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MindGeek Under Legal Fire For Monetizing Sexual Exploitation of Children

Photo by Fili Santillan via Unsplash

MindGeek Under Legal Fire For Monetizing Sexual Exploitation of Children

By Movieguide® Staff

Editor’s Note: This article discusses sexual exploitation and abuse of minors. 

Last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof published a detailed expose of Pornhub and the Canadian-based company’s exploitation and abuse of children. 

Kristof’s article pulled back the curtains to reveal the rampant illegal activity on adult sites across the globe. In the aftermath of the report—along with research from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and advocacy work from organizations such as Exodus Cry—victims took legal action against PornHub’s parent company, MindGeek. 

“In a powerful development in favor of the cause for survivors of these crimes, the class action lawsuit Doe #1 et al v. MG Freesites LTD et al has been allowed to move forward despite MindGeek’s attempts to dismiss the case,” the NCOSE reported

Read Also: After Pornhub’s Takedown, Is There a Renewed Hope for Redeeming Media?

The case is the first federal court decision against the online platform for its possession and distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), according to the NCOSE. 

The NCOSE reported

The lawsuit represents two survivors of childhood sexual exploitation whose abuse was filmed and uploaded to websites like Pornhub, forever immortalizing the trauma and pain while simultaneously fueling MindGeek’s profits and growth.  

At no time did MindGeek or Pornhub attempt to verify either Plaintiffs’ identity, age, inquire about their status as victims of trafficking, or otherwise protect or warn against their traffickers before or while the videos of them being violated and abused were sold, downloaded, viewed, and otherwise advertised on Pornhub.  

This case marks one of many recent victories in the fight to protect children from sexual exploitation, trafficking, and its promotion on adult sites like PornHub.  

Last year, forty victims sued MindGeek. Movieguide® previously reported

The adult entertainment site Pornhub faced backlash from non-profit organizations, credit card companies, and the general public after award-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof exposed the company for its compliance with the illegal sexual exploitation of children.  

Soon after the publication, several sex-trafficking victims filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek for refusing to remove non-consenting content, even after repeated requests.

Forty victims demanded $1 million each, along with the money generated by Mindgeek from hosted and promoted videos. The total lawsuit of over $40 million also included legal fees, Vice reported. The victims were part of a trafficking operation called GirlsDoPorn. 

“As a proximate result of MindGeek’s knowing financial benefit and participation in GirlsDoPorn’s sex trafficking venture, Plaintiffs have suffered damages, including, but not limited to, severe emotional distress, significant trauma, attempted suicide, and social and familial ostracization,” the lawsuit reads.