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Trudeau called out for inaction on Pornhub after sex trafficking allegations

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada calls himself a feminist and has been proud of his government’s efforts to empower women worldwide. So a question for Trudeau and all Canadians: Why does Canada host a company that inflicts rape videos on the world?"

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Angelo Isidorou Vancouver British Columbia
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing criticism following an explosive op ed by The New York Times, which exposes Trudeau's complicity to child pornography being posted on Canada-based company Pornhub.

The subtitle of the op ed reads, "Why does Canada allow this company to profit off videos of exploitation and assault?" Pornhub is owned by Mindgeek, a private pornography conglomerate with more than 100 websites, production companies and brands. It is based in Montreal, Quebec and it does not disclose who owns it, but it is led by Canadians Feras Antoon and David Tassillo. This is where Nicholas Kristof's commentary on Trudeau is scathing, as this is a Canadian company.

Kristof states, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada calls himself a feminist and has been proud of his government’s efforts to empower women worldwide. So a question for Trudeau and all Canadians: Why does Canada host a company that inflicts rape videos on the world?

Nonetheless, while the piece slams Trudeau, it is truly about the abuse and sexualization of children on the porn platform. Kristof interviews multiple young women who's lives have been torn apart, based on the fact that they were either blackmailed, tricked, or raped, and the videos appeared on the platform. One woman had never even kissed a boy, but she eventually had a crush on a classmate in grade eight, who then asked her to send him naked videos of her. These videos eventually ended up online. Her life was destroyed, and she spiraled downwards into a life of homelessness, and drug addiction.

Other women say they have attempted suicide. Multiple attempts to email Pornhub and get the videos taken down, seemingly result in the footage being reuploaded. This is the issue with the internet and Pornhub. Individuals can download the videos, so even if the original is deleted, it will continue to be shared over and over.

Pornhub defended itself in a statement provided to the NYT. “Pornhub is unequivocally committed to combating child sexual abuse material, and has instituted a comprehensive, industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community,” it said. Furthermore, Pornhub asserted that any notion or accusation that the platform allows child videos “is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.”

The op ed was so explosive that even credit card companies began retaliating. Mastercard released a statement, suggesting an investigation is underway to determine the extent in which their credit may inadvertently funded child pornography, and whether Mastercard may cut services to Pornhub. PayPal was seemingly ahead of everyone, cutting payment services for the company in late 2019.

It remains to be seen whether the Trudeau government will take any action against the website. Pornhub is one of the most visited websites in the world. One study concluded that it has the third greatest-impact on society in the 21st century, after Facebook and Google but ahead of Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.

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