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Breaking News: State of Utah Bans Their Residents From Accessing Pornhub & Other Adult Websites

  • Internet users in Utah can no longer access some of the internet’s largest adult websites, including Pornhub, after lawmakers passed legislation creating requirements for such sites to prevent viewers below 18 from entering.

  • In response to the bill, Pornhub has disabled all Utah users from accessing the site as of May 2nd, 2023. The ban from the Utah legislature and Gov. Spencer Cox (R) will take effect Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023.

  • Residents attempting to enter the site today will be met with a video message from Cherie DeVille, an adult creator and member of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, explaining the organization’s stance on the recent legislation passed.

  • 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 in the video.

  • The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Todd Weiler and state Rep. Susan Pulsipher, passed quite easily as Utah lawmakers have tried to tackle the state’s pornography consumption rates over the years.

  • This bill creates obligations and liabilities for a commercial entity that provides pornography or other materials harmful to minors,” the bill states.

A Brief Recent History Lesson of U.S. Politics & Pornography:

  • In 2016, former GOP Gov. Gary Herbert declared pornography a public health crisis in the state, signing a nonbinding resolution to pour resources into addressing the crisis of adult online content.

  • Senate Bill 287 passed unanimously in the House on March 2 and closely resembles a Louisiana law that went into effect at the start of this year (January 1, 2023).

  • Louisiana’s Act 440 requires adult websites to monitor their visitors using “reasonable age verification” and requires people publishing pornographic content to be age verified for their content to determine if users are 18 or older. Utah’s current system, unlike Louisiana, does not allow for online ID verification.

  • The Utah bill requires that those providing pornography must verify the age of the people accessing the material. This can be done through some form of a digital information card described as the following: an independent third-party age verification service that compares user information from databases that are used by government agencies or businesses to verify age or verification through public or private transnational data, such as information from a mortgage, employment, or education.

Spencer Cox
FILE – Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol March 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer/AP
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