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Online Pornography: Age Verification

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:43 am on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 10:43 am, 17th October 2019

This disastrous handling seems to be a metaphor for this shambolic Tory Government—not least as they forgot to inform the EU of their plans. The first duty of any Government is to protect their citizens. The widespread availability of pornographic material to children and young people, and the increase in violent content and revenge porn, is having a profound impact on society, relationships and body image. This delay will create more harm to young people and citizens across the UK.

The Government have suggested that this issue will be addressed through the proposed online harms Bill. How do they plan to do that? Will the proposed online regulator be tasked with the responsibility for pornographic verification, or will that be conducted by a separate regulatory body? The charities I met have concerns about the BBFC, despite the assurances that it has given. What is the cost to the taxpayer and to businesses, which are ready for this change and will now be severely out of pocket?