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Home / WORLD / Smut giant Pornhub to fight abuse & revenge porn with MANDATORY ID of users & other snoopware. Be careful what you w*nk for…

Smut giant Pornhub to fight abuse & revenge porn with MANDATORY ID of users & other snoopware. Be careful what you w*nk for…

After being raked over the coals by the New York Times in December for allegedly hosting a sprawling cesspool of child sexual exploitation, Pornhub took emergency measures to remove most of its content, lock the site down except for verified users, and open up its payment system to cryptocurrency users. 

On Thursday the site announced a raft of changes, offering new users the chance to become verified content uploaders by working with a third party “secure biometric technology” firm called Yoti that will supposedly maximize privacy for all parties involved in a transaction.

Pornhub declared in December that nothing from unverified users would be allowed on its servers and has since doubled down on that move, only permitting members of its “Model Program” to post content. New arrivals will presumably be pointed toward the company’s new partner, though it’s not clear what form of biometric verification the company uses.

The porn platform’s presence on the cutting edge of technology didn’t necessarily come by choice – the decision to limit uploads to verified users, for example, was a response to Visa and MasterCard both banning the site from using their payment processing tools in December after the Times claimed Pornhub was a trove of underage sexual predation. 

To help keep objectionable content off Pornhub, the platform has announced it will use “fingerprinting technology” to ensure any clip can’t be re-uploaded. Downloads will remain disabled, theoretically ensuring no one can save a file to disk and upload it somewhere else. 

Pornhub insisted it wasn’t aware of the abusive content that kicked off the whole firestorm two months ago and accused anti-porn campaigners of singling it out, reminding the media that orders of magnitude more instances of child sexual exploitation are found on Facebook than on its own platform. However, 40 victims of infamous porn production ring GirlsDoPorn sued Pornhub for profiting off their exploitation and refusing to work with them to remove traumatizing videos, which they had originally been told would never be seen by the general public. 

The company removed millions of videos in December after it was accused of posting child sex abuse imagery and vowed it would only allow verified users to upload content, theoretically limiting its liability. Further thickening the plot is the “Trusted Flagger Program,” which gives 40 non-profit internet and child safety groups the power to unilaterally deplatform a video they find objectionable. 

The ‘new Pornhub’ has curious echoes of recent developments at Twitter and Facebook, though it’s not clear if these are coincidental or deliberate. Twitter recently began beta-testing a user-driven fact-checking function called “Birdwatch,” which like Pornhub’s trusted flaggers program allows users to highlight the issue(s) with a piece of content while suggesting it should either be removed or slapped with a warning label. Other social media networks, like Facebook and YouTube, have moved in the direction of requiring verification of their users, perhaps spooked by both US political parties’ grandstanding threats to strip such platforms of their Section 230 legal liability protection.

Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek has previously been criticized for failing to secure users’ data while purporting to streamline the login process to websites (like those in its porn empire) that require age verification.

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