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YouTube removes Pornhub channel over 'multiple violations'

It said PornHub linked out to content not allowed on YouTube.
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 24:  A Pornhub logo is displayed at the company's booth at the 2018 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller via Getty Images
Steve Dent
Steve Dent|@stevetdent|December 19, 2022 4:30 AM

YouTube has removed PornHub's official channel over what it called "multiple violations" of its community guidelines, Variety has reported. Pornhub's YouTube channel first launched in 2014 and had 900,000 subscribers, but it no longer appears in YouTube search and its URL now shows a 404 error. 

YouTube said that Pornhub violated its policy against linking to sites that host content not allowed on YouTube. "Upon review, we terminated the channel Pornhub Official following multiple violations of our community guidelines," a spokesperson said. "We enforce our policies equally for everyone, and channels that repeatedly violate or are dedicated to violative content are terminated."

Pornhub's parent MindGeek said that it "vehemently denied" YouTubes claims that it linked out to porn sites. "Pornhub maintains the absolute best trust and safety measures on the internet and takes special care to ensure it does not violate any of YouTube’s Community Guidelines," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this is just the latest example of discrimination against those in the adult industry."

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On Friday, the anti-pornography group National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) wrote on its blog that it had flagged content that it believed violated YouTube policies. "After review, YouTube alerted NCOSE that they had terminated the channel for violations of their Community Guidelines." MindGeek, meanwhile, said that performers and sex workers are marginalized groups and called YouTube's "haphazard and arbitrary enforcement... dangerous and harmful." 

Mastercard and Visa cut off payments to Pornhub in 2020, with Mastercard saying at the time that it found illegal content on the site. A federal judge refused to remove Visa from a lawsuit alleging that it aided MindGeek in monetizing child pornography. In September, Instagram banned Pornhub permanently, also citing violations of community guidelines. 

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