Thanks to one woman's vision, the world's biggest porn site is a shell of its former self

Kurt Mahlburg
March 01, 2024
Reproduced with Permission

Laila Mickelwait is a woman on a mission

For over a decade she has been involved in anti-sex trafficking advocacy. But it was the "Traffickinghub" campaign she launched in February 2020 that has really made a mark on the world.

Leaving little mystery regarding its aims, Mickelwait describes her crusade as "a decentralised global movement of millions of individuals and hundreds of survivors, organisations and advocates from across a broad spectrum of political, faith and non-faith, economic, and ideological backgrounds, all uniting together for the single purpose of shutting down Pornhub and holding its executives accountable for enabling, distributing and profiting from rape, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and criminal image-based sexual abuse."

Three years later, over 2.3 million people have signed the petition to shut down Pornhub. In 2020 it was the 10th most visited website on the internet and the largest and most popular porn site, with 130 million visits per day. Now it is a shell of its former self.

Over the years, Mercator has featured many articles on both Pornhub's perversions and Mickelwait's mission -- and we were delighted to read a recent update she posted on X, formerly Twitter, cataloguing some of Traffickinghub's achievements to date.

"Let's make 2024 the year we finish the job and shut down Pornhub!" she wrote, before listing a "summary of Pornhub's reckoning so far":

Mickelwait then affirmed that "we aren't done yet" and urged supporters to "keep the pressure on" until the website is shut down entirely.

In a longer update on the Traffickinghub website, Mickelwait explained that shutting Pornhub down rather than merely forcing it to enact reforms is necessary because of how much damage has been wrought.

"Its owners and executives must be held accountable to the full extent of the law, and the victims of Pornhub worldwide must be given real justice," she wrote.

"[W]e must end impunity for corporations and executives who have knowingly enabled, profited from, and globally distributed rape for profit for over a decade, destroying the lives of countless victims."

"Severe abuses require severe consequences to be a deterrent to future bad actors."

She warned that despite some of the wins she and her supporters have chalked up, "Pornhub is still a crime scene, infested with videos of illegal nonconsensual content, including sex trafficking."

In June this year, Laila Mickelwait will release her first book, descriptively titled, Takedown: Inside the Fight to Shut Down Pornhub for Child Abuse, Rape, and Sex Trafficking.

"The gripping, true story of one woman's battle to expose and shut down a criminal online porn empire," the book's blurb explains.

"The culmination of years of activism, Takedown is the true, never before told story of how Mickelwait mobilized a movement of two million people and together they accomplished 'the biggest takedown of content in Internet history.' (Financial Times)".

Sign the Traffickinghub petition here.

It's hard to imagine a better cause to support.