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goatse.cx

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goatse.cx
Type of site
Shock site
Available inEnglish
CommercialNo
RegistrationNone
Launched1999
Current statusDefunct (but has mirrors)

goatse.cx (/ˈɡtsi dɒt ˌs ˈɛks/ GOHT-see-dot-see-EKS, /ˈɡtˌsɛks/; "goat sex"), often spelled without the .cx top-level domain as Goatse, is an internet domain that originally housed an Internet shock site. Its front page featured a picture entitled hello.jpg, showing a close-up of a hunched-over naked man using both hands to stretch open his anus and expose his red rectum lit by the camera flash.

The photo became an Internet meme, and has been used in bait-and-switch pranks, prevention of hot-linking in a hostile manner, and defacement of websites, in order to provoke extreme reactions. Even though the image from the site was taken down in January 2004, mirror websites are widespread.

History[edit]

As a shock site (1999-2004)[edit]

The website's domain was originally registered in 1999. The earliest form of the site only consisted of two pages, both of which had images noted for their shock value:[1]

  • "the receiver", the main index page, titled "eh", contained hello.jpg.
  • "the giver", titled "woah", contained a manipulated photograph of a man reclining on a boat with a large penis reaching up to his chest, suggesting that the man in the first image is stretching his anus to accommodate the giant penis.

In June 2000, a Feedback page was added to the site, which contained various emails from readers, alongside an index page content disclaimer warning above. A link to a defunct website called biganal.com was added in August.[2] Later additions to the site by mid-2001 were links to other defunct websites such as dolphinsex.org and urinalpoop.org, and a subpage called "contrib", which consisted of a collection of homages and parodies of the images received from readers.[3]

The website was updated again in November 2002, adding a warning below the image about unofficial goatse.cx merchandise, with a reassurance that official merchandise would be made available.[4]

Domain suspension (2004-2007)[edit]

On January 14, 2004, the domain name goatse.cx was suspended[5] by Christmas Island Internet Administration due to Acceptable Use Policy violations in response to a complaint,[6] but many mirrors of the site are still available,[7] remaining on display on many other websites. A Christmas Island resident filed the complaint that resulted in the suspension of goatse.cx's domain name.[1]

Sale of domain name (2007-2010)[edit]

In January 2007, the Christmas Island Internet Administration put the domain goatse.cx back into the available domain pool. Following this, the domain began housing various typosquatting sites.[8][9]

The domain was subsequently registered on January 16 through domain registrar Variomedia,[10] and the registrant tried to auction the right to use the domain.[11]

An early attempt to offer the domain for sale by SEOBidding placed the reserve at $120, which was not met.[12]

The goatse.cx domain name was reportedly sold at an auction on April 30, 2007, to an unknown bidder. According to SEOBidding, the first auction ended with fake bids so the auction was reactivated.[13] This was again won by fake bidders, so in July SEOBidding announced that the website would be sold for $500,000 and that legal action would be pursued against the fake bidders.[14] In October, the website redirected to a Sedo holding page, stylized as a search engine.[15] On November 25, 2007, and continuing as of June 2010, the site was still for sale, listed as: "goatse.cx Asking: $50,200 minimum".

First relaunch (2008-2011)[edit]

On July 4, 2008, the website was relaunched and became home to a parody of the original site, with the hello.jpg image replaced with an image of Bill O'Reilly, although the file name and alt text remained the same as before, with red text above mentioning about the website still being for sale.[16] This image was later replaced in December with another showcasing a stylized representation of hello.jpg, which featured a pair of silver robotic hands 'stretching' a metallic, circular wall aperture in what appears to be a futuristic factory setting, with a photoshopped image of the character Gumby next to it. Above the image was a link to a site called imagechan.com.[17]

In April 2010, the site was updated after almost a year, containing an announcement for an emailing service called "Goatse Stinger 2.0" that was planned to go into beta on May 9, 2010. The website also added a Yahoo! mailing list, and a sketch with hands spreading wide a view onto a mailing envelope, parodying hello.jpg.[18] This was later revealed to be a planned email service at the site.[19] This was never updated beyond that point, and by June 2011, the "www." version of the website began redirecting to a web-hosting company's website.[20][21]

Second relaunch (2012-2017)[edit]

