xHamster will remove amateur videos in the Netherlands
Popular porn The xHamster site must remove all sexually explicit amateur videos of people in the Netherlands, unless Hammy Media – the Cypriot owner of xHamster – can demonstrate that everyone featured has consented, a The Amsterdam court ruled(Opens in a new tab). This includes videos with the appearance of candid or secret recordings. If these videos are made outside the Netherlands and there is no consent documentation, they must be inaccessible in the Netherlands.
The decision follows complaints from the Expertise Bureau Online Child Abuse (EOKM) agency, which submitted 10 sample videos where xHamster did not obtain proof of consent(Opens in a new tab), reported Ars Technica. These videos were uploaded between 2017 and 2020. Hammy Media claimed that since 2021 (following regulations reinforced by Mastercard and Visa), only professional producers and verified members can upload content. Once a video is uploaded, a moderation team checks the video for illegal content before it is released to the public. Proof of identity and consent must be provided for all artists in the video, and checks are made to ensure that the uploader is the same person as the artist.
Despite this, Judge RA Dudok van Heel said it was “sufficiently plausible” that xHamster could not show that permission had been obtained for people appearing in a large amount of footage on the site. Hammy Media provided consent documents for one of the 10 videos cited by EOKM, and the judge found this unconvincing.
Now xHamster has three weeks after the decision to remove the videos, or face fines: €10,000 (approximately $11,000) per video, which will increase by €500 ($550) per day the video is still in use. public, up to €10,000. 30,000 ($33,000). In a press release, EOKM(Opens in a new tab) called the decision a victory. EOKM director Arda Gerkens said she would consider taking further action against other porn sites. Otto Volgant of Dutch law firm Boekx Advocaten said it was a landmark decision with major implications in the adult industry, and referenced when Pornhub deleted millions of unverified videos.
The case raises questions, Mike Stabile, director of public affairs for the US porn industry lobby group Free Speech Coalition, told Mashable. Stabile said xHamster appears to have one of the most rigorous content review systems in the industry, and there is no evidence that the site does not remove non-consensually distributed content when reported to it.
“So while I understand the concerns, inside and outside the industry, there are thousands of sites, adult and non-adult, that host unverified content, including sites like Twitter” , said Stabile. “No one should have private or copyrighted content distributed without their consent, but I’m always worried when the government specifically targets adult sites for issues that affect the entire internet.”
xHamster has not yet responded to Mashable’s request for comment.