David Cameron hit out against the online pornography industry on Sunday, saying that unless internet companies such as Google act to introduce preventative measures, the government would step in.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, the prime minister outlined some of the public’s most common concerns.
“I’m concerned as a politician and a parent about this issue […] Just because it’s the internet doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be laws and rules and responsible behaviour”, he said.
He also outlined the responsibility that internet search providers have in protecting vulnerable children, saying, “It is possible today to get absolutely vile images of child abuse that are illegal on the internet and we can do much more to stop it […] we need to get the companies to do more.”
Pornography is considered a sin stock by ethical investors, who often actively avoid investing in the industry. It forms part of the so-called sextet of sin because of its links to human trafficking, the sexualisation of children and the objectification of women.
Many ethical funds screen out newsagents and supermarkets that sell pornographic magazines. However, because these particular products would generally account for a small percentage of a firm’s turnover, some fund managers place thresholds on how much revenue can be generated from activity involving sin stocks.
Tia Sharp and April Jones were both killed by men who viewed images of child abuse and pornography online. Cameron met with the families of the two girls and discussed the issue, outlining his plans to tackle to problem.
He said there was a triangle involved, comprising of the people who are uploading the images, the people who are searching for and viewing the images, and the companies allowing it to happen.
“If we don’t get what we want [from these companies] then we will take legislative action”, he added.
“They’re not doing nothing, but I want them to do more.”
Measures also include making it more difficult for children and teenagers to access legal online pornography, although the industry has already taken such steps to minimise this risk.
A spokesperson for Portland TV, a company that produces pornographic material, told Blue & Green Tomorrow, “We have worked in a joint venture with [adult film producer] Anna Kieran, who worked in the industry for many years, to create a website which advises parents on how to prevent children from viewing unsuitable material.”
They added, “We aim to put the power back into the hands of the parents.”