On July 18th, 2020, Ryuki110798, a.k.a. Size News Global, posted an article entitled “Why the Size Community should social distance itself from PornHub.” Before reading my post below, folks should check out Ryuki110798’s article first: https://www.pillowfort.social/posts/1569775
Ryuki110798 detailed illegal activities that criminals posted to PornHub and stated “… until PornHub can create a system that prevents them of further accusations of profiting off child pornography and sex trafficking, as stated before, it’s best the community distances from the platform.” and “Despite the hardships that may arise from boycotting PornHub, until it improves and ensures that it no longer benefits from those who rape, create child pornography, and traffic humans, its best we find alternatives platforms to support our favorite NSFW content creators.”
Let me be clear, I also do not support the evils of child pornography, human trafficking, or rape.
However, if size-fetish creators bear any responsibility for the actions of one web site they use then they should research every site they use.
Twitter, for example, also has serious problems. It has been used by extremists to claim responsibility and garner support for their terrorist attacks. East African jihadist fundamentalist group Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (a.k.a. al-Shabaab) used Twitter during the September 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Furthermore, a 2017 op-ed written by Anne Cameron Cain and Beatriz Gonzalez in the New York Times accused Twitter of providing support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) which resulted in the deaths of three people. The American micro-blogging and social networking service has also been used by white supremacists to spread hate. The ColorOfChange.org called out Twitter for enabling Jason Kessler, the organizer of the 2017 white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally, to use their service.
So, let’s now apply the same logic for Twitter that Ryuki110798 did for PornHub. Despite the hardships that may arise from boycotting Twitter, until it improves and ensures that it no longer benefits from those who advocate racial inequality, commit acts of terror, and murder innocents, it’s best we find alternate platforms to support our favorite not safe for work (NSFW) content creators. (SIDE NOTE: I chuckled when I stumbled upon “not safe for wife” as an alternative breakout for NSFW. I thought NSFW meant “not safe for work,” but I reckon that not safe for wife also applies to some folks 😉 )
Patreon also has issues. YouTuber Suzy Lu has been accused of posting unedited anime videos to Patreon and making thousands of dollars per month from those copyright violations. (NOTE: I would be shocked if Suzy was the only person making money by placing stolen material behind a paywall at Patreon.) Furthermore, on the Medium website, Abe Gaustad claimed that Patreon was still being used, as of May 2019, to provide funding for white nationalists and Holocaust deniers. Lastly, one Patreon user, the “SgInstaBabes” founder, was accused of hitting on underage girls.
Again, in keeping with the reasoning used against PornHub, perhaps creators should refrain from using Patreon.
In April 2002, the video game Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game (a.k.a. Kaboom!) was posted on Newgrounds. A November 2008 article in The Telegraph by Matthew Moore reported that Kaboom! had been condemned by terror victims. Nonetheless, as of late July 2020, the game is still online at Newgrounds, albeit in a modified form.
What am I getting at?
My point is that before promoting a boycott against a particular web site we should research the pros and cons. If someone recommends that creators use a different platform than they should also research that other platform. For example, if I advocate that creators switch from PornHub to Patreon then I should check to see if Patreon has also been used for ill. As already detailed, Patreon has indeed hosted illicit content. So, what’s the point of sending people from one “bad” site to another “bad” site?
To make an analogy, say my best friend is looking for a babysitter. He tells me:
“Hey Solo, I hired this guy called Jeffrey Dahmer to watch my kids tonight while my wife and I watch a movie at the cinema.”
I’ve heard messed up stuff about Jeffrey Dahmer! So, I reply:
“Listen up my friend, Jeffrey Dahmer is an evil dude. How about you call this guy I know, John Wayne Gacy? He even has his own clown costume.”
(NOTE: For those unfamiliar, Dahmer and Gacy are infamous American serial killers.)
It would be unethical to recommend John Wayne Gacy before researching him. I do not want to send my best friend from one murderer to another, both are likely to hurt his kids.
However, in “Why the Size Community should social distance itself from PornHub” only negative reports were given for PornHub. There were no reports, giving praise or critique, for the alternative sites. However, as was already mentioned, negative reports about sites such as Newgrounds and Patreon do exist. So, why weren’t the issues with those alternative sites also discussed? Isn’t it relevant to know if other sites are as problematic as PornHub?
