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The Children of Pornhub


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The NY Times had a disturbing piece a couple of weeks ago regarding rape, child pornography, and other serious issues with the site. It's important, but deeply disturbing. It's really easy to pretend that this type of content is hidden on the dark web, or something. 

Since then, Visa and Mastercard stopped allowing customers to use their cards on the site, which prompted some changes on the site - they deleted all content, going from something like 13 million videos down to 4 million. Only verified users can upload now.

Now, I don't really know what that means. My experience with Pornhub has been limited to memes and Twitter posts, so I don't know how hard it is to become a verified user. I did see an anecdotal story of a 14 year old posing as an adult who was verified and posting stolen content, but they couldn't access the money because they were too young. 

This also has brought up some discussions about whether or not porn sites should have to verify ages, the same way that sites selling alcohol have to. The argument against it seems to be mostly "I don't want to have to give a website my ID just so I can watch porn." 

I have pretty strong blocks up at my house, I already had some but I bulked them up during online school last year for my son. In order to reach an adult site, you pretty much have to either be able to change settings on my router, which means my 7 year old isn't going to accidentally find anything. 

This brings up a whole lot of different points, so what do you think?

Original article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.html

 

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No lie, and this doesn’t make me a creep, but I did notice recently some of the usual videos in my searches were not coming up. I’m not searching for any of those horrible things which leads me to think that either there is a huge over-correction happening, or that there was more questionable content than I realized. I never personally saw anything that seemed illegal.

Just to over-share, I’ve NEVER liked produced high quality porn. It seems way to fake. Pornhub was an endless repository of amateur content which is more my jam. But as the article says, anyone could make an account and upload. It was only if you wanted to charge people to watch your smut that you had to get verified. That process would verify who owned the video so somebody would be held responsible if the content was illegal. That is now the only way to upload.

While I think it is an over correction the only other way is to have every uploaded video screened before going public, which would take countless people working around the clock— so at the end of the day they’ve probably done the only thing they could.

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I'm sure that the 9 million videos they deleted weren't all illegal, but part of the problem is that it's hard to differentiate - not just between someone too young and someone of age, but also the difference between someone willingly participating and someone who is being trafficked. Chances are a large majority was fine, but trafficking has also been a huge issue for years.

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Of course the article in the Times points out that there are less scrupulous sites out there - will this just push people to those sites instead? 

 

Also, what are your thoughts on age verification? I don't know what the laws are now, or if they're uniform, but when I turned 18 it was a big deal to go to the one porn store in town because you could finally get in. If you're buy alcohol or tobacco you have to prove your age, should porn users have to verify that they are adults?

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Being in the web hosting industry, this a long standing debate. Who is ultimately responsible for any harm done by content?

  • The platform provider that stores the content?
  • The user that uploaded the content to the platform?
  • The user that accesses the content on the platform?
  • The ISP that provides access to the platform that hosts the content?
  • The manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of the operating system on the computer used to access the content?
  • (The list goes on and on if you really want to go deep down the rabbit hole)

Ultimately, its all Al Gore's fault. If he had never invented the internet, none of this would be a problem.

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The debate goes back further than that. There's always been an argument over who told hold responsible when creator-made content is questionable-- the creator themselves is ultimately the guilty party-- but in a litigious society, distributors are held responsible. We've seen it happen with porn, movies, video games, art, music, etc.

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5 hours ago, Tank said:

The debate goes back further than that. There's always been an argument over who told hold responsible when creator-made content is questionable-- the creator themselves is ultimately the guilty party-- but in a litigious society, distributors are held responsible. We've seen it happen with porn, movies, video games, art, music, etc.

True. Guess we can't pin this one on Al Gore after all. Maybe next time.

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23 hours ago, Fozzie said:

Of course the article in the Times points out that there are less scrupulous sites out there - will this just push people to those sites instead? 

 

Also, what are your thoughts on age verification? I don't know what the laws are now, or if they're uniform, but when I turned 18 it was a big deal to go to the one porn store in town because you could finally get in. If you're buy alcohol or tobacco you have to prove your age, should porn users have to verify that they are adults?

I have so many feelings about pornhub and porn in general that it's hard to contain what I would want to say but it's difficult cause it would just wind up being a tirade which I don't have time to get into or the inclination. Generally speaking I think PornHub is fucking disgusting, and ABSOLUTELY YES there should be mandatory age verification for all porn sites.

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