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MindGeek: Pornhub owner CEO and COO resign

MindGeek CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo have stepped down

Girls Do Porn was accused of manipulating women
Girls Do Porn was accused of manipulating women

Pornhub owner MindGeek has lost two high-level executives: CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo, as first reported by Variety. Their resignation comes shortly after The New Yorker released a scathing report detailing the holes in the company’s content moderation system, which has failed to address videos depicting underage and non-consenting individuals.

Despite the timeliness of The New Yorker’s report, a spokesperson for the company told Variety that MindGeek had been planning a leadership change since earlier this year. The representative also said Antoon and Tassillo will remain shareholders in the company and that MindGeek is currently searching for their replacements. MindGeek didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.

Pornhub has long been criticized for hosting videos of underage children, victims of sexual assault, and non-consenting adults, despite having a policy meant to protect against this. The New Yorker’s report describes the experiences of young women who had videos posted on Pornhub while underage and the trouble that came along with trying to get them removed from the site.

The Verge highlighted a similar issue earlier this year, in which a former moderator described his experience of taking down offending videos, only to have them resurface over and over again. Pornhub has also been the subject of a class-action lawsuit, alleging that the site failed to do enough to take down videos of non-consenting subjects.

Pornhub attempted to take action on this issue in 2020 following a harrowing report from The New York Times. The report revealed the prevalence of videos containing underage victims — and once again, their struggle to get the videos erased. Pornhub started removing videos posted by unverified users, but it’s unclear how much this actually addresses the issue at hand.

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