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How the Porn Industry Profits From Nonconsensual Content and Abuse

In the porn industry, there is virtually no way to guarantee that any piece of pornographic content is truly consensual, ethical, or even legal.

By May 14, 2021June 10th, 2021No Comments
TRIGGER WARNING

 

One evening when Rose Kalemba was 14 years old, she decided to take a short walk through her small Ohio town to get some fresh air and wind down from the day. But the tranquility of her evening outing ended abruptly when a man suddenly appeared and reportedly forced her into a car at knifepoint.Mohan, M. (2020). ‘I was raped at 14, and the video ended up on a porn site’. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51391981COPY  Over the next 12 hours, Rose was severely beaten, raped, stabbed, and filmed by several men who repeatedly threatened to kill her. Bleeding profusely and falling in and out of consciousness, Rose was eventually dumped back onto the street, left for dead by her abusers.

Rose was later taken to a hospital where her wounds were treated and eventually healed. But the trauma of her abuse didn’t go away. In the aftermath, she attempted suicide and lived in constant fear of her abusers. And then things got even worse—she learned not only that her rape had been filmed, but that the videos of her abuse had been reportedly uploaded to Pornhub.

Schoolmates started sharing the videos of her rape, which were uploaded under titles like, “teen crying and getting slapped around,” “teen getting destroyed,” and “passed out teen.” In several of the clips, it was clear that she was unconscious, yet one video had over 400,000 views, according to Rose. After learning of the existence of the videos, over the course of the next six months, she sent Pornhub email after email, pleading with them to remove the videos of her abuse. Not only were the videos nonconsensual, they depicted a minor, legally qualifying the footage as child sexual abuse material.

“I sent Pornhub begging emails. I pleaded with them,” Rose said. “I wrote, ‘Please, I’m a minor, this was assault, please take it down.'” Pornhub apparently never responded. That is, until Rose got the idea to set up a new email and pose as a lawyer threatening legal action. Once she did, the videos were reportedly removed within 48 hours.Mohan, M. (2020). ‘I was raped at 14, and the video ended up on a porn site’. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51391981COPY 

Related: How Porn Can Normalize Sexual Objectification

Rose’s story is not an isolated incident. The unfortunate truth is that the porn industry has an extensive history of profiting from nonconsensual content and abuse, often ignoring victims’ pleas to remove abusive content.Kristof, N. (2021). Why do we let corporations profit from rape videos? New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/opinion/sunday/companies-online-rape-videos.htmlCOPY Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY  Porn is a powerful, multi-billion dollar industry. Three porn sites—XVideos, XNXX, and Pornhub—all rank among the top 20 most trafficked websites in the world.Similarweb. (2021). Top websites ranking. Retrieved from https://www.similarweb.com/top-websites/COPY  And while Pornhub has received the most scrutiny as of late, it’s important to remember that virtually every major porn site has had issues with nonconsensual content and abuse.Kristof, N. (2021). Why do we let corporations profit from rape videos? New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/opinion/sunday/companies-online-rape-videos.htmlCOPY Burgess, M. (2020). Deepfake porn is now mainstream. and major sites are cashing in. Retrieved from https://www.wired.co.uk/article/deepfake-porn-websites-videos-lawCOPY Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY Meineck, S., & Alfering, Y. (2020). We went undercover in xHamster's unpaid content moderation team. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/akdzdp/inside-xhamsters-unpaid-content-moderation-teamCOPY 

It’s no wonder, then, that many victims feel powerless when confronting such a powerful industry. Mainstream porn performers can also be abused or taken advantage of in the industry with their abusers facing little to no repercussions. As more people begin to recognize the exploitative nature of the porn industry, however, many are calling for greater accountability and transparency.Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY Reynolds, C. (2021). Survivors, NGOs call for criminal investigation of porn giant MindGeek. CBC News. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/calls-for-criminal-investigation-mindgeek-1.5937117COPY 

But is there a viable way to completely guarantee that the porn you’re watching is truly consensual and abuse-free? Well, let’s discuss.

