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How Age Verification Laws are Shaping the Adult Industry

Updated: Mar 20

Blog Post Written By: Melrose Michaels

 

As censorship seems to tighten its grip around adult content creators on the internet, the profound implications on individual rights, privacy, and freedom of expression are becoming deeply worrying. To unpack the complexities of this issue, we recently had a conversation with Mike Stabile from the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), who discussed the troubling consequences of recent legislative proposals in the adult content industry. These conversations are vital as they allow content creators to understand these often complex issues from a clearer perspective.



Understanding Age Verification Laws

Mike discussed the recent push to implement age verification laws on adult content websites. While the underlying goal of protecting minors is universally supported, the methodology proposed by these new laws raises significant concerns. Mike emphasized the importance of understanding that the adult industry, above all, doesn't want minors to access adult content.


What these laws propose is sensible on the surface: verify the age of every visitor to prevent minors from accessing explicit content. However, in practice, this is both invasive and complex. Compliance would demand the employment of sophisticated facial recognition technology or background checks that are usually reserved for the creators themselves.


Threat to Privacy & Increase in Illegal Content

These laws also pose a significant threat to online privacy. Every visitor who wants to access a website having more than 33% adult content would have to upload their ID and face scan. This poses a significant security risk, as there's always the potential for data leaks and identity theft.


Moreover, the heavy-handedness and invasiveness of these measures might drive viewers away from lawful, compliant adult content providers and towards pirated content and illegal sites. As a result, these proposed laws could inadvertently boost the very content they seek to suppress, a fact often ignored during legislative discussions.


Concerns About the Future

Mike clarified that these age verification laws are just the first step in a potentially much larger campaign against adult content online. Recent bills introduced in various states across the U.S. explicitly state the goal of banning adult content outright. This pattern suggests a growing trend of "sex-negative" legislation that seeks to restrict adult content in the digital world fundamentally. If you're interested in tracking the status of age verification laws in the U.S., you can do that by using FSC's age verification bill tracker here.


How Adult Content Creators Can Fight Back

So, where does this leave adult content creators? Mike recommends the following steps:


1. Educate Your Fans: Keep your fanbase informed about the issues and risks related to these laws. Encourage discussions about online privacy and the importance of maintaining freedom of expression online.


2. Get Involved in Advocacy: Support organizations like the FSC that actively advocate for the rights of adult content creators. Participate in their advocacy work by signing up for action alerts and staying tuned for important updates.


3. Share Your Own Experiences: Creators can have a powerful voice in this debate. Sharing your experiences, writing op-eds, and engaging in public discourse can help shape the narrative around adult content.


Conclusion

The fight for online privacy and the rights of adult content creators is a significant issue in this age of virtual connectivity. It is important to stay informed, remain active in the discourse, and support organizations like the FSC that advocate for the rights and freedoms of adult content creators. As we navigate these shifting legislative landscapes, the role of each creator becomes even more critical. Through collective action, we can help shape a future that respects everyone's right to privacy and freedom of expression online.


 

Some parts of the above interview have been condensed or edited for clarity. Click here to listen to the entire Twitter Space.


You can find Mike Stabile on Twitter.

Follow Free Speech Coalition on Twitter & Instagram.


Follow SexWorkCEO on Twitter & Instagram.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Anything said or written is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone else.

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