Pornhub sued for 'knowingly profiting from illegal videos' after claims it is 'infested with child abuse'

PORNHUB is being sued for "knowingly profiting from illegal videos" after claims it is "infested with child abuse".

Mindgeek, the parent company of the x-rated website, has been hit with a $40 million lawsuit from sex trafficking victims – the day after almost 80 per cent of videos were reportedly wiped from the site.

The lawsuit has been filed by 40 women who were victims of the GirlsDoPorn website, Vice reports.

That site was shut down by the FBI last year after complaints victims were tricked and coerced into making videos for the company, as well as lied to about whether the videos would be shared online.

The women claim in the lawsuit that  Pornhub hosted GirlsDoPorn content, allegedly in the knowledge of the company's illegal practises.

The 43-page complaint says the victims "became suicidal" after enduring harassment when videos were spread non-consensually across the web.

The lawsuit also claims that as early as 2009 and "definitely by fall 2016", Mindgeek knew GirlsDoPorn was pressuring woman into having sex on camera.

It alleges: "Mindgeek knowingly benefited from and participated in GirlsDoPorn's sex trafficking venture by, among other things: partnering with GirlsDoPorn through its Content Partner Program and Viewshare Program; marketing, selling and exploiting videos featuring victims of GirlsDoPorn's sex trafficking venture; (and) earning millions of dollars in affiliate fees and premium subscriptions."

It comes after Pornhub users witnessed the number of videos available on the site decline from Sunday evening.

"As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program," Pornhub said in an announcement.

"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 videos will only be removed pending verification and review, which will take place in the new year.

The site is set to delete any videos that were not uploaded by "official content partners."

Some of the videos may be restored once PornHub rolls out a new process to verify users next year, a company representative told BuzzFeed News.

Since 2007, when the platform was launched, anyone could create an account and upload any video to the site.

Prior to the mass deletion on Sunday evening, Pornhub presented roughly 13.5million videos.

However, on Monday morning only 4.7million videos were shown.

The purge came after a column published in the New York Times claimed recordings child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and assaults on unconscious women and girls were uploaded to the platform.

The column called for credit card companies Visa and Mastercard to stop working with the company, and a week later both had officially ended their relationship and launched an investigation into unlawful material.

Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek denied many of the allegations in the Times, saying it employs a "vast team of human moderators" who manually review "every single upload," as well as automated detection technologies.

The company did acknowledge 118 incidents of CSAM on the site, identified by the Internet Watch Foundation, but also argued that the site had been unfairly targeted by anti-pornography groups for an issue that is widespread across other mainstream sites. 

Pornhub made the policy change on Tuesday to ban all unverified users from uploading or downloading content to the site.

Meanwhile in September, the FBI offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of an alleged sexual predator who is accused of running a million-dollar online children pornography scheme.

Michael James Pratt, 37 and from New Zealand, is accused of using "force, fraud and coercion" to get young women and minors to perform sex acts for the websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys between 2012 and 2019, according to the federal agency.

The Sun has contacted Pornhub for comment.

Source: Read Full Article