opinion

Porn at Work

Stephen Yagielowicz
One of the excuses that I often hear as to why adult webmasters refuse to label their websites is because “employers will block it – and a lot of my traffic comes during business hours!”

Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but the purpose of labeling is to prevent your site from being viewed by people who are unauthorized (or unwilling) to do so – and that includes not only minors, but also those that do not wish to view adult material, as well as those who are supposed to be working instead…

While we all “get” the minors bit, as well as the “folks who don’t want to see porn” bit, sadly, most webmasters don’t seemed to be very concerned that a visitor to their site could lose their job – and ability to support their family, let alone join your website – simply because they were not working when they were supposed to be.

“That’s not my problem” may be a typical response, but yeah, it is. While I’m not going to get into a discussion of porn addiction, compulsive behaviors or the whole “protecting people from themselves” philosophy espoused by democrats, I will say that by not helping employers block adult material from their networks, you are contributing to the type of problem that makes a great anti-porn headline and that fuels Congressional “calls to action.”

With news today of legislation that would fine California state workers $1,000 for viewing porn at work, this issue has once again come to the forefront. I know you’re hungry for a few extra sales, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of someone’s livelihood – and beyond this, while I have no doubt that much of your traffic comes during working hours, I doubt that the same could be said of your sales. I know that if I was working in an office environment where I had to quickly shut down my browser if the boss came by, I wouldn’t be doing something as time-sensitive as entering my credit card info into a porn site.

The upshot is that while I have no doubt that much traffic is generated during business hours; I tend to believe that it is mainly freeloaders; though doubtless some may find your site during the day then return at home and join then. Regardless of any of this, however, refusing to label your site because it will help employers rightfully secure their networks makes you part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

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