I very much agree that, if children see hardcore pornography when they are too young to understand it, it can have long-lasting and very negative impacts on their development and future relationships. My hon. Friend is absolutely right.
The draft Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations set out the basis on which pornographic material is to be regarded as
“made available on a commercial basis”.
The regulations cover material on websites and applications that charge for access. They also cover circumstances where a person makes available pornographic material on the internet for free, but then receives payment or reward for doing so, for example, through advertising revenue.
It was clear from the debates in this House during the passage of the Digital Economy Act that it was not Parliament’s intention that social media sites on which pornography is only a small part of the overall content should be required to have age verification.