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  #1  
Old 06-03-2003, 02:39 PM
CarrieB CarrieB is offline
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The Truth About Hosting Adult Sites


I was trying to respond to a thread on this topic but hitting submit kept giving me a "page cannot be displayed" error; so I'll try just making a new thread and see if that works...

Wow.
Please folks, before you talk about credit card fraud, "tons of sites that offer credit card services", how they're all scammers, assuming you'll be policing your servers night and day for underage content, etc...
PLEASE do some actual research into it. The misconceptions here are staggering.

First: Content. There are laws regarding what content is legal and what is not. Each adult webmaster can get his content legally one of three ways:
1. Purchase it from a content provider who gives him a license to use the content on X number of domains and who takes responsibility for holding the Title 18 Sec. 2257 documentation for the model (which includes proof of ID, signature of contract, etc).
2. The webmaster is given the content for free on the condition that he uses it to promote a specific site. Just like mainstream affiliate programs like Commission Junction, there are adult affiliate programs, and they give out content sets to help promote their sites. These "sponsors", as they're called, are responsible for holding the Title 18 Sec. 2257 documentation or for being able to provide the name, address, and phone number of the primary producer (photographer who shot the content).
3. They can shoot the content themselves, in which case they are responsible for holding the Title 18 Sec. 2257 documentation.

Other adult webmasters will be your biggest help in determining if a site you're hosting has illegal content. If they see a site where the girl (or guy) looks underage, they *will* contact you and report it, as well as reporting it to the ASACP and generally the FBI.

As a host, you can specify in your TOS or AUP that you will *only* host legal, licensed content and that by using your service, the client agrees to only put legal, licensed content on your server or be fined and reported to the authorities.

Second: All adult webmasters are *not* scammers. Scammers and fraudulent webmasters are the EXCEPTION, not the rule. Most webmasters are *not* paysite owners, they run simple little free sites or AVS (Age Verification Service) sites that exist mainly to upsell a surfer to a paysite for which he's an affiliate. These are generally low-bandwidth sites. Some other webmasters make galleries that they submit to Thumbnail Gallery Posts and these are high-bandwidth sites.
You as a host have *nothing* to do with the processing of credit cards unless the client *is* a paysite owner who has their own merchant account and who may wish to store the credit card information in a database on his/her site (which I would not recommend). However, most adult paysites use third-party credit card processing and they never even see the credit card data.

Third: Spam? Please. I get 10x more mainstream spam for losing weight, growing my hair back, buying ebooks and getting a second mortgage than I do porn spam. But it's okay to host those sites because they don't feature adults without clothes on?
As a host, have a strong spam policy in effect. Set rules on your sendmail that will only allow a site to send out X amount of emails per hour. Do what you would with ANY site, adult or not, to curtail the chance of spam.

Fourth: There are *not* a ton of processors that will accept cards for adult sites. As a matter of fact, Visa imposed restrictions on high-risk businesses last year (including but not limited to adult) forcing them to pay high annual fees simply to be able to process credit cards through a third-party processor. Got any sites for limousine services or taxi cabs? They're in this high-risk category as well.

The problem in credit card fraud with adult sites does *not* lie with the sites themselves, it lies with the surfers. Joe Schmoe signs up for a site, downloads as much as he can to his hard drive, and then calls up his bank and says "I never made this charge, take it off of my bill". Or Jane Schmoe sees the credit card statement and calls up the adult site screaming about the charge, and when the site administrator tells her exactly when the charge was made (while she was asleep but her husband wasn't), from her IP, with a username of "Joe", and provides her with all of the login times and duration of login (all after she's gone to bed but Joe is up "working"), she still claims it was fraudulent transaction and demands it be refunded or she'll make a chargeback through her bank.
I know a young lady who has an adult membership site that she runs so that she can have the money to stay home and raise her kids rather than putting them in daycare and going to work. She had a loyal member of 8 months who was logged in for every webcam show, who frequently sent her emails, who chatted on her little internal message board... and who called up Visa and charged back all 8 months of his membership fees claiming that he had *never* made the charges or even been to the site. It didn't matter that she had full server logs, emails, recorded IPs, etc... she was out hundreds of dollars due to that surfer's fraud. That could have been groceries, school clothes, a mortgage payment. The problem is *not* with the site owners that you'll have as clients, the problem is with the surfers who have learned that they can charge back anything at any time that they've purchased over the internet, no questions asked, and *never* be held responsible for it.
Clients you host who sell things on eBay run the same type of risk as adult sites - even more so because most of them mail out tangible goods that cost them money to buy and shipping to send. Yet Visa never asks the buyer to prove he didn't make the charge, and it never asks the seller to prove the buyer *did* make the charge and *did* receive the item (shipping records, delivery confirmations, feedback notes from buyer)... they just charge it back and fine the seller.
As a host, there is *no* difference between you hosting an adult site or hosting a mainstream merchant - both are internet merchants and both are at a huge risk of chargebacks simply because of the "no questions asked" policy Visa has taken on internet purchases.

