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back to article Say WHAT? ATVOD claims 44k Brit primary school kids look at smut online each month

Online age verification is the Tory-led coalition government's latest obsession, after it lobbied hard for flaccid network-level filtering to be introduced by the UK's biggest ISPs over the course of the last few years. To support Whitehall's latest crusade against smut, Britain's video on demand services regulator is calling …

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Does not add up!

One in five teenage boys under 18 going online were clicking on porn websites from PCs, and one adult site [Pornhub.com, in case you were curious] – which offers free, unrestricted access to thousands of hardcore porn videos – attracted 112,000 of the teenagers.

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She added: "Key among them is legislation to make it possible for the UK payments industry to prevent funds flowing from this country to websites which allow children to access hardcore pornography.”

Something is not right here!

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Re: Does not add up!

If you want people to be able to see your nookie, do you lock it behind a paywall, or do you make it open access? Pure simple unadulterated (oo-er) market forces guarantees that the majority of pron sites will not be behind any sort of wall.

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Re: Does not add up!

My understanding is that free sites that have 'premium' sections that charge money (i.e. all of them) would be prevented from getting money from paying punters if they do not do age checks for the free stuff. So, do age checks or your business model goes up in smoke.

As an aside, what's the big fucking problem with 15 year old looking at porn? Seriously?

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Re: Does not add up!

The argument presented on R4 this morning was the same one; there should be legislation requiring out-of-country websites to require age verification and that the lack thereof should somehow cause the income to these free sites to disappear.

Quite how this would occur was not revealed despite the presenter's repeated questioning on this point.

There is a point though: perhaps there is a need for a government database whose sole purpose is to say 'this person is over the age of 18'. I say government because I don't trust any of the big providers, but to be honest I don't trust the government that much either, but it could be done.

For sure it should not be done by e.g. requiring a credit card or similar, and there's no need for it even to identify the person; the person involved supplies some token and the database says yea or nay.

However, that's really just a thought as to how it might be done. To be honest I think there are two people responsible for what a child does online or anywhere else: the parents.

Apropos of nothing, each and every person on the planet is the last in a line of ancestors each and every one of whom decided they were interested in sex... trying to ban it is like trying to ban the tide.

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Re: Does not add up!

I know that "Parliament is Supreme" and can if it so chooses pass a law making it illegal to smoke on the streets of Washington DC, but how the hell do you enforce that law without invading the country in question?

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Re: Does not add up!

You would simply need to block all naughty sites coming into the country.

Some sort of great firewall, perhaps the Chinese could bid on it.

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Re: Does not add up!

Even if you do accept the figures they are out of context. How many kids in my generation looked at porn in mags? I suspect the numbers haven't changed much.

The other point is that if they already only accept payment (obviously some don't) then that means that parents are not only allowing their kids to look at porn but they're also allowing them to use their credit cards.

Of course the other possibility is that these figures are grossly exaggerated and that most kids who do look at porn are looking at free porn, which means any plans to work with payments processors are so much rubbish........

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Re: Does not add up!

"As an aside, what's the big fucking problem with 15 year old looking at porn? Seriously?"

If its my 15 year old watching a video of a couple enjoying sex, then I don't have a problem.

If its my 15 year old watching a video of a gang rape, then I have a big problem with that.

Not all porn is made equal.......

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Re: Does not add up!

> If its my 15 year old watching a video of a gang rape

rape != sex. Very, very !=

(edit: To the article author, and the reg in general, kindly stop referring to it as 'smut' or 'filth' etc., you sound like children yourself).

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Re: Does not add up!

"To the article author, and the reg in general, kindly stop referring to it as 'smut' or 'filth' etc., you sound like children yourself"

You've made almost a thousand posts, going back as far as 2008, and yet you sound like you're new here!

Amazeballs!

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Re: Does not add up!

"rape != sex. Very, very !="

Where did I say it was?

How about you try to read and understand what was said before replying?

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Re: Does not add up!

"what's the big fucking problem with 15 year old looking at porn?"

When they start pressuring their 14 year old girlfriend with stuff like 'every girl does anal and facials'?

Adults can (hopefully) be expected to differentiate between pornographic fantasy worlds and real life. Teenagers with little of the latter probably not so much!

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Re: Does not add up! @Neil Barnes

I really like your apropos of nothing, but there could be exceptions due to in vitro fertilization, (and, dare I say it, rape).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does not add up!

It doesn't matter if it adds up though, does it. t's just another gov-stimulated piece to get them re-elected by "protecting the kids of hard-working families against the evil lurking on the internets". And yes, it might have been conducted by an "independent" body (with its own interests to play), but I BET the idea came from the gov.

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Re: Does not add up!

"Adults can (hopefully) be expected to differentiate between pornographic fantasy worlds and real life. Teenagers with little of the latter probably not so much!"

