Pornhub is a rape factory. It should be wiped from the internet
I helped develop the first generation of Internet applications back in the late 90's (think interactive websites), so I know of what I am about to speak: stopping pornography has always been a political problem not a technical one. We've had the technical tools for years (and they've gotten better) to stop the broad availability of pornographic content; we lack the political will to do so.
You will not get rid of all of it. Porn will still be traded privately on Telegram and WhatsApp. But you can eliminate the broad and easy availability. You can put porn back where it used to be: in places where you have to really look for it. We could shut down every porn domain name tomorrow. We could place such penalties on reddit and twitter that they would be terrified of not policing this content. And I don't mean fines,. Throw a few Silicon valley executives in prison for 90 days and watch how fast their companies change. AI algorithms to check all uploaded videos for sexual content would be implemented within 2 weeks.
Too many on the Left trot out the bogeyman of Puritanism and the holy grail of "free speech" (ironic considering how they want to limit actual political speech, but I digress.) Too many on the Right lament the cultural rot without being willing to use political power to stop it (limited government, tut, tut...)
I am thrilled that the political will may be building to actually start this process, but it's far too little and far too late for thousands of girls who have been abused by this industry. We could have stopped it anytime.
I totally agree, I hate porn and always have and loathe the way it has affected generations of people's sexual intimacy. I am very much with Andrea Dworkin on this, that most porn is rape. The fact S&M practices that were a niche perverse interest are now mainstream - choking, spitting, slapping - is terrible. I remember Teen Vogue doing a feature on why 'breath play' is totally OK. FFS. Women are being taught that pain is, and should be, part of sex. I feel sorry for young men too, who are being conditioned to think rough is good, it destroys their humanity and emotional life too.
I was talking to a very sensible, educated friend about pornography and sexual development, and she said, quite casually, that viewing porn was now a normal part of a young person's sexual development. This made me very, very sad. Even beyond the sheer horror of the abusive pornography described above, I don't think we're adequately questioning the effect of the more benign, wholesome (ha!) stuff on adolescent minds. I can't help but wonder if anyone who has seen on screen sex can be fully present for a lover. And young people don't know what they're losing. George Steiner wrote an essay called Night Words that touched upon this.
Oh yes please shut it down now. Porn was my drug of choice. It has impacted how I viewed sex. It made me commodify women. I put a blocker on my phone and have not viewed any pornography for 2 years. I’m getting clean but it will take time to be free. The state of Virginia in the United States recently required users of Porn Hub to verify that user is 18 years of age. I wonder what impact this had on revenue. This is a positive step, but it’s not enough . The smart phone definitely changed the game.
Porn is from the deepest pits of Hell and is only going to get worse in our sick, hedonistic, me first society.
> the industry was boosted by a landmark 1966 California court case that granted First Amendment protection to even “flagrantly offensive” pornographic content.
So the whole mess of today's conditions got started in California? By a bad court case propping up evil?
This is my shocked face: 😐
Porn hub should be nuked from atmo (metaphorically). It serves no legitimate purpose and sure as heck has nothing to do with speech.
Edit: I wrote that before reading the last sentence of this piece. "Nuked from atmo" comes from the Aliens movie. But Mary came to the same conclusion, I see.
Thanks Mary for the great blog! Image and video-based abuse is often part of coercive control:
“These punishments [for not complying with what the perpetrator wants] may or may not involve violence; but, whatever they are, they will be something the abuser knows the victim-survivor dreads and would go a long way to prevent. Remember: the perpetrator wants the victim-survivor to be subjugated and subordinated. Many perpetrators wish for the victim-survivor to live in a state of permanent obedience and submissiveness to them, cut off from the human rights and normal levels of autonomy enjoyed by citizens in their society.”
Disgusting. We need to distinguish between a sex positive society and a society where exploitation is honored in the name of commerce. Too much "freedom to" and not enough "freedom from" in our concepts of liberty. The rights of women to not be exploited for money should supersede the rights of pornographers and porn addicts.
