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Pornography: Internet

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL6624, tabled on 8 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what research they have conducted on children’s access to pornographic content online; what plans they have to conduct research on such access; and whether they have monitored whether there has been any increased access to such material by children during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Answered on

15 July 2020

The government is committed to ensuring children are protected from accessing inappropriate content online. The British Board of Film Classification, while designated as the age verification regulator under the Digital Economy Act, commissioned research on children’s access to pornographic content online. The research, published in early 2020, explored young people’s interactions with, and attitudes towards, online pornography and age verification. We will continue to develop our evidence base on online harms ahead of the implementation of the new online harms regulatory framework.

As a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures we expect more people, including children, to be spending more time online. Although it is too early to confidently analyse patterns from this period, there is universal concern about child online safety. We are working closely with technology companies, law enforcement and civil society to monitor trends, and to support users to understand and manage the risks and benefits of being online during this period.