Warning: child abuse, human trafficking, sexual abuse, sexual assault.

Since February 2020, victims of Pornhub have been trying to gain justice against Aylo (formerly MindGeek). The porn industry has been criticised for knowingly allowing videos of child abuse, human trafficking and sexual assaults on its platform and profiting from them.

In February 2020, US lawyer Laila Mickelwait founded the Traffickinghub movement and launched a petition with a global community of individuals, survivors, organisations, and lawyers to ban Pornhub and hold MindGeek’s executives accountable for allowing, distributing and profiting from rape, child abuse, sex trafficking and sexual assault on image-based material. The uproar against Pornhub started with the report of the then 13-year-old Selena Fleites, who was forced to perform sexual acts on camera by her then boyfriend. The video was later uploaded on Pornhub. It took two weeks for Pornhub to remove the video where the minor was raped.

Mission of #Traffickinghub

Laia Mickelwait’s campaign aims to ensure that the company and executives of Pornhub and Aylo/MindGeek are not exempt from punishment and are held accountable for acts they knowingly and willingly allowed for profit.

The Traffickinghub movement seeks to pressure governments and companies around the world to introduce policies demanding reliable age and third-party consent verification for every person featured in every video on user generated pornography websites to ensure that these kinds of inhumanities never happen again.

Meanwhile, the campaign is supported by hundreds of anti-trafficking, women’s rights, and child protection organisations around the world. They are pushing on Pornhub and its parent company Aylo/MindGeek to be accountable and take criminal responsibility.

MindGeek becomes Aylo

The Canadian-based porn industry operates various streaming websites and porn film productions, including Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn. MindGeek is now operating under a new name and apparently new ethics since August 2023. On their homepage, they proudly announce their work with non-profit organisations to fight, among other things, against child abuse. At the beginning of the Traffickinghub movement, Pornhub was with 130 million visitors per day, the most visited website in the world. Due to the attention of the movement and the resulting pressure on the porn giant, both the CEO and the COO of MindGeek resigned in June 2022.

Victims of Pornhub

“I am dealing with victims almost every day – from victims of child rape and human trafficking to women who have passed out under the influence of drugs and have been raped and assaulted,” says Laila Mickelwait, founder of Traffickinghub.com.

In Ontario, Canada a woman has filed a $600 million class action lawsuit against MindGeek/Aylo. At the age of 12, she was raped while being filmed. The video was then uploaded on Pornhub. The class action lawsuit seeks to provide a share of the money to any victim who has had similar things happen to them through Pornhub.

In a second-class lawsuit, 40 women in California, USA have joined together to take action against one of Pornhub’s filmmaking partnerships. The filmmakers took advantage of the unawareness and naivety of young women and coerced them into performing sexual acts on camera.

Another lawsuit/ against MindGeek/Aylo was filed by “Isabella” along with 34 other women. Of the 34 women, 14 said they were minors in the videos, another 14 were victims of sexual violence. Isabella was 17 years old at the time when her former boyfriend forced her to film a nude video. She only heard about the video when she was in college, by then the video had more than 200.000 views.

An extreme case is from “Michelle”. At the age of 15 a sex offender forced her to perform on sex-related videos and photos, which then were sold as “boxsets” to other perpetrators. A lot of these videos were uploaded on Pornhub and shared on other platforms. They are still in circulation.

In South Carolina, USA, 9 women were filmed in a changing room while being filmed with a hidden camera. These films were uploaded on Pornhub and made into money.

A whistleblower from MindGeek stated that content which was deleted from Pornhub has been reposted on other sites, which were run by MindGeek. In addition, only one person was 5 days a week responsible for screening reported videos, resulting in a backlog of 700.000 videos reported for criminal content. Videos could not be approved for review under Pornhub’s old policy until they have been flagged for review at least 15 times.

Many victims remain unaware of which platform their videos and photos are posted and who privately owns them on their computers. Many will probably never know that these videos of them even exist. These videos can be found on Pornhub as well as on other porn websites. Not to mention the dark web.

Currently in 2023

At the beginning of 2021, Pornhub has removed almost 80 %, in other words over 10 million of their content. In addition, the payment providers Visa, Mastercard, Discover and PayPal have withdrawn from their cooperation with Pornhub. Pornhub now only offers cryptocurrencies as their only way of payment.

Pornhub accounts on YouTube, TikTok and Meta/Instagram have also been banned.

In the US, users, who want to upload videos on Pornhub, must now create an account and verify themselves.

Pornhub also wants to provide security on their platform and advertises their usage of AIs to detect and block certain content. In addition, Pornhub banned the ability to download videos from their site in 2020.

