PornHub proprietor MindGeek is going through a category motion lawsuit in a Canadian court docket

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that MindGeek allowed videos about child exploitation of sex and other non-consensual acts on its subsidiary website, PornHub.

MindGeek, the adult entertainment conglomerate best known for its ownership of PornHub, is facing a planned class action lawsuit accusing it of hosting and distributing videos of child sexual abuse.

The Globe and Mail reports that the lawsuit was initiated by an Ontario woman who claims PornHub hosted a video in which she was sexually assaulted when she was 12 years old.

The complaint, filed with the Quebec Supreme Court, seeks class action status. The anonymous plaintiff is also demanding that MindGeek pay approximately $ 600 million to anyone whose images were uploaded and hosted on the company’s websites after 2007 without their consent.

While none of the allegations have been considered in court, MindGeek and its best-known subsidiary, PornHub, are facing multiple lawsuits in the US and other jurisdictions.

According to The Globe and Mail, the plaintiff – identified only as Jane Doe in court documents – was not aware of any pictures of her floating around on PornHub. She only began investigating the site after a friend wrote to her on Twitter in 2019. Doe didn’t see the news until a few months later.

A hammer. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

When Doe sees the message, she says she clicked the PornHub link. Although she couldn’t access the video – it was hidden behind a paywall – Doe claims to have recognized herself in the still image as a “preview” of the content.

In her lawsuit, Doe states that she filled out a form asking PornHub to remove the video. Despite receiving an automatic reply a few days later, she’s not sure that PornHub actually took the video offline.

Attorneys at Siskinds Desmeuls, the Quebec-based law firm behind the lawsuit, said Doe’s treatment is not atypical.

MindGeek, according to Doe’s lawyers, has taken “no steps” to ensure that only consensual videos appear on the many pornographic sites – some of which, like PornHub and YouPorn, allow “amateurs” to upload their own content.

The lawsuit further states that neither PornHub nor MindGeeks employed or otherwise employed any other amateur-accessible establishments who were trained to detect exploitative videos that may depict sexual assault, human trafficking, or child pornography.

The Globe and Mail notes that while MindGeek is registered in the small European nation of Luxembourg, its main office is in Montreal.

The company, which has half a billion dollars in profit but has comparatively little revenue due to its outstanding debt, has been scrutinized, according to a New York Times publication.

The Times article, published in December 2020, claims that MindGeek benefits – knowingly or not – from videos depicting the illegal sexual exploitation of minors. The Times also made a well-known but little-discussed observational observation: PornHub clearly hosts “revenge porn” with men, women, or both who have never consented to their sexual pictures and videos being uploaded online.

Although PornHub and MindGeek have staunchly denied all allegations of wrongdoing, PornHub has since removed over seven million videos uploaded by users without an account or by users whose ages and credentials could not be verified.


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