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Pornhub: “less than one percent” of content uploaded is child abuse

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Pornhub is now facing a somewhat small but growing global uproar, with many people demanding the site be shut down. More than 450,000 people have signed a petition to remove the site as some videos on the platform contain child abuse and rape.

Laila Mickelwait, a key figure in the movement against the porn giant, says that her non-profit is not anti-porn per se, but is working to put an end to child trafficking and sexual abuse.

“We have passed 450,000 signatures and we are on our way to half a million. This petition to hold Pornhub accountable is having an incredible impact in only a short time. Lawmakers & media are paying attention— thank you for your voice! Sign and share!” wrote Mickelwait.

The said petition states that Pornhub does not have any manual verification or validation mechanism in place to ensure that the videos uploaded on the platform do not content rape or child abuse content.

The petition, for instance, mentions real-life incidents where law enforcement officials could track a missing American teenager after finding her videos on Pornhub and similar websites.

The trafficker who raped and abducted the teenager was caught when his appearance was matched from CCTV footage at a convenience store.

“Today I spoke with the Internet Watch Foundation that investigated and confirmed over 100 cases of children being sexually abused on Pornhub. Child sexual abuse is rampant on the website because they allow child abusers, traffickers, and rapists to upload content instantly and anonymously,” said Mickelwait.

She further says that there could be several hundred, if not thousands, of sex trafficking videos on PornHub. “It’s time to shut down super-predator site Pornhub”.

Pornhub told 10 daily that the Internet Watch Foundation’s discovery of cases of children in their videos, only amounts to “less than one percent” of its content.

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Followup statement from Pornhub:

“Pornhub has a steadfast commitment to eradicating and fighting any and all illegal content on the internet, including non-consensual content and under-age material. Any suggestion otherwise is categorically and factually inaccurate. Our content moderation goes above and beyond the recently announced, internationally recognized Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

Pornhub has actively worked to put in place state-of-the-art, comprehensive safeguards across its platform to combat and remove all unauthorized content that breaches the platform’s policies. This includes employing an extensive team of human moderators dedicated to manually reviewing every single upload. This allows us to take proactive action against illegal content, a step beyond all other major user generated platforms. In addition, we have a robust system for flagging, reviewing and removing all illegal material, and age-verification tools. 

The platform utilizes a variety of automated detection technologies such as CSAI Match, YouTube’s proprietary technology for combating Child Sexual Abuse Imagery content online; PhotoDNA, Microsoft’s technology that aids in finding and removing known images of child exploitation; and Vobile, a state-of-the-art fingerprinting software that scans any new uploads for potential matches to unauthorized materials to protect against any banned video being re-uploaded to the platform.”

Followup response to Pornhub from Laila Mickelwait:

“Pornhub allows anyone to upload hardcore sex acts to their site with only an e-mail address—no age verification or consent verification is required by the company. Because of this intentional and reckless policy, the site is infested with videos of the real rape and sex trafficking of both women and children. Pornhub also does not abide in a meaningful way to the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. Principle 2 calls on companies to combat new child sexual abuse material from being uploaded, which clearly Pornhub does not do, as they allow sex acts to be uploaded to the site without age verification. Principle 6 requires that companies prevent the use of search terms that could lead to child sexual abuse, and as of today there are a myriad of search terms that could be used to seek out child sexual abuse material on Pornhub. Additionally, Vice/Motherboard recently did an investigation that found Pornhub’s technology for removing illegal content does not work. Over 75 child protection and anti-trafficking organizations have joined over half a million individuals in calling for the site to be shut down due to policies and practices that contribute to, enable, and profit from the sex trafficking and exploitation of both women and minors. Go to for the full story and to sign the petition.”

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