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Pornhub Permanently Banned from Instagram

Pornhub accused Instagram of unfairly applying its community standards and discriminating against sex workers

Pornhub Permanently Banned from Instagram

Instagram has ended Pornhub's weeks-long suspension with a permanent ban from the social media platform.

The pornography website’s account, which has 13.1 million followers, was suspended on Sept. 3. Instagram told TechCrunch the website had repeatedly violated its community guidelines. 

Pornhub responded in a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, Meta Global Affairs President Nick Clegg, and Meta Chief Legal Officer Jennifer Newstead.

“We demand an explanation and guidance as to why our accounts are continuously deleted and why content we spend money creating in order to engage with our audience is removed, even when we do not breach any of Instagram’s rules,” the letter states.

The company accused Instagram of unfairly applying its standard, permitting celebrities, influencers, and brands to feature nudity or overtly sexual content while restricting “adult performers, sex workers, and any compliant adult business.” Pornhub said Instagram’s actions were “reckless and discriminatory.”

“Kim Kardashian has posted her fully exposed ass to her 330 million followers without any restrictive action from Instagram,” Pornhub pointed out. “We are happy to see that Kim and the artistic team behind the image are free to share their work on the platform, but question why we are denied the same treatment.”

Pornhub said Instagram is a “vital marketing tool for those in the adult industry,” who the company described as an “already marginalized group.” Pornhub said the social media site’s practice of “continuously erasing, silencing and censoring” sex workers is “violent” and a “threat” to the performers and brands’ livelihoods. 

“We demand that Instagram immediately end all discrimination toward those involved in the adult industry. This means providing full transparency and clear explanation to any suspended or banned account, ending shadow banning practices, and immediately reinstating all accounts, including Pornhub, that have not violated any of Instagram’s Terms and Policies,” the company added.

Pornhub’s letter was endorsed by the Free Speech Coalition, the Adult Performance Artists Guild, and adult pornographic performers including Riley Reid, Wold Hudson, and Violet Myers.

According to Meta’s terms, branded content on Instagram or Facebook that promotes “contraceptives must focus on the contraceptive features of the product, and not on sexual pleasure or sexual enhancement, and must be age-gated to people 18 years or older.” Additionally, “branded content must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, except for posts for family planning and contraception.”

Critics of the website have campaigned for Pornhub’s removal from social media platforms for years, citing concerns about child welfare and sex trafficking.

Laila Mickelwait, the founder and CEO of the Justice Defense Fund, wrote on Twitter that Pornhub’s comparison to Kim Kardashian and other celebrity's nude posts is a misrepresentation of the issues at play.

“Kim Kardashian’s ass isn’t partnering with child sex traffickers and rapists to make money from filmed sex crime scenes,” she wrote on Sept. 28.

“Pornhub has 175,000 searches for child abuse videos every month because pedophiles have known Pornhub was a good place to find it,” Mickelwait wrote in a subsequent post. “Pornhub spent the last decade ENCOURAGING and partnering with pedo-criminals. Don’t let them pretend they care now because they have been exposed.”

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