Darryl Mead, Ph.D., is Chair of The Reward Foundation. He formerly led the National Library of Scotland, where his team curated the most extensive collection of pornography in the country. He vigorously defended the right of people to express themselves and their sexuality in any artistic medium. Since 2015, Mead has been researching the way pornography use impacts society around the world. He has published on the needs of the pornography recovery community and the development of better public policy for protecting children from harm arising from their use of pornography. Mead holds a Doctorate in the history of technology and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
As pornography became increasingly popular online, many unsuspecting consumers reported adverse effects. These included sexual dysfunctions, such as lack of response with real partners, delayed ejaculation, erectile difficulties, and sexual compulsivity. Some pornography consumers began congregating in online self-help portals (forums and websites) to assist one another in quitting or reducing problematic pornography use. The popularity of the self-help resources and their potential to dampen the profits of a lucrative industry resulted in disinformation campaigns run by individuals connected to the pornography industry. In this article, I examine how a paper containing significant inaccuracies about the people organising the online recovery forums passed the peer-review process while failing to disclose the author’s conflicts of interest. The author of the case study has documented affiliations with a major pornography company, MindGeek (the owner of Pornhub). Somehow, it passed peer review, lending it a false halo of credibility. Pornography industry-connected individuals then repeatedly exploited it, for example, on social media and Wikipedia, to discredit pornography self-help recovery resources.
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Mead, Darryl (2023) "The Pornography Industry's Disinformation Campaign on Addiction Recovery Resources," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 8: Iss. 2, Article 6. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2023.08.02.06
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