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This Porn Site Programmer’s Reddit Post About the Porn Industry is Beyond Disturbing

Recently, a comment on r/AskReddit went viral under the thread “What are some dark secrets about the porn industry?” With over 17,900 upvotes, this one porn site builder’s response got people talking.

Trigger warning:

Disclaimer: Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative awareness and education organization. Some of the issues discussed in the following article are legislatively-affiliated. Including links and discussions about these legislative matters does not constitute an endorsement by Fight the New Drug. Though our organization is non-legislative, we fully support the regulation of already illegal forms of pornography and sexual exploitation, including the fight against sex trafficking.

For every one porn performer on screen, there are many more individuals who work in the background, and they’re basically responsible for keeping the porn industry functioning. Besides people who work on set, there are also website builders, video editors, and other tech-related people who keep porn sites and production companies up and running.

What are their jobs really like? What do porn site builders see, and what do non-performers truly think about the industry? Maybe some haven’t seen anything illegal, disturbing, or unethical, but it’s becoming clearer all the time how exploitative the industry truly can be and those who eventually leave often have more than a few stories to tell.

Recently, a comment on r/AskReddit went viral under the thread “What are some dark secrets about the porn industry?” With over 17,900 upvotes, this one porn site builder’s response got people talking.

Related: MindGeek, Pornhub’s Parent Company, Sued For Reportedly Hosting Videos Of Child Sex Trafficking

It’s very graphic, and we’ve edited for grammar and censored a few words, but we largely left his story the way it is. It’s important the word gets out that the glamorized industry consumers see on screen is nothing like what really happens when the cameras stop recording—or even when they are rolling. Here’s what he said.

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BHW - General

So I’m pretty late to this party but I actually used to work in the industry several years ago. One company based in Tucson, Arizona, another major one based in Canada, and then a smaller affiliate network also based in Canada. Funny enough, all three were eventually bought by Mindgeek (Pornhub, Redtube, YouPorn, etc.).

I built TGPs, MGPs (those free sites that would give you samples), did some editing of videos, modded a couple of tube sites, and submitted stuff to larger free gallery networks (affiliate stuff). I’ve gone to industry shows, AVN awards, expos, etc. I got out of it around 2010 or 11. It’s foggy.

1. “The porn must flow”

New content would come in (filmed/shot) daily and it needed to be edited/published ASAP. It didn’t matter what the talent looked like. Hot, drugged out of their gords, crying, happy, questionable age, raped, didn’t matter. The company paid for it and it all had to be used.

If I objected to questionable material, I was told to ignore it and do my job.

Related: This Anonymous Performer’s Reddit Post About the Realities of the Porn Industry is Chilling

2. Very few companies maintain a 2257 database.

2257 is a U.S. law where companies are required to keep records of the ages of all the talent they use. In one company we had two ladies whose entire job, eight hours a day, was to view, log, and store all the IDs that came in. No, I’m not joking. Five days a week, eight hours a day, they were viewing and logging ALL the IDs from new talent that would come in. That’s how much porn was shot and how much of it was from new talent.

It consisted of images of the model holding their IDs next to their faces. These photos were the first ones before any of the porn photos, so while I was building out galleries I would also see them. Four times out of 10, the model has their thumb over their date of birth.

Store - Trafficking

3. Prolapses happen.

When the stuff is shot, it’s shipped off to the main office to be edited. Like I said, they shoot EVERYTHING. Nothing is tossed.

So if there’s an anal sex scene and a model’s anus falls out, it’s on camera. For the majority of the stuff, it’s edited out, but the footage is saved “just in case.” When I say that, who knows if the company is going to release some uber fetish site down the road. Everything is saved.

Related: Is Making An OnlyFans Worth It?

I’ve seen girls who’ve done one too many anal scenes start to cry and panic when their anus falls out because they think their “career” is done. On-set nurses sometimes would just push it back in and they’d switch to something else to film.

4. It’s a very closed-door industry. Everyone knows everyone.

Affiliates like to only be called by their online screennames and get offended if you call them by their actual name.

There were industry message boards back in the day, one that stands out is “gof—yourself dot com” or something where everyone knew everyone and had agendas against each other. Ever have to meet someone in person and call them “Batman” or “hairyt—” to their faces? I have, it’s unpleasant.

Related: What Causes People To Choose To Go Into The Porn Industry?

