Netflix’s Pornhub Documentary Sheds Light on the Need for Age and Consent Verification

The Netflix documentary Moneyshot: The Pornhub Story addressed multiple narratives around the rise of the popular pornography website Pornhub – but most importantly it shed light on cases of the company profiting from and facilitating sexual exploitation. [Content warning: this documentary includes nudity, child abuse references, language, sexual violence references.]

Dani Pinter, a lawyer with the NCOSE Law Center, was interviewed for the documentary. 

A major take away from the documentary, that both NCOSE and most pornography performers interviewed agreed on, is the need for strict age and consent verification and improved moderation in the pornography industry. You can help join the call for this common-sense reform by signing this petition

NCOSE’s goal is to create avenues of justice for survivors and bring accountability to facilitators of sexual exploitation.

We wish to walk alongside survivors, elevate resources and survivor voices, and to enable access to justice. NCOSE’s Law Center files lawsuits on behalf of survivors, seeking monetary damages on their behalf and accountability for those who profit from abuse. Learn more at https://sexualexploitationlawsuits.com/ 

>>The safety and well-being of those used in the sex trade whose income is suddenly drastically reduced is very important to NCOSE. This list of resources may be able to help these individuals with short-term solutions. SexTradeSurvivorResources.com 

A review of the facts: Pornhub has facilitated child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, rape videos, and other image based sexual abuse.

A young boy was 12 years old when he was raped by an adult man, who drugged him, overpowered him, and filmed his sexual abuse. 

The child abuser uploaded videos to Pornhub in 2018. It is reported that these videos generated “188,000 video views with more than 1,100 subscribers on Pornhub…One video generated more than 50,000 views…” 

Do you know a 12-year-old? Think for a moment of a child you may see standing in line at the grocery store, selling lemonade on the sidewalk, your niece or nephew, your neighbor, or your own son or daughter.  

Think about the horror, the life-sentence of trauma, of knowing at 12 years old that the worst moment of your life was viewed by countless people, serving as a source of enjoyment and sexual pleasure for them. 

“Make no mistake – this lawsuit does not concern the voluntary act of consensual sex between adults, with the distribution occurring through their consent,” the lawsuit states. “The victims depicted in these images were obviously children. The dissemination of these videos to millions of viewers across the world continued notwithstanding law enforcement’s pleas to take them down because they contained child pornography.” 

Pornhub failed to remove the videos until December of 2019—over a year later—after law enforcement made three inquiries about removing them. 

This echos numerous other stories of underage survivors, as covered by the New York Times and BBC, who begged Pornhub to remove videos of their abuse only to be met with apathy. 

Strong evidence exists that Pornhub, owned by the conglomerate MindGeek, has facilitated sexual abuse and failed to effectively remove it time and time again. This is a systemic issue. 

There are currently five lawsuits against Pornhub / MindGeek in the United States (two of which are class action lawsuits) and more in Canada where MindGeek is headquartered

Pornhub and other sites have facilitated child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, rape videos, and image based sexual abuse. This is a systemic Internet issue. We need age and consent verification. #PornhubStory #Traffickinghub #Netflix Click To Tweet

In fact, in 2020 MindGeek’s executives were investigated by the Canadian House of Commons Ethics Committee, where they admitted that child sexual abuse materials and other harms have surfaced on their sites. During these hearings it was revealed that Pornhub reported zero instances of child sexual abuse materials to US or Canadian law enforcement for over a decade. This meant zero reports of suspected CSAM (aka child pornography) were forwarded to authorities from 2008-2019 and for most of 2020.

Learn more about evidence of abuses here. 

@endexploitation P*rnhub was full of child s*xual abuse, trafficking, r*pe, and other exploitive material. This won’t change until the age and consent of each person appearing in the videos is verified. This should be the industry standard for not only P*rnhub, but all websites allowing explicit content. #EndExploitation #Trafficking #exploitationawareness #ageverification #childexploitation #peopleoverprofit #ConsentMatters ♬ original sound – NCOSE

The Desperate Need for Meaningful Age and Consent Verification and Proactive Moderation

It is clear by the cases of abuse that the policies put in place were not effective at preventing trauma and abuse. In the Moneyshot Netflix documentary, an anonymous former content moderator of MindGeek shared: 

I think the company could have done more to prevent certain things. And chose not to. And only really changed some things after it got in trouble…When I worked there, there was a little over 30 moderators. Every moderator had to review 700 videos per day, but it was expected for us to do more…I can’t really tell from a video the age of somebody…They could be 14 or they could be 19. Basically, we would just guess. 