Consent

First, let’s talk about consent. Although the legal definition varies based on location and specific circumstances, sexual consent generally refers to a communicated, informed, mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity that can be revoked at any time. Meaningful sexual consent cannot be given by anyone who is underage, intoxicated, coerced, tricked, forced, or otherwise incapacitated. These same principles apply when it comes to sharing sexually intimate content. Image-based abuse and nonconsensual pornography (sometimes called “revenge porn”) largely refer to incidents where intimate images are taken or shared without consent, or are threatened to be shared. Nonconsensual pornography can also include incidents of individuals being coerced into producing explicit content. Child sexual abuse material (abbreviated to “CSAM” and sometimes called “child pornography”) refers to any explicit image of a minor—even if the minor “consented.”

According to one study, approximately 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys aged 13-17 report sharing their own nudes. While 40% of these minors agreed that sending nudes is “normal,” this study also reveals that 1 in 5 kids report having seen nonconsensually shared nudes.Thorn. (2020). Thorn research: Understanding sexually explicit images, self-produced by children. Retrieved from https://www.thorn.org/blog/thorn-research-understanding-sexually-explicit-images-self-produced-by-children/COPY  In fact, over 90% of police officers report that self-generated CSAM is common in their investigations of child pornography.NetClean. (2018). NetClean report 2018: A report about child sexual abuse crime. Retrieved from https://www.netclean.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/12/The-NetClean-Report-2018_Web.pdfCOPY  Regardless, because minors are not legally capable of giving meaningful consent, any sexually intimate image of a minor is legally considered “child pornography.”

Unfortunately, image-based abuse, nonconsensual pornography, and child sexual abuse material are increasingly common issues on porn sites, which is especially concerning considering that many victims of image-based abuse experience severe and disruptive mental health effects including PTSD, anxiety, and depression.Bates, S. (2017). Revenge Porn and Mental Health: A Qualitative Analysis of the Mental Health Effects of Revenge Porn on Female Survivors. Feminist Criminology, 12(1), 22–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557085116654565COPY  As an interesting yet tragic side-note, longitudinal research shows that porn consumers report a greater willingness to share sexts without consent.van Oosten, J., & Vandenbosch, L. (2020). Predicting the Willingness to Engage in Non-Consensual Forwarding of Sexts: The Role of Pornography and Instrumental Notions of Sex. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(4), 1121–1132. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01580-2COPY 

Related: How Porn Can Become An Escalating Behavior

Consent in porn production

But isn’t content created by official porn production companies and uploaded to well-known, mainstream sites more reliably consensual?

In an effort to soothe consumers’ worries about nonconsensual content and absolve the producers of liability, some porn production companies film “exit interviews” where the performers confirm whether they consented to everything that was filmed. But even these supposed confirmations of consent have proven to be deeply problematic. While exit interviews are presumably filmed after production has wrapped up, they are often filmed before the performers are paid. Even if they’ve already been paid, the guarantee that they’ll be booked for future jobs in the industry often depends on not “being difficult” or saying something they experienced was abusive, since production companies cannot use the footage if a performer states they were assaulted or abused. With their paychecks and careers hanging over the performers’ heads, and surrounded by a production crew, it is not uncommon for porn performers to lie in their exit interviews. As one performer put it, “I was severely abused on set a few times… and had to say on camera at the end [that] I was fine. In fact, one time I said, ‘no, I am not okay,’ and they screamed at me that I couldn’t say that and get paid.”Fight the New Drug. (2021). Not all porn is consensual. Don’t believe it? just ask these performers.. Retrieved from https://fightthenewdrug.org/these-performers-expose-abuse-consent-issues-on-porn-set/COPY 

One common argument in defense of porn is that professional performers are all “consenting adults” who “love their jobs.” But unfortunately, that is virtually impossible to guarantee. In the porn industry, the lines between abuse and consent are so blurred, that there’s no viable way to tell the difference. Performers can be coerced into participating and into lying about their experiences on set, and consumers wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell the difference even if they were watching something nonconsensual. Is it any wonder that if a performer has already been abused or pushed too far during filming, they might be afraid of inciting further abuse or industry scorn by speaking out?