This rather suggests that people believe teenagers suddenly switch from pimply teenager who needs to be controlled and protected from such things, to full adult with all the knowledge etc. required to act responsibly overnight!! Where exactly is the cutoff point between adult and teenager? In reality, it is a gradual slope and teenagers need guiding down it. A job for parents and parenting, not something to be ignored or handed over to some sort content monitoring system.

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Re: Does not add up! @Neil Barnes

@Peter Gathercole: Agreed, there are exceptions. But they're rare.

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Re: Does not add up!

I think what they're getting at is to persuade VISA etc, that if porn.us does not implement age checking then VISA UK should not allow this American site to accept money from UK punters using VISA as a payment method.

They did something similar to the Russian MP3 site - I forget the name MP3ForAll.ru? - years back. They couldn't prevent them selling MP3s, but they could prevent people from paying for the MP3s using UK Credit cards. See also WikiLeaks.

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Re: Does not add up! @Eponymous Cowherd

> Where did I say it was?

I think it may have been your use of the word 'rape' that threw me there.

But maybe a difference in meaning, too. I'd have thought that porn must have all its performers fully and freely consent to it by my definition, so anything with real rape, in my mind, is an act of violence not sex, therefore not porn. You may not agree...?

Realistic *simulations* of rape, yeah, that would be classed as porn in my world, I understand these exist (never seen, never want to see) and I would never want a child to see it, along with a whole lot of other stuff (people can be soooo creative....)

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Re: Does not add up! - @Mad Mike

Not so mad then, as that was a very sensible post.

Some adults can't distinguish between fantasy worlds and real life (and unfortunately some of them get to be politicians or newspaper editors).

The problem we face is that many adults can't talk sensibly to teenagers about sex either because they don't know how or because they do, but if they do the next thing is some newspaper will be accusing them of something awful. And this Mailification of Britain is what makes progress difficult.

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Re: Does not add up!

So, it's government policy to stop anal sex now is it? How does that fit with the "nothing wrong with gays" thing? The one that if you disagree with it, is something called "homophobia"? Or is it now fine to be gay, so long as you don't do the bumsex? Or is it now State policy to approve of male-male bumsex, but not male-female?

Does any of this make the slightest bit of sense? It doesn't, does it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does not add up!

August 24, 1814, Washington DC ;)

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Re: Does not add up!

First of all, 1 in 35 elementary school kids view porn in a given month? I call bullcrap. 1 in 5 is a much more believable number.

And I don't care if 9 out of 10 kindergarteners are getting the good stuff. It doesn't justify a shred of legislation.

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Re: Does not add up! @Eponymous Cowherd

"Realistic *simulations* of rape, yeah, that would be classed as porn in my world, I understand these exist (never seen, never want to see) and I would never want a child to see it, along with a whole lot of other stuff (people can be soooo creative....)

Which is the point I was making.

The trouble is, the same sites that contain "nice" porn (people enjoying sex) also contain content depicting women being forced or tricked ( I.e raped) or treated violently. Yes I know this is simulated (or is supposed to be), but does that really matter when deciding whether you'd want your teenage son watching it?

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Re: Does not add up! @Eponymous Cowherd

So, as the Dutch realised a long time ago, the solution is to *EDUCATE* not to *LEGISLATE*!

Sex Education for Dutch children starts in primary school and results in much lower levels of teenage pregnancy and rape than countries such as the UK.

Of course the fact is that the Tabloids would explode with apoplexy were any UK government suggest such a thing here since teaching children about sex is obviously a Bad Thing and will only make them want to do it more...

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Re: Does not add up!

If its my 15 year old watching a video of a couple enjoying sex, then I don't have a problem.

If its my 15 year old watching a video of a gang rape, then I have a big problem with that.

The real problem is parents that don't know what their 15 year old's are doing.

It annoys me that parents are not satisfied that the State contributes towards the upkeep of their offspring, but also expect the State to assume parental responsibilities.

However ... Government cash would be better spent promoting GOOD PARENTING rather than unworkable schemes preventing underage access to adult content.

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Re: Does not add up!

Thing is, I'm pretty sure that the British were encouraging burning things at that point and anti-smoking legislation was not on the cards.

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Only 44,000?

A couple years ago I read a study that originally had the goal of studying the effects of pornography on boys. They had to alter the study because they couldn't find any high school boys who hadn't been exposed to porn for their control group. They couldn't even find a single boy for the control group in six months in looking before they gave up. That speaks volumes to me.

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Joke

Re: Only 44,000?

The rest are net-savvy enough to hide their identity

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How the hell do they know???? To gather these sorts of statistics at some point the user is going to be asked how old they are, and so of course they are going to say they are over 18, 'cos if they don't any website that *does* ask how old they are that's the only way they're going to get at the content.

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1 in 16 boys? seams low

that is all I got to say

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Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

At one point long ago I was a teenage boy and, before the Internet, we had these things called "magazines". Tatty, torn and old they may have been, but every boy had access to them somehow - either through raiding sibling's or even parent's collections or friends who had.

