Category Archives: Porn industry conditions

QotD: “Pornhub videos: Women sue, alleging lack of consent”

More than 30 women are suing the company which owns the streaming site Pornhub, alleging exploitation over the use of explicit videos of them.

The women say the videos were uploaded to Pornhub without their consent and have lodged a civil suit in California.

The California lawsuit accuses Mindgeek of running a “criminal enterprise”.

In a statement, Pornhub called the allegations “utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false”.

Pornhub is free to use but users can pay a monthly fee for higher-quality video streams and extra content.

Its content is mostly uploaded by its own community and publicly viewable. However, the company has said every video uploaded is reviewed by human moderators.

Pornhub told the BBC: “Pornhub has zero tolerance for illegal content and investigates any complaint or allegation made about content on our platforms.”

It said it had “the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history, which include the banning of uploads from unverified users”.

However, the BBC’s US partner CBS says Pornhub does not require its users to verify the identity or age of those featured in its videos – nor, according to CBS, does it seek to confirm the consent of people who appear in videos posted to the site.

One of the women in the suit told CBS she was only 17 when her boyfriend coerced her into making a nude video. The woman, who used the pseudonym Isabella, said the video was later posted on Pornhub without her consent and she only found out about it from a friend.

Pornhub said it “takes every complaint regarding the abuse of its platform seriously, including those of the plaintiffs in this case”.

It added that it did not intend to let the “hyperbolic language in the lawsuit distract from the fact that Pornhub has in place a safety and security policy that surpasses that of any other major platform on the internet”.

Last December, a New York Times investigation accused Pornhub of being “infested” with child-abuse and rape-related videos – claims the site denied.

Pornhub said it received 42 billion site visits in 2019, with 6.83 million videos uploaded, for a combined viewing time of 169 years. It did not say how many moderators it employed.

(source)

QotD: “the porn industry really doesn’t treat gay men that much better than women”

I wanna preface this by saying that this isn’t a “callout”, a guilt trip, an accusation or a declaration of my own virtue – i’m simply looking to draw attention to something i’ve noticed and offer my own thoughts. I’m open to discussion as long as it’s civilised.

I’ve noticed a lot of gay men acknowledging how the porn industry harms women, with particular relation to its association with sex trafficking, child porn and sexual violence (you can read about this here), however these same gay men will then make references to watching gay porn themselves.

Obviously there are no women in gay porn, so why is this a problem? I promise i’m not just trying to burst a bubble here, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. Almost all online porn platforms are owned by the same company, called Mindgeek. Pornhub, Youporn, Redtube, Mydirtyhobby, Xtube and more all make up part of a gigantic conglomeration founded by a man called Fabian Thylmann. This corporation also owns several porn movie production companies including Brazzers, Digital Playground, Men.com, Reality Kings, Sean Cody, and WhyNotBi.com.

When a gay man consumes gay porn on these platforms, he directly funds the exact same company that profits from the abuse, trafficking and rape of women and children. That 10 second ad before the video starts, the one that gay men joke about shielding their eyes from because it’s full of naked women, literally puts money in their pocket. It goes without saying that the women in the ad could be victims too. Opposing the porn industry’s brutal treatment of women is meaningless if you’re also paying their ad revenue.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there – even when avoiding the platforms above. Evidence shows that the porn industry really doesn’t treat gay men that much better than women. Gay porn actors are dropping dead at an alarming rate and their average age is just 25. Suicide and drug use are major factors in this statistic, as is premature heart failure from steroid use. Gay porn also pays an average yearly salary of $24000, with the expectation that actors supplement their income with prostitution. Men in central europe are being trafficked and raped on camera, and this makes up a significant part of the Czech Republic’s renowned gay porn industry. At least half of gay porn actors are heterosexual but shoot gay scenes because they make more money than in straight porn – this, as much as the actors make light of it, is rape. Former gay porn stars have commented on the prevalence of the PTSD “thousand yard stare” among their coworkers. I once personally met a former gay porn actor who had the thousand yard stare – he was also addicted to meth and told me he quit porn after his guts literally started falling out of his ass. Talking of which, bottoms are subjected to slaps, punches and homophobic/misogynistic slurs on camera. If you’ve watched literally any gay porn you’ll have seen this. Why is this violence ok?

