Actually those pages do serve several purposes:

  1. They (dubiously) clear the sites of any legal responsibility for content: This is meant as a disclaimer, as a way of saying "You assume all responsibility for this, and we are not liable in any way. You know what you are getting yourself into." Not that a lawsuit against or whatever would ever even begin to go through (one against might, without such a disclaimer), but it is there in a hand-waving legality sense. Without a third party identification provider (such as Adult Check, or Porno Pass, or a million of those other for money authentication services), this is the only way to have a responsible party in the transaction.
  2. They allow internet filters to block the site: This is a huge benefit, since you can litter an opening page with keywords (and other flags, such as HTTP content fields) that a program such as CyberSitter or NetNanny to prevent kids in a library or at home, from accessing this sort of material (all sorts of censorship concerns aside).
  3. It allows the site to clear itself of responsibility on legality of content. A lot of (real porn industry) sites (and during the start of videos) you will see "all models herein are above 18 years of age", and "their identities and birthdates are on file with the photographer", so on and so forth. It clears them of any liability, and still allows them to operate under the laws as an adult publisher.

While annoying and stupid for the porn hungry among us (and not discouraging to minors), these pages do serve as several legal barricades. The crusade to keep minors away from adult material is quite futile, although these pages keep the liability away from the content providers, and in the hands of the viewer, in a liberal interpretation of the laws. A more conservative view would place the blame on the adult element. These pages keep away those who seek to censor such materials by asserting their intent to run under the law.

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