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75 percent of major ISPs failed to get even 10 percent of new users to opt for the porn filters

A new report shows that UK citizens are pulling out when it comes to anti-pornography filters offered by Internet service providers (ISPs).

The report, which was drawn up by industry watchdog Ofcom, shows that three out of four major UK ISPs (TalkTalk, Virgin Media, BT and Sky) haven't managed to persuade even 10 percent of new customers to sign up for the filters.

Since the launch of the filters, TalkTalk was able to talk 36 percent of new sign-ups into using the filters, but the other three weren't so lucky. Sky came in at 8 percent while BT and Virgin Media grabbed 5 and 4 percent respectively.

TalkTalk has had a bit of an advantage, though, since it launched its filters in May 2011. BT and Sky launched filter services towards the end of 2013 while Virgin Media introduced its version in February 2014. 


Virgin Media also reportedly fell short because 65 percent of new Virgin Media customers were not offered the choice of family-friendly network level filtering. 

The filters, which block pornographic websites and pages promoting self-harm and drug use, came to be after Prime Minister David Cameron announced in July 2013 that major ISPs had to offer "unavoidable choice" parental control filters. This choice meant that legal pornography and other adult subjects were blocked by default.

In April 2012, a new bill -- called the Online Safety Bill -- aimed to force ISPs and mobile network providers to offer internet packages that exclude access to pornographic material by default. It was raised in the House of Lords by Baroness Howe of Ildicote. It is a Private Members Bill, which requires government support before it can be made into law. 

Earlier this year, it was reported that the UK government started working on a porn-blocking filter whitelist for legitimate websites. This meant that websites looking to educate kids about sex or drug abuse would be unblocked. 

Source: Ofcom





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