age verification

Chaturbate Will Pay Texas $675,000 for Violating New Porn Age Verification Law

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the popular porn webcam site in March.
Chaturbate Will Pay Texas $675,000 for Violating New Porn Age Verification Law
Unsplash / Collage via 404 Media

Chaturbate will pay Texas $675,000 as part of a settlement over its violation of the state’s new age verification law, according to an order filed Friday. 

Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the company that owns webcam site Chaturbate, Multi Media, on March 19 for violating HB 1181, a law signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June which requires porn sites to verify the ages of users through a driver’s license or passport. If porn sites don’t force consenting adults to hand over a government-issued ID in order to watch other consenting adults have sex on camera, they face heavy fines.

The lawsuit—which also sued porn tube site xHamster—asked the court to force Chaturbate to pay $1.78 million plus $10,000 per every day it didn’t have age verification implemented. An order released on Friday by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office states that Texas sued on March 19, and Chaturbate had age verification in place by March 21. 

Now, Chaturbate has to pay this fine and run age verification for all users in Texas; it’s using a private identity verification platform called Incode to verify ages. The process is similar to how it works in Utah for xHamster users: navigating to to a separate platform and scanning your ID before being allowed to access porn.

Chaturbate's site while processing ID

xHamster, which the state of Texas also sued, has since blocked access to its site from anyone visiting from a Texas IP address. In place of its site, visitors in Texas are met with a message that says:

“Dear visitor, Please be informed that access to the xHamster platform has been temporarily restricted for all our visitors located within the state of Texas. This temporary restriction has been decided due to many uncertainties surrounding the Texas House Bill No. 1181. Rest assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and will make all reasonable efforts to restore access to the xHamster platform. Thank you for your understanding and apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.”

The network of sites owned by Aylo, including Pornhub, Brazzer, YouPorn and several more, blocked access in Texas on March 14

“It’s a very positive development that this company has decided to follow the law and begin reasonable age verification measures designed to protect Texas children from harmful material,” Paxton said in a press release. “Other pornography companies should follow this example and willingly choose to do the right thing and abide by the law.”

Age verification laws, and the chilling effects they have on access to law-abiding adult platforms, aren’t just ineffective at keeping minors away from porn, but will drive everyone, including kids, to abusive, dangerous, under-moderated sites that pirate content, instead.