Spain to Lock Down Adult Content for Minors

Sanchez announces that the government will pass a law to protect minors from Internet pornography

parody image of Pedro Sanchez standing in front of a pornhub photo wall

Spain is stirring up the pot in adult entertainment protocols worldwide. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a recent revelation to El Pais, stated his intent to establish Spain as a forerunner in shielding minors from explicit content online. Far from being prudes, they’re leaning into a data-driven approach to tackle impacts on the development of teenagers and equality.

Recent statistics show 68% of Spanish teens aged 13-17 years old have consumed adult content in the past month alone, with over half having been exposed before the age of 12, according to a 2020 Save the Children survey. Alarmingly, other research suggests as many as 79% of 18-year-olds have viewed violent pornographic content.

Eager to improve this digital landscape, PM Sanchez is confidently striding towards a comprehensive trifold plan. The initial phase involves drafting all-inclusive legislation supporting minors’ internet safety, developed in partnership with the Data Protection Agency and the Spanish Royal Mint.

The second phase, arguably the meaty part for adult industry stakeholders, will address the adult industry’s educational responsibility and improve digital skills initiative. The emphasis is also on instilling equality values.

The plan culminates in incorporating online mechanisms that can serve as reliable watchdogs, barring minors from accessing adult content, a significant challenge currently.

Spain’s audiovisual communication law’s limitations have highlighted a glaring loophole. The renderings of the law, subjected to an overhaul, mandate the implementation of age verification systems and ensure parental controls. However, they are effectively toothless against non-European companies operating within Spain’s bubble.

To deal with this quandary, the Data Protection Agency is collaborating with the National Mint, with a proposed comprehensive age verification system being deliberated as we speak. Described at an event marking the Data Protection Agency’s 30-year anniversary, app development is underway, given priority to safeguarding vulnerable groups, as noted by FNMT director Isabel Valldecabres.

The Spanish Ministry of Youth and Children further bolstered these efforts, committing 50 foremost experts to a task force assigned to execute measures to enhance online safety and tone down phone use within the teen demographic.

The global adult industry should brace itself for tighter regulations. The European Commission, pushing to sanitize the internet for minors, added three adult websites to the Digital Services Act regulation in December 2023, Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos. This move necessitates stricter age verification rules – non-compliance may lead to hefty penalties as tall as the website’s user counts.

Finally, with the UK’s passed Online Safety Bill, tech companies are now examining their platform moderation as implications of these laws may pose new hoops to jump for the adult entertainment industry.

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