Don't Get Cocky: Those Celebrating the Porn Site Shutdown Should See a Bigger Issue

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Celebrations are being had all around for the shutdown of the porn site XTube after accusations that the site facilitated sex trafficking, but there’s a larger issue at hand and those celebrating its shutdown should probably understand that porn isn’t disappearing, it’s evolving.

As reported by Fox Business, the closure of XTube comes on the heels of a massive backlash against the porn industry that saw major credit card companies pull away from it, as well as sites like Pornhub refusing to allow any content on its site that wasn’t verified:

Started in 2008, the platform is just one of MindGeek’s many pornographic streaming services, which includes the highly-visited site Pornhub. While Pornhub has long faced criticism, the backlash seemed to intensify last year when The New York Times published a story accusing it of monetizing child rapes, among other things.

The ensuing controversy included Visa suspending its payments and Mastercard severing its ties with the company. After Kristof’s report, Pornhub also removed all of its unverified content and instituted a series of other measures designed to prevent abuse.

MindGeek has repeatedly denied allowing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and recently rejected as “absurd” the notion that it ran like a criminal enterprise. That accusation came as part of a class-action lawsuit in June with 34 women alleging that they ended up on Pornhub, featured in abusive videos without their consent.

It’s definitely slowed the traffic to porn sites, but that’s like saying Niagra Falls saw a bit less water. In December of 2020 Pornhub saw 3.2 billion users but in May saw it go down to 2.31 billion.

This may seem like people are breaking away from pornography, but the sad fact is that people are still getting their fix from a porn industry that is now more personal and lucrative.

The introduction of the phone app “OnlyFans” has changed porn. Where Pornhub was far more impersonal and functioned more like YouTube, OnlyFans allows for users to interact with content creators and, in turn, content creators can cater to the wishes and whims of their audience at the click of a button. Moreover, these content creators can charge fees for doing so, including subscriptions and package deals.

Like any site with influencers, earnings and fame can rise and fall, but those who earn big earn very big. Belle Delphine, an OnlyFans star, professed to earn around a million dollars a month on the platform. However, it’s not the people dedicated to making porn a day job that makes up the bulk of the issue.

As you can imagine, the easy to upload, easy to earn style of phone application makes it far easier for anyone to become an OnlyFans creator and pull in money on the side. The site is rife with bored housewives, mothers looking for extra cash, wannabe influencers, and insecure teenage girls seeking the approval of strangers. A teacher may do her job at the school then come home and earn some extra cash posting sexy videos of herself for subscribers.

It’s a business model that makes porn more personal, interactive, and lucrative, and as such is going to be attractive to many different people for many different reasons. The site is relatively new in terms of popularity and it hasn’t become a household name in America yet, but rest assured that it will become one, and it won’t become uncommon for you to know someone who has an OnlyFans account.

There haven’t been many stories yet about what kind of regret or depression has stemmed from using the platform but, again, it’s young. Rest assured, they will come out and due to the highly personal nature of the app, it’s likely going to be far more damaging. Women may base their worth on how much money they make or how much attention they get, and those who fail to become influencers, or see nasty comments lobbed against them, may take it far more to heart than ever before. It’s likely to ruin quite a few marriages as women are discovered to have accounts and men are found to be interacting in personal ways with content creators.

So don’t celebrate quite yet. Porn isn’t going away. In fact, it may have gotten far more dangerous and way closer to home.