Thank you for talking about this. This is one of the biggest problems in our society, and it is so egregious. A platform exists where you can take the worst thing that has ever happened to someone. Their torture and rape, or in the case of apparently 'consenting adult performers': their poverty, low self-esteem and the ruin of their mental health. And profit from it in a manner that by design humiliates the victim infinitely more. Literally, infinitely....because that recording can be shared infinite times and can come up in infinite ways in that person's life and contribute infinitely to the appeasement and acceleration of 'viewers' perverted desires and real-life pursuits to meet that perverse desire. Hence creating a sexual abuse machine or factory. And to be held to less account than Facebook. A platform that does at least have a team of moderators. If porn companies are to exist (which they shouldn't, even if it were possible, people simply cannot be trusted to run a beast like PornHub 'above-board') they should have the strictest regulations and most hard-to-work-with safeguards for viewers and so-called 'performers'.
I'd like to see pornhub shut down and the founders, funders and complicit employees held accountable for the damage done (one could apply that concept to the broad social media environment as well...). But we must recognize that hardcore porn is the endgame not the start. The complete and overt sexualism seen in virtually all marketing and social media influencing reinforces the message a thousand times a day that women are to be the plaything of the alpha male and should volunteer for -- and enjoy -- any sort of degradation no matter how perverse. This all pervasive and twisted view of how men and women interact isn't a good way to learn about sexuality and healthy sexual relationships for either boys or girls. Although difficult, parents need to step up and guide their children through this. Both strong male roles who model love and caring for their partners and strong female roles who will actively engage with their sons to push back on the misogynistic violent porn that passes for erotica these days. We cannot abdicate our responsibility to the institutions that are so blatantly failing us. And turn off your phones and actively fight the marketing messages that are chasing us down the path to total depravity and cultural nihilism.
Substack is a disinformation factory. It should be nuked from orbit. It’s time, as someone from the Government says, to shut it down.
I wonder how easy access to porn will affect the upcoming generation. How will this impact on intimate relationships and marriage? I have four daughters and try to educate the best I can but I feel sadness and despair at times with what they will have to contend with when finding a mate. Porn will never go away but we need to lobby to remove it’s easy accessibility.
This has been a cold war destroying our humanity and culture from the inside for decades, and it’s time to officially declare war on this evil.
I used to work for Mind Geek or whatever they are going by these days, a lot of very normal people are employed there, I was one of them. This business will never go away no matter how much people try, selling sex is the oldest profession out there. A lot of organized crime behind this industry which definitely makes it impossible to get rid of, I did not see it but you knew it was there. There is too much demand for their product. The most important and difficult thing is to keep people from getting into it in the first place. Having stronger families with involved parents who know what is going on with their kids is probably the biggest one, when I was working there we often made a lot of comments about young women making questionable choices. I got to know some of the talent, they are nice people but it is pretty simple why some go to this business, no jobs or future, no intact families usually, so they go get paid a lot (for them) for things they were already doing for free. They get attention and social fulfillment they aren't getting in their lives. The other is functioning governments who enforce laws to protect society, and a society that demands that out of them, as well but not much of that is going on and predators know it and take advantage of it. Sure some things could be done to put rules on the business but it is global now and the rules in one country are very different than in another, that was some of my job when I worked there.
Shutting them (and any other site on a regular basis) down would be a „bipartisan“ victory: both men and women profit enormously and beyond measure. Who knew incentivizing „vice“ would lead to undesirable results. Totally unpredictable result. Let’s make food greasy, cheesy, and cheap, definitely no risk of people eating themselves into oblivion. Let’s create a medium for people to indulge their envy, jealousy, and vanity, propped up on a platform promoting extreme exceptionalism as normality: definitely not going to lead to mental health issues. And so on. Hip hip hurrah for us, the liberated.