Close this search box.
Close this search box.


#47 Opposing Views: Pornhub

Welcome to the Mikhaila Peterson Podcast. This is a bit of a different style episode. Last month, there was big news about Pornhub. Visa and Mastercard dropped them for apparently hosting child pornography and in response, Pornhub removed all non-verified videos, a total of over ten million videos. I decided to have a couple of people on to discuss whether or not porn and sex work is dangerous, harmful, and addictive or whether it’s a natural thing that should be decriminalized and even encouraged.

I spoke first with Haley McNamara, VP at the National Centre for Sexual Exploitation. Haley’s nonprofit is largely responsible for bringing this issue with Pornhub and child pornography into the public eye and getting over ten million videos for unverified users removed in September 2020.

The second half of the episode is with Dr. Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist who researches human sexual behavior, addiction, and the physiology of sexual response. She’s also the founder of Libros LLC, an independent research institute.

These people have pretty much completely opposing views, so it was a very interesting contrast of conversations. This is the first episode like this. Let me know if you find this opposing viewpoint type of podcast interesting, I may do more of these episodes.

A special thank you to Ground News for supporting this week’s episode. Download the Ground News app for free…​ to join the fight against media bias. Ground News is an apolitical news app that you can trust to give you all the details of a story regardless of your political ideology.

Show Notes:
[3:00​] Mikhaila opens the show by giving the details about the lawsuit that Pornhub is facing regarding child porn and exploitation on their platform.
[4:30​] Mikhaila Peterson introduces a key member of the organization that is fighting Pornhub, Haley McNamara.
[6:30​] Haley gives Mikhaila a summary of why Pornhub is not acting in the capacity it should to better regulate the content on their platform.
[9:00​] Ten million of thirteen million videos have been taken down on Pornhub, specifically those from unverified uploaders. Mikhaila asks Haley, of those videos removed, what percentage she believes had problematic content.
[10:30​] Haley discusses what sex trafficking is as opposed to what a person might think of a legal porn studio operation; what are the distinct differences.
[12:00​] Mikhaila asks Haley what the big goal is for her and her organization in this legal battle.
[13:30​] What is a verified user on Pornhub? All videos have been removed that are not uploaded by verified users.
[15:00​] It has been very difficult to remove content from Pornhub in the past, victims would have to fight for a very long time to get videos removed with layers involved. Often the videos would just be re-uploaded again later.
[16:30​] Mikhaila asks Haley her opinion on where the Pornhub Lawsuit is headed.
[18:30​] More information on MindGeek, Pornhub, and how lucrative the porn industry is to some platforms.
[22:30​] Mikhaila Peterson introduces Dr. Nicole Prause to continue the conversation on Pornhub and the ongoing battle against all forms of pornography known as porn wars.
[23:00​] Dr. Prause’s perspective on what is happening with the Pornhub lawsuit.
[26:00​] Mikhaila and Nicole discuss some of the arguments put forth by more antiporn groups including porn isn’t good for you growing up, it’s addictive, and it’s not good for the performers making it.
[29:00​] Is dopamine release in viewing porn extremely addictive or of negative impact? Dr. Prause says that dopamine release is primarily caused by masturbation in addition to viewing porn and that viewing the images themselves does not seem to have a very large addictive impact on the brain.
[32:00​] Does an individual exhibit the effects of addiction to porn in the same way as alcohol or nicotine? Does a person have withdrawal symptoms when they can’t view porn anymore?
[33:30​] Nicole Prause gives her opinion on the shortcomings and benefits of websites like OnlyFans and the people who may be considering doing this type of sex work.
[37:00​] Negative impacts of sex work
[40:30​] The positive and negative implications that normalizing porn could have and the general trend of society becoming more accepting of porn and sex workers

Find more of Haley McNamara on her Twitter @HaleyMcNamara and on her organization’s Twitter @ncose website​

Find more of Nicole Prause through her Twitter @NicoleRPrause, and her LLC website