- A website named PornWikiLeaks was set up with the specific purpose of revealing the names of actors involved in the pornography business.
- This week, the site was abruptly shuttered and replaced with a message from the porn production company Bang Bros. stating it had been purchased with the intention of taking down the data.
- “We have purchased this site with the intention of shutting it down and removing all information associated with it. There’s no catch. No hidden thing to getting your personal stuff off of it. We simply didn’t want it out there for the world to see anymore,” the message says.
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On Wednesday, a website named PornWikiLeaks went offline and was replaced with a message: “We have purchased this site with the intention of shutting it down and removing all information associated with it,” the message reads. “There’s no catch. No hidden thing to getting your personal stuff off of it. We simply didn’t want it out there for the world to see anymore.”
In a surprising twist, the message is attributed to the porn production company Bang Bros. – a move intended to end PornWikiLeaks’ distribution of “phone numbers, addresses, even family members names” of porn actors, according to the message.
According to a WHOIS registry of the site, registration was updated the same day that the statement attributed to Bang Bros. was posted: August 29.
In addition to the statement, a video was posted of computer hard drives labelled “pornwikileaks” being covered in lighter fluid and lit ablaze.
A number of questions remain in the wake of the site’s closure:
- Who owned PornWikiLeaks, and who sold it to Bang Bros.?
- Where are the hard drives from?
- How much did it cost?
- Did Bang Bros., itself a subsidiary of several layers of holding companies, always own PornWikiLeaks, and do this as a publicity stunt?
None of that is clear.
Swedish erotic film director Erika Lust highlighted the good and the potential bad in an email to Business Insider.
“Bang Bros.’ decision to buy the site and remove all of the data was a brilliant move and a sign of solidarity with an industry that is stigmatised and heavily mistreated by society and media outlets. I applaud it. PornWikileaks was a disgusting website that endangered so many performers and other people working in the industry,” Lust said.
“It’s important to be aware, though, that Bang Bros. is part of a big network which is owned by WGCZ S.R.O, which also owns tube sites like XVideos.com and Xnxx.com. Companies like WGCZ S.R.O and the Mindgeek conglomerate, owner of the very famous Pornhub, have achieved a monopoly through backward vertical integration and horizontal integration, by taking over the supply chain and production path of pornography. This has been detrimental and also very harmful to every single player in the industry destroying the livelihoods of performers and creators,” she said.
Bang Bros. representatives did not respond to a request for comment as of publishing.