This is from the NYT Bits Blog on December 3rd, but still relevant, especially as I had so much trouble with my PG-13 rated book trailer for Spanked, which YouTube still has up (and over 75,000 views!) but Vimeo took down.
A quick Google search for “sex” returns a whopping 67 million pages. A search for “porn” turns up more than 18 million pages.
As popular and ubiquitous as sex is on the Internet, it would seem like a natural fit for Web-based businesses looking to attract page views and revenue.
But some big sites built on user-shared content have decided it’s smart business to limit sexually explicit material.
Ning, a platform that lets people create their own social networks, announced Monday that, beginning next year, it will discontinue support for the adult-themed communities housed within site’s aptly named Red Light District.
Gina Bianchini, chief executive and co-founder of Ning, said that adult networks make up less than 1 percent of the 630,000 social networks built using the platform.
“This is not a philosophical decision but a practical one,” said Ms. Bianchini. The site’s Red Light District generates a disproportionate amount of time and manpower to sort out claims of copyright violations related to the unauthorized use of images.
In addition, Ms. Bianchini said, the adult networks don’t generate enough advertising revenue to cover their costs. Moreover, she doesn’t want to “run afoul” of advertisers who might not want their content running alongside explicit material.