Jan 3, 2024 - News

North Carolina's newest laws

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Pornhub, one of the world's largest pornography websites, is no longer accessible to users in North Carolina.

Driving the news: The site blocked North Carolina access in response to a new state law requiring porn sites to verify user ages.

  • The law does not specify how those sites should go about verifying user ages, however, WRAL reports.

Why it matters: The age verification requirement is one of many laws that went into effect Jan. 1 that will have widespread β€”Β and in some cases unexpected β€” effects on North Carolinians.

What they're saying: "Mandating age verification without proper enforcement gives platforms the opportunity to choose whether or not to comply," the company said in its message to North Carolina users, according to WRAL.

  • "As we've seen in other states, this just drives traffic to sites with far fewer safety measures in place."

Zoom out: In Louisiana, where a similar law was passed in 2022, traffic to similarly regulated sites dropped between 80 and 95%. People instead look for non-compliant sites in the darker corners of the internet that are more difficult to hold accountable, Mike Stabile, spokesperson for the pornography industry trade group Free Speech Coalition, told WRAL.

Here are some of the other state laws that went into effect Jan. 1:

πŸͺͺ Teen drivers are now required to hold a learner's permit for nine months before they can get their license, CBS17 reports, up from the previous six-month requirement that was implemented during the pandemic.

πŸ§‘β€βš•οΈ Active military service members and their spouses who work as physicians or physician assistants are now eligible for "military relocation licenses," allowing them to practice in North Carolina for the duration of their military orders.

✍️ Former stepparents can now adopt adults.

πŸ“Œ Operators of addiction treatment and recovery centers are now facing more regulations, including providing more transparency around average lengths of stay at facilities and what types of treatment methods are used, according to CBS17.

πŸš— Electric vehicle registration fees are increasing and plug-in hybrid owners will need to pay an additional $90 registration fee, also according to CBS17.

πŸ—³οΈ A slew of election law changes are now in effect, including a change that makes it a class 1 misdemeanor for people with access to records to share how someone voted, according to WCNC.

🍽️ Bars that serve temperature-controlled food are now subject to the same standards as restaurants, Axios Charlotte reports.

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