Then, of course, there’s the issue of the freedom to revoke consent even if it’s already been given. Another performer described her experience of being whipped and caned for 35 minutes on set, saying, “I’ve never received a beating like that before in my life… I have permanent scars up and down the backs of my thighs. It was all things that I had consented to, but I didn’t know quite the brutality of what was about to happen to me until I was in it.”Conger, K. (2013 ). Gag order: Sex workers allege mistreatment at kink.com. SF Weekly. Retrieved from https://www.sfweekly.com/news/gag-order-sex-workers-allege-mistreatment-at-kink-com/COPY 

Did you catch what she said there? “It was all things that I had consented to.” That’s the problem with treating consent like it’s “all-or-nothing.” She consented to do X. She didn’t consent to do X, Y, and Z. This is important: true consent can be withdrawn at any moment, yet many performers are required to sign contracts prior to the actual shooting, making it incredibly difficult to revoke consent even if the situation becomes uncomfortable or dangerous. Is a truly “yes” valid if “no” is not a safe option? The fact that they won’t be paid or their industry reputation will be damaged if they do revoke consent in the middle of a scene is an element of coercion that invalidates their consent in the first place, and could even be legally defined as a form of sex trafficking.

Related: How Porn Can Fuel Sex Trafficking

Unfortunately, abuse in the porn industry is incredibly pervasive. And when you look closely, you find that there is virtually no formal system for reporting and addressing that abuse in a way that holds abusers accountable while keeping performers safe. What’s worse? Those who do publicly report or speak out about abuse are often blacklisted, threatened, dismissed, or further abused.Lange, A. (2018). This woman says authorities doubted her sexual assault claim because she does porn. Buzzfeed News. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/arianelange/nikki-benz-porn-defamation-lawsuit-metoo#.ldPVz1Yg0YCOPY Clark-Flory, T. (2018). Porn actors Leigh Raven and Riley Nixon allege abuse, violence, and boundary violation on set. Jezebel. Retrieved from https://jezebel.com/porn-actors-leigh-raven-and-riley-nixon-allege-abuse-v-1823677195COPY  Plus, many performers struggle to find work outside of the porn industry due to the stigma of being a former porn performer. Performers are punished inside of and out of the industry, the accused perpetrators walk free, and the cycle continues.

Of course, we’re not claiming that all porn contains abuse or nonconsensual content. But in order for consumers to make informed decisions regarding porn, we think it’s important to point out that some pornographic content isn’t consensual—and it’s virtually impossible to guarantee which is which.

Consent on porn sites

In addition to porn production companies, most porn sites do not verify the age or consent of individuals who appear in the images and/or videos posted to their sites, many times freely uploaded by site users. Not only is there virtually no standard system in place to confirm that all participants gave their consent and are of legal age, but even on the most popular porn sites, guaranteeing age and consent are not necessarily prerequisites to becoming a “verified” user. Even on sites who do verify users and allow those users to upload content, many often only require the account owner to verify their identity, and don’t require age or consent verification for the individuals depicted in the content. That means that virtually anyone can post anything—including image-based abuse. In fact, there have been many documented instances of verified accounts posting nonconsensual content, child sexual abuse material, or content made of sex trafficking victims.Pornhub sued by 40 Girls Do Porn sex trafficking victim. (2020). BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55333403COPY ParlVu. (2021). Meeting no. 20 ETHI— Standing committee on access to information, privacy and ethics. Retrieved from https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20210219/-1/34789?Language=English&Stream=VideoCOPY 

