Pornhub and parent MindGeek hit with lawsuit over allegations of hosting nonconsensual...

midian182

Posts: 6,935   +62
Staff member
What just happened? Pornhub is once again being accused of hosting nonconsensual videos, including those showing rapes and child abuse, on its service. Thirty-four women are suing parent company MindGeek for allegedly being "one of the largest human trafficking ventures in the world," and "likely the largest non-regulatory repository of child pornography in North America."

The civil complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, claims Pornhub and its parent knowingly profited from videos depicting rape, child sexual exploitation, trafficking, and other nonconsensual sexual videos. "This is a case about rape, not pornography," the complaint states, adding that MindGeek is a classic criminal enterprise run "just like the Sopranos."

Lawyers at Brown Rudnick LLP are seeking damages for the "devastating" effect the experience has caused the plaintiffs. They also seek protections for them and "thousands of other victims" from further exploitation.

The online porn industry "has operated like an old-school red-light district of commerce where rules that do apply and should be applied haven't been applied," said Michael Bowe, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

CBS News reports that one of the women was in high school and only 17 when her boyfriend coerced her into making a nude video. She forgot about its existence until a friend told her it had been anonymously posted to Pornhub without her knowledge or consent.

"I joined the lawsuit because I seek justice for myself and the countless victims who don't come forward," the victim said.

MindGeek owns dozens of porn websites, including Pornhub, RedTube, Tube8, and YouPorn, along with adult production companies and brands. It brings in 3.5 billion views per month. A recent survey showed PornHub was one of the most popular ways people in the UK got through last year's lockdown.

Pornhub said it is reviewing and investigating the complaint because it has "zero tolerance for illegal content and investigates any complaint or allegation made about content on our platforms." It called allegations that it is a criminal enterprise run like the Sopranos "absurd, completely reckless and categorically false."

Back in December, Pornhub stopped unverified uploads and banned downloads following a damning New York Times report making the same claims seen in the lawsuit. Mastercard and Visa soon cut ties with MindGeek, and Pornhub later added new safety measures that include verification by a third-party company for uploads.

Masthead credit: Pe3k

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,061   +5,673
I never in a million years would have imagined that some people out there would ignore the TOS and upload crimes to a social media network.

It's the price you pay for having a social media network.

People will upload crimes to it.

Same goes for videos made under prostitution - which is illegal in some places.

99% of the videos of I've seen had no "age verification"... I only know what they tell me.

This is a money grab. These things would be happening wwhether it was video taped or not.
 

umbala

Posts: 371   +487
There are a lot of women out there who regret getting into porn. They may think this is a way for them to cash out by suing a website, but it's not going to work.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,541   +2,522
Isn‘t that how most sites / commerces on the internet work - ignoring rules and regulations as much as possible or lobbying to not have them apply in the first place ?
 

Trillionsin

Posts: 1,882   +467
Some of this is BS... I know some people who make porn, judge me as you wish, however... their videos get reported constantly for "non-consensual" BS all the time, and it's utter BS because they are a couple making their own content uploading their videos with obvious consent IN the videos. I've never once seen child porn on Pornhub... so I can't debate how true that is... but then again I'm not looking for it so it makes me curious how they find it if these people arent actively looking for it... but hey I guess there are agencies that specialize in that stuff.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,172   +555
Some of this is BS... I know some people who make porn, judge me as you wish, however... their videos get reported constantly for "non-consensual" BS all the time, and it's utter BS because they are a couple making their own content uploading their videos with obvious consent IN the videos. I've never once seen child porn on Pornhub... so I can't debate how true that is... but then again I'm not looking for it so it makes me curious how they find it if these people arent actively looking for it... but hey I guess there are agencies that specialize in that stuff.
The child stuff was brought up if not mistaken by a child to begin with. It was her and other stories that this coming to light. What's true and not I have no idea. I can't say I've ever used pornhub or have ever looked for that type of stuff, I'm sure there are plenty of ppl who do.
Welcome to the internet, where it's truly the wild wild west out there. No rules, no laws, anything goes until you get caught. Then rules n laws get MADE.
 

brucek

Posts: 814   +1,130
TechSpot Elite
Like The Sopranos? Are there some murder allegations I haven't heard of?

There are strong words being thrown around here, the kind that law enforcement is usually not shy about prosecuting. If there is rape and/or child molestation, with video evidence already stored on a 3rd party server no less, I'm not sure why I'm reading about it in a civil suit vs. criminal prosecutions.

For the moment I'm going with the normally safe assumptions that the internet company could use some investigation & attention to make sure it is following the laws it is supposed to, and the civil lawyer's claims could use a little skeptical attention re: blaming the party with the biggest pockets vs. the ones most directly responsible.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 436   +581
Some of this is BS... I know some people who make porn, judge me as you wish, however... their videos get reported constantly for "non-consensual" BS all the time, and it's utter BS because they are a couple making their own content uploading their videos with obvious consent IN the videos. I've never once seen child porn on Pornhub... so I can't debate how true that is... but then again I'm not looking for it so it makes me curious how they find it if these people arent actively looking for it... but hey I guess there are agencies that specialize in that stuff.
You know some people, so that applies to the remaining 7 billion of us. Good to know, all-knowing person.
 

yukka

Posts: 956   +137
Can we sue them for serving non consensual videos? I sure as hell don’t want to watch anything like that and it concerns me that people have have inadvertently seen videos of that ilk
 

Todd Sauve

Posts: 38   +50
Like The Sopranos? Are there some murder allegations I haven't heard of?

