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Children May Have Easy Access to Possible Sex Abuse Videos on Porn Sites, Study Warns

Pornhub is under the scanner for alleged child abuse and monetizsation of violence against women | Image credit: Reuters

Pornhub is under the scanner for alleged child abuse and monetizsation of violence against women | Image credit: Reuters

A study has found that children are likely to find sex abuse videos with violent content on adult sites like Pornhub despite mechanisms to prevent them from doing so.

A study conducted by Durham University revealed that many adult sites including Pornhub were exposing children to suspected videos of sexual violence and abuse without any check of age. People landed directly on the pages that were flooded with videos of such acts.

According to a report in Mirror, this research is one of the largest studies of such kind. The researchers took into consideration about 131738 videos on the homepage of Pornhub and Xvideos. Reports show that 1 out of the 8 videos on the homepage featured the act of sexual violence and appeared to be non-consensual. Not only that, many videos had characters that appeared to be drugged or very young.

The videos were tagged with keywords such as ‘groped’, ‘ forced sex’ suggesting the act of violence in the video. Researchers carrying out the study collected hourly screenshots of the homepage of these websites for 6 months between 2017-18.

Prof Clare McGlynn QC of Durham University, who co-authored the research, said that the content chosen by these adult websites for first-time users is problematic. He said that the findings of the study ask questions “about the extent of criminal material easily and freely available on mainstream porn websites”, along with the regulatory mechanisms and its efficiency in practice.

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Pornhub and Xvideos state that the videos featuring sexual violence are banned on their platform. In their defence, Pornhub said that the methodology used in the research seems to be flawed as it fails to create basic distinction between consensual kink and sexual violence.

Xvideos also reacted to the research report and denied the claims made. In a statement, the platform said, “We prohibit the uploading of illegal content, remove potentially illegal content when it is brought to our attention, and work with law enforcement in appropriate cases.”

Many other independent reports have also raised questions on the consumption pattern of adult videos. A lot of young people including teenagers claimed that several of these videos on the platforms are disturbing.

first published:April 05, 2021, 18:45 IST