February 05, 2007

Soft-Core Porn, Sex Themes Power Google Video

It's largely believed that Google Video will censor pornography or adult material from being uploaded to the company's video service. While in large part that may be true, that you can't find hot, steamy triple-X action on the site in the standard results, a quick stop over to the "Top 100" popular videos shows that Google Video users are just as interested in seeing a little skin as anything else.

Among tonight's "Top 10" films, you can see the titles hint and titillate users with names such as "Hot Girls", "Lesbos", "Sex Without Condoms", a video titled "First allowed Porn? XXX?" and "Barbie Girl". Beyond the Top 10, the themes are much the same... "Naked Kristina", "Spice Girls - Naked", "Giving Birth" and "Hot Sexy Webcam Girl". (See the screenshot from tonight here)

Hardly the PG and PG-13 landscape I might have naively expected.

Just this week, the hubbub over copyright issues surrounding Viacom's takedown notice to YouTube (a Google property) brought to light the issue of automatic filtering. Mark Cuban, the Broadcast.com-made billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner, said that the search engine was likely using filters to block out racy images, with the help of some manual labor.

He writes...

"Is there anyone out there who really believes that the Google and Youtube "communities" scans all 60k daily uploads to protect those that might be offended by a nipple flash or two?"


While there is a separate, hidden channel, for more adult themes, Google Video and YouTube largely promote themselves as family-friendly sites, but it's clear to me, at least, that on the Web, porn is still king. Porn sites helped push the Web forward in its infancy, toward e-commerce, and pop-up windows, and significant innovation.

While those really, truly, looking for hard-core porn could find it elsewhere, Google Video now looks like it has a place as a soft-core alternative.

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