The government is committed to ensuring children are protected from accessing inappropriate content online. The British Board of Film Classification, while designated as the age verification regulator under the Digital Economy Act, commissioned research on children’s access to pornographic content online. The research, published in early 2020, explored young people’s interactions with, and attitudes towards, online pornography and age verification. We will continue to develop our evidence base on online harms ahead of the implementation of the new online harms regulatory framework.
As a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures we expect more people, including children, to be spending more time online. Although it is too early to confidently analyse patterns from this period, there is universal concern about child online safety. We are working closely with technology companies, law enforcement and civil society to monitor trends, and to support users to understand and manage the risks and benefits of being online during this period.