Ofcom says that most UK adult sites do not have sufficiently robust measures in place to prevent children from accessing pornography.
In a new report, published today, the regulator says smaller adult video-sharing sites based in the UK are particularly at fault.
Ofcom is about to take on new duties that have been outlined in the Online Safety Bill. It already has a number of powers to regulate video-sharing platforms, which are required by law to take measures to protect people using their sites and apps from harmful videos.
Nineteen companies have notified Ofcom that they fall within its jurisdiction. They include TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, Vimeo, OnlyFans and BitChute; as well as several smaller platforms, including adult sites.
The largest of these, OnlyFans, has recently introduced new age verification and the regulator says Ofcom expects urgent action from other companies to protect children. But one smaller adult platform told the regulator that it had considered implementing age verification but had decided not to as it would reduce the profitability of the business.
However, there is a further problem as earlier this month Ofcom’s own research found one in three children lie about their age to access adult content on social media
Although social media platforms do not permit under-13s to sign up, researchers found that children fake their ages to skirt the rules.