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Dozens of women are suing Pornhub, alleging it posted non-consensual clips

More than 30 women sued Pornhub on Thursday, accusing it of violating federal sex trafficking laws, distributing child pornography, racketeering and other crimes.

The lawsuit alleges that Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek – and its constellation of pornographic brands – is a criminal enterprise that purchases, launches and downloads illegal content often obtained through human trafficking and sexual assault.

The women say in their lawsuit that MindGeek used non-consensual content to “become the dominant online pornography company in the world.”

The women were victims of sexual exploitation, rape and trafficking, and they were “first victimized by their original attacker, and then repeatedly by the defendants in this case,” according to the lawsuit.

Serena Fleites and over 30 Jane Does allege in the lawsuit that they were victims of unauthorized videos uploaded and broadcast by Pornhub.

Pornhub has denied the claims, calling them absurd and reckless.

“Pornhub has zero tolerance for illegal content and investigates any complaints or allegations made about content on our platforms,” he said in a statement. “The allegations in today’s complaint that Pornhub is a criminal enterprise that deals with women and is run as ‘The Sopranos’ are utterly absurd, utterly reckless and categorically false.”

He said his website had “the most comprehensive guarantees in the history of the user-generated platform, which include banning downloads from unverified users, extending our moderation processes, and cooperation with dozens of non-profit organizations around the world ”.

Fleites testified before the Canadian House of Commons this year about his experience.

“I am one of those who found themselves homeless, ended up dropping out of school, found themselves on drugs, completely detached from my family. I ended up trying to kill myself several times,” he said.

Pornhub, facing bans by Visa and Mastercard, suspended all videos of unverified users on the website in December, saying its requirement that all content be uploaded by verified users was a step “that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have not yet instituted.

Mastercard’s investigation resulted in a payment processing ban for MindGeek. Visa, which is named as the defendant and accused of knowingly profiting from the alleged trafficking in Thursday’s trial, has resumed processing some transactions.

A Visa spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

David K. Li contributed.



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