Pornhub Is Hosting Illegal Upskirt Videos

Upskirt videos are often illegal in the United States. But that hasn’t stopped porn giant Pornhub from hosting the videos, even when the clips violate Pornhub’s own policies.

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Jun 13 2018, 3:45pm

Image via Shutterstock

Saturday, tens of thousands of women in South Korea protested in the streets against the country’s rampant hidden camera problem, in which voyeurs film women in toilets, in changing rooms, or up their skirts, without consent.

Despite that public outcry and the fact that many upskirt photos and videos are illegal in the United States, adult entertainment giant Pornhub still hosts a slew of upskirt videos, including some that appear to have be mirrored from a closed-off forum where men trade such clips explicitly without the women’s consent and post advice on how to stalk women.

Many of the upskirt videos on Pornhub have hundreds of thousands of views. Motherboard confirmed some videos were filmed in the United States based on details in the clips, including in New York. In New York, both filming upskirt videos and distributing them with the knowledge the woman was filmed without consent are illegal under the Unlawful Surveillance Law.

It is sometimes difficult to determine whether a video was filmed with a woman’s permission or not—some of the clips uploaded to Pornhub are seemingly dramatized with an actress, rather than filming a stranger non-consensually. But many other videos are mirrored from forums and sites where people more clearly trade non-consensual imagery, including a video from New York.

Caption: A screenshot of some upskirt videos on Pornhub.

Some of the clips are seemingly taken from icandids, a now defunct blog that, as the name implies, focused on non-consensual intimate images of women, including upskirt videos, according to archives of the site. Other upskirt videos hosted on Pornhub are originally sourced from teencandidvideos, another similar website that has a dedicated upskirt section for teenagers. And some clips are the same as those on The Candid Forum, a private forum for upskirts and so-called ‘creepshots’, and which has over 220,000 members. Motherboard previously found that The Candid Forum has around 4,300 individual threads in a section dedicated to upskirt videos.

Motherboard also found similar videos on porn site xHamster. xHamster did not respond to a request for comment.

Many of these upskirt videos violate Pornhub’s own terms and conditions due to the filming itself being illegal. According to a post on Pornhub laying out what sort of content is not permitted on the site, that includes any content “that is obscene, illegal, unlawful.”

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David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at campaign group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Motherboard in an email that “in almost all states, upskirt photography will usually meet the definition of criminal nuisance. Also, in probably all states, one could have a strong civil action for intrusion for making the photograph and perhaps a claim for public disclosure of private facts for publishing it.”

Beyond legality, Pornhub also says it bans content that is “harassing,” something that could clearly apply to upskirt videos. Those who film the videos—or ‘shooters’ as they sometimes describe themselves on the private forums—sometimes stalk women for an extended period of time in order to obtain the upskirt shot.

On Pornhub, users can flag individual videos under several banners, including “inappropriate content” or “underage.” And Pornhub does not appear to be actively moderating this upskirt material either; many have been on the site for months.

Katelyn Bowden, the creator of anti-image abuse campaign group BADASS, previously told Motherboard that “websites who host or encourage this form of victimization should be held accountable.”

Pornhub did not respond to multiple requests for comment sent since early May. Pornhub also did not respond to a specific question on how upskirt videos can sit with the site’s own policies on harassing or illegal content.