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6 Cases of Nonconsensual Porn and Rape Tapes Pornhub Doesn’t Want Consumers to Know About

By July 1, 2020 No Comments
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Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative nonprofit that educates on the harmful effects of porn. This month during our #StopTheDemand campaign, we're shining a light on the porn industry's link to sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking. Click here to learn more.

It’s no secret that Pornhub is one of the biggest free porn sites in the world. But what is lesser-known is exactly what kind of illicit and illegal videos this porn giant reportedly profits from.

The site has been in the news in the last few months for a range of reasons, but not for the reasons you might expect—they’ve gotten press from Kanye West’s porn habit confession to their “conservation efforts” and their vow to “stand in solidarity” with those who are fighting for social justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

In recent history, the tube-site has tagged their name to charitable efforts like planting trees, saving pandas, and cleaning up the ocean. Pornhub’s 2019 “Dirtiest Porn Ever” campaign asks consumers to watch an explicit video filmed on a garbage littered beach, and in return, this free porn website—one of the largest in the world—will donate to a plastic waste recycler. (The donation is an undisclosed sum. Chances are it’s similar to their “Save the Whales” stunt when they donated a penny for every 2K views. That’s $50 for 10 million views, in case you’re curious.)

Related: Are Porn Sites Protecting Victims Of Nonconsensual Content? We Investigated, Here’s What We Found

Cleaning up the environment is no joke, but doing it under the guise of promoting a product with known harmful effects is virtue signaling at its finest. Pick up a trash bag and ditch the porn, we say.

Many people have praised Pornhub’s efforts to clean up one beach, but it doesn’t begin to make up for their abusive and reportedly illegal business practices. Story after story has also shown how tube sites like Pornhub reportedly profit from nonconsensual videos—including real rape videos, secret filming, revenge porn, upskirting, stolen videos, and child abuse videos of a trafficked teen.

And if you’re into Twitter threads, we’ve got one that compiles all of the following info:

Note that as these reports are circulating in public conversations and a growing number of articles from large publications, Pornhub representatives aren’t denying the existence of this illicit and unacceptable content on their website.

Honestly, we have no way of knowing how much content on Pornhub is nonconsensual or what percentage of their profits come from it. We only know that illegal or abusive videos exist when they shouldn’t and that Pornhub and other sites could be doing more to eradicate it.

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The latest cases of illicit material on this massive porn site

Brace yourselves for a depressing list of the nonconsensual videos found on Pornhub in just the past couple of months alone. Note that for every known example, there are many more unidentified and other examples that aren’t public…yet.

1. Videos of underage sexual assault and rape victims

When Rose Kalemba was 14 years old in 2009, she was abducted by men driving around her neighborhood and reportedly raped by them for hours. Nearly losing her life and being stabbed multiple times, she was able to reason with the attackers and escape with her life.

She thought her nightmare was over, despite being victim-blamed and attempting suicide the day after she was released from the hospital.

Related: The Disturbing Irony Behind Pornhub’s “Anti-Domestic Violence” Campaign

A couple of months after the attack, Rose discovered a Pornhub link her schoolmates were sharing around—it was the video of her rape. There were 6 videos in all of the attack.

The video was uploaded under the titles: “teen crying and getting slapped around,” “teen getting destroyed,” and “passed out teen.”

Rose described the following days and months to the BBC in an interview. “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. Most of her peers in school saw the uploaded videos, and intense bullying from both male and female classmates ensued.

In talking to Fight the New Drug about her story, the now 25-year-old Rose said:

“My assault itself put me in a mental prison, but PornHub gave me a life sentence. Millions of men watched the six videos of my assault. I have no way of knowing how many of those millions downloaded them and still have access to them even after PornHub finally removed them from its site after I pretended to be a lawyer… The porn industry made it so that my rape didn’t just end that horrible night, and my fears weren’t just that—they quickly became reality. Because of the porn industry, I was harassed, stalked, threatened, and so much more for years and years after my attack. I was followed multiple times when I was walking around, spit on, and groped, and touched against my will—by complete strangers and also some boys and grown men I knew.”

Every day, she had to live with the aching anxiety that everyone she met had seen her worst nightmare on video. “Had they seen it? Were they aroused by it? Had they gratified themselves to my rape?” she asked herself whenever interacting with a new stranger.

After discovering that her rape was broadcasted online for anyone to see, Rose spent 6 months periodically emailing Pornhub, asking for the videos to be taken down.

“I pleaded with them. I wrote, ‘Please, I’m a minor, this was assault, please take it down,’” Rose told the BBC.

Rose says she received no reply to her emails, and the videos stayed live on the site.

After months of unsuccessful petitioning—months of reliving the horror of her rape every time she saw a stranger knowing they could watch her filmed assault at any second—Rose set up an email account and contacted Pornhub posing as a lawyer threatening a lawsuit. Rose says that within 48 hours of this email, the videos were gone.

So the summary of this horrifying reality is that Pornhub ignored an underage rape victim for months but listened to a lawyer threatening to sue within 2 days. Let that sink in.

