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Does Pornhub’s new era mean #RevengePornIsOverParty?

Does Pornhub’s new era mean #RevengePornIsOverParty?

Trigger warning: This article mentions child trafficking and rape.

End of year clean-up? Count Pornhub in. In its next era, the hotbed of anything and everything is doing some major overhaul—and for good reason. 

On Dec. 14, Forbes reported that the adult streaming site has suspended all content from unverified users. From now on, unverified users can’t sit with verified ones (e.g. adult film studios and verified models), as the former won’t be allowed to upload content on the site. From 13.5 million, the platform purged videos down to 4.7 million—with more expected to vanish soon. 

“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 said in a report by The Guardian. “At Pornhub, the safety of our community is our top priority.”

What motivated the purge? An investigation revealed that tons of videos—reeking of child porn and sex trafficking—are available on Pornhub. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof also recently reported that “child rapes, revenge pornography, spycam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags” have been the site’s cash cows.

Lately, Mastercard and Visa also cut ties with adult content sites over allegations of streaming illegal content. “This news is crushing for the hundreds of thousands of models who rely on our platform for their livelihoods,” Pornhub said in response to Mastercard’s initial actions. 

Look at Pornhub’s recent campaigns and you know it points to one goal: a progressive image. There’s one for cleaning our oceans, saving bees, and COVID-19 prevention, among others. But the issue with child porn, snuff films and other abusive videos has long been raised—so why act only now? If Mastercard and Visa didn’t say anything, could Pornhub  still have taken action against this? 

It’s quite a long shot, but we hope this change lives up to its promise of fighting against abuses. For an online space that originally held so much freedom, it had definitely failed at being responsible for it. 

Read more:

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‘Scrubhub’ is Pornhub’s new hand sanitization initiative 

Porn circa 2020:  A computer reads vintage porn titles in this podcast

Art by Yel Sayo

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