Debate: Should the Government Aggressively Crack Down on Online Pornography? | Opinion

Toward the end of 2019, the regulation of online pornography emerged as an unlikely hot topic of national conversation among political commentators—and among the public, more broadly. That debate continues today and falls along many differing fault lines, from discussions as lofty as the philosophical underpinnings of republican self-governance itself to conversations as concrete as the ramifications of continuing the civil immunity afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The debate makes for many strange political bedfellows, and will not subside any time soon.

Today, Terry Schilling of the American Principles Project debates Hall of Fame adult entertainer Brandi Love in our latest Newsweek "Debate of the Week." We hope you enjoy the exchange.

Josh Hammer is Newsweek opinion editor, a syndicated columnist and a research fellow at the Edmund Burke Foundation.

Science Says Porn Is a Huge Problem. Lawmakers Must Stop Ignoring It

Business is booming for the porn industry—on this point, there's no debate.

Its growth over the last few decades has been staggering. From 1988 to 2005, the number of pornographic movies produced each year rose from 1,300 to 13,000. Then came the Internet revolution. By 2019, the web's top pornography site reported 1.36 million hours of new content uploaded that year—more than a day's worth every 10 minutes.

Banning Porn Is a Bad Idea. There Are Other Ways To Improve the Internet

It's 2020, and some conservatives are still hellbent on banning online porn.

Matt Walsh, a Daily Wire columnist and a culture warrior if there ever were one, wants the state to "have a role" in regulating adult content. Sohrab Ahmari, op-ed editor of the New York Post, insists that adult content "isn't free speech—on the web or anywhere." Newsweek's own opinion editor, Josh Hammer, has lamented at First Things that "today's self-proclaimed liberty-minded 'conservative' vanguard defends licentiousness by invoking the mantle of freedom."

Student accesses computer in Berlin, Germany
Student accesses computer in Berlin, Germany Adam Berry/Getty Images