What’s wrong with PornHub? (other than the obvious…)

1 October 2020

The Wilberforce Academy’s Ben John comments on why websites such as PornHub need to be exposed and shut down.
WARNING: this article contains disturbing description of pornographic material.

In 2019, PornHub, the largest porn website in the world, had 42 billion visits. That’s 42,000,000,000 visits. That’s 115 million visits every day. 80,000 every minute.

The new content uploaded in 2019 alone would take 169 years to watch.

It has been well documented the effects that porn can have on the brain, from changing sexual tastes to its possible addictiveness. Grassroots campaign group Fight the New Drug (FTND) was established to raise awareness of the harms and dangers of pornography.

In our Pure talks, Elisha Kolade tells his story of first being exposed to pornography aged 12. He became a regular user of porn from age 13, eventually leading to an addiction that damaged his cognitive ability and led him to suicidal thoughts. Gary McFarlane, former Christian Legal Centre client and speaker at our Pure Conference, recently described some of his experiences counselling people out of porn and sex addiction.

These are very serious and critical issues which must be addressed, and in themselves, of course, major reasons why we would want to oppose PornHub. We must continue to call on the government to introduce age-verification measures children are being exposed to pornography at increasingly younger ages.

But there are other, perhaps darker reasons why websites like PornHub need to be exposed.

Sexual perversion

2019 was the first year that ‘teen’ was not in the top ten search words on PornHub. In 2014 it was top, and in 2015 it was second. FTND suggest that it’s recent drop in 2019 out of the top ten might be because “content that fetishizes underage girls and teens is so popular in the porn world that “teen” porn has been absorbed by many of the other categories.”

There was recently controversy about the film Cuties for its sexualisation of children – a film which has received acclaim from the mainstream media. What do we expect when ‘teen’ is such a large genre of porn?

Last year, ‘hentai’ was the second highest most searched for term on PornHub, behind ‘Japanese’. PornHub claim this is because of its large growth in consumers in Japan, its second largest market behind the US.

FTND describe that,

“The word hentai is a word of Japanese origin which is short for hentai seiyoku—a perverse sexual desire. In Japanese, the term describes any type of perverse or bizarre sexual desire or act. Internationally, hentai is a term used to broadly categorize the genre of anime and manga pornography.

“The animated porn depicts highly exaggerated sex acts featuring characters with impossibly large body parts, and specializes in featuring disturbing fetishes like animal tentacles, children (particularly little girls), and incest. It is common for monsters, animals, giant insects, and plants to rape cartoon women. Women and girls in hentai look like a mixture of adult and child because a consistent theme in hentai is ‘sexy innocence.’”

Links with sexual violence and sex trafficking

Last year a Sunday Times investigation reported:

“Pornhub is awash with secretly filmed ‘creepshots’ of schoolgirls and clips of men performing sex acts in front of teenagers on buses. It has also hosted indecent images of children as young as three.

“The website says it bans content showing under-18s and removes it swiftly. But some of the videos identified by this newspaper’s investigation had 350,000 views and had been on the platform for more than three years. Three of the worst clips that were flagged to Pornhub still remained on the site 24 hours later…

“The Internet Watch Foundation said it had identified dozens of examples of child sexual abuse material on the website. In 2017 there were 29 cases, in 2018 there were 42 and there have been 47 instances so far this year. Almost half the content was classified as falling into category A, the worst kinds of abuse.”

Last year, a 15 year-old girl who had been missing for 10 months was found by the police after footage of her was uploaded to PornHub and other sites. The investigation revealed that she had become pregnant and her abuser had taken her to get an abortion.

Rose Kalemba was raped at the age of 14. The rape was subsequently uploaded to Pornhub, she begged Pornhub for months to take it down but did not receive a reply, until she emailed posing as a lawyer threatening legal action.

TraffickingHub, supported by the organisation Exodus Cry, was established to expose PornHub. They launched a campaign this summer, with a petition the has garnered over 2 million signatures calling for the website to be shut down and the executives held accountable for aiding trafficking. You can sign the petition here. Hollywood Actor Terry Crews, who has detailed his own battle with porn addiction and how it led to the breakdown of his marriage, has added his name to those calling for PornHub to be closed.

A 2-minute video highlighting and exposing the problems produced by Exodus Cry released this summer, went viral:


This Friday 2 October, International Day of Non-Violence, I will be joining a protest outside the PornHub UK offices, raising awareness of what they are enabling, and what millions of others are implicitly supporting by watching PornHub. It is “time to hold them accountable for the rape, trafficking and abuse they enable and profit from.”

You can find out the information and register to join me at the protest here.

However, you can also support the campaign online by posting a #Traffickinghub image or graphic, sharing details of the event, and by sharing the 2-minute video.

Go here for more info on the protests and/or to get graphics you can post or print: www.traffickinghub.com/downloads

It is so important that we expose the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) and defend the weak and vulnerable (Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 31:8; Zechariah 7:10; Micah 6:8; Proverbs 31:8-9).

The Gospel heals

Pornography is a public health crisis, but we have a greater message of hope, forgiveness and sanctification. When the world is encouraging ever more degrading and shameful practices, we must proclaim that our bodies are made for purity, for the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:13). When the world compounds shame upon shame, we can point to the one who washes us and sanctifies (1 Corinthians 6:11). Whatever you have seen and watched, whatever you have done, know that there is grace and forgiveness in the Cross of Jesus Christ.


Find out more about TraffickingHub’s virtual London protest, hosted by CEASE UK, here: https://www.facebook.com/events/389689475540210

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