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  • Summary

  • Join best-selling author Jon Ronson as he traces the story of one very strange butterfly effect: What happened after a teen in Brussels figured out how to make porn free and easily accessible on the internet. Traveling from the tech world of Silicon Valley to the San Fernando Valley, where most porn films were made, you learn the consequences of free porn, which turn out to be mysterious, shocking, sad, and, at times, even surprisingly sweet. A 7-part series takes you on a journey to places you'll never expect. [Explicit]

    When you add The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson to your library you will receive all 7 episodes, each with a runtime of approximately 30 minutes.

    ©2017 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2017 Audible Originals, LLC
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: A Nondescript Office Building in Montreal

    Oct 24 2017
    [Contains explicit content] Join best-selling author Jon Ronson as he traces an intriguing butterfly effect. Many years ago, a teenager in Brussels had an idea - make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are surprising, delightful, and sad. They reach into areas of life no one could have expected. In this series’ first episode, meet Fabian Thylmann - that teen from Brussels.
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    26 mins
  • Ep. 2: The Fallow Years Between Teen & Milf

    Oct 24 2017
    [Contains explicit content] Jon travels to California’s San Fernando Valley, where most of the world’s porn is made. There he finds pornographers with lives upended by Fabian’s business plan. But it isn’t long before Jon discovers something extraordinary: a community within the porn world fighting back by embarking on a very strange enterprise - pornography written, filmed, and performed for an audience of one.
    Show More Show Less
    35 mins
  • Ep. 3: Something Happened

    Oct 24 2017
    [Contains explicit content] Jon journeys deeper into the mysterious and delightful world of custom porn, which may never have existed if it weren’t for Fabian. He meets producers and their clients, and discovers that these films offer a remarkable window into our inner lives.
    Show More Show Less
    31 mins

What listeners say about The Butterfly Effect

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jon Ronson's journalism at its best - and free!

I like Jon Ronson's writing style so I was curious about this free audio show when I signed up for Audible.
Even if I would have never guessed to be interested in the story of Pornhub, his research approach and sincere way of interviewing really makes it interesting and made me want to come back to it every day.
You do need to get used to Jon's voice, but after a few episodes it didn't catch my attention anymore. I'm glad I tried this show though before buying one of his audio books, because I might have regretted my purchase during the first chapters. Now I am used to his voice I know I'd be comfortable listening to him for 10 hours.

It's not as lighthearted as you would expect from the subject, but it really opened my eyes to how much effect a single website/platform can have on the rest of the industry. And this must go for many other, less "niche"/"extreme" companies. Always an interesting subject, the butterfly effect.

Since it's free for Audible members, just add it to your library and you can always decide to jump in when you don't know what to listen to next!

42 people found this helpful

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I loved it, I cried, but mostly I laughed.

I thought this was beautiful, which is something I hadn't expected to be writing in this review.

I wasn't really aware of Jon Ronson until today when I saw him, perhaps ironically, on YouTube. I fell in love with his style almost immediately, though at times it does feel a little 'gossipy'. I guess this is probably a technique adopted for the sake of drawing information from his interviewees and so my brain decides to accept that excuse and try not to cringe on the few occasions this occurs rather than throw out the baby with the bathwater and lose out on all the wonderful aspects of Jon Ronson's work.

There is a lot to love here in both the presentation style and the content being presented. Jon Ronson has a very relaxed style of presentation which is very engaging, somehow personal and confidential as if he was speaking directly to me whilst at the same time open and gregarious as if he's presenting a great gift to the world, and he is. The stories presented here are simply human stories, not sensationalised tabloid trash about the dark goings-on in the lurid world of a steamy sex industry. In my opinion each of the subjects of these stories is treated with equal sympathy and respect, even when there has been a little laughter regarding their stories initially as in the case of the stamp collector. I think this initial laughter and amused astonishment is a very human reaction to what seems to be a very bizarre situation and I'm glad these moments have not been edited away in fear of negative reception. In these moments I feel Jon Ronson becomes part of the story himself and probably represents many of us, the listeners, thereby giving me the feeling of being part of this huge, awful, flawed, judgemental, vulnerable, human family. I loved it.

In summary, this is a great book which is most often funny, sometimes sad, once or twice heartbreaking, but always packed to the brim with human dignity. It made a 47 year old man cry. Buy it.

5 people found this helpful

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A first rate introduction to the PornHub scandal

Gripping documentary on the consequences of Pornhub takeover of the global porn business. It doesn't give the solution but watch this space.

4 people found this helpful

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A brilliant insight

The Butterfly Effect looks at the effect free porn has had on the industry. Jon Ronson looks at the industry and focuses most of his efforts on one man, Fabian, the creator of PornHub – probably the world’s most famous free porn site. There are many interesting snippets that are revealed, and without giving too much away Fabian essentially got very rich while giving away porn for free. Those who make porn. Not so much.

The consequences reach further than that of the producers, the performers are also obviously earning a lot less money so need to turn to other means to supplement their income. There have also been far reaching consequences on society. I found the section dealing with young men and teenagers particularly interesting.

