Pornhub shuts down in Texas to protest age verification law

Pornhub shuts down in Texas to protest age verification law
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Pornhub has disabled its site in Texas in response to the state’s online age verification law. The site now displays a message to users in the state that says having to provide an ID when accessing an adult website “is not an effective solution for protecting users online.”

“As you may know, your elected officials in Texas are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you to access our website,” Pornhub says in a notice to users. “Not only does this impinge on the rights of adults to access protected speech, it fails strict scrutiny by employing the least effective and yet also the most restrictive means of accomplishing Texas’s stated purpose of allegedly protecting minors.”

Pornhub argues that on-device age verification is “the only effective solution for protecting minors and adults alike.” This method could involve using facial recognition or another method to verify a user’s age locally on their device.

“Unfortunately the Texas law for age verification is ineffective, haphazard, and dangerous,” Alex Kekesi, Aylo’s vice president of brand and community says in an emailed statement to The Verge. “Not only will it not actually protect children, it will inevitably reduce content creators’ ability to post and distribute legal adult content and directly impact their ability to share the artistic messages they want to convey with it.”

Pornhub may soon run into issues outside the US, too. The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) designates Pornhub and other adult sites as “Very Large Online Platforms,” which could require them to implement age verification and take down illegal content. Pornhub sued the EU over its designation last month, according to a report from Politico.


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