Gay teens also use porn as a form of sex education because their sex ed classes don’t cover what they need to know, so this violent subjugation of bottoms forms the basis of their education about gay sexuality. Double penetration, fisting and even just rough sex are dangerous for bottoms in the long term, but this is what young boys are learning to call normal. It’s important for gay men to know the nature of the industry they support when they consume porn.

It’s also important to remember that porn consumption is just as harmful to gay men as it is to straight male consumers (another link to the masterpost if you don’t feel like scrolling up) with respect to brain damage, mental health issues, violent thoughts/behaviour and addiction. And personally, as someone who used sex to validate myself in my early 20s and ended up sleeping with over 100 men in my lifetime as a result, i can testify to this: the more porn you watch, the worse at sex you are. I could always tell when a guy watched too much porn because he would be totally unwilling to collaborate with me during sex – either we did exactly what he wanted (which was usually a re-enactment of a porn video) or he wasn’t interested. A lot of these guys wanted to fuck in positions which would look great on camera, but are actually just kinda awkward in real life. Sometimes they’d boss me about like a movie director, dictating my every move. Generally speaking, they were a lot more critical and less satisfied with both my body and their own. One just straight up spat in my mouth without even asking me if i was into it first. Porn can and will make you terrible in bed. I could send these guys into orbit with a mediocre blowjob because they’d never even been with somebody that prioritised tangible pleasure and sensation over porn re-enactment before.

If you’re a gay man who opposes the porn industry but still consumes gay porn, or you’ve read this post and would like to quit, then there’s plenty of other options. Find real people. Connect with other gay men in your local community. Go on a date and fuck if there’s chemistry. Read gay erotica. Buy some toys if you get bored of “just” jerking off, although there’s a lot to be said for having a long, self-indulgent reconnection with your own body after spending so much time on porn sites looking at someone else’s. Whatever you do, please don’t continue supporting this industry – especially if you already hate what it does to women (and the men in your own community.)

Tumblr user ‘grudge-packer’

QotD: “We would never have an issue working through the violence because there are so many protocols and procedures and techniques that you have to create the violence safely and it’s almost methodical to a point”

Shondaland, the production company founded by Shonda Rhimes (of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy fame) isn’t the first to hire an intimacy co-ordinator. They were employed on all of the most talked-about shows of the past year: I May Destroy You, Normal People, It’s a Sin. The premise dates from the early 2000s when the American Tonia Sina coined the phrase in her master’s thesis; she went on to create the first protocols for choreographing intimate scenes on stage and screen. Back then, there was little demand for the service — the Me Too movement changed that.

“We would never have an issue working through the violence because there are so many protocols and procedures and techniques that you have to create the violence safely and it’s almost methodical to a point,” says Talbot, who worked first in movement and fight direction after doing a drama degree at the University of East Anglia.

“But then when we got to the intimacy part of it, that’s when everything started to . . . fracture. There weren’t any rules. There were no protocols for this. Everyone was relying on the good graces of their scene partner and the good intentions of their director, but that’s the safety net, and you can see for so many people that just wasn’t enough.”

However, it’s not just a matter of safeguarding. “Obviously, we need health and safety, but this role is so much more than that, in terms of the choreography especially.”

[…]

For Bridgerton’s extensive sex scenes Talbot asked for — and was given — the same amount of rehearsal and filming time that a stunt scene would have. “Normally you have to rehearse the same day that we shoot and that didn’t happen for Bridgerton. Because we had the time, we turned up prepared and all the choreography was laid out.”

Talbot meets actors individually to establish what they’re comfortable with and sets it down in writing for complete clarity. Those boundaries inform her physical choreography, which is also a collaboration with actors and director, but means she’s prepared to intervene on an actor’s behalf if a need arises.