There have been many public reports of underage content on popular porn sites, though there are certainly many more that haven’t been publicly reported. One 15-year-old victim, for example, had been missing for a year before she was spotted in a number of videos on a popular porn site—and yes, the account that posted the videos had been “verified”.McDonald, S. (2019). Florida man arrested after 58 porn videos, photos link him to missing underage teen girl. Newsweek. Retrieved from https://www.newsweek.com/florida-man-arrested-after-58-porn-videos-photos-link-him-missing-underage-teen-girl-1467413COPY Cheong, I. M. (2020). Pornhub verified child sex trafficking. Human Events. Retrieved from https://humanevents.com/2020/03/01/pornhub-verified-child-sex-trafficking/COPY  In another incident, a young woman had to contact the police in order to get videos of her as a 16-year-old removed from a verified account on a popular porn site.Gallien, S. (2020). Tuscaloosa man charged for producing porn with a minor, uploading it to PornHub. ABC News. Retrieved from https://abc3340.com/news/local/pornhub-account-tied-to-tuscaloosa-mans-arrest-for-producing-porn-with-a-minorCOPY  And, as another example, when a 14-year-old girl named Serena was convinced by an older boy to send him naked videos of herself, she never expected they would end up on several of the world’s most popular porn sites. When kids at her school started bullying and calling her a “slut,” the horrifying realization set in—the videos had been shared, and she had no control over their spread. One of the videos, which had been posted to Pornhub, reportedly had hundreds of thousands of views. Overwhelmed and in agony, Serena twice tried to take her own life. And unfortunately, she’s not the only one.Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY Kristof, N. (2021). Why do we let corporations profit from rape videos? New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/opinion/sunday/companies-online-rape-videos.htmlCOPY 

Countless others like Serena have had intimate images of them shared on porn sites without their consent. Many are not even aware that images of them have been recorded, let alone shared. In fact, research indicates that “hidden cam” videos are a common theme on porn sites,Vera-Gray, F., McGlynn, C., Kureshi, I., & Butterby, K. (2021). Sexual violence as a sexual script in mainstream online pornography. The British Journal of Criminology, doi:10.1093/bjc/azab035COPY  often exploiting real victims who had no idea they were being filmed or photographed.Thompson, C. (2019). Clandestine college locker room videos taken of visiting women athletes, uploaded to world's largest porn site. Deadspin. Retrieved from https://deadspin.com/clandestine-college-locker-room-videos-taken-of-visitin-1839273496COPY  These events often cause lifelong negative impact for those who experience it. According to one survey of nonconsensual pornography victims, 51% reported having suicidal thoughts due to the image-based abuse, and 93% reported experiencing severe emotional distress.End Revenge Porn (2014). Revenge porn statistics. Civil Cyber Rights Initiative. Retrieved from https://www.cybercivilrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/RPStatistics.pdfCOPY 

Related: How Porn Can Hurt a Consumer’s Partner

Another deeply troubling trend in the world of pornography is “deepfake” porn—explicit videos which are digitally manipulated to include someone else’s face or voice. Deepfake videos can be made of anyone whose photos are accessible, and while most deepfake porn videos portray well-known celebrities, they can also be made using images of everyday people. One report shows that hundreds of deepfake videos are uploaded to porn sites each month and receive millions of views, yet it is incredibly rare that these videos are made consensually.Burgess, M. (2020). Porn sites still won’t take down nonconsensual deepfakes. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/porn-sites-still-wont-take-down-non-consensual-deepfakes/COPY  Despite the fact that nonconsensual deepfake porn is a form of image-based abuse, many porn sites have been known to advertise which celebrity names were most searched on their sites throughout the year, and these names regularly coincide with nonconsensual deepfake porn.Lee, D. (2018). Deepfakes porn has serious consequences. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42912529COPY 

Some waves of change, but is it enough?

In December 2020, due to the remarkable groundwork laid by survivors and activists, a New York Times exposé of Montreal-based MindGeek—Pornhub’s parent company, which owns a number of popular porn sites—attracted international attention to the rampant issue of abuse in the porn industry.Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY  In light of the exposé, major credit card companies announced that they would suspend all payment processing on MindGeek sites, and the Canadian House of Commons Ethics Committee (ETHI) launched an investigation into MindGeek. Despite their reported history of ignoring victims and profiting from abusive content, after the New York Times article was published, Pornhub suddenly jumped into action by announcing increased moderation efforts, major changes to their verification process, and deleting all unverified content—nearly 80% of the site.Valinsky, J. (2020). Pornhub removes a majority of its videos after investigation reveals child abuse. CNN Business. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/15/business/pornhub-videos-removed/index.htmlCOPY 

