After the BBFC age-verification consultation, here is Backlash’s response

Wed. 25 Apr. 2018

The “public consultation” on the introduction of age verification (AV) by the body appointed to administer its implementation, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), ended on Monday.

Why do I use inverted commas around the term “public consultation”? Simply because in my experience such “public consultations” are merely going through the motions of being seen to consult the public – a farcical, cynical box-ticking exercise to help legitimise what has already been decided in advance. However, this is no reason not to make one’s opinion known, and in this spirit I would like to applaud Backlash for their official response to the consultation, a response that is detailed, professional and considered.

Backlash, for the benefit of those who don’t know, is the BDSM-oriented campaign organisation established in the mid 2000s to oppose and/or modify the “extreme porn law”. It was the extreme porn law, which became enforceable in early 2009, that began the slide to where we are now. I have hosted a complimentary introduction and link to Backlash on my Links page since I launched this site of mine in January 2011.

Regarding their response to this latest “public consultation”, I think Backlash are giving the BBFC a bit of a grilling – which I doubly applaud. If “ignorance of the law is no excuse” for transgressing the law, then how can there be an excuse for gross ignorance in so many relevant fields – not least of which are the technological and security measures required for AV – on the part of those charged with applying the law? I urge you to read this: Backlash response to the BBFC age verification consultation.

[Update 27 April: While the Backlash response is fairly short and to-the-point – even biting – the response by campaigner extraordinaire Pandora Blake and “Obscenity Lawyer” Myles Jackman, who also does work for Backlash and the Open Rights Group, is longer and much more involved: Myles Jackman and Pandora Blake BBFC consultation. Their response is valuable for more background, extended argument and fleshing out details of the extensive problems with AV.]

My own most recent commentary on the looming introduction of age verification is Unrealistic expectations and the delay in implementing age verification.

Unfortunately, I’m not very optimistic when it comes to the implementation of AV.

Mistress Geo

Important Notice: I am taking a short break for four days in May and will not be available for sessions from Thursday 10 May to Sunday 13 May inclusive.