EU Regulation Tightens on Major Porn Sites Under New Digital Services Act

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Published On: December 21, 2023Tags:

EU Regulation Tightens on Major Porn Sites Under New Digital Services Act

According to the Financial Times, from April 2024, the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA) will enforce regulations on Xvideos, Pornhub and Stripchat, three of the world’s largest porn sites. They will be required to implement stricter age verification and comply with obligations to remove illegal content. This is in line with EU efforts to fight misinformation and illegal content online and will affect platforms with over 45 million active users.

New restrictions and their impact on large porn sites

The Digital Services Act, which went into effect in the EU in August, targets “very large online platforms” (VLOPs) such as Facebook and TikTok, and now includes Xvideos, Pornhub and Stripchat. These sites, which are among the most visited in the world, face new regulatory requirements, including strict age verification of users and removal of illegal content such as non-consensual videos. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to 6% of global revenues.

List of user challenges:

  • Increased age verification: Users may face more stringent age verification processes.

  • Accessibility issues: Increased regulations may limit the accessibility of the site.

  • Privacy concerns: Increased verification may raise privacy concerns.

  • Content restrictions: Some legal content may become unavailable due to overregulation.

  • User experience disruptions: Changes in site operations could result in a less user-friendly experience.

Content ownership and auditing requirements

Sites are required to conduct external compliance audits and take action against illegal content. Xvideos, with a monthly EU audience of 160 million, is facing significant changes. Pornhub, which claims only 33 million EU users, is challenging the DSA threshold. Meanwhile, the DSA aims to curb online misinformation and illegal content, affecting major platforms such as AliExpress, Amazon Store and Google Play. The EU Commission’s ongoing investigations into platforms such as social network X (formerly Twitter) highlight the growing scrutiny under the DSA.

The implementation of DSA could lead to increased VPN service revenues as users seek ways to circumvent restrictions. This regulatory shift marks a significant moment in the digital landscape, potentially reshaping user access and platform operations across the EU.

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