General News

BRITAIN’S FIRST OFFICIAL INTERNET CENSOR IS… THE BBFC,

The BBFC has been appointed regulator for age verification for UK adult websites. This is nothing new as Jerry Barnett explains

Published Wed 12th Oct 2016
By itsAdult / General News

BRITAIN’S FIRST OFFICIAL INTERNET CENSOR IS… THE BBFC,

Today’s news, that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will become an official Internet censor, is not so surprising, if you’ve followed the long saga of British state attempts to censor the mass media. The story is long and convoluted, begins in the 1970s, and is summarised in part in my book Porn Panic!

The creation of the new censorship function is part of the “anti-porn” measures in the Digital Economy Bill, which is currently in Parliament. So here’s the first weird thing – the action of appointing the BBFC has taken place before the law is passed. Cart-before-horse, much? But this abuse of process is minor, compared to what has come before. The bill will, no doubt, be passed with little scrutiny, because the UK’s first great step into Internet censorship has been sold under the banner (as I’ve long predicted) of “protecting children from pornography”.

Let’s remind ourselves that, in regulator-speak, “pornography” means “anything we want to censor”. Remember David Cameron’s optional “porn filters” which block 19% of the Internet, for example? In the current draft of the Bill, the definition of porn has been hugely extended from hardcore material to any sexual/nude/erotic material. The old regulations have been extended from covering just video to including still imagery and even audio. Audio porn? you ask… what’s that? Well, exactly. This bill will begin broad and get broader.

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out in the three years since I started this blog and campaign, this isn’t about BDSM, or kink, or porn, or even sex. It’s about everything.

The BBFC was an film industry body until (suitably) 1984, when it was given government-approved powers to censor (as well as classify) video. Ironically, just as it was given this draconian censorship power, it changed the C in its name from Censorship to Classification. George Orwell would be proud. One of the results of the 1984 change in law was an immediate ban by the BBFC (a private organisation) on hardcore pornography, without a debate or discussion in Parliament. Our censorship laws are written by unelected officials with minimal accountability to our elected government. This should deeply worry anybody who cares about democracy.

In 2007, I went to meet a certain Pete Johnson, the BBFC’s Head of Online, who was attempting to set up a programme for regulating online video. Johnson’s scheme failed to get approval, but he was instead appointed head of ATVOD, the video-on-demand regulator, reporting to Ofcom, which (heavily) censors TV and radio. I campaigned against ATVOD’s bullying and arbitrary behaviour for some years.

A year ago, it was announced that ATVOD would be dissolved, and powers returned to Ofcom. This was greeted with applause by campaigners, but as I pointed out at the time – this was a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Now, the new law will give the new regulator (which, we now know, is the BBFC) far stronger powers than ATVOD had. The scope of the regulator (as mentioned above) will be far broader than ATVOD’s “TV-like content”. Any commercial site carrying “porn” (i.e. nude video/imagery/audio…) and not properly verifying the age of its visitors will face sanctions from the BBFC. Furthermore, unlike ATVOD, the BBFC will have powers to sanction overseas providers. (Note – the age verification requirement is onerous, and has been banned by the US Supreme Court as censorship. I previously explained this issue in a post).

For what it’s worth, here’s a little guess: could Pete Johnson, a well known anti-porn activist regulator when he ran ATVOD, be about to make a triumphal return to the BBFC?

Until now, those backing this law have insisted that the sanctions will relate to withholding payment services, and similar. But in Parliament yesterday, the (presumably jubilant) BBFC director David Austin said that “sanctioned sites could find web properties blocked by IP address and de-indexed from search engines”.

I’ve been following the porn panic for almost ten years. For almost that long, it has been crystal-clear where all this is leading, though it has moved like treacle. Cleverly, the introduction of Britain’s first Internet censor has been justified, from start to end, by pornography.

Our cause isn’t helped by sexual freedom campaigners who still think this is about “kinkphobia” or “sexist porn censorship”. It really isn’t, it’s about our most fundamental rights of free expression. We’re witnessing the greatest attack on free speech in generations, and our press and politicians are still asleep on the job. Please help me wake them up.

Please buy my book or make a donation to this campaign. Every little helps. Thank you.

