British men oppose automatic porn filters

July 22, 2013, 3:13 PM UTC

The majority of British men think internet porn should only be filtered if they ask for it to be – but the majority of British women say it should be blocked by default

The Prime Minister has announced that from the end of 2013 all new computers sold will have internet filters switched on by default, so that consumers will have to opt out to access internet pornography. YouGov research from June reveals that the majority of men prefer an opt in system, where pornography is only filtered if they ask for it to be.

On the whole British adults tend to support an opt out system over an opt in system, by 46%-40%. 13% “don’t know.”

The majority of men, however, prefer an opt in system: 59% say “internet services should only be filtered if they ask for it to be.” Only 34% of women prefer this system.

The majority of women, on the other hand, prefer an opt out system: 52% say “internet services should be filtered unless they ask for it not to be.” Only 27% of men prefer this system.

David Cameron’s announcement comes as part of a campaign against the effect of internet pornography on children, which he describes as “corroding childhood.” There is a gender divide here too, however. While three quarters (75%) of the total population say internet pornography is “very” of “fairly” damaging to children who see it, almost a quarter (24%) of men say it is “not very” or “not at all” damaging.

In addition to opt out filters being applied to all computers bought from the end of 2013, David Cameron has announced that millions of existing computer users will be contacted by their internet service providers and told they must decide whether or not to use “family-friendly filters” to block adult content.

See the full poll results