Mindgeek Shuts Down Porn Tube Site XTube

XTube is just one of several tube sites owned and operated by Mindgeek, the same company that owns Pornhub.
July 7, 2021, 2:10pm
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Image: Getty Images

XTube, one of Mindgeek's porn tube sites, is shutting down, according to a message posted on the site. 

"It's a sad day for us at XTube but we have to announce that after 13 years, XTube.com will be shutting down on September 5th," a message posted to the site said. "We're proud of the vibrant community we've built since 2008 and we're grateful for all of you who have shared your content on our platform. Unfortunately, it's time for us to move on to greener pastures."

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“Like any tech company, we are constantly evaluating our content offerings and products to best serve our users,” Mindgeek told Motherboard in a statement. “XTube has always had a dedicated but small community, and we believe that its users and creators will be better served on one of our existing platforms, where they will be able to take advantage of wider reach and increased visibility.”

XTube is just one of several tube sites owned and operated by Mindgeek, the same company that owns Pornhub. These sites allow porn studios, professional performers, and amateurs, to upload videos.

According to an XTube FAQ, as of July 5, users are no longer able to upload content to XTube. On September 5, all existing user-generated content will be removed. Users also can't download and archive videos directly from XTube using the site's user interface (but there are third party tools that make it easy to download those videos anyway). Users who monetize their XTube content will be paid out by September 16. 

Allowing essentially anyone to upload adult videos to tube sites has hurt a lot of people and created a world of trouble for Mindgeek. For years, tube sites owned by Mindgeek allowed users to steal content from sex workers, distribute non-consensual porn, and enable doxing and harrasement

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In December 2020, VISA and Mastercard stopped processing payments to Pornhub  following an expose from the New York Times into the lives of sexual assault victims' images hosted on the site. In an attempt to win the credit card companies back, Pornhub banned unverified uploads to the site, then purged all unverified videos that were already uploaded to the site over the years, accounting for millions of videos and the majority of the content Pornhub hosted. VISA and Mastercard are still not processing all payments to Pornhub.

Laila Mickelwait, the founder of the #Traffickinghub campaign to shut down Pornhub, celebrated the news of XTube shutting down, tweeting "Next up: Pornhub."

 

While Mindgeek, like many large internet platforms, has failed at moderating its sites, the increased scrutiny on adult content is making it harder for sex workers to make a living. To some users, sites like XTube were also just a place to consensually share their sexuality. 

In a 2011 New York Magazine story, an XTube user named AlphaHarlot explained that she didn't start uploading videos for the money. 

“xTube is my family. It has completely altered how I see people," she told the magazine. "It’s made me realize there are people out there who understand there’s more to the world than black-and-white sexuality, that everyone fits in somewhere.”