A private equity firm has acquired Pornhub with the aim of steering the site in a different direction

Ethical Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquired Mindgeek, an IT company that owns Pornhub, on Thursday.

As per NBC News, the Ottawa-based firm now has full control of the adult entertainment site and has pledged to lead the company in a new direction.

Solomon Friedman, Ethical Capital’s vice president of compliance, believes there’s “social, financial, and technological” value in sharing how Mindgeek hosts and moderates content about “sex-positive expression between consenting adults,” he told NBC.

Having 15 years of experience as a defense lawyer, Friedman has dealt with litigation associated with the elimination of child sexual abuse material.

Friedman’s experience could be beneficial for Pornhub, which has been facing intense scrutiny since 2020 when an opinion piece published in the New York Times exposed the substantial amount of problematic content on the site, including sexual material involving minors, non-consensual videos, and even rape videos.

According to CTV News, a Canadian news broadcaster, Mindgeek settled a lawsuit in 2021 that accused the company of profiting from child sexual abuse and non-consensual content.

In the previous autumn, a lawsuit was filed by a mother alleging that Mindgeek had hosted and profited from a video of her 12-year-old son being sexually assaulted by a 36-year-old man.

Friedman has discussed Mindgeek’s ability to combat such activities and mentioned recent additions such as Pornhub’s verified uploader program, a law enforcement portal, and “a set of tools” to screen content.

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2021, Pornhub was quicker to respond and remove problematic content than other measured platforms, taking less than five hours to respond, while other sites took approximately 24 hours on average.

Ethical Partners has stated that its focus will also include supporting sex workers in conversations about legislation and regulation.

“We have defended sex workers and we have seen the stigma,” said Friedman. “There is stigma and there is shame and that means there are discussions and debates happening in the absence of those who are most affected by it.”

The firm also announced the creation of an advisory board to help protect the “sexual health” and “mental health” of their sites’ performers.