Meta takes down Pornhub’s Instagram account

Meta takes down Pornhub’s Instagram account
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

When you think of free speech on social media, you’re probably thinking about political or even hate speech. But what about porn?

Well, Instagram (which doesn’t allow nudity) just banned Pornhub’s account permanently. To be clear, it’s not like Pornhub was posting explicitly pornographic content on Instagram, and it argues that this time was no different. But, earlier this month, Meta took the account down for what it said was a temporary review before coming out now to say the ban is permanent.

Meta, Instagram’s umbrella company that also owns Facebook, said that Pornhub has repeatedly broken Insta’s rules. The most recent incident that sparked this whole debacle was a post where the account committed “sexual solicitation” by suggesting users visit a porn site (presumably, well, Pornhub). But Pornhub argues that its content hasn’t been any worse than what we see come from celebrities like Kim Kardashian and that Meta is discriminating against the adult film industry.

This isn’t the first time Pornhub’s gotten screwed, though (pardon the pun). Visa and Mastercard cut Pornhub off two years ago after allegations surfaced that the site hosted videos of rape and child porn. It also got hit with a class-action lawsuit in April this year, saying the site featured illegal content like videos posted without consent and others depicting the sexual abuse of children.

Key comments:

“We’ve permanently disabled this Instagram account for repeatedly violating our policies,” said an Instagram spokesperson to the New York Post, declining to say how many violations Pornhub had had in the past but making it clear that the ban was permanent.

“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,” read an open letter by Pornhub and cosigned by a number of other organizations and porn stars. “We demand fair treatment on Instagram for adult performers, sex workers, and any compliant adult business, including Pornhub.”