In an effort to protect minors from accessing online pornography, Louisiana lawmakers have enacted a new law requiring age verification on adult websites.
Act No. 440, which went into effect on Jan. 1, will now require residents of the Bayou State to provide proof of their age with a government-issued ID or digital ID card before accessing online pornographic websites.
The act states that pornography is a public health crisis for younger viewers, citing that it “contributes to the hyper sexualization of teens and prepubescent children and may lead to low self-esteem, body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages and increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior.”
Pornographic sites will have to determine whether a viewer is 18 or over or be at risk of possible lawsuits by the State.
Websites with content containing at least 33.3% pornographic material must now implement age verification.
The law does not mention how that percentage is calculated.
Content such as “pubic hair, anus, vulva, genitals, or nipple of the female breast” are just some of the basic materials that are considered harmful to minors, the act states.
Pornhub, one of the internet’s largest online pornography sites, has already enacted an identity verification page before entering its site in Louisiana, Vice reported.
“Louisiana law now requires us to put in place a process for verifying the age of users who connect to our site from Louisiana,” a prompt reads on Pornhub’s verification page.
Pornhub’s verification page then requires users to verify their age via an app containing a digital copy of their driver’s licenses.
Hello from the surveillance state of Louisiana. People in Louisiana have to use their drivers license to go to pornhub. This is truly wild. Under his eye. https://t.co/uji6Jo3Tde pic.twitter.com/pVKEeVcCGw
— Public Defendering (@fodderyfodder) January 2, 2023
Louisiana Rep. Laurie Schlegel boasted on Twitter last week about the importance of the law passing, writing, “This bill is about protecting children not limiting adults.”
“This law had bipartisan support and passed almost unanimously in both the House & Senate with close to 50 co-authors, including Democrats and Republicans. It was not a Republican win but a win for children in Louisiana.”
Not everyone is a fan of the new act requiring users to provide personal information to access online pornography.
“People in Louisiana have to use their drivers license to go to pornhub. This is truly wild. Under his eye,” one Twitter user tweeted in response.
“So Louisiana just implemented a law where you have to use ID verification to use porn sites lol. I got outta that fascist state just in time,” another user tweeted.
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