There is a difference between pornography and rape videos. Pornography consists of two consenting adults who know they are being filmed, and then the video is released to the public for other people who are of age. However, there are different videos that get released to the public that are not made by two consenting adults.
When one party does not consent, or cannot consent, then the video is of their rape, and is morally wrong. Whether it was a person who was of the legal age, or a child, it is wrong to engage in sexual acts with a person who cannot consent and is even more wrong to record the act. Sometimes the act is filmed secretly, which makes it even more traumatic.
Many people have fallen victim to their rape videos being put on pornography websites illegally. Let’s take a look at how big the problem is and what sites are profiting off these videos.
What Is the Scope of the Problem?
These videos are uploaded to porn websites where almost anyone can view them. Even though some of the sites require a paid subscription and credit card companies stopped working with the sites, there are still some that are completely free and allow anyone to upload and view the videos.
Many women and men who have their rape videos posted to these sites have asked time and time to have them removed, but nothing is done. In fact, sometimes the same videos get posted more times and then get even more views even though they have been asked to take it off their site. To add to the problem, sites like Pornhub and XVideos aren’t the only places that these rape videos get uploaded.
They can even be found on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Women and men who have had nonconsensual videos of them posted to these sites will ask for years to have them removed, but nothing happens. As Nicholas Kristof from the New York Times writes, one of the biggest contributors to the problem is Google.
People can use Google to find these videos. All they need is to enter the correct search terms, and Google will bring them the video on whatever site it’s available on. This means that Google is profiting off these videos being on the internet because people are using their search engine to get to them.
Even though all of the sites mentioned say in their policies that illegal videos are not tolerated on their sites, they still have them. So what can be done legally to get these videos off the sites so that they are no longer available and can no longer be used for profit?
What Can Legally Be Done?
Currently, it’s difficult to hold these corporations responsible for their part in distributing and profiting off these videos. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act makes it hard for victims to take action against the private companies that their videos are being hosted on. The legislature makes it so that websites are not responsible for what a third-party posts on their site.
This means that if a person posts a video of someone else’s rape on Pornhub, then Pornhub is not responsible for that video being published on their site. This makes it difficult to hold them legally responsible for what is posted wrongfully on their site, and prevents many victims from getting justice. When they can’t be held responsible, it’s hard to get the video removed and even harder to get justice for the victim of the video.
Accountability from these corporations and their websites would be the best way for victims to be able to take legal action for a video of their rape being posted on the internet. These victims are already dealing with the trauma of being violated sexually and having it recorded. They shouldn’t have to also suffer worrying if the video will be taken down at their request, or not be able to be posted in the first place.
If you have legal questions, we may be able to help. Reach out to DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC in West Virginia so that we can answer all of your questions about situations like this.