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If a service is non-compliant because they don’t have effective age-verification or they are providing extreme pornography, the BBFC has a number of enforcement powers.These include notifying ancillary service providers like social media and search engines of non-compliant services and requesting that they withdraw their services; notifying payment service providers and requesting that they withdraw their services; and instructing internet service providers to block them. The BBFC will issue preliminary notifications to a non-compliant site before taking any enforcement action against them.All commercial online pornographic services must comply with the law. So we will primarily investigate sites with high volumes of traffic, but also carry out spot checks on less visited sites.Additionally, we’ll consider investigating sites that are reported to us by charities, stakeholders and individuals.
We provide guidance on what kind of age-verification arrangements will ensure that these services comply with the law, and can take enforcement action against online pornographic services that don't carry effective age-verification and/or those that contain extreme pornographic material which is illegal.Where blocking becomes necessary, this will be carried out in the shortest time possible.Data privacy is so important that it has its own regulator – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – which has the expertise and powers to apply strict data protection standards that pornographic services have to adhere to.Under the government's Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations, social media and search engines are not defined as ‘online commercial pornography’ and so will not be required to carry age-verification.Social media and search engines are ancillary service providers, and the BBFC can notify them and request that they take action against non-compliant pornographic services - for example by removing accounts on social media.
We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the ICO, but we don’t duplicate their work.