I’m also concerned that the article could be used to shame creators. If someone does not boycott PornHub then others might condemn them using the call for boycott as justification. Shaming would be unfairly reductive, but it’s not inconceivable that others could use a call for boycott as a rationale to ostracize, or cancel, creators who do not comply.
Now, we’ll consider the monetary aspect. This year has been financially difficult for many people. Unemployment in the United States of America reached 14.7% in April of this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the highest level of unemployment experienced over the last 25 years. Since April the level has been reduced, but it was still over 10% as of late July 2020. To further put this in context, the unemployment rate was under 6% for the last five years, before the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) pandemic.
Creative people have not been immune to this economic downturn. I’ve seen size-fetish artists struggle to pay their bills during the last two months. I won’t provide names, because I do not want to embarrass people. However, I will note that some have been laid off and asked for donations. They have posted emergency announcements offering to provide commissions in exchange for money to pay for their medication refills. They have discounted their works hoping to earn enough to pay for overdue rent. Bottom line, many are struggling.
So, what would happen to struggling NSFW content creators if they boycotted PornHub? PornHub was ranked #57 in global internet engagement, over the last 90 days as of 26 July 2020, according to Alexa.com. In contrast, Newgrounds was ranked #5,479 over the same period. Based on that data, the audience at PornHub is significantly larger than Newgrounds. So, creators switching from PornHub to Newgrounds would have a smaller number of potential customers. Bottom line, they would very likely lose money during a time when every penny counts.
Perhaps the counter-argument is that the crimes of PornHub are so egregious that the site should be banned regardless of the cost. So, let’s dig into the evidence against PornHub.
What about the lawsuit against the web site GirlsDoPorn which Ryuki110798 referenced? It was stated that “During the court trial of these four men, GirlsDoPorn was still a verified account on PornHub, with some of their videos still apart of PornHub Premium Services.”
Please note that first bit, “During the court trial …” Rephrase that statement as: “Before they were judged to be guilty or innocent during a court trial, GirlsDoPorn was still a verified account on PornHub.” Is that an accurate rephrasing? Is it correct to claim that guilt has not been determined if a court trial is still ongoing?
I’m curious, what should PornHub have done? Should PornHub have removed videos before GirlsDoPorn was found guilty? Ergo, should they have ignored the practice of assuming defendants are innocent until proven guilty and instead act as if the men were guilty? If GirlsDoPorn had been found innocent, but PornHub had already removed their videos, would PornHub pay them back for lost money and opportunities?
Please do not misunderstand. I am not defending GirlsDoPorn. I do not in any form or fashion condone the actions committed by GirlsDoPorn. Specifically, that means I do not support tricking women into performing porn. Furthermore, it should be noted that the San Diego Superior Court did find the operators of GirlsDoPorn guilty in January 2020.
What I am stating is that everyone should be assumed innocent until proven guilty. If we don’t push for such then members of the size community might also have their works pulled from platforms before they are found guilty.
Next, will be a look into the source for some of the allegations against PornHub, Exodus Cry.
Exodus Cry advocates against PornHub and one of their videos was cited in Why the Size Community should social distance itself from PornHub. But what is Exodus Cry? From my research, they are a Christian organization dedicated to ending pornography, not just pornography involving underage or unwilling performers. Thus, Exodus Cry has a vested interest in demonizing PornHub in order to promote their anti-pornography agenda.
During my research, I found a few tweets denouncing Exodus Cry:
At the official Exodus Cry web site there is a page dedicated to the “Abolitionist Pledge.” Part of that pledge calls for people to affirm the following: “I believe that ending demand for commercial sex, including pornography consumption, is the key to ending sex trafficking and prostitution.” Based on that pledge, it is clear that Exodus Cry is against any and all consumption of NSFW content.
Therefore, I do not think claims from Exodus Cry should be taken at face value. It stands to reason that Exodus Cry could twist facts to make PornHub look as bad as possible and promote their objective. For more information, check out “The Siren Song of Exodus Cry: Read this before you jump in bed with Traffickinghub” by Justine Halley at the following link: https://medium.com/@justinethalley/the-siren-song-of-exodus-cry-d507a594c05d
So, what does all this mean? Well, to be completely clear:
There is no justification for creators to boycott PornHub. Nor should they refrain from using other user-driven platforms such as Newgrounds, Patreon, or Twitter, even though those sites have been used, and undoubtedly will be used in the future, by malicious actors. Creators in the size community are not the baddies. The users who post illegal and hateful content are the baddies.
