For years, Pornhub and other online porn companies have raped. . .I mean, raked in millions by selling people’s bodies, mostly women’s. Some were sold without their consent, some not old enough to consent. And the pornographers have never been held accountable.
It has been known and proven for years the much of the video on porn sites was uploaded without the consent of those in the videos, but nothing was done. A new law in the US would hold these companies liable for the content they sell (a law which could be misused to threaten other companies into silencing speech). It needs to be precise about what it bans so it can’t be abused.
A group of bipartisan senators led by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would give victims of crimes like revenge porn, sex trafficking and sexual assault the option to sue websites like Pornhub in civil court for hosting illegal content depicting them, the latest ramification for the adult entertainment giant after the New York Times reported the site hosted and profited from footage of child abuse and sexual assault.
“We shouldn’t have to pass a law to keep companies from profiting by sharing, without consent, intimate images. But we do,” Hassan said in a statement Wednesday. “The harm that these companies cause is extraordinary, lasts a lifetime, and should be unthinkable.”
The threat of a new law has finally resulted in meaningful action – not by the government or by porn peddlars, but by credit card companies. Visa, Mastercard and Discover have banned their use on such websites, depriving pornographers of revenue. Pornhub has responded by (allegedly) removing all unverified content. In other words, anything which was not produced by a porn producing company or not verified as containing consensual acts. Amazingly, a company as unethical as Paypal cut off Pornhub a year ago.
Mastercard, Visa and Discover are blocking customers from using their companies’ credit cards to make purchases on Pornhub. This comes after allegations were made against the pornographic website in a New York Times column on December 4 accusing the site of showing videos of child abuse and nonconsensual sexual behavior.
Following the Times’ column, Mastercard (MA) launched an investigation into the claims against Pornhub and said it found them to be substantiated.
“The use of our cards at Pornhub is being terminated. Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” Mastercard said in a statement. “As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”
Mastercard said it’s also investigating other websites for potential illegal content.
As always, companies only listen when you hit them in the wallet. Now that they are cut off their revenue stream, they finally do something about the rape videos and child pornography.
Pornhub claims it will only allow “verified content”, from registered porn studios (or perhaps individuals posting only videos of themselves). Call me untrusting, but I won’t take them at their word. They should be monitored and shut down imediately if any illegal content is found, whether Pornhub knew it or not.
It’s not enough that they are forced to use only proven legal content and delete everything illegal. Their assets should be seized and forced to pay their victims. Or seize 20% of their future revenue to pay reparations.