European Union flags wave in the wind as pedestrians walk...

European Union flags wave in the wind as pedestrians walk by EU headquarters in Brussels, on Sept. 20, 2023. The European Union said Wednesday July 10, 2024 it's adding the porn site XXNX to its list of online services facing the strictest level of scrutiny under the bloc's digital regulations including measures requiring users to verify their ages. Credit: AP/Virginia Mayo

LONDON — The European Union said Wednesday it's adding the porn site XNXX to its list of online services facing the strictest level of scrutiny under the bloc's digital regulations including measures requiring users to verify their ages.

It's the fourth porn site to be classed as a “very large online platform” that, under the European Union's groundbreaking Digital Services Act, must abide by extra obligations aimed at keeping internet users safe.

Pornhub, XVideos and Stripchat have also been targeted by the rulebook, known as the DSA, along with 21 mainstream platforms and search engines like TikTok, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Google. The DSA, which took effect last year, is Brussels' flagship legislation to protect internet users from illegal content and dodgy products under threat of hefty fines.

The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, said in a prepared statement that it's including XNXX because it has 45 million European users, the threshold for stepped-up scrutiny. The commission said XNXX must comply by November with the extra measures, including preventing minors from accessing online porn by using age verification tools, as well as giving researchers access to publicly available data and publishing an ad database.

“XNXX must also duly assess and mitigate any systemic risks stemming from their services, such as risks related to the dissemination of illegal content, or the negative effects on mental and physical well-being of the user,” the commission said.

Attempts to contact XNXX for comment were unsuccessful because the site's media contact form is nonfunctional.

Violations of the DSA are punishable by fines of up to 6% of global revenue or even an EU ban.

The commission last month asked Pornhub, which has disputed its DSA status, XVideos and Stripchat for more details on the measures they have taken to protect minors from accessing their content.

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