There’s currently a massive lawsuit against PornHub, one of the largest pornography websites in the world, and its parent company MindGeek. The charges, filed in a civil suit by 34 women, allege that the porn giant violated federal sex trafficking laws, distributed child pornography and also accused it of racketeering.

As reported by NBC News, “The suit alleges that Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek — and its constellation of porn brands — is a criminal enterprise that purchases, launders and uploads illegal content often obtained through human trafficking and sexual assault. The women say in their suit that MindGeek used nonconsensual content to ‘become the dominant online pornography company in the world.’”

In the lawsuit, the women claim that not only were “they victimized first by their original abuser” but “then repeatedly by the defendants in this case.”

PornHub is much like YouTube, where users can upload their own pornographic content. This could be amateur porn created between consenting adults, or, in some cases, it shows victims of sex trafficking, revenge porn, women who were manipulated to perform sex acts without knowing that it would be uploaded or even minors who were lured into abusive relationships.

And once these videos are on the internet, they’re almost impossible to fully remove.

One victim, known as “Michelle,” states that she had been targeted by an abuser who took sexually explicit videos of her as a minor.

As CBS reports, “She said that the videos’ uploads on Pornhub had ‘way, way worse’ of an impact on her than even her blackmailer’s initial abuse. ‘It was only when my videos went on sites like Pornhub that my life started to become something that I couldn’t live out properly,’ she said, adding that she stopped eating, leaving the house and once attempted suicide.

“Michelle reported the videos to Pornhub during the fall of 2018 and continued flagging content for the site to take down throughout 2019. And although Pornhub took down all unverified content last year, Michele said she continues to find images of her abuse re-uploaded on other websites. She said, ‘Any other place I find my videos there’s some type of mention of Pornhub or where they originated from, and my name was always with them.’

“Strangers continue to contact her about her videos, she said, and one man even showed up at her house, telling her that he’d found her through Pornhub.” 

So even if she’s escaped her abuser, the evidence of her assault and trauma is continually posted on the internet for the world to see.

This case isn’t about pornography or its legality, as PornHub may claim, but about how operations like this often operate almost outside the law to an extent and it’s women, and sometimes men, who pay the price.

The lawsuit states: “This is a case about rape, not pornography. It is a case about the rape and sexual exploitation of children. It is a case about the rape and sexual exploitation of men and women. And it is a case about each of these defendants knowingly and intentionally electing to capitalize and profit from the horrendous exploitation and abuse of tens of thousands of other human beings so they could make more than the enormous sums of money they would have otherwise made anyway.”

Though PornHub does now have a system in place to prevent unverified users from uploading and removed that type of content, the platform remains mostly unregulated.

As the lawsuit alleges, “(PornHub) is likely the largest non-regulated repository of child pornography in North America and well beyond.”

Hopefully, this lawsuit and perhaps others will finally hold this company accountable and institute the necessary changes to protect women, young men and children.

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