Thursday, April 12, 2012

But please, please, don't combine the two

Just as future historians will conclude that the internet was invented for the distribution of pornography, they will likely also decide that the purpose behind the invention of photography was to record images of cats.

... Really, it's a little mindboggling:
To put that 800Gbps figure into perspective, the internet only handles around half an exabyte of traffic every day, which equates to around 50Tbps — in other words, a single porn site accounts for almost 2% of the internet’s total traffic. There are dozens of porn sites on the scale of YouPorn, and hundreds that are the size of ExtremeTech or your favorite news site. It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet.


  1. A cousin of mine who used to be in the Internet business said porn always leads the way in technology. He cited the original motion pictures, which were almost all porn, and the old flip-card movies, which originally were all porn.

  2. Probably right, and then some. Look at those "fertility goddess" statuettes from 10,000 BC.

  3. They say the first book off the printing press was the Bible, and the second was porn. That means that 50% of all printed material was porn :)

    I do think these numbers are a bit misleading, though. There's a big difference between bandwidth used and actual consumption. It's a generally visual medium, and media takes a ton of bandwidth for each moment of consumption. Stats showed Netflix's streaming consuming somewhere around 27% of the internet, and that was a year or two ago. It's undoubtedly grown since then. Video streaming takes a LOT of data.

    I'd actually be very curious to see comparative numbers from other countries that weren't quite so hung up on sex as we are. Online porn is generally advantageous as a product - quality is worse, and in front of your computer isn't the most comfortable place to partake. IMHO the major advantage of online porn is anonymity - many people who want to consume it aren't comfortable with the idea of procuring it. Make it easy to get, without the discomfort of walking into THAT PLACE or the worry of your coworker happening to notice you there or your SO/kids finding the tape/DVD laying around, and many more people will indulge.

  4. By the way, I truly love the lede on the story that Anderson linked to:

    "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of a fast internet connection must be in want of some porn."

  5. The internet is to porn as McDonald's is to food. Take something that is labor intensive and hard to get, then make it abundant (for little or no cost), and consumption goes through the roof.

    I know what McDonald's is doing to us. What about all this porn? Do they make diet porn? Is it as bad as ricecakes? What if I just watch skinny people having sex?