The Web gets more extreme

A report just out from ISS suggests that the number of Web pages with illegal and extreme content is continuing to rise.

The report says that the number of Web sites with this type of content available has risen by 42.3 per cent from 132,000 in November 2004 to over 188,000 in November 2005. This equates to more than 16 million individual Internet pages.

I remember when I was asked by an Internet mag in the late 1990s to write a feature on extreme Web material.

I became quite shocked at some of bizarre stuff available on the Web, ranging from the more obvious illegal porn, right through to the bifurcating your todger fan club Web sites.

And that was eight years ago.

Today, even Bram Cohen, the guy who developed the Bit Torrent file sharing protocol would be amazed at the way that the protocol - which he expressly forbade for use with porn files - is now being used to fileshare all manner of filth.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no prude, and enjoy looking at pictures of naked people as much as the next person, but some of the stuff on the Web is off the scale - about minus 27 on my pleasure scale of 0 to 10, if you get my drift.

So where will it all end?

If my earlier predictions about Grid Networking - the successor to the Web as we know it today - are correct, then I suspect that both legal and illegal `unsuitable for kids' material will proliferate on the Net, mainly because everyone can become a publisher.

ISS agrees and predicts that pages on weapons and bombs, hard-core pornography, satanism, occultism, suicide forums or pages about human cannibalism, as well as sites encouraging suicide or self-mutilation, violence, torture, etc. will increase.

Maybe the guy who wants to impose a 100 per cent tax on Internet porn has the right idea...