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Pornhub traffic spikes during Zoom outage

Can’t Zoom? Crank it.

porn hub
Image: Angus Mordant/New York Daily News

On Monday, the primary app holding society together — Zoom — experienced widespread outages across mostly the eastern United States and Europe. So what are work-at-home drones and already-exhausted students to do when Zoom goes down? Head over to Pornhub of course. Per usual as a society, when we can’t get work done, we masturbate furiously.

Around 7:30 am EST on Monday, reports of Zoom issues began to rise. About that same time, visits to Pornhub, as reported by its analytics team, also began to see off-cycle increases. By 11 am EST, the east coast of the U.S. was up by 6.2% when compared to the same day of the previous three weeks. Traffic in the United Kingdom peaked at 5.6%. That’s a major change in mid-day porn site traffic, as these geographical areas make up half of Pornhub’s daily traffic.

This isn’t really news. When we can’t be productive, we generally end up on a porn site. Last year when Facebook and Instagram were down, users collectively sighed, whipped out their genitals, and starting surfing for tentacle porn. Earlier this year as we eased into a quarantine that would last longer than it rightfully should thank an incompetent government focused on building some half-brained authoritarian regime, we started searching for coronavirus porn. When shit ain’t working, we can always slap our gear around.

Zoom going down isn’t the end of the world, but like any app we use to pretend to be productive during the day when it does go down we feel an immediate disconnect with whatever we’re working on and it takes us out of the groove. So we have to find a new groove. For some people, that’s reading a book or going for a walk. For other people, that’s clicking over to a porn site during working hours and slathering our brains with erotic fiction.

This doesn’t mean that porn is bad or anything like that, or some sort of internet temptress. It just means that it’s a viable distraction in a world full of distraction. We’re already separated from our colleagues and friends, finding solace in a world that focuses on human sexual connection makes perfect sense. Of course, all of us heading there at the same time while Zoom is down is a bit cliche, but such is life.

So, for now, we’ll get back on Zoom, do our work and float through the days, hoping for a sense of normalcy in the next few years, knowing that regardless of the status of our productivity apps — porn will always be there, waiting for us to be properly distracted. Pornhub, for all its issues, never seems to be the downed app we’re running away from but running towards.

Did you stop by PornHub when Zoom went down? Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to

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