Behind the scenes: Daily Dot investigates a camsite
Updated: Jun 23
Jessica Klein is the author of the lastest article, in which a cam site was exposed due to its abusive work practices.
Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, The Outline, CNN, Vice, and Salon. She is also the coauthor of Abetting Batterers: What Police, Prosecutors, and Courts Aren’t Doing to Protect America’s Women, which chronicles the criminal justice response to intimate partner violence in the U.S.
Jessica is taking the lead and addressing issues that have not been looked into before. In spite of praising my initiative, the many times I asked the media for help, they were afraid of getting into trouble and preferred to remain silent. This silence has been going on much before me since this industry began.
My decade of involvement allows me to notice that abusive work practices are getting more extreme and frequent. That’s why I have decided to focus on awakening others as an effort to limit these practices by exposing the barbarism that can happen behind the scenes.
I am glad to finally have the opportunity to discuss this topic in the mainstream media, which is both sensitive and important to the whole society. It is often not very clear what the adult entertainment world consists of, who is in charge, and how things happen in the backstage, as well as, who are the major players.
Having said that, I would like to take the chance to share with my readers my answers to Daily Dot’s inquiries, which I gave were the most accurate they could be. However, I would like to point out that this is my personal account and the different players involved might have their discrepancies about the same points, either because:
they are still completely involved;
they fear for many different factors;
they could lack information and are simply following the flow;
they repeat their assimilated beliefs without questioning if it makes sense.
All things considered, I have taken upon myself the role of an advocate for human rights in adult entertainment and I am really happy to have met Jessica Klein who shares similar values and has just begun investigating how things happen backstage.
The following are some of the key points of her inquiry:
Can you explain exactly what you do at New Camming Perspective?
My goal is to shed light on this dark world, by revealing what it is, and how it works. As well as develop a conciliating business practice that allows the many who chose to make make a living as a camgirl to find a less harmful environment.
Common sense is that once someone enters the adult entertainment world they are not human beings anymore, they are not supposed to be respected anymore in any kind of way that depends on moral values in our Judeo-Christian world, and from now on, they are supposed to accept everything at any time in order to make ends meet.
This is not the case, human dignity has not been lost, we are all under some kind of imposition when we sell our workforce, but in jobs that are recognized as dignified, the limits are well-defined, while in adult entertainment, the journey to overcome such stigma is far from getting anywhere. So, I see it as one of my roles to seek for damage reduction, and the enlightenment of the people so that we (the whole society) can respect and allow them to have a better life.
How was your experience at this cam site as a whole?
My journey into this business started in 2010 when I created my model account on ImLive, one of the largest webcam platforms. The experience was mostly good until 2018 due to the quality of the treatment I received from the staff and the freedom that I had to work.
However, there was a change in the way the site was run in September that year: the person who manages the models was replaced by someone else who started demanding me and all other models, to work in a very specific way: to be visible on Free Live Chat and to have the vibe toy on all they long, otherwise, the account would be frozen. The excuse she used to demand such practice was that everyone else in the business was doing it. So, “why would you dare not do it?”.
That was when I had a row with the Sales and Business Developer of the company. I explained the situation and decided to end my account. Since I was one of the faces of the site, quite famous in the business because of having a few meaningful awards and had spoken in many seminars, as well as, also having developed the New Camming Perspective, he decided that the best solution would be to hire me as part of the team.
ImLive sent me a contract that was to begin in January of the following year and that stated the conditions of my “exclusive” collaboration.
The Host Representative forced me to hide my job position during the first few months because she was the one enforcing the new rules and my project was against them.
I had to write articles and find a way to speak well about them. Because of my background in academia, I have always tried to support my arguments with meaningful authors (bibliography). She was technically my boss and the one who would review and approve my articles. Her first question was “Did you consult with a lawyer to know if you are allowed to mention these writers in your text?”. After that, I had to refer to the Sales and development manager again and demand to report to another boss.
