Pornhub deletes two thirds of the videos from its platform


Pornhub gives in to pressure and deletes videos uploaded by unverified users, which account for more than half of its total repository. The main platform for pornographic content, with more than 42,000 million visits in 2019, thus tries to limit the consequences that can be derived from the article by The New York Times published on December 4, questioning the use of images of sexual violence and child pornography on this website. The article provoked angry reactions from Canadian civil and political organizations and led Visa and MasterCard to end their relationship with the company.

On Sunday night, Pornhub announced in a statement posted on its news blog “its policy to prohibit unverified users from uploading videos. We have now discontinued all previously uploaded content that was not created by partner companies or members of the model program. (…) This means that each material uploaded to Pornhub comes from verified sources, a requirement that platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have not yet established ”.

This Monday, the Pornhub search bar indicates that there are just over 2.9 million videos available. According to Motherboard, the figure was around 8.8 million the day before. “The safety of our community is our number one priority,” the statement said. The process of user verification and review of the withdrawn material will begin next year.

The article in The New York Times pointed out the presence on Pornhub of videos resulting from child abuse, the revenge porn, rape, hidden cameras and extreme violence. Kristof shared the testimonies of some victims; He also wondered why the government of Justin Trudeau, who defines himself as a feminist, allows this firm to take advantage of this kind of video.

Pornhub belongs to MindGeek, a conglomerate of technology platforms – mostly pornographic – whose headquarters is located in Montreal (Quebec), but which is registered in Luxembourg for tax reasons.

On the same day that the article was published in the New York newspaper, Pornhub dismissed the accusations as “irresponsible and flagrantly false”, in addition to pointing out that it has a zero tolerance policy regarding child abuse and has a team of human moderators along with technologies. automated to remove illegal content. Those responsible for Pornhub have stated that the attacks against it have to do above all with the fact that it is a platform for adult material. However, Kristof had underlined in his piece: “The problem is not pornography, but rape.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted (without specifically citing Pornhub) that his government will continue to work with law enforcement agencies, by all means possible, against gender-based violence, the exploitation of minors and child pornography. However, a group of Canadian deputies and senators asked David Lametti, Minister of Justice, to crack down on Pornhub and recalled that they had sent a letter to Trudeau with the same arguments last March, but with no response.

In that month, an online petition began to circulate – promoted by the Exodus Cry organization – to demand the closure of Pornhub (more than 1.2 million signatures of support so far). Following the article by Nicholas Kristof, Canadian organizations such as Aura Freedom International and the Center Against Women’s Abuse of London (Ontario) joined the voices calling for the platform to be investigated. In addition, Visa and MasterCard announced that they would conduct their own investigations. It should be remembered that PayPal stopped collaborating with Pornhub in November 2019.

After the uproar, Pornhub reported on December 8 that in 2021 it will develop a system to verify the identity of users who want to upload videos and that only pornographic production companies will be able to share their content. In addition, he indicated that it will be impossible for users to download images. On the same day, Justin Trudeau announced that his government will introduce a bill to force Internet companies to remove illegal content, such as child pornography and hate messages.

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