REPORT: One in 10 Visitors to Porn Sites are Under 10 Years Old

13:09, 19 SEP 2016 UPDATED 21:41, 19 SEP 2016
THE MIRROR BY SOPHIE CURTIS

Most porn websites ask users to confirm they are 18 or older, but use no way to verify the real age of the visitors.

a-boy-watching-a-pixelated-screenGetty: A boy watching a pixelated screen

Children are accessing porn earlier than ever, with under-10s now accounting for one in 10 of the visitors to porn video sites.

Children under the age of 10 now account for 22% of online porn consumption among under-18s, according to research by security technology company Bitdefender.

Internal intelligence from Bitdefender’s parental control feature revealed that the sites most visited by children under 10 include xvideos.com, xnxx.com and pornhub.com.

Although most porn websites ask users to confirm they are 18 or older, they have no way to verify the real age of the visitors.

“The research shows that, unless they are carefully supervised by their parents, children start visiting porn websites from an early age,” said Bitdefender’s Senior e-Threat Analyst, Bogdan Botezatu.

“While porn sites only formally restrict minors, parents can easily take simple measures by installing security solutions with a parental control tool that can block access to unauthorised areas.”

The news comes after the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) called for stricter regulation of porn sites , as part of UK government’s Digital Economy Bill.

The children’s charity says porn sites that don’t comply with age verification checks should be prevented from operating in the UK.

porn-kidswatch1Getty

“A generation of children are in danger of being stripped of their childhoods at a young age by stumbling across extreme and violent porn online,” said Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the NSPCC.

“We simply want children to be protected from adult-only material online as they are in the off-line world.”

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The Digital Economy Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Commons, includes a section on the protection of children from porn.

According to the government, part 3 of the bill will:

Introduce a new requirement in law for commercial providers to have in place robust age verification controls for online pornographic content in the UK

Establish a new regulatory framework underpinned by civil sanctions to monitor, notify and enforce compliance with the law

Work with payments providers (Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and others) and ancillary services to enable them to withdraw their services from infringing websites.

But the NSPCC, which contributed to consultation on the proposals, says it is “concerned” that penalties will be ignored by porn companies that break the rules.

internet-pornGetty: Internet porn

It argues that power should be given to cut off income from porn sites that allow kids to access content.

Moreover, the charity says any site that doesn’t comply should be forcefully blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

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“This is not about censorship – we don’t want to stop adults from viewing legal pornography,” said Wanless.

“Tougher regulation will simply bring sites who don’t act responsibly into line with those who are already making age verification a priority. But we believe that if a company can’t operate within the law they should not be able to do business in the UK.”

 

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