The availability of widespread public access to the World Wide Web in led to the growth of Internet pornography. A study finds "a big jump" in pornography viewing over the past few decades, with the largest increase occurring between people born in the s and those born in the s. While the study's authors note this increase is "smaller than conventional wisdom might predict," it's still quite significant. Children born in the s onward are also the first to grow up in a world where they have access to the Internet beginning in their teenage years, and this early exposure and access to Internet pornography may be the primary driver of the increase.
Before the World Wide Web. Pornography is regarded by some as one of the driving forces behind the expansion of the World Wide Web, like the camcorder VCR and cable television before it.
Pornographic images had been transmitted over the Internet as ASCII porn but to send images over network needed computers with graphics capability and also higher network bandwidth. This was possible in the late '80s and early '90s through the use of anonymous FTP servers and through the Gopher protocol. At this time the internet was mainly an academic and military network and there was not widespread use of the internet. This small image archive contained some low quality scanned pornographic images that were initially available to anyone anonymously, but the site soon became restricted to Netherlands only access.
Usenet newsgroups provided an early way of sharing images over the narrow bandwidth available in the early s. Because of the network restrictions of the time, images had to be encoded as ascii text and then broken into sections before being posted to the Alt.
These files could then be downloaded and then reassembled before being decoded back to an image. Automated software such as Aub Assemble Usenet Binaries allowed the automatic download and assembly of the images from a newsgroup. There was a rapid growth in the number of posts in the early s but image quality was restricted by the size of files that could be posted.
The method was also used to disseminate pornographic images, which were scanned from adult magazines. This type of distribution was generally free apart from fees for Internet access , and provided a great deal of anonymity. The anonymity made it safe and easy to ignore copyright restrictions, as well as protecting the identity of uploaders and downloaders. Around this time frame, pornography was also distributed via pornographic Bulletin Board Systems such as Rusty n Edie's.
These BBSes could charge users for access, leading to the first commercial online pornography. The research was cited during a session of U. The student changed his name and disappeared from public view. Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age. The invention of the World Wide Web spurred both commercial and non-commercial distribution of pornography.
The rise of pornography websites offering photos, video clips and streaming media including live webcam access allowed greater access to pornography. On the Web, there are both commercial and free pornography sites. The bandwidth usage of a pornography site is relatively high, and the income a free site can earn through advertising may not be sufficient to cover the costs of that bandwidth.
One recent entry into the free pornography website market are Thumbnail gallery post sites. Some free websites primarily serve as portals by keeping up-to-date indexes of these smaller sampler sites. These intents to create directories about adult content and websites were followed by the creation of adult wikis where the user can contribute their knowledge and recommend quality resources and links.
When a user purchases a subscription to a commercial site after clicking through from a free thumbnail gallery site, the commercial site makes a payment to the owner of the free site. There are several forms of sites delivering adult content. The most common form of adult content is a categorized list more often it's a table of small pictures called "thumbnails" linked to galleries. These sites are called a Thumbnail gallery post TGP. As a rule, these sites sort thumbs by category and type of content available on a linked gallery.
The most abusive form of TGP is the so-called CJ abbreviation for circlejerk , that contains links that mislead the surfer to sites he or she actually didn't wish to see. This is also called a redirect.
It's still a question which form is more descriptive to a surfer, but many webmasters cite a trend that thumbs are much more productive, and simplify searching. On the other hand, LinkLists have a larger amount of unique text, so that helps them to improve their positions in search engine listings.
TopLists are linklists whose internal ranking of freesites is based on incoming traffic from those freesites, except that freesites designed for TopLists have many more galleries. Another free source of pornography on the Internet are the Usenet newsgroups that were the first home to such material.
Newsgroups tend to be poorly organized and flooded with content that is off-topic or spam. Commercial software and websites are available that allow browsing the images or videos on newsgroups, sometimes with galleries of thumbnail images.
Peer-to-peer file sharing networks provide another form of free access to pornography. While such networks have been associated largely with the illegal sharing of copyrighted music and movies, the sharing of pornography has also been a popular use for file sharing.
Many commercial sites have recognized this trend and have begun distributing free samples of their content on peer-to-peer networks. Men and women viewers. As of the majority of viewers of online pornography were men; women tended to prefer romance novels and erotic fan fiction. Subscribers with female names were flagged as signs of potential credit card fraud, because "so many of these charges result in an angry wife or mother demanding a refund for the misuse of her card.
