New internet safety regulations in the U.K. will force pornography websites to verify the ages of their users.
The requirement, part of the Online Safety Bill, is designed to better protect children from accessing explicit content, according to BBC News. Any smut sites that fail to comply with the rule, barring those younger than 18 from accessing the explicit platforms, will reportedly face fines of up to 10% of their global income and access to their URLs could be blocked by the government.
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“Parents deserve peace of mind that their children are protected online from seeing things no child should see,” Digital Minister Chris Philip said of the requirement. “We are now strengthening the online safety bill so it applies to all porn sites to ensure we achieve our aim of making the internet a safer place for children.”
The Verge reported the government is considering a handful of methods for age verification, such as “checking a users’ age against details that their mobile provider holds, verifying via a credit card check, and other database checks including government held data, such as passport data.” It’s worth noting, too, some of these methods could be used to verify age without also learning users’ identities.
U.K. lawmakers presented a similar rule in 2019, but a bill never got off the ground.
Data coming out of Australia shows the average age of exposure to pornography is 11 years old, with 94% of children being exposed to it in some way by the age of 14.
The new requirement in the U.K. comes nearly two months after France implemented similar measures. As Faithwire previously reported, the French government threatened to shut down five leading porn sites unless each platform implemented age-verifying apparatuses to ensure users were 18 years or older.
Germany has put in place similar requirements.
There is no doubt pornography is a scourge on society — one Christians cannot ignore.
Faithwire recently spoke with Sathiya Sam, a pornography recovery coach and author of the new book, “The Last Relapse,” about his personal journey with porn addiction and his work to help other men beat the habit.
“The reality is, when you engage in something as toxic as pornography, you’re almost like literally dancing with the devil, like you’re really engaging with something demonic and giving him a foothold,” he said.
You can watch our full discussion with Sam below:
If you are struggling with an addiction to pornography, Faithwire has a seven-week, video-based e-course, Set Free, handing participants the spiritual and practical tools they need to tackle this sexual sin.
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