Republicans call for investigation into Pornhub after report about rape videos

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Republican members of Congress are urging the Department of Justice to investigate Pornhub after a report claimed that the popular pornography website is “infested with rape videos” and making profits off such content.

“It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags,” wrote The New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof in an op-ed, titled “The Children of Pornhub.”

“A search for ‘girls under18’ (no space) or ‘14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

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“The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation into the scumbags who run Mindgeek,” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse told Daily Caller. “Sexual exploitation and human trafficking are abhorrent, period. A decent society should be working to end this. It is completely unacceptable that Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek make money from rape, sexual abuse, and the exploitation of minors. They need to be investigated, and the DOJ needs more urgency about building cases against creeps.”

Reacting to the NYT piece, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley promised legislation against such exploitation. “Tremendous reporting by @NickKristof on the exploitation that occurs on sites like Pornhub. It’s time for it to end. I will introduce legislation to create a federal right to sue for every person coerced or trafficked or exploited by sites like Pornhub,” he tweeted.

In March, Sasse had written to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, calling for a federal investigation into Pornhub.

“In several notable incidents over the past year, Pornhub made content available worldwide showing women and girls that were victims of trafficking being raped and exploited,” he wrote at the time.

“Indeed, the problem of Pornhub streaming content featuring women and children victims of sex trafficking reached the point in November that PayPal cut off services for Pornhub, refusing to facilitate this abuse any longer… Pornhub must not escape scrutiny. I therefore request that the Department open an investigation into Pornhub and its parent entity MindGeek Holding SARL for their involvement in this disturbing pipeline of exploiting children and other victims and survivors of sex trafficking,” Sasse added.

Pornhub gets 3.5 billion hits a month with almost 3 billion ad impressions a day, Kristof wrote.

“Last year, I called on the attorney general to prosecute distributors of this kind of hardcore pornography, which should be illegal under existing obscenity law,” Rep. Jim Banks from Indiana, who had urged Barr to take action against “obscene pornography” in 2019, told The Daily Wire. “It’s disgusting, it’s harmful, and it’s the last thing we [should] look the other way about.”

In February, Megha Mohan of the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that dozens of people had videos of their sexual assaults uploaded to Pornhub.

The BBC highlighted the case of Rose Kalemba, a 25-year-old who spent months in 2009 trying to get Pornhub to take down a video of her being raped as a teenager.

“The titles of the videos were ‘teen crying and getting slapped around,’ ‘teen getting destroyed,’ ‘passed out teen.’ One had over 400,000 views,” explained Kalemba to the BBC.

“The worst videos were the ones where I was passed out. Seeing myself being attacked where I wasn’t even conscious was the worst.”

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