Pornhub enforces age verification laws in Montana and North Carolina by blocking access to its platform

In the US, Montana and North Carolina lead the list of states with the highest number of searches for “VPN” in response to new age verification laws going into effect on January 1. Adult websites are now requiring a copy of visitors’ government IDs or have blocked access altogether. For example, Pornhub has chosen to block people in both states from accessing its website instead of asking for verification. Other websites owned by its parent company Aylo (formerly MindGeek), including Brazzers, Redtube, and YouPorn, are also no longer accessible in these states.

Upon attempting to access an Aylo website, individuals in Montana and North Carolina will see a video message from performer Cherie DeVille, explaining the potential risks of giving a copy of their ID to adult platforms. The video message is the same one users from other states with similar age verification laws see when they visit Pornhub. Similar laws have been implemented in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas. In North Carolina, the law was approved as part of legislation that requires high school students to take computer science classes.

Unlike Aylo-owned websites, other adult websites are using third-party providers to authenticate users’ ages instead of blocking whole regions. For example, Pornhub uses Louisiana’s digital driver’s license wallet app to verify local users’ identities, but not all states have ID apps that work with its system. The website reported an 80 percent drop in traffic in Louisiana when the state started enforcing its age verification law. This development comes as another potential blow to Aylo after it was fined $1.8 million in December for hosting and profiting from pornographic content featuring sex trafficking victims.