“I don’t want to steamroll an actor’s process. It can be quite oppressive to come with an approach and say, ‘This is what we’re doing whether you like it or not.’ That throws consent out the window. It’s really important that we have an overarching vision of where we’re going: what the beginning, the middle and the end is. We need to work out consent boundaries. It might be that we are working with containers, like, ‘You can put your hand from the top of my neck to the top of my lower back or anywhere in between. You’ve got freedom to do what you want in that area, but it doesn’t go anywhere else.’

“So then you can have a little bit of freedom from the paint-by-number approach, but still knowing that everyone is consistent and safe. That’s one approach, and then you can have another one where it’s, like, ‘We know exactly what we’re doing. Your hand will go here and it will travel up the arm on to the shoulder and to the neck.’”

(source)

This is interesting, because I have frequently made the comparison between the sex acts in porn, which are real, and a choreographed fight scene in an action film.

Imagine if there was this level of scruteny and accountability on a porn set? It would make most porn production impossible (unless of course, the normal standards of health and safety were thrown out of the window, and instead we had carefully choreographed scenes of real sexual and physical violence, which the porn performers had been obliged to agree to beforehand).

QotD: “Teen Vogue’s recent article discussing ‘non-consensual’ porn demonstrates the disastrous reality of porn culture”

Earlier this week, Teen Vogue published an article asking “is it bad to watch porn”. While the question itself is one regularly posed and batted away by pro-porn industry advocates, the article used some notably horrendous euphemisms to sanitise sexual violence in an attempt to make it more palatable to its teen readers.

The article deals with various “typical” questions that might be raised by a teenager, one of which being: “Was the porn made ethically and legally?”. While this is a complex question in itself – what is “ethical” about an industry that fuels sex trafficking, normalises violence against women and girls, and profits from illegal activity – the response was particularly striking in its casual disregard for how the attitudes it was promoting may be taken on board by readers, going on to state:

Porn that portrays fantasies about nonconsensual sex, for instance, isn’t necessarily misogynist if it centers all characters’ pleasure and agency.

There is already a word for non-consensual sex: rape. If the sentence was rephrased to “Porn that portrays fantasies about rape, for instance, isn’t necessarily misogynist…” – it would perhaps be too much of a stretch for a magazine marketed at 11-16 year old girls.

The piece fails to acknowledge the real impact that porn can and does have on the psyche of those who view it, including links to increased sympathy for sexual violence, which can manifest in ways such as having a higher propensity to commit rape.

The piece goes on to say:

The next time you come across seemingly racist or sexist porn, give some thought as to whether the porn you’re watching is self-aware and feminist, rather than simply reproducing bigotry.

The article rightly acknowledges the existence of racist porn, but it is difficult to see how titles playing on grotesque stereotypes such as: “Filipina hooker wants to get knocked up by American soldier” and “Black slave girl waits for master” could ever be construed as “self-aware”, let alone feminist.

The prevalence of this increasingly violent and offensive material is a natural result of an industry that encourages users to seek out increasingly hardcore subject matter in order to achieve the same satisfaction, which in turn drives producers to make content that they know will receive clicks and views.

The fact that a magazine aimed at young teenagers is contributing to the normalisation of the porn industry is a disaster. With an increase in the number of women and girls subjected to acts such as unwanted choking, slapping, and abuse during otherwise consensual sex, it is the responsibility of the media to deal with the issue even-handedly, which means highlighting the research that demonstrates porn has undeniable links to this increase in violence.

The UK Government must get to grips with this hidden but growing crisis. As it drafts the Online Harms Bill it is imperative that the Government puts porn sites in the highest Category One, which places greater requirements on platforms hosting material that is legal but harmful (as well as the mandate to proactively tackle illegal material), and affords the most robust protection against accidental access by young people.

Porn use should no longer be seen as an inappropriate but ultimately harmless activity; it is an industry built on exploitation and abuse, that preys on the most vulnerable, and it must finally be recognised as such.

From CEASE (Centre to end all Sexual Exploitation), click through for references/links

QotD: “The traumatic weekly task of searching for her assault videos on these sites”

A victim of drugged rape on Pornhub & Xvideos sent me this screenshot of how she would do the traumatic weekly task of searching for her assault videos on these sites. Xvideos just disabled the search terms but not all the videos.

