to have triggered by some very poor research.”