pornhub_AMA

Earlier this week, the team at Pornhub (NSFW), the world’s third largest porn site, conducted an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. VP of Operations Corey Price, VP of Product Brett Hall, Lead Developer Rusty Gitalto, and Community Coordinator “Pornhub Katie” took to the community site to answer questions about user habits, office decorum, and the site’s preponderance of “eel porn.”

There’s plenty of NSFW stuff for you to pour through in the full AMA, but what interests us is the answers on how Pornhub operates as a technology company. We’ve been following the site for some time, noting its innovation as a content provider and explaining what other media companies can learn from it.

Here are some of the highlights:

Keeping things dirty

Most companies that rely on user-generated content worry about people posting inappropriate or pornographic content on their site, but Pornhub has the opposite problem. “I would say it’s 99% porn but the odd HALO game or soccer highlight gets uploaded,” says Katie.

How it deals with Revenge Porn

Katie says they “very often” receive requests to remove content from people who did not expect to see themselves in a pornographic video on the Internet. “We take down the videos right away,” she adds.

Porn’s social challenges

Maybe most people were already aware of this, but I did not realize until I read the AMA that Facebook prevents you from sending a message or posting an update that includes a Pornhub URL (yes, I tested it, which took some measure of bravery. I also tried shortening the URL using bitly. No luck there, either).

That said, Pornhub gets shares on Twitter and Reddit, on the order of “thousands a day.” That may sound decent, but not when you consider Pornhub and its affiliate sites serve 70 million daily visitors.

How much did Pornhub pay for the URL?

Ten years ago, the company bought Pornhub.com for $5,000

On comment moderation

“Anything goes!” says Hall. “As long as it’s not harassing other members.” One redditor pointed to the immensely entertaining Tumblr, Pornhub Comments on Stock Photos (sort of SFW).

Talk nerdy to me

For you enterprise freaks out there, Pornhub revealed some details about its partners and staff: Their development team has about 15 people, and they use Level 3 and Limelight Networks for their content delivery network (CDN) needs.

As for how they keep their video player running smoothly, Gitalto says, “I keep our flash developers in a cage programming 24/7. We accept nothing less.”

Company rules

Price says no Pornhub staffer has ever appeared in a pornographic video, in fact it’s “Company policy.” Meanwhile, the staff has an entirely warped sense of NSFW. “My boss looks at me weird when I DON’T have porn on my screen,” says Katie.