The Internet industry exists today because of the
prostitution industry. The pimps and buyers on the Internet are funding the development
and expansion of the commercial Internet. In fact the pimps and buyers are also
contributing heavily to the whole computer industry.
A male exhibitor at the Adultdex, a trade show for the
online prostitution industry, who chose to remain anonymous, made this comment:
"The whole Internet is being driven by the adult
industry. If all this [referring to products at an online prostitution industry trade
show] were made illegal tomorrow, the Internet would go back to being a bunch of
scientists discussing geek stuff in e-mail."
The sex industry is among the top five groups buying state of the art
computer equipment. The high tech industries dont like to admit or talk about
how they are being supported by the pornography and prostitution industries. A high level
technician for the film industry, another buyer of state-of-art computer technology,
admits that many companies that brag about their capacities to create computer special
effects for the film industry also do a good business with the pornographers and online
pimps. It comes down to money,"if someone comes to us with a cheque for
One of the largest Internet companies in the world, Digex, has
Microsoft as its largest customer; its second largest customer is from the sex
industry. The Internet industry will not admit to the pervasiveness of pornography on
the Internet because it profits enormously from the pornography industry. Web page owners,
owners of search engines, and Internet Service Providers make a lot of money selling
advertising for the sex industry.
The sex industry has been setting the pace on many new enhancements to
doing business on the Web. Entrepreneurs eyeing the Web as a site of future investment
were told by mainstream computer industry advisors to use sex industry sites as their
"If you havent visited a pornography Web shop in a while,
you should. It will show you the future of online commerce
Web pornographers are the
most innovative entrepreneurs on the Internet." 
Pimps on the Internet are on the cutting edge of online payment schemes with credit
cards. At the beginning of 1995, only a few sites were accepting credit card payments by
email. In early 1996, Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), a leader of the Internet sex
industry introduced "ecommerce software," which provided buyers with fast,
secure, online credit card transactions. Privacy is one of the main attractions that
Internet pornography and prostitution sites have for many buyers. They can browse and buy
whenever they want and usually in total privacy. Men also want assurances that their
credit card numbers are secure. The sex industry has excelled in introducing secure
payment schemes over the Web. The sex industry also needs to have payment transactions
occur quickly, because sex industry sites depend on mens impulse buying once they
access the sites. So the easier and faster it is for buyers to supply credit details, the
easier and faster it is for the sex industry to collect money. One Internet pimp has
started a new company, Interfund Financial Services to facilitate "impulse
friendly" buying, and offer more privacy than credit card purchases. Buyers will be
able to charge the time online to their phone bill or have their bank account debited
The Internet industry publicly avoids acknowledging or denies the
influence of the pornographers and pimps on the Internet industry because the two have
become dependent on one another and are now collaborators. All the large Internet service
providers (ISPs) are dependent on the sex industry for their profits. The Electronic
Frontier Foundation admits they regularly give legal advice to operators of pornographic
sites on the legality of their operations.
Sex Industry and Internet Search Engines
Soon after the sex industry went online, the promotional
value of search engines was realized. On December 19, 1994, The Shrimp Club, an
organization of men who live or travel in Southeast Asia, set up a Web site to give men an
information network for events, parties and products that featured Asian women. As part of
their promotional strategy they sent advertisements to newsgroups, such as alt.sex.fetish.orientals,
and made sure that their Web site was archived in web search engines. This aggressive
marketing through search engines got them 15,000 accesses to their Web site in the first
week. It was a strategy to be adopted by all sex industry businesses on the Internet.
Search engines are the indexing system for the World Wide Web. Search
engines, such as WebCrawler, HotBot, Excite, InfoSeek, and Lycos, search tens of thousands
of Web sites per day, picking up keywords placed in the html code, and from the content of
the text. Users of the search engines depend on the comprehensiveness and accuracy of
search engines, which varies widely from engine to engine, to find material anywhere on
the Web when they enter keywords.
Analyses of the keywords entered into Web search engines reveals what
subjects are being sought for on the Web. In 1995, a study of the searches on one Web
search engine found that 47 percent of the 11,000 most-repeated searches were for
pornography. The study also found that one in ten businesses using the Web at that time
The sex industry manipulates, exploits, and pays the search engines a
lot of money to make sure that the general public finds their sites. Although owners of
search engines like to distance themselves from the sex industry and responsibility for
the availability of pornography, Robert Davis, the President of Lycos, the popular search
engine, criticized their hypocrisy. At the Internet Summit in December 1997, he said that
owners of search engines accept advertising from the sex industry on their Web sites.
Lycos, does not.
