• Aditya Das

Does PornHub promote sex trafficking?

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

Ishika Somani

October 28, 2020

(Photo: Traffickinghub)

Being one of the most popular and lucrative websites in the world, PornHub has garnered over 42 billion visits and 6 million uploads annually. In the past, it has ensured that while its content is explicit, it gives back to society in a number of ways through its initiatives: promoting sex education, providing scholarships, supports artists, and participates in the fight to preserve and clean oceans. However, the good rapport this website built, along with its parent company, MindGeek, had come to a shocking end as they were accused of sex trafficking, the promotion of child pornography, and rape.

A nonprofit based in the US, Exodus Cry had initiated the petition to be signed globally in an attempt to shut the website down altogether and to hold the company and its executives responsible for its actions. “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,” the Exodus Cry founder said, according to The Guardian.

This outrage stemmed from the numerous videos that had surfaced online of real videos of child sexual abuse, adult trafficking, assault, and rape, all videos that Pornhub capitalized on. Eventually, the facts of real cases were shared on the internet, proving how disastrous this website really is. A fairly recent example of such a case included that of a 15-year-old girl from Florida who was missing for over a year and found only after 58 videos of her sexual assault were uploaded online on Pornhub, according to Daily Mail UK.

The movement has been highlighted across numerous media platforms and has received a lot of support via online activism and peaceful protests in front of the headquarters and offices in Montreal, Canada, and LA, California. The movement to shut down the world’s largest porn site profiting from mass sexual exploitation is something that has caught the eye of more than 300 anti-trafficking, child protection, and women’s rights organizations, and even some from the industry itself who released statements exposing the websites exploitative and illegal practices.

"All it takes to upload content to Pornhub is an email address—no government-issued ID is required. Pornhub doesn't bother to reliably verify the age or the consent of the millions featured in the videos it hosts and profits from. The site is set up for exploitation and is infested with videos of the real rape, trafficking, abuse, and exploitation of women and children. We have significant evidence and it is just the tip of the iceberg. Pornhub is arguably the largest public collection of sexual exploitation evidence in existence," asserts campaign founder Laila Mickelwait, according to Meaww. "Shut it down and lock them up."

Sources: The Guardian, Daily Mail UK, Meaww

Edited by: Shreya Gupta and Aditya Das

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