Beating Back the Antiporn Propaganda Campaign

As an industry, we’re pretty good at calling out fictions about our industry. When the New Yorker published an attack on Pornhub this week, members of the industry rushed after the author and the outlet — calling out the misinformation, misquotes and straight-up antiporn propaganda

Unfortunately, we’re not always aware when we’re pushing the same misinformation ourselves. Last year, I heard a member of the industry repeat on a podcast with millions of listeners that the average lifespan of porn stars is just 37 years —  a lie created by an antiporn preacher.) We fought it on Google (who used it for a snippet), but the myth still circulates.

Some others I’ve heard repeated recently:

  • That the average OnlyFans creator makes just $180/month (an old, poorly sourced figure used by antis to undermine sex worker’s claims of independence) 
  • That porn is addictive (an unsupported claim denounced by medical groups like the World Health Organization)
  • That porn leads to real world violence against women (if anything, the data shows the opposite)
  • That tube sites are full of illegal content (repeated in so many headlines — many generated using claims by antis — that it’s hard not to believe it’s true).

This is catnip to the antiporn groups, who first seed the misinformation in the media, then seize on it when it’s repeated by us as evidence of an insider finally speaking out. Out of our mouths, and into their fundraising pitches. We are regarded as authorities on our industry, so when we share their misinformation or advance their stigma in press interviews, speeches or posts, it’s particularly damaging.

Most of us know the dubious nature of mainstream coverage. Yet when we read a headline about a competitor or enemy, it’s hard not to take it for truth. As the War on Porn intensifies, I’m asking everyone to think twice before you believe — let alone repeat — what you read about our industry, whether it’s in the New York Times, Netflix or Twitter. Remember that the antis are actively engaged in a disinformation campaign, and are trying to divide the industry to weaken it.

This isn’t to say we should avoid accurate criticism of our industry, or that we should deny or silence personal experiences. Even in the middle of a War on Porn, we must always work to make our industry better, safer and more ethical. But be on guard with civilian coverage.

FSC is a source for accurate information in a sea of stigma — an organization dedicated to researching the facts and separating truth from fiction. We do it every day with journalists and legislators, and over the coming summer, we’ll be working on a campaign and resources to help debunk the myths, and to help disrupt one of the antis propaganda mill. 

If you’d like to get involved, whether as a corporate sponsor or to help identify potential misinformation, please reach out. 

Mike Stabile
FSC Director of Public Affairs
[email protected]