In October 2012, it was announced that the goatse.cx domain had been acquired by a new owner, who was advertising a forthcoming webmail service to give users access to goatse.cx email addresses.[22][23] The domain, at that time, redirected to signup.goatse.cx, which said the service would be "launching in early December 2012 for limited release".[24] By 2013, the website had launched an Indiegogo account for supplying the email addresses.[25]

In January 2014, the site announced that it was preparing to launch its own cryptocurrency, the "Goatse Coin". The website was later updated to reflect this.[26] By July, the website featured a YouTube video promoting Dogecoin.[27]

In December, the website announced that it would be offering subdomains.[28][29]

Use as cryptocurrency website (2017-2022, 2024-present)[edit]

In August 2017, the website became home to a crypto website different from the "Goatse Coin" incarnation, offering up a cryptocurrency titled the "Goatseum", activating as an ethereum site.[30] By October, the website announced plans for a meme cryptocurrency service, with the news section mentioning its past history of being an internet meme.[31]

On November 18, 2018, after a period of maintenance, the website became home to a page where advertisers could buy pixels for ethereum.[32][33][34]

In May 2022, the site's domain lapsed and began redirecting to a Sedo parked domain page, containing no content related to Goatse. A copy of the original site can be found at the goatse.info domain.

On March 31, 2024, the website was relaunched with text teasing a new project.[35] The following week, the site's Twitter page revealed this to be a new incarnation of the "Goatse Coin" cryptocurrency project from prior.[36] Afterwards, the site's domain began redirecting to a group on the messaging board website Telegram connected to the Goatse Coin project. Both pages utilize a pixelated version of hello.jpg as its profile image and cover photo.[37] Later on in the month, the site officially relaunched, describing its new crypto coin as being "The World's First Shock Token".[38]

Reception, parodies and subsequent usage[edit]

Because many Internet users have been tricked into viewing the site or a mirror of the site at one time or another,[39] it has become an Internet meme.[1] On November 24, 2000, the Goatse "giver" and "receiver" images were posted to the official online Oprah Winfrey Message Boards in the Soul Stories board. Trystan T. Cotten and Kimberly Springer, authors of Stories of Oprah: the Oprahfication of American Culture, said that this "seemingly considerable male intrusion drove many of the women elsewhere, and the board was retired shortly afterwards".[40] Slashdot altered its threaded discussion forum display software because "users made a sport out of tricking unsuspecting readers into visiting [goatse.cx]".[41] The Los Angeles Times Wikitorial was introduced on June 17, 2005, to be a publicly accessible method of directly responding to the paper's editorials; Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales had consulted on the project, and on its first day contributed a "forking" of the page to accommodate opposing opinions.[42] Prior to the feature's introduction, L.A. Times editorial and opinion editor Michael Kinsley stated that "Wikitorials may be one of those things that within six months will be standard. It's the ultimate in reader participation".[43] The wiki was closed two days later on June 19, 2005, because, The Guardian reported, "explicit images known as Goatses appeared on [it]".[42]

The practice of using goatse.cx as a "fake" link to shock friends became popular, according to ROFLcon organizer Tim Hwang in an interview on NPR, because

it's ... the spectacle of the thing, right? You really want to be there when the person is seeing it. To the extent that there's all these sites online of sort of people taking pictures of their friends and showing them Goatse... [In photos online,] It's like thousands and thousands of people looking really shocked or disgusted. It's really great.[44]

The goatse.cx image has been used by website authors to discourage other sites from hot-linking to them. By replacing the hot-linked image with an embarrassing image when hot-linking has been discovered, an unsubtle message is sent to the offending website's operators, visible to all who view the web page in question.[45] In 2007, Wired.com hot-linked to another site in an article about the "sexiest geeks of 2007"; the site subsequently swapped the hot-linked image with one from goatse.cx.[46]

Following Hurricane Charley in August 2004, a photograph purporting to show "the hands of God" in the cloud formations in the aftermath of the disaster circulated via email. The image was eventually proven to be a parody, the clouds having been photo-manipulated to include hands, as in the hello.jpg image.[47]

In his book The Long Tail (2008), Chris Anderson wrote that goatse.cx is well-known only to a relatively small Internet-using "subcultural tribe" who reference it as a "shared context joke" or "secret membership code". Anderson cited a photo accompanying an "otherwise innocuous article" about Google in the June 2, 2005 The New York Times, in which Anil Dash wore a T-shirt emblazoned with stylized hands stretching out the word "Goatse".[48][49][50]

