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Internet: Pornography

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL646, tabled on 27 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of (1) pornographic websites, and (2) social media sites that contain pornography, that will be (a) Category 1 organisations, and (b) not Category 1 organisations, under the draft Online Safety Bill.

Answered on

7 June 2021

The Online Safety Bill will deliver the most comprehensive approach in the world to protecting children online. Where pornographic websites or social media sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interactions (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming), they will be subject to the duty of care. The government has not conducted a detailed sector-by-sector analysis of the services in scope of the Bill and the number of UK users accessing those services, given the breadth of services in scope of legislation. However, the online safety regime will capture both the pornography sites most visited by UK users and pornography on social media, therefore covering the vast majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography.

The exact list of Category 1 services has not yet been determined. We have set out how the process will work for designating Category 1 services. Thresholds will be set by the government about the number of users and functionalities of a service, following receipt of advice from Ofcom. This is to ensure the process is objective and evidence-based. Ofcom will then be required to assess services against these thresholds and publish a register of all those which meet both thresholds.