Pornhub Purges 80% Of User-Uploaded Videos After Allegations Of Child Exploitation, Rape Content

By 12/16/2020
Pornhub Purges 80% Of User-Uploaded Videos After Allegations Of Child Exploitation, Rape Content

Adult website Pornhub has purged more than 80% of its user-uploaded videos after a damning New York Times report alleged its library was “infested with rape videos” and that it “monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography,” and other kinds of illegal and violent content.

Prior to the Times‘ story, Pornhub hosted a reported 13.5 million videos. At press time, it’s down to 2.9 million. The 10+ million videos it deleted were all uploaded by unverified users–that is, people who hadn’t gone through Pornhub’s model verification process, which requires creators to send in a photo of their face to prove they’re the person starring in their videos, plus valid IDs to show they are over 18. Up until now, creators who hadn’t gone through this process didn’t have to provide any identifying information or prove content was theirs before uploading free-to-watch videos.

The purge isn’t a one-time thing. In a blog post, Pornhub said it has permanently banned unverified creators from posting new videos. “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 commented.

It went on to say that over the past three years, Facebook self-reported (and presumably removed) 84 million instances of child sexual exploitation material on its platform. “During that same period, the independent, third-party Internet Watch Foundation reported 118 incidents on Pornhub,” the company said.

The Times reported that during its investigation, searches for “girls under18” (without a space) and “14yo” each returned more than 100,000 videos, “too many” of which involved minors. It also found playlists with titles like “less than 18,” “the best collection of young boys,” and “under–age.”

Pornhub’s purge and policy changes came after major credit card companies Visa and Mastercard both blacklisted it. A Pornhub spokesperson told The Verge that its new verification requirements would apply to all adult sites owned by its parent company, MindGeek, but did not say whether the other sites–including Redtube, Brazzers, and Xtube–would also delete content from unverified users.