In June 2007, a proposed sketch of the 2012 Summer Olympics logo appeared on the BBC News 24 broadcast and website[51][52][53] as one of the 12 best viewer-submitted alternatives to the official logo. In it, two hands stretched the "0" wide in "2012", as the submitter wrote, "to reveal the Olympics".[51] The sketch was later shown as part of a gallery of viewers logos on BBC London News and BBC News 24, and was subsequently removed from the website. The editor of the BBC News website acknowledged the mistake in his blog, saying his team "simply didn't spot it".[54]

In June 2010, a group of computer experts known as Goatse Security exposed a flaw in AT&T's security which allowed the e-mail addresses of iPad users to be revealed.[55] Andrew Auernheimer (alias weev), a member of the group, was interviewed by the media and discussed the group's name, among other things.[56] The group uses a stylized cartoon of the cropped goatse.cx image as their logo and has the motto "Gaping Holes Exposed".[57]

The Register reported that Scottish TV News, while reporting on a hacking incident, unintentionally broadcast a link to Goatse images while showing the LulzSec Twitter feed on the victim site, which read, "For anyone that doesn't know what goatse is, check it out here, it's really eye-opening: [link]".[58]

In May 2015, pranksters displayed Goatse on a digital billboard in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia.[59]

Pranksters signed the PGP keys of Facebook and Adrian Lamo with ASCII art of Goatse.[60]

In 2022, several mods for the game Garry's Mod were noted to have been altered to cause "pornographic jumpscares" of the Goatse image.[61] An article from PC Gamer described the image as "really upsetting" and noted the prominence of the mod in the game's community leading to many being affected.[61]

In September 2022, news media reported multiple incidents across the US of users of the elementary school interactive app Seesaw having their accounts compromised in order to post links to the image in parent-teacher chatrooms. Seesaw later removed the images and stated that the breach had only affected the accounts of individual users with insecure credentials.[62][63]

U.S. jurisprudence[edit]

