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History Edit

Pornhub was founded by web developer Matt Keezer as a website within the company Interhub, and launched on 25 May 2007.[8] In March 2010, the company was purchased by Fabian Thylmann as part of the Manwin conglomerate, now known as MindGeek.[9]As part of MindGeek, Pornhub makes up one of several pornographic websites in the company's "Pornhub NETWORK", alongside YouPorn, RedTube[2] and the like. Though not the most popular pornographic website, Pornhub holds the honour of being the single largest such website on the internet, hosting more videos than any similar site.[5]

The website allows visitors to view pornographic videos from a number of categories, including professional and amateur pornography. Users can take advantage of several features, including sharing videos on social media websites and liking or disliking them. Users may also optionally register a free Pornhub account, which additionally allows them to post comments, download videos and add videos to their favourites, as well as upload videos themselves. To combat the proliferation of illegal content, users are encouraged to flag videos they deem inappropriate, which are immediately reviewed by the Pornhub team and removed if they violate the website's terms of service.[10]

In an effort to introduce quality curation to the site, the company launched a service called "Pornhub Select" in October 2013.[11] Pornhub also launched a content curation website on 9 October 2013 called "PornIQ", which uses an algorithm to create personalized video playlists for the viewer based on a number of factors, including their porn preferences, the time of day they're visiting the website, what part of the world they live in and the amount of time the viewer has to watch the video(s).[12][13] David Holmes of PandoDaily noted that Pornhub's data-intensive approach to playlists set it apart from previous attempts at user-generated playlists, and marked a new trend in the switch from content searching to passive curation among Web 2.0 websites.[13]

As of 2009, three of the largest pornographic sites "RedTube, YouPorn and PornHub -- collectively make up 100 million unique visitors".[14] In 2014, Pornhub told its viewers to stop uploading footage from Brazil's defeat to Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup with sexual innuendo titles.[15]

In June 2015, Pornhub announced that it was going to make a pornographic film featuring real-life sex in space, named Sexplorations. The site hoped to launch the mission and shoot the movie in 2016, covering the pre- and post-production costs itself but seeking $3.4 million from IndieGogo crowdfunders. Pornographic actors Eva Lovia and Johnny Sins have been lined up to star in Sexplorations, and will receive "six months of rigorous training" prior to launch.[16]

On 1 February 2016, Pornhub launched an online casino, powered by Betsoft, Endorphina and 1x2 gaming software.[17]

On 1 April 2016, April Fool's Day, the website's front page became CornHub, displaying videos of sweet corn with sexually alluring titles.[18] In 2018, the front page became HornHub.

In October 2017, vice president Corey Price announced that PornHub would use computer vision and artificial intelligence software to identify and tag videos on the website with information about the performers and sex acts. Price said the company plans to scan its entire library beginning in early 2018.[19][20]

Copyright infringement claims Edit

In 2010, Mansef Inc. and Interhub, the then owners of Pornhub, were sued by the copyright holding company of the pornographic film production company Pink Visual, Ventura Content, for the copyright infringement of 95 videos on websites, including Pornhub, Keezmovies, Extremetube, and Tube8.[21] According to Ventura Content the 45 videos were streamed “tens of millions of times”[22] and they claimed the piracy threatened the "entire adult entertainment industry."[23] The suit was settled in October 2010, with terms that remain confidential. The parties agreed that the site operators would implement digital fingerprint filtering on their sites.[24] Porn 2.0 sites such as these are seen as posing notable competition for paid pornographic websites and traditional magazine and DVD-based pornography.[25][26][27]

Censorship Edit

In 2011, European broadband provider TalkTalk (formerly Tiscali) received some criticism because its internet filter failed to block Pornhub, for over a week. This was due to the issue of child internet safety.[5]

The Huffington Post explains that in 2013, "CBS...refused to air a short commercial for adult-themed site Pornhub during the Super Bowl on Sunday....The 20-second spot, which features an older couple sitting on a park bench (that's really all that happens), includes no explicit content".[28] It was rejected because the Federal Communications Commission could hold CBS liable for endorsing pornographic content, as it is illegal to air pornography on US television.[28]

The website was blocked by the Great Firewall in China from September 2013.[29]

On 12 March 2014, Pornhub was blocked in Russia because one actress looked too young, leading some viewers to think she was a minor.[30][31]

In January 2017, Pornhub was among the pornographic websites that were blocked in the Philippines in adherence to the Anti-Child Pornography Law.[32]

The site was blocked in September 2016 in Russia due to "spreading harmful information to children", and reinstated in April 2017 after specifying the age of users. The site requires Russian users to provide their cellphone numbers or passports to log in.[33]