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Porn Company Execs Face Canadian Ethics Committee for 'Monetizing Rape, Child Abuse, and Trafficked Content'

02-09-2021
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Executives with the world's largest adult-entertainment company MindGeek, which runs Pornhub, testified virtually before a Canadian ethics committee over charges that it profited from sex trafficking as well as the rape of minors.

David Marmorstein Tassillo and Feras Antoon were questioned by members of the House of Commons on Friday, CTV News Montreal reports.

The hearing comes after a young woman requested that Pornhub remove a naked video of her that was recorded when she was in the 7th grade.

Serena Fleites claims she contacted the company - even pretended to be her own mother - in an effort to have the video taken down.  

According to CTV News Montreal, Fleites testified that it took over a week for Pornhub to respond to her request and weeks before it was finally removed. Then, the video reappeared on the pornographic platform.

Arnold Viersen, a member of Parliament (MP) in Alberta, said "it should not be up to children and victims to request to have their content removed."

And Attorney Michael Bowe, who also testified with Fleites, said he has knowledge of "hundreds of accounts" from children and non-consenting adults who had footage of themselves shared on Pornhub.

"Everyone can agree that a company should not be commercializing and monetizing rape, child abuse, and trafficked content," he said.

Tassillo told the committee that Pornhub requires that all content "goes through several filters" before it's released for viewers.

The company allegedly hired facilitators to examine and delete material associated with any illegal activity. 

"You (MindGeek) are not protecting our Canadian teenagers who get caught in this situation where their lives are turned upside down," said Quebec MP Jacques Gourde. "If you have just a modicum of ethics, use it."

But Tassillo contends that Pornhub is "the safest adult platform in the world right now."

Ontario MP Charlie Angus says the adult-entertainment site could face criminal charges for distributing child pornography, with up to 14 years in jail.

"At any point, when you were promoting these links of 12-year-olds and runaway teens, was your conversation that you were actually breaking Canadian law?" asked Angus. "The issue that we're talking about here is criminal behavior - the criminal code - your obligations to protect people."

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection said in a statement that comments made by Pornhub raised many questions about the safety of children and non-consenting adults. 

"Let's not lose sight of the core problem that led to this moment. When we don't regulate spaces, especially those involving explicit adult content, the most vulnerable among us - children, teenagers, and adults - inevitably suffer," said Executive Director for C3P, Lianna McDonald. "We do not accept this standard in other forms of media - including television, radio, and print. We should not accept it, as our inaction collectively has, in the digital space."

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