In addition to this, Pornhub even has a history of “verifying” sex trafficking accounts and failing to report child abuse. 

Case in point: GirlsDoPorn was a popular and verified partner channel on Pornhub. It was a production company that had documentation of verification and consent for its “performers.” Yet behind the documentation loomed a confirmed sex trafficking operation that used abusive and exploitative tactics to acquire the “verification” and “consent” it needed to profit from the supply of women it abused. 

In fact, the NCOSE Law Center is representing a survivor in a lawsuit against MindGeek in a case where the minor was sex trafficked through Pornhub’s verified “Modelhub” program. (Read more about that case further below.) Additionally, there is the example of a young girl who was missing–until her mother found over 50 “verified” videos of her daughter posted to Pornhub by her traffickers. This happened because MindGeek’s “verification” process only verified the uploaders, who were the abusers, and did not verify the age and consent of the victims abused in the videos. 

Similar cases have happened on other platforms in France and Prauge

Clearly, Pornhub’s “verification” measures have been grossly ineffective at preventing abuse.  

It is vital for every person depicted in a sexually explicit video or image to have meaningful age and consent verification—NOT just verifying the identity of a person who runs an account. As we have seen from survivor testimonies and court cases, the uploader can be the rapist or child abuserverifying their identity does nothing to protect their victims.  

This is common sense. In fact, in the documentary Siri Dahl, a prominent performer, shared that verification and improved moderation is “what people in the porn industry have been asking for.” 

The Momentum for Accountability is Growing

Survivors are speaking out! 

While these crimes have been simmering on Pornhub and other platforms like it for years, survivors are now bravely stepping forward to call for justice. 

Pornhub currently faces multiple class action lawsuits worldwide against it for hosting child sex abuse material and image-based sexual abuse content. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is currently co-counsel in a class action case on behalf of a minor whose exploitation was uploaded to Pornhub. 

Excerpt of information about one of the survivors in this lawsuit: 

Plaintiff Jane Doe was just 16 years old when she was drugged and raped. The child sexual abuse and rape of Jane Doe was filmed by the abuser. That same man entered into a profit-sharing relationship with MindGeek under its Modelhub program. Under the terms of that program, MindGeek and Jane Doe’s rapist agreed to share profits from views and downloads of Jane Doe’s victimization on MindGeek’s websites. MindGeek reviewed, categorized, tagged, and disseminated the images and videos depicting the rape and sexual exploitation of sixteen-year-old Jane Doe. One of the videos of Jane Doe had been viewed over 2,400 times after MindGeek added it to its websites in early 2018. 

At no time did MindGeek or Pornhub attempt to verify Jane Doe’s identity, age, inquire about her status as a victim of trafficking, or otherwise protect or warn against her traffickers before or while the video of her being drugged and raped was sold, downloaded, viewed and otherwise advertised on Pornhub. 

Read More About this Lawsuit Against Pornhub 

Mainstream companies are recognizing the abuses on Pornhub. 

YouTubeTikTok, and Instagram all removed and blocked Pornhub’s verified accounts from their platforms for good. (Pornhub had verified accounts on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok that were easily accessible to kids—read more here.) Visa, Mastercard, Comcast, Roku, PayPal, and Kraft-Heinz have also distanced themselves from the pornography company. 

It Goes Beyond Just Pornhub. 

Other pornography platforms like OnlyFans , XHamster, and XVideos, and even mainstream platforms like Twitter and Reddit and more, have facilitated forms of child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, or image-based sexual abuse. We need greater corporate responsibility throughout all online platforms to verify age and consent for people depicted in any explicit content they host and/or profit from. 

You Can Take Action and Join the Movement for Justice! 

Learn more here, consider sharing this blog and other information on social media to help spread the word.  

Donate to support the movement to end sexual exploitation in all its forms. 

Sign this below petition calling for COMMON SENSE solutions that would curb much of this harm!  

Pornhub and similar websites must be forced to meaningfully and effectively verify the age and consent of all who are depicted in sexually explicit content they host and profit from. 

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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