XTube, the first website allowing users to upload and share their own pornographic videos, is closing.
According to a report in TNW, no explanation was given for the closure, but XTube and its parent company, MindGeek, have been the subject of lawsuits and allegations regarding human trafficking and the hosting of illegal content.
“It’s a sad day for us a XTube, but we have to announce that after 13 years, XTube.com will be shutting down September 5th,” XTube announced in a statement. “We’re proud of the vibrant community we’ve built since 2008, and we’re grateful to all of you who have shared your content on our platform. Unfortunately, it’s time for us to move on to greener pastures and greater things.”
While no explanation was given, speculation centers on allegations XTube enabled human trafficking and hosted illegal content such as rape, revenge porn, and child sexual abuse and pornography.
Anti-trafficking activist and founder and CEO of Justice Defense Fund Laila Mickelwait celebrated the news while observing “if you can’t operate legally, you can’t operate at all” and warned that Pornhub was the next.
Last month, 34 women filed a lawsuit against MindGeek and its Pornhub site, alleging they had exploited the women by hosting content without their consent.
“The online porn industry has essentially been the Red Light District of commerce,” Michael Bowe, an attorney representing the women, told CBS News last month. “This new industry of online porn, for the last 10 years, has been allowed by law enforcement, government entities, to operate by a different set of rules. Basically, no rules or oversight.”
In a statement released last month in response to the lawsuit, MindGeek denied the allegations contained in the lawsuit, calling them “utterly absurd” and went on to note the steps they had to taken to prevent illegal content.
XTube was established in 2006. It does not produce content but instead serves as a hosting platform allowing users to upload their own pornographic content. The site proved wildly popular with its mix of videos, live webcams, photographs, erotica, and more. XTube claimed to have over 9 million members.
The site will close on September 5, but the XTube has already disabled the ability to upload new content. Users will be able to download content using their current credits, but no new subscriptions or credits will be sold, and payouts will be made by September 16.