Politics

Dangerous porn loophole leaves kids exposed to dodgy X-rated videos online, campaigners warn


A DANGEROUS “porn loophole” means kids can watch X rated videos online despite a government crackdown, it has been claimed.

Ministers are introducing new measures to make users prove they are 18 or over before accessing porn sites where users can upload content.

Many porn sites are not covered by tough new measures to make users prove they are 18 or over

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Many porn sites are not covered by tough new measures to make users prove they are 18 or overCredit: Getty

But X rated sites which just show sex films are excluded from the crackdown in the new Online Safety Bill.

Labour says the glaring omission leaves kids unprotected from watching sexual content they are too young to cope with.

Jo Stevens, shadow Culture Secretary, told The Sun:  “It is totally unacceptable for the government to put kids at risk and make a mockery of their promise to make Britain ‘the safest country in the world to be online’.

“Leaving this loophole for porn sites to exploit is deeply irresponsible.

“Keeping children safe is absolutely our number one priority and Labour will be pushing for this dangerous loophole in the Conservatives’ flagship legislation to be closed.”

Andy Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online Policy at the NSPCC, said: “Ministers should close this loophole that leaves children exposed to explicit and highly age-inappropriate commercial pornography sites.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured) is facing calls to close the porn loophole

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured) is facing calls to close the porn loopholeCredit: PA

“If the Online Safety Bill is going to live up to the Government’s promise to truly protect kids from harm online, it must stop them from stumbling across pornography. The current plans are a massive step backwards from legislation originally passed four years ago.

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“The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden must act quickly to offer children the protection they need, and make tech firms face consequences for failing children on the web.”

Government insiders said the aim of the new Bill is stop kids accidentally stumbling across porn online on sites like Facebook.

They said Mr Dowden was “open” to looking introducing age verification for other porn sites, but would have to consider the details.

A Culture Department spokesman said: “The Online Safety Bill will deliver the most comprehensive approach in the world to protecting children online. 

“Companies hosting user-generated content, video-sharing or livestreaming will need to prove to an independent regulator they can stop children accessing harmful content.  

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