Money Shot: The PornHub Story: The biggest revelations from the Netflix documentary

Money Shot: The PornHub Story: The biggest revelations from the Netflix documentary
Money Shot: The Pornhub Story

The unsexy reality of working at one of the most famous adult sites is the centre of a new Netflix documentary, Money Shot: The Pornhub Story.

The documentary by Suzanne Hillinger debuted on the streaming service on Wednesday (15 March) and lifts the lid on the "dark side" of the porn industry.

Former Pornhub employees, journalists and activists banded together to delve into the business side of porn and the ugly truths and allegations against the company.

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It also features adult performers such as Cherie DeVille, Natassia Dreams, Asa Akira, Siri Dahl and Wolf Hudson who spoke on the controversies surrounding the site and how it has impacted their line of work.

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story | Official Trailer |

Here are nine of the biggest revelations we learned from the documentary:

MindGeek is behind some of the most popular adult companies

The Luxembourg-based, privately held company in Canada is responsible not only for Pornhub, but also Brazzers (who produce porn content) and a host of other tube sites such as Redtube and Xtube.

Porn industry advocate, Mike Stabile explained that the company came from "outside the industry," which was initially a technology platform, with no studio or experience creating adult content.

"They just had to create a platform where people could share content," he said.

The office is a far cry from the on-screen 'excitement'

Noelle Perdue, who previously worked at the company for three years, described her day-to-day as working in a "hilariously boring office space: grey carpet, grey cubicle, open-concept kind of thing. It was really just like working at a tech company."

They're "extremely good" at collecting your data

Journalist Martin Patriquin described MindGeek as a "data-harvesting operation."

"This is a company that does exactly what Netflix does, what Facebook does. It gathers data on its users to better tailor content towards those eyeballs."

He went on to suggest the company are "extremely good" at it, adding: "In fact, better at it than Netflix."

Patriquin believes this is because they have much more information to build an algorithm around.

Subscription sites were game changers in financial freedom

Several adult content creators believe that websites such as Modelhub and OnlyFans opened the door to complete financial freedom, which gave them "autonomy, power and a bit more money."

Before this, adult star Cherie DeVille said performers were "all at the mercy of studio-produced porn."

"It has made financial freedom very easy and accessible for so many more models," she said.

For Siri Dahl, it was the reason she was able to buy her first property, saying it would not have been possible if she was required to "reliably save up to buy a house from doing studio work before."

Wolf Hudson agreed, claiming to make roughly around $4,000 a month from studio work, which soon significantly increased to over $10,000 with Modelhub.

It was incredibly easy to upload content – inevitably, creating problems

All that was required from those who didn't intend on making money from content was an email address.

This meant sharing content that wasn't theirs or wasn't consensual was easy to do and the lack of verification made it "very difficult to actually track that person down."

Performers have been advocating for mandatory verification for years, and generally, the response was said to be "we're working on it, it's happening eventually."

During her three years working at the company, Perdue said: "The vast majority of Pornhub's content was unverified."

NCOSE make allegations that Pornhub 'knowingly profit from sex trafficking'

Dani Pinter, senior legal counsel for The National Centre on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), made shocking allegations against the porn site.

"We are bringing forward sex trafficking claims and alleging that Pornhub knows that there are traffickers intentionally creating this content for their site or knowingly distributing child pornography on their site. They know that.

Pinter continued: "They're facilitating it intentionally because they know there's a demand for it. They're marketing it. All because they're profiting from it."

"Knowingly profiting from sex trafficking is what we believe they are liable for."

Nick Kristof's 'The Children of Pornhub' piece disrupted the site's 'wholesome' image

Journalist Nick Kristof's 2020 op-ed exposed reported on the sexual abuse of teenagers posted to the website.

The New York Times article, coupled with a '#Traffickinghub' social media campaign eventually led MindGeek to ban all uploads from unverified users. They also took action by removing millions of videos from the site.

There was a public uproar to have the site shut down. Major credit card companies also detached themselves from the site. This led to some legitimate sex workers feeling like they were having "food taken from their mouths".

Moderators would 'guess' someone's age if unsure

Content moderators were going through thousands of clips a day, sometimes without sound to fast-track the process. This meant some illegal content was slipping through the net.

"Even if we thought we were being diligent with our work, we would still miss a few videos every now and again," an anonymous former moderator said. "I can't really tell from a video the age of somebody. It's a really hard thing to determine if a 17-year-old is more than 18. They could be 14 or they could be 19."

"Basically, we would just guess."

Indy100 reached out to Pornhub for comment.

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