Pornhub Just Got Kicked off Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok – Here’s Why

Predatory pornography site Pornhub was recently booted off three major social media platforms that served as Pornhub’s distribution channels – putting children and adults alike at risk of accessing the criminal, violent, racist content Pornhub peddles. After NCOSE and allies shared evidence of wrongdoing, YouTubeTikTok, and Instagram all removed and blocked Pornhub’s verified accounts from their platforms for good.  

These corporations have joined several others that have made the principled, ethical, and business-savvy decision to cease buttressing Pornhub’s infrastructure and drying up the profits made from people’s trauma, abuse, and exploitation. 

Pornhub account was accessible on teens’ top 3 most popular platforms

Imagine your tween is searching for holiday gift ideas and lands on a TikTok video called “Holiday Collection” featuring pornography performers around a Christmas tree peddling Pornhub holiday sweaters barely covering breasts in a grossly deceptive Hallmark-like commercial.  

Or your teen is considering possible professions and Instagram serves up “Next Career Goal?” with pornography performers pushing selling one’s body as an empowering job choice.  

Maybe your child is looking up Halloween costume ideas on YouTube and is directed to Pornhub’s video on “Halloween Costume Searches” that includes a suggestion to “check out our Pornhub insights blog for more details and other posts on Pornhub.com.” 

Pornhub had verified accounts on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok that were easily accessible to kids. 

Between those three social media accounts alone, Pornhub had nearly 15 million subscribers – that means people who signed up to actively follow and receive alerts from Pornhub. And remember, those numbers don’t reflect the countless people who viewed the content – including children who had full access to Pornhub’s social media accounts (The Pornhub account surfaced even when Safe Search was on and our researchers posing as teens were not blocked from viewing the account on Instagram or TikTok). 

In fact, the likelihood that children were on Pornhub’s social media accounts is significant – given that the latest data for 2022 has YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram as the TOP three platforms used by teens). So by providing Pornhub a space on their platforms, these social media companies not only normalized a predatory, criminal enterprise, they risked exposing children to child sex abuse material, sex trafficking and rape videos, image-based sexual abuse content, and extreme violenceracism, and incest found on Pornhub. 

Why is Pornhub’s presence on social media problematic?

Now, it’s true that we did not find any actual pornography on Pornhub’s accounts for these three platforms (keep reading to find out why they were kicked off). Pornography and highly sexualized content is technically against the policies of YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram (though sadly, effective moderation of these policies is still very much lacking). 

So, if the Pornhub account wasn’t showing pornography, is it really a big deal? 

Yes! It’s a major problem – for several reasons: 

  • The very existence of Pornhub on social media platforms normalizes and even glamorizes this predatory enterprise. And when an account is verified – as Pornhub’s was on all three platforms – it means the social media company has confirmed that the account is “authentic,” and it sends a powerful signal to users of “credibility and trustworthiness.” In other words it was like giving Pornhub a “seal of approval,” indicated to users that it’s a business like any other, when we know that could not be further from the truth.  
  • As noted above, by allowing Pornhub a place on their platforms, social media companies risk exposing people to the criminal, violent, racist content on Pornhub and other pornography sites. We found several instances in which Pornhub’s social media accounts directed people to the Pornhub site – either verbally in videos and/or by including hyperlinks to Pornhub in the account description. Pornhub currently has 14 class action lawsuits worldwide against it for hosting child sex abuse material and image-based sexual abuse content. GirlsDoPorn conspirators, a verified partner of Pornhub’s Modelhub program, were found guilty of sex trafficking by DOJ. Founder is on FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List. Hundreds of survivors have come forward (either privately through lawsuits or publicly) to bear witness against Pornhub. This exploitative enterprise should be refused any public platform. 

By removing Pornhub from their platforms, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok likely dealt a blow to Pornhub’s profit and hopefully slowed its user base from growing. 

Pornhub MO: “Repeated Violations”

NCOSE believes that in principle, Pornhub is a sexual exploiter that has no place on mainstream platforms. Period. It has proven to be a dangerous entity and should be treated as such. 

However, the verified, official Pornhub accounts also repeatedly violated policies of all three platforms – yet another way Pornhub shows us they believe they are above laws, above policies. NCOSE and other allies brought these violations to the attention of our social media contacts and advocated for Pornhub’s removal. 

In September 2022, Instagram removed Pornhub for accumulating multiple violations over the course of more than a decade – including directly promoting pornography and sexual solicitation. Soon after the account with 13 million subscribers was booted, Pornhub created another IG account and bragged about it on Twitter. We notified Instagram and they swiftly removed that account as well. 

TikTok had a ban on Pornhub, but the pornography site created a new account with a less obvious name in late November. #traffickinghub founder and NCOSE ally Laila Mickelwait flagged that Pornhub was promoting their TikTok account on Twitter. NCOSE notified TikTok and within a few hours, the Pornhub account was removed and blocked, with TikTok confirming that it was permanently banned. 

YouTube had amassed 900K subscribers in 8 years and was not blocked by SafeSearch. NCOSE sent evidence to YouTube of what we believed were violations of the prohibition of including urls, hyperlinks, or verbal instructions to pornography sites (a policy that NCOSE helped push through at Google Ads and then later with YouTube). After review, YouTube alerted NCOSE that they had terminated the channel for violations of their Community Guidelines. 

All three platforms state that they consider off-platform behavior in making decisions about specific accounts. They may look at how an account is acting on other social media platforms, as well as what the individual or company is doing offline. While we don’t know if either YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok took Pornhub’s off-platform violations into account – we’d be surprised if they didn’t and hope other social media companies investigate the extensive evidence against Pornhub. 

With these three major social media platform removing Pornhub, they have lost a significant percentage of their social media presence. We now call on Twitter, Discord, and Reddit, to remove all Pornhub and Pornhub-related accounts from their platforms as well – or risk exposing children and adults to illegal content. 

The once- extensive Pornhub empire continues to crumble – thanks to the brave survivors speaking out, watchdog organizations keeping tabs, and people like YOU demanding change!  

Here’s to more wins for dignity in 2023! 

Now it’s Twitter’s turn to kick Pornhub to the curb! Please sign this petition asking Elon Musk to remove Pornhub – known for hosting child sex abuse material – from his platform:

#yourturnTwitter #traffickinghub

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.

Previous
Next

Stories

Survivor Lawsuit Against Twitter Moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

Instagram Makes Positive Safety Changes via Improved Reporting and Direct Message Tools

Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

Support Dignity

There are more ways that you can support dignity today, through an online gift, taking action, or joining our team.

Defend Human Dignity. Donate Now.

Defend Dignity.
Donate Now.