Pornhub sued for allegedly serving “under-age, non-consensual” videos

A Pornhub logo at the company's booth during an industry conference.

Enlarge / A Pornhub logo at the company’s booth during the 2018 AVN Adult Expo on January 25, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit: Getty Images | Gabe Ginsberg )

Pornhub was sued yesterday by 34 women alleging that the site hosted videos without their consent and profited from other nonconsensual content involving rape, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking.

Of the victims involved in the lawsuit, 14 said they were victims of people charged with or convicted of sex crimes, and 14 said they were underage in the videos served on Pornhub.

“It is time for the companies and individuals who have profited off of nonconsensual and illegal content be held liable for their crime,” one of the plaintiffs said in a conference call reported by CNN. “I joined the lawsuit because I seek justice for myself and the countless victims who don’t come forward.”

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#lawsuit, #policy, #pornhub, #pornography, #privacy

Amid scandal, Pornhub hires “biometric technology” firm for user verification

A Pornhub logo at the company's booth during an industry conference.

Enlarge / A Pornhub logo at the company’s booth during the 2018 AVN Adult Expo on January 25, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit: Getty Images | Gabe Ginsberg )

Adult website Pornhub this week announced a slew of new security features and policies as it tries to get back in the world’s good graces in the wake of abuse allegations it faced late last year.

Pornhub is adding “comprehensive measures for verification, moderation, and detection” of uploaded content to verify that the videos on its platform feature consenting adults and not “potentially illegal material” including exploitation of minors, the company said in a press release (PDF) this week.

The site—and its parent company, MindGeek—found itself in the spotlight in early December as New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof published a feature alleging Pornhub “monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.” Kristof spoke to several women who said videos of them being sexually assaulted were uploaded to Pornhub without their knowledge or consent, and that having them removed was all but impossible due to the site’s upload and dowload policies.

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#adult-entertainment, #exploitation, #identity-verification, #policy, #pornhub, #yoti

Bonus: Kara and Nick Kristof Debrief on Ajay Banga

They also discuss the slippery slope from guns to sugary cereals.

#banga-ajay, #credit-cards, #kristof-nicholas-d, #mastercard-inc, #new-york-times, #pornhub

Pornhub squarely targeted in bipartisan bill to regulate sex work online

Silhouette of person in front of laser-light projection.

Enlarge / Silhouette of person in front of laser-light projection. (credit: Getty | picturegarden)

In the wake of recent allegations against Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek, senators from both parties have introduced a new bill that would impose sweeping new regulations on online sites, platforms, and apps that host adult content. Though the bill is meant to prevent exploitation and trafficking, critics argue that the changes would create significant new risks and costs both sex workers and the fewer remaining sites that would then host them.

Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Friday introduced the Stop Internet Sexual Exploitation Act (PDF), which they described as “groundbreaking legislation that would require all online platforms that host pornography to put in place critical safeguards to protect Americans from sexual exploitation online.”

The bill creates sweeping verification guidelines for any site that hosts adult material: any user who uploads material to such a site would have to verify their identity with the site, and every single video posted would have to come with a signed consent form from every individual who appears in the video. All pornography platforms would also be required to disable downloads of videos they host.

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#adult-entertainment, #consent, #fosta, #policy, #pornhub, #pornography, #revenge-porn, #sesta, #sisea

Your Card Payment Has Been Declined

Mastercard’s chief executive oversees $6.5 trillion in transactions. That gives him unique insights into our economic recovery, and power over companies like PornHub.

#banga-ajay, #child-pornography, #credit-cards, #mastercard-inc, #pornhub, #silicon-valley-calif

MindGeek: The secretive owner of Pornhub and RedTube

MindGeek: The secretive owner of Pornhub and RedTube

Enlarge (credit: Financial Times, Dreamstime)

Mario Salieri was shooting a pornographic movie in a lavish Prague villa two decades ago when he first caught sight of the computer geeks who were about to upend his industry.

“The owner of the villa asked me if we could offer a sandwich to a young computer programmer who had been renting a room,” says Salieri. “The boy was pale and visibly hungry.”

