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(LifeSiteNews) – Instagram removed Pornhub’s account from its platform after “mounting evidence” of criminal activity involving the porn site’s monetization of abusive sex acts, including the rape of children.

Pornhub was suspended “for violating its community standards given the increasing reports of Pornhub hosting child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, filmed rape, and non-consensual videos and images,” Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), told The Daily Wire.

Hawkins accused Instagram of having facilitated Pornhub’s criminal activity by serving as its “distribution partner,” “helping to push millions to their website, including children.”

She further condemned the platform’s verification of Pornhub’s page — despite its evidence of criminality — with a blue check, a mark of “authenticity” that Instagram gives to “notable people and brands,” considered by many to be a “status symbol.”

However, Hawkins praised Instagram for choosing to sever ties with Pornhub by removing its account.

“Instagram is courageously choosing to stop partnering with Pornhub, and it is time for all corporate entities to follow its example,” Hawkins said.

Pornhub had over 13 million Instagram followers before its account was suspended. One of the most-visited porn sites in the world, Pornhub racked up 42 billion visits in 2019 alone, “more traffic than tech giants Amazon and Netflix that year.”

Over two dozen individuals sued Pornhub and MindGeek, the site’s parent company, in 2021, alleging exploitation of child porn, rape videos, and trafficked content.

The lawsuit noted that Pornhub, MindGeek’s “flagship website,” has “a download button to allow for the transfer of images and videos, including the child sexual abuse material … from their servers to an undisclosed number of child pornographers, child sex traffickers, and pedophiles.”

The lawsuit further alleged that “MindGeek profited from images and videos of commercial sex acts, including the sexual abuse and rape of children who were under 18 years of age,” as well as “the rape of each of the Plaintiffs.”

In February, U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler denied MindGeek’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Credit card companies Visa and Mastercard cut off payment privileges with MindGeek after a federal judge ruled last month that “it was reasonable to conclude Visa knowingly ‘intended to help monetize child pornography’ on Pornhub and other sites operated by MindGeek in the Fleites v. MindGeek lawsuit,” The Daily Wire reported.

Serena Fleites, the plaintiff in a lawsuit against MindGeek that also named Visa, said she was pressured by her then-boyfriend into making a “sexually explicit” video when she was 13 years old. He then posted the video to Pornhub “without her knowledge or consent,” where its title stated outright that she was 13.

According to Variety, Instagram’s parent company, Meta, did not respond to a request for comment.

NCOSE, which aims to “expos[e] the links between all forms of sexual exploitation,” shares research on the harmful effects of pornography.

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