Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Businesses The Internet Censorship

'Porn King' Says Google Should Block Porn Access 424

Posted by Zonk
from the i-guess-he's-thinking-of-the-children dept.
mikesd81 writes "The Register has a story saying that one of the world's biggest porn producers wants Google and other search sites to put up barriers between kids and adult entertainment. 'Steven Hirsch, the co-chairman and co-founder of Vivid Entertainment, is to deliver this message on Saturday in New Haven, Connecticut as he addresses an army of Yale University MBA candidates. "Responsible companies in the adult industry such as ours have done a great deal to deter minors from accessing adult material," Hirsch proclaims from inside a Vivid press release. "None of the search engines and portals, but particularly Yahoo and Google, has taken any significant steps in this direction.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

'Porn King' Says Google Should Block Porn Access

Comments Filter:
  • Oh the Humanity! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:12PM (#22438604) Journal
    Steven Hirsch: "Won't somebody please think of my profit margins ... *cough* I mean ... children?!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      I wish you would have added your reasons for saying "profit margin" , but since you didn't I will.

      Google will find plenty of dirty pictures that don't cost a penny. This asshat's dirty pictures you have to pay for.

      I'd say something about the technical impossibility of filtering out porn but since the thread has been up for two minutes I'm sure someone else has.
  • XXX domain names. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:14PM (#22438626) Journal
    .XXX domain names would help here. Sure, it won't prevent kids from accessing 100% of adult content, but it would certainly make it easier for sites like Google and applications like Net-Nanny filter the adult sites with that domain. It would also go a long way toward showing that adult site operators can be responsible and are putting forth an honest effort to limit "adult content" to adults only.
    • Re:XXX domain names. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:36PM (#22438970) Homepage
      That's stupid. If you must do something with domain names, then create '.kids' and make it kiddy safe. This makes much more sense, since then you can 'deny all; allow *.kids' on your censoring device of choice.
      • by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:48PM (#22439132) Journal

        That's stupid. If you must do something with domain names, then create '.kids' and make it kiddy safe. This makes much more sense, since then you can 'deny all; allow *.kids' on your censoring device of choice.
        So you're telling me I should block all content, including Linux.com, distowatch, slashdot, CNN.com, NYT.com, FoxNews.com and so on just so my 12-yr old doesn't accidentally stumble upon a porno site while researching the dangers of breast enlargement surgery? Why not just block the bad stuff. Sorry, but it doesn't make much sense to stunt the intellectual development of kids just so you can still "accidentally" stumble upon porn. If you want to find porn, you should LOOK for porn! Using the .xxx domain also keeps those pesky breast enlargement danger sites off my porn search!

        And, yeah, I think there should be a .kids domain as well. It would work great for small kids in the home. Unfortunately, there is a large range where they are too old for the .kids stuff, but not quite ready for hard core animal anal action yet.
      • by Shadowlore (10860)
        Unfortunately for your proposal, many sites can not be stuffed into .kids but are "kid safe" while also being not "kid safe".

        The main issues with your proposal is that only parents can truly decide what is "kid safe". For example, my 4 year old might not need to access wikipedia, but my 9 year old will.

        "Kid safe" is mostly shorthand for "let me use the Internet as a babysitter and blame someone else when my kids inevitably find something I would have objected to had I been paying attention to my children".

        A
    • by tverbeek (457094) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:38PM (#22438996) Homepage
      The problem with .xxx is that - no matter how many times people thoughtlessly suppose otherwise - it would not remove a single pussy or cock shot from the .com namespace. The owner of xxxample.com isn't going to drop that domain; he'll just fork over the cash for xxxample.xxx and operate both.

      The only way .xxx would accomplish anything is if its use were required by law. Even if the U.S. legislature did that, and it passed Constitutional review, all that would do is send the porn sites to incorporate and operate overseas... so not only would it be ineffective, we'd be exporting yet another industry out of the U.S.
      • by ArcherB (796902) *

        The problem with .xxx is that - no matter how many times people thoughtlessly suppose otherwise - it would not remove a single pussy or cock shot from the .com namespace. The owner of xxxample.com isn't going to drop that domain; he'll just fork over the cash for xxxample.xxx and operate both.

        The only way .xxx would accomplish anything is if its use were required by law. Even if the U.S. legislature did that, and it passed Constitutional review, all that would do is send the porn sites to incorporate and operate overseas... so not only would it be ineffective, we'd be exporting yet another industry out of the U.S.

