Takedown: Inside the Fight to Shut Down Pornhub for Child Abuse, Rape, and Sex Trafficking (Hardcover)

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The gripping, true story of one woman’s battle to expose and shut down a criminal online porn empire.

Pornhub was the 10th most visited site on the Internet, often praised as a progressive champion of women. Then one day, an activist discovered a secret they had been keeping from the world for over a decade: it was infested with child sexual abuse and rape videos.

Now for the first time, anti-trafficking expert and mother of two Laila Mickelwait tells the story of her battle against Pornhub’s billionaire executives and the credit card companies who helped them monetize the abuse of countless victims—some as young as three years old. Readers will follow her from her first horrifying discovery of criminal content on Pornhub to closed-door meetings with credit card executives, White House and Justice Department senior officials, a powerful hedge-fund manager and more. Through insider accounts from Pornhub moderators and executives, you’ll meet the world’s first online porn tycoon, AKA “the Zuckerberg of porn,” along with Pornhub’s top brass (known internally as “The Bro Club”) who operate in secrecy.

The culmination of years of activism, Takedown is the true, never before told story of how Mickelwait mobilized a movement of two million people and together they accomplished "the biggest takedown of content in Internet history." (Financial Times)

About the Author

Laila Mickelwait is the Founder and CEO of the Justice Defense Fund and the Founder of the global #Traffickinghub movement supported by millions around the world. She has been combating the injustice of sex trafficking since 2006 and is a leading expert in the field.

Praise For…

“The sinister Pornhub porn barons have met their match in Laila Mickelwait. This impassioned book gives eye-popping insights into the darkest corners of the internet and offers hope for the future.” 
—Edward Lucas, author, investigative journalist, former senior editor at The Economist

“In Takedown, Mickelwait gives us what every generation desperately needs: an honest, human story of how we can live our lives with a love that does not look away and a hope that does not give in. I could not put this book down.”
Gary Haugen, CEO and founder of International Justice Mission, author of Locust Effect
Takedown is the thrilling and inspirational tale of Laila Mickelwait’s relentless leadership of the campaign against the dark empire of Pornhub. This story of triumph is a must-read for anyone who wants to make a difference.” 
—Gerald Posner, attorney, Pulitzer finalist, and author of Case Closed and God’s Bankers
“In this true-crime thriller, a brave young mother leads a movement to fight the world’s biggest pornography company, along with the supposedly respectable corporations, like Visa and Mastercard, that knowingly enabled the global sale of sex crime videos. The story isn’t over, but scores of survivors have already achieved a measure of justice.” 
—Dr. Judith Herman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, author of Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice

“An engrossing story of greed and exploitation, Takedown is a tough indictment of one of the world’s darkest industries that reads like a thriller." 
—Rosanna Arquette, actress, survivor-leader who helped bring Harvey Weinstein to justice, a catalyst of Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement
“Laila Mickelwait devoted herself to stopping the human traffickers and enslavers making a fortune online. Cyberspace may be an unregulated digital paradise for traffickers, but Takedown is a guide for the future of abolition.” 
—Kevin Bales, professor of Contemporary Slavery and Pulitzer-nominated author of Disposable People

Takedown is the story of Laila’s courageous fight against some of the most powerful companies in the world on behalf of society’s most vulnerable. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand child abuse, trafficking, and how a community can come together to protect women and children.” 
—Rachael Denhollander, attorney, survivor-leader who helped bring Larry Nassar to justice, and author of What’s a Girl Worth?
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593542019
ISBN-10: 0593542010
Publisher: Thesis
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English