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Pornhub bought by a private equity firm in hopes of taking the site in a new direction

Mindgeek, an IT company that owns Pornhub, was bought Thursday by private equity firm Ethical Capital Partners.

The Ottawa firm now has full control of the adult entertainment website and promises to take the company in a new direction, NBC News reports.

Solomon Friedman, vice president of compliance at Ethical Capital, believes there is “social, financial and technological” value in sharing how Mindgeek hosts and moderates content about “sexually positive expression among consenting adultshe told NBC.

Friedman has 15 years of experience working as a defense attorney and says he has worked on litigation involving the removal of child sexual abuse material.

That experience that could help Pornhub, which has been under intense scrutiny since 2020 when the New York Times published a opinion piece highlighting the large amount of problematic content on the platformincluding child sex videos, non-consensual videos, and even videos depicting rape.

In 2021, Mindgeek settled a lawsuit alleging that he benefited from child sexual abuse and non-consensual contentreported CTV News, a Canadian news broadcaster.

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Last fall, a mother filed another lawsuit alleging that Mindgeek hosted and profited from a video of her 12-year-old son being sexually abused by a 36-year-old man.

Friedman discussed Mindgeek’s capabilities to combat such activity. He cited recent additions such as Pornhub’s verified upload program, a portal for law enforcement and “a suite of tools” for filtering content.

Pornhub actually took less time than other measured platforms to respond to and remove questionable content, according to a 2021 study by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Pornhub responded in less than five hours, compared to the average of about 24 hours that other sites took to respond.

Ethical Partners says its focus will also include supporting sex workers in discussions about legislation and regulation.

“We have stood up for sex workers and we have seen the stigma,” Friedman said. “There is stigma and shame and that means that there are discussions and debates in the absence of those most affected.”

The firm also announced the creation of an advisory board to help protect the “sexual health” and “mental health” of artists on its sites.

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