Instagram Bans Competitor Pornhub
Tech · Sep 29, 2022 ·

MENLO PARK, CA — A few weeks ago, Instagram banned Pornhub's account amid mounting evidence of nonconsensual sexual exploitative material on the account. Instagram says their decision is an integrity move due to the wide documentation of Pornhub's inappropriate and illegal practices, as well as to remove one of their chief competitors in providing pornographic material to men.

"We stand against this filth in all its forms, unless it is housed on our platform with the ad revenue going to us." Instagram's CEO Adam Mosseri spoke out in an Instagram reel about the company's decision, adding "These large providers of pornography use exploitation for profit, and we do not want to empower competitors in that field."

The mainstreaming of hyper-sexualized material has long been a mainstay of social media websites like Instagram, leading Instagram's stakeholders to wonder whether Pornhub's presence as a verified account represented the platforming of a direct competitor. Mosseri's stance confirmed this notion and has been hailed as an important step towards securing Instagram's future profitability from the porn industry by serving porn addicts on their own platform.

In the comments on Mosseri's reel, however, critics were quick to point out the anti-competitive nature of the move. One user commented "Uhh shouldn't this be protected by some antitrust legislation? #CompetitionMatters #WeNeedPornChoices" and another user echoed similar sentiments: "This is basically the mafia knocking off a rival gang…shouldn't there be rules against these porn turf wars not happening??"

At publishing time, Instagram's board issued an additional statement concurring with Mosseri's post, adding that they planned to ramp up the platforming of pornography and other material reliant on sex trafficking until it made up for any lost porn from Pornhub's suspension.

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