Pornhub Accused Of Profiting From Videos Of Rape & Sexual Abuse

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An internet petition has been started to shut down Pornhub, which has come under fire for profiting from videos posted to the site that seem to portray rape and sexual abuse, reported The Guardian. The change.org petition, which also seeks to hold the company’s executives accountable for allegedly aiding in sex trafficking, currently has roughly 350,000 signatures.

The allegations, raised by anti-sex trafficking activist group Exodus Cry, center around Pornhub failing to verify the age and consent of the people featured in their hosted videos. Failure to do so makes the company complicit in the trafficking of minors says Exodus Cry, which, according to its website, believes the commercial sex industry “promotes the exploitation of the vulnerable through prostitution, pornography, and stripping.”

Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait explained the issue via the online petition.

“This is a company that is generating millions in advertising and membership revenue and yet they do not have an effective system in place to verify reliably the age or consent of those featured in the pornographic content it hosts.”

Pornhub is currently the largest porn site in the world, with 42 billion visitors yearly. Most content on the site is free, with a premium subscription being available; neither option restricts access on the basis of age. Additional revenue is raised through advertising, including fees paid by film producers to promote content on the site.

Pornhub’s parent company, Mindgeek, is based in Luxembourg, with offices in Montreal, London, Nicosia and Los Angeles. Mindgeek denies all allegations made against them and insists that there are sufficient measures in place to filter and remove illegal content.

“Pornhub has a steadfast commitment to eradicating and fighting non-consensual content and under-age material. Any suggestion otherwise is categorically and factually inaccurate.”

The petitioners emphasize that Pornhub hosts numerous videos depicting violent and hardcore pornography, and that it is crucial to make sure the company is taking the steps necessary to ensure all sexual acts are consensual.

The petition also mentions that one of the porn site’s most popular categories is sex with young teenagers. Due to the high prevalence of videos featuring supposed teens, Exodus Cry is concerned about the content being legally consensual.

This is not the first time that Pornhub has been accused of providing problematic content. Last month, the BBC reported that a woman who was raped when she was 14 years old discovered a video of her assault on the porn site. She was forced to threaten legal action against the company to ensure that the video was taken down.