The internet is up in arms! James Cook at the Kernel recently reported on a not-widely-known feature of OKCupid — its premium tier, which enables users to filter search results in more categories than it does for users with free accounts. “Once you’ve paid a monthly subscription fee, you can start hiding all the overweight people from your matches page,” Cook writes. But the option isn’t to weed out self-described overweight people. It’s to weed out any type of person you believe won’t fit what you have determined is important to you. Is this wrong?
Kickstarter’s guidelines make it very clear that any “pornographic” project is not allowed on its platform — they feel so strongly about adult content that they lump it with hate speech and political mudslinging. Indiegogo, another very popular crowdfunding service, limits projects that feature “obscene or pornographic items, sexually oriented or explicit materials or services.” They lump those in with bullying and harassing items. Basically, if you had an adult-themed project, you’re out of luck. And then came Offbeatr.
Adult performer and The Canyons star James Deen has been working on a web food porn series with the digital adult studio WoodRocket since the beginning of the year. There’s nothing really pornographic about it — James Deen Loves Food, which usually runs between five and 10 minutes, features Deen procuring, making and eating his way around Los Angeles. This week, Deen set out to McDonald’s, all geared up to explore its menu until a manager killed the fun — and the $89 order.
The number of porn stars who swear by Eat24 got the company thinking about porn — they dug in and found that a completely unsurprising 30 percent of all web traffic hits porn sites. Even less surprising, because so few brands are willing to put their products next to porn, Eat24 discovered that advertising on these sites was one tenth the cost of advertising on Google or social sites like Facebook and Twitter. They went for it, and their story is going to go down in history as an advertising coup — but will other mainstream brands follow suit?
Last week Funny or Die released Alyssa Milano’s purported sex tape. The “tape” shows Milano about to get it on but just as she positions the camera to film, her “partner” comes up behind her, grabs her, and the camera is kicked off position, focusing on a televised discussion on Syria instead. Milano’s statement is clear: people care more about celebrity gossip than what’s happening in the world, and the only way to reach them is to make sex the Trojan horse. But sex isn’t always just a Trojan horse.
On Sunday, malicious software, known as malware, was identified on several sites hosted by Freedom Hosting, which provides consumers the ability to run hidden services, designed to protect their creators from being identified. While these are used for legitimate reasons, many hidden services are used for criminal purposes as well.
Last week, prime minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron announced that the government would be cracking down on porn by instituting opt-in filters with service providers. Basically, if you live in the U.K., you will be forced to give voice to whether you want access to the “corroding influence” of adult content.
The controversial “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke is the hit of the summer, leading the charts in 14 countries from Australia to Iceland. The song, which features vocals by T.I. and Pharrell, has been widely criticized for trivializing sexual consent. The lyric “I know you want it,” the parade of half-naked women in the music video and the name of the song itself have led critics to decry the summer’s anthem as a blatant promotion of rape culture. In response, the web has thrown itself into parodying the song. This is a list of the best parodies we’ve seen to date.
Twitter’s “sensitive” content filter is on by default as a result of its last mobile update. “Start getting used to it,” writes Mike Isaac at AllThingsD, “if you’re a regular, non-techie normal person — like the vast majority of the 200-million-plus people who use the service — you’re probably never even going to look inside that buried settings menu in the first place.” Screw that, dear non-techie normal people. You too deserve control of your consumption. We’re going to show you how.
Silicon Valley has to get smarter about the fact that adult content has a place in society. To continue to exploit it for traffic while making it impossible for creators to equally profit is an outrage. But the worst part is what the heavy-handed treatment of all things related to sex signals, whether these things are imagery or educational materials: that sex is something that has no place in our lives. Sex does have a place in our lives.