Will ID verification requirements to access adult websites protecting children? Why or why not?

Will ID verification requirements to access adult websites protecting children? Why or why not?

The founder of REMOJO shares his opinion

I believe that this won’t solve the problem for minors committed to finding it. Unfortunately, there are many ways to access porn outside of strictly adult websites, and outside of web browsers themselves.

At my company REMOJO, we’ve spent 3 years attempting to provide blocking services that restrict access to pornography for adults who want to quit their porn habit. After 3 years of work, I’m convinced that it is completely impossible to do so for anyone who still wants to seek out porn, Of course, the same applies to children, if they want to find it, they can. The reasons are as follows:

  1. There are lots of mixed content sites which have porn hidden within them - for example X/Twitter, Reddit, social media channel sites like Discord, Telegram etc. To prevent access to porn, you would have to either block these sites completely, and their apps, or filter the content within the platform itself, which is not possible and breaches their terms of use (opening companies like mine up to legal action if we tried to do so).
  2. Not only are these sites available on a browser, but they are accessible via apps, which are even more difficult to control and shut down than URLs accessed via the browser.
  3. All social media and streaming sites contain near-porn or porn substitutes. Also, adult performers may post acceptable content on these sites to solicit users to follow them and get access to adult content on another
  4. Friends can always share porn amongst themselves via Whatsapp or other social media/messaging apps. You would need all of your child’s friends’ parents to be equally committed to restricting access and vigilant in policing their kids to guard against this.
  5. Porn can be generated from scratch using general-purpose AI tools that don’t restrict input of adult-oriented prompts
  6. Filters can be overridden by installing and connecting to another VPN service that provides a tunnel around the content/web filter, or allows you to access a site from a foreign location not subject to the same laws.
  7. Some browsers have such VPNs or alternative connections built in, like Opera or Tor
  8. It’s impossible to control an Apple device in any really rigorous way, due to the restrictions on how apps can interact with an iPhone or Mac. The amount of control and enforcement they can enact is limited.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

It’s certainly much better than having these sites open access, and I think it’s worth going ahead and implementing the ID requirements to make it more difficult for minors, in the same way that we do with cigarettes or alcohol. It doesn’t stop the most committed kids from smoking or drinking, but it does stop the ones with less motivation. The more obstacles there are in the way, the more friction there is in acting out a behaviour.

It would also discourage less committed and more discrete adults from watching porn too, which could only have positive societal and cultural effects.

My child will just not be getting a smartphone, nor will they have unmonitored access to the internet. They’ll have to do without. I don’t want them to have the low-level brain damage that comes with social media addiction, and I don’t want them to step onto the slippery slope of sexualised feed-based media like TikTok, Instagram etc.

Design by Jack Jenkins

You have to remember that big tech companies, pornographers and adult performers could not care less about your children, their safety, well-being, mental health and what they engage with online. They do the bare minimum to avoid government regulation and negative press. It is going to be on us as individuals to do everything we can to work against the grain of corporate and sexually exploitative interests.

Check out our REMOJO coaching program to quit porn >>

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