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Pornhub Pulls Out from Utah Market in Response to ID-Requirement Law
Pornhub Pulls Out from Utah Market in Response to ID-Requirement Law

Ah, it’s time for another round of politicians using “protecting the children” as an excuse to regulate people’s access to adult content! Utah has now gone completely cold turkey on one of the most popular adult websites thanks to a new social media law that requires users to jump through some serious age verification hoops before they can get their hands on some legal smut.

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Utahns will need to flick their beans to a different porn site. Photo by Dainis Graveris on

Utah Governor Spencer Cox is patting himself on the back, claiming that the law will create a “safer internet” by ensuring that only adults can access adult content. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that such laws have been proven ineffective in the past, not to mention the privacy concerns raised by requiring government-issued identification to access legal content in the privacy of your own home.

Requiring users to provide government-issued identification to verify their age raises some serious red flags, as it can lead to privacy violations and potential difficulties for some adults in accessing legal content. But hey, as long as the politicians can claim that they’re keeping the kiddos safe, who cares about adults who want to flick their beans to porn in the privacy of their own homes, right?


SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Recent Utah legislation spearheaded by Gov. Spencer Cox had an almost immediate affect on Utahns who visit the popular adult-content website,

Just six weeks after two bills were signed into law, anyone inside Utah’s borders trying to view content on the adult-video-aggregate website PornHub found they had been locked out. The reason, according to a statement from the site, was the legislation Cox signed in March, targeting social media networks and their underage users.

Cox’s crusade to battle social media’s negative effects on children began with an announcement that Utah was suing social media companies and culminated with the signing of two bills. SB 152 requires parental permission before a minor is allowed to join a social media site and prohibits anyone younger than 18 from accessing social media after 10:30 p.m. and before 6:30 a.m. It places the onus squarely on social media companies to verify those permissions and enforce the virtual curfew.

The second bill, HB 311, prohibits websites from designing features or integrating algorhythms that create or exacerbate addictive behaviors in children. It also gives the senate bill sharper teeth by making it easier to sue internet companies over harm to children.

Internet companies seeking to verify permissions and allow users to remain active after dark could require legal documentation to prove that users are as old as they say they are. It could even require social media companies and other websites to design Utah-specific features into their apps and sites in order to comply with the state’s new rules.

Similar circumstances played out in 2016, when the state declared pornography to be a public health crisis.

Resulting legislation required adult websites to include disclaimers on the potential harms of pornography, which users within the Beehive State boundaries have to acknowledge before being allowed access.

“The very least we can do as a society is to ask companies to verify the age of those viewing the pornography they produce and distribute,” Cox said in a statement to 2News. “This unanimous, bipartisan legislation provides multiple ways to satisfy that requirement.”, where Utah’s public health crisis warning is displayed each time an individual visits the site, said verifying age doesn’t – and shouldn’t – have to require users to hand over even more of their personal information.

The 2023 law adding those new verification responsibilities to social media outlets was apparently a step too far for the site.

The company shut off access to to for all Utahns on May 1, even those whose ages had been verified when they purchased subscriptions. PornHub’s social media account was directing paying customers in Utah to its billing department for information on refunds as users found some out-of-the-ordinary content on the site Monday.

Anyone in Utah attempting to access is now redirected to a statement, read by a fully-clothed adult film actor in a technically safe-for-work Vimeo video.

In it, the actor reads a statement urging users to contact lawmakers about the new laws, saying that providing more personal information online doesn’t make the internet safer – it only puts that information at risk and drives users to websites with fewer safety measures.

The website stated identifying a user’s age using that person’s device would be safer and more accurate, and it wouldn’t require people to turn over their driver’s licenses each time they logged on to an adult site.

PornHub’s ultimate message boiled down to a basic point: Unless Utah makes an adjustment to its law, viewers would have to find their adult content elsewhere.

“In Utah, we care about our kids,” Cox said in his statement to 2News. “The vast majority of Utahns would agree that companies should be held responsible for knowingly distributing pornography to minors.”

The governor added that he and the porn website were in total agreement on one point.

“I fully support PornHub’s decision to remove their content in Utah,” his statement concluded.

When accessing Pornhub from an IP address located in Utah, users are currently presented with the following statement:

Via Pornhub (18+)

Dear user,

As you may know, your elected officials in Utah are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website. 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.

In addition, mandating age verification without proper enforcement gives platforms the opportunity to choose whether or not to comply. As we’ve seen in other states, this just drives traffic to sites with far fewer safety measures in place. Very few sites are able to compare to the robust Trust and Safety measures we currently have in place. To protect children and user privacy, any legislation must be enforced against all platforms offering adult content.

The safety of our users is one of our biggest concerns. We believe that the best and most effective solution for protecting children and adults alike is to identify users by their device and allow access to age-restricted materials and websites based on that identification. Until a real solution is offered, we have made the difficult decision to completely disable access to our website in Utah.

Please contact your representatives before it is too late and demand device-based verification solutions that make the internet safer while also respecting your privacy.

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