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A Tortoise File

Pornhub

The hunt for the man behind one of the world’s biggest porn sites

First published
Friday 21 May 2021

Last updated
Thursday 20 May 2021

Why this story?

It is the world’s 10th most popular website, and one of the largest porn sites in the world. And yet, until very recently almost nothing was known about Pornhub, or its parent company Mindgeek, both titans of the digital world who have managed to avoid public scrutiny almost entirely. Until now.

Accused in December by the New York Times of hosting abusive content and monetising videos of rape, Pornhub rushed to remove millions of hours of content overnight. But what was missing was someone to hold accountable. Earlier this year, we set out to uncover the majority owner behind Mindgeek, a secretive investor who has managed to stay in the shadows.

As dozens of women come forward to accuse the company he owns of criminal negligence, our position is clear: it is in the public interest that we know who this man is, and how he profits. So, do read, listen – and join us. This investigation by Alexi Mostrous is just the beginning of a bigger hunt for answers and for accountability in the world of online porn. Basia Cummings, Editor

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