        Oh. Then we should do nothing at all then since there is no way to prevent problems 100% of the time. Why even bother? While we are at it, since there is no anti-virus or web security application that can make 100% of web sites 100% secure, we should simply turn the Internet off completely (using your logic, of course). While we are at it, nothing can stop 100% of drunk driving, speeding, gun crime, child molestation, unplanned pregnancies... and the list goes on. Fuck it. Let's just give it all up a

      • by jbeaupre (752124)
        Maybe the .com page could redirect? Naw, too complicated.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Yeah? Well, my site has a page with that nice picture of a soldier and a coffee cup with the caption "Have a nice cup of shut the fuck up". [mcgrew.info] It also has a cartoon of Bush in diapers somewhere.

      It has lots of swearing, and guess what? Slashdot has lots of fucking badass words, too. You want your kids to see this fucking filth?

      If I want to put goatse on my site are you going to stop me? If I want to post pictures of me and some crack whores [slashdot.org] who's going to stop me? Not my government; its central document, the o
    • If you make it mandatory then who is going to enforce it and who is going to decide what is pornographic? It opens the doors for all sorts of government censorship problems that are best avoided.

      If it isn't mandatory then porn sites are not going to stop using their com, net, and org sites just because xxx exists. Even if some "responsible" companies would be willing to do so, others will immediately buy up those old names, and reap all the traffic from people who haven't updated their links, or mistype the
    • by packeteer (566398)
      Why does everyone think kids shouldn't see porn anyways? Its a natural, healthy and normal thing to do. Everyone does it. The only problem i see with sex comes from fear and mis education. Look at the rates of STD's and teen pregnancy in countries where sex education starts early and young people are allowed to see porn and sex.
  • Title is incorrect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Malevolent Tester (1201209) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#22438646) Journal
    Should read:
    'Porn King' Says Google Should Block Internet Competition As It Hurts Video Sales
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      EXACTLY!

      If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.
      If you block or filter the internet, only outlaws will have porn.
      If you ... wait, that means I'll have to become an outlaw... kewl!!

    • by syousef (465911)
      'Porn King' Says Google Should Block Internet Competition As It Hurts Video Sales

      No it should read:
      Yo! Listen up pimpz. This be my territory and dees be my hos. You stay the fuck out or I'll break your kneecaps.
       
  • Why not just add a meta tag for porn. Or something more specific like: Adult-Only. That should be easy for Google to detect and flag in its database.
    • Re:Meta Tags (Score:4, Informative)

      by KillerCow (213458) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:29PM (#22438878)
      There are already numerous meta tag schemes for content rating.

      http://www.icra.org/label/ [icra.org]
      http://www.w3.org/PICS/ [w3.org]
      http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/wcl/ [w3.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grumbel (592662)
      How about the other way around? Add a meta tag for stuff that isn't porn. Pages that are ok for children can be unlocked and the rest be easily blocked. This would be basically the same like most other rating works, when you have a game that isn't ESRB, USK, PEGI or whatever rated it is handled the same as an age-18/AO title, it doesn't go into the shops, it doesn't even get released for a console.

      There simply is zero hope to ever get everybody to mark their 'bad' content, but there is a good chance that so
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jbeaupre (752124)
        I'd be happy if the tags were as general as the sections in a bookstore. Not the same, but large groupings of subjects. News, blogs, kids, abstracts, social, commercial, etc. Something like that. Save on having to always be creative with Boolean searches.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tverbeek (457094)
      Or just implement RFC 3514 [ietf.org]. That would solve so many problems in addition to porn.
  • by edmicman (830206) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#22438650) Homepage Journal
    How the heck am I supposed to find stuff?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by edmicman (830206)
      On a more serious note, it's not Google's job (nor should it ever) to filter it's results. This idea is horrible - does this guy even understand how the Internet and search engines work??? Does he expect Google to have one of those "I agree I'm of legal age to view these results" screens? Because those work so well as it is.....
      • by owlnation (858981)
        Google does filter results in some countries though. Nazi related things are filtered in Germany and France.

