@AlecMuffett The shopkeepers comment prompts a memory.

I used to run an off-licence, so it's alcohol licensing laws that I'm thinking of here rather than selling smut. But, the underlying impact is the same.

They wanted to do better at keeping alcohol out of kids hands (obvs)
@AlecMuffett so they increased the punishments for being caught selling to <18s. The person on the till was looking at a large fine and the *threat* of 6 months inside.

The license holder could be looking at a multi-thousand fine, forfeiture of license and potentially time inside
@AlecMuffett Trading standards also maintained a campaign of test-shops - sending minors in to try and buy alcohol.

Although their test subjects were <18 some of them undeniably looked significantly older.

The argument was that we must protect kids from alcohol so what's a bit of trickery?
@AlecMuffett All in the name of protecting kids - so must be good right?

But, what was the actual outcome?

- Various (low paid) shop staff got stung with stupid level fines for making a simple mistake
- Some lost their livelihoods as the result of those mistakes
@AlecMuffett - Kids still lay hands on booze
- Proxy purchases still happen (adult buying for kid, but shopkeeper's still potentially liable)
- If you look under 25 and forgot your ID, sorry pal
- Shop assistants get abused by <25s because "I'm obviously over 18 tho"
@AlecMuffett The problem, of course, was that all the effort was focused on the vendor. There was no attempt to educate kids, nor was anything done to dissuade adults from proxy purchasing - all they did was to "other" the supplier and hope the problem would go away.
@AlecMuffett The exact same thing is being done here, putting all of the responsibility onto the supplier. Should you take some responsibility? yes. Is there any hope of "reforms" working if only one part of the chain is responsible? hell no.
@AlecMuffett This insistence that it's an easy problem to solve if you could just $something is at the root of every failed attempt to protect us/kids against $evil.

Complex issues need well thought out solutions, and societal issues always need education not flawed attempts at enforcement
@AlecMuffett Also, although a shop-keeper is supposed to make sure kids can't buy porn

a) he doesn't record *everyone* ID just in case - there is no record of "Mr Jones, Razzle, Monday"
b) it patently doesn't happen in the real world - kids get hold of porn just as readily as alcohol
@AlecMuffett FWIW, as a parent I agree that it's absolutely impossible to keep an eye on what they do online 100% of the time.

Just as I've no idea who they might speak to through the bars of the school fence.

The solution to both is the same - I communicate with $offspring

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