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PornHub Refused to Invest in Moderation, Senior Writer Claims in Undercover Investigation

Jack Hadfield

New undercover footage from Sound Investigations has revealed that top PornHub employees believe the company refused to invest in content moderation and weren’t “very compliant” in removing illegal videos posted to the site.

During a covert interview with the independent outlet, Dillon Rice, a senior scriptwriter for PornHub parent company MindGeek, and Mike Farley, a current product manager and one of the company’s first employees, spoke of deep issues at the controversy-ridden site.

Speaking to the undercover reporter, Rice claimed that MindGeek had “made so much money, and they were like top of the world,” but “fumbled” when it came to moderating the site despite widespread issues. In 2020, PornHub deleted 80% of their videos after a New York Times report revealed that much of their user-uploaded content featured questionable or illegal material. It was also discovered that the site had been hosting videos featuring sex trafficking victims and children.

“They didn’t take any of that money and reinvest it into moderation or like quality of the site,” Rice said. “They just kind of gave it all to executives, and then they just made a shit-ton of profit.”

Rice added that PornHub had the option to use videos from professional studios where the “performers” would have had their ages and consent verified, but refused.

“We have all our legal paperwork … Just use that content. But they [PornHub] don’t want to. It’s competition.”

In a separate secretly recorded conversation with Farley, the product manager revealed that PornHub was monetizing content “that we don’t know where this comes from, we don’t know who is on that video, we don’t know the age of the person on that video,” and that they weren’t “very compliant” with the need to check the ages of people posted to the site.

He stated that moderators would mostly be focused on removing obviously illegal and violent content, such as videos containing murder. If nobody was killed in the videos, they would be passed over as “fine.”

In a previous video, Farley revealed that rapists and sex traffickers use PornHub to “make a lot of money,” and that there was a serious “loophole” in the system used to verify ages of the uploaded “performers” on the site.

Farley noted that one user only needs to upload a copy of a government-issued ID, such as a driving license, but then they can end up never showing that face in their photos.

“That’s stupid,” Farley said, adding that he “wouldn’t be able to defend this in court.” However, MindGeek would refuse to fix the loophole because “it costs money… [and would] be counterintuitive to the business.

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Jack Hadfield

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