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Porn Sites Threaten To Go Dark If Condom Bill Passes

Vivid, Kink, and others say they might block access to Californians if Proposition 60 passes today

SEX
Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso
Nov 08, 2016 at 1:52 PM ET

Update: Today, Californians are voting on Proposition 60, which mandates condoms in porn filmed in the state and allows for lawsuits against producers who don’t comply. This article, first published last month, details what adult companies say will happen if it passes: a complete porn blackout in the state.

Today, adult websites are taking away California’s porn. In protest of Proposition 60, a state bill mandating condoms in adult films, several sites are interrupting or entirely blocking access to California IP addresses. This includes the mainstream giant Vivid Video, as well as Evil Angel, Kink, Pink & White Productions, and Treasure Island Media. In-state visitors to these sites are met with a message instructing them to vote no on Prop 60 and, in some cases, warning that their porn might be permanently taken away if the bill passes.

This virtual strike coincides with a protest by roughly 100 adult performers planned later today outside of the Los Angeles headquarters of the Yes on 60 Campaign.

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Prop 60, which is sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and will be on the ballot November 8, requires condoms in adult films shot within the state and also allows any resident in the state to sue producers and distributors of condomless porn. The adult industry is broadly opposed to the bill, primarily on the grounds that it violates performer choice and will push productions underground, making them less safe. Opponents also argue that by allowing lawsuits by everyday citizens the bill could expose producers and adult performers to stalkers, harassment, and privacy violations.

Some studios are using the virtual protest to simply plead for visitors to vote. Evil Angel’s pop-up apologizes for the day-long strike and reads, “We know you don’t want to see condoms in Evil Angel videos, so we’re doing what we can to prevent that form happening. We also need you to do your part.” Treasure Island Media is showing visitors a pop-up against Prop 60, but allows them to click out to the rest of the site.

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But at least three studios are considering the possibility of permanently blocking access to Californians if the bill passes — the thinking being that if Californians can’t see their content, maybe they can’t file lawsuits. Vivid’s website greets in-state visitors with a black screen bearing a “NO ON 60” icon and a message reading, “If you live in California and Prop 60 passes this is what your porn will look like.” Pink & White Productions’ pay sites greet all visitors with a pop-up reading, “IP BLOCK California? SAY IT AINT SO! If California Prop 60 passes, it could be” (although it’s possible to close it and navigate the sites). Kink’s site delivers a message reading, “This is what Californa will see on their favorite porn sites if PROPOSITION 60 passes.”

Mike Stabile, Kink’s spokesperson, told Vocativ, “Prop 60 isn’t a public health measure, it’s a public harassment measure for adult performers. If we have to block access to California in order to protect the performers who work with us, that’s what we’ll do. And should this initiative pass, it’s something we’ll be looking at doing in California on a permanent basis after November 8.”