Home Office in web porn fiasco

By Derek Sooman on
The UK Home Office (who have been involved in blunder after blunder recently) have yet again come under fire, this time for a bungle that resulted in internet users being directed to pornographic websites by mistake.

An advertisement for the Home Office Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre website was recently ran on 96 Trent FM Radio, and stated the following:

"What you say online isn't always what a paedophile hears. Giving out personal info could let a paedophile track you down. Be smart online, be safe offline. Visit thinkuknow.co.uk."
Later, a listener to the broadcast complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after she visited the website she thought was quoted, 'thinkyouknow.co.uk' - and found that that website contained links to pornographic material.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) claims that the pornographic material was at least four clicks away from the misspelt web address. The ASA, however, said the advert had not made it clear how the web address was spelt. They have upheld the complaint, and the Home Office has since apologised.

A spokeswoman for the government department said: "We will of course comply with the ASA's decision and apologise for any unwitting problems this may have caused by the similarity in name with this search engine."

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