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March 20, 2020

WORLD: Illicit Opportunism

Originally Published by WORLD

By Mary Jackson

Pornhub is trying to lure Europeans quarantined for the coronavirus into streaming its pornographic videos, some of which contain trafficked children and adults and rapes. The internet’s largest pornography website offered users in France, Italy, and Spain free one-month subscriptions to its “premium” content.

The clearinghouse for user-generated pornography framed its free access during the COVID-19 crisis as an act of charity. But Laila Mickelwait of the anti-trafficking group Exodus Cry called it “mass exploitation for the purpose of pleasure and profit.”

Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, charged Pornhub with “shamelessly leveraging” the pandemic for its bottom line. She said enabling more people to access its abusive and exploitative material will only cause “increased sexual violence and abuse against untold numbers of adults and children.”

Pornographers uploaded more than 6 million new videos to Pornhub last year, according to data from the website’s parent company, MindGeek. The site has no system in place to verify the age or consent of those featured in its content. “Kids are two clicks away from watching real child trafficking and rape,” Mickelwait warned.

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