Twist: Porn provider calls for child protection

The "world's biggest adult film studio" is calling on some of the Web's biggest sites to do more to protect children from adult content. Vivid Entertainment co-founder Steven Hirsch said he was planning to "make his case publicly" at Yale's School of Management during the university's "Sex Week," Agence France Presse reports. He told AFP he planned to make his case publicly during a lecture at Yale's School of Management on February 16, during the Ivy League university's "Sex Week."

There's no way of telling how much of Mr. Hirsch's announcement is marketing (many adult content companies want to send the message that they're protecting kids and so legitimate because not involved in the distribution of illegal child pornography). With his announcement, he is joining a high-profile call by US state attorneys general for online age verification, the technology for which certainly exists but not answers to substantive questions about how to protect children's privacy if it were to be put in place in US-based Web sites (see "Social networking age verification revisited" and "UK data security breach & kids"). Of course, any US requirement for age verification would not affect sites based in other countries, raising concerns that such a requirement would establish a false sense of security among parents and send workaround-seeking youth to offshore sites.

Hirsch directed his pre-announcement announcement at Google and Yahoo, both of which detailed for AFP the protections they do have in place: filtered search, a response system for user complaints about adult content, support for online-safety education, and participation in an Age Authentication Task Force being formed by MySpace and 49 state attorneys general (see this about MySpace's agreement with the attorneys general last month).


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply