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Mindgeek sued by sex-trafficking victims

by on17 December 2020

$40 million in damages

Victims of sex trafficking operation Girls Do Porn have filed a lawsuit against Mindgeek, Pornhub's parent company.

The 40 victims say that Pornhub knowingly benefited from Girls Do Porn videos on Pornhub and failing to moderate the images circulating rampantly on its network of tube sites.

The victims want $40 million in damages -and the cash money Mindgeek earned from hosting and promoting their videos and legal fees.

"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 ostracisation", the complaint states.

Filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on December 15 by attorneys Brian Holm and John O'Brien, the 43-page complaint details the suffering of these alleged victims of Girls Do Porn, and claims that each of the 40 plaintiffs became suicidal because of the harassment they endured when their videos spread non-consensually across the internet, including across Mindgeek's network of porn sites.

For those who don’t know, Girls Do Porn was a sex trafficking operation that forced and coerced dozens of women as young as 18 into sex on camera, and lied to them about where and how the videos would be distributed.

The women were told by everyone involved, from cast and crew to the owner, that the videos would not appear online. After filming, their videos were uploaded to Girls Do Porn's own site, as well as Pornhub, where the Girls Do Porn monetised its videos as a Pornhub "content partner". Pornhub also promoted Girls Do Porn as a content partner even after women in Girls Do Porn videos came forward about abuse and sued it.

Last week, following a report from The New York Times about allegations of child sexual abuse imagery on the site, Pornhub changed its police to only allow verified uploads and downloads. Soon after, Mastercard and Visa stopped processing payments for Pornhub.

Last modified on 17 December 2020
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