Pornhub Announces Major Policy Changes After NYT Exposé

The porn giant is cracking down on illegal content

Pornhub is trying to clean up its act.
Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic

Pornhub announced a slate of new policy changes Tuesday following last week’s New York Times report claiming the platform allows illegal videos of rape and underage sex to exist on the site.

New policies aimed at cracking down on the platform’s illegal content include restricting uploading permissions to verified users only, prohibiting downloads, and implementing new content moderation strategies.

“Over the years, we have put in place robust measures to protect our platform from non-consensual content. We are constantly improving our trust and safety policy to better flag, remove, review and report illegal material,” Pornhub wrote in Tuesday’s statement. “Today, we are taking major steps to further protect our community. Going forward, we will only allow properly identified users to upload content. We have banned downloads. We have made some key expansions to our moderation process, and we recently launched a Trusted Flagger Program with dozens of non-profit organizations.”

The biggest change will limit video uploads to verified users and performers within Pornhub’s Model Program. Previously, anyone was able to upload content to the site. Pornhub also announced a forthcoming “verification process” that would allow any user to resume content uploads after successful completion. The company has also announced it will release its first “full transparency report” next year.

While Pornhub also claimed support from “leading non-profit and advocacy groups,” calling out its partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the announcement was met with skepticism from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Pornhub cannot be trusted: it has profited for years from rape, child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, and revenge pornography,” Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the organization, said in a statement. “Any number of ‘improvements’ will not change that fact.”

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