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Researchers, ECP Release 1st ‘Pornhub Creator Consultations Report’

MONTREAL — Internet and sex work researchers Maggie MacDonald and Val Webber released their first “Pornhub Creator Consultations Report” last week, probing issues such as banking access for sex workers, different types of platform discrimination, and advocacy.

This report draws from a series of consultation sessions with several Pornhub creators held throughout May and June and was issued as part of Ethical Capital Partner’s (ECP) “What We Heard” project.

MacDonald and Webber are academics in Canadian university, and they also serve on the Aylo advisory board set up by ECP after its March purchase of the company formerly known as MindGeek.

The authors “engaged participants around themes of financial discrimination, surveillance, race and gender, algorithmic curation, metadata categorization, industry advocacy and much more,” the accompanying statement explains.

The surveyed creators “shared a wide range of informed perspectives both regarding their work on Pornhub and on industry issues beyond the platform. Their insights are summarized as a resource to better understand contemporary issues facing the workers relying on porn platforms.”

Sections include: Getting Paid & Banking Discrimination, Surveillance & Deplatforming, Verification & Tagging Co-Performers, Porn & Race, Trans Issues, Pornhub Pride, Performer Health & Onboarding New Creators, Transparency & Communication and Advocacy.

The creators, the survey concluded, “called for improved communication with and on the platform, and made suggestions to leverage Pornhub’s existing resources in order to better advocate for all creators.”

Earlier this year, MacDonald also released an educational YouTube video, “Porn, Platforms & Sex Panic,” explaining how content creation, algorithms, media amplification and “panicky policy” have shaped the current adult content landscape online.

Praise for Authors From ECP’s VP of Compliance

Solomon Friedman, partner and VP of Compliance at Ethical Capital Partners (ECP), praised the authors earlier this year.

“Dr. Val Webber is a leading academic in the space of performer health and safety,” Friedman told XBIZ shortly after the MindGeek purchase was announced. “Their involvement with PASS is well known. They are an advocate for the rights of sex workers, for putting their interests paramount in the discussion about adult platforms. We are delighted to have the benefit of their advice.”

Friedman called MacDonald “an extraordinary academic” at the University of Toronto, and added that when he performed his pre-purchase review and due diligence about Pornhub, he found her master’s thesis about the platform and was highly impressed.

“Maggie McDonald wrote her master’s thesis on Pornhub and she engages with it openly,” Friedman added. “She has critiques, she centers it in terms of the evolving ecosystem of online platforms, and she is presently completing her Ph.D. thesis on the very same platform. And I thought to myself, ‘Who could possibly be better to inform and advise us, to give us independent advice, to make us aware of challenges that we simply do not know about because our life experience, our research, is very different?’ These voices need to be centered.”

To read the “Pornhub Creator Consultations Report” survey, visit MacDonald’s website.

Pornhub Creator Consultations Report (Nov. 2023)

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