Pornhub Exposed Again: Shocking Internal Emails + Undercover Investigation

Sasha’s* hand trembled as she dragged the cursor over the video of her rape, towards the report button.

Despair sat heavily in her gut. This was the fourteenth time she had reported the video to Pornhub. And no action had been taken.

She didn’t even know why she kept doing this—pulling up the heinous video again and again, seeing all the new views it had collected, the cruel comments … In short, retraumatizing herself for the sake of making yet another report that would only be ignored.

Sasha clicked the report button.

But as she shut her laptop and crawled back into bed, she made a decision:

No more.

This was the last time she would do this. It hurt too much. And clearly, she was only screaming into the void.

Pornhub’s Shocking Policy: Only Review an Abuse Video if Reported Over 15 Times

Last week, some deeply disturbing internal emails between the Pornhub CEO and his executive team were found through legal discovery in a class action lawsuit against the corporation. What these messages revealed is this:

Under Pornhub’s official policies, if a survivor reported a video of their rape or sexual abuse fifteen times or less, it would never even be looked at.

The below emails show the Pornhub/MindGeek (recently rebranded as “Aylo”) executive team discussing that the company’s official policy was to only review a video if it had been reported/flagged over fifteen times.

One employee aptly summarized: “So basically, a video with 15 flags is never viewed…”

Unfathomably, Pornhub/MindGeek CEO, Feras Antoon, replied to this email chain by stating that these policies seemed “good and reasonable” to him.

Image Source: Tweet by Laila Mickelwait

To add insult to injury, the above emails also reveal that Pornhub had a backlog of 706,425 videos that had been reported between one and fifteen times. That’s up to 706,425 cases of possible rape or child sexual abuse which Pornhub deliberately chose not to review.

One would think that, given the enormous backlog, it would be Pornhub’s top priority to allocate more staff to reviewing reported videos. But clearly, that was far from the case.

Despite the fact that MindGeek, Pornhub’s parent company, had about 1,400 employees prior to major layoffs in 2022, they only had one person tasked with reviewing reported videos 5 days/week—as stated in the first email.

If these policies were so “good and reasonable,” why did Pornhub feel the need to hide them? The emails clearly show the executive team discussing their intention not to publicly disclose this information, saying, “I wouldn’t mention the threshold of when we manually review a flagged video being 15 flags +.” 

Image Source: Tweet by Laila Mickelwait

As appallingly weak as Pornhub’s official policies were, it seems that enforcement of their policies was even weaker. The legal discovery also uncovered internal text messages within MindGeek, discussing how “management doesn’t want the rules enforced as written.”

Image Source: Tweet by Laila Mickelwait

These internal messages are only the latest of extensive evidence demonstrating how callously and carelessly Pornhub handled videos of child sexual abuse, rape, and other image-based sexual abuse on its platform, profiting from these videos en masse. 

Undercover Investigation: Pornhub Employee Admits to “Loophole” in Verification Measures

Shortly following the revelations from the internal emails, an undercover investigation with a Pornhub employee exposed even more atrocities.

In a video released by Sound Investigations, long-time Pornhub employee Mike Farley admits to a serious “loophole” in the company’s verification measures. Namely: users can upload videos of people without having to show their faces. This enables sex traffickers and rapists to upload videos of anyone they want and monetize the content. Pornhub’s verification process involves uploaders showing an ID, such as a driver’s license—but since pornographic videos often don’t show faces, it is impossible to match them against IDs.

Farley states, “How are you going to tell me who’s in that video if the girl’s not showing her face? That wouldn’t hold in court. That would be the loophole that I always, like, I look at that, and I’m like, ‘That’s stupid,’ but everybody is just kind of rolling with it.”

When the investigative journalist asked why Pornhub doesn’t change this loophole, Farley responded, “Because it costs money. It would be counterintuitive to business.”

Farley says he and other staff raised the issue with Pornhub’s Chief Product Officer and Chief Legal officer “and they’re both telling us it’s all good.” He says the CPO’s response, especially, has effectively been to tell them to “shut up.”

Of course, the insufficiency Pornhub’s verification measures are not news to us. NCOSE has long been calling for Pornhub and all pornography sites to be required to meaningfully verify the age and consent of all individuals depicted in the videos. It is not enough to verify the uploader, as in many cases, the uploader is the sex trafficker.

The undercover investigation confirms that high-ranking executives at Pornhub were well aware that their verification process had serious shortcomings, yet refused to address this, therefore consciously choosing to profit sexual abuse and sex trafficking. 

It’s long past time for Pornhub to be held accountable. Here’s how you can help!

1. Call for Age and Consent Verification!

The only way to stop the proliferation of criminal content on pornography sites is for these sites to be required to verify the age and meaningful consent of every individual depicted in uploaded videos. Sign the petition calling for this common sense safety measure now!

2. Support the NCOSE Law Center in Pursuing Justice for Survivors

The NCOSE Law Center is representing survivors in lawsuits against Pornhub and other major pornography sites that have profited from their abuse. As our survivor clients always remain free of fees, your support is a big part of what makes these lawsuits possible. Please consider a donation!

*A likely story, not depicting a real individual

The Numbers


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


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


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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