A few years later, Salieri discovered that “the boy” had bought his first Rolls-Royce Phantom. Like other coders, he had made a fortune selling advertising on the early free-to-watch porn sites, which today attract hundreds of millions of visits every day.

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#copyright, #features, #gaming-culture, #mindgeek, #policy, #pornhub

40 GirlsDoPorn victims sue Pornhub for hosting “sex trafficking” videos

A pen and book resting atop a paper copy of a lawsuit.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | eccolo74)

Forty Jane Does who say they were victims of GirlsDoPorn sued Pornhub yesterday for at least $2 million each, alleging that Pornhub hosted videos despite knowing that “GirlsDoPorn was a sex trafficking venture.”

The lawsuit was filed against Pornhub and Pornhub owner MindGeek in US District Court for the Southern District of California. The complaint asks for “compensatory damages in an amount that exceeds one million dollars for each plaintiff,” plus another $1 million or more, each, in punitive damages.

While they were separate businesses, many of the videos produced by GirlsDoPorn were uploaded to and hosted on Pornhub. The lawsuit alleges that “as early as 2009, and definitely by fall 2016, MindGeek knew GirlsDoPorn was trafficking its victims by using fraud, coercion, and intimidation as part of its customary business practices to get the women to film the videos.”

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#girlsdoporn, #mindgeek, #policy, #pornhub

Millions of videos purged from Pornhub amid crackdown on user content

A Pornhub logo at the company's booth during an industry conference.

Enlarge / A Pornhub logo at the company’s booth during the 2018 AVN Adult Expo on January 25, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit: Getty Images | Gabe Ginsberg )

Pornhub last night purged millions of user-uploaded videos from its platform amid allegations that it was hosting content featuring child sexual exploitation, nonconsensual violence, rape, and other unlawful material.

“As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program,” Pornhub said in a company blog post, as first reported by Vice. The purge appears to have hit almost 9 million of the 13.5 million videos on Pornhub as of Sunday, or nearly two-thirds of all the content hosted on the site.

“This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute,” the company added. “In today’s world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material. Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts. We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example.”

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#abuse, #child-exploitation, #exploitation, #policy, #pornhub

Pornhub removes all unverified content, following reports of exploitation

Adult video giant Pornhub this week announced that it has taken the unprecedented step of removing millions of user-uploaded videos. The move, which the Canadian-born site calls “the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history,” arrives in the wake of a New York Times opinion piece that stated the “site is infested with rape videos.”

Pornhub announced last week that it would be limiting uploads to only verified users. Now, as noted by Motherboard, the service has suspended all videos for the site not uploaded by existing partners or members of its Model program. Suspended content will be subject to review by Pornhub early next year.

The service noted in a statement that the new model is arguably the strictest instituted by a content platform. “This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders,” it writes, “a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute.”

The Times offered reports — some first-hand — of graphic exploitation. “I don’t see why search engines, banks or credit card companies should bolster a company that monetizes sexual assaults on children or unconscious women,” Nicholas Kristof wrote. “If PayPal can suspend cooperation with Pornhub, so can American Express, Mastercard and Visa.”

Major credit card companies ultimately followed suit. Last week Discover announced that it would cut ties with the service, following similar moves by Mastercard and Visa. That added incentive no doubt further pressured Pornhub to take even more aggressive action than already announced.

In a statement, the site noted that watchdog group Internet Watch Foundation discovered 118 instances of child sexual abuse on the platform. The service calls the number “118 too many.” The service was defensive in its report, believing it has been singled out due to its focus on adult content.

“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform,” the service writes. “These are the same forces that have spent 50 years demonizing Playboy, the National Endowment for the Arts, sex education, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and even the American Library Association. Today, it happens to be Pornhub.”

#adult-content, #apps, #pornhub, #pornography

Visa and Mastercard ban Pornhub over abusive videos

Visa and Mastercard ban Pornhub over abusive videos

Enlarge (credit: RyanJLane / Getty Images)

Pornhub has been banned from accepting payments over the Visa and Mastercard networks—a serious blow for a site that has come under increasing fire for failing to effectively filter harmful content.

