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Pornhub Blocks Access in Texas Following Age Verification Law

'In Texas, companies cannot get away with showing porn to children,' said AG Ken Paxton. 'If they don’t want to comply, good riddance’

Pornhub Blocks Access in Texas Following Age Verification Law

The world’s biggest pornography website has blocked anyone in Texas from viewing its website.

The move comes one week after a Texas court ruled that the state’s age verification requirement was lawful. 

Pornhub sent a message to users in Texas stating that it was not required by law to verify their ages before allowing them to access the platform.

“Not only does that impinge on the rights of adults to access protected speech, it fails strict scrutiny by employing the least effective yet also most restrictive means of accomplishing Texas’s state purpose of allegedly protecting minors,” the company wrote. 

“Until the real solution is offered, we have made the difficult decision to completely disable access to our website in Texas,” concluded Pornhub.

The age-verification law, House Bill 1181, was passed by the Texas legislature in June of 2023. Every day that pornographic or sexually explicit content is available without age verification, the platform could be fined up to $10,000. Violating the law and allowing minors to access such content is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000. Companies can also be fined $10,000 for retaining identifying information. 

The law was challenged and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction in August before reversing course and issuing a temporary stay in November.

PornHub blocked access to its site in Utah after a similar bill was enacted. Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana all have age-verification restrictions in place for pornography websites to protect minors from exposure.

“While safety and compliance are at the forefront of our mission, giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the solution for protecting our users, and in fact, will put children and your privacy at risk,” said Vice President of Brand and Community at Aylo, Pornhub’s parent company, Alex Kekesi to Houston News. “We will always comply with the law, but we hope that governments around the world will implement laws that actually protect the safety and security of users.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stood by the law and stressed the need to prioritize children’s online safety.

Sites like PornHub are on the run because Texas has a law that aims to prevent them from showing harmful, obscene material to children,” said Paxton in a March 14 post on X. “We recently secured a major victory against PornHub and other sites that sought to block this law from taking effect.”

“In Texas, companies cannot get away with showing porn to children. If they don’t want to comply, good riddance,” he added.

According to the American College of Pediatricians, “children suffer many negative effects due to modern society’s exposure to and acceptance of pornography.” This includes “mental disturbance and unrest for the young school age child, including acting out and violent behavior.” 

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