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A hard day for Pornhub

On Thursday, Brown Rudnick LLP filed a landmark civil complaint in the Central District of California against Pornhub and RedTube’s parent company, MindGeek on behalf of 34 individual plaintiffs.

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Pornhub was slapped with a U.S. lawsuit the same day a Canadian parliamentary committee recommended stronger law enforcement for porn sites.

On Thursday, Brown Rudnick LLP filed a landmark civil complaint in the Central District of California against Pornhub and RedTube’s parent company, MindGeek on behalf of 34 individual plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges exploitation and monetization of child pornography, rape videos, trafficked content, stolen content, and other non-consensual content.

The plaintiffs, some of whom are Canadian, are suing as individuals, not in a class action. The suit contains the first RICO (Racketeer influenced Corrupt Organization) allegations made against an online porn company. It claims that MindGeek, a company with offices in Montreal, is a criminal enterprise engaged in financial crimes and human trafficking. Visa is also named in the suit under allegations it serviced MindGeek’s sites despite being aware of exploitation.

“There is no amount of money that can undo what these individuals have been through, but with this suit we hope to enact industry-wide change and ensure the proper regulations are put in place so no man, woman or child can be exploited, trafficked, profited off of or abused without consequence,” said Brown Rudnick LLP Attorney Michael Bowe.

The complaint is the product of more than a year of in-depth investigation into MindGeek’s operations, organization and structure. This suit alleges the company aggressively tried to intimidate, discredit, and shame victims and advocates, and also includes allegations of:

  • illegal financial schemes (including tax evasion, money laundering and credit card fraud)
  • intentional embrace of illegal content (including mass copyright piracy and use of illegal non-consensual content) to maximize search engine optimization and advertising revenues
  • active exploitation of abusive material by avoiding moderation
  • masking of illegal content
  • stonewalling of victims
  • promoting of exploitative material to users via AI algorithms.

Also Thursday, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics tabled a report entitled Ensuring the Protection of Privacy and Reputation on Platforms Such As Pornhub. The report makes 14 recommendations for the government to prevent the proliferation of non-consensual pornographic content online, including child porn.

A key recommendation is that content-hosting platforms operating in Canada require everyone depicted in the content to affirm they are at least 18 years old and consent to distribution prior to the video upload.

Other recommendations include more resources for the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre to investigate the increased referrals of child sexual abuse materials; that the law allow more time to commence prosecution for an offence; and for a way to be made for Canadians to get online images or videos posted without their consent to be removed immediately upon request.

“The allegations against Pornhub are sobering and horrific. The witness testimony of young people’s lives being destroyed by non-consensual intimate videos and child sexual abuse material being shared on online platforms was sobering,” said Committee Chair and Alberta MP Chris Warkentin, in a committee press release,

“The government must ensure that Canadian laws are being enforced and existing tools are used to ensure more lives are not destroyed. The government must also pass legislation to make it perfectly clear that Canadian companies have a responsibility [to] provide a proactive duty of care for our most vulnerable and be held accountable when they contribute to the victimization of vulnerable women and minors.”

In the same release, Vice-Chair Brenda Shanahan gave her party a pat on the back.

“As Liberal Vice-Chair, I am proud that the motion proposed by one of our Liberal members allowed us to conduct this important study of a topic of deep concern to Canadians.”

NDP Committee member Charlie Angus wants action, not more talk, from the Trudeau government.

“We are calling on the government and police to rethink their unwillingness to apply Canadian law in the digital realm,” Angus said.

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

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Truckers: ‘We are not separatists or terrorists’

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks-alone- going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks.

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Truckers on the Freedom Convoy are rejecting characterizations they are “separatists” and “terrorists.”

“A small team of Alberta truckers, their family members and friends, came to the decision that the Government of Canada has crossed a line with implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. As of today, we now have the support of millions of Canadians from across the country,” group organizers said in a press release.

Demands from the Freedom Convoy to the federal government are:

  • Terminate all vaccine passports, including inter-Canada passport systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory programs of vaccination and contact tracing.
  • Respect the rights of those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
  • Cease the divisive rhetoric attacking Canadians who disagree with government mandates.
  • Cease limiting debate through coercive measures with the goal of censoring those who have varying or incorrect opinions.

“A unified and free Canada can be our future, and it starts now with reminding the government they serve the people,” stated the truckers.

“We have an opportunity for all of us to come together irrespective of our differences and do what is needed to ensure our freedoms are protected now and for future generations.