Laila Mickelwait on twitter

QotD: “Pornhub parent slapped with $600M class action lawsuit over child porn”

Pornhub parent company MindGeek has been hit with a massive $600 million class action lawsuit accusing it of hosting child-porn videos on the website.

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Québec at the end of December but first reported by the Journal de Montréal on Friday, seeks restitution from the smut site on behalf of “The Children of Pornhub.”

The class representative is a woman who alleges that a video of her rape as a 12-year-old was posted to Pornhub, and who accused the site of being deaf to her pleas to take it down.

MindGeek also was hit with an $80 million suit in California federal court last month by 40 women who claim it made millions off the alleged GirlsDoPorn sex-trafficking scheme.

The porn site last month removed more than 10 million videos from its page as part of its recent crackdown on illegal content.

The purge marked a massive shift in the porn site’s approach to content moderation amid pressure from advocates and payment processors Mastercard and Visa, which earlier cut ties with Pornhub over allegations that the platform is infested with videos of rape and child sex abuse.

A representative for Pornhub did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(source)

QotD: “Top accountant cuts ties with Pornhub over ‘abuse videos’”

Auditors have severed their ties with the owner of Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography website, as a scandal over illegal videos continues to grow.

The accountancy firm Grant Thornton said it would no longer work for MindGeek, a Canadian tech conglomerate, in the UK and Ireland amid claims that Pornhub hosts revenge porn and footage of rape and underage sex.

Mastercard and Visa have already cut ties with the company after the New York Times revealed this month that Pornhub was “infested” with abuse footage. The report claimed the site made money from videos showing “child rapes, revenge pornography, spy-cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags”.

Nicole, a British woman, said naked footage taken when she was 15 had been repeatedly uploaded to the site. She told Pornhub in a message last year: “You really need a better system. I tried to kill myself multiple times after finding myself reuploaded on your website.”

Pornhub denied the allegations. However, it has since removed more than 10 million of the 13.5 million videos it was hosting. It has also suspended videos that were not uploaded by its “content partners”, which it said was more than Facebook, TikTok or Instagram had done to prevent the uploading of illegal material.

Last week 40 women launched an $80m (£59.2m) lawsuit against MindGeek in California, claiming its sites profited from a “sex trafficking” operation called GirlsDoPorn.

Pornhub gets more than 42 billion visits a year — more than Amazon or Netflix — and posted sales of more than $460m in 2018.

The MindGeek empire also includes RedTube and YouPorn, on both of which adult video is shared, and more than 100 other sites. It is owned by Feras Antoon and David Tassillo and has 1,400 staff in Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Greece and London.

Campaigners have long criticised MindGeek’s policies. The Internet Watch Foundation found more than 100 cases of child abuse on Pornhub between 2017 and 2019. PayPal, the payment provider, cut ties last year.

Pornhub has since turned to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to process payments.

Grant Thornton, the UK’s sixth-largest accountancy firm, said it had “taken the decision to cease any future engagement” with MindGeek’s British and Irish subsidiaries. MindGeek did not reply to requests for comment.

In a blog post, Pornhub said it was being targeted by organisations dedicated to abolishing pornography and commercial sex work.

“In today’s world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material. Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts. We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example,” it said.

(source)

QotD: “Pornhub sued by 40 Girls Do Porn sex trafficking victims”

Pornhub has been sued by 40 women who say it profited from a sex-trafficking operation by a content partner.

The women were all victims of Girls Do Porn, whose owners have been charged with offences by US officials.

The victims allege that Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek knew of the allegations against the company, but continued a partnership anyway.

It comes as Pornhub finds itself cut off from customer payments amid a scandal over illegal content.

Payment providers Mastercard and Visa have cut ties with the site after a New York Times investigation accused it of hosting child abuse and rape-related content.

The move has left the site – one of the world’s most popular – with cryptocurrency options like Bitcoin as the only way to pay for subscriptions.

The 40 women – of all whom are referred to by the pseudonym Jane Doe and a number – are demanding a jury trial and seeking more than $1m (£739,000) each.

