Someone I know sent me a link to an article titled “The Children of Pornhub” from the NY times. He asked me to write something about it, to which I responded, I’m not sure I can. The reason I said this was due to the nature of the content, the fact that this topic is so vile and frankly depressing. However, I realized that it is not acceptable for me to turn away from the topics that require the most recognition and activism. I have plenty of other things that I could research, and write about. I plan to write about many different topics, if for nothing other than fulfilling my own personal need to learn about the realities of the world.
I will write a brief synopsis of what I have learned about the exploitation of children in the porn industry, and then I will leave a series of links, if you would like to further your knowledge on the topic.
The article that was sent to me, opens your eyes to how easy it is for people to publish pornographic content containing children and/or abuse, neglect, rape, etc. It also explains that there are cases where children go missing (are taken), only to have someone recognize them in videos on sites like pornhub, once the authorities get involved they can force the site to take said videos down. Unfortunately though, it’s most likely too late, as there have already been downloads and shares to other sites and to other people.
“I came across many videos on Pornhub that were recordings of assaults on unconscious women and girls. The rapists would open the eyelids of the victims and touch their eyeballs to show that they were nonresponsive.
Pornhub profited this fall from a video of a naked woman being tortured by a gang of men in China. It is monetizing video compilations with titles like “Screaming Teen,” “Degraded Teen” and “Extreme Choking.” Look at a choking video and it may suggest also searching for ‘She Can’t Breathe.'”The Children of Pornhub, Nicholas Kristoff
There is also the issue of accountability, as the site itself takes no responsibility for the content posted to the site. It is said that Facebook has taken down 12.4 million images related to child exploitation in only three months, twitter closed 264,000 accounts in 6 months. Pornhub however, noted that the Internet Watch Foundation reported only 118 instances of exploitative content/child abuse in a three year period. This figure seems completely illegitimate for the 10th most visited website on the internet, let alone a website profiting off of sexual fantasies, with “teen” being one of the top searches.
Political action has been very scarcely implemented throughout this ever growing problem, the tech industry has also done little to assist in the fight. There has however been an increase in activism to fight this digital threat. PayPal has cut off their services for the company, and many other credit card companies have been asked to do so as well. Ben Sasse, a Nebraskan senator has also asked that the Justice Department investigate Pornhub. Canada has also been taking a larger stand against child exploitation on Pornhub.
So, looking at all of the problems associated with Pornhub in particular, it is also important to state that Pornhub is owned by a company by the name, Mindgeek, which owns a myriad of other x-rated sites, and is said to have more influence over society than Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. Making it the 3rd ‘largest’ Tech conglomerate.
“The goal for a content moderator is to let as much content as possible go through,” a former Mindgeek employee told me. He said he believed that the top executives weren’t evil but were focused above all on maximizing revenue.
While Pornhub would not tell me how many moderators it employs, I interviewed one who said that there are about 80 worldwide who work on Mindgeek sites (by comparison, Facebook told me it has 15,000 moderators). With 1.36 million new hours of video uploaded a year to Pornhub, that means that each moderator would have to review hundreds of hours of content each week.
The moderators fast forward through videos, but it’s often difficult to assess whether a person is 14 or 18, or whether torture is real or fake. Most of the underage content involves teenagers, the moderator I spoke with said, but some comes from spy cams in toilets or changing rooms and shows children only 8 to 12.
“The job in itself is soul-destroying,” the moderator said.”
After Jeffrey Epstein opened the worlds eyes to child sex trafficking, and exploitation. How have we not made it absolutely impossible for content like this to surface on the internet? It’s a continual fight against something so incredibly vile. Young people’s lives are at risk, I certainly couldn’t imagine life after an experience like these poor children have gone through. Many who have survived these encounters, end up mentally distressed, and often attempt suicide.
What are we as people, all living on this planet, going to do to make change, and force out these injustices?