Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shameless traffic WHORING...

Or How I learned to stop worrying and love the Daily Mail.

Seriously, apparently:

12 per cent of all websites are pornographic, 25 per cent of all search engine requests are pornographic, and 35 per cent of all internet downloads are pornographic. 'Sex' is the most-searched word on the internet.

Which I guess would explain why the Mail decided it was worth putting up this hard hitting investigative report in their esteemed publication.

Well if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me: BIG THROBBI... oh hang on, maybe I should just quote some of their effort:

For months until she finally caught him out, Jane Norman suspected that her husband was having an affair.

'He was withdrawn, moody,' says the 40-year-old mother-of-two from Oxfordshire.

'He became less affectionate with me and our TWO TEENAGE DAUGHTERS. He didn't want to spend time with us. At first, I wondered if he was having some kind of breakdown. Then, when he started shutting himself away with the computer, I started to think he might be seeing someone else.'

The truth, when it finally came out last summer, was far more complex, but equally disturbing.

Jane's husband had become addicted to INTERNET PORNOGRAPHY after spending hours each day viewing EXPLICIT ONLINE IMAGES.

"Mere titillation," you're thinking. "A respectable newspaper just peddling fake "news" as a thin veil for Victorian-style hypocrisy with a Google-ranking twist."

Shame on you. There's some very serious journalism going on. You see, our intrepid journalist has a theory - she's delved deep into the statisitical record to find the root causes of this shocking social problem:

Before 1997, there had been no referrals for those compulsively looking at internet pornography and when compiling figures for 2001-02 researchers did not think to include a category for such people.

So we know time is a factor. A decade ago, nothing. Now this malaise is striking at the respectable heart of our society:

Those falling victim to this very modern scourge are, above all, the respectable middle-class white-collar workers whose professions inevitably bring them into contact with the internet on a daily basis.

Many are professional people - accountants, doctors, company directors and managers - who, say experts, use internet pornography as an escape from the stresses and strains of their working life.

What could it be? What's causing this? Before we consider that any further, lets just take another look at our case study to consider the full extent of the problem:

"At weekends, he didn't want to come shopping with us. He said he'd stay at home and garden instead. I was really worried about him. I thought he was having a nervous breakdown."

So what's at the root of this evil that's plucked a good, family man from the very gates of Marks and Spencer? For the sake of sparing your delicate sensibilities, I'll skip right past the bits about how "IT FELT SO DEGRADING", omit the stuff about "BARELY LEGAL" sites and "TEENAGE PORNOGRAPHY", and get right to the shocking conclusion - summarised in a poignant quote from one of the victims:

'What makes me most angry is that the internet has created this problem. I just don't believe it would ever have arisen otherwise.'

So there you go. The internet is a factor in internet pornography.

"Some of the names have been changed", they tell us. I don't doubt it.

Update: Edited after the author realised he'd left the punchline in the original quote. Now works, although somewhat out of date.


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