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More people hooked to porn in UK than social networks

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Porn sites get more internet traffic in than social networks or shopping, a new survey has revealed.

According to new data obtained exclusively by the Guardian, internet traffic to legal pornography sites in the UK comprised 8.5 percent of all "clicks" on web pages in June - exceeding those for shopping, news, business or social networks.

Only "arts and entertainment" - a category that is boosted by Google's video site YouTube - and search engines were bigger, at 9.5 percent and 15.7 percent respectively.

The figures, which do not include traffic from mobile phones, were compiled by SimilarWeb, a web measurement company based in Tel Aviv which tracks clicks online rather than total volume of traffic.

The data does not include illegal searches for child abuse, which typically travel over secret networks such as Tor, or use peer-to-peer technology to try to hide the abuser's identity.

The data was released as internet service providers wrestle with the challenge posed by the prime minister, David Cameron, who earlier this week tasked them with ensuring that within 18 months anyone signing up for internet service would have to choose whether to opt in or out of being able to access pornographic sites.

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