XTube, a prominent pornography website with 10.77 million online visits in May 2021 alone, has announced it is shutting down effective September 5th. XTube, operated similarly to Pornhub and much of the pornography industry, allows videos to be uploaded with no meaningful verification of age or consent.
The modern pornography industry is defined in large part by the MindGeek monopoly and also by mass-unregulated uploads of pornography from individuals around the world. XTube (which is owned by MindGeek, and which profited from unregulated uploads) closing is direct evidence that both are beginning to collapse.
This is a foreshock for what is to come: complete disruption to the online pornography marketplace.
XTube did not decide to close in a vacuum. This decision comes after mounting pressure from legislators, outrage in the media, loss of mainstream corporate support, and survivors stepping forward to demand justice through lawsuits.
- Survivor Led Lawsuits: Since December 2020 almost 100 brave survivors have banded together to launch various lawsuits against Pornhub—including lawsuits launched in partnership with the NCOSE Law Center, and others. The ripple effects of these survivor voices are not only impacting the websites they’ve sued, but also the entire industry. Given XTube’s nearly identical structure, and likely identical practices, it is most likely that XTube chose to close its doors rather than face lawsuits from survivors it has harmed.
- Corporate Advocacy: To date over 450 advocates from 26 countries have participated in joint letter campaigns mainstream companies that advertised, distributed, facilitated finance or supportive technology for the pornography industry. In the last year, the Wish shopping app, Unilever, Kraft-Heinz, Comcast, PayPal, Mastercard, Discover, and Visa have all distanced themselves from or cut ties with Pornhub & MindGeek as they learned about the rampant sex trafficking, child sexual abuse. (Special thanks to Collective Shout, Defend Dignity, and Laila Mickelwait for helping lead these efforts!) The resulting loss of income for MindGeek is significant, and it is likely that they’ve needed to close XTube in order to consolidate resources.
- Grassroots Action: The Traffickinghub petition has gathered over 2 million signatures from around the world as individuals declare they want to Pornhub shut down for its facilitation of abuse.
- Media Momentum: The New York Times has run multiple in-depth articles giving voice to survivors and revealing MindGeek’s harmful practices. Many other media outlets are also amplifying these facts!
- Legislator-Spurred Investigations: The Canadian government’s Ethics Committee has launched investigations into the abuse on Pornhub, notably discovering that MindGeek failed to report child sexual abuse materials for over a decade.
- AND MORE: Advocates around the world have been speaking out in their communities, to press, and to legislators about the exploitation on MindGeek websites and the pornography industry in general.
What this means for MindGeek
This victory is particularly significant because it shows that the model of tube site pornography is beginning to fracture.
Together, we have made the ability for pornography corporations to exploit with impunity decidedly more difficult than it was 18 months ago.
Here’s to this victory—and the many more to come!
Demand that the U.S. DOJ enforce existing laws against illegal pornography!
Online pornography websites are breaking U.S. laws with impunity! Why? Because for years, the U.S. Department of Justice has not enforced our laws against obscenity, human trafficking, child pornography, or even any of our tax laws against these serial abusers. As a result, they have been permitted to continue to abuse thousands of women, children, and men around the globe. The trauma experienced by those exploited for the creation of pornography, or of the countless young kids exposed to the content, or the lifelong dependencies men and women are developing because our government hesitates to enforce our laws cannot continue.