Breaking News: Pornhub's Instagram Account Taken Down

Instagram has removed the official account of Pornhub—one of the world’s most popular adult sites, due to its allegations of widespread abuse and illegal content online. Before Pornhub was removed, it was verified with a blue checkmark and had 13.1 million followers and more than 6,200 posts.

"This news is very important to our movement because it speaks to the reality of the connection between sex trafficking and pornography, an industry that has thrived and become so ingrained in our society at the expense of the exploitation of women and children and the millions of consumers that are greatly affected by this addiction. Porhub must be held accountable for the terrible harms it has promoted, and these are sure-footed steps to communicate to this industry that exploitation will not be tolerated." —Rita Hernandez, Atlas Free, International Program Director. 

We celebrate Instagram's decision as it gets us one step closer to a future where everyone is free from sex trafficking and exploitation.

More from Forbes:

"Instagram has removed the official account of Pornhub—one of the world’s most popular adult sites—from its platform, the latest escalation as tech giants crack down on purveyors of adult content amid mounting public pressure and allegations of widespread abuse and illegal content online.

KEY FACTS

  • Pornhub’s Instagram account had some 13.1 million followers and more than 6,200 posts when it was removed, according to Variety, which first reported the news.
  • The account did not post pornographic content to Instagram—which would clearly violate the platform’s no nudity rule—and it is not immediately clear why Pornhub’s account was removed.
  • Screenshots shared on Twitter by an anti-Pornhub campaigner indicate the account was removed for violating Instagram’s community guidelines following a report filed on June 1.
  • This report has not been independently verified and it provides no details on the policies violated, when they were violated and what content prompted the platform to act.
  • Meta, Instagram’s parent company, and Pornhub did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment or confirmation.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Other tech giants taking action against Pornhub. Pornhub still maintains wildly popular accounts on Twitter and YouTube, where it has 3.4 million followers and 882,000 subscribers, respectively. Forbes has reached out to Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, for comment.

KEY BACKGROUND

Pressure is growing on big tech platforms to act over the growing deluge of illegal content online. Material like child pornography, graphic deepfakes and revenge porn has proliferated in recent years and comes as sites battle to rein in violent, misleading and false content. Despite the apparent best efforts of big tech, the problems have stubbornly remained, though firms have started to step up efforts to clean up their platforms with measures that include banning accounts and stopping hosting sites. Efforts are still lacking, however, and platforms have yet to resolve the problem. Pornhub has faced numerous allegations of unlawful content on its platform and two top executives left the company over the issue. OnlyFans, by far the most popular adult creator site, has reportedly struggled to prevent underaged users from selling or appearing in explicit videos. A recent investigation by the Verge suggests that Twitter executives are aware of the massive investment needed to remove illegal content but are taking few steps to achieve this. Visa—which, alongside Mastercard, has suspended payments for ad purchases on Pornhub—has been accused of knowingly facilitating the spread of child pornography on Pornhub as part of a lawsuit against the site’s parent, MindGeek (the payment firm disagrees strongly).

TANGENT

TikTok’s content moderators are trained on uncensored, sexually explicit images of children, former contractors told Forbes. Former employees of companies contracted by the platform to assess its content said the material, alongside other content deemed to violate the platform’s policies like images of children being abused, was freely available to hundreds of people."

SOURCE: FORBES