Pornhub removes a majority of its videos after investigation reveals child abuse

Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. credit cards are arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, on September 18, 2018.

Pornhub has removed a majority of its content -- millions of explicit videos -- uploaded from unverified users as part of a series of changes following allegations that the site showed videos of child abuse and nonconsensual sexual behavior.

In a blog post Monday, the website said it had "enacted the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history," including barring unverified uploaders from adding new content, eliminating the ability to download most videos and has removed all previously uploaded content that was not created by Pornhub's verified content partners or members of its adult performer network.

The changes took the number of videos on the website from 13.5 million videos down to a little under 3 million. Going forward, content creators must become verified using Pornhub's process that involves uploading a picture of themselves with their username.

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The Canadian-based website jabbed other social media websites, writing that "every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute."

"In today's world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material.," Pornhub stated. "Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts. We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example."

Pornhub was the target of a New York Times report earlier this month that led to large credit card companies to block customers from using their credit cards to make purchases on the website. Mastercard, Visa and Discover all terminated their cards from being used on it.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof described recordings on Pornhub's website of assaults of unconscious women and girls, including a naked video of a 14-year-old girl. He wrote that Pornhub allows videos to be downloaded directly from its site, leaving room for content to spread and be reuploaded to the internet even after it's been taken down.

Pornhub denied the allegations, stating that any assertion it allows child sex abuse material (CSAM) on its platform is "irresponsible and flagrantly untrue."

"Due to the nature of our industry, people's preconceived notions of Pornhub's values and processes often differ from reality — but it is counterproductive to ignore the facts regarding a subject as serious as CSAM, " Pornhub said in a previous statement to CNN Business.

"We have zero tolerance for CSAM. Pornhub is unequivocally committed to combating CSAM, and has instituted an industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community."

-- CNN Business' Jazmin Goodwin contributed to this report.

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