Statements claiming the convoy participants are ‘separatists’ or ‘terrorists’ are “categorically false and an attempt to smear” the movement, organizers said.

“It is saddening this kind of rhetoric is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. Instead of protecting our basic freedoms outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justin and his government seek to do the opposite. He is continually issuing defamatory comments and maligning large segments of the population. If history has taught us anything, these are actions that cannot be ignored. We are peaceful, hard-working Canadians who love our country and want the betterment for all Canadians.”

The organizers said due to the mass support of the movement, they can no longer guarantee the average Canadian will not be disrupted by the protest.

“For that, we are truly sorry, and we will do our very best to limit the disruptions to your lives. We ask that Canadians remember we are fighting for everyone’s freedoms and it’s the political class that has abandoned us all,” said the release.

The organization announced the number of heavy trucks going to Ottawa is close to 50,000, a large increase from the original expected 1,600 trucks. One driver going the opposite direction told the Western Standard he measured the convoy at 100-km long as it approached Winnipeg.

Some supporters are unable to commit to the whole trip, but are finding ways to still participate.

“A lot of vehicles just join the parade while it’s close to their homes and then peel off later, so it’s dynamic,” Martin Halvorson, a driver in the convoy, told the Western Standard.

“The amount of people is unknown because we are not counting … The numbers are big,” convoy organizer, Andy Draaistra, told the Western Standard.

“All the support is unbelievable, we hope the overpasses will hold the tons of people,” said Draaistra.

via risex100, Twitter
Via Basia Porter, Twitter

The protest is against federal COVID-19 mandates and is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa January 30 and then hold a mass demonstration the next day, Monday, when Parliament reumes.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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China changes Fight Club ending to cops busting anarchists

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

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The classic film Fight Club has been changed for viewers in China, with a ‘happy ending’ that complies with domestic censorship rules.

An altered version of the 1999 film was released on streaming platform Tencent Video in China over the weekend.

Multiple scenes from the original cut were deleted and a new ending was added.

Many in China had seen the original film pirated online and were surprised when streaming the newly released version.

Instead of buildings exploding at the end, the version shows authorities step in and win. 

Original closing scene of Fight Club

In the closing scenes of the original the narrator kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and then watches multiple buildings explode with Marla Singer, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilization is underway.

In the censored version released in China, the narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”

As well as Tyler, figment of the narrator’s imagination was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and later discharged.

Revised ending to Fight Club

China is home to some of the strictest rules regarding censorship, and only a handful of foreign films are released each year.

In the past Hollywood has created alternative cuts in order to comply with Chinese censorship rules, in hopes to access millions of viewers in the country.

It is unclear if the cut was made by western movie producers, or the Chinese government.

Tencent did not comment on the matter.

Authorities under President Xi Jinping have been working to eliminate society of influences classified as unhealthy, including within movies, television, computer games.

This effort was also extended to cracking down on the country’s local celebrities for perceived immoral behaviour.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced earlier this week an organized month-long ‘clean’ web campaign to create a ‘civilized and healthy’ online atmosphere.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Butt launches Twitter tirade on Scheer for supporting truckers

“It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened?”

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The former top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a Twitter broadside against former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer after he supported the truckers’ convoy rolling across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.

“Thank you Truckers! Trudeau is attacking personal liberty and threatening everyone’s ability to get groceries because of his overreach on vaccine mandates. He is the biggest threat to freedom in Canada,” Scheer tweeted.

Scheer tweet

That was enough to set Butts off.

“A breathtakingly irresponsible thing for a former Leader of the Opposition to say. Calling the prime minister — any prime minister — the biggest threat to Canadian liberty? This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a welcome mat,” he tweeted.

“Politics is a rough business and not for the thin of skin or faint of heart. But the people in these enormously important offices have to respect those offices, even if they don’t like each other.”

Butts tweet

In a later tweet, Butts said: “Have been thinking about Mr Scheer’s comments all day. It’s a truly depressing turn for our politics to take in Canada. Have we paid no attention to what happened to US politics, and how it happened? I almost wish I were a Conservative, so I could fight for my party’s soul.”

On the weekend, Butts took a run at organizer Tamara Lich in an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of Convoy For Freedom 2022.

“An Alberta separatist has collected almost a million bucks on a GoFundMe page to ‘support’ trucker protests. Where will the money go?” asked Butts in a tweet. 

More than $4.5 million has been raised to date as thousands of truckers are expected to descend on Ottawa this weekend.

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