YouTube bans Pornhub’s channel over ‘multiple’ rule violations

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YouTube says Pornhub’s account violates its external link policy, which states users can’t post links to content that’s not allowed on the platform.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

YouTube has removed Pornhub’s channel over “multiple” community guideline violations, as first reported by Variety. According to Google, Pornhub’s account violated YouTube’s external link policy, which prohibits users from linking to content that’s not allowed on the platform, such as pornography.

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

Pornhub’s YouTube channel, which had nearly 900,000 subscribers before it was taken down, posted safe-for-work content promoting the site and its performers. The company also applied an age restriction to the videos posted to YouTube that required viewers to be 18 years of age or older, and “vehemently denies” claims that it posted or linked to adult content.

“Pornhub maintains the absolute best trust and safety measures on the internet and takes special care to ensure it does not violate any of YouTube’s Community Guidelines,” a Pornhub spokesperson tells The Verge, who asked to remain anonymous due to safety reasons related to doxing. “Unfortunately, this is just the latest example of discrimination against those in the adult industry, a trend seen across social media and all other facets of life, especially as groups disingenuously conflate consensual adult content with exploitation.”

The news of Pornhub’s removal from YouTube comes months after Instagram permanently banned Pornhub’s account, citing rule violations regarding nudity, adult content, and sexual solicitation. Like YouTube, Instagram similarly claims Pornhub encouraged Instagram users to leave the site to view adult content. Pornhub responded to the ban with an open letter that criticizes Instagram for removing its “fully PG” account, all while other creators continue to post content with “nudity and overt sexuality with no repercussions.”

The pressure surrounding Pornhub and its Luxembourg-based parent company MindGeek continues to mount, with some accusing the site of failing to moderate content and allowing videos containing child abuse material and non-consenting subjects to surface. These concerns led to the resignation of Pornhub CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo and also affected Pornhub’s relationship with other companies. In 2020, Visa and Mastercard cut off transactions on Pornhub over the presence of “unlawful content” on the site, although both companies are still facing a lawsuit that accuses them of intending “to help MindGeek monetize child porn.”

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