Home Movies Reviews ‘Money Shot: The Pornhub Story’ Netflix Review - Sex Scandal

‘Money Shot: The Pornhub Story’ Netflix Review - Sex Scandal

This documentary film features interviews with performers, activists, and past employees, along with a deep dive into the successes and scandals of Pornhub

Vikas Yadav - Wed, 15 Mar 2023 11:50:23 +0000 4283 Views
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Money Shot: The Pornhub Story opens with the question, "Do you remember the first porn you ever saw?" What follows is a series of giggles and shy faces, which is precisely the kind of mood that sets in while discussing sex. The interviewees fondly recollect things like an eight-person gang bang video and an ice dildo movie. One of them broadly defines porn as something expected to be sexually arousing. Someone remarks that "things can be too extreme on the Internet," and then suddenly you see all these accusive headlines - Pornhub is not a porn site. It's a crime scene.

Slowly, the titillating tone becomes intense. The impish smiles give way to serious discussions. The distinction between sex work and sex trafficking is made explicit through the line that only the former is done with consent. Pornhub is accused of knowingly profiting from sexually exploitative material, hosting a slew of rape, child trafficking, and child pornography videos. Basically, anyone with an account could upload anything on the website. Hence, the disturbing contents. But that's one of the disadvantages of the Internet, right? Anyone can anonymously upload anything online, and that too on websites other than Pornhub, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And, of course, there are other more upsetting sites having the same, or perhaps more distressing, content as Pornhub.

The online world is vast and offers a high degree of freedom. In a situation like this, can you really successfully tackle all the cyber crimes? You can try and, perhaps, get rid of some of the content. But in the end, more similar videos would find their way to the Internet. On one side, we have people like Dani Pinter, a senior legal counsel, Nicholas Kristof, a columnist at The New York Times, and Laila Mickelwait, the woman behind the Trafficking Hub movement, who - with all good intentions - want to obliterate illegal sexual material and sex-related websites. However, on the other hand, we have sex workers/porn performers like Gwen Adora, Siri Dahl, and Wolf Hudson, who depend on platforms like Pornhub for their income. To paraphrase one of the interviewees, "The people who upload child sex videos are not content creators."

When Visa and Mastercard withdrew themselves from Pornhub, they left many content creators in financial turmoil. The tweets that pop up on the screen imply that sex is still a taboo subject. Sure, some people actually want illegal content to vanish. But there are also those who despise the concept of sex. And did Pornhub really profit from sex trafficking? A person informs us that most of the revenue was generated from advertisements. Kristof's article proposes three "insanely reasonable" steps - (1) Only verified users can upload videos, (2) prohibit downloads, and (3) increase moderation. The executives at Pornhub state that they had employed human moderators well before companies like Facebook, but we also see the fault in their system. These human moderators are made to go through almost 800 videos in their 8-hour-long shift, which is just impossible. A whistleblower reveals that due to the hectic work, they used to either fast-forward or skip some videos, which is why sexually abusive content found its way to Pornhub. Also, the teen category doesn't necessarily refer to teenagers. It's about body type. "Any petite performer would be categorized as a teen," we are told.

Porn has come a long way from being just online ASCII art (someone used to draw breasts out of semicolons and periods and stuff like that). And Pornhub - a name so popular you can see its color and hear its song - has definitely been a part of the porn piracy movement (the Piratebay for movies). Money Shot: The Pornhub Story gives us two different perspectives and leaves it up to us to form an opinion. "Here are the facts, and now you can choose whatever side you want," it says to the audience. I found the Dutch angle closeups distracting, and I wish the documentary had explored why the porn performers chose this profession. One interviewee mentions something about going through dark times, leading you to wonder if the others, too, had undergone a similar problem and, thus, took this career path. Did they get too excited when they first watched porn, so much so that they decided to produce their own erotic moments? What specifically drove them to this job? What is that thing that attracts them to this line of work? Maybe the answers to these questions are diverse and could have veered this documentary off-course, which is why it stays away from them. Whatever the case, the sex workers love their job, and if they have no problem stripping in front of the camera, who are we to ban or judge them? Sex work is work, after all.

Final Score- [8/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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