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UK Government Plans To Filter All Adult Content On The Net – Will That Reduce Addictions?

lavario-addictionThe UK Government has announced plans to block all adult content on the web. Internet providers will be obliged to deploy a filter as the default option. Users will need to “opt in” and declare that they want access to those adult sites. The Government hopes that most users won’t do that due to inertia or embarrassment. Prime Minister David Cameron explained that this will be a measure to protect adolescents and adults from addictions and to protect children from exploitation.

Addiction to adult content has become a major concern

The problem of addiction to adult content on the web has grown strongly during the past fifteen years, not just in the UK but around the world. Lavario, one of the world’s largest providers of self-help programs against addictions, has published an infographic which shows that around 2 million adults in the English-speaking countries are addicted to adult movies. Some of the consequences are loss of sleep and other health problems, broken relationships, poor job performance, financial problems and feelings of shame and guilt and low self-esteem.

The UK Government’s plan

The UK Government plans to protect teenagers from being exposed to explicit images and possibly getting addicted. The plan also affects cell phone users who must prove that they are at least 18 years old before effectively applying for the filter to be removed. Iceland is another Western country having announced similar measures. Obviously, there is a steamy debate on whether such filters limit our individual freedom and on whether this is the first step towards George Orwell’s ‘1984’ vision of a totalitarian state. Let other people discuss this and let’s just concentrate on whether such an adult content filter makes sense in fighting addictions.

Less addicts to adult material in the future

Let’s assume that the Government’s assumption is correct and most people won’t opt in because they would be too embarrassed. Consequently, the number of people having access to adult content will drop significantly. Therefore, the initial trigger for an addiction (the repeated exposure to adult images) won’t appear as often anymore as it does today. Probably, less people will become addicted to adult content then.

The underlying reasons of an addiction

However, in most cases addictions develop when people experienced traumatic experiences during their childhood or adolescence, such as physical or emotional abuse or bullying. The drug “adult movies” kills the pain of loneliness, stress, frustration etc and makes a person feel better. The person will watch it again and enjoy the relaxing and soothing effect from it. Slowly, an addiction with all its negative consequences develops. If the drug “adult content” isn’t available, the individual will need other drugs to obtain the same effect.

The rise of other addictions

Therefore, it can be expected that alcohol abuse, online gambling or harder drugs will substitute the drug “adult movies”. In modern societies, there will always be a certain percentage of young people vulnerable to drugs. The total number of addicts will probably remain stable. It may be worth a discussion on whether adult content, gambling or alcohol is the greater evil. Individuals who are already addicted won’t be affected too much by the Government’s measures, anyway. Most of them will choose to opt in and allow access to their favorite drug. Nonetheless, as discussed before, there are good elements within this initiative and children might be protected better than today, indeed.

By Frank Lavario

I am Frank Lavario, chairman of Lavario, provider of self-help programs against addiction problems. I have worked with psychotherapists from around the world in order to provide easy-to-use and effective treatment options against addictions. Sometimes I write articles about topics regarding addictions.

Posted in Social Media News.

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