Scott Tibbs

Yes, porn websites should have age verification

By Scott Tibbs, May 15, 2023

When I go to the store, I have to show my papers in order to buy nasal decongestant and have the purchase recorded. If I tried to buy alcohol or tobacco, I would need to show a photo ID card to prove I am over 21 years old. Every product that children should not have access to - alcohol, cigarettes, R-Rated movies, gambling, and even analog porn - requires age verification with no objections about “privacy.” There is age verification for many cold medicines.

Online porn producers, however, think they should be exempt from the same expectations that society places on many other industries. They want special rights that no one else gets so that their access to screens is without limits. The answer to the demand for special rights should be a hard "no."

Obviously, we need age verification for online pornography. This should not be arguable. No, it will not totally stop children from accessing the shame of internet prostitutes, but any speed bump is better than none at all. Teenagers have been smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol for generations, despite the age verification requirements, but we have not given up and removed those requirements. Why? Because that would be foolish, dangerous and irresponsible.

The other reason to have age verification is to prevent adults from being involuntary exposed to porn. Do you know how many of these perverts buy old domain names that used to go to legitimate websites? They also buy domains that are extremely close to legitimate websites, as anyone who typed the wrong three letters to see what the President of these United States was doing was shocked to find out in the 1990's.

Furthermore, we need to be done with the "free speech" arguments for pornography once and for all, and we need to reform the courts to eradicate this nonsense from our legal codes. The idea that the men who wrote and ratified the First Amendment thought that those 45 words protected the "right" to stream high-definition video of people having sex directly into every living room with an internet connection is laughable. The founding fathers would literally laugh in your face if you could speak to them and you told them that the First Amendment protects pornography.

A complete ban on hardcore pornography would be better, but age verification is the smallest, most basic common sense step we can take to protect children and non-consenting adults from being exposed to online filth. I have no sympathy for the "privacy" argument when I cannot even buy harmless cold medicine to allow me to breathe when I have a sinus infection. Your "privacy" is not any more valuable than the privacy of millions of people who have to provide age verification every single day.

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