Source: Sex & Censorship

You May Like

Mums Make Porn To Air  On March 20th
General News / Sun 10th Mar 2019 Mums Make Porn To Air On March 20th Mums Make Porn is a new show coming to Channel 4 that follows 4 real mums who make a porn film, cast it, direct it and produce it to make the kind of porn they would prefer their children see if they had to watch it. The series follows them through the UK adult business to the UKAP Awards 2018 to the screening of their movie in Londons West End
UKAP Meet and Mix Day Of Events 26th March
General News / Thu 7th Mar 2019 UKAP Meet and Mix Day Of Events 26th March UKAP Meet and Mix Day of events at Sanctum, Soho on Tuesday March 26th
Europe Extends Production Hold Until March 25th
General News / Thu 7th Mar 2019 Europe Extends Production Hold Until March 25th European Alliance extends production shutdown pending results of second test of first gen performers to HIV+ performer
Super Marios Anal Away Days Launches On RealSexPass Network
General News / Thu 21st Feb 2019 Super Marios Anal Away Days Launches On RealSexPass Network Retro fan favorite Super Marios Anal Away Days launches with a new site
UKAP Advisory On HIV Production Shut Down In Europe
General News / Mon 18th Feb 2019 UKAP Advisory On HIV Production Shut Down In Europe UKAP issue advice on the HIV production shut down in Europe
The Death Of Aimee Spencer To Air On ITV
General News / Thu 7th Feb 2019 The Death Of Aimee Spencer To Air On ITV Aimee Spencer was known by the name of Carla Mai to those in the adult business that knew her. ITV have commissioned a show that looks into the events surrounding her death in 2016 with new evidence
Come Curious Celebrate All Things Sex With New Podcast
General News / Mon 4th Feb 2019 Come Curious Celebrate All Things Sex With New Podcast Florence and Reed aka The Come Curious Girls have a new podcast show discussing all things sex
Porn Actor Who Filmed Himself On Tube Train Fined £1000
General News / Mon 4th Feb 2019 Porn Actor Who Filmed Himself On Tube Train Fined £1000 Man filming porn on the London Underground with two other men is found guilty and fined £1000
Lacey Starr Launches New Site With ARLCash
General News / Fri 1st Feb 2019 Lacey Starr Launches New Site With ARLCash Award winning GILF Lacey Starr launches new site with US based ARLCash
Agents Of Porn Announce New Recruits To Their Launch Roster
General News / Thu 31st Jan 2019 Agents Of Porn Announce New Recruits To Their Launch Roster Agents Of Porn announces their new site launches
UK Revises Obscenity Laws to Allow Previously Banned Sexual Acts
General News / Thu 31st Jan 2019 UK Revises Obscenity Laws to Allow Previously Banned Sexual Acts UK revises law legalising previously banned sexual acts as legal to distribute
TELEVISION X LAUNCHES BARE KNUCKLE BOXING ON PAY-PER-VIEW
General News / Tue 22nd Jan 2019 TELEVISION X LAUNCHES BARE KNUCKLE BOXING ON PAY-PER-VIEW Leading UK adult TV channel Television X has joined forces with BKB – the only legal bare-knuckle boxing company in the world – to showcase an exclusive combat sports event.
Syphillis Alert: European Studios Shut Down Productions
General News / Tue 15th Jan 2019 Syphillis Alert: European Studios Shut Down Productions Syphillis alert prompts studios in Europe to shut down
Harmony Films Release: "Insatiable Beauties"
General News / Sat 22nd Dec 2018 Harmony Films Release: "Insatiable Beauties" Leading UK studio Harmony Films introduce new director Gilberto with "Insatiable Beauties" featuring award winning Tina Kay and Barbie Sins
Tumblr Ban Is A Sign Of Things To Come
General News / Sat 8th Dec 2018 Tumblr Ban Is A Sign Of Things To Come Whats worse than losing your social media profile? Not getting paid the money you are owed and losing all your content and followers. The Tumblr ban on porn is a reminder to not be too comfortable with social media and clip sites who are stepping up their purges on the adult industry
DVD Release: The Corruption Of Catalia Valentine
General News / Wed 5th Dec 2018 DVD Release: The Corruption Of Catalia Valentine New Brit porn release starring reknowned UK adult performer and fan favourite Catalia Valentine
