Pornhub Releases Statement About Content Moderation Changes

Pornhub Releases Statement About Content Moderation Changes

LOS ANGELES — Pornhub announced today a series of safety and security policies enhancing measures for verification, moderation and detection of content with the goal of positioning the company “at the forefront of combating and eradicating illegal content.”

According to the statement, the safety and security policies have been adopted across all of MindGeek properties.

"These new measures come on the heels of the Pornhub’s recent unprecedented step of banning content from unverified uploaders, an industry-first among tech and social media platforms,” noted the statement.

The new measures have been adopted during the independent review of the company’s content compliance program that is being conducted by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.

The review, according to Pornhub, began in April 2020 and it focuses on various MindGeek platforms’ “moderation practices and other procedures for preventing users from uploading non-consensual content, child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and any other content that lacks the consent of all parties.”

Pornhub’s statement lists the areas where they are working to implement changes as:

  • content standards
  • content uploading and review processes
  • content removal and user exclusion
  • partnerships
  • relationships with law enforcement and NGOs
  • wellness and harm reduction

A spokesperson for Kaplan Hecker & Fink said the firm has been retained “to conduct an independent review of MindGeek’s content compliance function with a focus on eliminating all non-consensual content, CSAM and any other content uploaded without the meaningful consent of all parties from Pornhub and other MindGeek websites.”

“The goal of the independent review, which is ongoing, is to identify steps that MindGeek can take to achieve a content compliance program that sets the standard for the technology industry,” they added.

MindGeek’s Top Execs Weigh In

MindGeek’s CEO and COO Feras Antoon and David Tassillo released a joint statement included with Pornhub’s announcement.

“When we joined Pornhub in 2008, our goal was to create the most inclusive community on the internet,” said Antoon and Tassillo. “It was designed to celebrate freedom of expression, to value privacy and to empower people from all walks of life. We knew this could only be possible by ensuring our users' safety and security.”

“Over the years, we have demonstrated our resolute commitment to leading the fight against illegal online content: we have created and implemented the most robust security and safety policies online, setting the standard for tech and social media platforms across the board,” they continued. “Most recently, we have taken unprecedented steps to protect our community. These include banning uploads from unverified users; retaining the firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink, since April 2020, to help establish a best-in-class safety and security program; and partnering with dozens of leading non-profit experts. Every online platform has the responsibility to join this fight, and it requires collective action and constant vigilance.”

Pornhub’s New Safety and Security Measures

According to the statement, Pornhub’s comprehensive safety and security measures now include:

  • Upload Verification: “Only verified users are able to upload content to Pornhub and other MindGeek platforms. This includes studio content partners and those who have been verified within the Model Program. Going forward, anyone seeking verification within the Model Program must confirm their identity with Yoti, the leading digital identity verification solution, by providing a current photo and government-approved identification document. Yoti will check the validity of the ID document and match the user’s ID document to their photo using secure biometric technology. This verification process will serve as an added layer of protection in Pornhub’s uploader verification system”
  • Banning Downloads: “Pornhub and MindGeek’s other video sharing platforms have removed the ability for visitors to download content, with the exception of paid downloads from verified users in the Model Program who have provided express consent to having their content downloaded. In tandem with fingerprinting technology, this will mitigate the ability for content that has been removed from the platform to return
  • Expanded Moderation: “Pornhub has worked to create comprehensive measures that help protect visitors from illegal content. Pornhub and all MindGeek platforms have a live content audit team dedicated solely to self-auditing the platforms for potentially illegal material. This team provides an extra layer of protection on top of the existing protocol, proactively screening content already uploaded for potential violations and identifying any breakdowns in the moderation process. Additionally, while the list of banned keywords on Pornhub is already extensive, the company continues to identify additional keywords for removal on an ongoing basis. They also regularly monitor search terms within the platform for increases in phrasings that attempt to bypass the safeguards in place. Pornhub’s content moderation includes an extensive team of human moderators dedicated to manually reviewing every single upload, a thorough system for flagging, reviewing and removing illegal material, robust parental control, and utilization of a variety of automated detection technologies
  • These technologies include: CSAI Match, YouTube’s proprietary technology for combating Child Sexual Abuse Imagery online; Content Safety API, Google's artificial intelligence tool that helps detect illegal imagery; PhotoDNA, Microsoft’s technology that aids in finding and removing known images of child exploitation; Vobile, a fingerprinting software that scans new uploads for potential matches to unauthorized materials to protect against banned videos being re-uploaded to the platform
  • "Content that is identified as inappropriate can be flagged on the site reported using the Content Removal Request Form, which is linked on every page. Pornhub’s policy is to immediately disable any content reported in the Content Removal Request Form for review"
  • "Content moderators will also undergo further exhaustive training to identify potentially illegal material and testing. If needed, content moderators have access to specialized support, including wellness benefits and therapeutic measures, to support them in their critical work”
  • Trusted Flagger Program: “Pornhub recently launched a Trusted Flagger Program, a new initiative empowering non-profit partners to alert Pornhub to content they think may violate the Terms of Service. The Trusted Flagger Program consists of more than 40 leading non-profit organizations dedicated to child safety on the internet. Partners have a direct line of access to Pornhub’s moderation team, and any content identified by a Trusted Flagger is immediately disabled. Partners include: Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (United States of America); National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (United States of America); Internet Watch Foundation (United Kingdom); Stopline (Austria); Child Focus (Belgium); Safenet (Bulgaria); TeProtejo Hotline - I Protect You Hotline (Colombia); CZ.NIC - Stop Online (Czech Republic ); Point de Contact (France); Eco-Association of the Internet Industry (Germany); Safeline (Greece); Save the Children (Iceland); Latvian Internet Association (Latvia); Meldpunt Kinderporno - Child Pornography Reporting Point (Netherlands); Centre for Safer Internet Slovenia (Slovenia); FPB Hotline - Film and Publication Board (South Africa); ECPAT (Sweden); and ECPAT (Taiwan)”
  • NCMEC Partnership: “Pornhub has voluntarily partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to transparently report and eliminate the potential presence of any CSAM on its platforms. In early 2021, NCMEC will release the total number of reported CSAM incidents on Pornhub, alongside other major social and content platforms. Pornhub will also continue to work with law enforcement globally to report and curb illegal content”
  • Transparency Report: “Pornhub will release a Transparency Report detailing its content moderation results from 2020, including the total number of reports filed with NCMEC, as well as other key details related to the trust and safety of the platform. Much like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other tech platforms, Pornhub seeks to be fully transparent about the content that should and should not appear on the platform. This report will be the first of its kind among adult content platforms, setting the standard for transparency and accountability in the industry”
  • Non-Profit Partnership: “Pornhub maintains relationships with more than 40 leading non-profit organizations around the world to effectively and efficiently moderate and report content on its platforms. Pornhub is today entering into partnership with The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a leading child protection organization that runs Stop It Now! UK and Ireland, to implement messaging on Pornhub that deters people from searching for sexual imagery of minors. While such searches yield no results, deterrence messages will also be deployed when a search that is potentially indicative of intent to find CSAM is attempted”

For more about Pornhub’s safety and security measures, click here.

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