Instagram Briefly Reinstates Pornhub Account ‘in Error,’ Then Shuts It Down Again

UPDATED, 3:55 p.m. PT: Pornhub’s Instagram account came back online for a few hours Sunday — but that was a mistake, according to Meta.

On Sunday (Feb. 19), the Pornhub Instagram account, which has 12.9 million followers, appeared to have been reinstated. However, “This was done in error,” a Meta spokesperson told Variety. “As we’ve said previously, we permanently disabled this Instagram account for repeatedly violating our policies.”

More from Variety

The errant reinstatement of Pornhub on the photo- and video-sharing site at came after Instagram in early September 2022 permanently banned Pornhub, with a spokesperson for Meta citing the account’s repeated violations of the company’s community guidelines including its ban on sexual solicitation over the course of more than 10 years. A month later, Instagram disabled a second account that Pornhub had established to try to circumvent the ban of its primary account.

A rep for Pornhub provided this statement: “Within hours of reinstating our Instagram account, Meta has demonstrated that its policies have no rhyme or reason when they deactivated our account again, despite not violating any guidelines. This comes at a time of increased censorship and discrimination against performers in the adult space, when platforms like Instagram should be inclusive and provide safe communities for creators to express themselves. Instead, Meta and Instagram’s haphazard and irrational enforcement of their policies place undue hardships on the livelihoods of those in the adult industry, an already marginalized group. We call on Meta to once again reverse its decision.”

Separately, in December 2022 YouTube shut down Pornhub’s YouTube channel, claiming that Pornhub violated the platform’s policy against linking to external websites that host content that isn’t allowed on YouTube itself.

MindGeek, Pornhub’s parent company, has been the target of numerous lawsuits alleging Pornhub has profited by distributing child pornography and nonconsensual sex videos. MindGeek has said the allegations lack merit and that it has “instituted the most comprehensive safeguards in user-generated platform history.”

Last year, Visa and Mastercard cut off payment processing to TrafficJunky, the advertising arm of MindGeek that sells ads on Pornhub, after a federal court ruling last summer rejected Visa’s request to be removed from a case in which MindGeek is being sued for allegedly distributing child pornography. The plaintiff in that case alleged Visa knowingly facilitated MindGeek’s ability to monetize the illegal content.

Meanwhile, Netflix next month will release a documentary about the controversial site, “Money Shot: The Pornhub Story,” exploring its history and recent backlash.

Pictured above: Banner at the Pornhub booth at the 2023 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at Resorts World Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2023

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.