But Rose is far from the only one this has happened to. After Rose’s story went public, many people reached out to her, letting her know she isn’t alone. There is an untold number of people whose recorded abuse is still available to view and download on Pornhub. How is any of this okay?

2. Videos of underage trafficking victims

In November 2019, a sex-trafficked 15-year-old girl was found after a year of being missing after her mother reported to the police 58 videos of the girl being raped by her trafficker and other sex buyers on Pornhub.

“Police investigated and discovered nearly 60 pornographic videos of the Sunrise girl posted on Periscope, Pornhub, Modelhub, Snapchat and other websites, according to an arrest report,” reported the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

And to make matters worse, there are new reports emerging that the 15-year-old trafficking survivor was “verified” on Pornhub with a blue checkmark next to the account the videos were uploaded to, implying she was an adult professional. Given that anyone can be “verified” on Pornhub, no identification or age check required, this isn’t surprising, but it’s a new low for the giant porn site. Her story drives the point home that you can never know if content is truly consensual.

Even though these crimes are both child sexual abuse material—commonly known as “child pornography”—and sex trafficking, there has been no word on whether the videos have been removed from the platform or if anything has been done to prevent them from being re-uploaded.

Related: “You’re Gonna Be A Star”: The Day I Was Drugged And Raped On A Porn Set

Christopher Johnson, the 30-year-old man arrested at the time of the girl’s rescue a few months ago, denies raping the girl—legally, she cannot consent to sex, so it’s rape—despite his appearance in the videos. The rape tapes that showed Johnson assaulting her were filmed inside his apartment, the girl told the police. The 30-year-old was charged with felony lewd or lascivious battery on a victim between 12 and 16.

But this 15-year-old isn’t the only one on Pornhub. After her story was shared, tweets like this came pouring onto our Twitter feed.

There are many, many individuals like the rescued 15-year-old whose videos are still reportedly on the platform.

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3. Videos of trafficked women in “GirlsDoPorn” productions

At last, Pornhub removed the official GirlsDoPorn Pornhub channel. Despite complaints and a lawsuit against the production company, including a case put forward (and won) by 22 victims suing GirlsDoPorn for forcing them to perform porn, the decision to remove the original uploads from Pornhub and affiliate site YouPorn only came after the owners were arrested and federally charged with sex trafficking.

Related: 22 Women Paid $12.7 Million And Given Rare Ownership Rights In GirlsDoPorn Lawsuit

The victims of Girls Do Porn say that the videos on Pornhub resulted in them being doxed, threatened, and harassed, and even though the originals have been removed, dozens of copies of individual videos are still scattered across the tube sites.

We exclusively interviewed a GirlsDoPorn trafficking survivor, Jane Doe 18, who said that her video appears on Pornhub or other Mindgeek-owned porn tube sites multiple times a month. Even though she and the other Jane Does of the case were awarded the copyrights to their “Girls Do Porn” videos, this doesn’t stop porn site users from uploading and re-uploading the videos on their own profiles even though it is illegal to do so.

4. Nonconsensual hidden cam videos of university student locker rooms

A completely different collection of nonconsensual videos on Pornhub was discovered in a case of five different women’s sports teams who were secretly filmed in the locker rooms at Limestone College in South Carolina. Hidden cam videos of at least five different women’s teams showering and changing in the locker rooms were uploaded over the course of a year, according to reports.

Related: My Ex-Partner Was Arrested For Hiding Cameras In My Teammates’ Locker Room

Pornhub eventually removed the originally uploaded videos after they were reported and the police got involved, but as in all of these stories, removing the original doesn’t erase all existence of the videos online. They are still being re-uploaded either to Pornhub or affiliate porn sites, or both.

And consider how there’s no way for victims of hidden camera videos to know to look for these videos to report them—they were viewed thousands of times before being taken down.

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5. “Revenge porn” and other image-based abuse

A recent story from the UK movement #NotYourPorn revealed that Pornhub is not always compliant in cases of image-based sexual abuse.

One woman found videos of herself on the porn site and went to the police. Her ex-boyfriend secretly filmed their intimate moments and uploaded them to the website, and according to the police, they already had a case against this man. But in order to progress toward a conviction, the police required a statement from the tube-site describing the nature of the platform and the uploading process. After multiple attempts by police to get a statement, Pornhub failed to comply, resulting in the woman’s case falling through. The private images are still on the site, being viewed by thousands.

Related: Their Private Photos Were Shared Non-Consensually To Pornhub, And Now These Women Are Fighting Back

And if you think that these issues are too recent for Pornhub to address, and they deserve a break because they need time to react to this content being reported, you’re about to be disappointed.

6. Hidden cam rape tapes of a convicted rapist from years ago

There are reportedly rape tapes on the platform even today from over 5 years ago, depicting the assault of twenty women from a convicted rapist who was imprisoned years ago in a highly publicized case.

Taiwanese socialite and playboy, Justin Lee, was convicted of raping 20 women and secretly videotaping his abuse. Justin Lee was arrested in 2012, sentenced to nearly 80 years in prison, but his case has popped up again as it was confirmed that Lee’s illegal videos can still be found online at—where else?—Pornhub.

