Sex Workers Criticize Pornhub's Rushed Changes

More haste, more harm.


A critical article published by The New Yorker a few weeks ago forced Pornhub to introduce drastic changes to prevent non-consensual videos, sex trafficking, child abuse, violence and rape

While the new policies have been called for as necessary for years, the haste did a lot of harm to sex workers. Many of them have their videos inaccurately flagged, which can cost them quite a sum and even more viewers. Although the new policy aims to theoretically take down non-consensual videos, in practice it also removes consensual ones. 

The sex workers believe that this problem occurs due to the lack of professional staff. Instead, the site is being monitored by volunteers and non-profit groups.

Additionally, following Pornhub’s changes, many credit card companies such as Mastercard, Visa, and Discover blocked their customers from making purchases on the website. According to sex workers, this move hurts them, while it does nothing to help the actual victims.

Until recently, many sex workers have posted exclusively to the Modelhub section on Pornhub, which sold videos and required a verified profile. Since the section has been completely disabled, it has starved thousands of people of their source of income.

Mary Moody, LA-based sex worker articulates how crucial the income is, especially during the pandemic

Sex workers also reveal the complexity of the problem. Charlotte Cross, another sex worker sees the source of the credit card ban in the religious anti-porn rhetoric, narrow morality and The New Yorker journalist himself, author of the critical article. Nicholas Kristof has a history of misrepresenting sex work, citing wrong statistics and confusing consensual sex with non-consensual intercourse as well as sex work with trafficking.

Pornhub has not yet issued an official response.

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