PornHub Has Reportedly Deleted More Than Half Of Its Millions Of Videos And Will Require Users To Provide ‘Verification Images’

PornHub is removing all non-verified content following a New York Times report that found the website included videos of child abuse and non-consensual sexual violence.

“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,” PornHub wrote in a statement. “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.”

This wasn’t a minor purge, either. As of Monday morning, there were 4.7 million videos on PornHub, down from 13.5 million the night before, according to Vice, “including the most-viewed non-verified amateur video, which had more than 29 million views.” To become verified, a user needs an account, an avatar, and a “verification image,” like “a photo of you holding up a sign with your username and written on it (or on your body).” If those actions are met, the user will be allowed to upload videos:

Porn performers who use the platform as a source of income told Motherboard that the change would seriously damage their livelihoods. The change to banning unverified users from uploading or downloading, however, was a shift that models on the site have been asking the company to act on for years, both to prevent abuse and stop content piracy.

The New York Times spoke to “The Children of PornHub,” one of whom was forced to appear in sexually explicit videos when she was only nine years old, and “some videos of her being abused ended up on PornHub and regularly reappear there.” She called the website her “trafficker.” After the article was published, Visa and Mastercard vowed to investigate the “financial links” MindGeek, the company that owns PornHub.

(Via Vice and New York Times)