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Culture

Senator Asks DOJ To Investigate Pornhub For Streaming Videos Of Rape

By Noelle Ottinger·· 3 min read
senator ben sasse reuters joshua roberts
Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska calls on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Pornhub for hosting videos of women and girls being raped and exploited. This is not the first time the adult site has been under investigation for hosting illegal sexual content, which begs the question: Will the allegations be taken seriously this time?

Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr last week asking the DOJ to look into Pornhub over videos of women and girls being forced to have sex. Since Pornhub is one of the world’s largest contributors to the porn industry - bringing in millions of viewers for its specialization in amateur porn - this is an urgent request for the government to bring justice to victims.

Sasse Fights for Justice

Sasse contended with the DOJ just months after news of Pornhub’s release of explicit videos of a 15-year-old girl from Florida who went missing in October 2019. Fifty-eight videos were uploaded to the site, showing the girl being abused and raped repeatedly by her 30-year-old kidnapper, a man from Ft. Lauderdale. 

These publicized cases clearly represent just the tip of the iceberg of women and children being exploited in videos on Pornhub.

Sasse also cited the company Girls Do Porn, which was charged in October 2019 with counts of sex trafficking through coercion, fraud, and force in attempts to create pornographic content, as evidence that Pornhub needed to be investigated: “In another instance, your Department charged the two owners and two other employees of a popular pornographic film production company with a variety of sex trafficking offenses for employing a disturbing array of deceptive and coercive means to force women to make pornography that they later uploaded to Pornhub against their will.” 

Sasse asked the DOJ to investigate Pornhub and its parent company, MindGeek, over "their involvement in this disturbing pipeline of exploiting children and other victims and survivors of sex trafficking." 

Since Pornhub has hosted nearly 7 million video uploads to their site last year alone, Sasse suggests that  “these publicized cases clearly represent just the tip of the iceberg of women and children being exploited in videos on Pornhub.” Sasse reported that the horrific allegations provoked PayPal to cut off services for Pornhub and its performers last November, stating that they are “refusing to facilitate this abuse any longer.” 

How can Pornhub ensure it isn’t promoting sexual abuse by providing a porn streaming service?

Senator Sasse is not alone in petitioning the DOJ to take action. Last December, four U.S. representatives who also wrote a letter to Barr, requesting that the DOJ return to its practice of enforcing obscenity laws, especially pornography that contains children.

Closing Thoughts

With 42 billions visits last year - that’s over 115 million visits per day - Pornhub is clearly an ideal (and growing) platform for the exploitation of women. 

And their business practices raise serious questions: Which kinds of pornography are actually legal? How can Pornhub ensure it isn’t promoting sexual abuse by providing a porn streaming service? And how much further are porn companies willing to go to make money? 

Porn sites have now set a precedent in marketing underage girls by partnering with sex traffickers to produce an extremely dangerous and addictive substance that is normalizing violent crimes against women and children. We need to spread awareness of the dangers of porn consumption for its viewers, and more importantly, on the actual people who are being exploited.

Society