It may surprise you to learn that Pornhub, the largest pornography site on the Internet, has long been a progressive company, with an eye on socially relevant issues that far surpass mere access to provocative adult entertainment. Recently, Pornhub took their activism a step further and made an effort to improve accessibility for those with hearing loss. Specifically, the site has added closed captioning for a specific section of its content library, geared toward its members who are hearing impaired.
According to Pornhub, over 1,000 clips will be updated to include comprehensive captioning that is “descriptive and interpretive” for individuals who “are not able to hear the videos original audio.”
These updates far expand beyond simple closed captioning.. The updates will allow viewers to distinguish between different speakers, as well as identify changes in emotion. Non-spoken sounds will also be identified and augmented, especially when relevant to the storyline of any given clip. The videos will be hand captioned, rather than captioned by any sort of algorithm system, which will serve to increase the realism of the updates.
Currently, approximately 40 million Americans are living with some kind of hearing loss.
This recent move comes after Pornhub previously updated many of its videos to promoted inclusively for individuals with vision impairment. According to Engadget, many of these videos geared towards visual impairment have over one million views each.
Updating its videos to promote inclusivity isn’t the first time that Pornhub has worked to promote social awareness. On July 12, Pornhub announced an intention to join a protest movement designed to fight against the net neutrality repeal. The protest, called “Day of Action,” occurred five days before the first deadline for comments on the FCC’s proposed net neutrality update. The company joined 60 other companies in a protest organized by Fight for the Future, freepress and Demand Progress, all in an effort to save net neutrality.
"Hell hath no fury like the internet scorned," Evan Greer, campaign director of advocacy group Fight for the Future, told Motherboard in April.
As part of the protest, Pornhub intentionally slowed down its speeds to demonstrate the impact that the repeal of net neutrality would have on the site’s functionality and usability. Pornhub is currently among the top 20 most visited sites in the US. According to Pornhub itself, the site receives over 75 million visitors per day.
"No one in the porn industry ever yells 'slower, slower, slower. We’re much more accustomed to 'faster, faster, faster.' Here at Pornhub, we want to keep it that way,” said Corey Price, VP at Pornhub.
Pornhub’s progressive policies, including leading the fight to save net neutrality, demonstrate an influence far greater than the sum of its individual daily clicks.