Pornhub age block consultation opens to decide future of porn sites

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which has been tasked with making sure adult sites like Pornhub aren’t easily accessible to under-18s in the UK, has launched its consultation on the matter.

An age verification barrier was expected to go live on porn sites in April, but its introduction has been pushed back, as nobody’s quite sure how the system will work.

Once it does roll out, however, any porn sites that don’t comply with the BBFC’s rules will be blocked by internet service providers.

Related: Pornhub age barrier may make you think twice about Incognito mode

“The BBFC is now holding a public consultation on its draft Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements and its draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers. The deadline for responses is the 23 April 2018,” the BBFC says.

“We will consider and publish responses before submitting final versions of the Guidance to the Secretary of State for approval. The Secretary of State is then required to lay the Guidance in parliament for formal approval. We support the government’s decision to allow a period of up to three months after the Guidance is formally approved before the law comes into force, in order to give industry sufficient time to comply with the legislation.”

The BBFC says it will prioritise the most popular sites, those that contain “extreme” pornographic content and any that “contain potentially indecent images of children or raise other child protection concerns”.

The Digital Economy Act requires all porn sites that are accessible from the UK to shut under-18s out using an age-verification gate, in order to make the internet “a safer place for children”.

An age barrier tool called AgeID, which was built by Pornhub owner MindGeek, is currently in the works and will be made available across all porn sites.

Its creators have said that, once you log in to AgeID (after you’ve registered), you’ll unlock access to every porn site that uses the tool, and won’t have to keep confirming your age on a site-by-site basis. However, it appears that you’ll have to keep logging in if you only watch porn in Incognito mode.

As mentioned above, the consultation ends on April 23.

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