Pornhub Blocks Access in Virginia, Mississippi Over Age Verification

Pornhub Blocks Access in Virginia, Mississippi Over Age Verification

MONTREAL — Pornhub has blocked access to its platform in Virginia and Mississippi, where mandatory age verification legislation goes into effect tomorrow.

The statement shared by the company through its ambassadors follows:

If you haven't heard, elected officials around the United States have started to introduce laws aimed at preventing children from accessing material harmful to minors online.

This is great. We've supported this for years. We believe that any law to this effect must preserve user safety and privacy and must effectively protect children from accessing content intended for adults.

Unfortunately, the way many elected officials have chosen to implement these laws is haphazard and dangerous. Here's the problem:

A number of states, including Virginia and Mississippi effective July 1, are requiring mandatory age verification of users, but they are not regulating the enforcement of these laws. So that means adult platforms can choose whether or not to comply. Responsible platforms will follow the law. Irresponsible platforms won't.

We already saw how this scenario plays out. When a similar law was enacted in Louisiana in January, Pornhub was one of the few sites to comply. Since then, our traffic in Louisiana dropped approximately 80 percent. These people did not stop looking for porn. They just migrated to other corners of the internet that don't ask users to verify age, that don't follow the law, that don't take user safety seriously, and that often don't even moderate content.

We have made the difficult decision to fully block our site in Virginia and Mississippi, as we have also recently done in Utah. We are sorry to let our loyal visitors in these states down but have opted to comply with the newly effective law in this way because it is ineffective and worse, will put both user privacy and children at risk.

The only solution that makes the internet safer, preserves user privacy and stands to prevent children from accessing adult content is performing age verification at the source: on the device. Many devices already offer free and easy-to-use parental control features that can prevent children from accessing adult content without risking the disclosure of sensitive user data.

The safety of our users is our number one concern. That is why we are taking this important step to protect the users that our elected officials have chosen to endanger.

Further information will be added to this report as it becomes available.

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