Pornhub CEO resigns after another child porn scandal

Pornhub CEO resigns after another child porn scandal

In recent years, various media have exposed the poor pornhub measurements to prevent sexual videos with minors, or non-consensual pornography regardless of age, from being published on its platform. This week, The New Yorker added fuel to the fire by sharing a forceful report that again it shows the insufficient efforts of the pornographic web. This time, however, the information has shaken its leadership. Feras Antoon and David Tassillo, CEO and COO of Pornhub, respectively, resigned on June 22.

The information of The New Yorker It has testimonies of minors who have suffered the publication —not by consensus— of intimate photos and videos. In some cases, in fact, they were extorted by those who possessed the material. Although up to this point Pornhub was not yet involved, sooner or later the content reached said platform because the moderation system did nothing to prevent it.

It was the victims themselves who had to request the removal of the videos manually. The problem, of course, is that on the internet it is very difficult to stop the spread of content once it is published. Although Pornhub removed it upon request, it didn’t take long for it to reappear. This shows that the platform it doesn’t even have a system capable of blocking material that had previously been removed.

Finding illegal content is not complicated. According to Sunday Times, companies that advertise through Pornhub are becoming more concerned every day because their ads may appear next to images or videos that, in theory, are prohibited by the porn website’s own policy. These companies have employees whose objective is to verify if, in fact, there is a risk of seeing an advertisement together with illegal material. To his surprise”, on Pornhub they can find illegal content “in a matter of minutes”.

Another worrying issue is the ease that exists to, for example, start a direct on Pornhub. The platform does not review the identity of the person responsible for the transmission, nor its age, much less the type of content that is being transmitted. Of course, human trafficking networks —including child exploitation— have taken advantage of these weaknesses to carry out their activities.

Resignations and layoffs shake up Pornhub

Although in the past we had already seen other equally alarming reports, none had had such a decisive effect on Pornhub as that of The New Yorker. First, the company lost two key figures: the CEO and the COO. In both cases a resignation was filed.

“Antoon and Tassillo leave MindGeek’s day-to-day operations [propietaria de Pornhub] after more than a decade in leadership positions in the company. With the company strategically positioned for long-term growth, MindGeek’s executive leadership team will run daily operations on an interim basis, with a search for replacements ongoing.

MindGeek also mentions that the departure of the two directors was planned since the beginning of this year. Given the current reputation of Pornhub, it’s hard to believe them.

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The changes at Pornhub go beyond the dome. The Globe and Mail reports that this week began a massive wave of layoffs. MindGeek notes that this situation is due to “an attempt to cut costs after suffering revenue declines since 2020.”

What is the reason for this economic decline if web traffic is still at the top? Well, because many advertisers are jumping ship due to poor content moderation. Nobody wants their brand to be associated with an illegal video…

Promises that came to nothing

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In December 2020, when the platform was experiencing massive traffic levels due to the pandemic, they introduced a new policy aimed at stopping child pornography. At the time, they prohibited uploading videos to unverified accounts and removed the option to download material. They also promised to continue devoting efforts in creating regulations to stop the uploading of illegal content.

“At Pornhub, nothing is more important than the safety of our community. Our core values ​​like inclusion, freedom of expression, and privacy are only possible when our users trust our platform. That’s why we’ve always been committed to to remove illegal content, including non-consensual material and child sexual abuse material. Every online platform has a moral responsibility to join this fight and requires collective action and constant vigilance.”

A year and a half later, the picture remains exactly the same. They don’t enforce their policy, and while they’ve even turned to biometric technology to verify accounts, there’s no sign of improvement on the world’s most popular porn platform.