When Will the UK’s War on Porn End?

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In case you haven’t heard, the current government on the United Kingdom is looking to implement a policy that would require anyone who wanted to access porn to provide some form of identification. They claim that this process will help protect younger people from viewing adult entertainment online, because the current system of simply saying “yes, I am over 18” isn’t sufficient.

Now look, I’m not going to pretend that someone under the age of 18 has a hard time finding adult-related content online. What I am going to say though is that, I mean, come on: regardless of how hard try to filter this type of thing; it’s never going to work. The government has two choices: either it filters everything that hits a keyword, or it goes at it by hand, targeting the largest sites out there.

In the first case, children are going to find that it’ll be tough to learn about sex in a responsible fashion. They won’t be able to search for things like “how does sex work” and be educated on the subject. It might also stop education on non-adult related topics, such as simply learning about the biology of animals wherever the word ‘sex’ is used. Same goes for the word booby (a type of bird), dick (person’s name) and Lesbos (a Greek island).

And of course, in the second case of trying to target sites directly: you’re never going to win. The Internet is full of porn. It’s added to the Internet on a second-by-second basis. There are millions of websites devoted to it, and boy: you’re never going to get all of them. It’d cost you billions to even get close.

Let’s pretend, just for a second, that you can accurately block porn to anyone under the age of 18 perfectly: what benefit would this actually bring to society? I mean, how many people have been scarred from looking at porn online before they were old enough to do it legally? I remember looking at porn when I was 15 or so, jerking off to it and having a great time. Did it turn me into a lunatic? No. Did I have nightmares? No. Was there ANY negative outcomes? No, just a healthy child with an interest in something that he’d later go on to be really good at.

Mr. Porn Geek isn’t saying we should shove porn down the throats of young people: I think that from a policy point of view, it’s pretty impractical to have a position that says “hey, I think that maybe it’s not so terrible if someone under the age of 18 sees pornography”. I mean, how quickly would that turn into “man wants to force toddlers to watch extreme BDSM instead of CBeebies” – but yeah, I don’t think it’s an issue in the current climate. Especially since there are much more damaging things someone could find online. Just go to YouTube and type in any ISIS-related search term – you’ll see that younger people have access to much more horrifying media than people rubbing their bodies together.

Ultimately, the UK is doomed to fail when it comes to this policy. It’s a waste of money, a waste of time and ultimately, a poor policy to begin with. Even with perfect execution, the marginal benefit doesn’t justify the price.

Maybe – just maybe – all of that money they’re going to spend on this should instead go toward tackling childhood obesity. That’s a REAL issue that could use a lot of policy to ensure that our fat kids aren’t exposed to as much ice cream and cake as they currently are. I mean really – this demonization of sex is absolutely pathetic. It’s free, it’s easy to practice safely, it’s enjoyable and anyone can do it. It’s about one of the only fucking things on this planet that doesn’t ruin you if you engage in it.

So UK government, how about you stop being fuckwits?

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