Is This Bill Going To Take Pornhub Away From Canadians?

Pornhub is contemplating restricting access for Canadians as a response to proposed age verification legislation. 

The Senate bill, spearheaded by Independent Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, mandates Canadians to confirm their age before accessing pornographic websites. The bill aims to shield minors from sexually explicit materials and counteract pornography addiction and harmful gender stereotypes. The bill suggests penalties ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 for non-compliance, without specifying the verification method. 

Solomon Friedman, vice president of compliance at Ethical Capital Partners, which owns Pornhub’s parent company, Aylo, expressed the company’s commitment to preventing minors’ access to their platform for both ethical and commercial reasons. In 2020, Pornhub received backlash over child sexual abuse materials, leading to a major cleanup of unverified content. 

“We want no children on our platform whatsoever,” Friedman said, just so it’s clear. 

The company, however, opposes the legislative approach, saying the responsibility for access control should be on device manufacturers, not the websites themselves. The legislation could require users to provide identifying information either through digital IDs or facial recognition technology, which raises privacy concerns.

“We will never, ever take the private identifying information of our users,” he said. 

If Canada passes this legislation, it wouldn’t be the first of its kind. Last year, Louisiana implemented Act 440, which required age verification via government ID to access any website that contains at least 33.3% pornographic or sexually explicit material. A few months later, Pornhub decided to block access in Utah after a similar law was passed. 

But these laws are not difficult to circumvent (three letters: V-P-N). Friedman says that they won’t protect children from pornography, it may just potentially push them into “even darker corners of the internet to sites that may not comply with the law.”

The bill will examined by a House of Commons committee after New Democrats, Bloc Québécois and Conservatives voted in favor.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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