The UK’s Porn Block

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The coffin of adult content friendly social media platforms is having its nailed hit in with each new one to fall under the spell of those against porn and sexualised content. Where will it end? With Tumblr now owned by Oath, the media subsidiary of Verizon, a US communications giant, they have made the decision to block all adult content related bloggers and content providers from their platform, despite the fact that almost 20% of the site’s traffic went directly to adult blogs and domains. The close-knit community of adult workers who had previously used the site were pushed out, turned away at the door, told they were no longer welcome. It feels like we are going back in time rather than moving forwards. Many of these sex workers used the site and other social media sites as a level of protection where they could vet their prospective clients and get to know them better, weed out the weirdos and time wasters and also get to know others in the industry forming a close supportive community where people looked out for each other. The way that social media is cracking down on these accounts is pushing these people onto unregulated sites, out onto the street and away from communities. It is not protecting the world from porn it is shunning a whole industry, an industry that is as old as time and will never go away. Puritanical do-gooders who think they understand the industry are the problem, not the solution. They fear that having these communities banding together will be too strong a force to face, they fear that their bland little lives will be contaminated if these communities are allowed to continue their growth. The internet is an increasingly dire place for sex workers and porn providers since FOSTA closed down many of the verified sites. As Tumblr was a free to use platform it was a safe haven for many of the more in need and without safe spaces on the internet sex work will take itself back to the streets where it is much more unsafe and unsavoury for these people to work.

This year the UK is bringing in its own porn blocking with age verification being required for all sites which contain any pornographic content. Under the new regulations, any site being used for commercial gain will fall under the new law and it will be mandatory to have age verification on the site. Though they had hoped to roll this out by April last year, it was too large of a task and has been pushed back to this year. The many stipulations to the mandate will catch many websites that may not even consider themselves pornographic due to the guidelines set out by  The Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018. Currently, social media will not fall under the requirements which, to me, seems absurd. Surely under 18’s are more likely to accidentally stumble over pornographic content whilst scrolling from a social media platform than directly going to a specific website. The job of overseeing these new regulations has fallen into the lap of the same organisation that classifies how old you must be to see different films, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), They have stated that once the law is put into effect this year they will begin checking websites for age verification, starting with the biggest in terms of visitor figures and filtering down to smaller sites and companies. Before you smugly think that you are ahead of the game with your landing page that asks viewers to press a button if they are over 18 or not, take a minute to think, would it really be that simple? Does that really verify age? No! Websites will be required to use specific software that checks documentation to verify age before the viewer can enter the site. If sites do not comply then the BBFC has the authority to close them down. Whether these proposed systems for age verification will be safe and secure or not is still to be seen, could they be leaving us open to hackers stealing identities and Privacy Campaigners for the Open Rights Group have criticised the Digital Economy Law (as the crackdown is called) for not putting enough emphasis on the safety of the viewing public.

Have your say…

What do you think of the new regulations?

Make sure to get your club and party reviews coming in, tell the world which are the best and worst swinging and BDSM venues that you have attended. Maybe you have found a hidden gem or have been disappointed by a well-known location, either way, tell the rest of the community.

Until next time, keep those questions coming and stay decadent.

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