Monday, March 07, 2005

A Plea for Sanity...
Is it too much to ask that we be allowed to have at least one aspect of modern life that is not tainted by the stench of pornography? I ask this because what used to be a sorta-kinda pleasureable pasttime has become an annoying minefield.

The pasttime I'm talking about is chatting online. At one time, you were able to chat freely with friends in a chat room without being bombarded by quick advertisements for porn. How many times have you been talking with your friends and something like this floats across the screen:

"Lonely F/20....Wants to chat or whatever...I can put both legs behind my head...Check out my live cam!"

And it's not only the female "bots" that leave such messages. There are male bots, homosexual bots, beastiality bots, hermaphrodite bots, child-molester bots, etc, etc. They're all shining examples of the depths to which human nature will descend.

The internet, we were told, was supposed to revolutionize our lives. Instead, it's brought smut right to your doorstep, so to speak. The ability to access information at the speed of light has had an unintended consequence: we can now also engage our penchant for filth at the speed of light, too.

What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is not my business, but do the rest of us have to be subjected to it? You can complain to AOL all you want about this sort of thing, but as long as the bot in question pays his/her bill, AOL does nothing. Yahoo is even worse.
There should be some sort of decency on the 'Net, after all. I mean, it's illegal to use foul language or make sexually-explicit suggestions, under certain circumstances, on the telephone --- why not online? Porn is restricted on TV to certain channels after certain hours, why not chat rooms?

I'm constantly bombarded by the plaintive wails of the permanently panty-bunched about how America is becoming a theocratic, Taliban-style state, what with all these evil evangelicals and conservative Catholics here, but somehow, they haven't managed to penetrate the smutty media of our day. Porn is openly advertised online, in full view of children, no less, and we're supposed to just ignore it.

I don't intend to have government interfere with free enterprise. If AOL, Yahoo, et. al. wish to take money from smut merchants, that's their business. I do, however, expect them to remember that thay have other, paying customers who expect a quiet evening of chat without the seventeen-times-a-minute pleas from cyber whorehouses and such to "check out my cam!'.

Let's not forget the threat to security such activities present as well. Giving out credit card information in order to masturbate to your computer doesn't exactly seem to be smart. Replying to smutty spam that suddenly launches you into thirteen other websites, all with some form of spyware I wouldn't doubt, is not conducive to keeping your personal information safe. Then there's the market angle: if enough people get fed up with this sort of thing, then AOL and Yahoo will be nothing but a 24-hr, seven-day-a-week porn mill, and people will find other alternatives, or create their alternatives. Such alternatives might actually cause either AOL or Yahoo to go belly up. The one sure way to ensure you get our wish from a monolithic business is to take your business elsewhere.

So, if there's anyone out here who has the technial skills and, ore importantly the finances, to help me start up a "clean" ISP, free of porn, free of spam, and free of everything execpt what people actually want from their onlin eexperience, please let me know. I've got a business model and some good ideas.

In the meantime, I'll continue to pay $23.99 a month to an uncaring corporate entity and dodge the spam, the porn and the bots. It isn't right, but at the moment, there are few alternatives.

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