Ofcom slaps Playboy with £100,000 fine

Ofcom has slapped Playboy with a £100,000 fine over the adult magazine’s failure to protect children from pornographic material.

Ofcom found that two Playboy websites, Playboy TV and Demand Adult, lacked adequate controls to check that users are older than 18. The sites did not require visitors to enter credit card details, proving that they are mature enough to view porn and incur a lot of personal debt.

Demand Adult displayed hardcore pornographic material that could be viewed by simply clicking a button labeled “Enter I am over 18”. Admittedly, that particular phrase is not something that would drive most porn users away.

Playboy TV fared a bit better, as it did not display “explicit detail,” but it did allow visitors to register using a debit card, which is not an effective age verification system. Playboy TV got off with a £35,000 fine, while Demand Adult will have to cough up £65,000.

In December 2012, Ofcom also fined adult site Strictly Broadband for failing to include effective controls in place to verify that users of the site were aged 18 or over.

One way of ensuring compliance would be to introduce a new system, akin to Captcha, which would force users to submit their responses via a Nokia 3310. Now that would be a proper foolproof age verification system.