Fapocalypse Now: UK porn age checks coming in July

The porn block is coming: The UK government has said that an age-check scheme designed to definitely protect your children from the evils of pornography will come into play on July 15.

From July 15, UK visitors to adult sites affected by the new law will have to verify their age or they won’t be able to access the content.

It gets weird though: any website that doesn’t host commercial pornography is exempt from the restrictions and won’t be affected, providing there are no ads and no fees of any cards. Sites like Twitter, Reddit or Imgur could get an exception because more than a third of the content on a website or app must be pornographic for the rule to apply.

Related: Best PC Games

“The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content,” said the Minister for Digital Margot James.

“We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.”

Will this make our kids safer from the horrors of adult material? Probably not. It will remain legal to use a VPN, which you can use to spoof your location and get around the checks, and even the government themselves have said that age-verification is “not a silver bullet” solution, and if you really want to see people getting their rocks off on camera it seems like it’ll still be pretty easy to do.

Originally, sites that didn’t play ball were going to be fined for non-compliance, but now it seems it will sites will get a slap on the wrist and a block in the UK, which is viewed as a just punishment, and also a fair bit easier then trying to get websites based overseas to cough up the cash.

Related: Best FPS Games

We’ve known pornageddon was coming for a while, as the age checks were signed into law as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017, but the rollout has taken a little while because a proper measure to put controls in place has been tough to find.

The British Board of Film Classification will be heading up the effort, and can call on several different measures to spank sites that don’t play ball, in addition to making sure the age verification measures put into place are “robust.”

Bizarrely, it seems the porn industry will be getting a large chunk of the age verification pie, and Mindgeek, the owner of several porn-hosting sites including Pornhub, is producing an online system called AgeID that involves asking adults to scan passports or driving licenses to prove their age.

Mindgeek has also produced a VPN, meaning that whichever approach people take to pornography, they’ll profit from it.

For regular adults, this porn ban just means that your passport, driving license or credit card will be linked to your pornographic habits by a third-party company. If that doesn’t suit, you could always signal your internet to watch porn to a local newsagent instead, as they will be selling age-verification cards after face to face checks. Brilliant.

Do you think this porn verification sucks? Let us know on Twitter at @TrustedReviews