Update: Tennessee Senate approves law requiring age verification for adult websites

Back in December 2023, State Representative. Patsy Hazlewood (R) in Tennessee has introduced legislation to implement age-verification requirements to protect children from being exposed to online pornography. The “Protect Tennessee Minors Act, would mandate that pornography distributors have in place age-verification measures to ensure minors are barred from accessing sexually explicit content.

The legislative proposal is similar to laws already in place in Utah and Virginia, where the largest pornography distributor — Pornhub — is inaccessible.

Hazlewood’s legislation would require online pornography companies to match a user profile image to a verified government-issued I.D. Sites that don’t follow through with the requirement would be charged with Class C felonies, up to 15 years in prison, and $10,000 fines.

Update 11 April 2024: The Tennessee Senate has approved a measure that would require adult websites to have an age-verification process. Lawmakers say the measure aims to prevent kids from accessing sexually explicit content online. Sen. Becky Massey, R-Knoxville, is the sponsor of the bill, SB 1792, that just passed the floor. 

At least eight states have already passed age-verification laws for pornography websites. Those include Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

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