Children watching mobile phone

UK adult site introduces age verification measures following engagement with Ofcom

Published: 27 November 2023
Last updated: 27 November 2023

Tapnet Ltd – which provides the online adult video service RevealMe – has introduced age verification measures, after Ofcom raised concerns that it was not doing enough to prevent children from being able to access pornography on its platform.

Under existing regulations that pre-date the UK’s new online safety laws, video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK are required to take measures to prevent under-18s from accessing pornographic material.

What Ofcom has done under VSP regulations

Earlier this year, we launched an enforcement programme into the age assurance measures of UK adult sites, to examine the scale of potential compliance concerns in the sector and determine whether any further action was required.

This followed our formal information-gathering exercise, which highlighted that certain sites may not be meeting the standards expected of them. Initially, Tapnet did not provide the required information by the deadline we set, and we fined the company for not complying with our information request rules.

Once the information was provided, we raised our concerns with RevealMe that it was relying on self-declaration and debit card payments to provide assurance as to the age of its users.

What to do if we request information from you

To inform our work as a regulator, we sometimes use our formal powers to request information from individuals and businesses. When we do, we expect to receive clear, complete and accurate information.

If you get a request from us, here's what you need to do.

What Tapnet has done in response to our concerns

During our engagement, Tapnet took a proactive approach to making changes to RevealMe in response to the concerns we identified, including introducing an interim age verification process while implementing an automated tool. It now requires users – upon entering the site and before accessing any videos – to:

  • verify their age, by submitting valid identification to a third-party automated age verification tool or making a credit card payment; or
  • sign into a registered account where their age has already been verified.

Next steps

We welcome the changes RevealMe has introduced, and we will monitor whether they are working effectively.

Our wider enforcement programme remains open, as do our assessments of measures taken by certain other UK-established adult VSPs to protect under-18s from pornographic material on their platform. We intend to provide a further update on this programme shortly.

Tapnet told us that, in introducing age verification upon site entry, it was also preparing for compliance with the UK’s new online safety laws. Next month, Ofcom will propose new guidance to help online pornography services comply with the requirement under the Online Safety Act to introduce highly effective age-controls to protect children.

Back to top