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Pornhub exec claims site that hosted underage rape videos is ‘the safest adult platform in the world’

Feras Antoon, an executive of MindGeek, Pornhub's parent company said that he is 'very proud that we built a product that gets 170 million people a day'
Tue Feb 16, 2021 - 4:34 am EST
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OTTAWA, Canada, February 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Bosses of Pornhub, the most popular pornography website in the world and which has been shown to have hosted child rape videos on its platform, have claimed that the site is the “safest adult platform in the world.”

David Marmorstein Tassillo and Feras Antoon, executives of MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub and a number of other pornographic websites, recently faced questioning from by the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, which launched an investigation into the X-rated website after evidence came to light that Pornhub hosts content displaying child abuse and rape.

In February, 2020, Pornhub was caught saying that it had “verified” as a “model with valid 18+ ID” a 15-year-old victim of human trafficking who was shown being raped in dozens of videos uploaded to the site.The same girl was forced to have an abortion against her will by her male abductor. 

In December last year, the New York Times ran an exposé, detailing how Pornhub has made money from underage sex videos and revenge porn, with journalist Nicholas Kristof stating that the site “is infested with rape videos.”

“It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags,” Kristof wrote. “Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

In the course of his investigation Kristof found “many videos on Pornhub that were recordings of assaults on unconscious women and girls.” 

Last year both Visa and Mastercard announced that they were cutting ties with Pornhub and that their cards will no longer be compatible with the site, with Mastercard stating that their investigation of the site found illegal content.

But Antoon told the hearing that he and his colleagues are “very proud that we built a product that gets 170 million people a day” and questioned the extent of criminal activity on the site. 

“Don’t you believe that those four million Canadians coming every day to our site, if they see something so heinous and criminal … wouldn’t they be calling the police?” he said.

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Tassillo weighed in, claiming that any criminal activity happens in spite of any “safeguards” they might have in place.

“It is possible that people committing crimes are able to circumvent our systems, similar to security on a home or security at a bank.”

“I truly believe, in my heart of hearts, that we are the safest adult platform in the world right now.”

Child-porn victim says videos led to depression and substance abuse

The same Canadian House of Commons committee also recently heard the testimonies of Pornhub child sex abuse victim Serena Fleites, now 19, who featured in a number of videos hosted on the site when aged just 13. 

Fleites told the committee that she was pressured by her boyfriend to film herself simulating another video he had seen on the website and to send it to him. Fleites told the panel that her boyfriend threatened to leave her if she wouldn’t do as he asked, saying “if you truly love me, you'd send me something like that.”

Though she was uncomfortable, she ultimately caved to his demands, made the sexually explicit video, and sent it to him, who then forwarded it to friends.

Weeks later, after Fleites had changed school in an attempt to escape from the shame of the incident, she was shown the video of herself by another student, which had been uploaded onto Pornhub and labelled “13-year-old brunette shows off for the camera.” Following this, Fleites says that she became depressed and turned to substance abuse.

Fleites claimed to have swiftly contacted Pornhub about the illegal video, saying it was “clearly child porn,” but that it still took several weeks to remove the film from their site.

“They could tell that was a child in the video, and they were still dragging out this process,” she said. “They didn’t want to take the video down because, at this point, it had millions of views and was bringing them in ad revenue and clicks to their site.”

When questioned about Fleites’ case Antoon told the committee that Pornhub has started an investigation, but that he currently doesn’t know if Fleites ever contated the site. “I’m not saying she’s not saying the truth,” he said, “I’m just saying with a first name and last name, it is impossible to know if she’s contacted us.”

‘Overwhelming’ evidence of criminal content

MP Jacques Gourde told the executives that MindGeek “are not protecting our Canadian teenagers who get caught in this situation where their lives are turned upside down.” 

Fleites’ lawyer, Michael Bowe, who has been investigating Pornhub for the last year, alleged that there are “hundreds of accounts,” just like hers, of children having images uploaded to the website.

One example shared by Bowe was of a 14-year-old girl who had been kidnapped at knife point and subsequently recorded being raped for 12 hours, the video of which was uploaded to Pornhub. Bowe noted that it took the company almost 3 months to remove the criminal footage, despite numerous pleas in the first weeks of it being online.

Of this and countless other examples, Bowe said “The evidence is overwhelming.”

Aghast at the lack of moral integrity shown by MindGeek executives, Bloc Québécois MP Marie-Hélène Gaudreau quizzed them on their consciences “as a parent” and “as a person” regarding the underage and non-consensual content, as well as the currently legal content that “still ruins lives.”

“I’m a father, I have a daughter, I have a wife, I have a mother. I’m heartbroken when I hear these stories,” Antoon said.

Currently, Pornhub is one of the most visited websites in the world, with around 3.5 billion visits in a given month, placing it above Netflix and Amazon.

However, momentum is growing in the fight to take Pornhub off of the internet for good.

On Friday, a class action lawsuit was filed by two child sex trafficking survivors in the U.S., backed by six law firms, against MindGeek and its self-styled “flagship” website Pornhub. The suit alleges sex trafficking involving minors and monetizing child pornography, as well as hosting and profiting from numerous rape videos. The suit also challenges MindGeek’s internal processes for moderating and uploading videos, where it sheds light on employees being incentivized to allow as many videos onto the site as possible, with bonuses being offered based on the quantity of approvals they make.

In addition to the legal action, Laila Mickelwait, of the pornography abolition organisation Exodus Cry, has launched a hugely successful petition to have Pornhub removed from the internet and the executives held accountable for the criminal activity they have facilitated. Already, the petition has garnered over 2 million signatures.


  david marmorstein tassillo, exodus cry, feras antoon, laila mickelwait, mindgeek, pornhub, serena fleites

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