Pornography Web site owners exploit any public event to draw Web
traffic to their site. Whenever a topic is popular, the pornographers put a keyword on
their Web sites that someone is likely to be using to search for information. They then
prime the search engines, using special promotional software, to get their sites listed in
the first few that come up when someone does a search.
One of the most well known examples of this was the use of the keywords "Princess
Diana" to draw traffic to pornography web sites after Princess Diana died in a car
crash in August 1997. Anyone entering "Princess Diana" into a search engine was
given not only a list of sites that had information about her life and death, but also a
list of pornography Web sites, often listed before the legitimate sites. I used one of the
popular search engines to look-up "Princess Diana." The first site listed was:
"PRINCESS DIANA NUDE EATING PUSSY!!! CHECK OUT THIS LINK FOR
SOME HOT SEX! cocksucker the sex girls a sensual applegate. Celeberties the babe the nude
mpegs and porno. Story, teen porn."
When I followed this link I found violent, degrading pornography. The
pornographers put sensational, exploitative and violent images out for this occasion. On
the first page there were four images: 1) a breast torture picture with the womans
breasts bound and many clothespins attached to the breast; 2) several pictures of women
with ejaculate on their faces; 3) a picture of a woman with her entire hand inserted in
another womans vagina; and 4) a transsexual-man with penis and breast implants.
Other pornographers were exploiting Dianas name, but were not
promising photos. This pornographer put her name on his page so that when someone searched
for "Princess Diana," his web site would be included in the results.
"BEST OF ADULT WEBSITES - (No Princess Diana here), Free adult
images, live streaming adult video, sexy streaming chat. Daily free large pictures, 5
minutes free video. A selection of books without Princess Diana A Tribute to Diana"
Egregious examples like this bring bad publicity to the Internet
industry, so one search engine, AltaVista, owned by Digital, tried to intervene by
removing the pornographic sites from their index. The pornographers quickly renamed their
sites and aggressively pushed their Web sites into the search engine, resulting in a
battle between pornographers and the AltaVista. Digital said they were monitoring their
index "on a half-hour basis," to try to keep the pornography sites out of
listings for Princess Diana.
In March 1998, a new Internet product designed to simplify URLs and searching on the
Web was launched by centraal of Palo Alto, California, but somehow the sex industry
intervened. Using centraals new system Web users could type topics into the address
line without using the long, complex URLs. Walt Disney, one of centraals customers,
was featured in the launch of the new product that was supposed to be so simple a child
could use it. Unfortunately, something went wrong; when a user typed in a Disney
character, such as "Bambi," she landed on a pornography site with whips and
chains. Keith Teare, president of the company, said he had no idea how the requests were
CNET -- SNAP
The case of CNETs online service Snap demonstrates the reliance
of search engines on the sex industry to stay in business.
In December 1997, coinciding with the Focus on Children Internet Summit in Washington,
D.C., CNET announced Snap Online service, a Web directory safe for children
(http://www.snap.com). The Snap search engine was advertised as having no pornographic Web
sites in its directory. In the press release, CNET said, "Snap Online does not
accept any pornographic advertising, nor does it contain pornographic listings in its
directory of more than 100,000 hand-selected Web sites." CNET chairman Halsey
Minor touted Snap saying, "Parents now have a valuable resource
at their fingertips to help safeguard their children from inappropriate materials."
Nine months later, in August 1998, CNET announced that Snap would be including
pornographic Web sites in its directory, and admitted that pornographic sites could be
found through Snap for sometime. Anyone searching for pornography on Snap would
automatically be rolled over to the search engines Infoseek and Inktomi, which index
Snaps executive producer, Katharine English, defended the
decision by saying, "Our statistics show that 40 percent of our users are looking
for this kind of material. This is a user-driven decision." The decision was
rationalized by pointing out that since all other search engines indexed sex industry
sites, they had to as well. Katharine English said, "If you search for bestiality,
youll find it there. Its not like were standing out.
trying to take a neutral position on pornography. Its out there, its
The decision was based on money, of course. The service lost US$3.68 million in the
first quarter of 1998, on revenues of US$2.52 million. In July 1998 CNET moved into a
joint venture with NBC, and Snaps money loosing venture had to go. Pornographic
advertising banners on search engines are the "cash cow," or certain
moneymakers, for the Web search engines and indexes. The owner of a Web site, search
engine, or Web directory, is paid each time a viewer clicks on an advertisement on that
page. Advertisers pay in the range of 12 cents to US$1 per click. Eventually, that adds up
to a lot of money.
Self-Regulation of the Internet