“Free” porn hub xHamster doesn’t pay for content, but it sure spends on public relations. So far this year xHamster’s gotten widespread media coverage for: 1) announcing it was blocking all IP addresses from North Carolina until the state repealed its bigoted bathroom segregation bill; 2) declaring (less than 24 hours later) that North Carolinians could access xHamster, so long as they clicked “No” on the pop-up question “Do you support the anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina?”; 3) proclaiming it would sponsor a “Pornopolooza” LGBT charity concert—but only if fellow LGBT supporters Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams played (so, not happening); 4) offering Gawker founder Nick Denton $35,000 if he’d make a gay sex video with a Hulk Hogan look-alike; and 5) leeching on to public outrage over Stanford rapist Brock Turner by announcing its plans to “end rape culture for good.” In other words, lots of press for doing jack shit.
We love cheap, disgusting publicity stunts, but xHamster’s so-called “Brock Turner” rule is as vile and self-serving as young Mr. Turner. “Buzzwords have been put into effect so any keyword corresponding to nonconsensual sex will not be uploaded and the user will be banned,” Chief Marketing Officer Alexander D. Hawkins told The Huffington Post. Type “rape” into xHamster’s search engine and, instead of receiving no results, as has always been their policy, users now receive the following message, “If you are searching for this category, probably it’s time you consulted with a professional psychologist,” along with a link to a therapy site.