Thursday, 30 April 2015

Adult content under attack!

Hello everyone!

Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope you've been enjoying playing Newlife.

However, I have some worrying news. There are plans afoot by the British Conservative party to bring in strict anti-porn laws which might make it difficult or impossible to continue making an adult game.

However, there are things we can all do to try and stop this happening. There's an election on May 7th, and the conservatives haven't won yet!

What is this legislation?

The supposed reason behind the proposed law is to “protect children” from porn. It isn't clear what the law will define as “porn”, but previous legislation was criticised for over-blocking after the discovery that blocked sites included sex education and charities, so I think we should expect this to hit pretty much all adult material, including text-only content.

The legislation will require all sites with adult content to prove that a visitor is over 18 before they allow them access to it. This means a lot more that just having a content-warning interstitial page. The Conservative culture secretary who announced this legislation specified credit card checks as an appropriate method of age verification.

The law will apply to both British and overseas sites. British sites will no doubt have to comply under the threat of fines or arrest. Foreign site owners obviously won't have to fear the UK police, but they'll find their sites blocked at ISP level for everyone in the UK if they don't comply – an approach that the Sex & Censorship blog described as "Chinese-style internet censorship"

What will this mean?

It should be obvious to anyone who knows the internet that this plan is moronic and has no chance of success. What it'll do is drive legitimate adult creators out of business, while dodgy fly-by-night websites will spring up to provide unblocked free porn, along with a much higher risk of viruses and other malware.

This is bad for pretty much everyone reading this:
  • British adults who enjoy erotic content will find it much harder to access it, especially if they don't want to pay before seeing so much as a free sample.
  • Many British creators will likely be shut down – something which has already happened to many who have fallen foul of existing laws against adult video-on-demand.
  • People outside the UK will lose access to those British creators, which might include Newlife, and adult content creators outside the UK who don't implement credit-card checks will lose access to UK fans.

It seemed strange to me that these measures are so well supported by politicians. After all, a huge number of voters enjoy adult content.
However, there's been little talk about it online outside of sites dedicated to civil liberties, and I haven't seen it mentioned much on adult forums. Perhaps this is because only a minority come from the UK.

What can we do?

Well, first of all, if you're in the UK – vote!
The election is on May 7th, and analysts believe it's going to be the closest one in recent history, with either big party in with a good shot of winning, and a high likelihood of some sort of coalition. This means that your vote really matters!
I sometimes read comments from cynical people who think that not voting sends some sort of message. Not at all! The politicians care about winning the election, and they don't care much if turnout is low. The main message not voting sends is that your opinion does not matter. This is why politicians focus so much on older voters – they are statistically more likely to vote than young adults.
Even if you're in a safe seat, getting out and voting for a party with a good track record on civil liberties will show politicians that those ideas are becoming popular. Besides, just because a seat is supposed to be “safe” doesn't mean it's impossible for a big shift to happen. In fact, safe seats often have lower voter turnout. I bet if every non-voter who enjoys adult content actually voted this time then we'd see some startling shifts.

Who to vote for?

The obviously bad party here are the conservatives – they're the only ones who've outright promised to bring in this legislation.
However, Labour also have a bad record with this sort of thing, and a lot of our current anti-porn laws have been fully supported by them.

I sent an email to activist Jerry Barnett, owner of Sex & Censorship. Here's what he had to say:
“Labour aren't any better in this area than Tories, although I prefer them in other areas of policy. The Lib Dems have a reasonably solid record of defending liberty, and they've stopped some Tory laws, such as the "snooper's charter".
I think the best realistic outcome is a coalition involving Labour, lib dems and SNP. Hopefully the Lib Dems would act as a restraining force on Labour.”

So there you go. If you're a single-issue voter like me then get the Libdems into power if you can. If you can't then vote whichever way will see the tories miss out on your seat, and if you're in a safe seat them voting for a party with a good record on civil liberties will hopefully send a message.

While browsing the web, I've come across this article in Wired in which a Labour spokesperson talks about how they're in favour of the Conservative's plans. Obviously this is bad news and means that I can't really recommend voting Labour over Tory on this issue.

What about if you aren't in the UK?

Well, you can still help by letting people know about this. I'll be posting on the various forums where I'm a member, but I'm not a full-time campaigner, and there's countless places where I won't be posting.
This seems to be flying under the radar and isn't being given much prominence in the news, so I expect a lot of voters simply don't know about this change, or haven't taken the time to consider what it'll mean for them. We can really have an effect if we pull together and get the simple message out: vote against the tories if you enjoy adult content.
Why not open up a tab right now, go to a forum you're a member of where people discuss adult content, and make a post letting them know? If everyone who reads this makes just one short forum post then we could get the word out all over the place.

Thanks for reading, and thanks much more if you can help!

Thank you for reading this. The election is in a week. I'm hoping to see a good outcome, but just hoping isn't enough. I'll be voting too and I'll also be trying to get the word out to other voters.

I can't make much of a difference on the election just by myself, but if you help out and rally adult communities together then all together we definitely can. After all, there's more people who like adult content than there are who vote tory!


  1. i dont see how making porn harder to get will help the populace. its clearly something that people want. who are they even protecting?

