A German man who innocently purchased a bottle of Heinz ketchup got a whole lot more than he bargained for when he scanned in the bottle’s promotional QR code. Expecting to be whisked away to a website that would enable him to design his own ketchup label, Daniel Korell of Berlin was instead directed to a hardcore porn website.
Censorship and the Internet are topics that have gone hand in hand since the birth of the World Wide Web more than 20 years ago. Proponents of various levels of censorship often target online pornography with their efforts, and a new report suggests censors may soon get their way in Egypt. According to local news agency Egypt Independent, Egypt’s Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology has taken preliminary steps that could lead to a nationwide ban on internet porn. Minister for Telecoms and IT Mohamed Salem last week announced the formation of a committee that will investigate the possibility of banning online pornography, and it will report back to the Ministry on what might be involved with implementing such a wide-stretching ban. “Parliament will be represented in the committee,” Salem told reporters during a briefing. “The issue is becoming persistent and worrying to families.” More →
Are pornographic images invading your Facebook news feed? We have yet to see it here at BGR, but ZDNET recently reported that “gory, violent pictures” and “hardcore pornography” are spreading across the social network. Facebook says it is getting to the bottom of the problem, but hasn’t yet revealed a solution or how the fiasco started. “Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms,” Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes said. “We have recently experienced an increase in reports and we are investigating and addressing the issue.” It is unclear who is behind the attack. As The Washington Post points out, the flood could be a trick played by the now infamous hacker group Anonymous, in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day, which occurred on November 5th, but the group typically stakes its claim on major attacks. The images, which are apparently spreading like a wild fire, could also be the result of unsuspecting users having been tricked into clicking malicious links. Updated with statement from Facebook. More →
Erik Qualman from Socialnomics recently published a new video that shows the power of social networks today. The most stunning fact, to us, is that social media has surpassed porn as the top activity on the web. The video, which lists a number of compelling facts, also said that — in the United States — Facebook gets more weekly web traffic than Google. Similarly, 20% of all divorces are now being blamed on Facebook. Have you ever thought about taking a class online? This stat may pique your interest: a recent study revealed students who take classes online have out performed those that enroll in face-to-face instruction. Hit the jump for the video for plenty more on socialnomics. More →
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said in a statement on Monday that it has agreed to filter pornographic content from BlackBerry devices in Indonesia. The news comes following pressure from the Indonesian government, which put strict anti-pornography laws in place in 2008. “Research in Motion is fully committed to working with Indonesia’s carriers to put in place a prompt, compliant filtering solution for BlackBerry subscribers in Indonesia as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement. This is the first time RIM has agreed to filter content from its BlackBerry devices. According to a report from SC Magazine, the Indonesian government is also requesting that RIM establish a server presence in the country so that it can easily access and monitor data sent by its citizens from BlackBerry devices. More →
Crazy but true… China’s Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center is offering a monetary reward to online surfers who send in information about pornographic websites. The first person to send in information about a particular website will receive a reward of 1,000 ($146) to 10,000 ($1,460) yuan with the award amount being determined by a committee within the Center. Even though citizens can surmise that the data collected in this government sponsored peep show will be used to censor these websites, the program has been wildly successful. In the first 24 hours of operation, the Centre reportedly received 500 phone call tips and 13,000 online tips. Wow! To maintain our high moral standards, we will reserve further comment on this one and let you, our readers, engage in a stimulating discussion in the comments below. We know it will be good. More →