XVideos reportedly receives over 3.3 billion site visits per month. The site also reportedly hosts non-consensual content like real rape and abuse videos.
AUGUST 8, 2022
XVideos, the world’s most popular porn sites, reportedly receives over 3.3 billion site visits per month.
The site also reportedly still hosts real rape tapes and abuse videos, according to a recent report by a German media company.
This isn’t the first time XVideos has been reviewed and called out for illegal and illicit content—this scathing review was just published due to the countless sexually violent videos on its website.
The review came from Netzpolitik.org, a Berlin-based media company whose mission is to increase internet digital freedom and openness.
The report showed that XVideos has taken steps to combat toxic content, such as banning the term “rape,” but that a number of videos still exist on the site that are extremely abusive and problematic.
Netzpolitik was able to find videos where people do not seem to be “fully conscious but are apparently being abused for sexual acts,” while other videos are of people who “don’t seem to know they’re being filmed, for example on the toilet.”
Moreover, slight changes to spelling and wording can still reportedly provide access to videos that should be banned under rape searches. For example, the site has content categories, like “against her will” or “unconscious and f—ed,” and instead of typing “rape,” closely-related but alternate search terms provide over 400,000 results.
It’s no wonder that Chris Köver, editor at Netzpolitik, said that “XVideos could certainly do more to prevent distribution of these recordings.”
Is XVideos moderating its content?
XVideos reportedly pays a bunch of people to stop toxic content from ever being uploaded to the site or to get rid of it the moment it’s found. Also, as we mentioned earlier, the porn site has stopped uploaders from using certain tags that hint at sexual abuse and violence.
However, it’s not difficult to get around such tags and it’s nearly impossible for the moderators to catch everything that’s uploaded given XVideos is the 7th-most visited website in the world, and the first most-popular porn site.
While XVideos does have an online form that can be filled out anonymously to flag videos to moderators (Netzpolitik‘s review noted 25 of the 30 videos it flagged were removed within a day), it’s still not enough.
Why? Because this kind of system puts the burden on people to report the things they see. It forces abuse victims, for example, to be re-victimized by searching for and seeing their violation broadcast to the world.
In other words, unless moderators or an occasional external reviewer finds it among all the toxic content being uploaded on a minute-by-minute basis, it’s not all going to be reported.
That’s a problem because it opens the door for victims of all types to be traumatized again and again rather than preventing the disturbing content from being shared and consumed for “entertainment” in the first place.
What happens when victims are traumatized by sexual content shared against their will?
Take the tragic story of a 16-year-old girl from Perth, Australia recounted by journalist Nicholas Kristof in an investigative op-ed for The New York Times.
The teen Snapchatted a nude photo of herself to her then-boyfriend with a message, “I love you. I trust you.” Without consent, the boyfriend immediately screenshot the snap and shared it with five of his friends, who then shared it with 47 other friends.
Before long, over 200 students at the teen’s school had seen the image with one person uploading it to a porn site with her name and school.
The teen stopped attending school and self-medicated with drugs. Her family moved to a different city and then a different state, but she felt she could not escape. At 21 years old, she died by suicide.
Sadly, this story is an all too common one. People’s lives are turned upside-down: some are forced to change their names, looks, and move. Others face mental health crises. And others still face all of these ramifications and more.
What if the content isn’t real sexual abuse imagery?
Most people would probably agree that if something was uploaded without consent, it should be taken down, but what about the content that is simply staged and scripted as if one person is being sexually abused?
For example, many of the links Google returns for a search term like “schoolgirl” will likely be of porn performers who are play acting child abuse, but this blend of professional videos mixed with non-consensual and abusive content is problematic for a few reasons:
- This content makes it even more challenging for consumers to tell the difference between the real and staged videos of abuse.
- These videos sexualize and fetishize real abuse scenarios that can ultimately influence their sexual tastes.1
Even if the video isn’t technically “real rape,” it normalizes the abuse that many do face and creates demand for more exploitative, violent content.
Exploitation, rape, sexual assault, and sex abuse are not sexual entertainment.
Why this matters
There are videos that exist that don’t contain real or acted sexual abuse material, but it seems as though violence-free content is becoming more rare in the mainstream porn world.
One study analyzing the acts portrayed in porn videos suggests that as little as 35.0% and as much as 88.2% of popular porn scenes contain violence or aggression, and that women are the targets of violence approximately 97% of the time.23
Another study found the most common form of sexual violence shown was between family members, and frequent terms used to describe the videos included “abuse,” “annihilation,” and “attack.” The researchers concluded by saying that these sites are “likely hosting” unlawful material.4
And the few videos that exist that don’t fall under the categories we’ve mentioned earlier still have their own host of negative effects on viewers ranging from decreased enjoyment in sex, decreased empathy, lowered self-esteem and more.
At the end of the day, porn is just not worth it. Protect yourself and protect others by refusing to click.
1Downing, M. J., Jr, Schrimshaw, E. W., Scheinmann, R., Antebi-Gruszka, N., & Hirshfield, S. (2017). Sexually Explicit Media Use by Sexual Identity: A Comparative Analysis of Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men in the United States. Archives of sexual behavior, 46(6), 1763–1776. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0837-9
2Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: a content analysis update. Violence against women, 16(10), 1065–1085. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210382866
3Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A descriptive analysis of the types, targets, and relative frequency of aggression in mainstream pornography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(8), 3041-3053. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0
4Vera-Gray, F., McGlynn, C., Kureshi, I., & Butterby, K. (2021). Sexual violence as a sexual script in mainstream online pornography. The British Journal of Criminology, doi:10.1093/bjc/azab035