Internet Pitfalls

Anytime you hear people who don’t know squat about the internet talking about the internet, you’re sure to get two things: First, they’ll say “surfing the web”, a phrase I’ve never heard uttered by anyone who actually “surfs the web”, and secondly, they’ll say that anyone using the internet constantly runs across sites about child pornography, bestiality, how to make a nuclear bomb out of lawn mower parts, and other blights on society. I’m not denying such sites exist, but in six years of using the internet and WWW now, I have not once stumbled across such a site on accident. No, I’ve never gone on purpose either so keep your comments to yourself. Has anyone else had this happen to them? Have you ever been looking for a good site telling you what to do with leftover cucumbers and found some horrible site instead? Or is this whole pitfall as overrated and sensationalistic as I suspect?

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I’ve been out here since 1994 and I do call it surfing. Sometimes I call it skimming. Depends what I’m doing. The ONLY time I hit a really weird site was when I had a lump in my breast that was painful and I entered “breast pain” into the search. I got this site of (I’m not making this up) breasts tied up with rope!

It was a bondage and discipline site and all I did was jump right back out. I wanted to find ways to lessen my breast pain not increase it!

I’ve never seen anything on building bombs, bestiality or kid porn. I wouldn’t hang out long if I did. Not my thing. If they are out there? Probably. Would I look them up? Nope.

The moon looks on many flowers, the flowers on but one moon.

I wanted some info about space shuttles one day, so I typed in “” Well, what it sent me to was a porn site. Of course I left quickly. I used to work at CompUSA, and one of my coworkers did the same thing by accident, in front of the boss! Oops!
Needless to say, I always look up an address if I’m not sure what it is now.


“Life is hard…but God is good”

Oh, I’m not arguing if they exist. I’m sure they do. But I have doubts that the typical child going to is going to stumble into Capt. Leather’s House of Kiddie Porn along the way. Which is what the above people are trying to convince the world.

Whoah, this thing automatically turned that into a link. And here I’ve been typing {url} like a sap all this time. Don’t click on it folks, I made it up.

Ok, I’m done responding to my own posts

The only way that I’ve found to accidentally stumble onto these sites is to make a guess on the address (as ARG220 did). I almost always use a search engine to find what I’m looking for.

Carpe hoc!

I wanted to buy some cool pantyhose/tights with colours and patterns and stuff. Since no such creature exists here in the sophisticated and fashion-forward midwest, I thought I’d go shopping online. Searched AOL Netfind for “tights & pantyhose” and instead of receiving a list of manufacturers or online boutiques, I got a list of fetishist sites. Grrr.

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

Arg: you mistake was putting .com instead of .gov for nasa :).

Anyway, i sometimes on searchengines see porno sites displayed, but not when i am doing academic searches for school. Often porn web masters will put lots of different words in their meta tags so that web crawalers will find the words and link to that page even when you type in something seemingly innocent. However, for things like bomb designs, recipes for high explosives, and destructive things, you often have to actively look for them.

One time at work one of my co-workers asked me how long a cat carries its kittens before giving birth. Since it’s been a while since I’ve had a pregnant cat, I turned to the web, specifically Alta Vista because I like putting my searches in the form of a question. I typed in something like, “What is the gestation period of a pregnant cat,” avoiding the word “pussy” for obvious reasons, but I still got a list of porn sites.

What irks me is the spam. I know I signed up with AOL, spam capital of the universe, but still I avoid chatrooms and I deleted my member profile but everyday I get at least a half dozen porn spams in my mail box. I turn them all in to TOSemail, but the spams never let up. What really galls me are the coy subject lines, “Hey, why did you log off so soon?” “Here’s the info you requested” “That was interesting, tell me more” Come right out and put “XXX Teen Porn XXX” in the subject line, for pity’s sake, it’s all going to TOSemail anyway.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

The only odd thing I turned up was when I was looking for a picture of Diane Sawyer. The search turned up hundreds of porn sites. Either they were including every female on television in the meta names, or there’s a big demand for naked Diane pictures. I shudder to think what I might have gotten with a search on Sam Donaldson.

One time we were just messing around and put in Butthead… 400 sites of Beavis and Butthead.

I have stumbled across porn a lot. Often in links people will get there. This is especially true if you follow links that say “more by this publisher”

If you go to any of the Usenet groups they are virtually unavoidable. Also on Efnet, TalkCity, Undernet, Dahlnet etc. it is hard to find a chat room where the people are actually talking about the room subject.

I have hooked it up to Surfwatch to see if I could get into porn on purpose it took a few tries but I managed. Kids are smart they know what to look for.

I used to look at porno sites just to see what they are all about. Boring.

But wait! The other day I got sent to some porno site and as I closed the Netscape window of the site immediately another window came up with more porno from that site. I closed that window as fast as I could & again it restored itself. This went on for about 10 windows.

Im talking full screen windows, not those little buggers that come up.

Handy: If you ever get got in that (the neverending opening window o’ doom) all you need to do is:

  1. Go to edit->prefereneces
  2. click on advanced
  3. turn off java script
  4. close the window
  5. turn java script back on

Also, sometimes if you right click on your windows task bar and use the close there that will work.

I have occasionally had obvious porn site addresses returned in response to what I thought were innocuous searches, but I don’t recall having actually been sent to any due to either (their) malice or (my) stupidity.

The worst was when I was trying to find the storyline for Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet. Never, ever do a search for “The Nutcracker Suite”!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

You must have tried the search with Yahoo. Its notorious for throwing up porn for innocuous searches. Hotbot makes fun of this feature in its ad campaigns.
(Searcher: Enter my dungeon!!!
Man 1: Whos that guy?
Man 2:Oh, he turns up for everything!!!)
Switch to Altavista or Snap. They are more mainstream.

I’ve only been on-line for 8 months and make lots of newbie mistakes. (And I also say “surfing the web” or “surfing the 'net”.)

Looking for jokes sites once, found several, wanted to go back to one of them (this was before I discovered bookmarks) and all I could remember was the site owner’s name, Dick something.

Without thinking, typed

Went back several times before discovering my error.

BTW, if anyone wants to see the singing willie, it’s kinda funny. Especially the high notes.

ChrisCTP: thanks for the pantyhose tip.It’s all free stuff, too.

I needed a picture of Santa Claus for a holiday-themed fax I was doing at work. So, I used Lycos, since I can search for pictures. Among the first page of many matches, was a shot of a woman totally naked in a Santa hat and nothing else…

I immediately thought that, sure, you can get this stuff without trying, but that’s the price of freedom that I refuse to give up.

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

ICQ 35294890
AIM Scrabble1
Yahoo Messenger Brian_ONeill

IE 5.0 has been a pitfall. I like IE 4.7 that I have at work. I never had all the bits of software to run Netscape with Compuserve, a bad combination.