Traffickinghub History and Evolution
Traffickinghub was founded by Laila Mickelwait in February 2020 and advanced that year in conjunction with Exodus Cry, quickly becoming a global movement of millions of individuals and hundreds of organizations across a broad spectrum of political, faith and non-faith, economic, and ideological backgrounds, uniting together for the single purpose of holding Pornhub accountable for enabling, distributing and profiting from real mass sexual crime.
Laila Mickelwait continues to lead the Traffickinghub movement today and is determined to do so until its goals are accomplished. You can stay up to date on the progress of Traffickinghub by following the #Traffickinghub hashtag or by following Laila Mickelwait on Twitter..
Traffickinghub has been endorsed by hundreds of anti-trafficking, women’s rights, and child protection organizations around the world. 600 organizations have joined forces to call for criminal accountability for Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek, along with 200+ survivors, and over 2 million people from every country in the world have signed the Traffickinghub movement petition.
Since its founding, Traffickinghub has made enormous progress thanks to the work and participation of all involved.
At the start of 2020, when the Traffickinghub petition and movement launched, Pornhub was the tenth most-visited website in the world. It was also the largest and most popular porn site, with 130 million visits per day, 42 billion visits per year, and enough videos uploaded every 12 months that it would take 169 years if you watched them back-to-back. Pornhub had more site traffic than Amazon, Yahoo, and Netflix and more daily visits than the entire populations of Canada, Australia, and France combined. Researchers named it the 3rd most influential “tech” company on global society, just behind Google and Facebook. 4.6 billion daily ad impressions were helping the site earn hundreds of millions of dollars annually for its parent company MindGeek.
By the beginning of 2023, Pornhub had taken down 80% of the entire website by removing over 10 million videos. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and PayPal had all cut ties with the site, leaving them with only cryptocurrency and wire transfers as payment options. The secret majority shareholder of MindGeek, Bernd Bergmair, was publicly exposed, and the CEO and COO of MindGeek, Feras Antoon and David Tassillo, resigned. Pornhub lost all major advertisers and business partners, including Grant Thornton, Heinz, Unilever, Comcast-Xfinity, Roku, and many others. Meta, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube all permanently shut down Pornhub’s social media accounts, causing them to lose over 14 million followers and subscribers. MindGeek has faced eight landmark individual and class action lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of victims worldwide, totaling billions in potential damages, and was the subject of a Canadian government parliamentary committee investigation.
But we are not done yet.
Pornhub must be shut down. Its owners and executives must be held accountable to the full extent of the law, and the victims of Pornhub worldwide must be given real justice.
Why shut it down and not merely clean it up? Because we must end impunity for corporations and executives who have knowingly enabled, profited from, and globally distributed rape for profit for over a decade, destroying the lives of countless victims. Severe abuses require severe consequences to be a deterrent to future bad actors.
In December 2020, after immense backlash, Pornhub was forced to change its upload process and began requiring the verification of uploaders' identification, but this is too little, too late. To this day, Pornhub still does not reliably verify the age and consent of all individuals featured in the free and ad-revenue-generating content on the site. This ensures that Pornhub is still a crime scene, infested with videos of illegal nonconsensual content, including sex trafficking.
To prevent these crimes from continuing in the future, the Traffickinghub movement aims to end impunity for Pornhub/MindGeek and to pressure governments and corporations worldwide to implement policies that demand reliable, third-party, age and consent verification for every individual depicted in every video on user-generated pornography websites to ensure this kind of atrocity never happens again.
In the News
The Traffickinghub movement and its impact have been covered in hundreds of media pieces globally. Here are a few.
Lawsuits Filed Against Pornhub
/MindGeek Since 2020
Alabama lawsuit on behalf of 12-year-old boy victim and his motherRead court filing
California lawsuit on behalf of underage victim Serena Flietes and 33 other victimsRead court filing
Montreal Canada class action for $600 million lawsuit lead by 12-year-old girl victimRead court filing
Alabama class action lawsuit lead by two underage victimsRead court filing
California class action lawsuit lead by an underage victimRead court filing
California lawsuit on behalf of 40 sex trafficking victimsRead court filing
Toronto Canada class action lawsuit lead by Ontarian adult sexual abuse victimRead press release
South Carolina lawsuit on behalf of 9 women secretly recordedRead court filing
Are you a victim?
If you are a victim of sex trafficking, online child sexual exploitation, or image-based sexual abuse and want information about possible legal assistance options please fill out this form.