PornHub Blocks Access In US States To Satisfy Age Verification Requirements

On Friday, March 15th, 2024, PornHub blocked access to consumers in the state of Texas. Texas is the third state in 2024 that has had its access blocked. On January 1st, 2024, Montana and North Carolina were also blocked. This is all as a result of new age-verification laws being enforced in different states.

What are Age-Verification Laws?

Age verification laws frequently target two types of businesses: (1) businesses that provide material that is intended for or likely to be accessed by individuals under the age of 18 (minors) or a younger cohort of minors, such as individuals under the age of 16, and (2) businesses that provide material that is “harmful” to minors but may not be intended for their use.

State age verification laws allow for enforcement by state officials or private parties, such as the parents of a minor. Louisiana’s pornography age verification law will enable individuals to bring lawsuits against commercial entities who fail to implement age verification when such a failure results in a minor accessing harmful material. Texas’s attorney general has sole enforcement authority over the state’s pornography age verification law, and that is what has happened here.

In February 2024, Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Aylo, Pornhub’s parent company, for failing to enforce the state’s age verification law which went into effect in September 2023.

Blocked Users Greeted with New Block Page

Consumers visiting PornHub, or it’s related properties (Brazzers and YouPorn) will now be greeted with this following splash page:

Effectiveness of Age-Verification Laws

It isn’t easy to gauge how effective this is going to be. Still, it demonstrates a growing concern and awareness amongst consumers and politicians for the well-being of children online. We as a company exist because of the ever increasing challenges we experienced with our own children and online pornography.

Note that the US is one of many to do this. The United Kingdom has been leading the fight for age-verification requirements on the web by introducing the Age-Appropriate Design Code. This code was developed due to a National study that found 1 in 5 online users are children, and Child Privacy and Safety ranked second to Security concerns.

We should expect laws like this to quickly morph beyond just online pornography into more controversial platforms like Social Media and possibly Online Video Streaming and Gaming. In the US specifically, we are already seeing new Acts like the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act and the Kids Online Safety Act being pushed through legislation. Each is designed to focus on what these platforms do regarding age verification to help ensure exposure to children is minimized as much as possible.