Summary List PlacementBusinessman Bernard Bergemar owns MindGeek, which runs major porn sites like Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn, according to an explosive new report from the Financial Times.
The publication said Bergemar’s name had been known only in a “small circle” of MindGeek power players until the report. Prior to the FT story’s publication, a Google search result only showed three results for Bergemar’s name.
Pornhub did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
Bergemar owns shares in a majority of MindGeek subsidiaries, which allow him to be the biggest beneficiary of the company, FT reported. MindGeek pays license fees for the “complex network of subsidiaries,” and owes them millions of dollars in dividends, according to the report.
“The opaqueness surrounding the company’s financing also covers management,” FT’s Patricia Nilsson wrote. “The names of many of the company’s senior executives who feature in corporate filings do not appear in internet searches, leaving little or no trace of who they are.”
A Business Insider investigation had previously found no evidence that supports the existence of multiple Pornhub executives quoted in press releases or news articles.
Read more: Former Pornhub moderators describe lax rules while being ordered to watch up to 1,200 videos per day: ‘Our job was to find weird excuses to keep videos on our sites’
Pornhub recently took down all videos from unverified creators, which had accounted for most of the site’s content, after MasterCard and Visa withdrew services from the platform. The move followed a New York Times opinion article on child pornography on Pornhub, but sex workers and porn performers told VICE the credit card companies’ move could lead to lost income.
Pornhub has long faced scrutiny for not doing enough to remove sex trafficking content and child pornography. Former content moderators at MindGeek recently told Business Insider the firm let questionable videos live on the site. “Our job was to find weird excuses to keep videos on our sites,” a moderator said.
Victims of a sex trafficking operation filed a lawsuit against MindGeek on December 15 for $40 million, VICE’s Samantha Cole reported.
Read more: Pornhub has been widely covered for its marketing savvy. But its most-quoted executives are nearly invisible, and it’s unclear if they actually exist.
MindGeek recorded more than $460 million in revenue in 2018, according to FT. Google data reviewed by the publication showed more people have searched “Pornhub” than “coronavirus” or “Trump” in the past month.SEE ALSO: TikTok is banning content that promotes pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing companies
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