UK Media Regulator Encourages Companies, Creators to Provide Feedback on 'Categorized Services'

UK Media Regulator Encourages Companies, Creators to Provide Feedback on 'Categorized Services'

LONDON — U.K. media regulator Ofcom is again asking adult industry companies, creators and other stakeholders to provide feedback to help it establish new regulations under the Online Safety Act (OSA) — regulations that will impact the accessibility of online adult content.

This is the third consultation Ofcom has conducted as part of a lengthy process. One of the previous consultations was more specifically aimed at “service providers publishing pornographic content.”

The new consultation is titled “Third phase of online safety regulation: Additional duties for categorized services.”

Ofcom has made the consultation process public through its website. The deadline for responses is May 20 at 5 p.m. GMT.

“Categorized services” refers to three types of online services defined by the OSA. Category 1 services are subject to the greatest number of additional obligations; this category includes platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, which facilitate broad and rapid dissemination of content — particularly content recommended by algorithms.

Category 2A services are search services with high reach — Google, for example. Adult content will be affected by this categorization, since search results can include “illegal content or content that is harmful to children,” a broad category that for the U.K. government includes all pornography.

Category 2B covers user-to-user services with functionalities like direct messaging, such as WhatsApp.

For more information, visit Ofcom.org.uk.

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