It is certainly a fascinating look at the effect of one business decision. During the podcast Jon speaks to many producers and performers to see what they are doing to make ends meet, and how they feel about Fabian and his websites. I thought it was fascinating and would recommend you give it a listen – but even though I really enjoyed it, it pales in comparison to the follow up, The Last Days of August.

2 people found this helpful

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a lot of repetition

With the highlights, then the main show, it felt confusingly repetitive.
Interesting story, with interesting people, but was waiting for more penetrating insights. Was often left thinking "and...?"

2 people found this helpful

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Enlighten yourself and challenge your prejudices

I was not sure what to expect since this was my
first experience of John Robson.
Ronson deals with the subject matter with care and an intelligent approach that tells it as it is without making it a joke or smutty but in a very human way so as the listener you feel you are properly engaging with the people he speaks to.
Thanks for the enlightenment - who would have thought Pornhub would have touched so many different people, in different worlds so much.
My lasting memory is that none of us have the right to judge since non of us know where our path will take us and who ever goes through life not making decisions they later regret.
We all make the best decision we can, given our personal circumstances, but sadly so many people don't have that many options and end up making one bad decision that stays with them for the rest of their life.

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Great content but a rotten player app

This item was entirely ruined for me by a barely functional Android player app. It displayed the incorrect chapter number, failed to move on automatically and resisted all attempts to force it to cooperate. I will not bother with any more of these offerings - too frustrating!

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Love this!

This audio show haunts me, the theme is so exciting and it's told in a brilliant way. Would definitely recommend!

10 people found this helpful

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Fascinating.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Butterfly Effect to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version so cannot compare.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the inter-connectedness of the pieces.

Have you listened to any of the narrator’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to the author before.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely.

12 people found this helpful

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Interest

High quality. Expensively produced. JR is great as usual. Too much repetition of clips and long trailers. Worth the listen.

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  • Leigh
  • 01-02-18

Incredible story; couldn't stop listening

What did you love best about The Butterfly Effect?

The narrator/author is intensely compassionate, thoughtful, and respectful. His interviews are fascinating, touching, and often funny. The people he meets completely open up to him. The narrator is Welsh, but don't worry if you aren't good with accents. He's got a very engaging radio voice that I found soothing and completely comprehensible (I'm from the States).
The case the author presents on the ethics of free pornography is nuanced, not preachy. There is some sexual content, but this is not a sexy or sensationalist piece. There are a lot of big ideas here about public health, economics, change, and the human psyche. Like most well-executed analyses, this series doesn't really align with a particular political agenda. This series may be of interest to all kinds of people. Also, the narration and production quality are great.
This series left me thinking critically, especially about how to discuss pornography with kids. I feel enlightened but not depressed.

11 people found this helpful

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  • F. B. Honors Book Quality
  • 26-02-21

Too much for a person like me. Don’t care for the lewdness.

Too explicit for me. Sounded as if I needed to go to confession for starting this book

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Bromberg
  • 19-01-21

The porn stars aren’t the whores of this story

Jon Ronson tells an interesting story but at its base is a bunch of thieves who stole the copyrighted content of other people and made money off it. They are criminals who should be in prison instead of millionaires. If they did the same to Star Wars they wouldn’t be bragging because Disney would prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. And Disney would win. They’d at least risk financial ruin if not jail time. (If they were this open about their crimes) They took advantage of people who had no power and used their sexual content in ways they didn’t convent to. They’re rapists.

6 people found this helpful

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  • mike
  • 31-03-18

Fascinating Subject

If you could sum up The Butterfly Effect in three words, what would they be?

Out Of Control

Any additional comments?

The subject of free porn might be too taboo for the media to cover but Jon Ronson takes it by the horns. He highlights the ripple effects free porn has caused from the struggling porn industry to the side effects it has on the youth. Backed up with fascinating interviews it will open your eyes and shock you.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lola
  • 12-11-20

Great insight!

I enjoyed each episode. It is real, it is raw and it makes you step back and reflect.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JC
  • 02-02-21

Well worth a listen.

Regardless of your view on porn this is a worthy listen. The good, bad, and the ugly.

3 people found this helpful

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  • E. Wun
  • 16-10-20

Follow Jon Down The Rabbit Hole

This was very good! One of the best AO audiobooks so far. The premise of Jon's investigation is the effect of one person's decision to change a said product (porn) with making it accessible to everyone and how it affects it's market and it's consumer's with unintentional results.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Cairo
  • 24-09-20

Jon Ronson (or is it Ron Johnson) is perfect

His themes are so original and curious - like a multi-hour TED talk, or something from This American Life. And his manner of speaking is simply charming. He’s genuinely curious. Get all his stuff.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-03-21

hooked from start to finish

the author is amazing at what he does. this story is captivating. an eye opening look into the porn Industry that highlights some really shocking hypocrisies about society. I hope Mr Ronson sticks with this story to see where it continues. I feel like there is so much more to tell and learn about this fascinating change in the world

2 people found this helpful

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  • june reedy
  • 16-09-20

Ronson presents a great argument

technology will affect us all in different ways. Great material to ponder taken from an objective perspective

1 person found this helpful