XTube, the world’s first porn tube site, is set to shut down on September 5, 2021 after 15 years of operation.

The site, owned by Canadian company MindGeek and known for its gay amateur video content, launched in March 2006, just over a year before MindGeek’s behemoth porn site Pornhub launched.

The shutdown was announced after the company began purging unverified videos from its sites, following accusations of Pornhub hosting illegal content. Meanwhile, credit card companies such as Mastercard have introduced tougher rules about content verification and consent for banks dealing with porn sites.

Gizmodo reported that in July 2021 XTube hosted around 35,000 videos, down from 115,000 in November 2020. According to Similarweb, XTube’s total visit count fell from 17.5 million for the month of January 2021 to 10 million in June 2021.

XTube is part of MindGeek’s Pornhub network alongside RedTube and YouPorn.

Responding to the closure announcement, Laila Mickelwait, founder of anti-Pornhub campaign Traffickinghub, tweeted: “Lesson: If you can’t operate legally, you can’t operate at all.”

XTube has disabled new video and photo uploads to the site ahead of the September 5 shutdown. Purchasing new site credits and premium subscriptions has been disabled, although users are able to use their existing credits to buy amateur content already on the site.

The company said in a statement to users that it was “proud of the vibrant community we’ve built”, but that “unfortunately, it’s time for us to move on to greener pastures and greater things.”

“Like any tech company, we are constantly evaluating our content offerings and products to best serve our users. XTube has always had a dedicated but small community, and we believe that its users and creators will be better served on one of our existing platforms, where they will be able to take advantage of wider reach and increased visibility,” a MindGeek spokesman told SEXTECHGUIDE.

While XTube was significant in being the first porn tube site, its shuttering does not mark a seismic loss in 2021. Its recent user number counts compared to those of its sister sites have been tiny – in June 2021, Pornhub had 2.29 billion visits compared to 10 million for XTube.

However, arriving as the online porn industry goes through a reckoning with regard to illegal content, consent, verification and sex trafficking, the move will be claimed as a victory for anti-porn tube site campaigners.

MindGeek is facing lawsuits in the US about third-party content uploaded on its sites, including Pornhub. Last week the company’s lawyers asked a judge in Alabama to dismiss a legal claim by two child sex trafficking survivors, who claimed that videos and images of their abuse was sold or distributed on MindGeek’s sites.

The company’s lawyers argued that under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, MindGeek was not responsible for the content showing alleged abuse.

Republican Senator for Tennessee Bill Hagerty is attempting to have Section 230, known as the “First Amendment of the internet”, replaced with legislation removing legal immunities for websites hosting externally-produced content.

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