Fifth: Adult webmasters are *not* more of a hassle than mainstream webmasters. Usually they require *less* assistance than mainstream clients simply because they build so many more sites and are so much more experienced at publishing those sites to the web than a mainstream client. Where your mainstream client will set up one small site and contact you whenever he can't get FrontPage to change the wording on one page when he tries to do his weekly update, your adult client *might* contact you once a month if his/her .htaccess protection isn't working properly or he/she can't get a script to install correctly. Since they work on their sites EVERY day (as opposed to mainstream clients who "dabble" here and there and never learn how to run a website), they are much more experienced webmasters who need less technical support. Give them a good control panel where they can set up their own emails, view their bandwidth usage, see their site stats etc. and you'll most likely never hear from them more often than once in a blue moon.

Another thing you can do as a host is to only accept established adult webmasters who already have sites and who you can check on before accepting them. Ask for their URLs, and go look at the content. Look and see if they have Title18 Sec. 2257 statements up on their sites (or links to where the information can be found). Ask for at least three faxed copies of content licenses. Establish a presence on the adult message boards and network with people so that you can ask someone about a potential client if you have any doubts.
There are plenty of things that you can do. But the bottom line is that as long as you have a good, strong TOS and AUP in place and you're willing to disconnect a site for breaking those terms, that is the end of your involvement as a host.

Morally - that's another story all together. There is no "should" and "shouldn't" when it comes to two consenting adults having sex. I read people here saying that hosts "shouldn't" have adult clients and simply shake my head. If YOU don't want to host adult sites, no problem. But please do not try to make that decision for someone else. Involving personal issues with business is *never* a good business decision.

The most sensible response I've seen in this thread is the person who said they'd rather host 100 large clients than a million $5 clients. Yes, adult sites *will* use more bandwidth - simply because their sites have a lot of images and images use more bandwidth. The main difference? Adult webmasters *expect* to be high-bandwidth users and they have no problem paying for the bandwidth that they use (as long as you let them know the fees up front). Try telling a mainstream client that his popular message board has caused him to go over his bandwidth allotment. Once he's done denying it and he's been shown the server logs and stats, he'll be screaming at you for not warning him, as if it were your responsibility to keep tabs on how popular his site was getting.

You can have 5 clients who pay you $100 per month each or you can have 100 clients who pay you $5 per month each. As a host, you have to decide which of these scenarios is better for your business and more cost-effective in terms of time spent on technical support, server resources, and the costs *you* incur for hosting sites in general (server/colo fees, bandwidth, etc).

(continued in next post)



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  #2  
Old 06-03-2003, 02:42 PM
CarrieB CarrieB is offline
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I used to think like many of you. I abhored anything to do with porn. I thought it was disgusting, morally wrong, and that only sick perverts would have anything to do with it. *Because* of that, I started digging into the adult side of the Net to find out if this was true (I never take anything at face value). What I found shocked me and made me very, very angry. The hypocrisy within mainstream (both online and offline) is astounding and the myths about porn are just that - myths. But that topic isn't for this discussion board - so if you want to chat about that feel free to send me an email through the board and I'll write back to you, or drop by an adult message board named Netpond and look for "Carrie"; we commonly discuss things like that there and welcome both fans and detractors. I would love to discuss (not flame or piss) any of these issues with you and explain anything you might have questions about, whether it has to do with hosting adult sites or just general questions about the adult side of things.

Also if you host adult sites please be sure to add your hosting information to Hosting Highlights so that adult webmasters can find you. (It's free.)

Sorry this was so long, but there's a lot of myths out there to debunk.

The original thread that I was unable to reply to was here, started by euroboy.


Last edited by CarrieB; 06-03-2003 at 02:51 PM.
  #3  
Old 06-03-2003, 03:01 PM
NJHosting NJHosting is offline
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CarrieB, kudos to you, now the question is how many people will actually pay any attention to what you just wrote. I would say here not to many.

Good to hear someone else other than myself trying to tell people that hosting adult sites isn't all bad like they seem to think it is around here.

I am an adult host primarily, but I also host mainstream as well, and my mainstream customers all need more support than my adult customers. I honestly prefer hosting them, they are good folks all the ones that I have come across in my nearly 4 yrs of business.

For anyone here same goes with me, want more information what happens in the adult web world drop on by RatedHot.com, and go to the message boards, and look for LiftNw8, I am one of the mods their.