Details of the suit are contained in a legal filing first reported by Vice.

Girls Do Porn was a part of MindGeek’s partner programmes until October 2019, when the US Department of Justice effectively shut the porn producer down by arresting and charging its senior staff.

Pornhub and other MindGeek sites removed the Girls Do Porn channel as soon as the charges were made – but the complaint alleges that “at this point, there was no longer a company left for MindGeek to partner with”.

Victims had repeatedly contacted the company to complain and tell them about the problems, it says. The first court case on behalf of victims was lodged in June 2016.

“As early as 2009, and definitely by fall 2016, MindGeek knew Girls Do Porn was trafficking its victims by using fraud, coercion, and intimidation,” the court complaint says.

“Despite this knowledge, MindGeek continued to partner with Girls Do Porn, never bothering to investigate or question its business partner regarding the mounting evidence of sex trafficking that MindGeek received. ”

The company “simply did not care… until it was no longer profitable”.

The complaint also says the videos have remained online even after the sex-trafficking charges were filed, with some visible as recently as 12 December.

MindGeek has been contacted for comment on the Jane Does’ legal filing.

The legal documents also lay out the historic claims of abuse against Girls Do Porn which were behind that company’s senior staff being arrested.

The site operated by advertising for modelling jobs, before telling the young women who applied that it was, in fact, for a pornographic adult video.

In order to convince the women to take part, they were told that the job would be anonymous and that their videos would not be posted on the internet – instead being sent on physical media for release in a distant market. In fact, the entire point of the shoot was to release the videos online to be visible in North America.

Owners Michael James Pratt and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, along with two employees, have been charged in a US federal court with sex-trafficking crimes.

US attorneys say “the circumstances were not at all what was promised”.

They say some women were pressured into signing documents without reading them or threatened with legal action; some were “not permitted to leave the shooting locations until the videos were made”; and some were “forced to perform certain sex acts they had declined to do, or they would not be paid or allowed to leave”.

And the complaint says some were sexually assaulted, and in at least one case raped.

Michael Pratt remains a fugitive on the FBI’s most-wanted list, for both sex-trafficking crimes and the production of child pornography. Mr Wolfe is awaiting trial.

(source)

QoD: “Pornhub removes all user-uploaded videos amid legality row”

Adult video site Pornhub has removed the majority of videos by suspending all unverified uploads, amid a row over illegal content.

Mastercard, one of the world’s biggest payment providers, pulled support for the site last week over the scandal.

A New York Times report had accused the site of being “infested” with child-abuse and rape-related videos.

Pornhub says its new measures are now more strict than any social media platform.

The move means that only videos uploaded by verified content partners and people featured in the videos, who are members of its model programme, remain online.

Most of the site’s content was uploaded by unverified community members. Millions of videos have been removed from view as a result of the new policy.

Pornhub also claims it is being targeted by organisations that want to abolish pornography, rather than being assessed on its merits.

The latest move builds on Pornhub’s previous efforts to tackle the controversy sparked by the New York Times article.

The site says it has “suspended” the videos it has taken offline, rather than describing them as deleted.

Pornhub says it plans to introduce a verification system for regular users in the New Year.

“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 site blogged.

“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform.”

It alleges that groups “dedicated to abolishing pornography [and] banning material they claim is obscene,” were behind its problems.

Full article here

QotD: “Mastercard severs links with pornography site”

Mastercard says it is ending the use of its cards on the pornography platform Pornhub after a review confirmed the presence of unlawful content.

A New York Times investigation accused the site of being “infested” with child-abuse and rape-related videos.

Pornhub, which has denied the claims, called Mastercard’s actions “exceptionally disappointing”.

Fellow payments giant Visa has suspended use of its cards on the site pending the outcome of its own review.

Mastercard launched its inquiry after Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof named it in his New York Times article, saying he “didn’t see why search engines, banks or credit-card companies” should “bolster” Pornhub.

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” a statement from Mastercard said. “We instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”

The company said it was continuing to investigate possible illegal material on other websites.

Full article here