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Apr 29, 2021
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Roskomnadzor found in a video on Pornhub an insult to the authorities and the church

Roskomnadzor found in a video on Pornhub an insult to the authorities and the church
Photobank Moscow-Live / Alexey Polyakov

Roskomnadzor sent letters to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs with a request to conduct an examination of at least six videos on PornHub, which can be qualified as a violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion, an insult to a government official and the promotion of drugs. If the expertise confirms this, the videos should be removed or blocked. Experts say that there may be several hundred such videos on the resource, and blocking some of them will not change anything. Izvestia writes about this.

Roskomnadzor sent a letter to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office with a request to conduct an examination of two videos on PornHub, in which various attributes of the Orthodox Church appear. According to the department, these clips potentially fall under Art. 148 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion.” Roskomnadzor also appealed to the Investigative Committee of Russia with a request to consider the issue of bringing the authors of the videos to justice.

At least three more videos on the same resource attracted the attention of the RKN, the main characters of which demonstrate narcotic substances and methods of their use in the frame. The department sent links to the materials to the Main Directorate for Drug Control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for an examination. The videos are potentially subject to Art. 6.13 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation “Propagation of narcotic drugs”.

Roskomnadzor also appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia with a request to check one video, the content of which may offend representatives of the authorities of the Russian Federation. The material may violate Art. 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Insulting a representative of the authorities”. Based on the results of all the above examinations and judicial measures, Roskomnadzor intends to include links to controversial content in a unified register of prohibited information and demand that these videos be removed from the resource, in case of inaction, access to links to illegal content will be limited through providers.

According to experts, the service should receive an assessment of the videos from the above government agencies no later than 30 days later. Meanwhile, there are entire channels on PornHub whose authors specialize in the production of potentially illegal video, and hundreds of videos similar to those that Roskomnadzor drew attention to. In their opinion, the PornHub administration does not pay due attention to video moderation in the Russian region, and after selective blocking of videos, the hosting will still continue to be replenished with similar content. The only effective solution in this regard may be a complete blocking of the resource in Russia.

Whether this is possible from a legal point of view, experts do not specify, but do not exclude that the authorities may act more decisively if the story acquires a public outcry, he said. Such a development of events is likely if, for example, the Russian Orthodox Church pays attention to potentially illegal content.

The Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media did not comment on the situation, while Orthodox bloggers believe that Russia is too lenient in regulating the distribution of pornography, and demand to introduce a rule that would instruct browser developers to block all obscene content on the Internet. According to them, in this case Roskomnadzor would have to spend much less time and resources on combating pornography.

In December last year, Pornhub removed over 10 million videos uploaded by users that did not go through the verification process. The company took such a step because of the article, which stated that videos with some girls were posted on Pornhub without their consent, and after the removal of these videos from the site, copies of them continued to be distributed on the Web. In addition, the article noted that videos with minors and scenes of violence are posted on Pornhub.

After that, the site administration announced the tightening of the moderation rules. The message said that now Pornhub will only accept videos from verified users – we are talking about amateur videos that can be uploaded to the site. In addition, the porn site banned downloading videos from the site, making an exception only for paid downloads through the Model Program.

As a result of the unprecedented purge, the Pornhub base decreased from 13.5 million to about 3 million videos (the number of videos indicated in the site’s search bar changes periodically), but it is possible that some of the deleted videos will return to the site after verification. The Pornhub blog clarifies that only videos uploaded by verified partners and members of the Model Program were left on the site. In this regard, the company noted that other platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter, cannot boast of such a level of moderation of uploaded content. The report also notes that human rights defenders find on Facebook hundreds of thousands of times more content with scenes of child abuse compared to Pornhub.

The report also claims that the current campaign against Pornhub was initiated by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Exodus Cry / TraffickingHub, which, according to the Pornhub administration, are not fighting illegal content, but the pornography industry in general.

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