Instagram deletes Pornhub's account for 'promoting pornography' and 'encouraging people to become performers'

'It’s time for Google search, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Reflected Networks to follow suit,' says CEO of Justice Defense Fund

Instagram deletes Pornhub's account for 'promoting pornography' and 'encouraging people to become performers'
Instagram took the decision after PornHub was embroiled in various accusations of distributing child porngraphy (LailaMickelwait/Twitter; Justin Sullivan, Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Instagram has removed Pornhub's account from its social media platform after accusations against the website continue to emerge. Before its deletion, the Canadian-owned pornographic video-streaming website had 13.1 million followers, with an active handle that had more than 6,200 posts. 

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According to Variety, Instagram's parent company Meta's decision came after significant lobbying to have it suspended from the photo sharing platform. The move comes a month after Visa and Mastercard cut off payment privileges to TrafficJunky, the advertising arm of Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek.

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On Friday, September 2, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Justice Defense Fund, Laila Mickelwait, tweeted that Instagram had removed the adult website's account. She wrote, "Have a good weekend."


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In a statement to New York Daily News, Laila said, “Instagram has made the right decision by cutting ties with Pornhub, and now joins Visa, Mastercard, Discover, PayPal, Grant Thornton, Heinz, Unilever, Roku, and many other companies in rejecting to do business with Pornhub, a site infamous for monetizing the sex trafficking and criminal sexual abuse of countless victims including children.” She added, “Now, it’s finally time for Google search, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Reflected Networks to follow suit.”

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Meanwhile, according to Variety, MindGeek and Pornhub have been sued for allegedly distributing and monetising child pornography. In a recent lawsuit, Judge Cormac Carney wrote that MindGeek has "knowingly provided the tool used to complete crime." The instagram account had “directly promoted pornography” and featured videos like “next career goal” encouraging people to become pornography performers, according to Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. The center helps in “exposing the links between all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.” Hawkins appreciated Instagram's move in a statement on Saturday, September 3, saying that the platform “understands the mounting evidence of Pornhub’s criminality.”

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Hawkins added, “Instagram was right to remove Pornhub from its platform for violating its community standards given the increasing reports of Pornhub hosting child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, filmed rape, and non-consensual videos and images. Instagram served as a distribution partner with this criminal enterprise, helping to push millions to their website, including children.”

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The plaintiff in the case against MindGeek and Visa is Serena Fleites, who says she was forced into making a sexually explicit video at the age of 13 by her then-boyfriend. She alleged that he uploaded the video to the Pornhub, without her knowledge, as the platform benefitted from the video.

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