40 women sue PornHub, for knowingly posting videos of them being sex trafficked and refusing to remove them

40 women sue PornHub, for knowingly posting videos of them being sex trafficked and refusing to remove them

"Im going to kill myself if this stays up here.”

VicesDecember 17, 2020 By Will Brendza

Surf porn websites long enough and you’re bound to come across one of the “GirlsDoPorn” videos. They almost always feature a lovely young lady sitting on a bed, answering questions about her sex life, preferences and experience — then, they’re asked to ‘blow a kiss to the camera’ and they’re off to the races.

If you’ve ever seen one of these videos, you might have noticed how awkward and uncomfortable some of those girls look. And it turns out, that’s not an act. Many of the girls from these GirlsDoPorn videos were coerced, lied to, manipulated into having sex on camera and even trafficked.

Which is all very immoral and largely illegal. Yet, still, the company known as MindGeek, which owns and operates PornHub, RedTube and YouPorn, not only hosted and contracted GirlsDoPorn knowing all of that, but they then refused to remove the videos even after the women in them begged to have them taken down.

That’s why, this week, 40 Jane Doe plaintiffs have leveled a lawsuit against PornHub and MindGeek, seeking over $80 million in restitution.

The lawsuit alleges, “as early as 2009, and definitely by fall 2016, MindGeek knew GirlsDoPorn was trafficking its victims by using fraud, coercion, and intimidation as part of its customary business practices to get the women to film the videos."

MindGeek allegedly continued its partnership with GirldDoPorn even after this revelation had come to light. They didn’t bother investigating or even questioning the issue or the content being uploaded. That partnership stayed strong straight up until October of 2019 when the Department of Justice shut down GirlsDoPorn and arrested and indicted its principals.

The lawsuit lists at least two specific incidents where women directly contacted PornHub requesting that the videos of them be removed. Requests which were totally ignored.

"Im going to kill myself if this stays up here.” One woman wrote in her complaint to PornHub’s Takedown portal. “I was scammed and told this was only going to be on dvds in another country. Please im begging you please ill pay!"

When she didn’t hear anything back, or see any action, she sent a second request to MindGeek and then a third when they continued to repost it. The video wasn’t actually removed until 2019 when GirlsDoPorn was forced to shut down.

Another Jane Doe plaintiff alleged that in 2016, she "submitted a content removal request to MindGeek, begging to have her video removed because of the lack of consent and harassment she was under."

However — you guessed it — nothing happened.

"These are just some of many examples of takedown requests MindGeek received notifying MindGeek that GirlsDoPorn used fraud and coercion to get the women to engage in commercial sex acts and the corresponding harassment and suicidal tendencies the victims had as a result of the continued publication of the video," the complaint reads. "Plaintiffs have been informed and believe MindGeek received dozens, if not hundreds, of similar takedown requests from GirlsDoPorn victims over the years and never conducted an investigation of the repeated claims of fraud or coercion perpetrated by its content and viewshare partner, GirlsDoPorn."

In January a California judge ordered that the operators of GirlsDoPorn pay $13 million to 22 women who were similarly tricked and coerced into making sex videos. That sets a hopeful precedent for this lawsuit, even though it’s aimed at a different company.

Michael Pratt, the creator or GirlsDoPorn, disappeared shortly after that January lawsuit. He is currently on the FBI’s most wanted list for criminal sex trafficking and child-porn charges. Go figure.