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Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels
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World News

Leading porn site removes majority of videos after pressure from Christian group

The most popular porn website in the world has deleted more than 10 million videos from its platform overnight after being heavily criticised for uploading unverified footage of assault, rape, and other exploitative sexual acts.

Pornhub took the action to remove the material following a long-fought campaign by Exodus Cry, a US-baed Christian anti-porn group. The site has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks, after payment platforms Visa, Mastercard and Discover pulled their services in response to the illegal material being uploaded. Exodus Cry hailed the mass deletion as “one of the most significant actions ever taken against criminal porn".

In response, Pornhub said that groups like Exodus Cry, along with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, were "dedicated to abolishing pornography, banning material they claim is obscene, and shutting down commercial sex work". 

Pornhub is one of the most-viewed websites in the world, garnering some 42 billion hits last year alone. In response to the scandal, the site blogged that it would be introducing a new verification system in the New Year with the aim of ensuring that "every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders".

The head of Exodus Cry, Laila Mickelwait, responded to Pornhub in a statement on Twitter, noting that "hitting the delete button" was not good enough, and insisting that those who have been victimised by the site will get justice. 

"Justice for your victims will not be denied Pornhub," she wrote. "Hitting the delete button to scrub the crime scene videos from your site doesn’t absolve you of the decade of harm you caused to countless victims whose trauma you immortalized for your own profit. This is a reckoning." 

Mickelwait said she was "so inspired" by the widespread backlash against Pornhub — including the publication of a New York Times piece on the issue — but again stated that "it’s not enough".

"Justice means shutting this site down and holding its executives criminally accountable for what they have done," she said. "And we will stop at nothing less." 

Last week, US senators Josh Hawley and Ben Sasse, who are both Christians, introduced a bill giving more legal options to those fighting back against clips being posted on the site without their consent. Sasse has called for a Department of Justice investigation into the sites operations. 

"Just the other day Pornhub was insisting that it didn’t have a problem with rape and assault videos and that its ‘vast team of human moderators’ was magically working around the clock to review the 2.8 hours of video that were uploaded to the site every minute," he told National Review last week. "Today, they’re doing a complete 180 by changing their policies. These new changes underscore the need for a full DOJ investigation.”

Pornhub generates several billion dollars per year in revenue from advertising and subscription services.  

 

 

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