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Google Drive Is Allegedly Flagging and Deleting Porn Performers’ Explicit Content

By March 22, 2018 March 29th, 2018 No Comments

Google has been flagging explicit content from porn performers in Google Drive, according to a new report by Motherboard. (Trigger warning: link contains pornographic terms.)

For many webcammers and other porn performers that send private content to consumers through Google Drive, keeping content in the online storage platform is somewhat of an industry norm and has been for the last few years. But now, at least half a dozen performers are speaking out on social media and claiming their content is being flagged with error messages for violating Google’s terms of service. Some performers claim some explicit stored videos or images are disappearing without warning or explanation.

When the Motherboard reporter contacted Google about the sexual content being blocked on Drive, a spokesperson directed them to the Drive policy page—specifically the section on sexually explicit material, which says, “Do not publish sexually explicit or pornographic images or videos… Additionally, we do not allow content that drives traffic to commercial pornography.”

Writing about porn and sex is permitted, the policy states, as long as it’s not accompanied by sexually explicit images or videos. According to Google, Drive uses a combination of automated systems and manual review to decide what’s in violation.

This isn’t the first time Google has distanced itself from pornographic content, disallowing any links to porn sites or sexually explicit language in their Google AdWords program, as well as not allowing any sexually explicit content on their popular blogging platform, Blogger. Considering the history, should porn performers be surprised that the massive search engine is upholding its terms of service when it hasn’t allowed pornographic content in the past throughout multiple avenues of their services?

The Internet is Killing Porn

Couple a company policy that restricts explicit content from being shared as well as the fact that the internet is slowly but surely killing the porn industry, and it isn’t difficult to see how performers and producers alike are struggling to stay afloat in a shady business that thrives off of exploitation.

Most porn used to be produced by major studios, but now those studios are all but gone, marginalized or put out of business entirely by the increasing amount of free and self-produced content. Increasingly, says one porn producer we’ll call M.S., performers are producing and publishing their own content online via subscription services that allow for more interactivity and control of the product.

RelatedFueling Exploitation: The Problem With Paying For Porn And Watching For Free

“The future of pornography,” according to M.S., “is the [performer who] makes [their] own product and markets it to [their] own audience.”

At least, in theory, this provides performers with increased control, and means they don’t have to share their profits with any studios or agencies. But as we see in situations like this one with Google Drive, it also makes them more vulnerable to the whims of technology that’s out of their control.

Pushed into Exploitation

Self-control of content allows performers to do only what they’re comfortable doing. But the porn industry’s shift away from its studio-based roots hasn’t been as beneficial as it might have seemed initially. As studios have become increasingly obsolete, many performers have found themselves out of work, out of money, and without any good alternatives. According to M.S., that’s led more and more to involvement in prostitution just to pay the bills—whether by choice or not.

“When I came into the business in 1992, we were very tight-knit,” he says. “Nobody in the industry was prostituting and if they were, they were keeping it way, way under the radar. Nowadays, I can actually count the number of girls who don’t prostitute on one hand.”

Why This Matters

A porn performer’s career generally has a very short lifespan, and performing in porn doesn’t often set them up well for a different career—in fact, being associated with porn can have catastrophic consequences for performers who try to find jobs outside of the industry.

Related: Why Fixing the Porn Industry Won’t Fix Porn

Suggesting that the new trends in the porn industry are somehow a cure-all for these problems just isn’t true. It’s important to remember that porn, no matter how it’s done, isn’t a recipe for success, and encouraging performers to participate because the new models are believed to be “better” and “safer” just isn’t right or responsible. Because there’s no such thing as “ethical porn” or “healthy porn.”

Research is continually showing how much porn is damaging to consumers, their personal relationships, and now, society. Sexual exploitation, no matter how it’s produced or packaged—by studio, by screen, by in-person services—is unhealthy for both performers and consumers. This is why we fight to stop the demand for sexual exploitation, and fight for real, healthy relationships.

Get Involved

Shine a light on the real harms of the porn industry and let society know that pornography is far from harmless entertainment. SHARE this article and spread the facts.

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