Australia Today

Why Is Scott Morrison Trending on PornHub?

An investigation.
01 May 2020, 3:10am
Scott Morrison Pornhub
Image via Wikimedia user Ivar the Boneful (L) and Flickr user dungx vux, CC licence 2.0 (R)

This morning, as I settled in for what I'd hoped would be a relatively stress-free Friday, I received some unsettling news: Scott Morrison is trending on PornHub. You can see this for yourself. Just open your phone browser, go to the world’s most popular porn site, and hit the search bar. You’ll see a list of trending search terms and, right there, sandwiched between “shy girl orgasms like crazy” and “clarababylegs”, the Prime Minister of Australia.

Naturally, we have some questions—the first of which is “why?” Why, with such a cornucopia of pornographic material at their fingertips, are the fappers of the world seeking out videos of ScoMo? And moreover, what terrible things is a person likely to find once they dive down that particular wormhole? Rule 34 of the Internet states that if it exists, then it's a type of porn. But surely there are some stones that are better left unturned?

For the purposes of journalism, I clicked through to the “scott morrison” landing page. What I found was a 29-minute video titled “Scott Morrison FUCKS the entire population of Australia (including Andrew)”—filed under the various category tags of “amateur”, “cuckold”, “gangbang”, “HD porn”, “mature”, “muscular men”, and “orgywhich”.

On closer inspection, that video turns out to be a weeks-old press conference from the PM, in which he comprehensively lays out Australia’s COVID-19 social distancing laws. It is potentially the least sexy half hour of footage that currently exists in the vast annals of the Internet. And yet there it is: the single video on PornHub that matches one of the site’s ten most popular search terms, boasting 6.1 thousands views and an upvote ratio of 90 percent.

The logical next question is “how”—and the most obvious answer, of course, is trolls. It’s likely that “brownemaster”, the PornHub user responsible for the video—who according to his profile is a 22-year-old male from “Radelaide”—posted it for a cheap thrill; a light and playful satirisation of the Prime Minister’s crisis management abilities which, seemingly against all odds, managed to attract enough attention to go viral.

According to Dr. Paul J. Maginn though, a researcher at the University of Western Australia and expert on the geographies of online porn, the intention here might be slightly more strategic than that.

“What I think is possibly happening here is, since PornHub gets so much traffic to it, posting non-porn content is actually a clever strategy in elevating the uploader's social media profile in some way,” Paul told VICE over email. “In this case, this is the first video posted by the uploader, and 6,000 views is a hell of a lot of views in my honest opinion. It's unclear when this video was uploaded to PornHub, but if it only went up today or this week, that’s still a lot of views, especially for non-porn content on an online porn site.”

Paul points to other recent examples, including a Rick Astley music video posted under a pseudo pornographic title, and content relating to fidget spinners that played on the suggestive double entendre in similar ways.

“In this video of Scott Morrison, which is about one of his speeches on COVID19 the uploader of the video is being playful and mischievous with the title… I suspect that if it's trending today then it's either been recently posted or, if posted a couple of weeks ago, then it may have just been discovered today.”

So, in short, it appears that people are exploiting a gap in PornHub’s content programming, posting unpornographic videos under the veil of pornographic titles. Maybe they’re doing it for fun, maybe they're doing it for clout. The important thing here is that there isn’t actually any ScoMo porn, real or staged, on PornHub. Not yet, in any case.

VICE has approached PornHub for comment.

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