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Soon iPhone and Android phones may censor porn automatically. With the new legislation passed in the United States, it seems likely smartphone manufacturers will have to take responsibility when it comes to blocking adult content.

The legislation has been passed by the state of Utah, it forces the manufacturers to force filter pornography on all their smartphones and tablets. The vendors will be distributing a code to disable the automatic filters. This will block all x-rated content out of the box on all phones and tablets.

The code will determine the age of the user before the objectionable content is blocked. According to the bill, it will not be mandatory for all devices to automatically enable the filter when it is first activated. Negligence of the order will legally get them in trouble for any harmful content accessed by a minor.

Consequences of Not Obeying the Law

The vendors will have to end up paying $10 for each individual violation. Though it is not clear what content exactly will be deemed as objectionable or harmful.

Currently, most Apple devices and Android devices do have parental controls. But these options are not set to default, it is upon the users of the devices to enable them on their devices.

According to Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D., psychologist and former Deputy Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary,

Two recent reports, one by the American Psychological Association on hyper-sexualized girls, and the other by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on the pornographic content of phone texting among teenagers, make clear that the digital revolution is being used by younger and younger children to dismantle the barriers that channel sexuality into family life. Ii

Effects of Pornography on Teens

  • Creates distorted expectations which hinder healthy sexual development.
  • Odds of teenage pregnancy increase.
  • Sexual development is hindered.
  • Risk of depression rises.

Though there is a minor hurdle when it comes to implementing the Utah law. The majority of its population are Mormons. This means law won’t materialize until the other five states pass similar laws.

In the UK things are a little different, there is no such law for smartphone manufacturers, but there is one for broadband service providers. Users buying SIM from O2, EE, and others are not able to access adult websites until they confirm they are aged over 18.

The age is verified either by using a credit card or passport in-store or online. The UK broadband network automatically blocks the listed websites by the court. Though it is not a practice followed by all service providers.

Internet service providers also offer parental control tools to users of their service. It is up to the users of the service to decide what level of restriction they would prefer.
Having said that Virgin Media is an exception, the company has been enabling automatic filtering for all new customers since May 2018.