Pornhub ends unverified uploads and bans downloads

It's no longer a tube site.

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Pornhub is making major changes to its service following a New York Times article that highlighted how the site’s lax enforcement of its policies has enabled child exploitation.

Among the changes: Pornhub is ending uploads from unverified users and banning the ability of users’ to download much of the site’s content. The company is also implementing new moderation policies and will release a transparency report in 2021. The changes come a day after Visa and Mastercard pledged to “investigate” their relationship with Pornhub parent company MindGeek.

The new rules will significantly alter key dynamics of the service, which will now impose limits on who is able to upload content to the site and block the ability for most of its content to be downloaded. Though the company will still allow users to upload their own videos, beginning next year it will first require people to complete an “identification protocol” in order to verify their identity. The site will also block all downloading of content “effective immediately,” except for “paid downloads within the verified Model Program.”

The company says it has expanded its content moderation work, creating a “Red Team” that’s “dedicated solely to self-auditing the platform for potentially illegal material.” Next year, Pornhub will release its first transparency report with more details on “content that should and should not appear on the platform,” as well as its work with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Pornhub’s moderation practices came under renewed scrutiny after a disturbing New York Times investigation reported that the company doesn’t adequately enforce its own rules, and has offered little recourse to rape victims whose assaults are later uploaded to the site. The article alleged that Pornhub has monetized videos of child rape and assaults, as well as other illegal content like revenge porn and spy cam videos. After the story was published, Visa and Mastercard said they were investigating the claims and suggested they may end Pornhub’s ability to accept payments.