Despite years of survivors and advocates petitioning for change to Pornhub’s business model that seemingly allowed anyone to upload anything to the porn platform—even abusive content—it wasn’t until payment processing companies took action that MindGeek announced these major changes. MindGeek maintains that it has always been dedicated to safety and abuse prevention, yet it appears that MindGeek made no effort to report any instances of CSAM to proper authorities before the public backlash against them began.Standing committee on access to information, privacy and ethics: ETHI, Standing committee on access to information, privacy and ethics: (2021). Retrieved from https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/ETHI/meeting-21/evidence#Int-11143544COPY 

While these dramatic changes are a step in the right direction, it remains unclear whether they will actually work to prevent and remove abusive content from being available on their sites. What is clear is that many survivors and advocates feel this is too little, too late. It’s also important to note that while Pornhub has made these recent changes to its site, it is unclear whether MindGeek is extending these security protocols to every site subsidiary they own, and most porn sites remain unchanged. Verified identities, ages, and consent of performers or individuals portrayed in videos on porn sites remains a rarity in the mainstream porn industry, and it doesn’t always work.

Many pro-porn advocates who recognize the harms and damages of the mainstream porn industry and mainstream sites now advocate for porn consumers to get their content from alternative sites that put more control in content creators’ hands. But no site is perfect, unfortunately, and many non-mainstream porn platforms still can have underage or abusive content.

One example of a non-mainstream site that many porn advocates tout as a solution to the issues of nonconsensual content in the mainstream industry is OnlyFans. And while it is “safer” in many ways, OnlyFans is not exempt from this issue. In fact, despite being touted as an ethical alternative to porn tube sites, an investigation by the BBC reveals that OnlyFans’ age verification process has not been able to efficiently prevent child pornography from being uploaded to the site.de Gallier, T. (2020). The hidden danger of selling nudes online. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/5e7dad06-c48d-4509-b3e4-6a7a2783ce30COPY  And remember, OnlyFans does not require uploaders to verify the age or consent of all participants—only the account owner.OnlyFans. Account approval/account application requirements. Retrieved from https://onlyfans.com/help/3/18/73COPY 

Now, maybe you’re thinking, Well that’s not the porn sites’ fault! They can’t monitor everything uploaded to their sites! But Pornhub, for example, has repeatedly stated, “Upon upload, every video and photo… is reviewed manually by a large and extensive team of moderators looking for illegal content”.Pornhub. (2020). Answers to community questions. Retrieved from https://www.pornhub.com/blog/10012COPY  Of course, it can be difficult for anyone to determine whether a performer is 17 or 18, and whether they’re acting the part or whether the abuse is real. But this statement from Pornhub is particularly concerning considering that there have been reports of child sexual abuse involving small children—in some cases, toddlers still wearing diapers—being uploaded to porn sites and monetized with ads.Gorman, G. (2020). Child abuse victim says porn website Pornhub profited from her child rape. News.Com.Au. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/child-abuse-victim-says-porn-website-pornhub-profited-from-her-child-rape/news-story/7e3880aa4a94504acea7675bb8112cffCOPY  Which brings us to content moderation.

Content moderation in the porn industry

Clearly, there is a lot of nonconsensual material hosted on porn sites. So what is the porn industry doing about it? While most major porn sites claim to be committed to eradicating nonconsensual content from their platforms, their real-life response to the epidemic of image-based abuse is underwhelming. Many porn sites claim to use state-of-the art technology to fingerprint nonconsensual videos upon removal, which theoretically prevents them from being re-uploaded. But according to an investigation by Motherboard, these minimal efforts don’t work.Cole, S., & Maiberg, E. (2020). Pornhub doesn't care. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/9393zp/how-pornhub-moderation-works-girls-do-pornCOPY  Even if these technologies worked perfectly, it still relies on victims to find and report the content rather than preventing nonconsensual content in the first place.