In April of the same year, I started working under the marketing department supervision. My new boss had some serious psychological issues who had imposed his own modus operandi. His first rule was that we had to meet once a week only through Skype and this was the only time he would talk to me. On top of that, he demanded I only spoke to him in the company. In our talks, he often repeated that I had a lot to prove and a lot to achieve if I was to be taken seriously. When he was in a bad mood, I became his scapegoat, for instance, he said I was no better than a camgirl. And everything I had conquered could be taken away from me in a blink of an eye because all of it was due to this company’s “greatness” (?). He often reminded me that I was the only camgirl in the world who had been hired by a cam site and one of the few women who was working in an executive role and that I should count my blessings.
When I talked about this to other women in the company, instead of getting surprised, they told me to keep and behave properly and praise the men (bosses) because my boss was right, I had reached a very favorable position (for a woman) in this business and I would never get anything better if they fired me. These women told me that they often cried because they went through the same humiliation as me but they felt grateful for having a job in one of the “greatest” cam sites.
I was not able to accept it as normal (this was not how I had thought about them during the previous 8 years), I questioned the Sales and Development Manager once again, yet he did not take me seriously. He just repeated that I was sexy when I was mad. An extremely chauvinist cliché.
You mentioned you felt the data leak was connected to the overall bad work environment at this company. Can you explain that a bit more?
There was a moment that they asked me to do something different. They took advantage of me being Brazilian and asked me to purchase a domain for them with my own credit card, which was related to escorting services. I had never heard about any involvement in this area prior to this moment. I objected but was under a lot of pressure by the Host Representative and by the Sales and Development Manager.
During my time in the marketing department, my boss asked me to flatter the owner of an Indian traffic company, called BedPage (bedpage.com), as a strategy to keep him interested in sending traffic to ImLive.
Back in February 2019, the sales manager organized a dinner in Portugal, during a Summit, and invited their models and execs to attend it dressed-up, without warning anyone that they would be dealing with an escort company and what kind of arrangement the company was putting us into. It just became clear that this other company was not really selling traffic but escort services later (September 2019), when my boss told me that directly. This was when parted ways.
They held onto some of my intellectual surplus, especially the “Social Traffic”, the introduction of the focus on gamers in the camming industry. In 2020 they sponsored an event, € 10,000 bought them the award that validated them as the creators of my ideas. Obviously, it is not possible to compete "by votes" with the resources that have been ripped off from so many girls.
Thus, I am really not sure if the data leak happened by chance, since the Amazon folder was not protected, with so many Brazilian IDs and they were asking me to buy domains in Brazil related to escorting and they are directly involved with this the Indian company. Besides, I am the first former camgirl hired in the whole history of this company, and I am from Brazil; as well as the current Host Representative - who probably could not get the job done (remember the one who asked me if I had consulted the lawyer to quote scientists in my scientifically based text) it is clear she lacked some intellectual capacity to handle this job position.
What are your impressions about data leaking in Camming Industry?
Regarding the camming industry as a whole, I have serious reasons to suspect that the platforms have been recording models’ private sessions and exchanging or selling them to other services, mostly in pornography.
In practice, it means if a woman begins to work today, she will not be listed there, but if she has gained notoriety, she will be immediately added to this kind of list. Members do not have the power to do this. Thus, I do not think it is a coincidence that the most popular camgirls are exposed everywhere
When models find themselves on these lists and complain about it, most platforms deny that they had anything to do with this and ask them to take care of it. However, it is nearly impossible to get in touch with such sites. This, in turn, means that it is virtually impossible to undo this breach of privacy.
An important piece of information is that cam girls are constantly under pressure to remain silent about all that bothers them, including moral harassment and other business practices that had not been agreed upon. In business terms, the traffic is directed to the “best behaved” girls, the nominations for the awards shows are meant for those that pay homage to the platforms and this is quite often the only way for a camgirl to gain some notoriety. They are in a very sensitive position in many different ways, especially regarding their finances.