xHamster Lists Traffic Stats for Countries Banning Porn

xHamster Lists Traffic Stats for Countries Banning Porn

LONDON — Parliament this week will again weigh the Digital Economy Bill, which could allow the U.K. government to ban scores of adult sites and force many of the softer variety to impose age checks.

The piece of legislation, which has wheels to keep it moving forward into law, however, might eventually succumb to impotent enforcement.

xHamster says that despite strict porn filters — and, often, specific bans on the xHamster site — in many countries, millions of users are still getting around the filters.

The adult tube site today came out with a list of countries that “banned” xHamster, ranking by total visits to the site in 2016:

  1. India: 655,039,182 
  2. Thailand: 125,214,402
  3. Turkey: 95,447,737
  4. UAE: 83,401,435
  5. Russia: 73,545,085
  6. China: 60,841,625
  7. Malaysia: 42,257,057
  8. Kazakhstan: 11,045,297
  9. Iran: 8,486,277

That’s not to say that bans don’t work at all, said Alex Hawkins, a spokesperson for xHamster.

Traffic from Russia initially dropped 69.6 percent in the three months following their ban in April 2015, and traffic in India dropped 39.2 percent following their ban of the site, he said. 

“Despite the best attempts of censors, users are finding their way to the xHamster using web-based proxies, VPNs and networks like Tor,” Hawkins said. “Unlike political bans, porn bans may have the opposite of the intended effect by pushing otherwise apolitical citizens into networks that bypass government blockades.”

In fact, after the U.K. instituted a 2014 opt-in ban that required users to request access to adult material from their ISPs, xHamster actually saw traffic to the site increase, Hawkins said.

The U.K. market is the third-largest source of traffic to xHamster, Hawkins noted.

Meanwhile, xHamster has launched a campaign for all U.K. visitors, asking them to sign a petition repealing the Investigatory Powers Bill, a wide-ranging bill that allows the government to monitor sites visited. That bill awaits royal assent.

The U.K.'s Digital Economy Bill would ban adult sites that feature specific ‘objectionable” content like public sex or urination and require mandatory age-verification checks to prevent people from accessing sites anonymously is being debated tomorrow.   

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