February 13, 2018

PETER SUDERMAN: If You Really Wanted to Ban Porn, Here’s What It Would Take.

To start with, you would need to stop the production of porn by business enterprises, forcing, at minimum, every person who has ever attended the Adult Video News Awards in a professional capacity to immediately find a new line of work.

Next, you would need to find a way to stop a slew of high profile, incredibly lucrative websites from posting, hosting, or otherwise distributing explicit material.

After you cracked down on the pros, you would need to go after amateurs by finding some way to stop tens of millions of iPhone-wielding Americans from making home movies—many of which would resemble professional products in quality—and distributing them anonymously online, or even just amongst trusted circles of friends.

To be at all effective, you would also need to enforce criminal penalties against former professionals who continued to produce porn for the black market. And you’d need to penalize thrill-seeking amateurs as well, which would mean going after, and perhaps locking up, a wide array of sympathetic and otherwise law-abiding individuals from all walks of life whose only crime was to record and distribute consensual sexual activity. You’d also need to punish illicit viewers, whose numbers could easily reach into the tens of millions.

This is in response to Ross Douthat’s weekend NYT piece headlined “Let’s Ban Porn.”

“Let’s ban [blank]” rarely works out as intended.