A new law passed in Tennessee dubbed “Protect Tennessee Minors Act” that will go into effect on January 1st, 2025 in regards to age verification has some concerning language that may leave performers vulnerable to potential criminal charges; the law makes the distribution of adult content without age verification a felony.

The language within the law refers to an “individual or commercial entity” which is a much wider umbrella than previous age verification laws passed in other states which only hold commercial entities or adult websites liable for age verification while the language in this new law passed in Tennessee puts individuals (webcam performers, adult content creators, and even customers) at risk. The law defines distribution of adult content in a very vague way, explained as: “Distribute means to issue, sell, give, provide, deliver, transfer, transmute, circulate, disseminate, or by any other means make available on the internet” which could apply to something as simple as a tweet or social media post promoting your adult links whether or not it contains photo or video material.

The terms listed for commercial entity are also highlighted to include sole proprietors which is what a majority of webcam models, adult content creators, and other online sex workers fall under. Most of the current language revolving around age verification and holding commercial entities liable includes sole proprietors but adding the layer of holding individuals accountable is what makes this law even more concerning. It is unclear whether this is an attempt to target workers within the industry or clients that share links of their favorite adult performers but within the technical language of the “Protect Tennessee Minors Act” both parties can actually be held accountable for committing a crime by simply sharing links to adult websites on their social media. The law defines “content as harmful to minors” to include text which means an adult link is not beyond the realm of being a crime in Tennessee due to this law.

How to Fight Against This Infringement of Free Speech Rights

Even though the law does not go into effect until January 1st of 2025 it is important to start the fight against this vague and punishing law as early as possible. The law itself goes against the freedom of speech which individuals are entitled to according to The Constitution and utilizes minors as a leveraging tool to punish adult performers for marketing their content instead of actually protecting them. Here are some steps you can take to bring attention to this issue and fight against its implementation:

  • Contact Governor Lee and tell him how damaging this law is for adult workers, fans, and highlight the importance of the legality of online sex work.
  • Support the Free Speech Coalition and Explore their Website. FSC utilizes donated funds to lobby for the rights and freedoms of sex workers.
  • Post on Social Media about this! The more attention that is brought to this topic will result in more discussion, widespread attention, and hopefully more individuals contacting the government to request the termination of this law.
  • Share the Free Speech Coalition Age Verification Bill tracker and action form.
  • Contact your webcam sites, adult video sites, and any other adult oriented website and ask them to take action against this law.
  • Encourage fans to share the news on their own social media accounts and contact Governor Lee themselves to fight against this infringement of their rights.
  • Contact the state senator and state representative quickly and efficiently with this pre-filled message on Defend Online Privacy.

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