If you want to access Pornhub in Russia, you will now need to log in with a Vkontakte account tied to your mobile number and passport iStock/Pornhub

If you are in Russia and you want to access Pornhub, you will now be required to first log into the website with a social media account that has been verifiably linked to your passport and mobile phone number.

Russia's media regulator Roskomnadzor blocked Pornhub and YouPorn – two of the world's largest pornography websites – in September 2016, staying in two separate court rulings that the websites "spread pornography".

Although adult content is not illegal in the country, Russian law bans all "illegal production, dissemination and advertisement of pornographic materials and objects".

Shortly after the ban was passed, Pornhub took to Twitter, asking Roskomnadzor directly whether the media watchdog would consider lifting the ban on the website if Pornhub were to give the civil servants and officials free Pornhub Premium accounts.

Unfortunately, the regulator was not interested. "Sorry, we are not in the market and the demography is not a commodity," the regulator replied.

Pornhub was unbanned by the regulator in April after seven months, but starting Thursday 6 July, users of the website in Russia will no longer be allowed to visit the website anonymously.

The adult website announced the new policy on its official page on the Russian social network Vkontakte, but it played down the legal age verification aspect.

To have an account with Vkontakte, all users in Russia need to enter their mobile phone numbers. In order to get a SIM card in Russia legally, you have to share information from your passport, so technically the government has all your records.

"Pissed off that you have to keep entering the year you were born? Now you can just log in through your favourite social network," Pornhub wrote in the Vkontakte post.

According to Russian news site Medusa Project, when users access the website now, they are asked to indicate whether Pornhub's adult content "obeys users' local laws", and they will need to have a Vkontakte account before they can login.

In the last 12 months, Pornhub's platform has been used to promote political agendas in Russia, which could have contributed to the decision to ban it for seven months. In May 2016, a banned investigative documentary about Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was posted to the website by allies of President Vladimir Putin's political opponent Alexei Navalny.

The 49-minute-long video is still publicly available on Pornhub, entitled "Russian Corrupted Politician F***ed Hard". The documentary is narrated by Navalny and makes the case about Medvedev being corrupt, showing extensive examples of Medvedev's wealth, including his 17<sup>th century Tuscan villa, Palatial compounds and yachts, according to Vice.