Letterboxd Welcomes Porn Reviews

The social network for film announced that users can start logging and reviewing the adult films they watch, as part of a new 1,500-film collection.

Aug 17 2021, 4:23pm

On Monday, Letterboxd, a social network where movie fans write and share reviews, added 1,500 adult films to its collection, welcoming users to review titles such as Batman XXX: A Porn Parody and Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle.

Letterboxd is to film what Goodreads is to books: it's a social media platform for cinefiles, where users can log movies they've seen, write reviews, make lists, and follow other people's viewing habits. It's seen a huge boost in popularity during the pandemic, doubling its users since last year. 

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The new collection is opt-in, so people have to update their settings to include adult content. Otherwise, X-rated movie posters will be pixelated, and won't show up in search.

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According to a blog post about the new collection, adult films were added in response to community feedback about the platform's approach to porn. People were flagging content as "adult" in The Movie Database (where the Letterboxd platform draws films from) and getting them excluded from Letterboxd entries, making people's lovingly-crafted reviews disappear. Now, Letterboxd is welcoming these adult films to start, and adding more in the future.

"The curated titles—with more still to come—include historically, culturally, controversially and artistically significant adult films, in genres including sexploitation, kink, all-male, cult, fetish, porn parodies, hardcore classics and more," wrote Gemma Gracewood, Editor-in-Chief at Letterboxd. 

In deciding which films would make it into the collection, Letterboxd curators were careful not to rely on qualifiers that would exclude too many films; factors like production quality, sales figures and theatrical release "are not the sole barometers for inclusion," Gracewood wrote, "since adult films don’t always operate with traditional release plans, and often include works by and for marginalized communities." 

Letterboxd works by pulling data from The Movie Database (TMDb), where users add new films that can then be pulled into Letterboxd to be reviewed and shared. TMDb's terms of use prohibit adding "porn web scenes," and will only accept "porn movies." So, something like "Wisconsin Girl Humps Dryer" probably wouldn't make the cut, while Deep Throat would. 

With the new addition of adult films comes potential for new community guidelines abuses: "Thirst is fine, straight-up misogynistic, homophobic, racist or other flavors of objectification isn’t, but how to judge the balance in a review of a cult sexploitation classic?" Gracewood wrote. "We expect to discover the limits of our current community policy, and for that and many other reasons, it is, as always, a living document."

This addition isn't just exciting for scholars and connoisseurs itching to review pornographic classics, but signals a bigger message to social media platforms: that adult content can, and should, be included alongside mainstream productions. Porn contributes to culture and society just as mainstream works do; just because it's no longer welcome on most big-screen theaters with big-budget releases, doesn't mean it's any less culturally impactful.  

The full mega-list of adult films, curated by Justin LaLiberty, an archivist at film restoration and distribution company Vinegar Syndrome, is here.

Tagged:

pornography, Film, movies, ADULT.

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