On­line porn clam­p­down ‘still leaves kids at risk’

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Jake Hur­furt

CHIL­DREN will still be at risk of view­ing pornog­ra­phy on­line when new reg­u­la­tions come in be­cause they ex­clude Twit­ter and other so­cial me­dia sites, cam­paign­ers have warned.

The Gov­ern­ment’s age ver­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem – which will re­quire those look­ing at porn to prove they are at least 18 – is set to come in be­fore the end of the year.

But the rules will only ap­ply to com­mer­cial web­sites which re­quest pay­ment – leav­ing chil­dren free to look at ma­te­rial on Twit­ter and other free sites.

The NSPCC said: ‘The new reg­u­la­tion won’t be the sil­ver bul­let in block­ing all on­line porn. We need ro­bust reg­u­la­tion and fines for so­cial me­dia sites if they fail to pro­tect chil­dren from see­ing porn.’

While Face­book and some other so­cial me­dia sites ban pornog­ra­phy, Twit­ter does not. Tum­blr, a site pop­u­lar with young peo­ple, also al­lows adult ma­te­rial.

One study found more than half of the users of Tum­blr had seen porn on the site.

The De­part­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport said: ‘As well as in­tro­duc­ing age ver­i­fi­ca­tion for com­mer­cial porno­graphic sites, we have also been clear that so­cial me­dia firms must do more to pro­tect chil­dren from harm­ful con­tent.’

Tum­blr de­fended its record on pro­tect­ing chil­dren cit­ing a ‘safe mode’ tool on its site.

Twit­ter also said it took keep­ing chil­dren from see­ing adult con­tent se­ri­ously.

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