Recently Netflix released Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, a documentary discussing, among other things, how one website, often referred to as “Big Porn” managed to secure its place online as the go-to site for all things pornographic–using SEO to direct traffic to all its subsidiaries when anyone searched for specific keywords relating to adult content. This Pornhub documentary isn’t, however, just about their meteoric rise, nor is it just about their greed as a company (though that is a large part of it), or lack of morals. It’s about a host of issues that brought together showcase a larger issue within the porn industry.
What it isn’t about is content creator greed. But for some reason, that’s what I keep seeing people harping on across social media.
In case you aren’t aware this is a form of victim blaming and it needs to stop. Adult content creators have been harmed by large companies who behave badly. Not just Pornhub, but other porn production companies, fansites, and more. Sex workers are included in this as well. These folks are out here doing a job and literally just expect to be treated with respect and dignity and oh yeah, be paid for the services they’re providing.
Sounds simple, right? Trust me, it isn’t.
They’re blocked at every turn. Payment processors don’t want to work with them. Clients in the real world and online scam them or flat out refuse to pay for services rendered. Production companies don’t provide safe environments or honor contracts. Companies conduct business in nefarious ways. The Pornhub documentary discussed scenarios where illegal activities were being posted on their site and monetized, which in turn caused legitimate content creators to lose access to being paid for their content.
Yet, PH still made money, a lot of money.
Why is the Pornhub documentary important?
Most people became aware of the scandal surrounding Pornhub due to a campaign that began a couple of years ago by a Evangelical group attempting to shut the site down. While I do not agree with how this came about and know there were a lot of lies and issues surrounding it, I do understand what they were trying to accomplish in theory.
What I have an issue with is what happened in the wake of it. Payment processors pulling their services for legit content creators is a problem. Not just for Pornhub, but for other fansites and porn production companies as well. Adult content creators need legitimate ways to accept payment for services provided. We don’t live in a cash society any longer. These groups claim they want to help sex workers, yet, they put us in a position to be in more danger by taking away the ability to exist online where we are safer.
“If the attack on porn continues on the path that it’s currently on…it’s not just an attack on porn, it’s an attack on women’s sexuality, it’s an attack on queer sexuality, it’s an attack on people being able to express themselves openly, especially online.”Siri Dahl Money Shot: The Pornhub Story
Adult content creators aren’t being greedy by saying they just want to be paid, they’re expecting what anyone else does when they do their job.
“We’re scared for how this affects freedoms of speech online, sexual expression, and marginalized spaces. The implications are so much broader.”Gwen Adora