The Ongoing Battles to Ban PornHub

More states than ever before are considering implementing regulations on pornographic websites to protect minors.

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: A bill requiring age verification to enter porn websites was just signed into law in Texas, prompting PornHub — the largest pornographic site in the world — to block user access to their website. Additional states are likely to follow suit.

  • The details: Under Texas’s law, which was held up in court, companies would be fined $10,000 each day they do not comply and $250,000 each time the site exposes a minor to inappropriate content.

  • The goal: The law intends to prevent children from being exposed to pornography. Currently, the average age children are first exposed to porn is 12, and 40 percent first saw it at age 10 or younger.

  • The numbers: Eighty-three percent of American voters support a national law requiring age verification for sites that host pornographic content.

Context: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia all have passed similar laws, leading PornHub to block site access in those states. More than a dozen states — including Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia — will be considering age verification laws in the next year.

Privacy concerns: In practice, requiring proof of age to view an adult website could mean submitting a driver's license to the site, which PornHub argues is a privacy risk.

  • Why it matters: Sites such as PornHub consider pornographic content to be First Amendment-protected speech. However, many disagree that pornography is speech and, instead, believe such content needs greater regulation due to its harmful effects on young people and those who work in the industry.