Porn sites often hire content moderators who are able to review flagged content to determine whether or not it should be removed from the site, however, these content moderation teams are often very small and given very little support. One popular porn site, for example, relies on a team of volunteers—some of whom are self-described porn addicts—whose entire moderation training comes from a 480-word “manual” and who are told to only remove content that they’re one hundred percent sure is illegal.Meineck, S., & Alfering, Y. (2020). We went undercover in xHamster's unpaid content moderation team. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/akdzdp/inside-xhamsters-unpaid-content-moderation-teamCOPY  According to one content moderator for MindGeek, the porn giant employs an estimated 80 content moderators across all its sites.Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY  Keep in mind, that this is the same company that claimed its moderators manually review every single video upon upload, yet also claimed around the same time that one of its sites received 169 years’ worth of new content in one yearPornhub. (2020). Answers to community questions. Retrieved from https://www.pornhub.com/blog/10012COPY Pornhub Insights. (2019). The 2019 year in review. Retrieved from https://www.pornhub.com/insights/2019-year-in-reviewCOPY —that would make it literally impossible for content moderators to properly review all new content on one site alone, let alone respond quickly and appropriately to any reports of abusive content already uploaded to all of MindGeek’s platforms. Regardless, these minimally trained and shockingly small content moderation teams clearly do very little to rid these sites of illegal content as evidenced by the rampant image-based abuse and CSAM that have existed on mainstream porn tube sites.

Related: How Porn Can Normalize Sexual Violence

Conclusion

In 2020, 22 women won a burdensome legal battle against the owners of “GirsDoPorn,” a wildly popular porn production company that sex trafficked young women—allegedly hundreds of them—into porn. They were collectively awarded $12.8 million in damages, and the owners were charged with federal counts of sex trafficking and forced to delete their flagship site.BBC News. (2020). GirlsDoPorn: Young women win legal battle over video con. BBC. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50982051COPY  Porn tube sites, however, continued to profit from the footage of these sex trafficking victims being raped on camera. Even after some porn sites symbolically deleted their official and verified GirlsDoPorn channels, they continued hosting the videos across their site.Cole, S., & Maiberg, E. (2020). Pornhub doesn't care. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/9393zp/how-pornhub-moderation-works-girls-do-pornCOPY  Some were flagged and deleted, but most were reuploaded again later. Even more distressing is the fact that the victims of GirlsDoPorn had been been contacting these porn sites for years, begging them to remove the videos of their rape.Cole, S., & Maiberg, E. (2020). Pornhub doesn't care. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/9393zp/how-pornhub-moderation-works-girls-do-pornCOPY  Just like in Rose’s case, these sites ignored the victims’ pleadings to remove abusive content for months and years. Only when potential legal obstacles appeared did they spring into action. And even then, it’s a game of “whack-a-mole” for the survivors to regularly report new re-uploads of their videos from users who downloaded them from popular porn tube sites. One survivor told us she receives a fresh wave of harassment and threats every couple of weeks when the video of her being raped and trafficked is re-uploaded to a porn site along with her personal information:

“I’m sure most of those viewers were not aware that by watching the videos,” the GirlsDoPorn trafficking survivor told us, “they were participating in human trafficking, assault, and rape.”Fight the New Drug. (2021). “I Didn’t know if they’d kill me”: What happened when this Jane Doe was trafficked by GirlsDoPorn. Retrieved from https://fightthenewdrug.org/what-happened-when-this-jane-doe-was-trafficked-by-girlsdoporn/COPY 

So, how can you know whether the porn you’re watching is truly consensual? Well, the unfortunate truth is that in the porn industry, there is no guarantee. It is virtually impossible to know whether any particular content is consensual, ethical, or even legal. At the end of the day, is it worth it? Is it worth contributing to the demand that keeps afloat an industry that profits from nonconsensual content? Is it worth the possibility of contributing to someone’s exploitation or re-traumatization? For the sake of victims, we say it’s time to stop the demand.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your compulsive behavior, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

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