Pornhub, Pornhub, XHamster, XNXX and XVideos do not comply with French rules contrived from a law against domestic violence.
The French internet censor Arcom (previously CSA) took legal action on March 8 and requested the blocking of 5 pornographic
sites: Pornhub, Pornhub, XHamster, Xnxx and Xvideos. The censor sent an injunction to the platforms and left 15 days to comply with the law. The websites did not comply. Since the vote on the law against domestic violence in 2020, an amendment
specifies that sites can no longer be satisfied with asking Internet users to declare that they are of legal age by clicking on a simple box.
Depending on the judge's decision, ISPs will be forced or not to block access to the incriminated sites. In
case of blocking, visitors to the pornographic site will be redirected to a dedicated Arcom page. Distributors of pornographic content are therefore required, in theory, to check the age of their visitors. But how? There is currently no legally
defined method to achieve this. The censor itself has never given guidelines to the platforms.
In fact data protection authorities have rather put a spanner in the works that has left the industry scratching its head. In an opinion issued on June 3,
2021, the National Commission for Computing and Freedoms (Cnil) decreed that a verification system which collects information on the identity of Internet users would, in this context, be illegal and risky. Such data collection would indeed present
significant risks for the persons concerned since their sexual orientation -- real or supposed -- could be deduced from the content viewed and directly linked to their identity. Faced with these legal contradictions, Senator Marie Mercier, rapporteur
for the amendment, has simply banged the table harder:
I don't want to know how they are doing, but they have to find a solution . The law is the law.
Porn tube websites have explained their reluctance
to implement. The option to use third-party verifiers may prove very expensive for a business model based on a high number of users making up for low advertising income per users. An estimate denied by the Tukif site, says that the cost of a verification
service goes from 0.0522c to 0.222c per user, a cost to be multiplied by their 650,0000 unique daily visitors.
It is presumed that many porn users will be very reluctant to hand over dangerous ID proof to porn websites so blocking the entry of
some audiences, while discouraging others will lead to collapsing income.
The websites also note that as the regulator hasn't attempted to block all porn tube sites then users will be more likely to swap to unrestricted websites rather than submit
to ID verification on those website mandated to do so.