Harmony Films Release Lady Dee: Sex Addict
General News / Fri 16th Nov 2018 Harmony Films Release Lady Dee: Sex Addict Harmony Films release new title in the Sex Addict series featuring Lady Dee
UK Porn Party announce the launch of Black and White Gangbangers
General News / Thu 8th Nov 2018 UK Porn Party announce the launch of Black and White Gangbangers UK Porn Party announce the launch of their latest DVD title, 'Black and White Gangbangers', now on general release.
UKAP To Address Its Position On Abuse Issues Within The Industry
General News / Sun 4th Nov 2018 UKAP To Address Its Position On Abuse Issues Within The Industry General meeting for the adult industry to discuss topics and contribute to changes moving forward. If you have anything to say then this is the place to say it. Open to all levels of adult industry but you must inform by email to attend
The UKAP Annual General Meeting Thursday November 8th
General News / Thu 25th Oct 2018 The UKAP Annual General Meeting Thursday November 8th The UKAP AGM is open to all adult industry to attend and discuss issues relating to the adult business with those who work in the adult business
BBFC To Publish Notifications Of Sites In Breach Of Age Verification
General News / Wed 17th Oct 2018 BBFC To Publish Notifications Of Sites In Breach Of Age Verification With the BBFC now receiving the guidance to take us forward we can expect age verification to begin within the first 3 months of 2019
UK Porn Podcast is back
General News / Mon 8th Oct 2018 UK Porn Podcast is back Paul Taylor of Dusk Film returns with his popular adult industry related podcast show
UKAP Announce Winners And Nominees Of UKAP Awards 2018
General News / Sun 7th Oct 2018 UKAP Announce Winners And Nominees Of UKAP Awards 2018 Results of the nominees and winners for this years UKAP Awards at Pulse in Central London on October 5th hosted by Michelle Thorne and Ryan Ryder
Naked Truth Guy In 7 Day Twitter Jail
General News / Mon 24th Sep 2018 Naked Truth Guy In 7 Day Twitter Jail Adult industry producer and advocate behind the Naked Truth podcast is gagged with a 7 Day jail sentence
The 13th Annual UKAP Awards 2018
General News / Sun 23rd Sep 2018 The 13th Annual UKAP Awards 2018 The 13th Annual UKAP Awards takes place at Pulse in Londons Blackfriars Bridge are on Friday October 5th. Why is it more than just about awards?
Industry Cyclists 24 Hour Challenge For HIV Charity
General News / Fri 14th Sep 2018 Industry Cyclists 24 Hour Challenge For HIV Charity Porn Pedallers the ramshackle bunch of adult industry performers and services cycle club ride again for their next charitable challenge: Revolve 24
World Zombie Day Hits London Saturday October 6th
General News / Thu 13th Sep 2018 World Zombie Day Hits London Saturday October 6th World Zombie Day hits London Saturday 6th after the UKAP Awards on Friday. Make the most of the fun iin London that weekend
Erigo Releases Big Titted Bukkake Girls
General News / Wed 12th Sep 2018 Erigo Releases Big Titted Bukkake Girls Erigo releases DVD Big Titted Bukkake Girls
FireCracker Films Seek Adult Industry Help For New  Project
General News / Tue 11th Sep 2018 FireCracker Films Seek Adult Industry Help For New Project Fire Cracker Films are producing an innovative new TV documentary with 5 mums who will produce their own porn movie and seek the adult industrys help in making this happen
Adult Industry Alert: Mycoplasma Genitaleum Hits UK and Europe
General News / Sat 8th Sep 2018 Adult Industry Alert: Mycoplasma Genitaleum Hits UK and Europe Two cases in UK and the Europe adult business have been revealed as Mycoplasma Genitaleum. With no testing in place for it we have no idea how many may be infected. Dont panic. Just get yourself tested at your nearest GUM . Read more here

Sign up to itsAdult as a Business or Performer to create your profile and join our ever growing community of adult industry professionals.

Forgotten your login details? Click Here

Enter your email address below

Remembered login details? Click Here