Pornhub supports age verification, but owners don’t like how states have managed regulation to date
Pornhub booth at AVN Expo. Image via AP.

Aylo, the parent company for America's top porn site, won't say if it will cut off Florida access.

Pornhub, the largest U.S.-based distributor of online porn, supports age verification requirements. But officials behind the massive online platform say government often does a poor job at regulating web use.

The House on Tuesday took up legislation (HB 3) demanding better age verification by websites who publish material “harmful to minors.” On the floor, lawmakers noted that in other states like North Carolina and Montana, Pornhub responded to similar legislation by blocking access to their site for anyone logging on in those states.

Will that happen in the Sunshine State if Florida passes age verification requirements? In a corporate statement to Florida Politics, Aylo, the parent company for Pornhub, declined to speculate on a still hypothetical law. But it said any regulations need to be crafted with the user in mind.

“Aylo has publicly supported age verification of users for years, but we believe that any law to this effect must preserve user safety and privacy, and must effectively protect children from accessing content intended for adults,” a statement from Aylo reads.

There are more users among the general public, notably, than may be calling lawmakers expressing personal alarm. According to SemHub, which tracks traffic across the internet, Pornhub is the most popular porn site in the U.S. — and the sixth most popular website among all online services. The site in November saw more than 2.9 trillion visits in the U.S., more than Wikipedia, Instagram or X.

Notably, social media companies have also come under scrutiny this year about age verification, but not with the level of bipartisan zeal with which lawmakers bring to regulating porn.

“Unfortunately, the way many jurisdictions worldwide have chosen to implement age verification is ineffective, haphazard and dangerous. Any regulations that require hundreds of thousands of adult sites to collect significant amounts of highly sensitive personal information is putting user safety in jeopardy,” the Aylo statement continues.

“Moreover, as experience has demonstrated, unless properly enforced, users will simply access non-compliant sites or find other methods of evading these laws.”

That’s not speculation. Aylo’s statement pointed not at the state where it’s blocking access, but to one state where users can still freely log on — Louisiana.

That state passed a law that required websites to verify users’ age through a digital version of state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs. A judge in October upheld the law after porn companies sued.

Pornhub has complied with the law while other states shut down access. One might think that would give the site a larger slice of the market. But that hasn’t been the case.

“In Louisiana last January, Pornhub was one of the few sites to comply with the new law. Since then, our traffic in Louisiana dropped approximately 80 percent,” the Aylo statement reads.

“These people did not stop looking for porn. They just migrated to darker corners of the internet that don’t ask users to verify age, that don’t follow the law, that don’t take user safety seriously, and that often don’t even moderate content. In practice, the laws have just made the internet more dangerous for adults and children.”

Rep. Chase Tramont, a Port Orange Republican behind the Florida proposal, said on the floor he has tried to follow lessons from other states. One of those, he said, is to put requirements in place for companies to step up age verification but not put a government mechanism behind a specific measure.

“We’re not spelling it out word-for-word on how these companies need to do this,” Tramont said on the floor. “There are other states that are a little tougher.”

For its part, Aylo advocates taking steps at the point of access.

“The only solution that makes the internet safer, preserves user privacy and stands to prevent children from accessing adult content is performing age verification at the source: on the device,” the Aylo statement reads.

“The technology to accomplish this exists today. What is required is the political and social will to make it happen. We are eager to be part of this solution and are happy to collaborate with government, civil society and tech partners to arrive at an effective device-based age verification solution. In addition, many devices already offer free and easy-to-use parental control features that can prevent children from accessing adult content without risking the disclosure of sensitive user data.”

Aylo representatives haven’t said how they will respond to this law, but made clear they are watching.

“The safety of our users is our number one concern,” the statement closes. “We will always comply with the law, but we hope that governments around the world will implement laws that actually protect the safety and security of users.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 24, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    As there is no constitutional amendment protecting consumption of porn, registration will definitely lead to cumfiscation

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704