Anger Over Tube 'Skin' Results in Launch of GFY Alternative

CYBERSPACE—Prompted by anger over ICS Entertainment’s decision to allow a traffic broker for adult tube sites to purchase an advertising "skin" on industry chat board, a group of industry veterans has launched an alternative board with the not so subtle name

The skin , which contained logos for the broker Traffic Junky and two adult tube sites that allegedly allow illegally uploaded content, first appeared early last week and immediately set off a firestorm of reaction. Much of the vitriol was aimed at ICS parent company Playboy.

“Why cater and support a company that has hurt everyone in the industry including such a big, powerful, publicly traded company like [you], Playboy?” asked CyberAge Dave in a GFY thread he started Sept. 22. “Please help us understand so we can all go away and move on from this [disastrous] mistake we all think you guys made.”

Throughout the week and weekend, on numerous other threads on GFY and other boards, several longtime industry denizens announced their intention to leave the board for good.

By Monday, however, the skin was gone and ICS Vice President Eric Matis had posted a comment explaining the “long and hard” decision to accept the controversial ad. The alternative website had gone live the previous afternoon, however, and a press release announcing the launch was distributed Monday morning.

"Last week decided to slap adult webmasters across the face by accepting advertising from and skinning their site with ads from a company that runs tube sites that steal adult content,” co-founder Mike South stated in the press release. “At that point I intentionally got myself banned for life by calling them what they are: sellouts and scumbags.

“I wasn't alone,” he continued. “Many of GFY's top posters and most influential webmasters pulled advertising and got themselves banned as well. I looked at this situation and I told DirtyWhiteBoy that we should fuck them back by starting At that moment we knew it had to be done. We bought the domains and quickly got up and running.”

In explaining why GFY allowed Traffic Junky to advertise tube sites with which several content producers have contentious relationships, Matis said the decision was made for the good of the industry.

“GFY did not take the Traffic Junky skin lightly," he wrote in the explanation he posted to the forum. "It was thought about long and hard. In the end we took a skin from a traffic brokering company. Where their traffic is developed and who their clients are did make this decision quite a bit more difficult for us. In the end our decision came down to a couple of simple facts.

“Question: Would we profit from this or could we do something for the greater good by taking this skin?

“Answer: Yes, 100 percent for the greater good. Our intention was to turn around and take all proceeds that would normally benefit GFY and immediately use them to battle true content theft in as many levels as possible. Additionally, we felt that this was a great opportunity to allow the community to gain awareness and participate in healthy debate. Leaving the choice of support up to the community and not us.

“Some individuals decided they would take that debate beyond healthy, [and] that was their choice. I don't blame them, because this is an issue that is a very hot button for almost everyone, no matter what side of the fence you sit on.

“All users banned this past week for posting links to other forums have been given a complete pardon and been unbanned. If I missed unbanning you, please email [me] or ICE and we will take care of it. If you were banned for another reason, that reason stands.

“Putting this skin in front of all of you gave you, the community, the opportunity to decide who and how you want to run your business," Matis concluded. "That is not for us to say. The community as a whole picks and chooses who survives and how the dollars we generate should be spent and who they should support. I would never tell anyone that they are forced to do this or that with their business.”

Apparently, the people behind and those who support it to the exclusion of the original GFY have made their decision, at least for the moment.

“We want all of GFY's participants to come join us and make this the industry's best resource board," South stated in the press release. "After all, it is the posters that make a board like this successful and we welcome you all. Indeed, has barely been up 24 hours and has already attracted such luminaries as Dean Capture and Gonzo and is already over 100 posts and growing by the minute.”

Whether or not the new chat board ultimately succeeds according to its founders' definition, it is certainly the case that illegal tube sites continue to inspire both righteous indignation and justification. Some consider them evil incarnate, but others accept tubes as inevitable evidence of pornography’s love affair with laissez faire.