US porn star Cherie DeVille has published a blistering attack on German censorship authorities on the influential news portal The Daily Beast. According to the well-known performer, all European plans for age verification are neither compatible with a free Internet, nor with the right to freedom of expression. In addition, the projects that are planned on the European level as a whole worsen the legal and overall social situation of sex workers.
Last week, the US online magazine Daily Beast published an important op-ed piece by porn star Cherie DeVille. In her article, the star criticizes the European plans for mandatory age verification on the Internet as deeply undemocratic and a danger to sex workers worldwide. In her view, the planned legislations are a first step towards criminalizing pornography in its entirety.
Here is the full text of the article:
For once, a new pornography law sounds good on paper. Germany passed a law requiring online pornography purveyors to verify viewers’ age before watching illicit content. In theory, users upload passports or other verification documents before consuming adult content. Other porn stars and I support keeping children off porn sites. As I’ve written what feels like a million times, adult entertainment is called “adult entertainment” because it’s meant to entertain adults. The idea of minors watching my videos disgusts me, and other professional pornographers only want adults viewing their content.
But Germany’s enforcement of the bill has, thus far, just harmed sex workers. According to Wired, Germany’s Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media sent legal notices to Twitter for hosting porn accounts. Since Twitter lacks age verifications, the social media giant decided to bar at least 60 porn stars from its website. The Guardian reports that the same German law will force Reddit to also remove porn unless the company verifies ages. Open Rights Group told the British newspaper that Germany’s new law harms adults’ free speech and privacy to protect kids. Germany’s concern for children’s eyes starts and ends with porn because their age-verification system is just an attempt to topple the porn industry.
To see their false flag campaign in action, consider content Germany allows all ages to watch online. You can’t jack off on Twitter in Berlin anymore, but you can still watch videos of people dying on NSFL message boards, extreme violence, pro-anorexia content on Instagram, and a multitude of other content made exclusively for adult audiences—not to mention Facebook, which hosts tons more child sexual abuse material than porn sites. Suppose German politicians are concerned about what kids see. Why are they chasing down people’s passports before watching porn but not before consuming anorexia memes, snuff flicks or even UFC fights?
If they want to protect kids, they need to censor more than porn. Of course, censoring any content creates problems. After all, many people consider curse words, political discourse, and other topics taboo for minors. If we needed to upload IDs to social media platforms to post any of this speech, we would all have to prove our age to consume anything on the internet besides Powerpuff Girls or Barney.
“Why are they chasing down people’s passports before watching porn but not before consuming anorexia memes, snuff flicks or even UFC fights?”
Submitting a passport or other confidential documents to social media giants also sparks logistics concerns. Anyone who has uploaded ID documents online knows that governments and companies suck at processing them. It could take weeks to verify your age before you can masturbate to a skin flick. It would be like going to the DMV every time you want to jack off. We need to protect kids while letting adults have adult conversations about sex, romance, and politics.
Even worse, Twitter, Facebook, and other hacker-prone sites would host our passports in its cloud. It’s only a matter of time before ransomware groups get ahold of our IDs. In this day and age, where two-factor authentication fails to protect people from hacking, how can we trust social media giants to host our valuable information?
The reality is few people will verify their ages, many sites will ban porn, and that’s what Germany wants. Their law has nothing to do with protecting children. It’s about censoring porn stars and making our businesses struggle. If Twitter booted us all off, we would struggle to advertise our content. Many of us would have to quit our jobs or feel financial pressure to participate in less safe forms of sex work. Verifying ages in this case is exclusively about harming porn stars. As usual, nobody is actually worried about the kids.
I want minors to stop watching porn, but government age verifications aren’t the solution. The honest answer is parents doing their jobs. Parents need to install widely available parental controls, monitor their kids’ consumption, and actually parent their kids. These controls exist for phones and computers. Parents need to do their jobs, so porn stars can do ours: creating adult content for other adults to watch.
Here is the link to the original article on The Daily Beast.