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Why Should I Care About the Pornography Industry?

You’re a parent or caregiver busy with a job, your kids, and all the other demands of life. Why in the world would you want to spend time thinking about the pornography industry?

Because a kid with a smartphone is just a click away from a vast universe of free, hardcore porn. In the absence of comprehensive, progressive, science-based sex education, kids are taking their lessons from porn. A study revealed that 88% of scenes in top-viewed porn contain some form of violence against women. And even if your own kid doesn’t have a smartphone or internet-connected device, they know someone who does.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, understanding the harms of pornography on kids (and the misleading business tactics of the pornography industry) must be a priority on every parent’s list of concerns.

Pornhub’s Role

When kids accidentally or intentionally find porn, it is very likely they have landed on Pornhub, which is the 10th-most-visited website in the world, according to SimilarWeb.

Pornhub and its parent company, MindGeek, were the focus of a recent exposé by New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof. In the piece, Kristof revealed an array of illegal activities taking place on the site, including hosting videos of men raping children and women. In this excerpt, Kristof describes the content:

“Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for ‘girls under18′ or ’14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

Pornhub has made efforts to change its ways, including releasing a “Commitment to Trust and Safety” and announcing its purported effort to bring awareness to environmental issues and sustainability. But as Culture Reframed Founder & President Dr. Gail Dines (with co-author Dr. David L. Levy) writes in a new piece, Pornhub’s Hypocrisy, these business practices can be deceptive:

“Although Pornhub has taken down millions of videos that were not from verified users, the site still contains large quantities of videos dedicated to young-looking porn and to violent and torture-related themes. “We need to scrutinize Pornhub’s actions more closely before we applaud these policies. Its response is best understood as a classic corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy designed to bolster a company’s reputation and legitimacy when threatened by regulation or slammed in the media.”

Read Pornhub’s Hypocrisy on Medium.