2020 Insights are still missing,

5 things you should consider

1) The bait called Amateur

— By giving space to independent creators, PornHub redirects users’ attention to sell their own products. On the average homepage two products are pushed: the dying porn industry (which mostly is owned by the same company that owns pornhub, Mindgeek), and professionals/amateurs who want to sell their product directly, as long as PH intermediates.

2) Greenwashing the dirty secrets

In 2020 PH produced “The Dirtiest Porn Ever”, a marketing campaign against climate change

— In 2019 Pornhub streaming (on its own) produced something like 1.4 million tons of CO2. Equivalent to 0,3 coal-fired power plants in one year. The same amount of greenhouse gas is avoided also by recycling 56.584.941 trash bags — a bit more than what we saw in the video! That CO2 can be absorbed by 21.989.505 trees in 10 years.

Unlike peer-to-peer for instance, a streaming portal like PH consumes more CO2 because it provides new content every time, repeatedly. 💔 We understand that this has made the use more comfortable and makes you cum in less time, but let’s remember that streaming pollutes and less time means less pleasure. Please, go out!

On the enviromental impact calculation

We are using the conservative evaluation of 0.4 Kg of CO2 per hour of streaming. I’m sure there are more precise calculations, and we are not considering the additional impact caused by HD streaming and mobile networks. If you have a better estimate please let us know, we are following this enviromental assessment; at 720p one hour of streaming is 1.8 gigabyte (calculation). If you are interested in the subject, try this out.

3) Porn for women or women for porn?

Every year PornHub claims the amount of women grows among its consumers

— How do they count it if most of the accesses are without an account, and through incognito browsing? In the yearly review women are always mentioned and their presence is noted as constantly growing. Even in nations where internet is accessible mostly by men, even when a country has a +20% spike on connected people, PornHub tells us there is this organic growth. Constantly.

On the women stats

4) The December 2020 trainwreck

For the previous 7 years, PH used at least 25% of their homepage to test how random videos uploaded by people would perform

— A shitshow you probably know caused the suspension of all PornHub payments from the Visa/Mastercard network, as a reaction to a NYT piece (more). We were working on these insights before PornHub issued a formal response and a policy change;

The issue here was the presence of rape on tape and non-consensual sharing of intimate material; the company between the 10th and the 14th of December tried to compromise, but how can you just filter abusive keywords when your full knowledge graph has learnt from abusers?

Pornhub follows the dynamics of a pseudo-social network, where independent content producers meet buyers. The reason they give so much attention to the new Verified Amateurs is because they are the cheapest way to attract new visitors.

The non-verified content uploaders are pushed on the homepage so strongly compared to other platforms like YouTube, for two reasons:

1_ Historically, Pornhub republished content filmed by others to attract visitors, and now they delegate this task to a community of random contributors who also want to gain visibility on the platform.

2_ When an original content producer posts a recording, they should get feedback from the viewers to feel included and appreciated, even if they have a low viewership. Perhaps, in PH hopes, they’ll become “verified amateurs” and thus engage more in these social dynamics, let fan come back more often, and serve them the 37% from the dying porn industry (which is kept alive and profitable only by PornHub infrastructure and visibility), and the 25% as part of their automated experiments.

5) Insights are not open stats, they are the new advertising

— Pornhub produces many insights, among which “Year in Review”, that are actually a wall of graph full of statistics where they celebrate their business. Journalists worldwide speak about them, without being too obvious that it has little to do with journalism.

Indeed: an Insight in marketing terms is what a company applies in order to make a product or brand more appealing to customers. We’d like to propose a different approach. People do the numbers. Companies are unfit to evaluate themselves, for obvious reasons of conflicting interests.

PH does not seem to be very comfortable with communication theory, so we’d like to help.

In their 2017 insight, PH mentions Marshall McLuhan and his theory, “the medium is the message”, to pretend that they’re investigating on media where porn is made available, discovering that it is a smartphone… We would like to correct them: the medium where the porn is carried, is PornHub. It is the policy of the platform, allowing every kind of content to be uploaded, ignoring complaints on abusive material, using algorithms that test appeal of videos by showing them to random viewers. That cesspool is your medium.

What Professor McLuhan has suggested, is that information is no longer an instrument for producing economic merchandise, but has itself become the chief merchandise. We found amusing that PH mentions his work without realizing how it would backfire (karma!)

About us

Are we bigots!?

We are porn haters and sex lovers. We despise businesses based on rape and women’s sexual exploitation as well as behavioural algorithmic exploitation.

pornhub.tracking.exposed is a browser extension that allows you to scrape personalized content that PornHub is showing to you. We built it so you or other researchers can get reliable formatted data to talk about personalization algorithms’ consequences.

To know more, check our Manifesto, but don’t expect much activity from our twitter. We wish to coordinate some more experiments (on fb community page 🤷), like the first collective observation of pornhub algorithm, or the equivalent about youtube.

Check our AGPL code on github, or mail pornhub-team[@]tracking[.]exposed