Pornhub has long attempted to hide its exploitative content, but this content’s time online may be quickly coming to a close.
Several prominent Republican senators have called for an investigation into PornHub following a recent New York Times investigation revealing that the website is allegedly “infested” with videos depicting brutal rapes and assaults, even including some victims who are minors.
PornHub “monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for ‘girls under18’ (no space) or 14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are,” reported The Times.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) urged government action against the porn site in a tweet: “Tremendous reporting by @NickKristof on the exploitation that occurs on sites like Pornhub. It’s time for it to end. I will introduce legislation to create a federal right to sue for every person coerced or trafficked or exploited by sites like Pornhub.”
“The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation into the scumbags who run Mindgeek,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Mindgeek is the parent company of PornHub. “Sexual exploitation and human trafficking are abhorrent, period. A decent society should be working to end this.”
Sasse has long worked to fight against the exploitation of victims on PornHub. In March, he wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr, which read, in part, “Pornhub made content available worldwide showing women and girls that were victims of trafficking being raped and exploited.”
Sasse’s letter provided several examples of victims of human trafficking found on PornHub. “In October, police in Florida arrested a man trafficking a fifteen-year-old girl, missing from her family for nearly a year, who had been subjected to horrific abuse that included repeated rape and a forced abortion. In the course of his abuse, her trafficker uploaded more than sixty videos depicting her sexual exploitation to websites including Pornhub.”
These children who have been exploited for profit are exactly the individuals that laws like FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017) are supposed to protect. Thankfully, as Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof pointed out, “[w]e’re already seeing that limiting Section 230 immunity leads to better self-policing.” For the sake of the many, many victims of sexual exploitation, a federal investigation into PornHub will, hopefully, help to bring some justice.
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