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Pornhub Strikes Back At Utah Lawmakers — By Giving Them Exactly What They Want

Hopefully the porn site will cut off access in more states so more children have a chance to grow up with their innocence.


This week, one of the largest online platforms for pornography, Pornhub, cut off access to Utahns in order to protest a new law that would require sites to check ID verification for user access. Even though other states such as Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi have instituted similar laws, this is the first time Pornhub decided to take the action of denying service to a whole state of people.

So, instead of seeing adult content, users in Utah will instead see a video of Pornhub “performer” Cherie DeVille explaining how requiring ID verification in the interest of protecting minors actually endangers kids by encouraging them to visit less reputable pornography websites. She asserts that “giving your ID card every time you want to visit … will put children and your privacy at risk.” Her statement then reasons that “without proper enforcement, underage users could be driven to other, less reputable sites that don’t have the same standards.”

The irony of Pornhub’s argument is almost too much to endure. Similar to the idea of safe abortions, “reputable pornography” is an oxymoron and makes no sense. Porn is exploitative, addictive, and immoral. Perhaps Ms. DeVille is saying Pornhub is an ethical employer that refrains from using underaged women and deepfakes in their content, but this is patently untrue — they are one of the biggest offenders. Otherwise, it’s safe to assume their smut is as smutty as any other porn peddler.

The greater irony, however, is Pornhub protesting the government blocking access to their site by blocking access to their site themselves. The best argument one can make against enforcing limits to porn access is that they’re ineffective and that there are ways around them. And yet, Pornhub handles this objection by doing the work for the legislators. It’s like one of the world’s largest drug cartels refusing to sell narcotics in the U.S. in an effort to protest drug laws.

The Libertarian Argument

Whatever might be said about the possibility of kids consuming back-alley pornography, it’s worthwhile to consider the libertarian arguments of Pornhub’s supporters. They will say that the government has no right to encroach on people’s freedom to consume pornography and that the best way to protect kids from watching it is by making the parents solely responsible for their children’s online activity. Furthermore, ID verification violates citizens’ right to privacy and subjects them to possible identity theft and related crimes.

This argument carries some weight with conservatives, particularly in Utah. While Utah is known for being the home of the wholesome and straitlaced Mormon community, it’s not quite as socially conservative as one might think. After all, the two U.S. senators from Utah, though Republicans, are the libertarian Mike Lee and the milquetoast Mitt Romney, and its GOP Gov. Spencer Cox is the kind of conservative “who’s not afraid to be ‘woke.’” If the argument that requiring ID to watch porn is too much is going to win over anyone, it actually makes sense that they would be in Utah.

Porn’s Many Harms

It would be a huge mistake if Utah’s state legislators or its governor caved to this ridiculous kind of blackmail from Pornhub. Online pornography is many things, but it’s certainly not an inalienable right that a government must protect at all costs. As with cigarettes or alcohol, it’s a harmful and addictive habit that merits strict limitations, particularly for youth, whose minds and bodies are still developing.

More importantly, pornography wreaks havoc on the whole community. For young people, it’s essentially a form of grooming that sexualizes them early on and discourages healthy relationships. Kids addicted to porn are more likely to be the victims of sexual exploitation or the perpetrators of it, and they are more likely to explore alternative sexual lifestyles, particularly transgenderism. Not surprisingly, a population afflicted by widespread porn addiction (like most of the developed world) strongly correlates with far fewer adults marrying and having children.

This is why even “progressive” countries in Western Europe, such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have taken steps to limit access to pornography. Far from being prudes, the leaders of these countries have come to associate their dangerously low birth rates and loneliness epidemics with the proliferation of free online pornography. It’s simply not natural for men and women to be so disinterested in one another to the point that the very future of their community’s existence is in serious jeopardy.

At this point, the time for arguing that porn is a harmless vice has come and gone. It is abundantly clear that no good comes from allowing it, and there’s nothing beneficial or “safe” about it. It was, is, and always will be a source of corruption, emptying people of desire for romantic love and replacing it with shame, perversion, and dependency.

Assuming the Republicans in Utah hold strong, Pornhub’s stunt of blocking access to Utahns should come to nothing. The site’s owners may come to terms with the fact that pornography is no longer welcome in civilized societies and will keep to the margins where they belong. Or, even better, they will keep up their protest and do the same for other states, so that more children have a chance to grow up with their innocence and mental health intact.

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