        While I understand why those countries think they should have laws like that -- Google should still refuse. It's a retarded policy that only drives the Nazis into hiding, and adds a layer of forbidden attraction. Exactly the same thing would happen with porn -- or ANYTHING else that someone wants to make forbidden.
      • On a more serious note, it's not Google's job (nor should it ever) to filter it's results. This idea is horrible - does this guy even understand how the Internet and search engines work???

        If Google's shareholders think that is Google's job, then it will be.

        Your argument (by implication) that the technology has shit to do with what should be done is completely and utterly stupid. And the premise of the article is a good one. Parents should have the tools to control what their young children do and at least m

    • by garcia (6573)
      Certainly not by going through Google. Free listing services like Elephantlist [elephantlist.com], The Hun [thehun.com] and Sublime Directory [sublimedirectory.com] along with pussy.org [pussy.org] (which has gone severely downhill recently) or Empornium [empornium.us] (torrents and lots of them).

      Sorry about that, that is from a pop-up virus I have on my computer. What we were talking about again?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Don't worry, you can mailorder it through Vivid Video, of course.
  • Heh, nice try (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#22438654)
    I sure wish I could call for google to block searches that wind up returning my competitors' sites in the name of the children.
  • SafeSearch?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zebraheaded (1229302) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:17PM (#22438688)
    Google has a SafeSearch option. That's a deterrent to accessing adult content. Granted, it's only default on for images...and there's no restriction I know of to turning it off. But it's certainly something.
  • Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:17PM (#22438690) Homepage Journal
    Translation: It isn't OUR fault that children can see porn on the Net, it's Google's and Yahoo's, since they don't filter search results for children. (Which is not actually entirely true in either case.)
  • ...of an idea I once had about putting a tag in images to say that the image contains "Adult Content". The idea being that someone who didn't want to see such content would be able to turn off access. (Especially for kids.) Sold as a method of keeping kids from accidentally accessing such materials (vs. intentionally accessing; an issue which you're unlikely to ever be able to block against) why wouldn't content producers want to integrate the solution?

    Of course, this was back when 5 of the top 10 results o
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      How about just calling it "sexual entertainment", I don't think porn is by definition adult only.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      tag in images to say that the image contains "Adult Content".

      <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="NSFW; charset=iso-8859-1">
  • by SoupGuru (723634) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:18PM (#22438702)
    I use a search engine to search the internet.

    There is pr0n on the internet.

    I think it's pretty simple...
  • Google does block results for certain sites unless you turn off SafeSearch.

    http://www.google.com/safesearch_help.html [google.com]

    This is merely a PR ploy, which is fine, to deflect some question away from Vivid.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:19PM (#22438730)
    "People are finding the same sort of stuff we're selling but they're getting it for free," Mr. Gates fumed.

    Though I do have to say, I sure am glad Google hosts the thumbnails on image searches, especially when a wholly innocent search returns the occasional hardcore goatporn image. "No, I can explain! It was actually a quite humorous and unexpected confluence of search terms!" "Yeah, yeah. Yell it to HR."
  • Come on... go to Vivid's homepage, and the first thing you see is a woman's face in the chest of another woman. Yeah you go to Vivid's homepage, what do you expect? But, since the url doesn't actually hint that it's an adult related website, someone could be "inadvertently" exposed to something.

    I don't really buy into the whole "xxx" domain thing, because it's just not workable. I don't have a problem with porn on the internet, even, nor with it being searchable in google, yahoo, etc. I understand this
  • Flickr? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Better do something about Flickr too...it is pretty much the largest source of free pornographic pictures.
  • Leisure Suit Larry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:21PM (#22438768) Homepage
    The most entertaining way to keep children away from inappropriate content is to quiz them on things only adults would know. Of course, if a kid knows how to google for answers it may not work so well but there must still be some questions most adults know but for which google can't provide a solid answer. Not that I can think of any of those questions. If you can think of any please reply.

    The central problem is that adult content providers(which could just be some guy with a big hard drive and the ability to upload to a youtube clone) have an incentive to make it simple to access their content if only for the ad revenues. So maybe the best way to attack this is via the advertising. Don't block the content. Block getting paid for posting the content in a form that's too easy for minors to access.
    • The most entertaining way to keep children away from inappropriate content is to quiz them on things only adults would know.
      If a one night stand calls you up a month later and tells you that she's pregnant, do you:
      1. hang the phone up and run like hell
      2. tell her you love her and ask her to marry you
      3. demand a paternity test
      4. offer to pay 50% for the abortion
      • by danzona (779560)
        But three of those are the correct answer, so a kid that guessed would be right 75% of the time.
    • You mean like where is the G-spot? Oh sure you could google it or look at the wikipedia entry for the female reproductive system,
      but when it actually comes to finding it...
    • by localman (111171)
      How about you ask them which European country Budapest is the capital of [nytimes.com]. If they get it wrong, they are an adult.