Artists should advocate that platforms do not wittingly or unwittingly promote illegal acts. However, the primary responsibility lies with the offenders, not with the web sites. Sites like Newgrounds, Patreon, PornHub, and Twitter are open to everyone. That openness means they can be utilized for deplorable acts such as promoting hate, showing underage pornography, etc. Social media platforms must remove such content as soon as possible and take measures to prevent their spread.
That said, let’s re-examine the criteria for using PornHub which Ryuki110798 gave us:
“… until PornHub can create a system that prevents them of further accusations of profiting off child pornography and sex trafficking, as stated before, it’s best the community distances from the platform.”
This criteria is unachievable. It is impossible to prevent “accusations.” A person can accuse someone else of any crime they want, without evidence. Can they prove their accusations? Maybe, maybe not. But making an accusation and proving an accusation are two different things.
Furthermore, given their anti-pornography stance, it is unlikely that organizations like Exodus Cry will ever stopping accusing PornHub of crimes. Imagine that PornHub invented software that guaranteed that their content was completely free of copyright violations, that no was coerced into performing, nobody was trafficked, and that everyone was of legal age. This software is 100% accurate and absolutely without flaw. (Yes, that’s unrealistic, but this is a thought experiment.) Do you think Exodus Cry is going to say, “Whelp, you solved all the problems, now we have no concerns with your site continuing to exist and making lots of money while hosting enormous quantities of erotic materials involving consenting adults.”? No, they will not say that. They would not say that even if PornHub removed every single trace of illegal content. The very existence of easily available pornography is offensive to Exodus Cry and therefore they will never stop accusing PornHub of misdeeds, real or fabricated.
So, what do you, the reader, think? Do you disagree with my conclusion and still think that the size community should social distance itself from PornHub? If so, why? Please comment below with your thoughts.
The blog will be returning soon to regularly scheduled reviews, but I just had to write about this topic. I hope that this post wasn’t too lengthy, but somethings needed to be said. That task now completed, I will be switching back to my normal content. Until then my friends, keep growing!
Bruno, B. (2020, January 2) Women Win $13 Million in GirlsDoPorn Fraud Suit. Retrieved from https://www.courthousenews.com/women-win-13-million-in-girlsdoporn-fraud-suit/
Cain, A.C. & Gonzalez, B. (2017, January 13) Twitter Must Do More to Block ISIS. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/opinion/twitter-must-do-more-to-block-isis.html
ColorofChange (2017) Twitter has a white supremacist problem. Retrieved from https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/twitter-has-white-supremacist-problem
Exodus Cry (2020) Become an Abolitionist. Retrieved from https://exoduscry.com/abolitionist/
Gaustad, A. (2019, May 8) Patreon Still Being Used to Fund White Nationalists. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@abegaustad/patreon-still-being-used-to-fund-white-nationalists-eddaae933c1f
Halley, J. (2020, July 15) The Siren Song of Exodus Cry: Read this before you jump in bed with Traffickinghub. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@justinethalley/the-siren-song-of-exodus-cry-d507a594c05d
Mair, D. (2016, April 7) #Westgate: A Case Study: How al-Shabaab used Twitter during an Ongoing Attack. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1057610X.2016.1157404
Moore, M. (2008, November 5) Suicide bomber video game condemned by terror victims. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3388318/Suicide-bomber-video-game-condemned-by-terror-victims.html
The Must Share News Team (2018, August 28) SgInstaBabes Founder Allegedly Caught ‘Flirting’ With 15-Year-Old Over Text. Retrieved from https://mustsharenews.com/sginstababes-founder/
Trading Economics. (2020, July 26) United States Unemployment Rate. Retrieved from https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate
Trice, O. (2020, February) YouTuber Making $9,000 a month by posting uncut anime episodes to Patreon. (Suzy Lu) . Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/DeFranco/comments/ehyoeo/youtuber_making_9000_a_month_by_posting_uncut/
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