Are you paying for porn?

Are you paying for porn?

Summary: In other words, is your hosting company also hosting pornography? And by giving them your business, are you indirectly supporting the porn business?

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In other words, is your hosting company also hosting pornography? And by giving them your business, are you indirectly supporting the porn business?

A couple of years ago, I was alerted to the issue of co-hosting porn when the host I used at the time for business sites, Rochen Host, had some negative forum feedback from a client. They were hosting a pornography and escort site, which was in clear breech of Rochen's Acceptable Usage Policy.

“7. Rochen Limited does not allow any of the following content to be hosted: b. Adult Material - Includes all pornography, erotic images, or otherwise lewd or obscene content.”

However, it wasn’t a moral decision but purely a business one, as transpired later in the thread:

“We will allow adult material on a full dedicated server but not on our shared servers. The reason for not allowing it on the shared servers is that this type of content can cause problems for other customers and certain clients do not want to be sharing a server with sites hosting this content.”

It hadn't really occurred to me that my web host could host another man's pornography. How naïve.

I made enquiries of my other hosting company, DreamHost, and they too will host what is euphemistically entitled “Adult Material”.

I would like to be clear here that both Rochen Host and DreamHost are excellent hosting companies, both with great service and technical support.

However, I have felt uneasy for quite a while as my personal belief is that pornography is degrading and damaging. So finally I have decided to move to a host that doesn’t profit from porn.

How hard can it be to find “feminist” hosting? Actually, pretty darned difficult, as surprisingly it isn’t something that hosting companies advertise. I have chosen GreenGeeks after numerous assurances.

What prompted me to write this blog post is this announcement in the DreamHost May newsletter that DreamHost is a sponsor of the Ada Initiative, “a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing participation of women in open technology and culture”.

Maybe a refusal to host pornography would be a good place to start?

Topic: Software Development

Jake Rayson

About Jake Rayson

A web designer since the 20th century, I am a pragmatic advocate of Free Software and I use proprietary software when appropriate. I made the full-time switch to Linux back in 2007, and my desktop tools of choice are Linux Mint, Inkscape, GIMP and Sublime Text.

As a Front End Developer, my core skills are HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, and my working life reflects my commitment to open standards and accessible websites (ie accessible by everyone, regardless of browser, platform, ability or technology).

For web publishing platforms, I use WordPress for ease of use and Drupal for more complex solutions.

I am also learning about Ruby, Rails, Sinatra and CoffeeScript. I like the minimalist Ruby Way. To this end, my personal portfolio website is built with NestaCMS.

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