In a nutshell: Pornhub is introducing significant changes to its service following a New York Times exposé that alleged the site was profiting from non-consensual videos, including those showing rape and child abuse.

In a statement, Pornhub said it has always been committed to eliminating illegal content, and that it is taking further steps to protect its community. These include stopping uploads from unverified users and banning most downloads.

Right now, only content partners and those in the Model Program are able to upload content to Pornhub. A verification process will be introduced in the New Year that gives all users the ability to upload videos, but only after they complete an "identification protocol" to verify their identity.

Additionally, Pornhub has stopped downloads, the only exception being paid downloads within the verified Model Program. The company says that "In tandem with our fingerprinting technology, this will mitigate the ability for content already removed from the platform to be able to return."

Other changes include increased moderation through the establishment of a "Red Team" dedicated to "proactively sweeping content already uploaded for potential violations and identifying any breakdowns in the moderation process." It will also release a transparency report next year detailing its content moderation results from 2020.

Nicholas Kristof's report in the New York Times highlighted the number of clips on Pornhub showing rape and the sexual abuse of underage girls, alleging that the company has monetized these videos. The article also documented other illegal content, including spycam videos and revenge porn.

Following the NYT's publication of the article, both Visa and Mastercard investigated the child abuse allegations with Pornhub parent MindGeek's bank, suggesting the companies might stop accepting payments made to one of the most popular pornography sites in the world.

Speaking about the changes, Kristof tweeted, "A great deal depends on how responsibly Pornhub implements these, and it hasn't earned my trust at all, but these seem significant.

"A great deal will also depend on whether past content, already on the site, is vetted or removed," he continued. "I'd add that continued monitoring and pressure will be necessary, and that we should also widen the lens to look at other companies. XVideos already has a bigger audience than Pornhub, and fewer scruples, and they should be forced to adopt similar measures ---and make them work."