Home / Channel / Porn filter champions accused of money grubbing by campaigner

Porn filter champions accused of money grubbing by campaigner

There’s a big anti-pornography campaign going on in the UK at the moment, with David Cameron using it as a way to curry favour with Chinese investors, media lobbies as a way to get more proxies and pirate sites blocked and the cries of “think of the children,” being used once again to censor the internet. But campaigner Jerry Barnett, who runs Sex and Censorship, thinks that lobby/regulatory groups like ATVOD, are also hoping to make money out of the whole situation.

“I know ATVOD very well and it is first and foremost a money making venture,” Barnett told Wired. “It’s quite a clever setup that has tax rating powers to regulate video on demand and they’ve decided to extend the definition of that far beyond other European countries. Its job should be to look at TV-on-demand services, like 4OD, but ATVOD has decided to massively stretch the definition to cover any site with video on.”

Indeed ATVOD’s responsibilities aren’t really supposed to extend beyond television, though technically it’s played with that to the point it can apply it to ‘TV-like’ platforms. It also has powers to crack down on hate speech or content that could be considered a corrupting influence, though seemingly as with all British up-tight law making, it’s vaguely worded, as corruption on a moral scale is far harder to measure.

barnett
Sex and Censorship promotes online freedom of information and sexual freedom in the UK

However Barnett still believes that ATVOD is simply using these extended definitions of its powers to curry more of it, with hopes it’ll be given extra regulatory powers and therefore funding.

“ATVOD has turned itself into lobbying organisation,” said Barnett. “It’s lobbying for laws that will empower them and stop them being irrelevant, to put it bluntly. It has already chased UK companies.”

Barnett believes that as well as encouraging parents to take a stand in regulating what their children view online – parental filters having been available for years from third parties – education is the way forward, suggesting that you can mitigate a lot of the issues pornography can cause if you can at least explain to your child what it’s about. Better yet, talk to them about it before they watch it.

However CEO at ATVOD disagrees that his organisation is taking the wrong tack, insisting that it isn’t trying to build a power base and is simply wanting to protect the British public’s children.

“We haven’t called for ourselves to be given any more powers at all,”  he said. “All we’re interested in is protecting children [… ] We’re not pitching for new work — I don’t actually get up in the morning and think about money, whatever Barnett thinks. I get up in the morning and think about protecting consumers.”

Moving forward, ATVOD wants to see credit card information to be used to identify the age of porn viewers with any sites that don’t comply added to a blacklist that is then removed from payment providers like Paypal.

KitGuru Says: Ignoring the fact that most of the big porn sites don’t have payment systems at all, but operate because of ad revenue, people tend to forget that the internet, like unfiltered TV and movies, is not for children. You have to take an active role in what they watch on TV, so should you online. 

Become a Patron!

Check Also

Positive / Negative airflow testing – be quiet! Pure Base 500DX

How much does airflow and fan configuration inside a PC case really matter? We find out today with the be quiet! Pure Base 500DX case and Silent Wings 3 fans.