I know, I know.  It’s been a long time.  Rachel is home, and time is slipping through my fingers in unbelievable quantities.  There were so few days to begin with, and it seems like the coming morning is just too close.

I find myself doing such mindless things these days.  It is an escape, I understand that.  But it feels like I am just . . . waiting.  Waiting for the “second shoe to drop”  . . . waiting for “the axe to fall”  . . . waiting for this bittersweet wedge of time to edge on in to the pie of life.

HOWEVER—

Part of my silence was brought on by a disturbing situation with Xanga.  About two weeks ago, I was looking at “Top Blogs” to see if my latest posting had just happened to register there, and I saw a profile picture on one of the top blogs that was obvious blatant female nudity.  I usually just don’t peruse the blogs that I think would be offensive to me, but since this was a top blog, open to anyone who just might be looking through, I decided to check it out.’

I thought I would throw up.  I know that I am naive.  My kids think I’m an old prude.  That’s fine.  I’d just as soon they did.  But this was so offensive.  It WAS female nudity.  It was actually lesbian female nudity depicting sexual activity of every sort —  It was incredibly graphic, and pornographic.  I was so shaken up, I could hardly function.  I didn’t want to tell anybody about it because it wasn’t fit for anyone to see.  So I wrote a very shaken up letter to Xanga and asked them to please shut it down.  I was so upset I didn’t include the user name. This was Thursday afternoon. They wrote back to me on Friday — a very polite letter and asked for the user name.  I hadn’t written it down, and didn’t know it.  So I had to go back into my history to find it.  I wrote them again and gave the user name, gave some of the reasons why I was so upset, and asked them again to shut it down.  That was Friday, and the weekend was upon us when I wrote back to them, so it was Monday before I heard from them again. Their response:

Hi MaryAnn,

Thank you so much for reporting that site to us! We’ve shut it down for violating our terms of service.
I appreciate the time you took to report that account.

Yepper!  This was one grateful lady.  I finally felt like I could touch my computer again.

Before anyone jumps on my case about free press and all that — just let me say that I think it is wrong in ANY forum.  I have a right to feel that way.  But I also am not so stupid to know that there are people out there that want that sort of exposure and are going to find it somewhere.  This blog person has probably already established another site.  The thing that bothered me the most was the accessibility issue.  I have a filter on my computer to weed out such stuff and this got past it.  And when I say pornographic — I’m not talking “soft” porn.  I’m talking full pictures of women’s genitalia, lesbian sex between three women, fellatio, and even videos of sex between male and female.  I still feel sick when I think of it — and lest you think I spent time looking through this site — all of this was on the first page.  I have no idea what was beyond this. But literally ANYONE could have looked at that site — impressionable children, teenagers — and to be honest, I can’t really think of a good reason why anyone should look at something like that. 

This has greatly curtailed my interest in Xanga’s top blogs — as well as anyone who I don’t know on Xanga.  (In fact, if anyone asks to be my friend and I don’t know who they are, they can just forget it!)

I’ve thought a lot about how we decide what types of media we will be involved in, and what we will be party to.  I had made up my mind that if they didn’t shut down the site, I was going to close my Xanga account.  I am gratified that they chose to close it, but I’m concerned about the “in place” safeguards that not only allowed it to slip through, but made it one of the top blogs.  I was especially concerned when I went over to the “A” rated, “family friendly” top blogs and found it THERE!  C’mon, people!  What’s the criteria?

I have been one of the most grateful users of Xanga, and I have defended them to many, many people, but to be honest, I’m not so sure now.

What do you think? 

 

14 Comments

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14 responses to “

  1. HORRIFICATIONS!!! So glad you took the time to report it and keep after it. Thank you. There is just no reason. None at all. And it does violate their terms of service so it was perfectly valid that it should be reported and shut down. As Mom to an almost 13 year old son, the abundance & accessibility of such things is truly horrifying to me. All our modern technology isn’t always so great.

  2. I agree w/ MaryKay girl…terrible. Don’t use xanga hardly at all but I had believed it was a safe site to use.Not now. Just sad.

  3. It is one of the reasons I switched from xanga to wordpress. Much cleaner and a lot less risk of that sort of thing. I hate the “dark side” of the internet and it will continue to be a struggle to keep that trash away but we must keep working at it. It is pretty much impossible to function without the internet along with it’s many useful functions.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to do something about it. I have been disturbed by pictures on some of the ads on xanga, but this is terrible! Last year I almost closed my account, but I do like to keep in touch with others on here. Is there another blog “service” that would be cleaner? I would switch, but I don’t know what’s available. I don’t care for facebook.

  5. I have really liked the new Google+ in comparison to facebook. Much cleaner with a lot less clutter. I don’t have to put up with facebook ads either since I use the Chrome browser along with the adblock extension.

  6. Thanks for standing in the gap against evil! I like the WordPress idea but maybe Blogspot would be easier? I know I liked Xanga because it did everything for me and I didn’t have to figure out anything with codes, etc. Does anyone else know what would be easy to use? I read many, many blogs and most of them are not on xanga any more. Blessings to you, MaryAnn, and may God cleanse your mind from the evil that you witnessed and use what was intended for harm against you for his glory! (He’s good at that, you know. And really, it’s already happening, because you are not being quiet. You are sounding the alarm.)

  7. Freedom of press doesn’t mean we are all going to join the lowest of the low—the filth.  We need to keep our standards high and write with intergrity, honesty, and character!  Thank you for reporting.   It is such a good example!

  8. I am so sad you had to see that!  But…I am so gald that you had the courage and tenacity to write and ask that it be taken off.  I even more excited to hear —they did!  So many times things are excused away…this post even though tragic for you–was an encouragement to me.  May your thoughts and mind be kept in christ Jesus.

  9. I am so glad you reported that. Thanks, Mary Ann.

  10. I am glad that you persevered and got that removed. I hardly ever look at the front page anymore. I joined some others in complaining about it once, and they cleaned it up for a bit. I’ve stayed on Xanga because I have friends here, and I’m hoping to be a light for Jesus.

  11. Thank you for reporting that site — I never go to the front page — I go directly to my site and then read subscriptions so I don’t see those kind of things.

  12. One visit to the front page was enough for me! I am glad your report was taken seriously and Xanga closed that site. I’ve been thinking of making some changes on here.I am giving thought to cleaning out my subscription and subscriber’s list. Often the replying to comments left, the updates, the recommendations etc clutter my notifications so I miss many of the subscriptions I have always enjoyed so much.I enjoy the communication…the 2 way communication…and find it disturbing to repeatedly see footprints checking my site and never ever leaving a comment. So I am planning to make some changes. Xanga has been such a nice way to make friends and to communicate with like minded people I think we can keep it on a nice level.

  13. Mary Ann, I am glad that you followed thru and took care of that.  If we don’t stand for what is right, we will just have more and more of the filth.  Thanks!

  14. For anyone looking for a way to keep track of what is being visited on a computer, I highly recommend subscribing to Covenant Eyes. We have had it for years, even though we no longer have teenage boys in the house. I’d be glad to answer any questions anyone may have about it. I too am so sorry you had to see that stuff, Mary Anne, but thank you for doing something about it.

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