PornHub now also blocks Texas over age verification laws


PornHub has now added Texas to its blocklist, preventing users in the state from accessing its site in protest of age verification laws.

Texas’ age verification bill HB 1181, passed last year, went back into effect last week after the State won an appeal against an injunction that said it violated the First Amendment.

The bill requires adult sites showing sexual material to perform age verification to confirm a visitor from Texas is 18 years old. The bill also required pornography sites to display a health notice to Texas users, stating the following:

“TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WARNING: Pornography is potentially biologically addictive, is proven to harm human brain development, desensitizes brain reward circuits, increases conditioned responses, and weakens brain function,” reads the HB 1811 bill.

In February, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Aylo Global Entertainment, the owner of PornHub, for not complying with the laws, seeking a $1.6 million penalty and $10,000 per day after that until the site performs the required age verification.

Last week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to go into effect. However, they halted the requirement to display mental health notices on adult sites.

In response, Aylo has now now blocked access to its sites, including Pornhub, YouPorn, Brazzers,, and Nutaku, from visitors in Texas, displaying a message stating that the new age verification laws are ineffective and dangerous.

“As you may know, your elected officials in Texas are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website,” states a message on PornHub to Texas visitors.

“Not only does this impinge on the rights of adults to access protected speech, it fails strict scrutiny by employing the least effective and yet also most restrictive means of accomplishing Texas’s stated purpose of allegedly protecting minors.”

“Unfortunately, the Texas law for age verification is ineffective, haphazard, and dangerous. Not only will it not actually protect children, but it will also inevitably reduce content creators’ ability to post and distribute legal adult content and directly impact their ability to share the artistic messages they want to convey with it,” continued PornHub’s statement.

Message shown on PornHub to Texas visitors
Message shown on PornHub to Texas visitors
Source: BleepingComputer

PornHub instead calls on states to require device-based age verification through a device’s operating system, such as iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.

The adult content company says that requiring users to share their information with multiple age verification companies only puts visitors’ data at increased risk of their sensitive information being leaked in data breaches.

Instead, PornHub says that operating system developers should be responsible for conducting age verification and passing that information to sites that require it.

“However, the best and most effective solution for protecting minors and adults alike is to identify users at the source: by their device, or account on the device, and allow access to age-restricted materials and websites based on that identification,” reads a blog post about age verification laws.

“This means users would only get verified once, through their operating system, not on each age-restricted site. This dramatically reduces privacy risks and creates a very simple process for regulators to enforce.”

While centralizing age verification to a select few companies would reduce the risk to consumers, it would increase the risk for OS developers who now have a large bucket of sensitive information to protect.

Furthermore, these laws have been shown to push people to purchase VPNs to bypass geographic restrictions by adult sites. 

However, according to a report by RStreet, some state laws require adult sites to prevent the bypassing of geo restrictions, potentially forcing them to block all VPN traffic.

PornHub has previously blocked access to its site over age verification laws to visitors in Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Montana, and Utah.

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