Many of you may be familiar with the common pop-up message asking people to verify that they are 18 years of age or older before accessing a porn site. However, in Louisiana, people must begin providing legal proof that they are a legal adult before accessing adult websites.
Act 440 goes into effect in early 2023
The law, called Act 440, officially goes into effect on January 1, 2023. The law focuses on protecting people under the age of 18 from “commercial organizations that distribute material harmful to minors.” underage” (pornography).
To ensure that only adults can access such web material, Louisiana requires websites with “significant amounts” of sexually explicit material—more than 33.1%—to confirm the age of users.
A screen recording posted to Twitter shows an example of what users in Louisiana might see. The video shows the advertised individual creating an account on Allpasstrust to access PornHub, which will provide personal information for age verification purposes through LA Wallet.
Hello from Louisiana supervisory state. People in Louisiana must use a driver’s license to access pornhub. This is really wild. Under his eyes. https://t.co/uji6Jo3Tde pic.twitter.com/pVKEeVcCGw
– Public protection (@fodderyfodder) January 2, 2023
How do people react to the law?
At this point, we should add that—while the act is called a “privacy ticking time bomb” PCMag—sites are prohibited from storing user identification information.
“A commercial entity found to have knowingly withheld an individual’s identifying information after access has been granted to that individual will be liable to that individual for damages resulting from withholding of identifying information, including court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees as required by the court.”
However, the issue is at least controversial, as some feel it is a move that comes from 1984. People also pointed out how the law would impact vulnerable communities the most, while others felt as though Louisiana had bigger issues to deal with beyond pornography.
How this is smaller, less intrusive government.
– David Anderson (@daavetv) January 5, 2023
To me, the new Louisiana law is a big taboo, the government is not allowed to regulate the internet to this extent.
— Seiba (@Tsuki_Seiba) January 5, 2023
tl;dr “transgender sex workers, as usual, will be hit the hardest.” https://t.co/0OlbZdErwo
— 🌬Doctrix Snow WEEKLY BDAY🎂 (@MistressSnowPhD) January 3, 2023
Out of all the WRONG things going on in Louisiana right now like funding for education, rising cost of living, crime rate and legislators are worried about EDUCATION???? https://t.co/2rmtXJ8Kbk
– Chelsea, huh. (@charmdiddy) January 2, 2023
However, other users fully support the law, and some have even called on states like Texas to follow Louisiana’s lead.
@GregAbbott_TX Governor Abbott, I want Texas to do something similar. Louisiana Bill 440 was written by Representative Laurie Schlegel (R-Metairie), who argued that the law was necessary to protect minors. “Someone can sue on behalf of their child.”
– Patty Williams (@PEW_Patty) January 5, 2023
There’s no reason to oppose Louisiana’s porn law unless you’re an underage boy who’s gone mad because he can’t watch porn anymore
– scott (@scott93366297) January 5, 2023
I hate government and restrictions, BUT Louisiana’s new law on proving you’re over 18 before watching porn is awesome
– Jesus (@joegidensdick) January 5, 2023
Some tech-savvy users also spread the word about using virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the law.
changed my ip address to pic.twitter.com/ktYe5pOqIH
– wockstar (@babybottlewock) January 5, 2023
Currently, VPNs are a hot commodity in Louisiana.
— Queen of Sicily (@Yeoh23) January 5, 2023
it’s a weird spelling “Louisiana law requires a VPN to watch porn”. https://t.co/ZulqdfkcXR
– m (@overthinkingmfk) January 5, 2023
What do you think of this new Louisiana law and how would you feel if your state followed suit?