Porn not loading for hours? Blame ‘Internet Slowdown’ protest

Porn not loading for hours? Blame ‘Internet Slowdown’ protest
Pornography tends towards the ‘harder, faster’ side of things. But porn-watchers could be in for slower, buffered videos next Friday as some of the world’s top adult film sites participate in a protest against the proposed loss of net neutrality.

READ MORE: Internet Slowdown protest: Top web companies to join strike for net neutrality

“We're in. Let's make some waves!” Pornhub proclaimed on Reddit.

The waves in question are about getting porn viewers to tear their eyes away from the motion of the ocean on screen ‒ long enough to realize what might happen if US authorities go ahead with a proposal to create “fast lanes” on the internet for some companies.

Pornhub, RedTube and Youporn announced they will be joining leading web companies like Mozilla, Foursquare and Reddit to take part in the Internet Slowdown protest on September 10 to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change its support for the proposal.

The protesting companies will display a widget with a "loading" symbol on their websites to show how the internet would look should the FCC allow cable giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to create a two-tiered internet. With that would come “slow lanes” for most internet companies and “fast lanes” for corporations that are willing to pay extra for faster service.

For now, erotica viewers will still be able to get their voyeuristic kicks on their adult film site of choice, with the pornos coming as fast and hard as always - but they will notice the protest.

“We’ll be displaying an official widget from battleforthenet.com. We won’t be shutting down or streaming your porn slower. There will be a big in your face message that users will need to close. We hope to reach around 50 million people on Sept 10th,” a Pornhub spokeswoman wrote in the Reddit post.

According to the proposed rules, cable companies would have the power to discriminate against online content and applications, shake sites down for fees, block content for political reasons and make it easier for internet users to view content the cable companies own.

Pornhub and RedTube are owned by Mindgeek, a Luxembourg-based conglomerate that claims to be one of the top five bandwidth consumers in the world, generating 1.7 billion visits per month, the Guardian reported. According to Alexa Internet rankings, Pornhub is the 77th most-visited site in the world, with RedTube as the 109th and YouPorn as the 122nd most popular web destinations, respectively.

Without net neutrality, internet service providers will benefit. Video-streaming services, on the contrary, might lose out ‒ whether the X is in Netflix or in XXX ‒ and it is not just them.

“[C]ritics worry this would undermine websites and companies unable to afford premium services, which could in turn impact on Web innovation and equality as their traffic may be reduced by being part of the 'slow lane',” Charlie Osborne wrote in a ZDnet column.

The FCC has left open the possibility of re-classifying internet service as a telecommunications service (like telephone landlines), and requiring internet service providers to deliver all content at equal speeds. During the open comment period due to end on September 15, the agency has received over a million remarks on the issue. Less than one percent of those who wrote in were “clearly opposed to net neutrality,” the Sunlight Foundation estimated in a report released on Tuesday that was based on FCC data.

Of those comments, over 1,500 either mentioned HBO host John Oliver by name or used the words “dingo” or “fuckery” (often directed towards FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler). These terms were “likely motivated by usage of these terms in Oliver’s net neutrality segment” on his show ‘Last Week Tonight’, the Sunlight Foundation noted.