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Porn websites quizzed by EU Commission on protection for minors

EU lawmakers adopted in November 2023, a series of proposals to amend a bill to fight online child pornography.
EU lawmakers adopted in November 2023, a series of proposals to amend a bill to fight online child pornography. Copyright Matt Houston/AP2006
Copyright Matt Houston/AP2006
By Cynthia Kroet
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The platforms need to comply with the EU's Digital Services Act.

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Pornographic platforms Pornhub, Stripchat, and XVideos have received additional questions on measures they take to mitigate risks to protect minors online, the European Commission saidtoday (13 June).

The Commission is asking for more details on age verification mechanisms used by the adult content platforms, required under the Digital Services Act (DSA). In addition, the EU executive also wants to know what the companies did to prevent the amplification of illegal content and gender-based violence. 

The Commission also wants more detailed information on the internal organisation of the businesses to ensure compliance with the platform rules. The DSA requires them to have compliance officers in place, for example, who must ensure that all systemic risks outlined in the regulation are identified and properly reported on.

Pornhub, Stripchat, and XVideos now have until 4 July to provide more details. The Commission can impose fines for incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information and ultimately issue penalties. 

Deregulated industry

The questions come after the platforms were designated as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOP) under the DSA last December.  They appealed, and the legal process is still ongoing.

The three pornographic platforms submitted their first risk assessment report, as required under the platform rules, to the Commission at the end of April.

The designation was seen an important step in Brussels' bid to crack down on a notoriously deregulated industry, amid increasing concerns about lax age verification mechanisms and the circulation of child sexual abuse material and AI-generated revenge porn.

The DSA imposes stricter rules on companies that have more than 45 million users on average in the EU. Among the biggest VLOPs are YouTube, Booking.com and Facebook.

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