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How to Remove Non-Consensual Videos From Pornhub

Removing videos of you that were uploaded to Pornhub without your consent involves filling out a takedown notice and requesting that the videos be digitally fingerprinted.
07 February 2020, 10:30am

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

If you've been a target of non-consensual porn, you're far from alone: as many as one in 25 people in the U.S. have had a private image or video of themselves shared without their consent.

These videos spread quickly and rampantly, but even if they've been online for years, the situation isn't hopeless. While much of the technology and methods big porn websites use to moderate non-consensual porn aren't sufficient, there are steps you can take to get videos removed from these sites.

One of the most popular websites that people find and spread videos without consent is Pornhub. By filling out Pornhub's content removal form, you can get specific videos removed from that site.

According to Pornhub's form page, you're eligible to use this takedown method if you're reporting "revenge porn, blackmailing, intimidation because a video or photo that was posted on one of our sites that you did not authorize, [or] a comment on a video or photo that reveals personally identifiable information." Anything that you don't want online, that involves you but isn't a copyright claim, counts.

1. Secure your email and other accounts

Before getting started, you should decide where you want correspondence related to this process to go. You're required to enter your email address, and Pornhub will communicate with you about the takedown status via that address. If your regular email is logged in on a shared computer, or you share the login with someone else and don't want that person to be privy to this process, it's a good idea to set up a free, secure ProtonMail account just for this purpose.

It could also help to do a full security check on all of the accounts you use, in general: check this guide for how to protect yourself against stalkerware, which has tips for securing your devices that are useful for anyone, not just stalking victims.

If you think you might ever want to go to the authorities to report the revenge porn that's spread of you, it's important to collect the evidence first. The nonprofit group Without My Consent has instructions on how to properly gather and retain proof, before you request to have it deleted.

2. Collect URLs to the videos you want removed

If you've only heard about these videos being online from other people, you might not know where the videos are. If you trust the person who alerted you, ask them to send you the link. Or, you can try searching for your name on Pornhub—sometimes people use the Pornhub comment sections to dox the women in the videos. If you were in a Girls Do Porn video, for example, you can try variations on "Girls Do Porn" or "GDP" and comb through the results, or try searching your episode number, if you know it.

If you don't want to visit Pornhub.com directly, you can run these searches from Google. Type this into your search bar:

site:pornhub.com “[your name here]”

The results could show videos with your name mentioned in the title or comments, if there are any.

Be warned that the thumbnails and preview images (the still shot that appears before the video plays) might be of yourself or someone you know, and that the entire experience of navigating a porn site can be retraumatizing. If this part of the process is difficult for you, it's okay to ask a trusted confidant to find the videos or collect the links.

3. Set up fingerprinting

At the bottom of the form, there's information on how to prevent future uploads of the same video to Pornhub, using fingerprinting technology. Motherboard's investigation into this tech found that it does still let some videos through, and is far from perfect at catching future uploads. It also doesn't work retroactively: If a video matching yours is already on the site, it won't be automatically deleted.

Although it's flawed, it's worthwhile to prevent exact replica uploads of the videos spreading in the future.

To request your videos be added to Vobile's fingerprinting database, contact Vobile at support@vobileinc.com. You can say something like this:

Hello, this is a non-consensual video of me that I want fingerprinted for removal from Pornhub: [paste the URL here]

Someone will respond and ask you to provide either a copy of the content itself, or a link to the content online. When Motherboard tested this process, Vobile said if the content is already offline, they can still contact Pornhub "on your behalf in order to gain access." Do not send video files through non-encrypted or shared email addresses.

4. Fill out the form

This is the form you'll need.

If the videos you want gone are non-consensual porn, and not content you've copyrighted, check "No" to the question "Is this issue related to copyright infringement?" Copyright infringement claims are done through a separate process.

Paste the links into the designated box.

One of the sections of the form asks for reasons why you want content removed. It's important not to include too much detail or emotion in this answer, so that Pornhub can clearly see the reason. This one-line script has worked in the past, in Motherboard's testing:

This is non-consensual pornography and I did not consent to it being put online.

Cara Van Dorn, an associate on the legal team representing the women in the Girls Do Porn case, suggests that targets of Girls Do Porn include the following:

  • That you are a victim of the GirlsDoPorn.com fraudulent scheme
  • That you did not consent to the video being published online
  • That you were assured (by the actor, producer, recruiter) that the video would not be published online
  • That you would never have participated in the video if you had not received those assurances

Pornhub says you'll need to fill out the form yourself, and it makes users "digitally sign" at the end. This only involves typing your name and agreeing that it's you in the video. But you don't have to use your legal or "real" name. You can use a pseudonym or nickname.

Once the form is submitted, you should get an email from Pornhub support, that will look like this:

example email from pornhub

In Motherboard's testing, the confirmation email arrived within an hour of sending, and the video link was taken down. However, it could take longer; note that the email might go to your spam folder.

5. Talk to someone

At this point, the videos you requested should be off Pornhub, but they could still exist on other sites, or through archived versions of the link. Unfortunately, it's possible they will never be completely scrubbed from the internet. These steps don't guarantee that no one will ever see these videos again, but as one of the most popular porn sites in the world, getting any links removed from Pornhub is a good start.

This process is straightforward, but for a survivor of sexual violence or non-consensual porn, enduring harassment and isolation is incredibly difficult. You don't have to go through it alone.

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative provides a hotline for revenge porn survivors, where trained representatives listen and provide non-legal advice. Text or call the hotline is at 844-878-CCRI (2274). CCRI also provides a list of attorneys that specialize in revenge porn on a low-bono or pro-bono basis, as well as detailed guides to getting content removed from social media and other websites.

If you worked with or were targeted by the Girls Do Porn operation and want to take further action around the federal investigation, the FBI is requesting anyone involved contact their offices with information. You can call any of these numbers and mention GirlsDoPorn.com by name—even if you filmed with MomPOV.com, one of their other websites:

  • San Diego FBI: (858) 320-1800
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Green: (619) 546-6955
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Sabrina Feve: (619) 546-6786

After non-consensual porn gets out, some women report that their partners or relatives become emotionally or physically abusive. For support against community violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or www.thehotline.org, or reach a local sexual assault program through RAINN at 1-800-656-HOPE or chat online at www.rainn.org.

If you're having thoughts of hopelessness or suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online with a trained listener.

_Have you been a target of **non-consensual porn? We'd love to hear from you. Contact Samantha Cole securely on Signal at +16469261726, direct message on Twitter, or by email at samantha.cole@vice.com or samleecole@protonmail.ch._**