“The issue is not pornography but rape,” wrote New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in a column last week that inspired the credit card companies’ moves. “Promoting assaults on children or on anyone without consent is unconscionable.”

Like other social media sites, Pornhub allowed anyone to upload content to be shared with others. Many of those videos depict adults engaged in consensual sexual acts. But Kristof said a number of videos show sex acts involving children under the age of 18. He also found videos of women being raped, creepy hidden-camera videos, and “recordings of assaults on unconscious women and girls.”

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#policy, #pornhub

Visa and Mastercard Block Use on Pornhub

The credit card companies had launched separate investigations earlier this week into their financial ties with MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub.

#credit-cards, #mastercard-inc, #mindgeek-sarl, #pornhub, #sex-crimes, #visa-inc

How to Talk to Kids About Porn

I teach sex ed. In light of a recent report on exploitation of children on the site Pornhub, I have some talking points for parents.

#children-and-childhood, #content-type-service, #parenting, #pornhub, #sex-crimes, #teenagers-and-adolescence

An Uplifting Update, on the Terrible World of Pornhub

Young heroes lead in confronting pornography companies that monetize rape and child abuse.

#canada, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #child-pornography, #law-and-legislation, #mastercard-inc, #politics-and-government, #pornhub, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #visa-inc

Pornhub blocks uploads and downloads in crackdown on child-sexual-abuse videos

A Pornhub logo at the company's booth during an industry conference.

Enlarge / A Pornhub logo at the company’s booth during the 2018 AVN Adult Expo on January 25, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit: Getty Images | Gabe Ginsberg )

Pornhub said it has banned uploads by unidentified users in an attempt to prevent “non-consensual material” and videos of children being sexually abused.

“Going forward, we will only allow properly identified users to upload content,” the pornographic-video-sharing website said in a statement yesterday. For now, “only content partners and people within the Model Program will be able to upload content to Pornhub. In the new year, we will implement a verification process so that any user can upload content upon successful completion of identification protocol.”

Pornhub also said it is removing the ability to download content from the site “with the exception of paid downloads within the verified Model Program. In tandem with our fingerprinting technology, this will mitigate the ability for content already removed from the platform to be able to return.” The Model Program that has existed for at least a few years requires verification by Pornhub staff to prove “that you are real and that you are the one uploading your own videos.”

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#biz-it, #policy, #pornhub

Pornhub under investigation by Visa, MasterCard amid abuse allegations

Pornhub under investigation by Visa, MasterCard amid abuse allegations

Enlarge (credit: Panpreeda Mahaly | EyeEm | Getty Images)

Paying for adult entertainment may become more challenging in the near future, as both Visa and MasterCard are investigating Pornhub following allegations that the site allows and profits from content depicting rape and child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Visa and MasterCard on Sunday each issued separate statements saying they were investigating Pornhub and its parent company, MindGeek, in the wake of a new report.

“We are aware of the allegations, and we are actively engaging with the relevant financial institutions to investigate, in addition to engaging directly with the site’s parent company, MindGeek,” Visa told the Associated Press on Sunday. If the investigation finds Pornhub to be in violation of the law or the company’s existing banking agreements, it will be prohibited from using Visa for payments.

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#abuse, #child-exploitation, #exploitation, #mastercard, #payment-processing, #policy, #pornhub

Visa and Mastercard to Investigate Financial Ties to Pornhub

The payment companies said they would investigate financial links after The New York Times reported that videos on Pornhub depict child abuse.

#child-abuse-and-neglect, #credit-cards, #kristof-nicholas-d, #mastercard-inc, #paypal, #pornhub, #sex-crimes, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #visa-inc

The Children of Pornhub

Why does Canada allow this company to profit off videos of exploitation and assault?

#canada, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #child-pornography, #computers-and-the-internet, #corporate-social-responsibility, #mindgeek, #pornhub, #pornography, #search-engines, #sex, #women-and-girls