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Senate bill targets victims of abuse, trafficking from websites like Pornhub

The Survivors of Human Trafficking Fight Back Act would criminalize 'the knowing distribution of visual depictions of forced or coerced sex acts.'
Thu Dec 10, 2020 - 6:18 pm EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a bill that would allow victims to sue pornographic websites making a profit from images or videos of them. 

The Survivors of Human Trafficking Fight Back Act is headed by Hawley but also with bipartisan support from Republican Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democrat Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

In a statement posted on Hawley's website, he said, “Sites like Pornhub routinely escape responsibility for facilitating abuse, trafficking, and exploitation, making millions for themselves in the process. Meanwhile, the victims of this abuse have little recourse against these powerful companies, who thrive on spreading depraved content. Serious criminal penalties are needed to crack down on these tech executives who think they are above the law.” 

In a description of the act, the text states that it is “to combat human trafficking and to strengthen civil remedies for survivors.”

The new act would criminalize “the knowing distribution of visual depictions of forced or coerced sex acts,” as well as “revenge porn” and “locker-room images.”

Hawley’s proposed legislation also looks to mandate that all pornographic websites formulate “takedown procedures” so that victims of “coerced or privacy-invading videos” can have the content removed. Victims would also be able to “sue websites that knowingly host depictions of forced sex acts or that distribute privacy-invading images and videos.”

The Daily Caller noted in its report that the act comes shortly after a New York Times op-ed stated that Pornhub “monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.” 

The article further pointed out that the issue is not confined to Pornhub.“Depictions of child abuse also appear on mainstream sites like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook. And Google supports the business models of companies that thrive on child molestation.”

“We shouldn’t have to pass a law to keep companies from profiting by sharing, without consent, intimate images. But we do," Senator Hassan said. "The harm that these companies cause is extraordinary, lasts a lifetime, and should be unthinkable. This bipartisan bill helps give more power to those whose privacy and dignity have been violated by making it easier to take down images that have been non-consensually shared, and providing recourse for individuals to hold companies accountable for their wrongdoing.”

RELATED:

The New York Times takes on Pornhub over brutal underage rape and abuse videos
Pornhub caught hosting illegal vids of 15-year-old victim of human trafficking, rape

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  human trafficking, joni ernst, josh hawley, maggie hassan, pornhub, pornography, survivors of human trafficking fight back act, thom tillis, u.s. senate

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