Pornhub To Russia: Here’s Your Premium Access For Unblocking Us

A Russian regulator reportedly received a show of thanks, said he would donate free porn accounts to "charity"

May 31, 2017 at 3:35 PM ET

Pornhub has reportedly given Russia’s federal media regulator, Roskomnadzor, free premium access to its site as a thank you for unblocking the site in the country. The tube site has done so at the alleged request of the spokesperson for the notorious state-run Internet censor.

In September, Pornhub was blocked by Roskomnadzor and took to social media to offer free premium accounts to the federal media watchdog if it restored access. At the time, Roskomnadzor’s official Twitter account turned down the offer. Then in April, after Pornhub instituted an age-check for visitors, Roskomnadzor unblocked the site. No bribing with free memberships needed, apparently.

Well, earlier this week, Dmitry Kolodin, a social media manager at Pornhub, was giving a speech at a conference in St. Petersburg when Vadim Ampelonskiy, spokesperson for Roskomnadzor, allegedly used a Q&A session to publicly ask where his free membership was, according to Felix Zinatullin, a marketing executive and conference attendee. Kolodin promised to get him one, and Ampelonskiy said he would ensure that all internet service providers in Russia stop blocking Pornhub, according to Zinatullin, who spoke with Vocativ via Vk, Russia’s major social network.

It’s unclear just how serious Ampelonskiy was in his alleged request and promise — Zinatullin told Vocativ that the spokesperson asked about the free account in a joking manner. However, Kolodin confirmed to Russia Today, a government-backed news outlet, that he sent along several free premium accounts to Ampelonskiy.

It certainly has the sounds of quid pro quo — or quid pro porn — but reports of the exchange are based only on Zinatullin’s account and several Russian media reports. Ampelonskiy did not respond to Vocativ’s request for comment, and Pornhub has not yet gotten back to Vocativ with its response.

At least Ampelonskiy reportedly says he’s donating the free accounts “as charity to the needy.”