While there are a handful of companies that offer some form of so-called “unlimited” cloud storage, they often have limits. Which is why one Redditor took it upon himself to test this definition by uploading as much data as he could: almost two million gigabytes worth of webcam porn.
First reported by Motherboard, a Reddit user called beaston02 wanted to find out if Amazon’s now-defunct cloud storage option had a cap. To achieve this, he wrote scripts that recorded live-streamed public webcam shows from a number of adult sites, including CamSoda, Chaturbate, and MyFreeCams.
After around five to six months, beaston02 had captured one petabyte, or one million gigabytes, of material, and only stopped recording when he hit 1.8 petabytes, at which point he lost interest.
"It is nearly entirely porn," he said. "Ever since I got into computers, I found myself learning more, and faster when it was something more interesting. Call me crazy, but women interest me more than most other things on the internet and there is a huge amount of data being created daily, so it was a good fit for the project."
"The project ran its course, I got the knowledge I was hoping to get, and I just had no interest in it anymore."
Helpfully, some other Reddit users crunched the numbers to find out how long it would take to consume all that smut. With most webcam streams being less than HD quality, it would take around 102 years to watch it all at a 720p resolution. If it’s at an even lower quality, such as 480p, it would mean staring at a screen for 293 years and six months.
Amazon ended its unlimited storage option in June. Some say beaston02’s actions played a part in the company’s decision, though he denies this. The redditor has since published his scripts on Github, and they are now being used by others to collect their own footage for the “Petabyte Porn Project,” which stores more than 12 terabytes of porn content per day on Amazon’s cloud.
Speaking to CamSoda model Charley Hart about the moral implications of the project, she told Motherboard: "Part of me is ok with some of it. It's one thing if I do it — I think that's the whole thing, it's all about consent."