PornHub gets busted for profiting off child trafficking, coincidentally announces new policies

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PornHub helped to enable that growth. And, as an unfortunate byproduct of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which is largely good, actually), there’s not really any consequence for it, because, well, it’s not PornHub’s fault that someone used their technology to do something shitty.

I’d disagree here. Section 230 (which, yes, is largely good) isn’t and wasn’t intended to be a license for a platform or forum to throw moderation and content-control features in technology out the window. It doesn’t reflect well on PornHub that it took a horrific article like this to make it realise that. I only wish that platforms that encourage and profit off content posted by bigots and fascists (supposedly in the name of freeze peach) – still including Facebook and Twitter – could be shamed by similar articles about their users’ crappy behaviour.


This represents how the internet is still mostly lawless territory, whether it’s sharing porn, spreading conspiracies, or defamation and public threats. “Everything will be revealed” is what the internet implied to me early on, so while I can learn about minutiae not found in encyclopedias, so also can a bored kid get easy access to porn, or a disgruntled worker hear about Holocaust denial for the first time. Even if Pornhub and every other porn sharing site gets shut down this content will still circle the globe through file transfers and message boards.


The difference here is that PornHub would have no interest in removing content that isn’t in violation as it would only limit their audience. Facebook knows which side gets their bread buttered and merely used the takedowns as a fig leaf while actually pandering to their regressive audience. While I don’t believe for a second that PH wasn’t aware of violating content, I am also willing to believe their attempt at reform is at least partially genuine. Facebook has proven since their inception that they will lie about protecting users until the tide is so high they can’t see profits over it.


The other thing is that their comment about outside review in April should…probably be taken at face value and not mocked like in the article? It’s not like Pornhub JUST noticed problems with moderation and content.

I don’t particularly like that our default stance is turning into ‘everyone is lying all the time’; that’s a dangerous road to walk down in terms of how you view and treat the world.


I tend to agree. If nothing more than the fact that they took pretty drastic action.


Yeah, that’s a fair criticism. The timing just struck me as convenient — but it also makes sense that they had been working on this, and just rushed to get out some kind of update after the news broke. Perhaps they were waiting until the full data review was complete in 2021.

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It’s also possible they just wouldn’t have had a big press release or something. Like, I’ve worked at big companies before, and when we discover big problems I’ve never thought ‘oh yeah we should get our PR team in here to talk about it’, we just start working on a solution. PR comes in when the news comes in or if our solution is particularly elegant.

For example, every major online search or content company has to deal with child porn in one way or another, because if you give people a way to upload shit, they’ll upload terrible shit. The last team I worked with that did that had a ton of really good policy and process around it, and smart people spent time legitimately concerned about what we could do to curb this, because it personally bothered them, not just because of the business implications. I don’t remember ever seeing a PR release about it, and the program was in place from near the start of the service.


"Mastercard and Visa said Thursday they will no longer allow their cards to be used on Pornhub, less than a week after the credit card companies said they would review their relationship with the site in light of a recent New York Times column that included allegations that the website contained rape scenes, revenge pornography and underaged sex.

Mastercard said in a statement its investigation confirmed violations of its standards that prohibit “unlawful content on their site.”

“As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance,” MasterCard said. “In addition, we continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites to take the appropriate action.”

Visa issued a similar statement Thursday.

“We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network,” the company said in a statement, referring to Pornhub’s parent company." -TheHill


PornHub cracks down on user-uploaded videos. Videos are being pulled, but not necessarily deleted forever. In a couple weeks, at the start of next year, they plan to start putting all the pulled videos through “verification and review”. So videos that do pass their review and verification process will be brought back online, and those that don’t are going to be perma-deleted.

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I believe that. In February, the TraffickingHub campaign started, following the same checklist as against Backpage.


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