Adult content giant Pornhub is cracking down on unverified users to rid the platform of content depicting child rape and other harmful topics. The sweep consisted of suspending all videos that were not uploaded by its verified models or content partners.
“This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter have yet to institute,” the company explained in a blog post about the changes. “At Pornhub, the safety of our community is our top priority.”
The website was thrust into the spotlight after New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof penned a report on December 4th, accusing Pornhub of monetizing shocking videos. These videos depicted disgusting acts such as revenge porn, child rapes, hidden camera footage of women showering, and even footage of women being asphyxiated. According to Kristof, these videos had been uploaded by “many” of the website’s 6.8 million users. At the time of the explosive exposé, Pornhub allowed any user to upload videos and download them. Just three days after the report, both Mastercard and Visa announced that they would stop processing payments for the site. Discover and American Express have also joined the ban. Paypal cut ties with the company in 2019. Visa even went as far as to ban transactions with websites owned by Pornhub’s parent company Mindgeek. This includes Youporn, XTube, Redtube, and Brazzers.
“The use of our cards at Pornhub is being terminated. Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site. As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.” Mastercard said in a statement.
While Pornhub is happy to cleanse its site of harmful content, the company does believe that it is being singled out.
“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform,” the company said. “These are the same forces that have spent 50 years demonizing Playboy, the National Endowment for the Arts, sex education, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and even the American Library Association. Today, it happens to be Pornhub.”
A review conducted by the Internet Watch Foundation discovered 118 cases over a three year period that depicted child rape on Pornhub.