Age Verification – Hot topic

Age Verification is currently a hot topic with the new Age restrictions that are going to be introduced in the UK in early July that will have the affect of pushing non-children friendly content behind a pay wall. The new law in itself doesn’t apply to sites like twitter or reddit where adult content represents less than a third of its overall material. I am sure there will be many other sites who may take advantage of this loop hole by populating there sites with a blog section that contain absolutely no adult content. Maintaining a blog and the correct content ratio without damaging ones possible within Google search in terms of attracting relevant traffic is not an easy as it sounds. Editors and freelance writers may well see a surge for their work as sites will evidently try to circumvent any traffic restrictions that will damage their revenue stream.

Of course we are all aware the changes the US has put into place that has made it increasingly difficult for service providers to operate. We have seen a number of high profile websites disappear in a short time and many others having to self regulate themselves in order to comply with the new working environment. Such policy changes are not limited to the US and UK, other countries are considering or actively working on similar laws in their own countries. The idea of limiting online pornography was included in the manifesto of the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, whose goal is to implement a strict age verification system for adult content. The  South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) has recently proposed a change to existing legislation to limit the access to porn which includes a default block on all devices that will require a pin to disable. This year in Ireland, the Department of Communications launched a public consultation into the harmful affects of online content. The results are currently being analysed though it is expected that new laws will be introduced in Ireland as well. Poland has suggested even more drastic measuring of maintaining a registration system of those who access porn, under the guise of a public health emergency. Other countries are looking at similar restrictions including France, Sweden and Israel.

The future of adult content is similar to how it was in the past where sites sat behind age checker platforms. The only difference being back then people deliberately made web sites to sit behind those pay walls in order to make money. The new breed of age checker services charge the site owners which will lead to reduction in competition for existing players as many of the smaller less competitive sites decide to close their doors and less new sites will be produced because of the increased business costs and difficulty of attracting customers.

There will be some winners, there always is. Who those winners will be, only time will reveal those to us.