Pornographic images may be either scanned into the computer from photographs or magazines, produced with a digital camera, or a frame from a video before being uploading onto a pornographic website. The JPEG format is one of the most common format for these images. Another format is GIF which may provide an animated image where the people in the picture move.
It often lasts for only a second or two then reruns repeats indefinitely. If the position of the objects in the last frame is about the same as the first frame, there is the illusion of continuous action. Video files and streaming video. Many commercial porn sites exist that allow one to view pornographic streaming video.
Since mid, advertising-supported free pornographic video hosting service websites based on the YouTube concept have appeared. Referred to as Porn 2. Another format of adult content that emerged with the advent of the Internet is live webcams. Webcam content can generally be divided into two categories: Server-based webcam sex shows spur unique international economics: This kind of activity is sometimes mediated by companies which will set up websites and manage finances.
They may maintain "office" space for the models to perform from, or they provide the interface for models to work at home, with their own computer with webcam. Other formats include text and audio files. While pornographic and erotic stories, distributed as text files, web pages, and via message boards and newsgroups, have been semi-popular, audio porn, via formats like MP3 and FLV, have seen only very limited distribution.
Audio porn can include recordings of people having sex or reading erotic stories. Pornographic magazines are available in Zinio format, which provides a reader program to enable access. Combination formats, such as webteases that consist of images and text have also emerged. The Internet is an international network and there are currently no international laws regulating pornography; each country deals with Internet pornography differently.
Generally, in the United States, if the act depicted in the pornographic content is legal in the jurisdiction that it is being distributed from then the distributor of such content would not be in violation of the law regardless of whether it is accessible in countries where it is illegal.
This does not apply to those who access the pornography, however, as they could still be prosecuted under local laws in their country. Due to enforcement problems in anti-pornography laws over the Internet, countries that prohibit or heavily restrict access to pornography have taken other approaches to limit access by their citizens, such as employing content filters.
Many activists and politicians have expressed concern over the easy availability of Internet pornography, especially to minors. This has led to a variety of attempts to restrict children's access to Internet pornography such as the Communications Decency Act in the United States. This label is recognized by many web filtering products and is entirely free to use.
Most employers have distinct policies against the accessing of any kind of online pornographic material from company computers, in addition to which some have also installed comprehensive filters and logging software in their local computer networks.
One area of Internet pornography that has been the target of the strongest efforts at curtailment is child pornography. Because of this, most Internet pornography websites based in the U. Some site operators outside the U. On April 8, Evil Angel and its owner John Stagliano were charged in federal court with multiple counts of obscenity. One count was for, "using an interactive computer service to display an obscene movie trailer in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age.
Pornography often abbreviated to porn or porno in informal language is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, writing, film, video, and video games.
The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself, and so does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors or porn stars, who perform in pornographic films. If dramatic skills are not involved, a performer in a porn film may also be called a model.
Various groups within society have considered depictions of a sexual nature immoral, addictive, and noxious, labeling them pornographic, and attempting to have them suppressed under obscenity and other laws, with varying degrees of success. Such works have also often been subject to censorship and other legal restraints to publication, display, or possession. Such grounds, and even the definition of pornography, have differed in various historical, cultural, and national contexts.
Social attitudes towards the discussion and presentation of sexuality have become more tolerant and legal definitions of obscenity have become more limited, notably beginning in with Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States, and the subsequent Golden Age of Porn, leading to an industry for the production and consumption of pornography in the latter half of the 20th century.
The introduction of home video and the Internet saw a boom in the worldwide porn industry that generates billions of dollars annually. This industry employs thousands of performers along with support and production staff. It is also followed by dedicated industry publications and trade groups as well as the mainstream press, private organizations watchdog groups , government agencies, and political organizations.
More recently, sites such as Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn have served as repositories for home-made or semi-professional pornography, made available free by its creators who could be called exhibitionists. It has presented a significant challenge to the commercial pornographic film industry. Irrespective of the legal or social view of pornography, it has been used in a number of contexts.
It is used, for example, at fertility clinics to stimulate sperm donors. Some couples use pornography at times for variety and to create a sexual interest or as part of foreplay. There is also some evidence that pornography can be used to treat voyeurism.