NCOSE CEO Repeats Factually Inaccurate Statements About Pornhub Moderation at Ted Cruz Event

NCOSE CEO Repeats Factually Inaccurate Statements About Pornhub Moderation at Ted Cruz Event

WASHINGTON — NCOSE CEO Dawn Hawkins repeated factually inaccurate claims about Pornhub’s content moderation on Tuesday during a Capitol Hill press conference co-organized by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

The event was the public unveiling of Cruz’s Take It Down Act, co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The proposed bill would criminalize the act of uploading image-based sexual abuse such as revenge sexual content and deepfakes, and would mandate removal of such material within 48 hours.

Hawkins was invited to represent NCOSE alongside members of other organizations that support the bill, like RAINN and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

In 2015, Hawkins — a pro-censorship Mormon activist with a background in conservative and GOP PR — was instrumental in rebranding Morality in Media as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) in order to “secularwash” its historically religious motivation and align the group’s optics to imply alignment with the more prestigious, secular NCMEC. 

Hawkins used Tuesday’s press conference to mischaracterize Pornhub’s current moderation practices.

“Platforms like Pornhub, Reddit and X let anyone upload sexually explicit content of anyone at any time, and then they not only drive people to the content through ads — they also enable countless downloads and reshares,” Hawkins stated, standing in front of a pensive Cruz. “This is the unacceptable reality we face today, and it will remain so unless Congress acts now.”

Hawkins later shared a video of her nonfactual remarks on NCOSE’s X account.

A Pornhub rep told XBIZ, “Obviously, the claims in the video are not factually accurate, at least as it relates to our platforms.”

The rep shared Pornhub and parent company Aylo’s trust and safety processes, which he noted “directly contradict many of the claims in the video.”

Pornhub considers its current, comprehensive safeguards and tools for preventing and eliminating unwanted material to be unprecedented in the history of user-generated-content platforms. 

Disproving Hawkins’ baseless remarks, Pornhub noted that its safeguards include an uploader verification program that uses secure biometric facial recognition technology to ensure the identity of the uploader of all pieces of content; co-performer verification, which establishes consent from all participants in uploaded content; preventing users from downloading free content; continuous additions to its suite of automated moderation tools (CSAI Match, Content Safety API, PhotoDNA, Vobile, Safer, Safeguard, NCMEC Take It Down, StopNCII); utilization of digital fingerprinting technology to prevent reuploading of unauthorized material; a Content Removal Request Form that, upon being completed by any user, immediately and automatically disables a piece of content pending further review; and partnerships with leading global internet safety nonprofit organizations.

“Aylo’s safety and security measures have set a standard for compliance programs in the tech and social media industries, and credible third-party analyses have commended the success of our efforts to date,” the rep said. “For example, NCMEC reported that Aylo platforms reported fewer incidents of CSAM, and removed material NCMEC flagged quicker upon being notified, than other major tech platforms including Facebook, X, Google, Instagram, and more. We are proud to be at the forefront of content moderation on the internet, and we are committed to continually evolving our Trust and Safety practices to remain leaders in internet safety.”

As XBIZ reported, lawmakers from both major political parties continue seeking support from Hawkins and NCOSE, in spite of the organization’s documented past of homophobic activism, and its current crusades to criminalize all forms of sex work and eradicate all adult content.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a press statement in March aligning herself with NCOSE, during her introduction of the Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits Act of 2024 (DEFIANCE Act), which proposes to create a federal civil right of action for victims of deepfakes.

Although the stentoriously conservative Sen. Cruz may appear to be a more suitable ideological bedfellow for NCOSE and Hawkins, his official X account has a notoriously documented history of enjoying explicit, unpaid pornography — specifically, Cory Chase’s work for Reality Kings — on its feed.

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