Comcast Cable (housed under the Xfinity brand)—the largest cable television company in the United States with close to 20 million pay TV subscribers—just made a major move against the exploitative pornography industry: they cut ties with MindGeek.
For this ethical decision, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is awarding Comcast with our Dignity Defense Alert: a monthly campaign honoring institutions and individuals taking concrete steps to promote a culture of human dignity by combating sexual exploitation and abuse.
In an email to NCOSE, a Comcast representative shared that they were deeply concerned over the growing number of reports against MindGeek for unlawful business practices, including minors being exploited on their sites. As a result of this increasing evidence, Comcast decided to drop all MindGeek content from their cable systems. As of April 2021, all MindGeek material has been removed.
Furthermore, Comcast disabled new subscription video on demand (SVOD) signups and notified all their existing SVOD customers of their decision to remove content and cease distribution of MindGeek’s SVOD services. Existing customers were informed of Comcast’s decision through bill messages. Once the subscriber notification process was completed, the SVOD content became unavailable on their cable channels.
As the second-largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, Comcast’s principled stand against MindGeek is a major victory for human dignity.
Unfortunately, several mainstream corporations buttress the empire of exploitation MindGeek has constructed from the pain and trauma of countless individuals. Corporations that provide valuable goods and services to many of us sadly also enable MindGeek to perpetuate its abuses by processing payments, advertising their products on pornography sites, distributing content, or supporting tech infrastructure.
Evidence continues to grow, shedding light on MindGeek and the pornography industry’s predatory practices and apathy for the proliferation of child sex abuse material, sex trafficking, and non-consensual videos and images on its sites. Survivors bear witness as to how Pornhub monetized their abuse by leaving crime scene footage live on their sites after repeated requests for removal, even featuring and promoting unlawful content to drive more viewers to their sites.
As public pressure, legal action, media investigations, and governmental inquiries gain traction, an increasing number of corporations are recognizing that cutting ties with MindGeek is the right move to make.
NCOSE has been in contact with Comcast on and off since 2013. We’ve been encouraged by advances the corporation has made in the past to stem sexual exploitation available through their services. While Comcast still has more work to do to completely rid its services of the violent, racist, and exploitative content inherent in the pornography it continues to provide, cutting ties with MindGeek is a significant step and a win worth celebrating.