While Pornhub is under a lot of pressure and regularly gets a lot of scrutinies worldwide, one of its biggest competitors largely remained under the radar. That is until now. The German Commission for the protection of minors in the media announced that authorities are trying to block xHamster’s popular platform from traffic from Germany.
German authorities are moving ahead and try to get xHamster from the eyes of its German customers. They want to force hosting services to ban all traffic to the popular adult platform that got big through real amateur contributions and a very active community.
The State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landesanstalt für Medien NRW) issued a warning to porn portals like PornHub a year ago: either they establish measures for the protection of minors according to German standards or they would face the threat of being blocked from the German internet.
For this reason, several proceedings are pending at the Administrative Court in Düsseldorf, by which the adult entertainment companies in question wanted to defend themselves against this German approach to the protection of minors. The providers see themselves unfairly disadvantaged and threatened. According to statements by the companies, they already comply with the German requirements. They label their websites in a way that allows parents to block the offers on devices accessible to children.
In Germany, however, the legislation pursues the opposite approach: Portals that are deemed harmful to minors should only be accessible if the age of consent of the users has been proven. Tobias Schmid who is director of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia has little patience with the industry’s arguments. »After all, it is ultimately quite simple: anyone who wants to make money with pornography in the German market must abide by German laws.«
In the case of xHamster, the State Media Authority has now tracked down the company’s hosting provider. Since many porn providers disguise their IT infrastructure with the help of cloud services, this took time and effort. Now the provider has received unpleasant mail about its customer xHamster and is being asked to block traffic to the site.
So far, there has been no statement from xHamster about what is going on. The extent to which the company’s content will remain accessible to German consumers therefore still seems unclear.