The recently announced new owners of the world's most popular porn site, Pornhub, expressed their intention to bring transparency to the company, which has a controversial history. Ethical Capital Partners (ECP), a Canadian private equity firm, acquired MindGeek, Pornhub's parent company, and plans to engage the public and various organizations to address the challenges the company is facing. Solomon Friedman, a founding partner of ECP and a criminal defense lawyer, believes that the adult industry needs a new approach that will remove the stigma and shame associated with it.

MindGeek has been accused of profiting from videos of rape and child abuse, leading to several legal battles, including a civil class action lawsuit in the United States. However, MindGeek denies any wrongdoing and wants to double down on its technology to verify the age, identity, and consent of people appearing in videos uploaded to its website. ECP's team, which is public and transparent, intends to make the platform the most safe and law-abiding on the adult side, while collaborating with others to address issues facing the internet as a whole.

In 2022, an investigation by the Financial Times revealed that MindGeek, a privately-held company backed by the former majority owner Bernd Bergmair, generated $460 million in revenue in 2018. However, documents obtained by The Globe and Mail showed that the company increased its revenue to $482 million in 2020. Despite the scandals surrounding the company, Solomon Friedman believes that the future is promising for MindGeek. Moreover, ECP believes that the company's technology can be used to fight problems plaguing the internet beyond adult sites.

According to Friedman, MindGeek has an industry-leading suite of tools, including trust and safety tools, moderation, financial security, and data privacy. The company's potential is untapped, and ECP plans to collaborate across industries to have an open dialogue about sex-positive online expression in a safe, legal, and responsible way. Despite the challenges, ECP sees opportunities for growth.

ECP aims to take a different approach from the previous owners, who preferred to keep a low profile. Despite MindGeek's negative public image following accusations of child abuse and rape, Friedman believes that open dialogue can address many of the company's issues.

The new Netflix documentary "Money Shot: The Pornhub Story" also explores the controversies surrounding the platform. According to Friedman, discussions about sexual expression in society should not happen behind closed doors or with insular voices.

However, some remain skeptical about ECP's promise to bring transparency to the porn industry. Laila Mickelwait, the founder of Traffickinghub, an organization dedicated to shutting down Pornhub, doubts that the new ownership will bring any significant changes. On Twitter, Mickelwait referred to Ethical Capital Partners as a "whitewashing farce."