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Time to shut down Pornhub, activist says, amid instances of child rape appearing on website

Time to shut down Pornhub, activist says, amid instances of child rape appearing on website

The time to shut down the largest online streaming site for porn is now, some say, particularly in light of how children being raped and trafficked have shown up on the platform.

In an Sunday op-ed in the Washington Examiner, Laila Mickelwait, director of abolition of the prostitution abolitionist organization Exodus Cry, documented several instances in the past few months where sex trafficking and child rape films have been hosted on Pornhub, a video streaming website that receives tens of millions of views every day.

One such case was that of a 15-year-old girl who had been missing for a year and was finally found after her mother was alerted that she was featured in 58 videos on Pornhub. Her trafficker was seen in the videos of her being raped and is now facing a felony charge, she noted.

The site is complicit in the most horrific crimes and profiting off of them, Mickelwait argued.

"Pornhub is generating millions in advertising and membership revenue with 42 billion visits and 6 million videos uploaded per year. Yet they have no system in place to reliably verify the age or consent of those featured in the pornographic content they host," she stressed.

"In fact, all that is needed to upload pornography onto Pornhub is an email address. No government-issued ID is required, not even to become 'verified' with their trusty blue checkmark that makes everything seem a-OK."

The activist tried this herself, and it only took her 10 minutes to create an account and upload blank test content to the site, which instantly went live.

Given the lack of age-verification mechanisms and other relevant safeguards, Mickelwait believes that there could be thousands of other minor trafficking victims on Pornhub as videos of their rapes remain on the site.

"It’s time to shut down super-predator site Pornhub and hold the executive megapimps behind it accountable," she asserted.

Mickelwait elaborated in an email to The Christian Post Monday that at long last there is both a national and international spotlight on the mass exploitation and sex trafficking happening via porn sites like Pornhub, which are profiting off of the rape, trafficking, and exploitation of women and children with impunity.

"I believe that the public is starting to connect the dots between pornography and sex trafficking and if there is enough pressure on our politicians and legal action, these companies and the executives that run them are going to be held to account for their crimes and brought to justice," she said.

"What we are seeing right now is a global awareness moment where concerned citizens around the world are saying 'time’s up for superpredator Pornhub, owned by Mindgeek and every other company like them who is making millions of dollars off of the destruction of women and girls."

The BBC reported Monday on the ordeal of Rose Kalemba, a 25-year-old woman of First Nations ethnicity who penned a blog post last year about how difficult it was to get Pornhub to remove a video of her being brutally attacked and raped when she was 14.

Months after her attack she was browsing online when several peers from her school shared a link on which she had been tagged. When she clicked on it she was directed to the Pornhub site where there were videos of her assault accompanied by titles such as "teen crying and getting slapped around" and "teen getting destroyed." One of the videos had been viewed over 400,000 times, Kalemba recalled.

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"The worst videos were the ones where I was passed out. Seeing myself being attacked where I wasn't even conscious was the worst," she said.

Kalemba contacted the video streaming site many times over a six-month period in 2009, asking that the footage of her attack be removed, particularly because it was a crime and she was a minor. Her requests went unanswered and the videos stayed.

"The year that followed I withdrew into myself. I disassociated," she said. "I felt nothing. Numb. I kept to myself."

Only upon presenting as a lawyer with a new email address threatening legal action did Pornhub take action. Within two days the videos of her assault vanished.

Pornhub says their site was visited 42 billion times last year, an increase of 8.5 billion from 2018, averaging 115 million visits daily and 1,200 searches per second.

The petition to shut down Pornhub can be found here.

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