Victory for Child’s Eye Line UK as Sky blocks porn by default

Dec 22, 2015 by


Child’s Eye Line UK is celebrating after Sky Broadband has announced its decision to automatically block pornography and other “adult content” by default for new customers from early next year.

The company confirmed the change and also explained it will go further by emailing all existing customers, asking them if they would like the filter to be switched on.

Lyssa McGowan, Sky’s brand director for communications products, said: “We believe that this ‘default on’ approach will mean much greater use of home filters and ensure a safer Internet experience for millions of homes.

“It came about as we looked for the best way to meet the Prime Minister’s objective of providing more protection for children when they use the Internet.”

The ISPs landmark decision comes after David Cameron called on the Internet service providers to take action.

Responding to the announcement, Child’s Eye Line UK’s founder Kathy McGuinness, said: “We are delighted that Sky has taken this important voluntary step to protect children in the UK. We have campaigned hard on this issue for three years and believe it reflects the depth of the public’s concern about children’s easy access to harmful content online.

“As the major ISPs own figures show, the voluntary system of self-regulation is not effective in providing adequate protection for children.

“Sky has acted responsibly in recognising the urgent need to provide proper protection for children online to prevent needless exposure to harmful adult content.

“Unfortunately, however, there is still more work to be done as the default-on filters for all new customers still falls short of what is needed to protect children.

“Child’s Eye Line UK is campaigning for a statutory requirement for all Internet service providers to ensure default on filters with robust age-verification are in place to make sure only adults who can prove they are over 18 can turn the filters off.

“The government has made a manifesto commitment to improve the protection of children online and it is essential in the New Year they keep their promise and take urgent action.”

Ofcom figures obtained earlier this year showed Sky customers were the most active when it came to using content filters, with more than 30% leaving content filters switched on, while none of its rivals – BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk – had reached 15%.

Sky added that 62% of the customers it had sent the “unavoidable decision” email to had kept some form of parental control turned on.

Contact us:
Twitter: @ChildEyesUK

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An amazing year!

Dec 9, 2015 by


Thanks to our supporters it has been an amazing 18 months for Child’s Eye Line UK! We have seen unprecedented success with our campaigning.

When we started campaigning back in 2012 children faced lads’ mags in every supermarket, unrestricted violent porn at the click of a mouse, uncategorised soft-porn music videos and topless pictures of women on page 3 of the UK’s most popular newspaper.

As we come to the end of 2015 the sexualisation of children is in a much better place.

Highlights of our campaign this year include The Sun newspaper deciding to drop topless pictures on Page 3. We campaigned hard on this issue for two years and we were delighted to be invited in to the office of News UK this year to discuss our campaign and ways of making The Sun newspaper’s front cover displays more family-friendly going forward.

There are no lads’ mags in print after the Co-op agreed not to display them; UK porn sites are age-restricted after we lobbied David Cameron to protect children from easy access to violent porn; children’s music videos are age-classified after we raised awareness of their soft-porn content; WH Smiths agreed not to display women’s weeklies that revel in rape and child abuse on their covers at child height; Tesco agreed not to display sexualised tabloids and the main ISPs have agreed to implement opt-in on porn as default.

How times have changed in such a short time! But there is so much more work to be done…

Sadly, over 90% of porn sites that most children are regularly exposed to (often on smart phones outside the home) are produced overseas and the government is yet to age-restrict this access. We need to keep up the pressure on the government to act quickly before more children are harmed by easy access to increasingly violent and misogynistic material.

High Street shops like Ann Summers continue to exploit a loop hole in advertising regulations by placing huge porn images at child height in their window displays, often next to children’s  shops like Build-A-Bear and Mothercare.

The Indecent Displays Act, 1981, covers Ann Summers’ and supermarkets’ sexualised displays but the police are often unaware of the legislation, or unwilling to enforce it. We need to put pressure on the government to properly enforce this legislation.

We can also continue to change attitudes and raise awareness of the harm caused to children by sexualisation. Through our work in Parliament we are able to access the latest research and present this to our supporters through social media. This is how we can change cultural attitudes, the kind of cultural change that has seen the end of the lads’ mag in supermarkets, the end of Page 3 sexualisation and regulation of Internet pornography.

But we can’t do this without your help! All of our work is voluntary and we rely solely on donations. Please consider making a donation to our campaign through the secure PayPal buttons on the right hand side of this page to help us continue our vital work to protect children.

£5 allows our team to send emails to retailers and MPs; £10 allows us to attend child protection conferences; £20 pays for our childcare for one of us to attend a meeting in Parliament or make a Media appearance.

Thank you so much for your support. Together we are making changes and we will continue to campaign to protect children from sexualisation.

Here’s to another great year for Child’s Eye Line UK with your help!

Contact us:
Twitter: @ChildEyesUK

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