Home EU takes aim at Pornhub, XVideos and Stripchat under DSA rules

EU takes aim at Pornhub, XVideos and Stripchat under DSA rules

Adult sites Pornhub, Xvideos and Stripchat will be more strictly regulated in the European Union (EU) under the bloc’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

The three pornographic sites have been categorized as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) as they meet the benchmark of 45 million users in a month. This move comes after the European Commission slapped a VLOP title on massive tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and Google – with some of them seeking to bypass regulations.

The DSA ensures that VLOPs adhere to security, privacy and consumer safety protocols within the first four months of being given VLOP status. Specific to adult sites, requirements include minimizing risks linked to the sharing of child sex abuse content and protection for minors, such as blocks preventing access to pornographic content – e.g. age verification tools.

VLOPS are also required to draft transparency reports on risk management and content moderation within their company every six months as well as release their audit results and a systemic risk analysis once a year.

In an announcement on Wednesday (Dec.20), European Commissioner for Internal Market Theirry Baton spoke on the new wave of VLOP designations: ” We have already designated 19 Very Large Online Platforms and Search Engines.

“We will continue to designate platforms that meet the thresholds and make sure that they comply with their obligations under the DSA. I have been very clear that creating a safer online environment for our children is an enforcement priority under the DSA.”

Earlier in the week, the EU opened formal proceedings against Elon Musk’s X to investigate if it breached the bloc’s DSA rules.

Pornhub controversy

This VLOP classification comes after Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek was at the centre of a scandal two years ago. An investigation by the New Yorker found that non-consensual and underage videos were being posted on the site for years. This led to a 2021 lawsuit, accusing MindGeek of breaking both sex trafficking and sexual abuse image laws by allowing and profiting from content of this nature being posted on their site. The chief operating officer later resigned following the controversy.

With this VLOP classification, the EU Commission is seeking to ensure this does not happen again, by making these adult sites operate more transparently.

The trio of sites can launch an appeal against the VLOP classification if they wish. with Amazon and German fashion brand Zalando having done so already.

Featured image: AI-generated via DALL-E

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.