Should We Have To Request To Access Porn?

Plenty of countries and the internet providers in those countries are making it a policy now that websites contain “adult” content, such as porn, are automatically blocked. They say that it is to try and prevent those under-age from accessing the websites, as you can easily lie about your age when the pop-up comes up, and often they give those paying for their internet the choice of whether they accept the blocking of the websites or they request that they aren’t blocked so you can continue to access them.

Young asian man lying on white bed & watching pornography on computer tablet. focus to right hand

This has been going on for months now, and people are, as you can imagine, very frustrated about it. Having to call up your internet provider, waiting in a queue for goodness knows how long, just so you can say “that block you put on adult websites? Please remove it” seems like a huge waste of time. Why are they blocking them automatically? Surely they should be giving people the choice to opt in, rather than to opt out? We take a look at what this might mean for the future.

Preventing access to porn

Many internet providers have decided that they need to put a block on what their users can and cannot access when using their internet, and many countries are supporting this move. They say that it is to stop those who shouldn’t be accessing porn, such as minors, from getting anywhere near it.

They feel that it is necessary because far too many young people are able to watch porn. Simply using a search engine to look for porn brings up millions of results, and many of the websites are not only free, but also very easy to gain access to.

Some have a pop-up that you see as soon as you open the website, warning you that the content is only for those over the age of 18. Others ask you to verify your age by putting in your date of birth, but the problem is that it really isn’t that hard to work out how old you need to be to get access. In fact, claiming that you are old enough to access porn sites is probably the biggest lie told on the internet, next to clicking the box to say that you have read the terms and conditions of something.

How it works

Even in incognito mode, or when using private browsing, your internet provider can still see the types of websites that you visit. You might think that it hides your activity from everyone, but basically it means that it won’t be saved in your history on your computer.

This means that your internet provider can see the type of adult websites that you visit, and so it is very easy for them to block them. They tend to use a mass block of adult sites, and you are unable to access them… unless they allow it.

How “allowing” you to visit the adult sites works is that you would have to call up your internet service provider and tell them that you want the block removing. In no time at all, you can go back to search for porn.

As you can imagine, people are up in arms about it. They don’t want to have to opt out of a service that they never asked for, and believe that, while it might prevent people from accessing porn, it would be much easier for service users to opt into the service instead.

Could be worse…

Still, it could be a hell of a lot worse. We might be complaining that some of us have to ring up BT and say “I’d like to watch porn, please”, but there are countries out there dealing with more severe action.

Just this week we heard that the MCMC (otherwise known as the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission) had managed to successfully block eight out of the ten most popular porn sites, which makes finding that perfect porn clip in Malaysia even harder than before… no pun intended.

PornHub, YouPorn, Redtube, xHamster, and a few other sites have found themselves blocked in the country, meaning that users are unable to access them at all. It is all, apparently, because they violate the Communications and Multimedia Act of 1998, and so you can expect for more websites to be blocked in the future.

They aren’t the first country to do it. In fact, India did the same recently, and although some of the websites were later unblocked, it caused huge debates across the world about whether porn websites should be automatically blocked by your service provider, and whether you should have to opt out to get access again.

What is the alternative?

Since the aim is to try to prevent minors from accessing the sites that they really shouldn’t, many feel that it is for the service users to opt in to the blocking service, rather than for those who do enjoy watching porn to opt out.

However, the problem with this is that, again, you have to call up and request it, and sometimes other sites can be blocked accidentally in the process. Okay, so you might be able to ask for it when you set up your internet, but you might need to check it and see if it works first.

For whatever reason, this seems to be the most complicated way for internet providers to do it, and so they are hoping to just block access completely… but what are the alternatives? Should we just leave things the way they are at the moment, or is it time that we took action?

Is porn being made a victim here? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the comment box below, or by heading over to the Escort Ireland forum and joining in the discussion over there. Share your thoughts with us and see what others have to think about this controversial topic.

Lara Mills
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Lara Mills

Lara Mills is a writer who has four years of sex industry expertise behind her. Since she entered the adult industry, she has worked on the Escort Advertising forums, before moving into her current role three years ago.

Since then she has gained a fine reputation with her blogs on sex advice, sexual health and amusing news stories from around the globe. She is also a campaigner for the rights of sex workers from all over the world.

In her spare time, Lara keeps herself active by going running, and is something of a film buff. She also loves to go travelling.
Lara Mills
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