Skip to main content

Pornhub limits uploads and disables downloads after New York Times exposé

Pornhub limits uploads and disables downloads after New York Times exposé

/

‘A great deal depends on how responsibly Pornhub implements these,’ says Nick Kristof

Share this story

pornhub billboard times square
A Times Square billboard for PornHub from 2015

Pornhub has made significant changes to its content policies after a New York Times report detailed the damage done by nonconsensual videos posted to the platform, often involving underage girls.

In a statement today, Pornhub announced a new set of policies aimed at keeping nonconsensual videos off the site. Most significantly, the platform will no longer accept uploads from unidentified users, a significant shift for a company that built its platform on non-professional uploads. In the short term, that will restrict uploads to content partners and members of the platform’s Model Program, although Pornhub plans to roll out a broader verification process for regular users in 2021.

Once content has been uploaded, Pornhub will block downloading content entirely, no longer allowing users to export content from the site outside of paid downloads triggered through the company’s verified system.

“these seem significant”

PornHub has also pledged to increase moderation of content currently on the platform through a newly established “Red Team,” dedicated to “proactively sweeping content already uploaded for potential violations and identifying any breakdowns in the moderation process.” The company has also pledged to publish its first transparency report in 2021, detailing the results of moderation from the previous year.

In its statement, Pornhub attributes the changes to an independent review launched in April, aimed at eliminating all illegal content from the platform. However, the move comes just four days after a searing New York Times report from Nicholas Kristof, which triggered a significant backlash against the company and its practices. The report highlighted a number of young girls who appeared in videos uploaded to Pornhub without their consent. Even after the videos were flagged and removed, downloaded copies continued to circulate, often with severe and alarming personal consequences.

In the wake of Kristof’s article, Pornhub’s business partners faced mounting pressure to cut ties with the platform — particularly payment processors like Visa and Mastercard.

Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, was outspoken in calling for the site to be shut down. “Companies like Visa and MasterCard who partner with Pornhub are also profiting from the rape of children,” Hawkins said in a statement after the piece was published.

Reacting to the changes on Twitter, Kristof seemed cautiously optimistic. “A great deal depends on how responsibly Pornhub implements these, and it hasn’t earned my trust at all, but these seem significant,” he wrote. “A great deal will also depend on whether past content, already on the site, is vetted or removed.”

Pornhub did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

T
Thomas RickerTwo hours ago
The Simpsons pays tribute to Chrome’s dino game.

Season 34 of The Simpsons kicked off on Sunday night with an opening credits “couch gag” based on the offline dino game from Google’s Chrome browser. Cactus, cactus, couch, d’oh! Perfect.


T
Youtube
Thomas Ricker7:29 AM UTC
Table breaks before Apple Watch Ultra’s sapphire glass.

”It’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Apple at the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra (read The Verge review here). YouTuber TechRax put that claim to the test with a series of drop, scratch, and hammer tests. Takeaways: the titanium case will scratch with enough abuse, and that flat sapphire front crystal is tough — tougher than the table which cracks before the Ultra fails — but not indestructible.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix