Question from We, Is Viewing Extreme Material on a Publicly Accessible Website Considered Illegal or Possession in England?
Answer from AI:
In England, the legality of viewing extreme material online is governed by several laws, including the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and the Obscene Publications Act 1959.
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
Under Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, it is illegal to possess extreme pornographic images. The Act defines ‘extreme’ as images that are grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character and portray, in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following:
- an act which threatens a person’s life,
- an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,
- an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or
- a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive).
However, the Act does not specifically address the issue of merely viewing such material online.
The Obscene Publications Act 1959
The Obscene Publications Act 1959 makes it an offence to publish any article whose effect will tend to “deprave and corrupt” those likely to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it. This could potentially apply to extreme material viewed online, but the law is less clear on this point.
Given the complexity of these laws and the potential for serious criminal penalties, it is strongly recommended that anyone with specific questions about viewing extreme material online in England consult with a legal professional. They can provide personalized advice based on the specifics of the situation and the most recent case law.
Regardless of the legal implications, it’s important to remember that viewing extreme material online can have serious psychological and emotional impacts. There are many resources available to help individuals navigate the internet safely and responsibly, such as the UK Safer Internet Centre.
Please note: This information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to provide legal advice. Please consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.