Investigation Finds PornHub Continues To Proliferate Non-consensual Porn


investigation-finds-pornhub-continues-to-proliferate-non-consensual-porn

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Pornhub is continuing to allow users to stream videos that were recorded non-consensually by porn company Girls Do Porn, the subject of a lawsuit last year after the company coerced women to appear in porn. 

VICE’s Motherboard found in an investigation published Thursday that Pornhub has been allowing the circulation of Girls Do Porn videos, a popular porn production company that faced a lawsuit in October for forcing women to have sex on camera and that a judge ordered them to pay $13 million to the women in a civil lawsuit. PornHub stopped hosting Girls Do Porn in October, but the videos continue to proliferate on the site, profiting Mindgeek, Pornhub’s parent company. 

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We spent months researching and testing the process Pornhub uses to moderate and remove non-consensual porn from its platform.

The results: Pornhub is either woefully ill-equipped to take on the task, or it does not care. https://t.co/fnkcQ1hZUp

— Samantha Cole (@samleecole) February 6, 2020

The investigation found that the system in place at Pornhub to remove non-consensual porn is easy to circumvent. The method, called “fingerprinting,” should allow Pornhub to prevent the upload of non-consensual porn. Motherboard found that Pornhub and Mindgeek sites made Girls Do Porn videos easy to find, and anyone can upload non-consensual videos to Girls Do Porn if they bypass the fingerprint systems in place by using common editing techniques. (RELATED: If Utah’s Latest Push Goes National, The Porn Industry Could Face A Major Obstacle)

“We strongly condemn non-consensual content, including revenge porn,” Pornhub said in a statement to Motherboard. “Content that is uploaded to Pornhub that directly violates our Terms of Service is removed as soon as we are made aware of it and this includes non-consensual content. With regards to other unauthorized Girls Do Porn videos, Pornhub takes a number of actions to protect our community, and to keep content that violates our policies off of our platform.”

Since Pornhub’s fingerprinting method is not reliable, the burden to find and remove non-consensual videos is on the victims themselves, which causes additional trauma. One woman found her non-consensual video on many porn sites, where her video had more than 9 million views, and her personal information was connected to the video and shared on multiple forums. 

“At the end of the day, Pornhub, Facebook, YouTube—they’re all basically the same,” Hany Farid, a University of California, Berkeley professor told Motherboard. “They profit off of user generated content. If you told them, ‘Hey if you really solve this problem you can make $10 billion,’ would we end up with the same technology? I guarantee you the answer is no, they would have much, much better technology.”

The investigation also found that the last Girls Do Porn video to be posted on PornHub was less than one day before the VICE Motherboard piece was published. 

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