BREAKING: Pornhub has removed at least 10.6 million abuse videos and counting as of December 14, 2020. MindGeek is also saying that they plan to do the same across all of their related websites.
This is another major win in our fight towards a world free from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Take a moment to let this sink in. Pause. Realize that raising your voice has been worth it.
Pornhub, when announcing the change, noted that these developments are directly caused by the efforts spearheaded by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as well as Exodus Cry and its #Traffickinghub campaign. Thousands of you joined us in demanding change and now Pornhub has removed millions of videos. Videos of rape, incest, child sexual abuse, forced/coerced/secretly filmed sex acts, videos with racist, misogynist, violent themes. 10.6 million of those videos have come down today in the matter of hours.
But the fight is not over! We must use this momentum to continue dismantling the sexual exploitation industry.
In the wake of bold survivors stepping forward through major news outlets like the BBC and the New York Times, as well as years of advocacy from people like you, all major credit card companies have severed partnership with Pornhub in the past week. This has pushed MindGeek/Pornhub to deploy a last–ditch effort to try to salvage the business and profits which have built on abuse. On Monday, December 14, that meant announcing that they would remove all videos uploaded to Pornhub — and all their related websites — by unverified accounts.
This move comes at a critical time as Pornhub continues to be examined closely by major companies like Visa and Mastercard, the Canadian Parliament — which announced an official investigation of Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek — and by US law enforcement agencies.
But removing unverified content is barely scratching the surface of the abusive, degrading, and harmful content that Pornhub’s very business model is based on. It’s also a concerning move given that the evidence of child sexual abuse material might be wiped away in an attempt to eliminate Pornhub’s ability to be held accountable for the scourge of child rape and other illegal content on its platform.
Regardless of whether or not an account is “verified,” we know there is no way to make Pornhub safer or to prevent the abuse and trauma inherent in pornography by eliminating unverified accounts. Case in point: GirlsDoPorn.com was a verified user on Pornhub, but many of those videos were of sex trafficked women. Or the young girl who was missing—until her mother found over 50 “verified” videos of her daughter posted to Pornhub by her traffickers.
Pornhub cannot sanitize the fact that its audience wants abuse material by simply erasing some videos with a flip of a switch. The reality of the matter is that mainstream pornography goes hand-in-hand with content involving children, rape, incest, racism, and extreme violence against women. These are the themes of pornography, and these are the themes Pornhub has built their empire on.
Pornhub’s solution to eliminate unverified accounts is truly a distinction without a difference. To be a “verified user” on Pornhub, all that is required is someone taking a selfie of themselves holding a piece of paper with their Pornhub account details.
This is far from a satisfactory development considering the enormity of Pornhub’s crimes. Pornhub must be shut down entirely. We reiterate our call for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Pornhub and hold them accountable for their many abuses. Just like we wouldn’t accept a promise to “do better” from rapists like Harvey Weinstein and then call it a day, we can’t accept this egregious attempt to avoid responsibility from the world’s largest collector of exploitative and abusive material.
This problem doesn’t end with Pornhub, either. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are also inundated with child sexual abuse material and other pornography. That’s why we’re also urging Congress to pass the EARN IT Act, a solution that would stop enabling digital platforms like Pornhub, Twitter, and Facebook to avoid accountability for or motivation to proactively prevent abuse material on their platforms.
It’s time to stop companies like Pornhub from operating with impunity when it comes to the sexual exploitation of human beings.
We see this as a monumental step forward. But still we know the journey does not end here. Pornhub claims that its “verified” content only features consenting adults and that it causes no harm—but we know that’s not true.
- Pornhub has “verified” minors’ pornographic content before…so do we just trust them that their verified system is consensual and adult? NO.
- Pornhub is still promoting pornography with themes of rape, incest, and racism….is this a company that now deserves to partner with mainstream credit cards again? NO.
- Research shows pornography performers experience physical and psychological trauma and they leave the industry without being financially stable…is this company harmless? NO.
Pornhub is inherently sexually exploitive and it has yet to truly pay for its criminal facilitation and monetization of abuse and pain. But Pornhub will face justice if we have anything to say about it. So stay tuned! We know these deleted videos are just the start of even more victories ahead. We’ll get there one step at a time.