Survivors say Pornhub's indifference to exploitive videos traumatized them

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OTTAWA — A parliamentary committee is hearing from women who say they were traumatized when Pornhub refused to act on exploitive videos posted to its website.

Three witnesses before the House of Commons ethics committee this afternoon accuse the Montreal-based porn giant of ignoring repeated requests to take down content that showcased assault or underage sex.

The accusations directly contradict recent testimony by executives from Pornhub's parent company MindGeek, who claim it responds swiftly to illegal posts and works actively to remove child pornography.

Survivor Victoria Galy says Pornhub only took down dozens of videos and images of her — posted without her consent, depicting non-consensual sex and leading her to become suicidal — following a New York Times investigation and her own civil lawsuit in December, more than two years after she began to alert the platform.

MindGeek is facing a class-action lawsuit in Quebec, alleging it profited off material showing child sexual abuse and non-consensual activity.

It is also being sued by 40 women in California who claim the company continues to profit from pornographic videos of them that were published without their full consent.

Pornhub says it has removed all videos uploaded by non-verified users. The move came after Visa and MasterCard decided in December to stop allowing their cards to be used on Pornhub.

Between eight and 10 million videos uploaded by unverified users were removed from the website after the change, David Tassillo, MindGeek's co-owner and chief operating officer, told the committee earlier this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press