May 14, 2021

Pornhub listened…

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By Miriam Karmali, Freedom United

Good news. After nearly 20,000 Freedom United supporters wrote to Mastercard, Visa and Discover[1] leading them to suspend payments on Pornhub, the company has now released its first transparency report,[2] announcing measures it’s putting in place to address trafficking on its site.
 
We couldn’t get Pornhub to change, that’s why we called on their payment processors for help – that way Pornhub had to listen. But it shouldn’t be like that. The law should demand that companies are responsible for ensuring their operations and supply chains do not profit from trafficking and exploitation.
Make businesses legally responsible
Mandatory due diligence laws can help shift the extreme power imbalance between big businesses that can continue to reap massive profits from forced labor and trafficking, and workers and communities at the bottom of supply chains.
 
That’s why we’re calling on the U.K., U.S., and E.U. to pass mandatory human rights due diligence laws to put the responsibility back on businesses and hold them liable for environmental and human rights abuses in their supply chains.

Add your name to the campaign for laws that put people first.

We launched our campaign after receiving reports that videos showing trafficking survivors were being uploaded to Pornhub, amassing millions of views, retraumatizing survivors and generating profits for the company in the process.
 
With not even a simple age and consent verification system in place,it was impossible for Pornhub to claim that they were doing everything in their power to prevent content depicting trafficking survivors from being monetized and shared online. Even worse, Pornhub ignored pleas from survivors to remove content depicting their abuse.
 
But following public scrutiny and action, Pornhub removed 653,465 pieces of content and has published its first transparency report this year. Key changes set out in the report include Pornhub having now set up a consent verification system using automated detection technologies as well as human moderators, and they’ve also implemented an ID check.
 
Only users who have had their ID verified by third-party automated verification system, Yoti, can upload content to the site. Crucially, Yoti can scan millions of IDs per day and their privacy system ensures personal data is kept secure.
 
With these new checks in place, Pornhub has taken necessary steps to reduce the risk of trafficking content being uploaded to their site and are in a stronger position to remove content flagged as problematic. We will be keeping an eye on how effective these checks are in keeping trafficking content off Pornhub.
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This is testament to the power of building public pressure on businesses to take action against trafficking in their operations. But wouldn’t it make much more sense if there were laws that meant businesses couldn’t shirk this responsibility in the first place?
 
Last month we saw progress as the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of a new corporate responsibility law.[3]The European Commission now has to develop a draft proposal on due diligence laws, expected in the next few months, that will require businesses to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses in their operations and supply chains – including forced labor and trafficking.
 
We’re encouraged by Pornhub’s response. Now, let’s build pressure on governments and regional blocs to demand laws that hold ALL companies accountable for human rights abuses.
 
In solidarity,
 
Miriam and the Freedom United team
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