Pornhub deletes millions of videos in new crackdown as Visa and MasterCard block users

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Pornhub has deleted all videos on its website uploaded by unverified users. In total, around 10 million clips are believed to have vanished from the adult streaming website overnight as part of an unprecedented crackdown. However, since the process is still ongoing that total number is likely set to rise in the coming days.

Starting next year, only verified users and official content partners will be able to upload videos to the service, where visitors will be able to watch the content. Previously, anyone with a free account with the website was able to upload video content from their mobile phone or computer. To gain a verified account, users will need to complete a pretty comprehensive set-up process, which involves signing-up to Pornhub’s Model Program and submitting at least one piece of government-issued ID. This will need to prove that you are legally old enough in your jurisdiction. Pornhub says only its staff members will be able to view and check the IDs submitted by users.

As part of the account set-up process, Pornhub also requires users to read and agree to an age performer release, an affidavit, as well as the usual terms of use and privacy policy. When uploading a video, you’ll need to prove that you’re the person in the video with a separate form. If someone else is in the video, Pornhub requires you to fill out a co-performer agreement and keep it on you. “We may request it at any time,” it warns members of the Model Program.

Official content partners, usually larger production companies, will have to follow the same steps. However, these companies are already following strict guidelines.

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Earlier this year, Pornhub became the 10th most visited website on the planet, other MindGeek-owned adult websites, like RedTube and YouPorn, feature in the top 100 most-viewed sites worldwide.

According to Motherboard, which was first to report on the dramatic changes by Pornhub, reports that all previously uploaded videos are now being pulled and will no longer be visible to viewers online “pending verification and review”. This verification process will begin in early 2021, Motherboard reports. The changes were implemented in the days following an investigation from the New York Times which revealed that unverified user accounts were uploading videos of people who are underage. Videos of children being assaulted were also found on Pornhub. Following the investigation, MasterCard and Visa stated that they would independently investigate whether the website was hosting illegal content.

Both companies blocked users from using their MasterCard or Visa to pay for the optional paid-for subscription options available from Pornhub in response.

Given that these two method processors are the most popular on the planet, the suspension caused a serious problem for Pornhub, which also allows models to sell their videos.

At the weekend, Pornhub hosted some 13.5 million videos on its servers, including a mixture of verified models, videos produced by adult video companies, and those uploaded by account holders. At the time of writing, the total number of videos on Pornhub has plummeted to 2.9 million videos. That means the vast majority of all video content available on the service has been permanently deleted, or suspended pending verification in the new year.

In a blog post, Pornhub explained: “As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program. This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute.

“Leading non-profit organizations and advocacy groups acknowledge our efforts to date at combating illegal content have been effective. Over the last three years, Facebook self-reported 84 million instances of child sexual abuse material. During that same period, the independent, third-party Internet Watch Foundation reported 118 incidents on Pornhub. That is still 118 too many, which is why we are committed to taking every necessary action.

“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform.

“In today’s world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material. Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts. We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example.”

The change in policy impacts not only Pornhub, but all platforms from parent company MindGeek. According to some estimates, MindGeek owns and operates 164 different pornographic membership sites.

It also owns a number of production companies. According to Wikipedia, some of its biggest brands include video sharing service Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn, as well as adult film production companies Brazzers, Digital Playground, Men.com, WhyNotBi.com, and Reality Kings.

MindGeek is one of the top five bandwidth consumers worldwide due to the sheer number of visitors generated by its websites.

Published at Tue, 15 Dec 2020 06:21:00 +0000

Pornhub deletes millions of videos in new crackdown as Visa and MasterCard block users

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