  • .xxx domains (Score:2, Interesting)

    by asterix404 (1240192)
    .XXX domains were shown to actually be less effective against under age porn viewing mostly because it would create a very close grantee that any domain name with a .xxx suffix would be hit thus making even search engines useless. I mean think about it. If you are say... 14, and want to find free porn and type in freeporn.com, NO! freeporn.net, NO! ahhh freeporn.xxx oh yea...
    • by Asmor (775910)
      But it's also a lot easier to filter on the client side. Just blacklist *.xxx.

      It won't solve the problem, but the point here is not to make it impossible for children to access porn. The point is to make it simple for responsible producers of adult content to say "Hey, my stuff isn't for children." .xxx does this because it won't deter people looking for porn (if you don't mind going to to donkeymidgetgangbang.com, I can't see donkeymidgetgangbang.xxx being especially onerous) but it will allow for people t
    • Yup. That's why if you really want to 'protect the children', it makes a lot more sense to create a .kids tld, and then you can 'deny all; allow *.kids' in your filtering device of choice.
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:23PM (#22438800)
    But my college is putting a large effort in its MBA program to push Business Ethics. Yale may be doing the same thing. Even in a "Unethical" indrustry there is a degree of ethics that they follow and support. Either that or because minors won't pay for the stuff so by blocking them they save the trouble having to deal with "Think of the the Children Groups". There is nothing to gain by not blocking minors so why not.
  • porn king asking for more censorship? What a clown!
  • by Gallenod (84385) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:24PM (#22438822)
    Did Hirsch just say that the online porn industry is doing more to protect minors from porn than Google or Yahoo?

    Isn't that a lot like the Mafia saying they're doing more to protect people from criminals than the police?

    And, as absurd as it sounds, are those statements maybe more correct than we'd like?

    Trying to make search engine providers responsible for regulating online behavior is Nannyism taken to absurd lengths.

    Teach your children to make good choices, turn them loose, and be available to them when they need you.
  • by homer_s (799572) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:25PM (#22438834)
    This is just a very obvious illustration of Yandle's theory:

    The Baptist and the Bootlegger [reason.com]

    This happened before when the CEO of some major airline called for more regulation of the airline industry and, more recently, when big agri business corps talk about 'our dependence on foreign oil'.

    Nothing to see here (for economists anyway), move along.
  • Vivid's Little Ploy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ausoleil (322752) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:25PM (#22438838) Homepage
    Google does have some cursory protection against adult material appearing. From the Google site's Preference's page:

    Google's SafeSearch [google.com] blocks web pages containing explicit sexual content from appearing in search results.

    Granted it is not a completely effective deterrent, but the Vivid web site offers little more than an assent click and age verification -- not exactly a strong wall to keep out minors either.

    That leads me to believe that Vivid is more interested in squeezing out the little guys (pun unintended) in the business and gaining larger market share through greater obscurity on search engines.

  • Will never work... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:29PM (#22438890)
    As a teenager, in the days when there was no internet and a computer took up a medium sized building, I found porn. I found it, because I was actively trying to. So were most of my friends.

    I cannot think of any way you could have stopped me then, nor any way you could stop a teenager now. Age verification etc is simply a token gesture to shut-up the lunatics on the religious right-wing. It's a worthless annoyance.

    Porn isn't a big deal. It's people having sex, it's good thing. I do not want to have to jump through hoops to find it, and I am sick of paying the price for bad parenting. Educate the damn kids and leave the rest of us alone.

