Pornhub to Exit Five Additional States Due to New Age-Verification Regulations

Pornhub will halt operations in five additional states this summer due to newly enacted legislation mandating age verification on adult entertainment websites. This decision follows a series of recent laws requiring platforms with explicit adult-only content to confirm the ages of their users. In these states, users will need to upload a copy of their driver’s license or another government ID or register with a third-party age verification service to access sites like Pornhub.

A blog post from Pornhub revealed the latest states for shutdowns are Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, and Nebraska. Pornhub plans to end operations in these states by July 2024. The website recently ceased operations in Texas last week and has also restricted access in Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia due to similar state legislation.

Supporters of the age-verification laws assert that these measures will protect children from accessing explicit content. For instance, the Kentucky bill described pornography as a “public health crisis” harmful to children.

However, Pornhub’s parent company, Aylo, argues that the approach taken by these laws could jeopardize user privacy and may not be effective in preventing minors from viewing explicit content. Following Louisiana’s enactment of a similar law last year, and Aylo’s use of a government-supported age verification service, Pornhub traffic in the state plummeted by 80 percent.

“These users didn’t stop seeking porn,” Aylo stated to the Indiana Capital Chronicle. “They simply migrated to darker parts of the internet that don’t require age verification, don’t comply with the law, disregard user safety, and often lack content moderation.” The company advocates for a device-based age verification solution rather than state legislation to keep minors off adults-only sites.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also highlighted privacy concerns regarding these bills, emphasizing that no age-verification method is entirely foolproof. “No one should have to hand over their driver’s license just to access free websites. That’s why EFF opposes mandated age verification laws, no matter how well-intentioned they may be,” the organization stated in a 2023 statement.

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