Pornhub executives stand before Canadian Parliament over rape and child abuse videos

After a year-long international campaign against Pornhub, there has been some great progress. In December, after Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Nick Kristof exposed Pornhub’s facilitating and monetising of videos of child rape, we reported some very positive developments, including:

  • Mastercard and Visa blocking the use of their cards on the website
  • Pornhub removing approximately 80% of its content, 10.6 million videos that were not uploaded by verified users
  • Pornhub removing the download button
  • Canadian MPs calling for executives and Pornhub to stand before Parliament and be questioned over non-consensual and child abuse content

Pornhub executives questioned in Canadian Parliament



Earlier this month, Pornhub/Mindgeek executives Feras Antoon (CEO of Mindgeek Canadian Operations) and David Marmorstein Tassillo (Mindgeek chief operating officer) were questioned in Canadian Parliament. These men were evasive, deflecting questions, they claimed not to know simple facts about their company and policies and they failed to take responsibility for their crimes against women and children.

If that wasn’t bad enough, these Pornhub executives actually portrayed themselves as “world leaders” in child protection, despite having profited from rape and child abuse videos on their site. They claimed child sexual abuse material “has no place on our platform”, even though it clearly did. When accused of criminal activity, Tassillo responded, “I respectfully disagree.” Both men referenced their work to “stamp out CSAM” – but what they actually did was both host and monetise this content.

This is a company that when exposed for hosting and profiting from videos of children being raped, tortured and horrifically abused (including toddlers) claimed these allegations were “conspiracy theories”- does that sound like a company committed to stamping out child sexual abuse material?

They even claimed that Pornhub is the “safest place to consume adult content”. While Pornhub may be a relatively ‘safe’ place for men to enjoy the filmed rape and abuse of women and children, it’s definitely not a safe place for the women and girls whose rape videos featured on the site.

CEO Feras Antoon claimed rape, child abuse videos and ‘non-consensual’ content is “contrary to our values” and “goes against everything we stand for”. We disagree – it’s precisely what Pornhub stands for.

Watch the full video here. 

“Pornhub became my trafficker”: Pornhub victims testify

Several women whose videos had been hosted on Pornhub gave evidence before the committee. One of these was Victoria Galy, who in 2018 discovered numerous non-consensual pornographic videos of herself made by her ex-husband on Pornhub. She was clearly drugged or intoxicated in the videos. She flagged the videos but nothing happened. She tried to report them to Pornhub but the process was difficult. After reporting thirty videos, only three were removed. Pornhub told her she needed to submit a DMCA Takedown notice, but she didn’t know what that was. Pornhub wouldn’t remove the videos as they had been claimed by a verified model.

In desperation she sent a powerpoint presentation with photos of her body parts to prove it was her. It was only after the New York Times article exposing Pornhub that the videos were temporarily suspended, but they had been viewed 8 million times on Pornhub and are all over the internet now. She will never be able to get them removed.

Victoria now suffers from a dissociative condition, depression, PTSD and severe anxiety. She lost 20-30 pounds because she couldn’t eat. After working hard to build her professional reputation she was forced to leave her career of 16 years because she could not function. She has also been stalked.

“Pornhub became my trafficker,” she said. “The money Pornhub has made off my trauma...makes me sick to my stomach...I have never been so broken.”

Another witness was known only as ‘Guest #1’. She recounted how she had allowed her husband to take private photographs of her and later found they had been shared to porn sites like Pornhub. Then she found a video. She had not known this video of her existed – she learned about it by watching it on Pornhub. In this video, she was unconscious and being raped by her husband. The words ‘sleeping’ and ‘sleeping pills’ were included in the title and tags.

Pornhub claims that moderators view and approve every single video uploaded to their site. If this is true, Pornhub moderators approved a video of an unconscious woman being raped and tagged with ‘sleeping’ and ‘sleeping pills’. The video had been active for 3 years before she discovered it.

Feras Antoon (CEO) claims that they do not want child sexual abuse material and other illegal content as it will lose them customers, but Guest #1 pointed out that viewers actively search out this content.

“It is a profound betrayal to know that thousands of men saw your assault and not only did nothing to flag it, but actively sought it out and enjoyed it,” she said.

She also recounted reading the comments on the video, one of which was from a man who described in graphic detail just how much he enjoyed himself while watching her rape.

Googling the name of the video now returns over 1900 hits. It has been downloaded and e-uploaded elsewhere. Mindgeek posted the video to their other porn sites to boost content. Even though the video is gone from Pornhub now, the data, including a thumbnail image or her naked body, remains. She has continued to appeal to Pornhub to remove it but has been ignored. Pornhub told her they cannot remove her video from other sites, but as she pointed out, they do precisely that to remove their exclusive model content from other sites.

“All I’m asking if that they pretend to care as much about their non-consensual content as much as they do about their paid exclusive content,” she said. “Sexual assault is not an anomaly on the porn sites, it is a genre.”

Watch the full video here. 

Our colleagues Laila Mickelwait and Megan Walker testify against Pornhub

Against the wishes of Pornhub executives, Traffickinghub petition starter Laila Mickelwait gave evidence to the committee. Megan Walker from the London Abused Women Centre, which we had previously partnered with in our global campaign against Fifty Shades of Grey, also provided evidence of her experience working in a front line organisation supporting women.

Watch the full video here. 

We are honoured to be able to collaborate with these brilliant women and various organisations around the world in the fight to shut down Pornhub. We will continue to fight.

See also:

Win! Mastercard and VISA cut ties with Pornhub + millions of vids removed

Pornhub commits crimes against women and girls

Racist and antisemitic: Pornhub is a hate group


Add your comment

  • Caitlin Roper
    published this page in News 2021-02-23 14:08:16 +1100

You can defend their right to childhood

A world free of sexploitation is possible!

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