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Pornhub Purges Content, Restricts Uploads to Verified Users

Porn titan bows to pressure.
by Agence France Presse
Dec 16, 2020
Photo/s: shutterstock

MONTREAL, Canada -- Adult content giant Pornhub has announced the "suspension" of content uploaded by non-verified users as the site faces turmoil over claims of turning a blind eye to videos of child abuse, rape and revenge porn.

Pressure has mounted since the New York Times published a piece accusing the site of profiting from abusive content, with Visa and Mastercard announcing they would no longer process payments to Pornhub. 


Pornhub Announces Changes After Report Alleging Videos of Abuse

Visa, Mastercard Dump Pornhub Over Abuse Video Claims

The site has scrambled to respond, announcing measures last week against content uploaded by people who had not been verified as well as saying on Monday that it took action against clips already on the platform.

"As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program," the site said in a statement, referring to verification of the ages of people in videos.

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"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," it added.

Going forward, only content partners and people who earn ad revenue from their videos will be able to upload to the site, and a new user verification process would be rolled out next year.

The Times piece claims that of the 6.8 million new videos posted each year on the site, "many" depict "child abuse and nonconsensual violence," including scenes of incest and women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.

Based in Canada, but registered in Luxembourg, Pornhub had 42 billion visits last year and generates revenues through advertising as well as paid subscriptions for premium content.

The company is not new to controversy. 

In 2019, several groups, including Unilever and Kraft Heinz distanced themselves from Pornhub after an article in Britain's Sunday Times identified videos with sexual content involving children.

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"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 site said in its statement.

The Canadian government has announced that it will propose legislation in 2021 to force online platforms to remove any illegal content. 

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