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  • Leah Jewett

Porn block: blocked



Despite talk of how young people could easily get around the UK’s proposed porn age-verification system, the fact that it was quietly scrapped by the government on 16 October was disappointing to organisations such as the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). About children seeing porn, the charity stated: “Viewing this explicit material can harm [children’s] perceptions of sex, body image and healthy relationships.”


Conceding that “pornography is one extreme example of some of the corrosive effects of the internet”, Matt Warman MP came to the defence of the government by explaining: “We can do more by going slightly slower.”


From the 17 October parliamentary debate Online Pornography: Age Verification, here are the comments about the impact of porn on children that most spoke to us:



“Let us not see [age verification] as a silver bullet. The real solution is to educate all young people on the harm caused by pornography… My concern [is] that those who protest against mandatory relationships education for primary school-age children… are failing to see the importance of teaching all children what a good relationship looks like – which is not pornography” – Maria Miller MP, Women And Equalities Committee chair


“Too many children stumble across adult material accidentally and… this can have a damaging effect on them at a vulnerable age” – Margot James MP, Stourbridge


“[Children] reported that their e-safety lessons at school were generally boring and not very useful. Does this not highlight how important it is to have relationship and sex education across the whole of our education system?” – Lib Dem education spokesperson Layla Moran MP, Oxford West & Abingdon


“[This] is critically urgent. Over half a million pornographic images are posted daily on social media platforms, and there cannot be a parent in the land who is not worried sick about this” – Fiona Bruce MP, Congleton


“Some 95% of 14-year-olds have seen porn, and the harm that it causes to future  relationships is well documented” – Sarah Champion MP, Rotherham


“Every day our children are viewing hateful and harmful material online… We need to keep our kids safe” – deputy Labour leader Tom Watson MP, West Bromwich


“We need measures that put in place protection for children online, not that kick in after they have already been exposed. What is [being done] to ensure that children have the same rights online as they do in the real world?” – Chi Onwurah, shadow minister, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


“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” – Scottish National Party spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Hannah Bardell MP, Livingston



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