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Netflix once accidentally mailed porn to subscribers

No one mailed the DVDs back.

Jan 24, 2018, 8:15 am

Streaming

Michelle Jaworski 

Michelle Jaworski

Netflix is known more for its streaming content than its DVD division these days, but as a mailing startup it once accidentally pulled a move that could have been bad for business.

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe—who also co-founded Netflix—was in attendance at Sundance this week when he revealed in a Q&A that Netflix accidentally sent pornography to some of its users. Back in 1998, Lowe said that the company was in the process of testing out the technology to place video onto DVDs in 24 hours, a feat that, at the time, had been unprecedented.

However, if you were transferring and making DVDs that quickly you had to cut some corners during the process. In Netflix’s case, that meant not giving the DVDs the labels you normally see on home releases.

“When you get DVDs you usually have nice labels, but when you’re going fast you don’t have time for labels. It turns out that [the person] who was a duplicator, also duplicated pornography,” Lowe said.

Lowe estimated that in the end, only a couple hundred discs out of the “thousands and thousands” Netflix made actually contained porn on them, but Netflix apparently hasn’t seen them since.

“We told our customers to send them back—no one did,” Lowe added.

H/T Page Six

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*First Published: Jan 24, 2018, 8:15 am