Pornhub blocked in Virginia and Mississippi over age verification

pornhub virginia block

Pornhub has taken the decision to block access to its site for people in Virginia and Mississippi, after blocking two other states earlier in 2023, due to the implementation of new state-wide age verification laws for accessing online porn.

Age verification laws have been introduced in certain US states, in attempts to make porn more difficult for minors to access. With these states now requiring porn sites to verify that their users are aged 18 or over, on June 30 Pornhub said it had “fully blocked” access in Virginia and Mississippi, following a Utah block in May and Louisiana’s in January.

Announcing the new blocks on Twitter, Pornhub said the new age verification rules were “haphazard and dangerous” because they would result in people seeking out online porn that was even less regulated than Pornhub’s.

Speaking of the aftermath of the Louisiana block, Pornhub said: “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.”

The company said of the new Virginia and Mississippi blocks that “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.”

As one of the biggest porn sites in the world, Pornhub has been a large focus of these new laws, having been accused of allegedly hosting illegal and exploitative content including child sexual abuse in the past.

The site said: “Responsible platforms will follow the law. Irresponsible platforms won’t.”

It’s easy to access Pornhub in regions where it is officially blocked, by simply using a virtual proxy network (VPN) service that ‘tricks’ your device into acting like it’s in a different location. VPNs are available cheaply or for free.

Following the Utah Pornhub block, online searches for VPNs in the state reportedly spiked.

Pornhub said that age verification should not be the responsibility of porn sites. The company said that “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.”

It added: “Many devices 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.”

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Jamie F
Jamie F

Jamie is a freelance writer, contributing to outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, CNN and Vice, among others. He is also the creative force behind the Audible podcast Beast Master.

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