Pornhub, Stripchat & XVideos Approaching EU DSA Compliance Dates

BRUSSELS—Adult platforms Pornhub, Stripchat, and XVideos are quickly approaching the deadline to comply with their obligations under the Digital Services Act (DSA), the European Commission announced Friday.

The deadline for Pornhub and Stripchat to comply is April 21. XVideos must comply by April 23.

"The DSA makes designated Very Large Online Platforms accountable for ensuring safer, more transparent online spaces," reads a statement from the European Commission. "They must identify and address in an effective manner systemic risks, particularly when it comes to mitigating risks to the well-being of minors, amplification of illegal content, recommender systems, etc."

"The Commission is carefully monitoring the compliance with DSA obligations by these platforms, especially concerning the measures to protect minors from harmful content and to address the dissemination of illegal content."

All three platforms were classified as "very large online platforms" under the European Union's landmark digital content regulatory overhaul. The Digital Services Act defines very large online platforms (VLOPs) as websites that have met the legal threshold of 45 million average monthly users in the European Union or those designated as VLOPs at the commission's discretion via their own investigation into web traffic volumes.

This is what happened to Pornhub, whose average monthly users in EU member states is about 32 million, according to the platform's DSA compliance page. However, regulators estimated that Pornhub exceeds the 45 million user threshold and is, therefore, a VLOP.

AVN reported in March 2024 that the parent companies of Pornhub, XVideos and Stripchat have sued the European Commission over what they call arbitrary applications of the Digital Services Act VLOPs regulation.

The cases were filed at the European General Court in Luxembourg. The case numbers for all three platforms are T-138/24 (Aylo, which owns Pornhub), T-139/24 (WebGroup Czech Republic, which owns XVideos), and T-134/24 (Technius, which owns Stripchat). 

VLOPs are required to release transparency reports to the European Commission, overhaul trust and safety programs, and provide data on users and trust and safety interventions, among other metrics and reports. These DSA requirements also ask platforms to make their data and content available to independent researchers. For example, Stripchat has published its research program inquiry page as required by DSA Article 34, Section 1

The disclosure for XVideos shows the tube site has over 85 million users in the European Union each month. Citing these numbers, XVideos technically meets the threshold requirements to be considered a VLOP.

Adult websites were initially exempt from the VLOP regulation. This changed after pushes from various groups.

Italian attorney Alessandro Polidoro wrote a letter last year to the commission on behalf of civil society groups, including a set of sex workers' rights groups, asking for Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos to be regulated as VLOPs.

“If designated as [VLOPs], big porn platforms will have to identify, [analyze] and assess all systemic risks deriving from the design or functioning of their service and related systems, including algorithmic content moderation systems,” reads Polidoro's letter.