Pornhub under fire for having real rape and sexual assault videos

Jennifer Savin
Photo credit: Eric Lindgren / EyeEm - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Warning: This article contains references to rape, sexual assault and revenge porn. If you need support with any of these issues, please contact Rape Crisis or Rape Crisis Scotland.

Pornographic website, Pornhub, has come under fire for allowing videos of genuine rapes and sexual assaults to appear on its site. Following her own experience of being raped at the age of 14, blogger and writer, Rose Kalemba, has spoken out saying that after her assault took place in 2009, she found videos of it online. This comes at a time where women are increasingly seeking out alternative, safer and better regulated porn sites to use, for their personal pleasure.

The law against revenge porn (the act of posting indecent and explicit pictures online with the intention of humiliating, shaming and even blackmailing the victim) was introduced in early 2015, making it a crime punishable by up to two years in prison. However, at present, the victims are not granted anonymity.

Talking candidly to the BBC and on her own blog, Rose explains that she contacted Pornhub several times asking them to remove the distressing footage, however it was only when she posed as a lawyer that they responded and complied.

Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images

In response to this story, Pornhub told the BBC:

"These horrific allegations date back to 2009, several years prior to Pornhub being acquired by its current owners, so we do not have information on how it was handled at that time.

Since the change in ownership, Pornhub has continuously put in place the industry's most stringent safeguards and policies when it comes to combating unauthorised and illegal content, as part of our commitment to combating child sex abuse material.

The company employs Vobile, a state-of-the-art third party fingerprinting software, which scans any new uploads for potential matches to unauthorised material and makes sure the original video doesn't go back up on the platform."

When questioned as to why videos with titles alongs the lines of 'teen abused while sleeping' and 'drunk teen abuse sleeping' were still allowed on the pornographic website, Pornhub responded, "We allow all forms of sexual expression that follow our Terms of Use, and while some people may find these fantasies inappropriate, they do appeal to many people around the world and are protected by various freedom of speech laws."

This isn't the first time Pornhub has been criticised for showing real rapes, either. Multiple adult video performers accused pornographic actor James Deen of violently raping them on camera, saying the footage was widely distributed and allowed on porn websites. Deen denied the allegations.

Cosmopolitan has contacted Pornhub for comment and will update this story with a response once received.

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