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A porn company penetrated many mainstream websites by buying a defunct video service domain

The internet really is fragile

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Oh boy, you’re gonna want to make sure any of the younger members of your household are outta the room before you continue. That’s because hardcore porn is currently inserted all over normal, vanilla websites thanks to a web domain ownership swap to a porn company.

It’s not just smaller sites that are affected either, with star performers like Fox Sports, Huffington Post, New York magazine, and The Washington Post all caught up in the firehose-like spraying of porn across the internet. The reason it got past editorial staff? A porn company called 5 Star Porn HD bought the domain for Vidme, a now-defunct video hosting website that was eventually bought by Giphy.

I guess Giphy let the Vid.me domain lapse, and the greased-up lovers at 5 Star HD Porn saw a chance to pick up a widely-known URL. Did they know this penetration of non-adult content pages was about to occur? Possibly, and maybe they even thought it was going to be amusing to see all these mainstream sites scrambling to clear the smut off their pages.

You can see a selection of the defaced sites below. Just be warned, while websites have been swapping out links since the whole affair started, some of the links in the below Twitter thread do still go to websites that are still linking to 5 Star HD Porn, the new owner of the now-defunct Vidme domain.

While this amusement might fade away quickly, it’s a good illustration of just how fragile the internet really is.

Context is everything, and that context is disappearing as old websites die and the pages they were linked to no longer work. Even with the work that Archive.org does with the WayBackMachine, human history is being lost, one byte at a time.

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