Pornhub Revamps Rules After Site Was ‘Infested’ With Child Rape Videos

Popular porn site says it will only accept uploads from verified accounts moving forward

Last Updated: December 10, 2020 @ 12:41 PM

Pornhub announced several major changes on Tuesday to its website, including banning video downloads and only accepting video uploads from verified accounts, a few days after The New York Times reported the site was “infested” with child rape videos.

The popular porn site, which pulls in 3.5 billion visitors each month, said the changes will help make sure videos are only uploaded from consenting parties.

“Effective immediately, only content partners and people within the Model Program will be able to upload content to Pornhub,” the site said in a statement. “In the new year, we will implement a verification process so that any user can upload content upon successful completion of identification protocol.”

Several other changes were rolled out as well, which you can find below:

Banning Downloads: This will “mitigate the ability for content already removed from the platform to be able to return,” Pornhub said.

Expanded Moderation: Pornhub said it will deploy an “additional layer of moderation,” and that a new team will be dedicated solely to tracking potentially illegal content.

“Trusted Flagger” Program: A “new initiative empowering non-profit partners,” including the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, to alert Pornhub to any content that may violate its terms of service.

NCMEC Partnership: The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children will expand its partnership with Pornhub in early 2021 and release a report on the number of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) incidents on the site.

A New Transparency Report: Pornhub will also release its own “transparency report” next year, outlining the steps the site took to weed out illegal content.

Independent Review: Pornhub announced a relationship with Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and will have the firm conduct an independent review of the company’s moderation process.

The changes come after NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof reported last week that Pornhub’s “cheery, winking face of naughty” was undermined by scores of child porn videos found on the site.

Kristof wrote:

“Yet there’s another side of the company: Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for ‘girls under18’ (no space) or ’14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.

“After a 15-year-old girl went missing in Florida, her mother found her on Pornhub — in 58 sex videos. Sexual assaults on a 14-year-old California girl were posted on Pornhub and were reported to the authorities not by the company but by a classmate who saw the videos. In each case, offenders were arrested for the assaults, but Pornhub escaped responsibility for sharing the videos and profiting from them.”

Kristof’s story included the account of Serena Fleites, a 19-year-old woman who had her life turned upside down when naked videos she made at 14 ended up on Pornhub. Her life “imploded,” Kristof wrote, as classmates badgered and mocked her over the videos.

“People were texting me, if I didn’t send them a video, they were going to send them to my mom,” Fleites said.

Her mom ended up persuading Pornhub to remove the videos, but they were later re-uploaded to Pornhub and other porn sites. The torment led Fleites to transfer to a new school, but the rumors about the videos followed her there. As a result of the videos, Fleites began cutting herself and her relationship with her mother deteriorated. She now lives in her car in Fresno, California, with three dogs.

“It was one small thing that a teenager does, and it’s crazy how it turns into something so much bigger,” she told Kristof. “A whole life can be changed because of one little mistake.”

The story led Mastercard and Visa, the world’s two biggest credit card companies, to reconsider their business relationship with Mindgeek, Pornhub’s parent company, on Monday.

You can read the full NYT story by clicking here.