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Porn is bigger than Amazon or Netflix and that’s a cause for worry

Lest you think this is a piece for titillation, this, in reality, is to stoke your conscience. With such figures involved, millions of girls—and boys—are lured into a cycle of exploitation where their personal and emotional orchard is laid waste for filthy bucks.

I recently did a piece in praise of India’s new Child Pornography Bill but the issue didn’t leave me and several related issues teased as a stripper does in a bar full of men. Porn is one of those words which have a totally different meaning to me now than when I was in my 20s and I guess it’s true to most of the 1970s generation.

But I wasn’t prepared to how pervasive it is to humanity once I got inside the sheets of reality and fumbled with its contours.

Do you know the porn industry is bigger than Hollywood? Meatier than major baseball leagues, NFL and NBA, combined? That porn sites get more visitors than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined do in a month? That just one site, XVideos, is larger than New York Times, CNN and Dropbox combined?

And this is still just foreplay and not the real deal. That is now laid bare by SimilarWeb.com, a data-mining gold standard, which tells us that two porn websites –XVideos and Pornhub—engage more visitors and their time than—hold your breath—even Google! Indeed, in terms of worldwide website rankings, these two are in the Top 8, bigger than Amazon, Wikipedia, MSN, Yahoo, Netflix, eBay, LinkedIn, PayPal or WhatsApp. Phew!

The net worth of the Porn industry was $97 billion dollars two years ago which could feed up to 5 billion people a day. The profits are upwards of $15 billion which is one-and-a-half times more than Hollywood. So if you know Google and Netflix as behemoth bandwith-consuming companies, include Mind Geek as the third biggest for it owns PornHub, Brazzers, YouPorn and Reality Kings.

And how much do you think the pornstars are worth? Jenna Jameson was once rated to be worth more ($30m) than some of Hollywood’s top stars. Their one shot is worth bucketful of sweat to producers, and not just to viewers.

Lest you think this is a piece for titillation, this in reality is to stoke your conscience. With such figures involved, millions of girls—and boys—are lured into a cycle of exploitation where their personal and emotional orchard is laid waste for filthy bucks. Most find themselves unable to break free of this matrix, transported from city to city, country to country, continent to continent. Those who watch inflict no less damage on themselves for sociologist confirm they are prone to unstable and aggressive behaviour. Lot of fantasies stoked by porn-clips actually are the seeds on which heinous crime such as rape grow.

A few other facts perhaps could let the terrible truth sink in our minds. A recent report has found out that (a) 35 percent of all internet downloads are porn; (b) 64% of youth in 13-24 age bracket are its biggest consumers; (c) teen videos are most watched and teen viewership is the biggest too; and (d) lesbian was the most searched porn term on the world’s largest porn site last year.

All these issues need to be discussed in public for porn is not a personal choice alone. When you watch such a video, you actually play your role in someone’s exploitation; and often eventual destruction. The society needs a robust debate on porn. It needs mass awareness. It’s the underbelly of humanity. So many lives are destroyed, crimes propped and it could all be happening with our active, sick contribution.

Take a call. Now.

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Ashish Shuklahttp://ashishshukla.net/
Author of "How United States Shot Humanity", Senior Journalist, TV Presenter

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