Do Internet filters work?

Surprising data* from a nationwide study suggest that Internet filters might actually promote pornography use, while accountability software reduces the use of porn.

Of adults in the general population, 29% “seek out” pornography at least monthly. However, for those who use a filter to block pornography, 39% seek it out at least monthly.

More alarming, 54% of the general population say they “never” seek out porn, while 0% of filter users say they “never” seek out porn.  All filter users say they seek out porn!

An unknown factor may explain part of the difference, but not all of it. People define “porn” in different ways, so the filter users likely have a stricter definition of porn than the general population.  However, for 0% of the filter users to say they never seek out porn, there must be something deeper.

Specifically, I have heard from many filter users who say they are actually more tempted just to “get around” the filter.  And once they find a way around the filter (and there are ways around every filter), they get trapped by a predatory porn culture.  And nobody knows… there is zero accountability. The filters give zero motivation to “never” look at porn.

The Barna study also asked the same question of those who are trying to stop using porn. The results were much the same: 0% of filter users said they “never” seek out porn.

In both cases, accountable families–who have used Covenant Eyes for more than five years–seek out pornography less often than either of the other groups, even though the accountable families have a stricter view of what porn is.

Over and over again, studies show that “accountable families who take the spiritual formation of their families seriously are successful in passing their values on to the next generation.” 

Guess what… good parenting works!

*All data in this article are from “The Porn Phenomenon” study by the Barna Group, 2016.