Do You Hear the People Moan? Netizens Rage at Pornhub Block

Image: Coach_Ping / Twitter

BANGKOK — For France, it was the storming of the Bastille. For the United States, it was the Boston Tea Party. For Thailand, the last straw that led thousands to revolt against the tyrannical regime was…. PornHub?

Thai netizens on Tuesday unleashed their fury at the government’s nationwide ban on the popular pornography website. Many are using the hashtag “Horny Power” on Twitter to publicize their dissent (mostly via memes), a play on the ultraroyalist term of “Silent Power.” 

A real-life protest is also called for 4pm in front of the digital ministry, who’s responsible for blocking the U.S.-based website, but it remains to be seen whether anyone will show up at all. 

Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Digital Economy and Society Minister, told reporters on Tuesday that the ban on PornHub was backed by a court order, and said the government had a duty to protect the younger people from inappropriate content on the internet. 


“We are responding to calls from parents who are concerned for their children and youth,” he said. 

In response to a reporter’s question, Buddhipongse also said the PornHub block was “not related” to a video of a certain important person on the website, despite speculation from some netizens. 

For legal reasons, Khaosod English cannot mention the suspected material. 

In hashtags and posts about the ban, the netizens are sharing ways to circumvent the block, which can be easily done with VPNs. An example can be found here.

Popular meme page Nang Fang Mook writes: “They banned PornHub. The next morning, we’re still using it.” 

#HornyPower (palang ngian) is a wordplay on #SilentPower (palang ngiab), a hashtag used by pro-monarchy hardliners and military-affiliated accounts to show support for the establishment. 

Some netizens say that the PornHub ban may end up adding more fuel to the ongoing pro-democracy protests. This widely reposted webcomic by @Jarkktwt shows a PornHub supporter joining the protest led by a schoolgirl, raging at the ban on his beloved website. 

“In this country, we don’t even have the freedom to masturbate,” Ignorance Thailand page wrote, along with detailed instructions on circumventing the block. 

A user named Jakrapetch Pawapoomin showed his support for the porn site in a public post Tuesday: “I oppose the PornHub ban,” he wrote, while wearing a PornHub shirt. 

Thailand’s cybercrime law compelled all internet providers to block access to gambling and porn websites, though the ban is not consistent. 


Despite the legal restriction, Thailand is one of the top 20 countries with the most PornHub traffic in 2019. It was also the country that used the website the longest, at 11 minutes 21 seconds. 

The most popular searches in Thailand were “Thai,” “Japanese,” and “Korean.” 

And while many netizens oppose the fresh ban on PornHub, a number of Thai feminists also fault the website for unethical practice and sexual exploitation by hosting some videos that featured individuals without their consent.