On September 20, 2013, the United States Department of Justice filed a response brief[64] in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in United States v. Auernheimer, an appeal in a criminal case from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, which involved the access of AT&T customers' email addresses by Goatse Security.[65] The brief explains on page three that "The firm's name is a reference to a notoriously obscene internet shock site" and includes a footnote which reads "For a more graphic description, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatse."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kirkpatrick, Stewart (June 9, 2004). "Lazy Guide to Net Culture: NSFW". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2010. Links to complaint.
  2. ^ "The Receiver" goatse.cx 2000. Archived from the original Archived October 12, 1999, at the Wayback Machine December 2, 2000.
  3. ^ "The Receiver" goatse.cx 2004. Archived from the original January 9, 2004.
  4. ^ "The Receiver" goatse.cx 1999. Archived from the original Archived May 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine October 12, 1999.
  5. ^ Miller, Garth (January 12, 2004). "Notice Regarding AUP Complaint Version 1.1 (redacted)" (PDF). Christmas Island Internet Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2004.
  6. ^ .cx – Christmas Island (.cx ccTLD) Acceptable Use Policy Archived May 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Council of Country Code Administrators. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  7. ^ "goatse.cx 2003". Archived from the original on June 23, 2003. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20070226025015/http://goatse.cx/
  9. ^ "goatse I need free trimspa please i dont have money". March 24, 2007. Archived from the original on March 24, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  10. ^ Variomedia AG – Domain-Registrierung, Webhosting, Reseller Archived December 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Official website. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  11. ^ Portail d'informations Ce site est en vente! Archived December 2, 2000, at the Wayback Machine (in French) (Site content no longer present.)
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  13. ^ Brownlee, John (April 24, 2007). "goatse.cx Now For Sale!". blogs.wired.com. Condé Nast Digital. Archived from the original on April 27, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  14. ^ "SEOBidding goatse.cx Auction Listing". Archived from the original on July 13, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Goatse.cx - the Best goatse Resources and Information". Archived from the original on October 2, 2007.
  16. ^ "Goatse.cx - Goatse". Archived from the original on October 1, 2008.
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  19. ^ "Goatse.cx (2010 May 25)". Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
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  21. ^ "Redirect". goatse.cx. webfaction.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  22. ^ "Goatse Mail". Archived from the original on October 21, 2012.
  23. ^ Lee Hutchinson (November 19, 2012). "How goatse.cx went from shock site to webmail service". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  24. ^ "Signup.goatse.cx". Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
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  26. ^ "Goatse Keeps Trying to Make Money With Cryptocurrency". www.vice.com. February 7, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  27. ^ "Goatse.cx - Goatse". Archived from the original on July 29, 2014.
  28. ^ "Goatse Apps - Goatse.cx is offering subdomains on Goatse.cx! You can do virtually anything you want with Goatse Subdomain, just like a normal domain! Host your webpage, blog, resume or irc server! Users can easily choose which IP they want to point the subdomain towards! Example: YourSite.Goatse.cxLaunching soon, signup below to be notified first!". Archived from the original on December 25, 2014.
  29. ^ "Goatse Apps - Goatse.cx is offering subdomains on Goatse.cx! You can do virtually anything you want with Goatse Subdomain, just like a normal domain! Host your webpage, blog, resume or irc server! Users can easily choose which IP they want to point the subdomain towards! Example: YourSite.Goatse.cxLaunching soon, signup below to be notified first!". goatse.cx. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  30. ^ "Goatse Cryptocurrency - Open, Decentralised and Fast". Archived from the original on August 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "Goatse: Meme creation in the blockchain". Archived from the original on October 4, 2017.
  32. ^ "The Thousand Ether Goatse · Own a piece of internet history!". Archived from the original on November 18, 2018.
  33. ^ "Goatse in the Blockchain · Own a piece of internet history!". goatse.cx. Archived from the original on March 2, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  34. ^ "Goatse in the Blockchain · Own a piece of internet history!". goatse.cx. Archived from the original on January 4, 2022. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  35. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20240405210442/http://goatse.cx/
  36. ^ https://twitter.com/GoatseDotCx/status/1777076036070445118
  37. ^ "Goatse's Crypto Project".
  38. ^ https://goatse.cx/
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  40. ^ Cotten, Trystan T.; Springer, Kimberly (2009). Stories of Oprah: the Oprahfication of American culture. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 59–60, 63. ISBN 978-1-60473-407-2. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
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  43. ^ Shepard, Alicia (June 13, 2005). "Upheaval on Los Angeles Times Editorial Pages". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
  44. ^ Hwang, Tim (April 1, 2008). "Rick-Rolling: An Action Primer for the Uninitiated". The Bryant Park Project, NPR (Interview: Transcript). Interviewed by Alison Stewart. New York, New York. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
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  46. ^ Arrington, Michael (July 9, 2008). "One Step Backward: Playboy Asks Which Female Blogger You'd Like To See Sans Clothing". TechCrunch.com. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2010 – via The Washington Post.
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  50. ^ As of 10 September 2010 the NYT archives index the article by keyword "goatse" Archived March 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
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  52. ^ "Goatse on BBC". CollegeHumor. June 6, 2007. Event occurs at 1:01. Archived from the original (Video) on May 5, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2009. (requires Flash; archive URL may or may not work)
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  54. ^ Herrmann, Steve (June 5, 2007). "Shock tactics". BBC blogs. BBC. Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
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  56. ^ Mills, Elinor (June 10, 2010). "Hacker defends going public with AT&T's iPad data breach (Q&A)". CNET News. Archived from the original on July 28, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  57. ^ Goatse Security website Archived June 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Home page logo. June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  58. ^ Oates, John (July 29, 2011). "Scottish telly news pumps goatse link – Och aye the NOOO" Archived August 10, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. The Register.
  59. ^ Sankin, Aaron. "Goatse billboard hack horrifies drivers in Atlanta" (Archive). The Daily Dot. May 16, 2015. Retrieved on June 3, 2015.
  60. ^ "Great, Someone Managed to Sign Facebook's PGP Key with an ASCII Goatse" (Archive). Vice. June 2, 2015. Retrieved on June 5, 2015.
  61. ^ a b |Litchfield, Ted (June 4, 2022). "PSA: Popular Garry's Mod add-ons were altered to include pornographic jump scares". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  62. ^ Koebler, Jason; Cox, Joseph. "Here's the Goatse Image Hackers Sent on the Seesaw Parent-Teacher Messaging App at Schools Around the Country". www.vice.com. Vice. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  63. ^ "US school app accounts hacked to send explicit image". BBC News. BBC. BBC. September 15, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  64. ^ Response Brief for US v Auernheimer [1] Archived July 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine [2] Archived June 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine retrieved on 30 September
  65. ^ Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) review of US v Auernheimer [3] Archived July 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine retrieved on 30 September

External links[edit]