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SANTA ANA, CA (LifeSiteNews) – A federal district judge in California has issued a ruling  that would allow a child pornography and sex-trafficking suit to move forward against Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek. 

Judge Cormac Carney ruled last Friday that there is sufficient evidence that MindGeek acted as a content creator, meaning that the company has no legal immunity in the lawsuit. The lawsuit against MindGeek was filed last February by two anonymous women who had videos uploaded to MindGeek sites Pornhub and RedTube without their consent.  

One of the litigants, a California resident identified only as Jane Doe 2, alleges that MindGeek and Pornhub have profited from videos filmed by her ex-boyfriend when she was sixteen. The videos were posted in December 2019 on RedTube, with one video remaining on the site’s front page, garnering 30,000 views. The suit also noted that MindGeek is aware of the child pornography and exploitation posted on Pornhub, promoting them with playlists such as “less than 18,” “the best collection of young boys,” and “under-age.”  

The lawsuit also maintains that MindGeek does not have a adequate method of monitoring the ages of those who appear in their videos, stating that the moderators “hired by MindGeek eyeball the performers in the video to see if they look young.” The suit goes on to say that the moderators are less likely and less inclined to flag videos featuring performers who are 15, 16, or 17 when compared with 12-year-old performers. If a video is flagged, it normally is because a Pornhub user flags it. Moreover, the process of removal could take months. 

MindGeek, a site which has faced similar lawsuits in the past, asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, claiming immunity because it neither created nor posted the video. Carney denied the motion for dismissal. 

Carney stated in his ruling that the “defendants’ conduct … has materially contributed to the creation of child pornography on its platforms,” adding that the site instructs users how to name their videos in a way that would “target individuals interested in child pornography.”  

MindGeek has responded by stating that it is disappointed with Carney’s decision and stated that illegal porn is not allowed on its websites, saying that to allege that it does is “factually inaccurate” and that it is “vehemently opposed to the posting of any illegal content.” MindGeek also maintains that it took down the videos of Doe once it discovered that the videos were revenge porn, and electronically fingerprinted them to make sure that the videos were not posted again.  

In December Pornhub was the subject of an expose by The New York Times which discussed the alleged child pornography and sexual exploitation that its site purveys. The site is known also to have hosted a video of a minor being raped, and the site’s executives faced questioning by the Canadian parliament last February for hosting videos of sexual abuse and rape of minors.  

There is currently a petition launched by Laila Mickelwait of Exodus Cry, an organization dedicated to ending the sex trade, to hold Pornhub and its executives accountable for the alleged child porn and sexual abuse posted on the site. The petition currently has about 2.2 million signatories. 

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