“Anyone who attempts to post non-consensual images or child sexual abuse material on the internet is a criminal and we are committed to being at the forefront of eliminating illegal content on the internet. Every online platform has a responsibility to join in this fight and this requires collective action and constant vigilance. We hope that other platforms will use our model to remove unwanted content,” MindGeek statement.

Criticism on Pornhub’s new policy

However, one of the things that must be criticized is the verification. As soon as someone uploads a video, only the uploader is verified, but not the victim or the other participants. If, as in another case, a person is given rape drugs (knockout drops) while they are filmed being raped, Pornhub does not require verification of the abused person. In this regard, Pornhub does not care whether a crime is being committed in the video – which makes Pornhub a crime scene. Accordingly, the victim will also not know that videos have been uploaded on the internet. Although they seem to want to establish a 0-tolerance-policy, their new policy, the verification, is more of a show than practice.

Katie_Pornhub: helpdesk on reddit.com

The age verification only helps Pornhub’s purpose of pretending to have upload controls. In reality, they only do what is necessary to appear like they take action against sexual abuse and not attract major negative headlines.

Similarly, the ban on downloads is not much of a help. Although this prevents content that has previously been removed, the videos can be recorded with illegal software via an online browser and redistributed on other platforms. Pornhub doesn’t seem to want to take this or a similar scenario seriously enough. After all, as Katie_Pornhub already mentioned, it it’s not profitable to control everyone who contributes on the platform. This continues to make Pornhub a crime scene infested with videos of illegal, non-consensual content, including sex trafficking. Even now, with a simple Google search, one can find a free online download service which allows you to easily download Pornhub videos.

“The London Sunday Times” news independently investigated Pornhub and found “dozens of illegal videos within minutes”, including children as young as three. As part of a class actions lawsuit, it emerged that Pornhub knew about child sexual abuse content on their platform, going on from 2007 to 2020 and did not report a single case to the authorities. Instead, they directed users to forward the cases to them. In Canada where Pornhub has its headquarter, failing to report known child rape material is a criminal offence and punishable with 14 years in prison.

Pornhub is aware of the material they make their money from. They are also aware that revenge porn is a huge part of it. With the above statement form the official Pornhub account on Twitter, they once again made clear how they protect perpetrators and how little is done for victims. Just because a consented video was filmed in someone’s own home, does not mean the video should be put online and be available for anyone to see without the other person’s consent. Pornhub is clearly victim-blaming.

In addition, Pornhub has set up a copy of their website on the darkweb where no control or consequences are taken from the uploads or uploaders. This opens a platform for paedophiles and other sex offenders where Pornhub officially encourages them to upload abuse content and get away with it. Perpetrators got a “safe space” where Pornhub can continue to make profits of abusive and degrading content.

What is the situation in Europe?

What can Europe do to fight child abuse and the redistribution of videos? Lawyers like Laila Mickelwait wants streaming websites like Pornhub to be banned and to be shut down. But does that even make sense? If it’s banned, the sites can still be visited via VPN. It’s unlikely that these sites will be banned in every country. In case of a shutdown, rape film doesn’t stop being produced or shared just because Pornhub no longer exists. They are just taking away a public platform for the perpetrators, but not the ability to upload them on other sites. In worst case, the videos will reappear on the “darkweb”, where it is going to be even harder to trace the perpetrators down. So, if you want to keep an eye on streaming websites and their actions, strict measurements and monitoring by governments and companies are necessary.

From the outside, Pornhub/Aylo presents itself as a platform which cares about safety of its users. However, the fact is that the “measurements” that have been taken have not been enforced so far.

What can the EU do?

The EU has not done much regarding digital crimes and although the legal battle against Pornhub/Aylo has been going on for years, no action has been taken to address the porn giant for an ultimatum on the European market. There is an urgent need to adopt tougher penalties for sex offenders and to interpret and re-adopt new criminal laws referring to digital crimes. Governments need to be stricter in their control of the porn industries and youth protection laws need to be enforced.

The EU must have control over these kinds of streaming websites and make the porn industry comply with youth protection laws and privacy rights. A ban only leads to videos ending up on even more unsafe platforms on the darkweb.

It remains to be seen how all this will affect the porn industry with increased pressure from governments, companies, and victims. The fact is that every streaming site must commit to provide safe content and offer their help in case of violations. After all, they are the one’s who allow the content in the first place.


The former and current executives must be held accountable for their crimes. Everyone who contributes to rape, human trafficking, abuse, and revenge porn in any kind of form and material must be reported to the authorities and the governments must finally act and start to persecute criminals. We are still publicly granting a safe space to the perpetrators. Every government is responsible for the safety of its citizens. Pornhub is not a safe space, even if they want us to believe that. In the end, it’s not a platform.

Help for victims:

More information at: https://traffickinghub.com/