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Why X-tube deleted our videos – a David vs. Goliath story

Some weeks ago, many of us got surprised by x-tube. All our private videos have been deleted without any prior information before. First, most of us have been shocked, and we have heard about some rumors about the pressure the credit card companies have given to x-tube. At that moment there hasn’t been a lot of time to think about that issue, because we just wanted our videos back, or at least upload them on another site.

This week I’ve got an email of X-tube that I should verify all my unidentified videos, or they will be deleted the 25th of January. First I was kind of happy because I thought that my videos are available again, but after a short visit on my profile I’ve realized that they aren’t. I was just thinking: WTF is that? Why do I get a message now and not before deleting all my videos?

On KINKFINITY you have been able to read plenty of articles about the importance of communication in kink life. Probably we would have had to write that communication is important in all aspects of life. If we had gotten such an email before deleting the videos some weeks ago, we would have understood the situation x-tube was in, and we wouldn’t have been so upset. But to be honest, this new email made me curious to know more about what happened.

The first information I got made me even doubting more. They are taking the kink pictures and videos down because of a fight of the credit card companies again child pornography. WTF has child pornography, which I condemn from the bottom of my heart, to do with kink videos? No, in none of my videos was a boy to see who is underage. This made me curious. What was going with that company? So I started to dig for more information. Why has Pornhub (X-tube is part of the Pornhub sites) deleted 8.8 millions videos, that are more or less two-thirds (!) of all the uploaded videos? For a page like Pornhub, that is quite a self-destroying act as we have seen it with Tumblr as they have banned all sexual content from their site two years ago. There has to be a significant danger for MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub and x-tube. And I’ve eventually found it. The reason is a David vs. Goliath story.

MindGeek – The Goliath

Let us start with our Goliath in this story. MindGeek is a Canadian Media and IT-Company. We could say that they are the inventor, or at least the Edison, of free porn sites on the internet. With free porn, they have become big by bringing a lot of traditional porn labels into a difficult financial situation. MindGeek has taken benefit from their idea by being able to buy porn labels, which have been struggling with the new situation, for a very attractive price.

Some of us would say that MindGeek has opened the porn business for amateurs. Others would likely tell you they have nearly crashed the traditional porn industry. The common denominator of both points of view is that MindGeek did revolutionize the porn world. Meanwhile, they are one, if not even the most important player in porn industry with a turnover of more or less a half billion of dollars (2018). There are more than a few which say that MindGeek is dominating the industry.

Laila Mickelwait – The David

In David vs. Goliath stories, mostly David is winning the favor of the audience. The David in our story is Laila Mickelwait, a 38yo woman from California. Several years ago, she started to fight against human trafficking and sexual abuse of children. In my eyes, two things for which there are many reasons to fight for. In her eyes, Pornhub is offering “the largest collection of criminal sexual violence”, and she was really shocked that the portal was not checking the uploaded content and not identifying and verifying the uploaders and their models. That was the beginning of her fight against MindGeek. But it was an unequal fight, which hadn’t had a lot of success in the beginning.

2020 the BBC published a story of Rose Kalemba, a 14 yo girl who has been raped and filmed while on her way back home. Some time later, she realized that the video of her rape has been uploaded to Pornhub. She has written to Pornhub to explain how this video has been produced, and asked the company to take the video offline. But Pornhub didn’t react to several emails of her. So she decided to fake an email from a law firm and to threaten Pornhub with legal consequences. That helped, and the video had been taken offline.

Laila has taken profit of the attention of this story. In the Washington Examiner, she was demanding to shut Pornhub down for the first time in public and started a petition. After 6 months, half a million, and after a year 2 million of people have since signed her petition.

After several demonstrations in front of the headquarters of MindGeek, the company reacted for the first time. They have made it easier to complain about content on Pornhub. The management of MindGeek thought that this will calm down the masses and stop the negative headlines.

However, beginning of December 2020, the New York Times published a column about a 15yo girl from Florida. After she went missing for a year, her mother has found over 50 videos of her on Pornhub. In his column, the author Nicholas Kristof is writing:

“And call me a prude, but I don’t see why search engines, banks or credit card companies should bolster a company that monetizes sexual assaults on children or unconscious women. If PayPal can suspend cooperation with Pornhub, so can American Express, Mastercard and Visa.”

That was a significant moment for Laila’s campaign. Now the credit card companies started to react, as they didn’t want to get the image of supporting child pornography. The result of their pressure was that MindGeek has decided to delete two-third of all collected published videos.

I was a non verified user

To be clear, I was a non’verified user of x-tube, and by accepting the terms and conditions as I’ve opened the account, MindGeek did absolutely have the rights to delete all my videos. There is no reason to blame them for that. But it is a reason to blame them for their treatment of Rose Kalemba and for the way they communicate with their users. How is it possible that they accept for several years my uploads of legal content, but then they don’t inform me before they delete it from one day to the other? They know that their communication wasn’t correct, because there wouldn’t be any other reason why they inform their verified user now that they have to identify any person appearing in the content until the 25th of January. That is the way it has to be!

Fundamentalist Christians

After having all this information about the fight of Laila Mickelwait against MindGeek, I’m not missing my videos on x-tube anymore, but the story still leaves an ashen aftertaste. The organization behind Laila is Exodus Cry, a fundamental Christian organization. It is an organization which fights for many things we kinkster can NOT support. They are against LGBTQ rights, against legalizing sex work and its CEO Benjamin Nolot compares abortion with the Holocaust. Visit their homepage and surf on the internet, and you’ll realize that we shouldn’t support this organization.

Yes, I support the fight against human trafficking and child abuse, but I don’t support for what Laila Mickelwait and Exodus cry is standing for!

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