UK Discovers that People Want Internet Porn

unavoidable choice filter
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UK agencies have once again been surprised, or, at least, shown a stunning lack of clue about human nature, as many broadband customers choose the unavoidable choice of disabling the porn filter on their Internet connection.

This according to the UK’s Ofcom, who are the independent regulator for Britain’s communications industries. Yes, it turns out that broadband users want their porn and other inappropriate (or at least non-child-friendly) content.

In information released this week, Ofcom revealed that more than 85% of new broadband customers go out of their way to opt out of the default filter that comes pre-installed with their broadband. The so-called “unavoidable choice” (meaning that the filter defaults to ‘on’ and if you want to turn it off, you have to affirmatively choose to turn it off) filters are provided by Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, and BT. The filters block porn sites, as well as sites that promote drugs and self-harm.

According to the BBC, “In July 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the major UK internet service providers (ISPs) had agreed to offer ‘unavoidable choice’ parental control filters, which block legal pornography and other adult subjects ‘by default’.”

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Interestingly, the ISP TalkTalk actually has more than 35% of its customers leaving the default filter on. However the other three ISPs, BT, Sky and Virgin, have such massive opt-out numbers, that across all new broadband customers the opt-out rate is still more than 85%.

Only 8% of Sky customers, and only 4 and 5 percent of Virgin and BT customers, respectively, left the filter on.

unavoidable choice filter

Even though this shouldn’t be surprising, one can never tell exactly what a staid UK agency imagines about people and their proclivities. Earlier this year agents at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were apparently quite surprised to learn that sometimes people get naked on webcams.

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One thought on “UK Discovers that People Want Internet Porn

  1. It is not that I want porn, I and my husband are the only users of any equipment in our house, so why risk having filters which may block stuff we are interested in inadvertently. My son has to put a code in everytime he wants to watch NCIS or in fact most programs which have an after 9.00pm rating.
    I remember when my email filters blocked anything with the letters, bust, bed, bra bum etc. within a word.
    Jean

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