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.
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:
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?