Reddit Could Be Banned under New UK Censorship Law

/ 4 years ago

Reddit Could Be Banned under New UK Censorship Law

Last week, the UK Government unveiled its Digital Economy Bill which, if passed into law, would heavily restrict the ability of internet users to access “adult content,” a term which stretches beyond pornography and includes any sex-related content (such as advice pages), drugs, weapons, and violence. The bill calls for sites that provide such content to introduce strict age verification systems or else become banned within the UK.

One major victim of the Digital Economy Bill could be reddit. The social media and community site host a wide breadth of subreddits, with content ranging from family-friendly to NSFW. Unless reddit walls of its NSFW content and installs a UK-endorsed method of age verification, the Digital Economy Bill will render the site inaccessible to UK residents.

“The Government is committed to keeping children safe from harmful pornographic content online and that is exactly what we are doing,” Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said regarding the age restriction section of the Digital Economy Bill. “Only adults should be allowed to view such content and we have appointed a regulator, BBFC, to make sure the right age checks are in place to make that happen. If sites refuse to comply, they should be blocked.”

Only sites approved by the UK government will be viewable, and only registered users will be able to access them (that’ll be a Hell of a database to hack) giving any idea of net neutrality the middle finger. The proposal is couched in “won’t somebody please think of the children” rhetoric, at the expense of rationale, and risks sites only tangentially related to so-called “adult content” from being banned.

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