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In the first episode of The Butterfly Effect, writer Jon Ronson explains his motivation for the series. He was in a hotel lobby waiting to meet a porn performer for an interview. And when she walked towards him, he noticed how other people were looking at her — with abject scorn. Ronson realized that people are only too happy to consume pornography in the confines of their homes. But when a real life porn star steps out from behind the screen and into real life, people are aghast.
That’s what prompted The Butterfly Effect, Ronson’s series from Audible. Ronson wanted to know how we got here. And how the gates of porn swung open in the first place. Apparently, it was all the work of one man — Fabian. Fabian Thylmann founded a tech company that allowed users to upload pornography and viewers to watch it free of charge. Ultimately much of what populated the site was pirated.
Over the course of seven episodes, Ronson tracks the knock-on effect of free online porn. He talks with porn performers who can’t get a bank account because of their work, the evangelical daughter of a man rounded up in the Ashley Madison leak and lots of other folks caught up in the porn world. The series is definitely worth a listen if for no other reason than Ronson gives a voice to people we watch but never hear from.
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