Pornhub blocks Utah users in response to state’s new age verification laws

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News 

Pornhub blocked all users in the state of Utah on Monday in response to a new state law that requires users to upload an ID to verify their age.

Utah residents who visit the site will be met with a video message by adult-film actress Cherie Deville. 

“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,” Deville says. “Until a real solution is offered, we have made the difficult decision to completely disable access to our website in Utah.”

She claims Pornhub already has in place “robust Trust and Safety measures” to protect children. Deville encourages Utah residents to contact their state representatives to “demand device-based verification solutions.” 

Utah’s Online Pornography Viewing Age Requirements went into effect on Tuesday after Republican Governor Spencer Cox signed the legislation in March. 

Under the law, sexually explicit websites will be held liable if they fail to “perform reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of an individual attempting to access the material.”

In 2016, then-Governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution that declared porn to be a “public health crisis.”

“Pornography perpetuates a sexually toxic environment,” the resolution says. “Efforts to prevent pornography exposure and addiction, to educate individuals and families concerning its harms, and to develop recovery programs must be addressed systemically in ways that hold broader influences accountable.”

Louisiana enacted a similar ID requirement this year, resulting in an 80% drop off in Pornhub users in the state. Unlike Utah, Pornhub is still available in Louisiana because of the state’s digital ID system, which Utah does not have. 

A number of major companies have cut ties with Pornhub within the past year, including Meta/ Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Visa, Mastercard, and more following allegations of child abuse and sex trafficking.