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HomeWorldPornhub owner MindGeek bought by Canadian private equity firm

Pornhub owner MindGeek bought by Canadian private equity firm


Sale of adult site comes after controversy over hosting of child abuse material and other non-consensual content.

The operator of Pornhub, the controversial but wildly popular adult website, has been sold to a Canadian private equity firm.

Ottawa-based Ethical Capital Partners (ECP) said Thursday it had bought MindGeek, the company that owns Pornhub and several other pornographic websites.

The terms of the deal have not been made public.

ECP Chairman Rocco Meliambro said the equity firm was focused on identifying properties with the potential to “create attractive returns over an attractive time horizon”.

“We believe the adult entertainment industry is being impacted by changing public attitudes and regulatory approaches, and the time is right for this business to evolve,” Meliambro said in a statement.

Pornhub, one of the most visited sites in the world, has attracted controversy in recent years due to claims that its owners have profited from child sexual abuse material, rape videos, revenge porn and other non-consensual content.

Mastercard and Visa stopped processing payments for Pornhub in 2020 after a New York Times op-ed described the site as “contaminated with rape videos,” a move welcomed by anti-pornography advocates but criticized by adult performers.

MindGeek, founded in Montreal but now based in Luxembourg, has been the subject of several lawsuits from women who accused the company of knowingly hosting sexual content involving them without their consent.

In 2021, MindGeek settled a lawsuit in California brought by 50 women who claimed to have been victimized by the site.

MindGeek has said it has zero tolerance towards non-consensual content and is vulnerable to bad actors uploading content just like other online platforms. The company has introduced several measures to deal with the proliferation of illegal content, including verification for users who upload material to the site.

MindGeek’s chief executive and chief operating officer stepped down last year, while remaining shareholders of the company.

ECP founder Sarah Bain said she was confident MindGeek operates “with trust and security at the forefront of everything they do.”

“We will engage with stakeholders including content creators, governments and industry to address the misalignment between how MindGeek works and what the public perceives about this industry and these platforms,” Bain said.

“We will work with the team to ensure their commitment to trust and safety is clearly communicated to all stakeholders and the public.”

A documentary about Pornhub, Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, debuted on Netflix this week, reigniting the debate over the website and the regulation of sexual content online.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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