New MindGeek owner hopes to turn a new page in Pornhub’s checkered past

An Ottawa lawyer accustomed to defending people against serious criminal charges wants to write a new chapter in the story about the world’s largest and highly controversial porn site.

Solomon Friedman is one of the partners at Ethical Capital Partners (ECP). Ethical Capital Partners (ECP), a private equity firm founded in the capital last year, announced Thursday that it has acquired Pornhub owner MindGeek, a Montreal-based company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pornhub has been embroiled in controversy amid multiple lawsuits alleging the site’s owners allowed them to upload child sexual abuse material and other illegal content for profit.MindGeek’s The website has 115 million daily visitors to various porn properties including websites like YouPorn, Redtube, Brazzers.

So why did this Ottawa company want to take over?

“We couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” Friedman said, taking a deep dive into the company’s operations and safety protocols to combat illegal content.

“As a criminal attorney, I can tell you that illegal content is not a problem in adult entertainment. will be,” he said. Interview with CTV News.

MindGeek previously announced tools to combat illegal content, including image recognition technology, a new content removal request form, and new moderation policies to flag and remove content.

“Once I started seeing the inner workings of the company, I immediately became very happy with their processes and world-leading technology and can’t wait to take it to the next level,” Solomon said. .

Changing a company’s reputation is certainly a challenge for new owners. He acknowledged that protecting minors from sexual exploitation and preventing non-consensual sexual content from being shared on places like Pornhub is a “huge challenge”, but it is “a very big challenge”. It begins with “general and transparent ownership.”

Former MindGeek executives have historically been elusive and have largely avoided speaking to the media. His CEO and COO of the company, Feras Antoon and David Tassillo, stepped down last June.

The Pornhub website displayed on a computer screen in Toronto, December 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS

ECP lists cannabis entrepreneur Rocco Merriambro and criminal attorney Fadi Mansour as founding partners for the website.

Other members of the firm include Derek Ogden, the RCMP’s retired Chief Inspector. Solomon is listed as Vice President of Compliance.

Though legally headquartered in Luxembourg, MindGeek is headquartered in a discreet glass building on Boulevard Decary in Montreal. The company settled a class action lawsuit in California in 2021, claiming it profited from material showing child sexual abuse and non-consensual activity.The plaintiffs included several Canadians. .

Last fall, an Alabama mother sued MindGeek for hosting and profiting from a video of her 12-year-old son being sexually abused by a 36-year-old man on Pornhub. After the man pleaded guilty to abuse, he was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a sexual crime.

Solomon declined to comment on the pending lawsuit against MindGeek.

“It will take time. It will take diligence, but there will definitely be results. We look forward to a fair judicial process and will make an announcement when necessary,” he said.

‘Major reforms’ needed, says Quebec senator

After the New York Times published an article about sexual exploitation allegations on Pornhub, MindGeek announced it would stop uploading videos from unverified users.

MindGeek previously stated in a statement to CTV News, “We do not tolerate non-consensual content, child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and other content that lacks the consent of all parties depicted. ‘ said.

It also said it has a “holistic” team of human moderators who review each uploaded video.

The Quebec senator, who has been an outspoken critic of MindGeek, said he was not surprised by Thursday’s acquisition.

Senator Julie Miville Deschène is co-chair of the All-Party Congressional Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. She told Noovo Info that she hopes the new owners will take steps to ban illegal content.

“I think they should absolutely avoid videos that show sexual exploitation on their platforms. They should avoid non-consensual images. “Above all, we need to prevent children from indiscriminately accessing this type of material that could be harmful.”

ECP acquisition will take place in 7 months Visa and Mastercard cut ties with Pornhub owner’s advertising arm Concerns about the content of that site.

Using files from The Canadian Press

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button