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Almost 1.5 million people have signed a petition to shut down adult entertainment platform Pornhub for alleged sex trafficking videos.

The Traffickinghub petition is the brainchild of Laila Mickelwait. “All it takes to upload content to Pornhub is an email address; no government-issued ID is required,” she says.

“Pornhub doesn’t bother to reliably verify the age or the consent of the millions featured in the videos it hosts and profits from, yet it monetises those videos with no questions asked,” she adds.

“The site is set up for exploitation and is infested with videos of the real rape, trafficking, abuse, and exploitation of women and children. We have significant evidence and it is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Pornhub responds

“We have a steadfast commitment to eradicating and fighting any and all illegal content on the internet, including non-consensual content and child sexual abuse material. Any suggestion otherwise is categorically and factually inaccurate,” Blake White, VP, Pornhub, told RTIH.

“While the wider tech community must continue to develop new methods to rid the internet of this horrific content, Pornhub is actively working to put in place state-of-the-art, comprehensive safeguards on its platform to combat this material.”

These actions include a system for flagging, reviewing and removing all illegal material, employing a team of human moderators dedicated to manually reviewing all uploads to the site, and using a variety of digital fingerprinting solutions. 

The company is deploying automated detection technologies such as YouTube’s CSAI Match and Microsoft’s PhotoDNA as added layers of protection to keep unauthorised content off the site. It also taps Vobile, a fingerprinting software that scans new uploads for potential matches to unauthorised materials to protect against any banned video being re-uploaded to the platform.

“We are actively working on expanding our safety measures and adding new features and products to our platform to this end, as they become available. Furthermore, we will continue to work with law enforcement efforts and child protection non-profits in the goal of eliminating any and all illegal content across the internet,” White said.

He labelled the aforementioned petition “factually wrong and intentionally misleading”. And he claimed that it was created and is promoted by a radical right wing fundamentalist group in the United States.

“This is a group with founders who have long vilified and attacked LGBTQ communities and women’s rights groups, aligned themselves with hate groups, and espoused extremist and despicable language,” White concluded.

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