Singaporeans Avoid Online Porn, Study Says

Jun 8, 2015 3:06 PM PST

SINGAPORE — With strict laws and big penalties to go with enforcement of them, it’s not surprising online porn isn’t very popular in Singapore.

Antivirus software maker Avast Software has come up with new data that shows Singapore was the only Asia-Pacific country among seven surveyed in which no adult entertainment website was among its users’ top 10 online destinations.

Avast collected data from some 250,000 mobile and PC users in the city, state and island country, and found that most users focused on social media, government sites or YouTube

Avast CEO Vincent Steckler told The Wall Street Journal that one possibility for the disinterest in online porn in Singapore was that users are dissuaded by the government’s blocking of numerous high-profile porn sites or that people suspect their online activity is being monitored.

In Singapore, it is illegal to keep, distribute or sell sexually explicit videos, photographs, books and digital files. Prostitution, however, is legal.

Steckler said that even VPN users were tallied in the web traffic.  VPNs create private encrypted lines that Internet requests are sent through, re-routing activity through a server controlled by a VPN provider rather than over a shared network.

Avast also examined data from Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia, where in addition to visiting online adult sites, users took to shopping and followed celebrities.

Singapore’s Media Development Authority requires local ISPs to restrict public access to “a limited number” of websites, most of which are sexually explicit, as “a symbolic statement of our societal values.” The agency, however, claims it does not monitor users’ access to any websites.

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