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  #4  
Old 06-03-2003, 03:12 PM
CarrieB CarrieB is offline
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Well hopefully some people will read it and not just react - heck if I can make *one* person think a little more objectively about it then it was worth it!

Oh and for you business-minded folks who attend conventions for large industries, there is one soon in Hollywood, Florida on August 1-3rd. Anyone is welcome, if you decide to go let me know and I'll buy you a drink! The event is called Internext and you can find more details here. There's no nudity on the convention floor or in the public areas of the hotel (it's being held at the Westin Diplomat and their convention center), you can get a lot of business done there or just get a feel for what it's like to be a host for adult clients. There *will* be pictures of nudity on the convention floor though (vendors showing their product), and most likely some video running on a few computer monitors, just as a warning.
We had one lone protestor last year who was actually a pretty nice guy if you took the time to go down and talk to him.

  #5  
Old 06-03-2003, 03:15 PM
NJHosting NJHosting is offline
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My response to previous thread couldnt get it to post their:

I don't know why so many are against it and why you state the obvious that isn't true.

On the fraud front, if you have a third part company doing billing they screen that out and like any other place for chargebacks you pay into a fund that covers it out of your earnings. But as the host it is not your problem if a user fraudulently joins the site. That is the problem of the site owner.

As for bandwidth as stated, I host quite a few adult sites and many of them use far less bandwidth than they buy, most adult sites are small avs sites that don't get a lot of traffic because the webmaster doesn't know how to get it, some can generate traffic but most don't.

Legality, well that can be an issue, along with copyright, but in my case I check the webmasters content, and if anything is questionable I request to see the license, I am myself very familiar with adult content because I not only provide adult hosting but I have been doing adult sites for several years now also.

The moral issue, honestly doesn't matter in most cases, I mean you only have that coming from the christian right and those folks are a bunch of uptite folks to begin with, they would like to see the government take away all of our freedoms, it is up to the individual to look at what they want to look at, no one forces them.

Spam, no good adult webmaster uses email to promote their sites, they know it is worthless to do, most of it winds up in the spam box and what does get through would get deleted without being looked at, their are a few that are not reputable in this manner but very few.

I guess it is to each his own. But honestly adult webmasters are far less work then mainstream.

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  #6  
Old 06-03-2003, 03:17 PM
NJHosting NJHosting is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CarrieB
Well hopefully some people will read it and not just react - heck if I can make *one* person think a little more objectively about it then it was worth it!

Oh and for you business-minded folks who attend conventions for large industries, there is one soon in Hollywood, Florida on August 1-3rd. Anyone is welcome, if you decide to go let me know and I'll buy you a drink! The event is called Internext and you can find more details here. There's no nudity on the convention floor or in the public areas of the hotel (it's being held at the Westin Diplomat and their convention center), you can get a lot of business done there or just get a feel for what it's like to be a host for adult clients. There *will* be pictures of nudity on the convention floor though (vendors showing their product), and most likely some video running on a few computer monitors, just as a warning.
We had one lone protestor last year who was actually a pretty nice guy if you took the time to go down and talk to him.
I wish I could get down their to Hollywood Fla this year, I am definitely going to try to make it to Vegas next year for sure. We have quite a few webmasters in this area that try to get together occasionally in the NJ/PA area, all folks who are regulars at the RatedHot.com boards, these are of course informal gatherings but nice.

I will have to drop by Netpond sometime, have been so busy lately that I haven't much time.

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  #7  
Old 06-03-2003, 03:49 PM
CarrieB CarrieB is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by NJHosting
As for bandwidth as stated, I host quite a few adult sites and many of them use far less bandwidth than they buy, most adult sites are small avs sites that don't get a lot of traffic because the webmaster doesn't know how to get it, some can generate traffic but most don't.
Heh isn't that the truth! Or they submit the URL to a few link lists and don't get any sales, so they just keep building but stop submitting - never taking into account that it's their ads or sales text that is causing the lack of sales rather than the link lists' traffic.

I just registered over at RatedHot.com - I *swear* I meant to go over there and help give Princess a big welcome when she migrated from Xbiz but I forgot!
I put you down as my referer.

  #8  
Old 06-03-2003, 04:27 PM
NJHosting NJHosting is offline
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Yes that is the truth, most just don't know. I have had some come to me and ask why am I not making any money, for most newbies it is their site itself, some of them are horrible. I do my best to guide them in the right direction, we have even redesigned a couple for free.

Thanks for giving me the referral, Princess got me from Xbiz to, I am also the mod their in the Hosting Highway forum.

