Children’s campaigners are concerned that sites which publish hardcore porn are not caught by the regulations and the requirement for age-verification unless they include user-generated content or other forms of user interactivity. It is highly likely that any porn sites which have either such functionality will remove it to dodge regulation, with no impact on their revenues or business model. This eventuality would negate a core part of Part 3, DEA 2017: addressing the prevalence of porn on social media is necessary, especially as it is where younger children first stumble across it, but the consumption of it occurs on sites like Pornhub. We note that Oliver Dowden told the DCMS Select Committee recently that he had heard these concerns regarding commercial pornography sites and he had an open mind re further measures being considered during PLS.[1]

One solution might be to extend the territorial scope of the regulation of On-Demand Programme Services[2]. Currently those provisions do not catch those services which have a significant UK user base, or which target UK users, but which are not established in the UK.

[1] Oliver Dowden evidence to DCMS Select Committee hearing 13th May 2021

[2] See