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ONE MILLION Sign Petition to Shut Down Pornhub for Sex Trafficking Videos

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A petition to shut down Pornhub, one of the most visited pornographic websites in the world, for enabling and profiting from video content depicting trafficking, rape, and under-age sex reached one million signatures this week with signers from 192 countries.

Led by anti-trafficking expert Laila Mickelwait, the fast growing #Traffickinghub movement – a non-religious, non-partisan campaign – is blowing the whistle on Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek.

The grassroots global movement to shut down Pornhub, powered by the anti-trafficking organization Exodus Cry, gained ground this past February following the publication of an opinion piece by Mickelwait for the Washington Examiner.

Since, the campaign has been endorsed by over 300 anti-trafficking, child protection, and women’s rights organizations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Latin America.

In response to the increasing backlash Mindgeek said, “Pornhub has a steadfast commitment to eradicating and fighting non-consensual content and under-age material. Any suggestion otherwise is categorically and factually inaccurate.”

Records show otherwise.

In the summer of 2009, two men kidnapped 14-year-old Rose Kalemba at knifepoint and raped her for 12 hours. After the incident, Kalemba’s attackers uploaded the videos of her torture to Pornhub with titles like “teen crying and getting slapped around,” teen getting destroyed,” and “passed out teen,” according to BBC reports.

Late last year, another teenage girl – age 15 – went missing for a year until authorities found 58 rape and abuse videos of the girl featured on Pornhub.

Mickelwait says ‘teen’ is one of the most searched categories on PornHub’s site, calling into question the legality of the site’s films. “A quick search for the word “teen” turns up titles such as “Young Girl Tricked,” “Innocent Brace Faced Tiny Teen F—ed,” “Teen Little Girl First Time,” on and on ad infinitum,” she writes.

Pornhub also frequently uses racial labels like ‘Tiny Petite Thai Teen’ to categorize their videos. Despite joining other companies and websites standing in solidarity against racism as a slew of protests and riots erupt across major US cities in response to the killing of George Floyd – Pornhub often tags featured videos with racial slurs and derogatory language like “exploited black teen,” “how to treat your n*****,” and “black slave girl pleasures white master.”

Mickelwait told Fox News PornHub is “set up for exploitation,” and communicated her plans to notify the Trump administration of the petition.

Mickelwait’s efforts caught the attention of Senator Bill Sasse (R-NE) who called on Attorney General William Barr to probe Pornhub in a March letter to the Department of Justice. 

“Pornhub’s incredible reach has a much darker side than the image of harmless fun that it tries to project. In several notable incidents over the past year, Pornhub made content available worldwide showing women and girls that were victims of trafficking being raped and exploited,” Sasse wrote.

“All it takes to upload content to Pornhub is an email address—no government-issued ID is required. Pornhub doesn’t bother to reliably verify the age or the consent of the millions featured in the videos it hosts and profits from, yet it monetizes those videos with no questions asked. The site is set up for exploitation and is infested with videos of the real rape, trafficking, abuse, and exploitation of women and children. We have evidence and it is just the tip of the iceberg,” Mickelwait says. “Shut it down.”

The full story, along with a way to sign the petition, is available at traffickinghub.com For up-to-the-minute updates on the progress of the campaign, follow Laila Mickelwait on Twitter.


Kingsley Cortes

Kingsley Cortes is a 2020 Writing Fellow for the National Pulse