New state legislation for Louisiana now requires age verification and submission of identification in order to watch pornography online, as reported by CNET.
Viewers are now greeted with a prompt: "Louisiana law now requires us to put in place a process for verifying the age of users who connect to our site from Louisiana."
A third-party verification called AllPassTrust is used to verify a user's digital ID or driver's license, which is then fed through a different app for Louisiana driver's licenses. Louisiana uses a digital driver's license platform called LAWallet,
Act 440 seeks to protect minors from "harmful material", stating that publishers must, "relative to material harmful to minors, ... provide for liability for the publishing or distribution of material harmful to minors on the internet provide for reasonable age verification," among other items.
Justification for the law explains the belief that pornography is harmful to teens and children, causing disorders and problematic activities:
"Pornography contributes to the hyper sexualization of teens and prepubescent children and may lead to low self-esteem, body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior," the legislation reads.
Sites with a "substantial portion" of content deemed to be "harmful to minors" will be held liable if they do not perform age verification before accessing the material. The proportion is marked at anything over 33.3%. The legislation allows for legal action against websites that do not verify the age of minors viewing their content.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Porn Hub is the only pornography website requiring viewers to verify their age through the LAWallet app in Louisiana at the time of this publication.
"Pornography may also impact brain development and functioning, [and] contribute to emotional and medical illnesses," the document continues.
It can also "shape deviant sexual arousal, and lead to difficulty in forming or maintaining positive, intimate relationships, as well as promoting problematic or harmful sexual behaviors and addiction," according to the text.
The author of the legislation was state representative Laurie Schlegel (R-82), who previously advocated for legislation to ban transgender women/biological males from competing in girls' sports in the state's schools.
“Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports shatters girls’ equal opportunities,” said Schlegel in 2021.
The new legislation does not apply to any "bona fide news or public interest broadcast, website video, report, or event" and is not intended to limit the rights of any news-gathering organization.