The REAL Pornhub Year in Review 2023

Every year Pornhub releases a “Year in Review” where they brag about the billions of views they get around the world. But this year, we welcome you to The REAL Pornhub Year in Review, where we bring you the 2023 ripped-from-the-headlines stories, including alleged exploitation by the numbers, and a summary of the groundbreaking undercover investigations into Pornhub’s own employees. 

Without further ado, below is a breakdown of news that defined Pornhub’s 2023: 

Legal Updates that Defined 2023

TWO Class Actions CERTIFIED against Pornhub’s parent company

In historic rulings, two federal courts certified classes of individuals who were abused or exploited as children and had videos of that abuse distributed on Pornhub.  

In November, a federal district court in California granted a motion to certify a class in a case against Pornhub and its parent company Aylo, for allegedly “systematically participat[ing] in sex-trafficking ventures involving tens of thousands of children by receiving, distributing, and profiting from droves of child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”).”  

The court  found, “there is evidence from Defendants’ own records demonstrating the presence of thousands of pieces of CSAM on their sites.” Further, the court  states, “evidence suggests that Defendants knew that users were uploading significant amounts of CSAM to their websites. And despite that knowledge, Defendants did not implement sufficient policies and practices to prevent that from occurring over and over again.”  

A month later, on December 19th, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama certified a similar class and permitted a young survivor of child sexual abuse material to serve as its representative in the lawsuit Doe #1 et al v. MG Freesites LTD et al. The survivor plaintiff’s legal team consists of the NCOSE Law Center; The Zarzaur Law Firm; Prince Glover Hayes; Levin Papantonio Rafferty; Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP; and Clark Hill, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can learn more about this case here.  

New Lawsuit filed in CA federal court against Pornhub parent company by over 60 victims!  

Talk about putting up big numbers! In October of 2023, 62 women sued Aylo Media, parent company of Pornhub, “alleg[ing] sex trafficking, human trafficking, racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering,” for its alleged “partnership with GirlsDoPorn to ‘advertise, sell, market, edit, and otherwise exploit GirlsDoPorn’s illegal sex trafficking videos on its websites.’” 

The San Diego Tribune reports, “According to the complaint, a video featuring one of the plaintiffs was the second most viewed video in 2014 on PornHub — a site that the complaint alleges had 42 billion views in 2019, making it the 10th most visited website in the world.” 

Super Size: As of 2023, Pornhub is playing defense in 10 lawsuits around the World! 

According to Laila Mickelwait, founder of the #Traffickinghub campaign, approximately 256 alleged victims have now sued Pornhub across the U.S. and Canada since 2020 in 10 lawsuits

Pornhub Insights 

You may wonder how Pornhub’s employees would explain the company’s approach to ensuring videos are fully consensual. Well, wonder no more. Their own staff have explained some of their secrets in a viral investigative series by Sound Investigations

For example, Pornhub’s technical product manager shared about a “loophole” that allows verified users to upload videos of people without having to show their faces.

And one of Pornhub’s senior scriptwriters shared that pornographic ads for their suite of porn companies do much better when younger-looking actors (i.e. “guys that look like 15”) are featured. 

One of Pornhub’s former supervisors and compliance employees shared that those wishing to advertise on Pornhub and other sites don’t have to verify the age, consent, or identity of people featured in pornographic advertisements. 

The Investigations that Defined 2023 

And Sound Investigations really turned eyes on Pornhub! Let’s see how some of their videos did by the numbers! 

The below view-counts are estimates based on recent review across all platforms: 

Video 1: 2.5-3 MILLION views! WOW! 

Video 3: approximately 500 thousand views 

Video 5: approximately 500 thousand views 

Video 7: released on December 14, 2023, already has over 38 thousand views on Twitter at the time of publication!

Letter to Pornhub parent company signed by 26 state Attorneys General! 

Pornhub’s Official Year in Review broke down traffic to its website by State, but what’s even more exciting is the interest of 26 state Attorneys General who wrote to Pornhub with “concerns about child sexual abuse material.” 

According to reporting by ABC News 4, “The letter asks PornHub parent company Aylo to defend itself against these allegations and explain what actions are being taken in response.” 

“‘As you are aware, various Federal and state laws forbid the creation and distribution of [child sexual abuse material],’ the letter reads. ‘Please provide us with an explanation of this ‘loophole;’ whether Aylo and its subsidiaries do, in fact, permit content creators and performers to obscure their faces in uploaded content; and, if so, whether Aylo is taking measures to change this policy to ensure that no children or other victims are being abused for profit on any of its platforms.’” 

Pornhub Free: by State 

Pornhub has taken action!….against age verification laws. Apparently, this is the priority for Pornhub’s parent company Aylo and they have “banned” users from 4 states from accessing their site due to legislative efforts to require age verification before entering the pornography website. Interesting strategy! Let’s see how it plays out for them! 

As the Washington Examiner reports: “The pornography website Pornhub has taken preemptive action to bar access from several states over laws requiring age verification to access the site. 

The adult content website announced in late June that it was barring access from users in Arkansas because the state enacted legislation requiring pornography websites to confirm users’ ages and identities before allowing access. Requiring age verification standards for pornographic websites arose as an idea after Louisiana succeeded in passing the legislation, which led to more than half a dozen states passing their own versions of the bill.” 

Pornhub has “banned” 4 states due to this legislation to prevent child access to their site. Let’s see the breakdown of Pornhub free states: 


According to the Washington examiner: “Arkansas is the latest state to have its users banned by Pornhub. The company implemented the ban days before the state was scheduled to enforce age verification rules.” 


Virginia passed a similar age verification law in May and, “Pornhub responded in late June by redirecting all attempts to visit the site from those states to a separate page with a video by adult film performer Cherie DeVille.” 

However, “Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) ‘remains committed to protecting Virginia’s children from dangerous material on the internet,’ a spokeswoman said in a  statement.” 


Mississippi passed their age verification law in April and experienced the same response from Pornhub as Virginia. 


Same experience for Utah which passed its age verification bill in March. 

Pornhub has been Trending in the Media! 

Pornhub has gotten so much attention from news media, and we just wanted to highlight some of the most accurate and compelling stories from 2023. 
The Verge: Pornhub is Changing its Name to Total Nonsense 

Politico: A Simple Law Is Doing the Impossible. It’s Making the Online Porn Industry Retreat. 

VICE: Pornhub Sues Texas Over Age Verification Law 

ABC4 News: 26 AGs send letter to Pornhub with concerns about child sex abuse material 

Times of San Diego: Pornhub Parent Company Sued by 61 Women for Videos Published Without Consent 

NBC 15: Pornhub branded ‘serial exploiter’ by watchdog following undercover investigation 

The Irish Times: Woman sues Pornhub claiming recordings of her being sexually abused appeared on the site 

The Gazette: Sex Trafficking victims call on judge to recuse himself in Pornhub criminal case 

ABA Journal: Citing allegations of ‘unimaginable suffering’ by child sex-abuse survivors, judge allows class action against Pornhub 

This was Pornhub’s 2023! Join with us to continue shedding light on the sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as public health harms, facilitated by this company and the pornography industry at large.

In 2024, we are fighting for survivors, for accountability, and for justice!

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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