The pornographic cancer that once lurked in darker parts of the Internet is now coming out of the shadows. It used to be that if you stayed on safe sites you wouldn’t be bothered with offensive content. That has changed. These days, offensive and pornographic ads are showing up on “safe” sites with increasing frequency. I am constantly seeing sidebar ads that are in poor taste, and as time goes by, the ads don’t just border on pornographic; they are pornographic. The strange thing to me is how little it is talked about. People share images and videos on Facebook, and when I follow the links, the articles themselves might be benign, but the sites have offensive sidebar advertising. The people sharing these articles would consider themselves very religious and church-going people, and yet they seem unaware of the environment that accompanies the video or image they are sharing.
Some sites use good things as bait for bad things. Recently I was researching pottery designs for an art project. In a Google search I found a nice design. A click on the image took me to a seemingly ordinary site, with an article on pottery designs. It was strange that the site was for a mattress company, but the content of the article was informative, so I kept on reading. As I moved down the page, to the right I saw an advertisement with a photo of a woman pulling her pants down enough to reveal that which most women would choose to keep private. There was no reason to have that kind of advertising on the site, but it was there. The pottery article was the bait for the pornographic ad. These advertisers aren’t satisfied with pitching their message to people looking for porn. They want to assault the eyes of those who aren’t looking for it.
Will we allow it to continue? Why aren’t more people complaining? Does it mean they have become accustomed to the filth, and truly don’t notice? Are they afraid to talk about it? I notice it, and it bothers me. I choose not to share articles for sites that promote that kind of advertising, regardless of who they are.