Pornhub Closer to Being Held Accountable for Abuse and Exploitation

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Judge Allows Survivor’s Case to Move Forward   

WASHINGTON, DC (September 10, 2021) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) called the recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to allow a survivor’s case to move forward against MindGeek-owned Pornhub an “important step” to hold this pornography company accountable. 
 
The judge’s decision allows claims based on violations of federal laws against possession and distribution of child sex abuse material (also known as child pornography) to move forward.  
 
“Pornhub is an exploiter and has evaded responsibility for profiting from child sex abuse and other illegal content for too long. Pornhub argued that it should be immune from being held liable by using Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as a shield. But the judge’s decision here recognizes that Congress changed the law to clarify that there is no immunity for internet platforms that knowingly benefit from sex trafficking,” said Peter Gentala, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which also filed a class action lawsuit against Pornhub on behalf of two survivors of childhood sex trafficking. 

“While this litigation is still in the early stages, the judge’s decision here clears the way for a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of people who have been the victim of child sex abuse material on Pornhub. 
 
“We applaud the brave survivor who is the lead plaintiff for the lawsuit, as well as her legal team from the law firm of Susman Godfrey, LLP,” Gentala added. 
 
Six civil lawsuits have been filed against MindGeek, including two class action lawsuits in the U.S. on behalf of minors, one of which was jointly filed by NCOSE and several other law firms on behalf of two survivors of childhood sex trafficking. 

NCOSE and other survivors and advocates held a virtual U.S. Congressional briefing in April that presented evidence of the rampant criminality on Pornhub and included testimony from survivors. An online petition has garnered over 2.2 million signatures to shut down Pornhub for aiding sex trafficking.

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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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