Pornhub just made major changes to its site’s rules following accusations that the platform hosts illegal content

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Pornhub, a popular pornography site, is one of the most visited websites in the US. Shutterstock
  • Pornhub announced major changes to its platform on Tuesday.

  • The site says it will increase its moderation team, only allow verified accounts to upload material, and ban downloads.

  • The changes come after the New York Times published an op-ed accusing Pornhub of hosting videos taken without participants’ consent, including scenes featuring rape, spy-cameras of women, and underage girls. 

  • Following the NYT column, major credit card companies Mastercard and Visa have reconsidered their ties to the platform and launched investigations into the popular site.

  • “Any assertion that we allow CSAM (child sexual abuse material) is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue,” Pornhub said in an earlier statement to Business Insider.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Pornhub announced major changes to the rules of its platform on Tuesday, following allegations that the site was hosting videos of child abuse and non-consensual content. Now, only verified users can post videos, and no one can download videos from the site, with some exceptions. 

“At Pornhub, nothing is more important than the safety of our community. Our core values such as inclusivity, freedom of expression and privacy are only possible when our platform is trusted by our users,” the company wrote in an announcement. “Today, we are taking major steps to further protect our community.”

The announcement comes after an explosive op-ed published by the New York Times alleged that the platform is “infested with rape videos.” The op-ed, written by Nicholas Kristof, claimed that Pornhub profits off of child abuse, “spy-cameras,” (hidden cameras that film people without their consent), and depictions of non-consensual sex. 

“Any assertion that we allow CSAM (child sexual abuse material) is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue,” Pornhub said in an earlier statement to Business Insider.

Major credit card companies Mastercard and Visa both announced that they would investigate their ties to the site, following the op-ed in the Times. Competitor PayPal already cut ties with the site in 2019, according to Reuters, and American Express does not allow its cards to be used on digital adult content websites.

Kristof’s column called on Pornhub to only allow verified users to post videos, ban downloads, and increase moderation. All three changes were made in Pornhub’s Tuesday announcement.

“Effective immediately,” the platform will only allow certain users to upload videos. Content partners (like studios) or people within their “Model Program,” who upload their own videos, are allowed to post, the company said. In 2021, Pornhub will use a verification process “so that any user can upload content upon successful completion of identification protocol.”

In addition, Pornhub will ban downloads and use “fingerprinting technology” to prevent content that has already been removed from the platform from being reposted.

Pornhub also says it will expand its moderation efforts with a new task force called the “Red Team” that will search the platform looking for illegal material. 

Read more:Pornhub has been widely covered for its marketing savvy. But its most-quoted executives are nearly invisible, and it’s unclear if they actually exist.

Pornhub said it already has “an extensive team of human moderators dedicated to manually reviewing every single upload, a thorough system for flagging, reviewing and removing illegal material, robust parental controls, and utilization of a variety of automated detection technologies.”

The company earlier this year launched a “Trusted Flagger Program” in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited children, which allows non-profits to alert the platform of concerning content. Pornhub also said it will release a transparency report in 2021, and will contract a law firm to review its compliance with legal standards.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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