EU's Digital Services Act Targets Major Porn Sites For Stricter Regulation

EU's DSA to enforce stricter regulation on major porn sites like Xvideos, Pornhub, and Stripchat for enhanced online safety.

What does the EU's Digital Services Act mean for online porn sites?

In a significant regulatory move, the European Union is set to impose new measures on some of the world's largest pornography websites. This action is part of the enforcement of the Digital Services Act (DSA), aiming to enhance online safety and content moderation.

New EU Regulations On Online Adult Content

The EU's decision to classify Xvideos, Pornhub, and Stripchat as "very large online platforms" under the Digital Services Act brings these sites under stricter regulatory control. This classification, typically applied to large tech companies with over 45 million users, subjects these adult platforms to enhanced age verification systems and content moderation responsibilities. These changes, expected to be officially announced soon, align with the EU's broader strategy to police online content more effectively.

Pornhub logo
One of the best-known logos of the Internet

Impact And Compliance Challenges

These three adult websites are among the most visited globally, with Xvideos alone attracting 160 million monthly visitors from the EU. The new regulations require these sites to implement stringent measures to prevent access by underage users and remove illegal content, including non-consensual videos. Failure to comply with these rules could result in fines up to 6% of the global turnover for the companies involved. Pornhub, based in Canada, has contested the applicability of the DSA to its operations, claiming a lower user count in the EU (believed to be around 33 million).

Broader Implications Of the DSA

The Digital Services Act marks a comprehensive overhaul of the EU's digital landscape, setting new standards for combating hate speech, disinformation, and illegal online activities. The EU has already identified 19 companies for special obligations under this law. The Act has also led to official investigations into other platforms for their content moderation practices.

The Digital Services Act package
The Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act aim to create a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected and to establish a level playing field for businesses.

Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner overseeing the DSA's implementation, has emphasized the importance of creating a safer online environment for children. This move reflects a growing global challenge in regulating user-generated sites, which have been criticized for hosting harmful and illegal material. The regulatory difficulties are particularly acute for adult content platforms, often owned by secretive entities and embroiled in controversies, such as the recent lawsuit against Pornhub and its parent company, now known as Aylo.

Efforts Beyond the EU

European countries like France and Germany have also initiated measures to enforce age verification on adult websites. The EU's actions signify a significant step in global efforts to regulate online content, particularly in areas traditionally difficult to monitor due to privacy and freedom of expression concerns.


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