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Aberdeen primary school pupils caught watching porn on mobile phones

Stephen Flynn said several pupils had been caught watching porn.
Stephen Flynn said several pupils had been caught watching porn.

An MP has urged ministers to take urgent action after it emerged primary school children had been caught watching porn on mobile phones.

Stephen Flynn, who represents Aberdeen South, said staff had had to deal with three instances of material on Pornhub being viewed on phones in school in recent months.

In a discussion on new legislation designed to protect children from harmful content online, he spoke of his “profound concern” that children were able to access the site.

And he challenged the UK Government to force sites like Pornhub to introduce age verification checks to stop youngsters getting access.

“The dangers posed by the internet are clear for all to see, particularly given just how many young people have easy access to mobile phones and the like,” Mr Flynn said.

“Everyone will share my profound concern that primary age children have been able to access explicit websites and action is badly needed from the UK Government to stop this happening.

“The UK Government has the power to introduce age-verification for sites but has so far failed to do so despite cross-party support.

“This latest legislation should hopefully create a safer environment for our young people when they are online and, quite simply, it cannot come soon enough.”

Mr Flynn’s concern was shared by digital, culture, media and sport secretary Oliver Dowden, who branded the ease with which children were able to access porn a “complete outrage”.

The minister added the site would face “severe consequences” if it fails to comply with the law.

“As a father of primary-age children, I share the honorary Gentleman’s complete outrage that that is possible,” he said.

“This legislation will address exactly that.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden

“A site like Pornhub will fall within the scope of this legislation, because it has a large amount of user-generated content, and we will expect it to take appropriate measures to safeguard children from accessing the site.

“If it fails to do so, it will face severe consequences.”

Mr Flynn declined to name the school involved, and there is no suggestion the children who accessed the material did so via any school devices or networks.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “All school wifi networks are subject to protective filtering to prevent access to unsuitable material.”

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