Most of us survived to be relatively normal despite this level of smut in the formative years of our youth.

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Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

There's an name in the profanisaurus for the bag of porn found under a hedge. Buggered if I can find it though - fun looking! But I do recall this being a common find as a brat.

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Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

'Hedgeporn' ?

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Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

Oh come on: the sort of dog-eared top-shelf muff magazines we used to have in our yoof are light-years away from the kind of hard core easily accessible online nowadays.

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Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

I suspect the girls are watching just as much porn, but are better at hiding it...

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Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

Oh come on: the sort of dog-eared top-shelf muff magazines we used to have in our yoof are light-years away from the kind of hard core easily accessible online nowadays.

Which is why back in our youth we had to supplement it behind the bike sheds.

Seriously, I don't understand the rush to go back to those days.

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@Nick Ryan - Re: 1 in 16 boys? seams low

Wrote :- "before the Internet, we had ... "magazines". ...every boy had access to them somehow -...Most of us survived to be relatively normal despite this level of smut in the formative years of our youth"

That magazine stuff was nowhere near as strong as what can now be seen on the web. What I saw (Playboy, Penthouse etc) depicted the girls as graceful, virginal and as inaccessible as marble statues.

As for being "relatively normal", what is your benchmark ? Sexual practices have changed enormously in a generation - what was normal then is not normal now, and vice-versa, for better or for worse I'm not saying. In that time gay sex and anal sex have been legalised, high-street brothels have become commonplace, escorts advertise widely in the local paper and on the web, and dating sites advertise on TV. I would suggest that some of the change, if not most of it, has been driven by harder pornography.

One effect of seeing beautiful girls (the likes of which I never had the luck to meet in real life) being shagged (usually by revolting old men) is maybe to make men open their eyes to possibilities, be less satisfied with their own GF's/wives, and to realise that such girls can be found and can be bought. Then maybe to visit escorts or brothels themselves - hence the increased number and higher profile of them. Certainly those girls do interesting things that my wife would never do; it's tempting I must say.

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WTF?

Re: @Nick Ryan - 1 in 16 boys? seams low

"anal sex has been legalised". Sounds funny, legalised by who, as far as I remember, according to the Kinsey report every second woman who has tried it likes it. Disclaimer, my is out only. Wonder if this icon is legalised and why is this damned spell checker is against legalised too.

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Anonymous Coward

A TV person trying to tell us all not to use the internet and to be really scared of it

Wonder what people should do instead?

Oh I see it now

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Childcatcher

Fee! Fi! Foe! Fums!

I can smell a Net of Mums!

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Re: Fee! Fi! Foe! Fums!

I think we need a Register Standard Unit for this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fee! Fi! Foe! Fums!

I propose the MILF :)

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Time to invest in Bitcoins?

This proposal should do wonders for payment providers our idiot politicians can't lean on.

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Obligatory Dilbert cartoon:

dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-01-24/

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Anonymous Coward

I work at a school, and that comic is basically accurate. We've managed to keep the porn mostly at bay, but it's taken some draconian measures, and some still gets through.

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WTF?

And yet....

..countries such as France and Holland that have easier access to "smut" and have far more relaxed attitudes to sex in general have lower teenage pregnancies.

Go figure...

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Re: And yet....

..countries such as France and Holland that have easier access to "smut" and have far more relaxed attitudes to sex in general have lower teenage pregnancies.

Go figure...

Yes, but pandering to parents that don't parent and to pretend that sex and nudity do not have a place in a modern, upstanding society is a wonderful way to appeal to idiots. Or "voters" as the politicians like to refer to them.

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Re: And yet....

Come to think of it, where are the parents in all of this? And why on earth are 6 year olds using the internet unsupervised?

We jail parents when their kids start truanting, so why shouldn't they be jailed for something that seems to amount to child abuse?

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Re: And yet....

@Vimes.

Not sure where the downvote comes from.

Surely, parents should monitor and control what their children do in a manner consistent with their age. Therefore, if they're very young, the control and monitoring is high and becomes less as they get older? Therefore, I would have thought a child of 6 would be heavily monitored and controlled, especially in areas such as the internet.

If you failed to control your child and they ran into the road and were injured, I imagine people would be appalled and maybe social services involved if it happened enough. So, what's the difference with them being injured (albeit in a different way) through looking at inappropriate website content?

Maybe if parents took more responsibility (in many areas, not just internet), a lot of problems in society at the moment would reduce. Some children get taken away for what some people consider relatively minor 'offences' and yet they can't get taken away because their parents are allowing them to watch hardcore porn at the age of 6? Something wrong there.......

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Re: And yet....

as a 15 or 16 year old I would expect to be treated as at least mostly an adult and with anything like any sort of freedom getting porn an't hard and never has been it is just now it comes in the form of a screen not a paper mag

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