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Pornhub Just Suspended All Unverified Content In Policy Overhaul

By Paula Gallagher··  3 min read
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Pornhub Just Suspended All Unverified Content In Policy Overhaul

Pornhub has suspended or removed all unverified content from its site following a week of investigations by news outlets and credit card companies.

Last Monday, an opinion piece in The New York Times detailed the lives of several teenagers whose lives had been ruined through Pornhub and their loose policies. This catalyzed Mastercard and Visa to reassess if Pornhub was an ethical business partner. Within a few days, both Mastercard and Visa announced they would no longer process payments for Pornhub, and Visa is actually cutting off all of Mindgeek’s sites (Pornhub’s parent company, Mindgeek, owns several other porn sites).

Following the New York Times exposé, Pornhub changed its policy to ban all unverified users from uploading or downloading content. Moving forward, only official content partners and members of its Model Program will be able to upload and download content. 

Mastercard and Visa announced they would no longer process payments for Pornhub.

In an announcement on its website, Pornhub wrote, “At Pornhub, the safety of our community is our top priority. Last week, we enacted the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history. We banned unverified uploaders from posting new content, eliminated downloads, and partnered with dozens of non-profit organizations, among other major policy changes.”

“As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program. This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter have yet to institute,” the announcement continued.

While this sounds like a major step towards responsible moderation on its platform, Pornhub’s verification process is incredibly simple.

According to the site, all you need to do to become a verified user is submit “A photo of you holding up a sign with your username and pornhub.com written on it” and “the photo must show most of your face.” 

Pornhub has said that the verification process will be more thorough starting in 2021, but no details were provided.

Pornhub has suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners.

Pornhub purged unverified content on Sunday night, going from hosting about 13.5 million videos down to 4.7 million Monday morning and later up to 7.2 million, according to Vice.

Videos from unverified users will be removed or suspended pending verification and review, a process that will begin in 2021. Until then, suspended videos are labeled with a notice saying “Video has been flagged for verification in accordance with our trust and safety policy.”

It will be interesting to see just how strict and thorough Pornhub will make their new policies in the new year. After all, Pornhub did write: “In today’s world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material. Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts. We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example.”

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