Day one, I was told I needed to come up with a name and I thought they were joking. No. It’s quite serious. They’re all looking to stab each other in the back for higher payouts, scam the system, or accuse others of whatever. If you got footage of one of them doing coke or a producer the company didn’t really like doing drugs or f—ing or whatever, then you were told to save that footage, again, “just in case.”

It’s an industry full of “middle-schoolers” who got rich from DVDs.

Store - Trafficking

5. People are weird about their porn.

You know how if you ever worked in a restaurant or fast food place and people get crazy or insanely angry when their food isn’t exactly how they want it? Porn is worse. If you don’t post stuff daily, or it’s not up to their standards, you’ll get hate mail, death threats, etc.

Guys like to submit their own videos to gay tube sites who might not even be gay. I had to moderate these videos (I’m not gay, btw) meaning daily, we’d get user submissions and I’d either allow them to be posted or deny them. I also moderated the “straight” tube sites. The majority of the time there’d be messages attached to said videos asking if I watched them, what I thought about them, etc.

Related: Content On Pornhub Reportedly Normalizes And Promotes Racism And Racist Stereotypes

Not a whole lot of women making submissions, but 8 times out of 10, it’s dudes. These are homemade videos by the way.

I saw a lot of homemade rape, child porn, borderline snuff, guys injecting their genitals with stuff, drug use, etc. Oh, and actual incest. Not like the “Son, I’m stuck in the washing machine!” incest, but actual “this is my sister and she’s going to suck my d—” or moms touching their sons, dads having sex with their sons, daughters, etc.

How do I know it’s real? Remember that 2257 stuff? ….yeah. The majority of it doesn’t make its way online because it’ll be denied, but it does happen. A lot.

I think that’s most of the main stuff off the top of my head. Like I said I haven’t done it in over a decade and I’ve switched careers several times. I’m desensitized to it now and won’t watch it at all.

Click here to read the original comment in its entirety. Link trigger warning, there are very explicit issues discussed on this thread.

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Store - General

The world’s “sexiest” industry isn’t so sexy

For all of what graphic porn on mainstream sites shows today, consider what it doesn’t show—the things that are edited out or that happen when the cameras aren’t rolling. This porn site builder gives us a look behind the curtain of the true reality of the porn industry.

There were many other responses on that Reddit thread that talked about other disturbing issues in the porn industry: infections on set, sex trafficking situations, injuries, etc. All of them reveal a simple yet often-ignored fact: the porn industry isn’t as glamorous, safe, or sexy as many people believe it to be.

Related: Porn Performers Do Not Deserve the Abuse Many of Them Experience, Here’s Why

A different former MindGeek employee who was interviewed for a New York Times exposé on Pornhub said the focus was maximizing profits, and as a moderator, the goal was to “let as much content as possible go through.” This certainly lines up with what the above story shows, that anything objectionable is usually approved or “saved” just in case.

But does this include content involving minors? It’s entirely possible, given that MindGeek—the company that controls what is commonly understood to be the mainstream porn industry—is being investigated and even sued for reportedly allowing nonconsensual content and content featuring minors on its porn platforms.

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Consider that, as this Redditor mentioned briefly, porn producers are not required to keep the records of the legal ages of those who perform in their videos. U.S. Code Title 18 Section 2257, which required porn producers to keep stringent records on the ages of performers and allows federal agents to inspect them at any time, was overturned in August 2018 after porn industry officials lobbied for its dismissal. The decision completely exempts major distributors (termed secondary producers), from any record-keeping requirements.

Related: How Shaming And Victim-Blaming Porn Performers Adds To Their Mistreatment

As a couple of anti-exploitation advocates wrote in response to the legal decision, “While the production and distribution of child pornography remain illegal, the law is toothless without record keeping. The requirement provides the only way to verify and track performers’ ages and serves as a major incentive for businesses across the complex supply chain to monitor content.”

But this is just one of the many, many issues that this Reddit post has shed light on in the porn industry. There are also the issues he mentioned of performers’ bodies being harmed on set due to the rough nature of the sex acts performed, the sexual entitlement culture perpetuated and fostered by many consumers, and real rape tapes and abuse and incest being uploaded to porn sites.

His experiences, overall, give personal witness to what many survivors and anti-exploitation advocates have been saying for years about the porn industry. It’s time we listen, and consider the facts before consuming.