Websites with adult content are very popular on the Internet and they can be a very lucrative proposition as a fee-based membership site. But, they come with some very real risks that could put you on the wrong side of the law in a heartbeat.
Each locality, on a global scale, has its own laws pertaining to adult web hosting and obscenity. Your Internet adult site could run into trouble almost anywhere there’s electricity, even if you’ve turned yourself inside out trying to stay within the limitations of the law. Too many people to count, on a worldwide basis, believe that adult content is obscene and should be outlawed everywhere.
One of the problems is that the laws on adult hosting vary considerably from place to place…country to country…city to city…practically household to household. You, as an adult content webmaster, need to make every effort you can to avoid access by minors to material considered obscene, or pornographic.
What is considered “obscene” can differ greatly in every country. Within the context of adult web hosting, there’s four main things that are considered obscene and you would be well advised to avoid them. They are incest, bestiality, child pornography and rape of any sort.
If you search on any search engine for any one of those terms, you will find many sites advertising them freely. I am sure the increased cash flow from that advertising makes the risk profitable enough to some webmasters, as long as they stay below the legal radar as long as they can.
In the United States, there’s a test to determine the actual obscenity rating of a website, or any other media, for that matter. Here’s a simple obscenity definition, according to the “Miller Test,” as listed in Wikipedia: “If your product (your site), when taken as a whole, is considered without any artistic, literary, scientific, or cultural merit according to the mores of the local community, it is considered obscene.”
There’s several extracted comments of interest in the United Kingdom: “Obscenity law in England and Wales is currently governed by the various Obscene Publications Acts…” … “Child pornography and bestiality are illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003″ and ” In late August 2005, the government announced that it plans to criminalize possession of extreme pornographic material, rather than just publication.”
A “Warning Page” on your site that states that your site contains adult
material and is restricted to viewers at least 21 years of age would be a very good idea. It would still be your responsibility, as the webmaster, to keep minors from accessing such material. You can use an Age Verification System (AVS) to verify site visitors before they enter your site, but it is not perfect.
The point here is that you are exposing yourself to loads of risk when you decide to have an adult content site. Have a lawyer handy.