Pornography is no longer a poison creeping into the crevices of our popular culture. It is part of the very fabric. One sensation at a recent Apple conference for new and developing applications in San Francisco was the "iPorn bikini girls" advertising free X-rated films for your iPhone. It sounds like a whole new reason to fear people using their mobile phones while they drive.
Free porn sites are all over the Internet now, with zero restrictions or minimal electronic barriers against curious children who might be in for a very crude shock within seconds, just with the still photos on the home page. Even the most mainstream of video sites are inundated with pornography and its promoters. YouTube touts itself as the world's most popular portal for Internet videos. It has become so big it's even promoting a new technology called YouTube XL to put its videos directly on your big-screen TV.
A new study by Matthew Philbin and Dan Gainor of the Culture and Media Institute (CMI) found that YouTube is stuffed with porn videos. But a search for the word "porn" found more than 330,000 results. Out of the 157 "porn" clips that received more than 1 million views, almost two-thirds (101) advertised themselves to be actual pornography. Those 101 videos had 438,318,147 combined views -- or 1.38 views for every man, woman and child in the United States.
YouTube claims it's "not for pornography or sexually explicit content." It's just not against it, either.
Pornographers of all kinds exploit YouTube to drive traffic to their sites and products. Twelve percent of those 101 videos mentioned porn stars by name or were obvious clips from porn movies. In addition, there were thousands of videos and repeated comments that served only as advertisements for hardcore-porn sites, "dating" and escort services, and phone sex lines.
Particularly troubling are animated videos listed under "porn." Several videos put profanity and sex talk over classic Disney cartoons, like one called "Aladdin Porn." (Disney ought to be the first powerful player putting a stop to that.) Fans of Japanese anime cartoons can find the animated porn called "hentai," and skip over the 18-plus barrier or gravitate to hard-core sites the same way they could access live-action sex clips.