March 3, 2021

Canada reveals Pornhub’s shame



Those most responsible for PornHub, the largest free site for pornography on the internet, they were unable to answer this Friday questions from Canadian parliamentarians about why the web has included for years child pornography, images of violations and videos of non-consensual relationships or delaying the withdrawal of those materials despite declaring themselves the ethical leaders in the sector.

The CEO of MindGeek, the company responsible for PornHub and other porn sites like Brazzers and Reality Kings, Feras Antoon, your director of operations, David Tassillo, and the vice president of the company, Corey urman, appeared on Friday before the privacy committee of the lower house of the Canadian Parliament to respond to the accusations launched against the company in December by The New York Times newspaper.

But to the exasperation of Canadian MPs, none of the three top PornHub officials responded to the committee’s key questions, especially those regarding complaints from at least two women accusing the website of take months to remove videos in which they are raped and tortured, one of them when she was only 13 years old.

At least Antoon’s appearance served to reveal the true face of MindGeek’s CEO. As the Canadian newspaper “The Globe and Mail” revealed on Thursday, the only publicly known image of the CEO so far was the one that appears on a website with his name.

Fake picture

The problem is that the image that accompanies his biography is that of a Norwegian individual who hardly resembles the real image of Antoon, an unattractive man with a wide nose and deep recesses at his temples.

During his appearance, Antoon said he was “devastated by what the victims of these horrendous acts have gone through.”

“This type of material has no place on our platform and is contrary to our values ​​and business model,” he said.

But at times Antoon and Tassillo’s appearance looked more like an attempt to promote PornHub We have to try to clarify the questions of the Canadian deputies or the accusations made against the company by various victims and the article in the New York newspaper.

The two extolled the benefits of MindGeek, a company with $ 460 million in annual revenue and legally registered in Luxembourg, with subsidiaries in Cyprus and Romania but with its real headquarters in Montreal, where 1,000 of the company’s 1,800 employees work.

And Antoon was proud that PornHub is the fifth most visited website in the world, with 3.5 billion visits per month.

In the article, The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof accused PornHub of being “infected with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy camera videos of women showering, racist and misogynistic content, and images of women suffocated with plastic bags. ”

Rape and child pornography

Following the publication of the article, the credit card companies Visa and MasterCard announced that they would stop processing payments to MindGeek sites, although the two companies subsequently limited the ban to PornHub and resumed processing payments for MindGeek sites that use videos. made with professional porn actors.

Following actions taken by Visa and MasterCard, PornHub proceeded to remove millions of videos from your website whose authorship could not be verified and imposed security measures that have reduced the number of videos that PornHub contains from 13.5 to 3 million.

Antoon and Tassillo declared that the withdrawal of those 10 million videos from the platform is a sample of “the evolution” of the website to ensure that its content is legal or has been shared legally.

But when Canadian MPs pressed the two executives on why they had waited to remove such unverified content until the release of Kristof’s article and the credit card companies’ actions, Antoon and Tassillo were unable to give a coherent answer.

The only thing Antoon could claim in their defense is that the presence of child pornography on PornHub “makes them lose money” and “ruins the brand” they have “been building for years.”

Tassillo could not explain why either. the company did not act when Serena Fleites, who testified Monday before the same committee, alerted PornHub that the website contained a sex video of him from when he was 13 years old.

Fleites told deputies that many at her school used the video on PornHub to threaten and attempt to blackmail her and that its post caused depression and drug use.

For weeks, Fleites tried to get PornHub to remove the video. When the web did, it had been downloaded by people all over the world and uploaded again.

Evasive

Antoon and Tassillo stated today that they have not found any reference to the Fleites case and that they did not have “enough information” to discuss that specific case.

Both were also unable to indicate how many times PornHub has reported in recent years to the Canadian Police, as is their legal obligation, the existence of videos with child pornography or rapes.

“I don’t have the number in front of me,” Tassillo answered on several occasions.

And for a company whose business model has been based on show millions of people’s most intimate moments, With or without their consent, Canadian MPs could not help highlighting the irony of executives who are especially zealous to preserve their privacy.

Antoon and Tassillo claimed their privacy not to disclose their salaries or company benefits.

They also justified Urman and other PornHub employees making statements to the media using false names to ensure the “safety” of the staff.

Antoon also did not want to confirm that he drives a Lamborghini or that a mansion is being built in northern Montreal because, he said, no one has to be interested in that data.

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