UTAH

PornHub blocks users in Utah, cites state’s age verification law

May 1, 2023, 4:46 PM | Updated: May 4, 2023, 10:35 am

PornHub has blocked access to users from Utah that wish to view their content.  In a video message...

A spokeswoman for PornHub, an adult website, explains why Utahns trying to access the website are not able to do so. Due to Utah's new social media laws, there is concern that websites such as Facebook and Instagram could go black in Utah. (Screenshot, PornHub)

(Screenshot, PornHub)

SALT LAKE CITY — PornHub has blocked access to users from Utah that wish to view their content. 

In a video message displayed on the site, a spokeswoman for PornHub said that legislative action taken during the 2023 Utah Legislative Session has prompted the company to block access to Utahns.

“Giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users,” the spokeswoman said.

 

According to the bill’s description,  S.B. 287 Online Pornography Viewing Age Requirements imposes “obligations and liabilities for a commercial entity that provides pornography or other materials harmful to minors.”

Specifically, the bill requires a porn site to verify that a user in Utah is at least 18 years old. It also “imposes liability for publishers and distributors of material harmful to minors” who don’t comply with the age verification requirement.

S.B. 287 was signed into law by Gov. Cox on March 14, 2023. It take affect May 3, 2023.

As the law is written now, a website like PornHub that does not verify a user’s age “shall be liable for damages resulting from a minor’s accessing the material including court costs and reasonable attorney fees as ordered by the court.”

According to the spokeswoman, requiring ID isn’t an effective way to protect users. Instead, she said such a requirement puts children and privacy at risk. Specifically, according to PornHub, requiring identification will “drive traffic to sites with fewer safety measures.”

PornHub said that a better solution is to identify users by their device.

Lindsay Aerts contributed to this story.

Other reading: Utah Gov. signs 278 bills into law, more on the way

 

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PornHub blocks users in Utah, cites state’s age verification law