Pornhub and Allies Accuse Instagram of Double Standard After Porn Site’s Account Permanently Banned

Pornhub, the embattled adult-content site, lashed out at the decision by Instagram to permanently ban its account on the social network, citing Instagram’s practice of allowing celebrities like Kim Kardashian to post photos with nudity as an example of a double standard.

In a letter addressed to senior execs at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, Pornhub — along with adult-industry trade group Free Speech Coalition, the Adult Performance Artists Guild and more than 60 adult performers — implored Instagram to “end all discrimination toward those involved in the adult industry” and to “immediately reinstate all accounts, including Pornhub, that have not violated any of Instagram’s Terms of Services.”

“We demand an explanation and guidance as to why our accounts are continuously deleted, and why content we spend money creating in order to engage with our audience is removed, even when we do not breach any of Instagram’s rules,” the letter said. (Read it below.)

The letter specifically cites a Sept. 6 Instagram post by Kardashian, one of the service’s most-followed celebs, that included a photo of her on the cover of Interview magazine’s September 2022 issue in which her nude backside is prominently displayed.

“Kim Kardashian has posted her fully exposed ass to her 330 million followers without any restrictive action from Instagram,” Pornhub and the others said in the letter. “We are happy to see that Kim and the artistic team behind the image are free to share their work on the platform, but question why we are denied the same treatment.”

The letter, posted on Twitter by Pornhub, is addressed to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram head Adam Mosseri, Meta global affairs chief Nick Clegg and Meta chief legal officer Jennifer Newstead.

But while Pornhub claims it has not violated Instagram’s policies, a spokesperson for Meta said that Pornhub repeatedly violated Instagram’s community guidelines — including a ban on sexual solicitation — over the course of more than 10 years. The violations accumulated to the point where Pornhub’s Instagram account was permanently shut down, according to Meta.

“We’ve permanently disabled this Instagram account for repeatedly violating our policies,” the Meta spokesperson said.

According to Instagram’s community guidelines, “We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram.” In addition, Instagram adheres to Meta’s corporate-wide community standards, which regarding sexual solicitation forbids “attempted coordination of or recruitment for adult sexual activities.” Pornhub’s Instagram posts had featured videos like “Next Career Goal” encouraging people to become pornography performers.

Before Instagram disabled Pornhub’s account in early September, it had 13.1 million followers and more than 6,200 posts.

That came about one month after Visa and Mastercard cut off payment privileges of TrafficJunky, the advertising arm of Pornhub parent company MindGeek. That followed a federal court ruling in July rejecting Visa’s request to be removed from a case in which MindGeek is being sued for allegedly distributing child pornography and that alleges Visa knowingly facilitated MindGeek’s ability to monetize the illegal content. MindGeek says it has “zero tolerance for the posting of illegal content on its platforms, and has instituted the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history… Any insinuation that MindGeek does not take the elimination of illegal material seriously is categorically false.”

Here’s the letter from Pornhub and its allies to Meta execs:

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