Steaming Coffee from MetaCafe
Dateline November 3, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
By Francis Benetti, for the
West Coast Midnight Run
We’re not exactly sure when it happened, how come or why but as of this morning we noticed that Palo Alto-based MetaCafe started posting adult, no-holds-barred video clips with sex scenes from American-made, as well as foreign, films and porn shops.
Please allow us to emphasize. MetaCafe did not create this trend.
The trend is not startling in itself. Any person that has done sufficient web browsing has noticed the level of saturation of nudity and porn content. This trend has been with us almost from day one when the entire world wide web was booted into operation.
What is startling is that the level of nudity is in the form of easily accessible videos, albeit labeled 18+ Category. However at MetaCafe there is not a single roadblock in sight for minors who can easily pick any of a dozen highly explicit sex scenes and enjoy them any time and any where.
As an adult single, I personally do not take offense from adult websites and porn on the web – under certain constraints and limits. However I am in my 40s and although my exposure to mature content on the web has been since my late 20s, I was well beyond the age of consent and well beyond having had a consensual relationship with the opposite sex.
In 1977, Oak Industries, Norman Lear's Chartwell Enterprises and Jerry Perenchio blazed new frontiers when they launched ON-TV(1), a premium cable movie channel which helped breach the path from the local liquor store and adult bookstore and the lesser known adult movie theaters into the living rooms of America. Soon thereafter, circa 1982, Playboy followed suit and initiated highly specialized adult fare on their own premium channels.
At the time this was happening, the internet infrastructure was still being developed. No sooner had the world wide web been kicked onto the circuit in 1991 (2) that soft and eventually hardcore pornography followed.
The years tumbled and soon specialized adult entertainment events emerged creating connotations for locales such as Palm Springs, New Orleans and many well known spots on the Florida Coast with the Girls Gone Wild phenomenon. Thinly disguised adult fare such as beach parties and spring breaks became the modus operandi for legitimizing soft-core and hardcore adult entertainment.
Since then we have had many so-called dating sites that offered “real” adults posting photos of themselves in the buff, videos of singles and couples in the nude or engaging in all kind of sexual activities. Never mind that many of these sites offered thinly disguised venues for porn companies, sites which for the most part boasted fake profiles created by the company running the site simply as means of renting porn content. Never mind that mind that Netflix offers the consumer the option of downloading films in complete and total privacy of your home.
Never mind that space on the internet such as MSN Myspace is awash with internet porn, many of which were only a few years ago simply photo stills. The trend has moved to video clips. Highly popular sites such as Flickr, advertised for lovers of photos and photography and billed as the “best online photo sharing and management application in the world” quickly became awash with adult space including photos and videos from individuals and communities into the “alternative” lifestyles, from gay and lesbian sex, to kink, fetish and the “swinging” lifestyle: Couples exchanging their mates and sharing with other couples and/or singles.
Yet despite all of these “sexual evolutions” over the past few years, most of these developments had been spreading over the internet with an ever weakening system of controls. Many of the dating sites mentioned use regulated access and interested internet surfers must have a credit card that verifies your age or you have to purchase your subscription. Many of the freely available adult communities at MSN and the now defunct Yahoo Groups observe a number of protocols and the website content itself is under “lock and key”. On some sites, you need a password and have to be either invited or have to petition to join.
However, with Flickr, it has become ever easier to access these groups and content. In becoming a member of the Flickr adult scene, the web surfer does not need any kind of verification, the individual (or minor in this hypothetical case) can simply create a (profile) file and list their age being over 21 then search the groups using adult keywords and request an invite. That is all there is. If you can wait a few hours you are admitted. With Flickr you need to register as a member.
But now MetaCafe has managed to open the nightclub scene to anyone and everyone. The adult sex clips referenced here can be accessed by anyone, without going through the motions of becoming a member of this site. All an internet browser need do is simply type the MetaCafe address in their browser and then select the 18+ Category, once at the welcome page. There is a token “family filter” which is a button that the web surfer clicks consenting that they are older than 18. But that is it. The web surfer is not required to register as a member.
Click and Presto!!!! They are offered a smorgasbord of explicit sex videos regardless of whether you are 90 or a seven year old.
As mentioned earlier, MetaCafe is not responsible for this trend. They have only pushed the bar a tiny increment lower. But that is all takes. A few subtle moves every now and then.
And how long will it take before another company or organization takes the baton and pushes the bar even lower?
It may not be long before the standard for acceptable nudity and sexual content display is well below the lowest common denominator and… well… deep into the dirt.
All we can do for now is ask ourselves, “What’s next America?” As publishers no one would understand our yearning to be the leader in freedom and in setting the curve for open mindedness and tolerance but have we for once stepped over an almost non-existing threshold? It is so easy rolling back the clock with Daylight Savings. Can we ever roll back the clock in this department? Will we soon be raising our children for having sex before they reach puberty? Will adults in a decade from now be engaging in sex with pubescent children? nbsp;Will adults continue to encroach on youth in our obsession with youthful appearances and the next sexual “high”?
With adult entertainment on the internet, the answer does not lie with our leaders but with each and every member of communities and towns, large and small, across the face of the global vill.
Copyrighted 2008 Citadel Consulting Group LLC for the West Coast Midnight Run. All rights reserved