2 Million Sign Petition to Shut Down Adult Website Porn Hub for Sex Trafficking Videos, Child Abuse and Rape

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As authorities in America continue a bold crackdown against sex trafficking and child abductions across the country, some lawmakers and activists are now targeting Pornhub, a provider of  x-rated adult-themed sexual content in the fight against sex trafficking.

With signers from 192 countries, anti-trafficking expert Laila Mickelwait’s “Traffickinghub” petition to shut down Pornhub for allegedly enabling and profiting from the sex trafficking and rape of women and children has surpassed two million signatures. The campaign, based on numerous cases of real videos of child sexual abuse, adult trafficking, assault, and rape—all monetized on Pornhub—also released a viral video which has gained 33 million views globally. The movement has been featured in hundreds of media articles, drawn support from celebrities, and inspired protests in front of Pornhub’s offices in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California.

Inspired by the petition, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse released a letter to attorney general William Barr, demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice open an investigation into Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek. A multi-party group of Canadian members of parliament also sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking the Government of Canada to investigate Pornhub and MindGeek. Recently, Mickelwait met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to present a thorough, evidence-base case against the site, which draws 42 billion visits per year.

The non-religious, non-partisan movement to shut down the world’s largest porn site for allegedly profiting from the rape and trafficking of women and children has been endorsed by over 300 anti-trafficking, child protection, and women’s rights organizations, and has even drawn support from professionals in the adult entertainment industry, who released a manifesto rejecting Pornhub and its illegal, exploitative practices.

The adult website responded in February to the claim, denying it played any role in sex trafficking.

“Pornhub has a steadfast commitment to eradicating and fighting any and all illegal content on the internet, including non-consensual content and child sexual abuse material. Any suggestion otherwise is categorically and factually inaccurate. While the wider tech community must continue to develop new methods to rid the internet of this horrific content, Pornhub is actively working to put in place state-of-the-art, comprehensive safeguards on its platform to combat this material,” the company said.  “These actions include a robust system for flagging, reviewing and removing all illegal material, employing an extensive team of human moderators dedicated to manually reviewing all uploads to the site, and using a variety of digital fingerprinting solutions. These include but are not limited to Microsoft’s PhotoDNA, a technology that aids in finding and removing known images of child exploitation, as well as Vobile, a state-of-the-art fingerprinting software that scans any new uploads for potential matches to unauthorized materials to protect against any banned video being re-uploaded to the platform. We are actively working on expanding our safety measures and adding new features and products to our platform to this end, as they become available. Furthermore, Pornhub will continue to work with law enforcement efforts and child protection non-profits in the goal of eliminating any and all illegal content across the internet.”

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The grassroots movement was sparked by the February 9 release of an op-ed, written by campaign founder Laila Mickelwait, exposing the crimes on Pornhub and calling for justice. The following day, the BBC published the harrowing story of Rose Kalemba who, at 14 years old, was taken at knifepoint and raped for 12 hours, after which the videos of her torture were uploaded to Pornhub by her attackers.

Another recent example was the case of a 15-year-old girl from Florida, who was missing for a year and was located after 58 videos of her sexual abuse and rape were found monetized on Pornhub.

“All it takes to upload content to Pornhub is an email address—no government-issued ID is required. Pornhub doesn’t bother to reliably verify the age or the consent of the millions featured in the videos it hosts and profits from. The site is set up for exploitation and is infested with videos of the real rape, trafficking, abuse, and exploitation of women and children. We have significant evidence and it is just the tip of the iceberg. Pornhub is arguably the largest public collection of sexual exploitation evidence in existence,” asserts Mickelwait. “Shut it down and lock them up.”

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