I/O

Why xHamster Is So Much Better at Content Moderation Than Facebook

Laws hold the porn industry accountable for dangerous content — and it’s thriving nonetheless

Lux Alptraum
OneZero
Published in
6 min readNov 7, 2019

--

Credit: SOPA Images/Getty

InIn In October, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to testify about his company’s planned cryptocurrency, Libra. Early on in the proceedings, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) objected to proposals that would rein in the tech giant, comparing them to “red flag laws” that aimed to reduce fear around early automobiles through aggressive measures (including the requirement that a pedestrian waving a red flag of warning precede any car on the road).

To McHenry, and to most of Zuckerberg’s peers in Silicon Valley, the idea of slowing technological innovation through regulation is patently ludicrous. In an industry built on an ethos of “move fast and break things,” the idea that some problems might need to be carefully navigated is utterly foreign — especially for companies whose value is tied to their massive number of users. With hundreds of millions of users (and, at Facebook, billions), it’s often argued that companies could not be reasonably expected to monitor everything that winds up on their platforms.

But there’s another sector of the digital world, whose headquarters are just a few hundred miles from Silicon Valley, where this attitude of unchecked technological innovation and growth at all costs would never fly.

In Los Angeles’ Porn Valley, the adult entertainment capital of the world, companies move significantly slower than their Silicon Valley peers because they are burdened by a combination of legal regulation and social stigma that makes the cost of reckless action potentially devastating. And despite Silicon Valley’s assertions that regulation would utterly derail their ability to make real progress, pornographers still manage to innovate — all while avoiding some of the messy pitfalls that have plagued Big Tech.

Take the difference in how Silicon Valley and Porn Valley handle user-generated content, for instance. On mainstream social media sites, instant posting is viewed as the norm — whether you’re posting a link to a New York Times piece, a personal update, or a racist invective, your…

--

--

Lux Alptraum
OneZero

OneZero columnist, Peabody-nominated producer, and the author of Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex — And the Truths They Reveal. http://luxalptraum.com