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NCOSE CEO Repeats Factually Inaccurate Statements About Pornhub Moderation at Ted Cruz Event

WASHINGTON — NCOSE CEO Dawn Hawkins repeated factually inaccurate claims about Pornhub’s content moderation on Tuesday during a press conference co-organized in Capitol Hill by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

The event was the public unveiling of Cruz’s Take It Down Act, co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The proposed bill criminalizes the act of uploading image-based sexual abuse and mandates its removal within 48 hours.

Hawkins was invited to represent NCOSE alongside members of other organizations which support the bill like RAINN and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

In 2015, Hawkins — a pro-censorship Mormon activist with a background in conservative and GOP PR — was instrumental in rebranding Morality in Media as “National Center on Sexual Exploitation” (NCOSE) in order to secularwash its historically religious motivation and align the group’s optics to imply alignment with the more prestigious, secular NCMEC. 

Hawkins used the occasion to mischaracterize Pornhub’s current moderation practices.

“Platforms like Pornhub, Reddit, and X let anyone upload sexually explicit content of anyone at anytime, and then they not only drive people to the content through ads — they also enable countless downloads and reshares,” Hawkins stated, standing in front of a pensive Sen. Cruz. “This is the unacceptable reality we face today, and it will remain so unless Congress acts now.”

Hawkins later shared a video of her non-factual remarks on NCOSE’s X account.

A Pornhub rep told XBIZ, “Obviously, the claims in the video are not factually accurate, at least as it relates to our platforms.”

The rep shared Pornhub and parent company Aylo’s trust and safety processes, which he noted “directly contradict many of the claims in the video.”

Pornhub considers its current, comprehensive safeguards are unprecedented in user-generated platform history in terms of tools to prevent and eliminate unwanted material. 

Despite Hawkins’ baseless remarks in front of the legislators who invited her, Pornhub’s safeguards include an uploader verification program that uses secure biometric facial recognition technology to ensure the identity of the uploader of all pieces of content; co-performer verification, which establishes consent from all participants in uploaded content; an inability to download free content; continuous additions to its suite of automated moderation tools (CSAI Match, Content Safety API, PhotoDNA, Vobile, Safer, Safeguard, NCMEC Take It Down, StopNCII); utilization of digital fingerprinting technology to prevent the re-upload of unauthorized material, a Content Removal Request Form which, upon being completed by any user, is to immediately and automatically disable a piece of content pending further review; partnerships with leading global internet safety non-profit organizations; among other safeguards.

“Aylo’s safety and security measures have set a standard for compliance programs in the tech and social media industries, and credible third-party analyses have commended the success of our efforts to date,” the rep said. “For example, NCMEC reported that Aylo platforms reported fewer incidents of CSAM, and removed material NCMEC flagged quicker upon being notified, than other major tech platforms including Facebook, X, Google, Instagram, and more. We are proud to be at the forefront of content moderation on the internet, and we are committed to continually evolving our Trust and Safety practices to remain leaders in internet safety.”

As XBIZ reported, lawmakers from both major political parties continue inviting Hawkins and secularwashing NCOSE in spite of the organization’s documented past of homophobic activism, and current crusades to criminalize all forms of sex work and eradicate all adult content.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a press statement in March prominently highlighting her partnership with NCOSE, during her introduction of the Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits Act of 2024 (DEFIANCE Act), which proposes to create a federal civil right of action for victims of deepfakes.

After XBIZ reported on the collaboration between AOC and NCOSE, her chief of staff, Mike Casca, called the story “bullshit.”

“It’s not a partnership,” Casca told XBIZ through his X account. “She has a bipartisan bill to stop nonconsensual deepfake pornography that centers survivors’ civil right of action. Orgs left, right and center support it. Bipartisanship is how bills become law in a divided congress.”

Casca declined to answer any follow-up questions specifically about NCOSE, particularly as to how the foregrounding of the pro-censorship lobby — it was listed second in a nonalphabetical list of more than 30 endorsing organizations and Hawkins’ quote is one of only two offered by any of those groups — constituted “bipartisanship.” 

Although the stentoriously conservative Sen. Cruz may appear to be a more suitable ideological bedfellow for NCOSE and Hawkins, his official X account has a notoriously documented history of enjoying explicit, unpaid pornography — specifically, Cory Chase’s work for Reality Kings — on its feed.

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