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Playboy fined over porn websites

Ofcom has fined Playboy 100,000 for failing to protect children from potentially harmful pornographic material.

Two websites owned by Playboy, Playboy TV and Demand Adult, allowed access to "hardcore videos and images" without having acceptable controls in place to check users were aged 18 or over, said the regulator.

Ofcom concluded that Playboy's failure to protect children from potentially accessing the sites was "serious, repeated and reckless".

Ofcom said the homepage of Demand Adult displayed hardcore pornographic material that could be viewed by clicking on a button labelled "Enter I am over 18", and users could access more paid-for content with a debit card.

Neither of the controls constituted an effective age verification system, it said.

Playboy TV also asked users to self-certify their age before entering the main site but, unlike Demand Adult, the material on the home page showed sexual activity without explicit detail.

Users could also access this website's hardcore pornographic material by registering using a debit card. Again, neither system was effective at verifying age, the regulator concluded.

The websites are regulated by Ofcom and the Authority for Video on Demand (ATVOD) - unlike other pornographic websites - because they provide access to videos in a similar way to adult services broadcast on television and fall within UK jurisdiction.

Due to the "serious nature of these breaches", Playboy was fined 65,000 in relation to Demand Adult and 35,000 for Playboy TV.

Ofcom said effective age controls included asking for the details of a credit card, which are not available to under-18s.

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