new column: YouTube’s porn problem, with answers

by Violet Blue on November 2, 2006

Update: I just found out this article was the top-trafficked article yesterday on Chronicle/SFGate! And — it got Farked, with (presently) 23589 outgoing clicks (form Fark). YAY!

I’m extremely excited about this week’s Chronicle/SFGate column, GooTube’s Porn Opportunists: The Expanding World of Upload-It-Yourself Smut. You know, the Vloggies are this weekend. And people really need to be encouraged to film themselves having sex and put it on the internet. There is not enough of this in the world.

Just sayin’.

Read the piece, it’s one of my bestest. It’s hella fat. I slap lots of people around in it, and smart people say things. Snip:

“But in the aftermath of Google’s acquisition of YouTube, YouTube’s methods of trying to control questionable content and Terms of Use (TOU) enforcement are emerging as clumsy at best, and highly exploitable at worst. Even so, YouTube’s policies on porn and adult content have opened up a whole new market for an ever-growing roster of upload-it-yourself smut sites, while raising some interesting questions about businesses whose TOU and operational models turn a blind eye to the inevitable intersection of sex and technology.

Lawyer and executive director at The Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society Jennifer Granick adds: “Internet regulations tend to be ill-defined and confusing, and as a result, they are discriminatorily enforced. Companies have to guess whether they are going to be targets for regulators or law enforcement. As a result, general-interest content companies like YouTube or Google Images will choose to ignore regulations that special-interest content companies like a pornography video or photo site believes it must comply with.”

As content delivery evolves, porn, as an extension of human sexual expression, follows. The Flickr spin-off sites are a great example: Flickrchicks, Adult Flickr, FlickrBooty (all defunct) and several others made up for what Flicker’s TOU couldn’t, or wouldn’t, deliver (yet appeared on the site, regardless). These sites essentially skimmed Flickr for hotties to repost in babelog-style form and pull in affiliate click-through revenue, many knowing full well that the pictures they link to have a limited life span.

Many businesses have flourished where others decidedly feared to tread, rather than creating a healthy, inclusive and lucrative business structure. Where Google’s AdSense wouldn’t go, AdBrite mopped up the revenue. And when PayPal decided that grown-up money was filthy lucre, a whole host of adult transaction services were eager to Dumpster-dive for PayPal’s sizable leavings.” Link.

Teh Chronic kept some links and omitted others, something I actually negotiated with them. They’re working with me on it and we’re getting close to a solution; in the meantime I’ve suggested they run the URL as the name of the site I’m talking about so people don’t have to go hunting around for the site I’m writing about, and they don’t have to be all scared of boobies popping out of links to menace their readers. Boobies are menacing you right now. Don’t look down. Missing links:

* Hot Tube
* Dude Tube
* Xtube
* YuVuTu (warning: only surf this site with adequate virus protection, 2 readers have reported problems. UPDATE: YuVuTu writes me, “Our site got hacked today, and it took us 4 hours to sort it out. The problem is fixed and there are no Trojans on the site now. We have taken measure to stop this repeating itself. We do not know who did this. We are doing some analysis, but so far indications are that the trojan was a low level risk (according to McAffee). I know this reflects poorly on you as you effectively recommended the site and I can only apologise.”)
* PornoTube

Not in the article (site was not responding when I wrote the piece), and kinda slow but worth a peep: YouPorn. Photo via Tristan Taormino’s Chemistry (behind the scenes) gallery.

Update: This has been BoingBoinged! Thank you!!!

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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