Pornhub Shuts Down Access In Montana Days Before Age Verification Law Takes Effect
This photograph taken on May 24, 2022 in Toulouse shows screens displaying a minor child sign and the logo of the pornographic site Pornhub. - The judicial examination of Arcom request against porn sites has been postponed to one month, on May 24, 2022. Arcom media regulator requests five pornographic sites to be blocked as they are not preventing the exposure of minors to their content, and French telecom operators to block access to the pornographic sites. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)
Credit: Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images.

Pornography giant Pornhub will be cutting off access to users in Montana ahead of the implementation of a state law that requires age verification for access to sites with explicit content. 

The law, which takes effect on January 1, is intended to keep children from being exposed to pornography by mandating sites with explicit sites verify the age of their visitors. Other states, like Utah and Virginia, have passed similar legislation, leading Pornhub to block access in those states over the law. 

“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 most effective solution for protecting our users, and in fact, will put children and your privacy at risk,” Pornhub said in a statement, according to Scripps News Helena. 

The law, SB 544, says a commercial entity that “knowingly and intentionally publishes or distributes material harmful to minors on the internet from a website that contains a substantial portion of the material must be held liable if the entity fails to perform reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of individuals attempting to access the material.”

The text notes that “pornography is creating a public health crisis and having a corroding influence on minors” and that “pornography may also impact brain development and functioning, contribute to emotional and medical illnesses, shape deviant sexual arousal, and lead to difficulty in forming or maintaining positive, intimate relationships, as well as promoting problematic or harmful sexual behaviors and addiction.”

It passed 84-13 in the state House and 47-3 in the state Senate before being signed by Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT) in May. 


Other state lawmakers, like Republicans in Tennessee, are looking to bring forth similar legislation in the coming year. Earlier this month, Rep. Patsy Hazlewood introduced the “Protect Tennessee Minors Act,” which would require online pornography distributors to put in place age verification measures to ensure that children are unable to access the explicit content.

Pornhub has been the target of a series of undercover investigations by Sound Investigations, which has recorded leadership at the company discussing strategies and the impacts of porn. In one recently released undercover video, a manager for the parent company of Pornhub admitted that pornography is unhealthy, addictive, and destructive.

“I definitely think porn addiction is definitely a thing, that’s for sure,” Mike Farley, a Senior Product Manager at Aylo said in the footage. “I don’t think it’s a positive thing in general.”

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