    Your kids are your problem, not society's.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      Back in your day the book stores or your buddies dad did not have "midget fisting magazine" or "gang raped Asians weekly"

      The pre internet available porn was insanely tame compared to what is easily found on the internet today. Most things on youporn.com make hustler magazine look like softcore crap in Magnum and Mens Health.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vidarh (309115)
        In other words you didn't have any friends with access to German or Danish porn mags. Hustler has always been tame - I remember how disappointed I was the first time I saw Hustler and realized how soft it was.
    • by ruggerboy (553525) on Friday February 15, 2008 @05:38PM (#22439856)
      Kids these days. To think they'll never know the joy of the JC Penny catalog's bra section. /nostalia
  • Responsible companies in the adult industry such as ours have done a great deal to deter minors from accessing adult material,

    Of course they have- kids can't legally pay for porn with a credit card (they're minors and thus unable to sign contracts/agreements.)

    That and porn sites can either put up a trivial "what is your age?" or require paid "age verification services", which are just a second revenue stream. Both of which help them stave off the conservative legislators.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:43PM (#22439072) Homepage
    "Responsible companies in the adult industry such as ours have done a great deal to deter minors from accessing adult material"

    Ah, no. I think they have been doing what they can do deter non-paying people from accessing adult material. When a 16-year-old types in a valid credit card number there really isn't anything they sanely can or should be expected to do to prove how old that person actually is. But heay, the fact that minors generally don't have credit cards sure is a handy-dandy public relations score for them.

    And oh joy, now the porn industry wants to do as much as they can to make Google suppress all the free competition out there. Thanks but no thanks. Google is merely building a "phone book" of addresses out there and it is not reasonable or possible for them to play policemen judging each site out there if it is "acceptable" or "not acceptable", and it is not reasonable or sane to demand Google play policemen on who is forbidden to look up what phone numbers in the phone book.

    Google's already going above and beyond what they need to do in offering their "safesearch" option and (if I'm not mistaken) defaulting it to on. No demand or expectation that safesearch is supposed to be accurate, just a "whatever effort we felt like putting into a maybe useful but not necessarily accurate automated grouping" sort of thing, and an if you don't like the results don't use it sort of thing.

    -
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)

      Ah, no. I think they have been doing what they can do deter non-paying people from accessing adult material.

      Bingo. This is a clear case of rent seeking [wikipedia.org] on the part of Vivid. They don't like all of the competition in their industry so they are lobbying the government to throw up barriers to entry by imposing regulation and licensing. This is the same reason why cosmetologists are licensed, taxicabs have medallions, and labor unions lobby for the minimum wage. They claim to be concerned about workers, customers, or even the children but in reality they are concerned with protecting themselves from competition and

  • Vivid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king-manic (409855) on Friday February 15, 2008 @04:44PM (#22439088)
    Hirsch is the CEO of a mostly offline porn company. Vivids web presence isn't as great as say Girls Gone Wild or even Playboy or Penthouse. Thus he has an economic interest in minimizing competition for porn entertainment dollars by reducing Internet porn availability.

  • But since vivid makes DVDs and is threated by the growth of web sites like the ones he would like google to block, I wouldnt go praising him just yet. This is just an attempt to hold on to another dying business model.
  • The only solution to kids + porn is whitelisting. When my kid gets old enough to use a computer I can absolutely promise he/she (either or, I'm not saying it's a hermaphrodite) will not go to any site that I haven't specifically allowed.

    Now, people whose kids may know more about computers than them should just pay for a service that does this. Internet cafes, libraries, etc.. would need to do the same thing - card people and limit access to a maintained whitelist if they're under 18. Even this obviousl

  • I'm fairly sure that if they took all the porn off the Internet, there'd only be 1 website left, and it would be called Bring Back The Porn.
  • by seifried (12921) on Friday February 15, 2008 @05:37PM (#22439850) Homepage

    Robots.txt [wikipedia.org]

    Maybe a simple addition to this standard for a couple of categories like "adult" or "dynamic" or "temp" to designate a simplistic "why" content should not be indexed, thus allowing for some flexibility

  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:47PM (#22441174) Homepage Journal
    Just by reading the summary, I'm reminded of what someone (was it the FCC?) compared Comcast bittorrent throttling and to horse races. It's all about competition and monopolistic practices.

    I think this porn king, whoever he is and I don't care, isn't worried so much about free peeks on *his* servers but rather about "social networking" style sites and other collections that "take away" profits from him.

    So what this is really about is old-model media distribution versus new business models. This guy gets rich by selling content, and obviously he's "suffering" from the thousands of amateur sites available on the web. Welcome to the 21st century.

    Going back to the "think of the children" thread, the .xxx suffix was a nice solution IMHO.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

Working...