There are strong words being thrown around here, the kind that law enforcement is usually not shy about prosecuting. If there is rape and/or child molestation, with video evidence already stored on a 3rd party server no less, I'm not sure why I'm reading about it in a civil suit vs. criminal prosecutions.

For the moment I'm going with the normally safe assumptions that the internet company could use some investigation & attention to make sure it is following the laws it is supposed to, and the civil lawyer's claims could use a little skeptical attention re: blaming the party with the biggest pockets vs. the ones most directly responsible.
Well, if its HQs is in Quebec, and Montreal in particular, Canadians will tell you that province is, how shall we put it? Known to bend the rules a lot more than other parts of the country??? They just sent one of that city's mayors off to the crowbar hotel not too long ago ...
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,512   +1,751
TechSpot Elite
Well, if its HQs is in Quebec, and Montreal in particular, Canadians will tell you that province is, how shall we put it? Known to bend the rules a lot more than other parts of the country??? They just sent one of that city's mayors off to the crowbar hotel not too long ago ...
I am a Canadian and I am from Québec originally. Québec doesn't bend the laws as much as Québec has different laws. The laws in the English provinces are based on British Common Law while the laws in Québec are based on French Civil Law (aka the Napoleonic Code). Québec is the most progressive province in Canada and the reason that a lot of businesses have their Canadian HQ in Montreal is usually one of two:
1.) Montreal is Canada's major international port in the east.
2.) The business laws in Québec are usually about a decade ahead of the rest of Canada.

When it comes to organised crime, the Mafia hasn't been powerful in Québec since the 50s or 60s. When it comes to criminal enterprise, strange though it may sound, it's the Hell's Angels who are most powerful in Québec and nobody else dares challenge them. However, contrary to the opinion of many, the Sûreté du Québec (Québec Provincial Police) was quietly conducting an extremely deep investigation while publicly acting like the problem didn't really exist or was being exaggerated. Of course, this made people think that they'd been paid off by the Hell's Angels to just let them "do their thing". That was of course until the Sûreté du Québec decided that it had enough evidence to cripple the Hell's Angels. Since then, it has been one sting after another with fantastic results over the past few years and it's still ongoing:
April 24 2018
Police arrest more than 60 Hells Angels members across Quebec and New Brunswick
February 14, 2019
Hells Angels targeted in early morning raids in Quebec, New Brunswick
June 5, 2019
Sûreté du Québec raids target cocaine ring with links to Hells Angels
June 30, 2021
Drug trafficking ring with alleged ties to Hells Angels targeted in search warrants

The Sûreté du Québec hit the Hell's Angels again as recently as two weeks ago. The idea that Québec is lawless is far from the truth. They just know how to make criminals feel complacent which of course causes them to be sloppy. The results speak for themselves.
 

Todd Sauve

Posts: 38   +50
I am a Canadian and I am from Québec originally. Québec doesn't bend the laws as much as Québec has different laws. The laws in the English provinces are based on British Common Law while the laws in Québec are based on French Civil Law (aka the Napoleonic Code). Québec is the most progressive province in Canada and the reason that a lot of businesses have their Canadian HQ in Montreal is usually one of two:
1.) Montreal is Canada's major international port in the east.
2.) The business laws in Québec are usually about a decade ahead of the rest of Canada.

When it comes to organised crime, the Mafia hasn't been powerful in Québec since the 50s or 60s. When it comes to criminal enterprise, strange though it may sound, it's the Hell's Angels who are most powerful in Québec and nobody else dares challenge them. However, contrary to the opinion of many, the Sûreté du Québec (Québec Provincial Police) was quietly conducting an extremely deep investigation while publicly acting like the problem didn't really exist or was being exaggerated. Of course, this made people think that they'd been paid off by the Hell's Angels to just let them "do their thing". That was of course until the Sûreté du Québec decided that it had enough evidence to cripple the Hell's Angels. Since then, it has been one sting after another with fantastic results over the past few years and it's still ongoing:
April 24 2018
Police arrest more than 60 Hells Angels members across Quebec and New Brunswick
February 14, 2019
Hells Angels targeted in early morning raids in Quebec, New Brunswick
June 5, 2019
Sûreté du Québec raids target cocaine ring with links to Hells Angels
June 30, 2021
Drug trafficking ring with alleged ties to Hells Angels targeted in search warrants

The Sûreté du Québec hit the Hell's Angels again as recently as two weeks ago. The idea that Québec is lawless is far from the truth. They just know how to make criminals feel complacent which of course causes them to be sloppy. The results speak for themselves.
The thing that makes everyone wonder about Quebec is that even after having an economy for 400 years, which is far, far longer than anywhere else in Canada, they still can't balance their budgets and are in "need" of equalization payments. It seems pretty clear to "the rest of Canada" that they have no real interest in balancing their own budgets and living within their means as long as they can scream "we're going to separate" when they don't get their way. So Ottawa gives both Quebec and Ontario whatever they think will get them enough votes to win the next federal election. That is the story of Confederation in a nutshell. And whether it is true or not, Montreal's reputation as a crooked place is pretty firmly entrenched. Personally, I can't see any reason to trust their establishment.