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Pornhub Will Show Its 75 Million Daily Visitors Why Net Neutrality Matters

Don’t mess with our porn.

Samantha Cole

"Hell hath no fury like the internet scorned," Evan Greer, campaign director of advocacy group Fight for the Future, told Motherboard in April. We should all shudder to think of the potential fury from an internet cut off from access to porn.

Pornhub announced today that on July 12, the adult entertainment website plans to join a protest organized by Fight for the Future, freepress, and Demand Progress against the latest threat to a free and open internet. The protest "Day of Action" lands five days before the first deadline for comments on the FCC's proposal to roll back net neutrality protections.

The proposal is part of FCC chief and former Verizon executive Ajit Pai's attack on net neutrality, and would make it easier for internet service providers to get out from under the FCC's legal limits. Specifically, it would remove the classification of broadband as a telecommunications service, a ruling made in 2015 to ensure stronger protections for an open internet.

If net neutrality hadn't existed 10 years ago, Pornhub's fate would have been in the hands of cable and wireless companies, Corey Price, VP at Pornhub told me over email. "Without it, the cable and wireless companies that control Internet access will have unfair power to pick winners and losers in the market." Companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T would be free to enact their own "slow lanes" and force people to pay more for certain sites.

Pornhub joins one of more than 60 companies participating in the protest, including Amazon, Github, Kickstarter, Reddit, and Imgur. The "Day of Action" will be similar to the SOPA blackout protest in 2012 or the slowdown day in 2014, with messaging or interference that urges visitors to these sites to take action. Pornhub's among the top 20 most visited sites in the US (Amazon.com and Reddit are both in the top five), and according to Pornhub's own reporting, the site draws 75 million visitors per day—plenty of eyes that otherwise might not be aware of the net neutrality battle.

Price said that Pornhub hasn't settled on specifics of the protest messaging, but is considering incorporating a loading icon to emphasize how it could make some sites much slower. Start practicing calming breaths for when you have to hold your patience on protest day.

"No one in the porn industry ever yells 'slower, slower, slower,'" he said. "We're much more accustomed to 'faster, faster, faster.' Here at Pornhub, we want to keep it that way."