FACTS

    In early November, Thailand Minister of Digital Economy Puttipong Punnakanta announced that Pornhub, the world’s leading porn website, would be banned, along with 190 other porn sites. Despite internet porn being illegal in the country, Thailand has ranked among the top consumers of pornography worldwide. For years, the nation has also been a human-trafficking hub and is home to “610,000 modern-day slaves.” Of those in slavery, “sexual exploitation continues to be one of the most common purposes.”

    RIGHT

    The Right, long a critic of Pornhub, supports the move. It is argued that “pornography violates children’s and women’s rights,” and that Pornhub specifically “supports human trafficking.” Exodus Cry, an organization dedicated to “abolishing sex trafficking and breaking the cycle of commercial sexual exploitation,” wrote that “it is not uncommon to see videos [on Pornhub]…featuring young Thai girls being exploited for profit.”

    “It’s a strong message from a government that has often been accused of enabling the notorious sex trafficking trade that is prevalent in their country…Thailand’s strong and decisive action against Pornhub is the right one. Any website that hosts and profits from sex crimes should not be allowed to continue its operations.”

    PJ Vescovi, Author at Exodus Cry

    Anti-pornography nonprofit organization Fight The New Drug said that it is a misconception that “the porn industry and sex trafficking industry are completely separate issues, one being legitimate and the other being an illegal activity that only happens in faraway countries. Absolutely not so. The truth is, porn, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking are more closely linked than the average consumer may realize.”

    LEFT

    While criticism of Pornhub has been bipartisan, the Left condemns the decision to ban pornography. Back in January, an article in the Los Angeles Times chided conservatives for their “war on pornography” and wrote, “They consider your constitutional objections to be about as relevant as stopping a tidal wide with a slide rule.” Since the Thai government announced the ban, the hashtags #SavePornhub and #HornyPower have been trending, and the move sparked online protests, as well some in-person protests in Bangkok. Director of the Manushya Foundation, a social justice and human rights group, Emilie Pradichit called Thailand “a land of digital dictatorship, with conservatives in power trying to control what young people can watch, can say and can do online.” “We want to reclaim Pornhub. People are entitled to choices,” said activist group Anonymous Party. However, some protestors agreed that the website is home to “criminal activity,” with one activist stating, “Democracy does not mean you can do anything at will with no responsibility.”

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