Pornhub Exec Secretly Recorded Saying Rapists, Traffickers Exploit 'Loopholes' in Website

A senior executive at the parent company of Pornhub has appeared to acknowledge security vulnerabilities in the website that could be exploited by criminals
Pornhub Exec Secretly Recorded Saying Rapists, Traffickers Exploit 'Loopholes' in Website
The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Dec. 16, 2020. (The Canadian Press)
Andrew Chen

A senior executive at the parent company of Canada-based adult video provider Pornhub has appeared in a video acknowledging potential security vulnerabilities on the website that could be exploited by criminals. He also indicated that the company's top management is aware of these concerns but has not taken steps to address them.

Mike Farley, a technical product manager at Aylo, formerly known as MindGeek, appeared to make the comments in a video captured by undercover journalist Arden Young from U.S.-based organization Sound Investigations.

In the video, he refers to what he calls a "loophole" in Pornhub's age and consent verification process. This loophole pertains to the company's lack of identity verification for videos where individuals don't display their faces.

Pornhub currently requires content creators to verify their identity before uploading videos by submitting official documents—such as a driver's license or passport—containing personal information including their date of birth, ID expiration date, a profile photo, full legal name, and address.

He emphasized the difficulty in confirming the identity of individuals in a video when their faces aren't visible, underscoring the challenges in matching them with the actual content uploader's identity.

"How are you going to tell me who's in that video if the girl's not showing her face?" Mr. Farley told the undercover journalist.

When questioned about the possibility of criminals and rapists exploiting this loophole, Mr. Farley responded in the affirmative, saying, "Of course."

When asked whether human traffickers could take advantage of the loophole, he replied, "To make money? Of course."

While Pornhub permits consenting adults to post videos of themselves engaged in pornographic content, the identity verification loopholes described by Mr. Farley create opportunities for criminals to upload videos of non-consenting victims of sexual exploitation who may not have their faces visible in the videos, thus evading scrutiny.

Mr. Farley also reported that when he raised concerns about the loophole with the company's senior management, including the chief product manager (CPO) and chief legal officer (CLO), he received comparable responses disregarding the issue.

"We've brought it up to the CPO, we've brought it up to to the CLO, and they're both telling us it's all good," he said.

Mr. Farley's LinkedIn profile indicated over a decade of service at MindGeek, encompassing various roles. His LinkedIn profile was removed following the publication of Sound Investigations' video on Sept. 13.

The Epoch Times reached out to Mr. Farley for comment but did not receive a response by publication time.

The Epoch Times has also reached out to Aylo for comment but didn't hear back by press time.


Pornhub, a Montreal-based company established in 2004, is one of the most-visited websites globally and ranks number one for most visited pornographic websites, according to Similarweb, an internet traffic analysis firm.
The company has faced increasing scrutiny as individuals who experienced sexual exploitation have come forward to accuse Pornhub of profiting from videos created without their consent. In December 2020, MindGeek came under investigation after a New York Times report alleged unlawful content hosted on the website.
In June 2021, the House of Commons ethics committee published a report focusing on Pornhub and similar platforms. It highlighted stories from abuse survivors who had requested the removal of Pornhub videos depicting their sexual abuse.

"In many cases, the survivors told the Committee that Pornhub only removed their content in response to legal threats, police reports or indications that the victim was considering suicide. Some videos garnered hundreds of thousands or millions of views before being removed," the report said.

In 2021, 40 women in California filed a class action lawsuit against MindGeek. Recently revealed documents from the lawsuit showed that the website hosted over 700,000 videos that received between 1 and 15 flags. In an email dated May 27, 2020, which was revealed as part of court documents, executives from both Pornhub and MindGeek discussed their video review process. The email indicates that their team reviews between 50 and 500 flagged videos daily, with a focus on addressing those with more than 15 flags. This implies that even if a victim flags their own video on Pornhub 15 times, it may not receive attention.
Amid the controversy, Pornhub announced in a news release dated Dec. 14, 2020, that it had implemented what it described as "the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history." In June 2022, both MindGeek's chief executive officer and chief operating officer departed from their roles. MindGeek was subsequently acquired in August by Ethical Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Ottawa, and renamed Aylo.

Despite previous scrutiny by the Canadian government, Mr. Farley asserts that government regulators may not possess the ability or qualifications to detect Pornhub's verification loophole.

"[The government] already did their investigation. They were satisfied," he told the undercover reporter. "They technically checked and said that it's all good. So they can't really go back on that."

The interview with Mr. Farley is the first of a six-part undercover investigation carried out by Sound Investigations from June through July. Ms. Young told The Epoch Times via email that they will be releasing videos of interviews with other employees from Pornhub, MindGeek, and Aylo in the coming weeks.

Doug Lett contributed to this report.