THE INTERNET IS FOR PORN

One of India’s busiest train stations has become a porn hub

Obsession
The Next Billion
Quartz india
Obsession
The Next Billion
Quartz india

Silicon Valley giants are competing with each other to bring the internet to nearly 1.3 billion Indians so they can have better access to education, health care, and recruitment platforms. But Indians have other priorities.

Travellers passing through one India’s busiest train stations have been using Google’s free wifi to browse for porn. Since the advent of the facility in Patna railway station last month, the location ranks as one of the top stations “in the country for using internet search, particularly search for porn sites,” a RailTel official said, according to the Economic Times. Railtel, Google’s distribution partner in India, discovered this pattern through “records of use of data by users.”

Indian men and women are avid browsers of porn sites. In 2015, Pornhub found that India was the third-highest traffic driver for Pornhub.com alone, excluding its sister sites such as YouPorn and RedTube.

Last August, the government tried to unsuccessfully to ban 857 pornographic websites—a small percentage of the total number of adult sites on the internet. Users easily circumvented the restrictions levied by internet service providers by using virtual private networks, and severe backlash from the public and the poor implementation of the ban ended in its swift termination a day after it was announced.

The new Railtel data from the city of Patna reveals Indians were using mobile devices to flip through X-rated sites while waiting for their next train. Most Indians access the internet—and porn—through their mobile phones. Sixty percent of Pornhub’s users from India accessed the website from their smartphones in 2015. And by the end of the first quarter of 2016, shipments of smartphones into India grew 23% compared to the year prior while the rest of the world’s growth stagnated.

RailTel is currently providing wifi at the speed of 1 gigabyte to the Patna railway station, but plans to increase this to 10 gigabytes, the Economics Times reported. Aside from Patna, Google’s free high-speed wifi—which started rolling out in Jan. 2016—has already launched at 22 other railway stations in the country and is expected to be installed in a total of 400 stations within the next three years. Maybe the fact that Google’s internet is “free” is why India fought hard against Facebook’s Internet.org but embraced the search giant’s initiative with open arms.

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