New EU security rules come into effect on Pornhub, XVideos and StripChat

-Gudstory

New EU security rules come into effect on Pornhub, XVideos and StripChat -Gudstory

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Porn sites Pornhub, have to do. In a press release today, the European Commission said the three sites “meet the threshold of 45 million average monthly users in the EU.” Sites must comply with DSA obligations by February 2024.

Being designated as a VLOP means sites must also conduct risk assessments and reduce the spread of illegal content such as child sexual abuse material and deepfake pornography. There are also transparency requirements such as being subject to external audit, publishing transparency reports on content moderation decisions, and providing publicly available data to researchers.

“I welcome the designation of Pornhub, XVideos and StripChat as very large online platforms. This will allow higher scrutiny and accountability of their algorithms and processes,” the EU’s Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The Commission announced an initial set of 17 very large online platforms and two very large online search engines in April 2023. The list included Amazon, Apple App Store, Facebook, Instagram, X (then known as Twitter), YouTube, And Google Search. But that list did not include any pornography-specific services.

Services are considered “very large” platforms if they have at least 45 million monthly active users in their block. XVideos said its service had 160 million “average monthly recipients” in the EU. Pornhub has said it has 33 million monthly users, but its inclusion on the new VLOP list means the EU doesn’t buy the company’s self-reported numbers. Meanwhile, XHamster reported 32 million monthly users and Youporn 7.2 million.

In October, a group of 30 NGOs including European Digital Rights, the Center of Democracy and Technology and the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance called the numbers reported by some of the largest porn platforms “surprisingly small”. uractive It was reported at the time, and NGOs pushed for major pornography sites to be designated as VLOPs.

“When asked to disclose their total number of monthly users… some of the larger porn platforms have presented surprisingly small numbers,” the group wrote in their open letter, prompting them to temporarily withdraw designation as VLOPs. Has been allowed to escape from form.” “These figures appear to be a misinterpretation of their monthly average users in the EU, so it shows that these platforms are actively attempting to avoid their responsibilities and are not being held accountable for the systemic risks that exist on their platforms.” Are.”

Digital civil rights group Access Now took particular issue with Pornhub’s numbers, calling its 33 million European user figure “impossible” in the context of SimilarWeb’s traffic analysis, which shows an average of more than two billion visits per month.

The designation comes amid growing efforts to enforce stricter age verification for pornography sites globally. Several US states have attempted to determine the age of sites with varying levels of success. While within the EU, France and Germany have also pushed for regulations at the national level foot noted. The UK is also moving forward with its own age verification measures after recently passing its Online Safety Act.

Although VLOps have to follow the DSA’s strictest rules, today’s EU press release states that “all online platforms and search engines” must follow a common set of DSA rules as they operate their services. But to offer a mechanism to be informed about illegal content. , and avoid targeting users with advertising based on profiling of sensitive data such as ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

Several companies included in the initial list of VLOP have filed legal challenges to try to exit it. Amazon has stated that it does not believe it fits the description of a very large online platform and therefore should not be designated as such. German online retailer Zalando has also opposed the designation.

Since the Digital Services Act came into force for the first batch of VLOps in August, EU regulators have been eager to implement the new rules. Formal requests for information have been sent to Meta and TikTok to combat illegal content and disinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war, and to go even further, formal proceedings have been initiated at X, formerly known as Twitter , to assess whether this may have violated the DSA.

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