Georgia to require age verification for pornography, social media websites

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Georgia has become the latest state to institute age verification requirements for pornography and social media websites.

Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 351 into law last week. The measure, known as the “Protecting Georgia’s Children on Social Media Act of 2024,” was previously approved by the Republican-controlled Georgia Senate in a 48-7 vote and passed by the Republican-controlled Georgia House of Representatives in a 120-45 vote.

It received bipartisan support, with 31 Republicans and 17 Democrats voting for the bill in the Senate, and 93 Republicans and 27 Democrats supporting the House legislation. 

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The legislation requires schools to develop a curriculum for students in grades six through 12, educating them about the risks and benefits of social media use. Schools are to prevent children from accessing pornography as well as restricting their access to social media at school.

Commercial entities must “use a reasonable age verification method” before “allowing access to a public website that contains a substantial portion of material that is harmful to minors.”

The bill lists “a digitized identification card, including a digital copy of a driver’s license” as well as “government-issued identification” as examples of what constitutes a “reasonable age verification method.” A wide variety of sexually explicit content falls into the category of “material that is harmful to minors.” 

“A commercial entity that knowingly and intentionally publishes or distributes material that is harmful to minors on a public website which contains a substantial portion of material that is harmful to minors is liable if the commercial entity fails to perform reasonable age verification of the individual attempting to access the material,” the legislation states. 

The bill states: “A commercial entity that violates this Code section is liable to an individual for damages resulting from a minor accessing material harmful to minors, including court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees as ordered by the court.”

Companies that allow minors to access sexually explicit material face fines of up to $10,000 per violation. The measure also prohibits the retention of identifying information by a “commercial entity” after an age verification is performed.

Additional provisions in the measure require social media companies to develop age verification measures to ensure that no one under 16 uses their platforms without first receiving parental permission. 

Platforms will be required to prohibit “the display of any advertising in the minor account holder’s account based on such minor account holder’s personal information, except age and location” as well as “the collection or use of personal information from the posts, content, messages, text, or usage activities of the minor account holder’s account other than what is adequate, relevant, and reasonably necessary for the purposes for which such information is collected, as disclosed to the minor.”

Senate Bill 351 will take effect on July 1, 2025. Its passage comes as several states have implemented age verification requirements for pornography websites. 

The National Decency Coalition, which supports “state efforts to combat the pervasiveness of online pornography through [state] legislation requiring age-verification to prevent children from gaining access,” lists Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia as additional states that have implemented similar measures.

In response to state laws implementing age verification, Pornhub’s parent company, Aylo, has blocked access to the pornography websites in those states.  

In recent years, Pornhub and its sister sites have faced accusations in lawsuits that it has enabled, hosted and profited from videos for child sex trafficking and non-consensual exploitation of women and minors. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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