Majority of Britons unaware of incoming ‘porn block’, survey suggests

By Jamie Harris, Press Association Science Technology Reporter
Only 34% believe new online age-verification rules will be effective in protecting children from pornographic material, a YouGov poll has found.

More than three-quarters of Britons are not aware new online age-verification rules are set to be introduced in the UK.

It is hoped the long-delayed checks for commercial pornography websites, which are expected to come into force in April, will protect minors from accessing the material.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which classifies movies in the UK, will be the age verification regulator.

In a YouGov poll of 1,769 Britons – which included more than half who admitted to being regular pornography users – 76% said they were unaware of the incoming restrictions.

Two-thirds (67%) revealed they approve of the measures but only a third (34%) believe the so-called porn block will be effective.

Under the rules, adults will have to prove they are of age to view the content, a move critics argue could have implications for the privacy.

To access pornographic sites, people will have to use one of a number of options to prove they are 18 or over, such as an over the counter card they can buy from a shop or uploading ID documents online.

“Adult content is currently too easy to access online so introducing age verification is a world-leading step forward to give parents greater peace of mind and ensure commercial pornographic websites act responsibly,” Digital Minister Margot James MP has previously said on the matter.

The Government is preparing to release a white paper on a range of online harms, which is expected to include legislative measures to make social networks more responsible for the content hosted on their platforms.