YouTube Removes Pornhub Channel, Citing Multiple Violations of Guidelines

YouTube removed the official channel of Pornhub, the sex site’s promotional outlet for videos, coming eight years after Pornhub launched its account on the platform.

Prior to its removal Friday, the Pornhub Official channel had amassed nearly 900,000 subscribers. It was first launched in December 2014. The channel’s URL now displays a 404 (“not found”) error on the web.

“Upon review, we terminated the channel Pornhub Official following multiple violations of our Community Guidelines,” YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon said in a statement to Variety. “We enforce our policies equally for everyone, and channels that repeatedly violate or are dedicated to violative content are terminated.”

Reps for YouTube did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, did not provide comment.

In early September, Instagram permanently banned Pornhub, citing repeated violations of the site’s community guidelines including its ban on sexual solicitation over the course of more than 10 years. A month later, Instagram disabled a second account Pornhub had established to try to get around the ban of its primary account.

Pornhub’s YouTube account did not feature sexually explicit material, which is prohibited under YouTube’s community guidelines. Rather, the Pornhub Official channel on YouTube had featured series like “Advice for Models,” “Pornhub Models” and “Pornhub Literacy 101” as well as sections on fashion, music and the Pornhub Awards.

Watchdog group National Center on Sexual Exploitation had flagged Pornhub’s YouTube channel for an alleged violation earlier Friday, the group said. “Pornhub has lost yet another means to market and profit from exploitation, and we are grateful to YouTube for removing the account of this predatory enterprise,” Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, said in a statement. “Pornhub was driving people directly to their pornography site – a violation of YouTube’s policies — which mounting evidence shows is rife with child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, rape, and image-based sexual abuse.”

In September, Pornhub and dozens of adult-industry allies released an open letter accusing Instagram of a double standard in banning Pornhub but allowing celebrities like Kim Kardashian to post photos with nudity.

The deplatforming of Pornhub from Instagram and YouTube comes after Visa and Mastercard cut off payment privileges of TrafficJunky, the ad arm of Pornhub parent company MindGeek. The payment-processing giants responded after a federal court ruling in July rejected Visa’s request to be removed from a case in which MindGeek is being sued for allegedly distributing child pornography and that alleges Visa knowingly facilitated MindGeek’s ability to monetize the illegal content.

MindGeek, which is currently based in Luxembourg, previously has said it has zero tolerance for the posting of illegal content on its platforms and claims it has instituted the “most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history… Any insinuation that MindGeek does not take the elimination of illegal material seriously is categorically false.”

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