    1. Supposedly "the children".
      David Cameron is 48 and his cabinet ministers are typically also in their 40s or older. This isn't a generation that grew up with the internet and it's perhaps not surprising that they don't seem to understand it very well.
      Instead, they hear scaremongering from pressure groups about porn having a "corrosive effect" on children. These claims don't have decent scientific evidence behind them, but it's obviously enough to convince the likes of Cameron that this will be a vote-winner.

    2. Perhaps I'm unduly cynical, but it sounds more like a way of distracting people from the economy and the failure of austerity. Unfortunately it's one of those positions that are very difficult for politicians to oppose no matter what the facts say (much like being tough on crime).

      Best of luck for next week.

    3. Thanks. Current polls show the Conservatives ahead, but even if they win they might not be able to form a coalition.
      But then, Labour have ruled out a coalition with the SNP, so I'm not sure if they'd be able to get one either... it really is looking very close.

  2. советую создать петицию на для возможности отмены данного закона.
    подобный прецедент уже был когда на сайте хотели запретить содержание для взрослых.

    1. Google translate puts this as:
      "I advise you to create a petition on for the possibility of cancellation of the law .
      the precedent has already been online when wanted to ban adult content ."

      Thanks for the comment, but I don't think a petition will change the government's mind on this if they win the election.
      After all, if the tories will an election after promising to enact anti-porn legislation then they'll have good reason to believe that's the will of the UK electorate.
      Petitions also have an anonymity problem. Politicians are unlikely to heed anonymous signatories as they could easily be sock puppets or people outside the Uk. I, and many other people, would be very reluctant to identify ourselves publicly as pro-porn with our real names. I think DNDW's comment below is on the nose there - there's a real risk of being targeted by discrimination from anti-porn activists.
      If someone puts their real name online, then it's there forever, and that means anytime they do things like applying for a job and the employer googles them, they'll risk being subject to prejudice because of their beliefs.

  3. The main issue, I think, is that it would be very difficult for politicians to oppose this. If anyone were to speak up, their opponents could say things like "so protecting our children is not important to you? You want them to see porn?", or "are you really that attached to your perverse hobbies that you can't abide by a simple check?". As ridiculous as these statements are, warmongering politicians have made such bold accusations based on far less. Basically, opposing this legislation would be political suicide, so I fear that it will indeed be passed.

    1. Exactly. In fact, I've seen a news article where Tory and Labour politicians teamed up to attack a libdem who opposed similar laws in exactly the way you describe.
      That's why May 7th is so important. Voting is by secret ballot so people can have an influence without having to stand up and identify themselves publicly as pro-porn. If the vote goes doesn't go our way then it's very unlikely enough people will decide to become porn-activists to sway government opinion. This really is our one big chance.

    2. Perhaps the same approach could be used the other way round: "I see you want to reduce the amount of steam people are able to blow off in their own bedrooms with the aid of internet porn, leading to more rapes. Why do you hate women?"

  4. Politicians dont care about people. They care about votes and support for what THEY want to do. If passing a moronic law gets those goals met they will do it.

    1. Exactly. I'm hoping that enough people will go out and vote in a way that'll show that banning porn isn't a vote-winner, and that'll deter them in the future.

  5. Wait for Labour or some other turboliberal to ban porn for "opressing women".

    Meanwhile politicians and "enrichers" will keep raping children.

    Britain is fucked one way or another.

    1. Labour do indeed have a bad record here too, which is why I'm hoping for another coalition.

  6. I'm not a Brit but as I recall in current government LibDems are in coalition with Tories and pretty supported all of the conservatives initiatives. Instead of voting for Clegg and Co. you can give your vote to Cameron directly, I bet the result will be the same.

    1. This isn't entirely true. The libdems blocked the snooper's charter, for example:

      The libdems have ended up going along with a fair number of tory policies that they disagree with, but I think that's naturally something that's going to happen for a junior partner in coalition.
      If you look online, you'll see they've consistently spoken up against censorship while Labour are pretty much as bad as the tories in that respect.

      You can real sex & censorship's post on the greens at
      The intro to this covers their views on the other parties in England too.

    2. That is me again...
      Without LibDems, Tories wouldn't be able to run government, so the only thing that really forces LibDems to act like junior partners are the "junior partners" in their pants.
      To me this issue with prohibition of porn actually looks like a decoy policy, to make society fight over something that doesn't really matter to the government. While the rumble goes on, they will pull out some unpopular spendings cuts or some other bullshit policies out of their asses. At very least that how they do it in my country.

  7. Hooray for the SNP! They're hated for trying to break up the union, but their support comes as much from being competent, honest, and progressive as much as it does from being pro-indy. Can't imagine that they'd let internet censorship past. They've got my vote, anyway.

    Shame about you English types, though :P

    1. I haven't seen any comments one way or the other from the SNP on this issue, but the Open Rights Group come out in favour of them on the subject of state surveillance:

      While I can't say I'm very familiar with their policies, they do come across as having the right sort of attitude. I'd be delighted to see a Labour/SNP/libdem coalition, and it's a shame that Labour & the Lib-dems are so eager to distance themselves from the nationalists.