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Pornhub removes most videos in massive victory for orgs fighting sex trafficking

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Pornhub's inventory shrank by more than 10 million videos

Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic

Organizations fighting against pornography received a major victory this week after Pornhub, the internet's biggest pornography website, announced that it would cut the majority of its video inventory.

Pornhub announced on Monday that it would delete all videos not uploaded by "content partners" or by members of its "model program."

"As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program," Pornhub said in a statement. "This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute."

Prior to the change, Pornhub hosted more than 13.5 million videos. After unverified videos were purged, fewer than 3 million videos remained, CNN reported. This means that more than 10 million videos — more than 80% of all site content — were deleted.

What is the background?

The development comes after an exposé by the New York Times revealed how Pornhub is complicit in human sex trafficking. The report detailed the stories of child sex trafficking victims whose traumatic videos of abuse had been uploaded to Pornhub.

Pornhub responded by announcing policy changes, but they were not enough to stop Visa and Mastercard from severing processing ties with the porn website.

"Given the allegations of illegal activity, Visa is suspending Pornhub's acceptance privileges pending the completion of our ongoing investigation. We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network," Visa said in a statement.

Similarly, Mastercard said, "Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site. We instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance."

Victory for anti-porn orgs

The development is a massive victory for organizations fighting against pornography, which recognize how the porn industry is used as a conduit for human trafficking.

In fact, Pornhub lashed out at two organizations in particular, Exodus Cry and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, both of which have been campaigning for years against the pornography industry.

"It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform," Pornhub said, citing both organizations.

In a tweet, Exodus Cry called the video removals a "huge WIN."

Why do people fight against porn?

Although progressives attempt to normalize pornography by claiming "sex work is work," research on the effects of pornography is revealing just how dangerous and addictive it is.

Dr. William Struthers, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Wheaton College in Chicago, told TheBlaze in 2016 that porn hijacks the same pleasure centers of the human brain that hard drugs target, making the viewing of sex videos highly addictive.

"When we talk about pornography as a drug, we've really got the cart before the horse. Really, the only reason why any drugs are addictive is that they act on the brain's natural pleasure systems," Struthers said. "Sex is a great example of what the brain is made for when it comes to pleasure. Sex is very pleasurable for human beings the majority of the time."

"The brain has these natural pleasure circuits — these circuits that are designed to give us the feeling of closeness, of excitement, of love — and so the only reason why these drugs, like crack, morphine, methamphetamine, or any of those have any pleasurable consequences at all is because they act on these natural systems that are already there," he explained. "So a better way to talk about heroin is that heroin is actually injected orgasm."

"Drugs that mimic the chemical properties already in the brain and are part of this natural pleasure circuit, those are the ones that we get addicted to," he added. "So porn isn't crack for your eyes, crack is smoked sexual arousal."

The problem with porn addiction, of course, is that people, by visiting porn websites and paying for porn, are perpetuating an industry that exploits women and engages in human trafficking.

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