Kate Isaacs Talks To What We Seee About The #NotYourPorn Campaign
“I’ve never seen anyone feel so desperate, hurt, and invaded,” Kate Isaacs, founder of the #NotYourPorn campaign, tells What We Seee.
“A friend of mine was contacted by a few people on Instagram telling her that she was on Pornhub. It was horrific,” she explains. “Someone had hacked her iCloud account and had stolen videos of her and her partner at the time having sex, and had uploaded it to Pornhub.”
But as soon as Isaacs started trying to work out what she could do to help her friend, she discovered that the problem was much, much larger than she imagined.
“I went onto Pornhub to get the video pulled down (after never visiting the site before) And found thousands of ‘leaked sex tapes’ being commented on, uploaded, downloaded, and shared across Twitter.”
It’s an all-too-common phenomenon. Despite revenge porn regulation making it easier for victims to get videos taken down, there is nothing to stop videos from being uploaded onto major porn sites in the first place. Once they’re uploaded, they may be viewed and shared thousands or millions of times before they’re taken down. Women who have these videos taken down have explicitly told the sites that they have not consented to have these private, intimate videos shared. And yet there’s nothing to stop the exact same video — with the same title and their full name — from being uploaded again and again.
Hiding In Plain Sight
Thanks @itvnews for having @Kate_Isaacs to talk about the #NotYourPorn campaign. If you haven’t had a watch already, please do. The petition is in our bio! Please sign and tell the porn industry that #RevengePorn is not for commercial purposes pic.twitter.com/lsLOwjLdQD
— #NotYourPorn (@NotYourPorn) June 27, 2019
Isaacs’ friend not only had to cope with this video being shared, but also the torrent of abuse that followed — her name was included in the video and PornHub let it be put up again and again, giving trolls all of the information they needed. And it could happen to any of us.
It’s almost unthinkable that this is still the case in 2019. Unfortunately, the fact that it’s so obvious is part of the problem — people assume that something they’re seeing on a major porn site like YouPorn or PornHub, must be OK. It seems like there must already be regulations in place — but there just aren’t.
“I look on Twitter every day, typing in ‘revenge porn’ ‘PornHub’ and other keywords to see what the general public’s opinion is on this matter,” Isaacs says. “The number of people arguing that the videos on the likes of Pornhub must be a) completely consensual and b) of legal age was really scary. Because Pornhub is a massive registered company, with offices across the world (including London), users assume that all the videos on there are above board. I’m not surprised either, the very least you expect from a company is that what they’re profiting from is legal…”
A Change Of Mindset
For many, it takes a while to understand the scope of the problem. Not just the thousands, maybe millions, of women who are affected. Not just that porn companies are allowed to profit off of these videos. Not just that there’s no deterrent or disincentive for sharing them in the first place — for treating women like property, for punishing them for their sexuality, for what amounts, really, to abuse. It’s also the sheer scope of the problem — and the completely destructive damage that’s been done — that’s hard to process.
“There were literally thousands of videos labeled ‘leaked sex tape’ or ‘revenge porn’,” she explains. “I think what shocked me the most though, was that the everyday man (or woman) felt entitled to share this content, and comment on it, publicly on Twitter with no shame, no remorse, and a real sense of entitlement.”
An Issue Of Awareness
It takes as long as your kettle takes to boil to tell your MP to take action against the likes of @Pornhub hosting and profiting from #RevengePorn
Take action: https://t.co/eDlPvxnssy pic.twitter.com/UFKOjpGQOq
— #NotYourPorn (@NotYourPorn) July 20, 2019
So far, the #NotYourPorn campaign has found an enthusiastic response — the fact that there should be more regulation, punishments, and deterrents is simply common-sense. Most states in the U.S. have already invoked some kind of non-consensual dissemination of sexual material laws — there’s no reason that the 2015 revenge porn offense can’t be enforced more strongly here.
“It’s been really great, I haven’t had many negative responses to the campaign,” she explains. “The majority of the time it’s people saying something along the lines of, ‘Surely this is illegal already?’ — which speaks VOLUMES. People can’t believe this is happening right now, and that it would be so easy for them to end up on one of these websites too.”
Because so many people don’t even realize that this is a problem — or assume it’s already covered by existing legislation — the biggest issue now is awareness.
“Spread. The. Word. Just having conversations about porn is half the problem,” she says. “The majority of us watch it, and that’s totally okay. What’s not okay is that a user could be watching content that they don’t even realise is illegal in the first place. Porn itself as a concept isn’t bad, but the porn industry and how they conduct themselves is horrific. I want people to tell everyone they know that this is happening, and this could very easily happen to them. There is a government petition and an email-your-MP petition on the website. But I honestly believe that the first step to changing any social issue is just telling people that it exists in the first place. Use the #NotYourPorn hashtag on Twitter, share the petition, tell your stories.”