XHamster set to be banned under strict new child protection laws

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Germany is set to block Pornhub and xHamster after the site's failure to implement age verification checks that stop children from viewing porn.

The Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) may issue a blocking order in the coming weeks that would result in the sites' inaccessibility to the German population.

This move to limit this online access is part of a campaign set on making all pornographic websites in Germany implement age verification checks, though the initial phase targets four major pornography websites.

KJM chairman, Marc Jan Eumann, has refused to confirm the websites in question but German reporting suggests the Commission is targeting sites xHamster, YouPorn, Pornhub, and MyDirtyHobby.

The age verifications that the KJM has been attempting to establish involve the uploading of a user's identity documents proving they're aged above 18, but the sites' failure to implement this system has led to the recent and severe crackdown.

Reports suggest XHamster was first contacted by regulators in March 2020 but it's believed its lack of a response has led to the "last step" of its upcoming exile from the internet.

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In order to do this German authorities will issue blocking orders to the nation's biggest web providers such as Vodafone or O2 to make sure that anyone who types in their URL of these sites won't be able to see the pages.

When questioned on this possibility chairman Eumann said: "We've already talked to them, they are not happy!"

The concept of age verification on adult sites, driven by German state official Tobias Schmid who was ironically branded as having a "regulatory policy fetish" by a German newspaper, is being considered elsewhere in the world too.

Both Canada and Australia are looking into using digital IDs that prove age, and the UK attempted to pass an act that would implement age verification technology for porn sites though it collapsed in 2019

However, detractors of such a policy worry that the most affected will be smaller businesses that can't afford to implement such policies.

Paulita Pappel, the co-founder of adult site Lustery and the curator of the Pornfilmfestival Berlin, said: "Smaller companies, queer performers of colour, these are the people that are going to suffer the most."

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