Pornhub is requiring viewers in Louisiana to verify their age with a government ID as part of a new state law

  • Pornhub is making users in Louisiana verify their age with a form of government ID, Vice reported.
  • The move is part of the state’s new law requiring porn sites to vet minors with age-verifying tech.
  • But some experts say the law can increase surveillance and potentially hurt certain communities.

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Pornhub viewers in Louisiana must now verify their age using a government ID in order to access content, Vice reported.

Before users can browse through the porn site, they must now prove their age through the LA Wallet App, a digital version of their Louisiana drivers’ license, Vice confirmed through a virtual private network.

Pornhub didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment before publication. 

The move is part of a new law that went into effect in Louisiana at the start of 2023 which requires porn sites to use age-verification technology to crack down on “material harmful to minors on the internet.” The law considers minors as anyone under the age of 18. 

The law also applies to digital publishers where 33.3% of their content is considered sexually explicit. Publishers who don’t abide by the law can be hit with fines.

Similar bills that require age checks have also been enacted in Australia and the UK.

Louisiana’s law was co-authored by Republican representative Laurie Schlegel, who has reportedly expressed support for a bill that bans transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports and said that she is a certified sex addiction therapist.

“Online pornography is extreme and graphic and only one click away from our children,” Schlegel tweeted in reference to the new law.”And if pornography companies refuse to be responsible, then we must hold them accountable.” 

But some experts say that the age-verification requirement can cause data privacy concerns. Olivia Snow, a sex worker, academic, and research fellow at UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, told TechCrunch that age verification is a surveillance tactic that stems from a “sex panic” which may hurt sex workers and LGBTQ folks. 

“As homophobia and transphobia — especially homophobia in the context of porn — is rising, I could totally see the state zeroing in on people consuming gay porn, or lesbian porn, and either surveilling them further or criminalizing that,” Snow told TechCrunch.

So far, Louisiana users can reportedly still access porn sites XVideos and XHamster without age verification, according to Vice, though OnlyFans is stuck on a loading page. 

XVideos, XHamster, and OnlyFans did not respond to Insider’s request for comment before publication. 

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