Related: How This Guy Posted Revenge Porn Of His Ex To Pornhub Where It Got +1,000 Views

These videos that depict real sexual assaults from a public case that closed years ago have amassed tens of thousands of views, even today, and are easily findable with simple keyword searches. There should be no reason why these videos should remain on the tube site.

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Giant brands are finally starting to stop their business with Pornhub

After these nonconsensual examples of content came to light, a few huge consumer brands announced that they will no longer advertise on Pornhub, given the unflattering recent reports.

Unilever, who owns brands like Axe and Dove, hosted a campaign for their razor delivery company Dollar Shave Club on the porn platform, and Kraft Heinz previously took over Pornhub’s homepage for a day to advertise their frozen food brand under the justification that #foodporn is a “cultural phenomenon.” Classy.

Related: One-Sided Orgasms: Pornhub’s Most Popular Videos Don’t Show Mutual Pleasure

After an investigation by the Sunday Times newspaper, revealing dozens of examples of illegal content on Pornhub—some of which we listed above—both conglomerates distanced themselves from the porn website to avoid normalizing a brand that hosts child sexual abuse material and other illicit material. We hope other big brands follow suit.

Normalizing Abuse Isnt Normal

Pornhub’s hands-off approach to illicit content

In response to each of these stories, Pornhub has been all talk and no action with statements saying the site “strongly condemn[s] nonconsensual content,” and that content violating the platform’s Terms of Service is removed as soon as Pornhub is made aware of it.

But that’s exactly the problem.

This is a very hands-off approach, which works well for the platform that doesn’t want to be accused of censorship. But it leaves the responsibility to the average user—who often may especially enjoy the illegal or secret nature of the content in question—or the victims who stumble upon their own stolen images by pure chance to file reports. Either option doesn’t work.

Related: From Fashion To Adult Coloring Books, Pornhub Is Trying To Become America’s Favorite Lifestyle Brand

Considering that in 2019 alone, 1.36 million hours of new video content were uploaded to the site, a nonconsensual clip could be online for years and viewed by millions of people until a victim or their loved ones find it.

As we’ve seen in recent news stories, Pornhub can be convinced to remove original videos, but it’s constantly an uphill battle. This isn’t enough. The download feature on free tube sites makes it easy for anyone to save a video or image, so when Pornhub removes an original, copies are almost always uploaded in their place.

Let’s imagine for a moment that porn sites like Pornhub grew a conscience overnight. What could Pornhub do if they decided they were serious about addressing image-based sexual abuse and illicit images on their platform?

“Flagging is not the answer,” says Nate Glass, president of Takedown Piracy. His suggestion is for sites to consider the best technology paired together with human moderators. Consider that Kate Isaacs from the #NotYourPorn movement revealed at the 17:00-17:30 time slot at 29:14 in this interview that Pornhub reportedly had an unthinkably small number of content moderators: six.

They have since announced that they have an extensive team of human moderators (no exact number released) who manually review “all uploads to the site,” but we don’t know if this makes the reportedly abuse content on the platform better or worse. Either their “extensive team” of moderators are not effective, or they aren’t reviewing every upload like they say they are.

Related: This Guy Is Suing Pornhub For Using His Photo On Their Site Without His Permission

But even with moderators and unique hashing technology used by child sexual abuse material detectives that can keep illicit and nonconsensual images from being uploaded, it still isn’t enough to address the fundamental, core issues of Pornhub and sites like it.

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Abusive images are not a genre

Here’s the bottom line: Pornhub and other massive porn tube sites like it reportedly make money off of nonconsensual images and videos. This is a fact, just look at the handful of stories above, and this is seemingly without any plan to truly address the issue and stop doing so anytime soon.

Instead of addressing potentially illegally uploaded content, the site might turn it into a genre like “leaked sex tapes” or even more obvious, “revenge porn.” These terms start trending or driving traffic and clicks, which leads to more advertising revenue and even more user content uploaded to the site. It’s a cycle that they don’t seem to have a true interest in breaking.

Of course, not every video in these categories is a stolen video, though. Production studios and amateur porn performers follow trends on Pornhub. They are working for consumer eyeballs, too. If “stolen teen Snapchat videos” is getting a lot of attention, they may create a scene to mimic the authentic videos. But the problem is, it becomes all the more difficult to determine what’s legit and what isn’t—these professionally-produced videos make it difficult to identify illegal content while also encouraging consumer appetites to want more.

Related: Porn Tube Sites Are Free, So How Does The Porn Industry Make Money Today?

If Pornhub were serious about image-based sexual abuse, they would work to prevent these kinds of images from being uploaded in the first place. The technology is out there, and yet it hasn’t been implemented.

Despite all the press the porn site received for potentially donating $100 or so to clean up a single dirty beach, Pornhub is not deserving of praise for their “charitable” causes.

In fact, the only press Pornhub should be getting should be to shine a light on the trafficking victims, image-based abuse victims, hidden camera victims, and sexual assault victims whose abuse is displayed prominently on the tube site and profited from daily.

Join us in refusing to click, and spreading the word that Pornhub is doing anything but charity to society.

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