Porn more popular in the UK than shopping

Porn more popular in the UK than shopping

Here in the UK the internet is changing. The classic flavour of “the web”, where people can say and do what they want and download anything without fear of traffic management or data limits, is long gone. We now heavy a heavily controlled, heavily monitored and heavily firewalled internet.


Music companies have successfully pushed for websites to be blocked and now the Government is telling ISP’s to have a family filter set to a “default on” mode. This system can block huge slices of the internet. For example, the TalkTalk filter is provided by Huawei and automatically blocks access to 65 million websites out of the box, and that’s before any others are added.

65 million.

The internet is doomed. Shortly it will become nothing more than a virtual high street, with a sanitised selection of stores allowed to open. The most successful shops will have a large advertising budget or will appeal to the lowest common denominator.

One store fitting into that last category is the XXX porn shop, which looks set to close as new “default on” family filters kick in. The Guardian has discovered that porn in the UK is currently more popular (in terms of clicks) than social networks, shopping, news or business sites. Some 8.5% of all UK clicks on web pages in June were to legal porn sites, and there’s several of them in the Top 100 UK sites.

The figures were put together by SimilarWeb, who found that the only categories getting more clicks than porn were search engines and arts and entertainment. A massive slice of that latter category is YouTube. SimilarWeb measure clicks rather than sheer volume of web traffic.

Porn more popular in the UK than shopping

Daniel Buchuk, head of brand and strategy at SimilarWeb, told the Guardian..

Traffic on adult sites represents a huge portion of what people use the Internet for, not just in the UK but around the world. It is astonishing to see that adult sites are more popular in the UK than all social networks combined.

David Cameron could be treading a very dangerous line here. Porn, let’s be honest, is popular, and who knows, it might even be helping to keep the crime rate down. What would you rather have? Tired criminals, too weak to steal after a hard night hunched over their smartphone? Or a clean internet feed which most crims are too stupid to turn off, resorting to crime to get their kicks? Eh? Eh? :)

Whilst a few ISPs have stated that they’ll never filter their service, the major providers are bound to tow the line eventually.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush App Review
Charity MVNO - Donate Mobile
  • John Kyle

    Interesting article Gears, but I beg to differ, the internet wont even be a virtual highstreet. The government is slowly killing the internet. http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2283812/online-sales-tax-could-kill-growth-say-digital-retailers

    All that will be left is a database of kitten pictures. Expect you wont even get to view those! You try typing “Cute pussy” into google…..

  • the_prof

    Again our wonderful government tries to poke its nose into something it has absolutely no clue about.

    I think the main issue is that kids today know a lot more about the Internet and technology in general than their parents. This anomaly will last around a generation or so, and the problem will solve itself, if not before. In fact, it’s likely less of an issue over the last couple of years than it was before.

    There are plenty of options to restrict your kids’ access that are both simple and effective, if you choose to do so. The issues we’re seeing come from mass ignorance and laziness. Basically, if you want to ‘protect’ your kid from seeing things deemed unsuitable, it’s easy these days. A quick Google will point you to a list of sites which tell you exactly what to do. The issue comes when parents are ignorant as to what to do, or just don’t care much in the first place, sadly. Having a ‘default on’ filter probably won’t make a lot of difference to this, as the less responsible parents will probably turn it off again anyway. And what happens if your kids friends’ parents are a bit more liberal?

    All it’s really going to do is get in the way of everyone else. I do not have kids, and I do not wish to be excluded from any sites whatsoever thanks, regardless of my browsing habits. This exact feature pisses me off royally with mobile providers. I went to tumblr or something the other day and couldn’t get into that because of Vodafone’s filter which I reckon I’ve switched off about 5 times already, yet they still insist on me somehow proving my age!

    Sure, make it law for ISPs to provide a filter which people can switch on, advertise the fact, but don’t make it default for everybody!