TalkTalk: four out of five against default porn blocking

porn filters

ISPs reveals statistics showing adults with children at home prefer "active choice"

Just one in five adults with children in the house think porn should be blocked automatically, according to research released by TalkTalk.

The announcement comes on the day the government closes the consultation on the idea of making ISPs ask subscribers to opt in if they want to view porn or other adult content.

Although a campaign petition by Safetynet - and backed by politicians such as MP Claire Perry - has gathered more than 110,000 signatures, the TalkTalk survey found that only 22% of parents think adult content should be filtered by default.

The ISP said that 37% of the respondents believed "active choice" - where subscribers are asked if they want to turn parental controls on during sign-up - was the best method, while 30% said the web should only be filtered if consumers asked for a censored feed.

We believe that giving customers an active choice about using controls is the most effective way to engage them in internet safety and our research shows that our customers feel the same

According to the company, the figures match its experience with customers. Since it introduced active choice, around one in three customers had asked for controls to be switched on, which it said correlated with the number of customers with children.

The ISP said that education and a combined effort was the best method of protecting children from potentially harmful content, rather than a blanket ban on adult content for everyone.

"We believe that giving customers an active choice about using controls is the most effective way to engage them in internet safety and our research shows that our customers feel the same," said Dido Harding, TalkTalk CEO.

According to TalkTalk, offering a choice of switching on parental controls during sign up had made a significant difference to the number of people using a filter, such as its HomeSafe network level blocker, despite the flaws in the system exposed by PC Pro.

The company's research showed 60% of those who set up parental controls said they wouldn’t have done so if they hadn’t been prompted.

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