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'Major Victory for Human Dignity': Comcast Cuts Ties with World's Largest Pornography Site

06-04-2021
AP Image: Jeff Fusco/Comcast
AP Image: Jeff Fusco/Comcast

One of the largest cable providers in the U.S. has delivered a major strike against the elusive parent company behind the world’s most prolific pornography website.

Following in the footsteps of PayPal and other major credit card companies, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation announced this week Comcast has cut ties with MindGeek, which owns Pornhub.

NCOSE announced in a press release that a representative for the Xfinity brand said in an email the company was “deeply concerned” over the allegations against MindGeek and Pornhub, which has been credibly accused of hosting sexual assault footage as well as child sexual abuse material, or child pornography, and doing little to guard against and remove such content.

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In April, Comcast “made the decision to drop all of MindGeek’s transactional content from our cable systems,” a Comcast spokesperson told Faithwire, urging adults to use parental controls to monitor any other content their children might be accessing.

“As the second-largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, Comcast’s principled stand against MindGeek is a major victory for human dignity,” said Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for NCOSE.

Nealon went on to say it is “the right move for corporations to cut ties with an industry that relies on the sexual exploitation and abuse of women, men, and children.”

“While Comcast still has more work to do to completely rid its services of the violent, racist, and exploitative content inherent in the pornography it continues to provide,” she added, “ending their relationship with MindGeek is a significant step and a win worth celebrating.”

In May, more than 700 victims’ advocates and survivors of sexual exploitation sent a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to launch a criminal investigation into MindGeek and Pornhub.

The group argued in their letter — which was endorsed by NCOSE — that Pornhub has been allowed to get away with illegal activity without facing repercussions.

“MindGeek, which owns Pornhub and at least 160 other hardcore pornography websites, serves as a case study of corporate indifference regarding harm caused to women and children on its platform,” the letter states. “It has received widespread international condemnation for facilitating and profiting from criminal acts, including sex trafficking, filmed sexual abuse of children, and non-consensually recorded and distributed pornography.”

The criticism of Pornhub gained mainstream attention at the end of 2020, when The New York Times published a lengthy article by columnist Nicholas Kristof, who chronicled the story of a young woman named Serena Fleites.

Fleites, now 19 years old, testified before Canadian lawmakers in February of this year. She told the politicians her harrowing story of the compounded trauma she endured when Pornhub allegedly failed on more than one occasion to remove illegal videos of her from its website.

She was 13 years old in the videos.

“They’re really selfish,” Fleites said after accusing Pornhub of initially ignoring her pleas to remove the videos because they — and others like them — brought so much traffic to the platform. “They need to really look at themselves in the mirror, because they’re prioritizing money and content over actual human beings’ lives.”

Michael Bowe, an attorney who testified alongside Fleites, told Canadian lawmakers at the time he was aware of “hundreds of accounts” from children and non-consenting adults with videos of themselves on Pornhub.

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

He said “everyone can agree that a company should not be commercializing and monetizing rape, child abuse, and trafficked content.”

Activist Laila Mickelwait, who told Faithwire in 2020 that Pornhub is “profiting off … crime scenes,” has argued the site has in the past readily admitted to hosting illegal content.

During the hearings, Pornhub executive David Marmorstein Tassillo claimed the pornography site requires all content “goes through several filters” before it’s released for viewers. He even asserted Pornhub is “the safest adult platform in the world.”

Mickelwait, founder of the Traffickinghub petition to shut down Pornhub, has talked about how easy it was to set up an account on the platform, arguing the process in place at the time provided “no way” for the site to confirm consent or the age of those participating in the videos.

Following The Times report, Pornhub scrubbed millions of videos from its platform in mid-December. At the time, Mickelwait praised the decision, saying, “Over 10 million videos infested with rape and trafficking are gone now. This is a good day for victims who have been begging Pornhub to remove their abuse.”

As for Comcast’s decision, Mickelwait described it as a “big win.”

NCOSE, for its part, awarded the cable provider its Dignity Defense Alert, a recognition it described as “a monthly campaign honoring institutions and individuals taking concrete steps to promote a culture of human dignity by combating sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Statistics show that significant numbers of men and women are addicted to pornography, inside and outside of the Church. Are you or someone you know struggling with pornography? There is hope. Click here to learn more.

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