One Million People Globally Sign Petition To Shutdown PornHub Over Sex Trafficking Allegations

Pornhub logo (Credit: Shutterstock/Pe3k)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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A petition to shutdown PornHub for its alleged profiting and enablement of sex-trafficking videos has surpassed one million signatures globally, according to Laila Mickelwait, an anti-trafficking expert who spearheaded the effort.

The petition, titled “Shut Down Pornhub and Hold Its Executives Accountable for Aiding Trafficking” calls for the shuttering of the world’s largest porn site due to its hosting and profiting off of videos of rape and trafficking of women and children, Laila Mickelwait, the director of abolition at Exodus Cry, a anti-sex trafficking and sexual exposition group, said in a press release.

The campaign is non-religious and non-partisan, gathering support from women’s rights organizations, advocates of victims of sexual exploitation, and porn professionals, according to the press release.

The petition was launched Feb. 10 and accuses PornHub of allegedly failing to have a system to reliably verify the age and consent of people depicted in pornography. It has gained over a million signatures from 192 countries. The world population is 7.8 billion. 

Pornhub logo is displayed at the company's booth at the 2018 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Pornhub logo is displayed at the company’s booth at the 2018 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“My research took me to discover what anybody could discover if they go on Pornhub,” Mickelwait told the DCNF in February. “And that is the fact that Pornub does not require verification of the age or consent of millions of people who are uploading hardcore pornographic content to their website.”

The statement mentions the case of a 15-year-old girl from Florida who went missing for a year and was located after nearly 60 videos of her were uploaded to Pornhub and other websites and apps including Snapchat.

Also mentioned is the case of Rose Kalemba, who found videos of her rape on PornHub with the titles “teen crying and getting slapped around,” “teen getting destroyed,” and “passed out teen,” according to BBC.

PornHub responded to the petition in February in a statement to the DCNF calling it “factually wrong and intentionally misleading,” and called Exodus Cry a “radical right wing fundamentalist group.”

“Pornhub has a steadfast commitment to eradicating and fighting any and all illegal content on the internet, including non-consensual content and under-age material,” the company said in a statement. “Any suggestion otherwise is categorically and factually inaccurate.” (RELATED: Pornhub Strikes Back At Petition To ‘Shut Down Pornhub’ Over Alleged Child Rape Films, Trafficking)

The company added that it has “state-of-the-art, comprehensive safeguards” that “combat and remove all unauthorized content that breaches the platform’s policies.”

A Vice Motherboard investigation published in 2020, however, found that PornHub continued to allow users to stream videos that were recorded non-consensually by porn company Girls Do Porn, which was the subject of a lawsuit in 2019 after the company coerced women to appear in porn.

“All it takes to upload content to Pornhub is an email address—no government-issued ID is required. 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 monetizes those videos with no questions asked. 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 evidence and it is just the tip of the iceberg,” Mickelwait says in the statement.