Pornhub : The Website to Advertise Political Campaigns

pornhub on screen
Written By: J. Laura

 

Many Americans won’t just see political advertisements on lawns, billboards, bumper stickers or TVs this campaign season — these ads are also hitting pornsites. 

Last year, mega pornsite, Pornhub, reported that there were 115 million daily visitors to the website in 2019 — or 80,032 visits, 77,861 searches and 219,985 views every minute. 

With site traffic like this, politicians are starting to release campaign ads on adult entertainment platforms.   

Benjamin Thomas Wolf | Retrieved from: Mail Online

In 2018, Observer reported that Benjamin Thomas Wolf, a Democratic congressional candidate for Illinois’ fifth district, became the first politician ever to advertise on Pornhub.

The size of Pornhub’s audience isn’t the only thing that appeals to advertisers; it’s the age of the site’s visitors, too. 

According to TrafficJunky, 78% of Pornhub users are under the age of 45.

Pornhub’s users are roughly the same age as the majority of cannabis users. It was reported by Gallup, an analytics and advisory company, that a majority of cannabis users are under the age of 49. 

Screenshot | Retrieved from: Twitter

“We are going where young voters are,” Wolf said to Observer. “Their heads are buried in their phones, their eyes are on screens and I am speaking directly to them.”

Wolf wanted his 2018’s campaign to focus on medical cannabis. “I am proud to be the Cannabis Candidate,” Wolf told High Times

“Number one, cannabis is medicine […] for millions of Americans,” he said. “That is the most important thing to me. Number two, [legalization] is the first step to true criminal justice. And number three, cannabis brings billions of dollars to the states that legalize it. They have billions of dollars for education, for counseling, for drug rehab.”

Across the Atlantic, Danish politician Joachim B. Olsen also advertised on the adult site in 2019. 

BBC reported that Olsen campaigned on Pornhub to urge people to reelect him to the Danish parliament. 

Joachim B. Olsen | Retrieved from: Indo & NY News & Announcement.

Olsen admitted on Politico that he did not discuss the ad placement with his party, Liberal Alliance, beforehand.  

“Half the internet is porn and you need to be where the voters are,” Olsen continued. “Those who know me as a politician know that I am serious, but I have a sense of humor and think this is a good laugh.” 

However, as much as there is the business side to Pornhub, some have been vocal to shut it down. 

Laila Mickelwait, founder of Traffickinghub campaign, has been outspoken about how Pornhub has extensively profited from unconsented sex videos and enabled child sex trafficking. 

The campaign described itself as a “non-religious, non-partisan effort to hold the largest porn website in the world accountable for enabling and profiting off of the mass sex-trafficking and exploitation of women and minors,” according to their website. 

In February 2020, BBC reported that 25 year old Rose Kalemba was raped at 14. The video of the rape was uploaded on Pornhub. 

Kalemba emailed Pornhub countless times over a period of six months, asking her videos to be taken down. 

“I sent Pornhub begging emails. I pleaded with them. I wrote, ‘Please, I’m a minor, this was assault, please take it down,’” she told BBC. But she received no response. 

Later that year, only when she set up a new email address posing as a lawyer and threatened legal action on Pornhub, her case was taken seriously. 

“Within 48 hours the videos disappeared,” Rose said. 

Similarly, Pritha Paul of Meaww reported how a 15 year old girl who had gone missing for a year was found after her mother spotted her in a sexually explicit video on various adult websites, including Pornhub. 

Her mother alerted the authorities, who then discovered 58 adult videos that featured her. 

So, as much as Pornhub is a business, it may have the potential to be something darker.

 

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Emerald contributor since July 2020
Journalist and contributor for Emerald; covering the social, cultural, political and medical side of cannabis and other (mostly sensitive) issues. For any collaborations or tips, email me at [laura@emeraldmg.com].

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