ONLINE retail giant Amazon has sold more products than at any time in its history and amassed a total of 70 million daily website visitors – but even it was dwarfed by just one porn website.
Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography site, clocked 115 million daily website visitors during pandemic lockdown.
The numbers had spiked when people were in lockdown at home and one reason for that spike was the increased rate of free deals made by the porn industry.
Brisbane Catholic Paul Ninnes said Pornhub had essentially “made their premium service free to all people”.
In response, Mr Ninnes launched a social media campaign Pornfree Movement to counter what he called the “porndemic”.
Pornfree Movement was launched last Wednesday and had already been liked and followed by more than 4000 people.
It had daily web posts, including videos, about the harm porn could cause.
He said the first job of the campaign was to open people’s eyes to the sheer scale of the porn industry.
Pornfree Movement reported that last year alone 6.83 million new porn videos were uploaded to one website alone – it would take 160 years to watch that much video content.
But as pornography websites abandoned their paid services, there was one group particularly at risk – children.
One of the only age verifications on porn websites was a paywall, where children ordinarily would not have access to a credit card to proceed.
With no paywall, children could access anything with almost no safeguards.
Pornfree Movement also wanted to counter the perception that porn was harmless, Mr Ninnes said.
“Porn is something that increases the feelings of isolation that someone is experiencing,” he said.
“I think if you want to decrease isolation, you connect people with people.
“The antidote to isolation is connection – not something that’s going to increase their isolation.
“The antidote to being alone is relationships and porn minimises relationships and minimises a person’s capacity to love.
“And so, the idea that viewing more porn might help someone is kind of counterintuitive to anyone that thinks deeply about the topic.”
Mr Ninnes said the arguments found on the website and in the material were all reason-based arguments and not faith-based arguments.
“It’s a message for everyone and sometimes I think if you’re using religious reasoning, it sort of misses a large segment of the people who need the message,” he said.
“It’s also something that’s easily argued without bringing faith into the topic.”
Many of these arguments could be found in videos and posts on the movement’s Facebook and website.
The website itself was a portal for everything that someone could need on the topic.
“If a parent wanted to help their child, they’d find something on our website; if a person wanted to find a counsellor, they’d find it on the website; if a person wanted to find out how to help erectile dysfunction they’re experiencing because of porn, they’d find it on the website,” Mr Ninnes said.
“We’re trying to connect people quite simply to a lot of the good material out there.”
The movement wanted to start conversations too.
“We’re trying to encourage people who have never talked about this (pornography) to talk about it with their partners, with their children, with their social networks,” Mr Ninnes said.
The campaign called on people to spread the word.
“So, one of the key things will be that we’re encouraging people to like our Facebook and follow us on social media,” Mr Ninnes said.
“The second one would be that we’re going to have a frame that people can use on their Facebook profile pictures.
“And thirdly, just to share the content basically.”
You can learn more about the campaign at pornfreemovement.com or find them on Facebook.