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  #9  
Old 06-03-2003, 04:51 PM
ANMMark ANMMark is offline
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I paid quite a bit of attention to what CarrieB wrote actually.

I also found some problems.

You make a somewhat insane argument. You leave out one important point however.

1. You claim that porn and adult webmaster are less of a hassle, because they have developed many more sites, etc, etc. However, you fail to realize that porn and adult sites use many more resources than mainstream sites, and cause a much more unstable environment for others in a shared hosting environment. This is due to the traffic that porn sites accumulate, and for some, the videos they display.

2. As far as spam is concerned, you cannot base statistics purely on what YOU receive. The fact is 30% of ALL spam sent it pornographic in nature. I get more porn spam than anything else. So what does that mean?
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,13604,00.asp

3. Your post has absolutely no factual backing, or at least you haven't posted any, within your post. SO, all of this is either your opinion, or just something you're assuming.

4. You may hear very little from adult webmasters. You'll here more from your other clients as the adult site is sucking their resources away, causing their sites to suffer.

5. Adult sites are hacked/cracked more often than mainstream sites, because of people wanting to see the images, and videos for free or because people with moral issues want to deface the sites. This creates a security issue.

6. The host's responsibility does not stop with simply setting up the account, and providing good service. If or when, an adult site crosses the legal line, and the host is unaware....the host is still held responsible in addition to the webmaster. Remember, the host owns the server that the files are on.

I mean, if you feel adult sites are getting the shaft, so be it, but please don't preach half truths, and uneducated theories. There are simply too many of us here, that know better. mmmmmkay.

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  #10  
Old 06-03-2003, 04:51 PM
Mark_TVI Mark_TVI is offline
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I must admit that what you posted was not at all what I had thought and the information is very informative. While I would not venture into Hosting Adult sites for more personal reasons, I can say you have eliminated a lot of the fog surrounding hosting Adult Sites.

Thank you....

  #11  
Old 06-03-2003, 05:23 PM
dapon dapon is offline
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Thanks CarrieB,

I do adult as well as mainstream hosting. I started doing adult several years ago and have never regreted it. I don't have the problems with adult sites that I have with other sites. You are right, adult customers don't have a problem paying for overages when they occur.

As far as using up bandwidth I have always hosted adult on dedicated servers. I started at Verio and we weren't allowed to host on a shared platform and VPS servers where in Orem Utah and they wouldn't allow adult sites in the building.

We have been hacked and it does create a problem but every business has problems. Anyway, good thread. You'll get a lot of crap for it but at least you tried to tell another side of the story.

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  #12  
Old 06-03-2003, 05:42 PM
SynergyGN SynergyGN is offline
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This post is well-thought out and points out several valid points - espically the debate about whether adult webmasters bother tech support more or less than the average client.

  #13  
Old 06-03-2003, 05:47 PM
ANMMark ANMMark is offline
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it's like I said, the adult webmasters usually don't bother tech support as much. it's the other customers on that box, that bother you, because their sites are running slow

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  #14  
Old 06-03-2003, 06:05 PM
BurlyNerd BurlyNerd is offline
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This is one of those discussions that can never reach a conclusion. People who like porn will support "adult sites" and people who oppose porn will not support such sites. It has little to do with the "Christian Right". There are Christians who have nothing to do with the political "right". There are non-Christians who simply have objections to porn. Some people were just brought up differently from those who feel OK about porn.

Some web hosts will not allow porn because there are still a lot of customers (myself included) who don't want to host in the same IP range as a porno site or a spammer site.

It is unlikely that either group will eliminate the other.

BN

  #15  
Old 06-03-2003, 06:21 PM
NJHosting NJHosting is offline
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Well all in all, so some porn sites spam, most of the spam comes from unscrupulous individuals that are promoting the affiliate programs of that particular porn site, most of these emails don't go anywhere anymore if you happen to check and if they do it is a surprise, most programs don't allow spam as a means of marketing. Their are the few that don't realize their are more productive ways of getting traffic.

As for bandwidth, they hardly use any, some of the sites I host barely break a GB of bandwidth. That is primarily do to the webmaster running it being new and not knowing how to get traffic.

You state video on those sites sucks up resources, smart webmasters in this genre don't use their own video, they use hosted video, that helps earn them extra money, its called PPV (Pay Per View), it keeps the bandwidth costs down and puts money in their pocket, along with providing far higher quality video feeds to the customer than they would be able to afford to buy themselves.

So idoogleceo you really don't manage to put forth any valid points either.

Oh and as for my mainstream customers, don't usually hear a peep out of them either, I only have about 10 - 15 mainstream sites, but that is enough, I prefer the adult webmasters and their sites.

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Is Your Host Weak?

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