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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cyprus and pornography… It's what you think!

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    Κύπρος και πορ&nu ογαφiα… εiνιπου !

    Low tax rate 'aphrodisiac' for big internet porn production and distribution companies – The government and parliament “concerned” belatedly after many years of indifference and while everyone knew our international reputation.

    By Manolis Kalatzis

    They had to be put under the microscope of the EU, to wake up the Parliament and Government in Cyprus, in relation to the activity of international giants of production and distribution of online porn, with based in Nicosia and Limassol.

    The EU is mainly concerned with the issue of minors' access to such material and for this reason it is imposing conditions from Monday. The companies themselves react with lawsuits against the European Commission.

    In Cyprus, the issue also has an economic dimension, beyond of course that which concerns the content of the material. The MP of AKEL, Nikos Kettiros, as the “Politis” newspaper writes, has registered the matter for ex officio examination by the competent parliamentary committee as the answers he received in his letter to the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry was not satisfactory and for an unknown reason its content was classified as “confidential”. The companies based in Cyprus, according to “Politis” there are five: XHamster – Hammy Media ltd (Wisebits group), Stripchat – Technius ltd, Faphouse – Tecom ltd and Virtual Taboo – Camon Trading ltd in Limassol. Also Pornhub – Ayio Freesites ltd (Aylo group) in Dali.

    Κύπρος και πορν ογαφiα…εναιπομiζε

    Terms from the EU

    From today the porn content companies Pornhub, Stripchat and Xvideos, according to the European Commission will have to comply with strict rules under European Digital Services (DSA) legislation.

    As reported by Euronews, these specific obligations include submitting risk assessment reports to the Commission, establishing mitigation measures to address systemic risks associated with the provision of their services, complying with additional transparency obligations, including advertising, and providing data access for researchers. The additional provisions will come into effect tomorrow for Pornhub and Stripchat and on Tuesday April for XVideos.

    The DSA makes designated very large online platforms responsible for ensuring safer, more transparent online spaces. They must identify and effectively address systemic risks, particularly when it comes to, among other things, mitigating risks to the welfare of minors. The European Commission is closely monitoring compliance with DSA obligations by these platforms, in particular with regard to measures to protect minors from harmful content and to counter the dissemination of illegal content. Fines for breaking the rules can be up to 6% of their global turnover.

    Multiple million users

    The three platforms are among those that have been classified as very large as they are sites visited by an average of more than 45,000,000 Europeans every month..

    Companies like Pornhub are under more scrutiny for not doing what they should have done to prevent illegal content, such as child rape videos and non-consensual and revenge porn, from being uploaded to their platforms. EU regulators and political bodies have been pushing for years for these platforms to implement measures to verify the age of users to prevent minors from accessing their sites.

    The decision marks a victory for the European Commission. The EU has clashed with some major porn platforms, which have argued in recent months that they fell short of the monthly visit limit to face additional content control rules. Pornhub claimed to have 33,000,000 monthly users, while Stripchat said it was visited by almost 32,000,000 Europeans every month. Xvideos missed the deadline for publishing information on user numbers and later revealed that it had more than 160,000,000 monthly users in the EU.

    The EU rules of course also apply to major social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Companies should propose specific measures to curb major online risks such as violence against women and the protection of minors, and should undergo external audits.

    Brussels has listed 22 platforms subject to the rules – which include the need to introduce age verification measures to protect minors and create a library of ads published on their sites.

    Here (at Cyprus) the good product!

    Cyprus for many years has been the headquarters of the biggest internet porn companies in the world and no one has bothered despite the fact that many reports have been written.

    Since 2019, the writer had published information about the company MindGeek, which last year was renamed Aylo and has state-of-the-art offices in both Dali and Limassol. It is a multinational company that dominates the online porn landscape with dozens of websites and many millions of users.

    The “famous” porn star Stoya in the documentary “Pornocracy: The New Sex Multinationals” refers to her experience working with MindGeek (Aylo) when she visited the company's offices in a European capital. As he had said, he met several men with Greek surnames and heavy Greek accents who claimed to be from Quebec, Canada. The truth is that there is a Greek root in the company's prehistory. After the huge success of YouTube, the Greek-Canadian Stefanos Manos from Quebec thought with two of his friends to create a similar platform exclusively with pornographic material, to which there will be free access. They created the Brazzers company in Montreal, which sourced material from the traditional porn industry, which at the time had not realized the massive penetration of the internet and was selling the DVDs it produced at low prices. The company Brazzers (specialized in big breasted women) started creating other sites and expanding into online porn at an incredibly fast pace. In 2009 the US authorities turned against the Mansef group of companies to which Brazzers belonged and committed funds of $7,000,000  for various tax offenses in the US.

    Manos and his partners then sold Mansef to Fabian Thylmann of Germany, who renamed the group Manwin Inc., boldly borrowing, with the involvement of ex-Goldman Sachs executives, to expand. But it seems that suspicions of tax evasion arose again and Thylmann was extradited from Belgium, where he lived, to Germany in 2012. It appears that there was a settlement and thus no criminal proceedings. Thylmann sold the Manwin Inc group for $73,000,000 and the group was renamed MindGeek. At the time, MindGeek had an estimated 15 billion clicks each month and revenues exceeding $100,000,000 a year. At the same time, it maintained offices in many countries, including Cyprus. Aylo (formerly MindGeek) manages the most popular porn sites including YouPorn, Pornhub, Redtube, Xtube, GayTube, Tube8. At the same time, it has expanded its activities to other non-pornographic websites as well as high-quality online services.

    (Naked) bodies fall in the war of porn

    Another major online porn service provider is Hammy Media which operates the website Xhamster, with many millions of users worldwide. The headquarters of the company is located in Limassol, at ave. Makarios and is controlled by a Russian multi-millionaire.

    Ferry slip, which manages the website Nakenprat, is also considered a powerful card in the business war of Internet pornography. The company is also based in Nicosia and its roots are in Norway. The audience of the website comes mainly from the Scandinavian countries and from the countries of Central Europe.

    Another global “Cypriot” porn site management company is Youngtek Solutions which controls TNAFlix and EMPFlix. The offices are in Nicosia and the unique visitors to its websites reach 1,000,000 daily.

    Fraserside Holdings is also a colossus of online porn, which is a member of the Private Media Group group that screens and produces films. for adults with participation on 38 platforms in 24 countries worldwide.

    Overconsumption of porn

    Surveys made in relation to pornography up to January 2024 showed how every month more than 5.81 billion people visit porn sites worldwide (statistics from the top 3 sites).

    Also in 2023 165 billion porn videos were viewed, which translates to 33 videos per adult in the world. It was also found that every year, 17.8 trillion hours of porn are watched worldwide. If we were talking about one person, he would have to watch porn non-stop for 20,000 centuries!

    93% of boys are exposed to porn in some form before they turn 18. For girls, the corresponding percentage is 62%. The worrying thing is that 15% of boys and 9% of girls have also seen child pornography.

    Approximately 25% of all searches on online applications are related to pornography.< /p>

    Women make up 60% and women make up 40% of porn website users. 69% of online pay-per-view content purchases are porn content purchases. It is estimated that 30% of the internet industry is related to pornography.

    According to a 2021 report, there are 420,000,000 pages of pornographic content on the internet, while almost 35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography.

    About 25% of workers access pornography from a work computer, according to a Nielsen study.

    The porn industry has a global turnover of 100 billion dollars , of which 12 to 14 come from the USA.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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