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A shock site is a website that is intended to be offensive or disturbing to its viewers. They contain material of high shock value, generally of a pornographic, scatological, graphically violent, insulting, vulgar, profane, or otherwise provocative nature. Some shock sites display a single picture, animation, video clip or small gallery, and are circulated via email or disguised in posts to discussion sites as a prank. Steven Jones distinguishes these sites from those that collect galleries of shocking content, such as Rotten.com, as the gallery sites must be searched for content.
Some shock sites have also gained their own subcultures and have become internet memes on their own. Goatse.cx featured a page devoted to fan-submitted artwork and tributes to the site's hello.jpg, and a parody of the image was unwittingly shown by a BBC newscast as an alternative for the then-recently unveiled logo for the 2012 Summer Olympics. A 2007 shock video known as 2 Girls 1 Cup also quickly became an Internet phenomenon, with videos of reactions, homages, and parodies widely posted on video sharing sites such as YouTube.
BestGore is notorious for its extremely graphic content, such as photos and videos of murders, suicides and violent accidents. It is currently the most visited shock website in the world, with an estimated 15–20 million monthly visits. In July 2013, the website's creator, Slovakian-Canadian Mark Marek, was charged with one count of "corrupting morals", related to his posting of the video of the murder of Lin Jun on his website. He pleaded guilty and was given a six-month conditional sentence.
Goatse was one of the best-known shock sites, featuring an image of a man stretching his anus with his hands. The site featured a page devoted to fan-submitted artwork and tributes to the site, and a parody of the image was also shown by a BBC newscast as an alternative for the then recently unveiled logo for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Meatspin is a shock site containing a looping video (set to "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)") of a man and a trans woman engaged in sexual activity while the receiving partner's penis spins endlessly. A counter keeps track of how many "spins" the viewer has watched. In 2013, a student at Florida State University hacked the wireless network of his campus and redirected all traffic to Meatspin. In 2015 consternation followed when a family restaurant played the website in front of some young children. In 2016 the website was played on a public digital billboard in Sweden, resulting in international media attention.
Lemonparty.org is a shock site that contains an image of three elderly naked men in a bed kissing and having oral sex. The song "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul formerly played in the background. The image has been mentioned on some television shows, such as in a sketch on Talkshow with Spike Feresten, and dialogue on Archer, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, American Dad! and 30 Rock. 30 Rock made at least three allusions to a "Lemon party", including when Liz Lemon's father, Dick Lemon, says, "It wouldn't be a Lemon party without old Dick!" The website has also been described by Jimmy Fallon on the Opie and Anthony radio show, on Chelsea Handler's TV show Chelsea Lately, Michael J. Nelson from RiffTrax.com during the RiffTrax for Avatar, by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and American Dad!, by Michael Cera and Jonah Hill during promotion for the film SuperBad.
- 2 Girls 1 Cup
- Internet pornography
- Internet privacy
- Internet troll
- List of Internet phenomena
- Moral panic
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- – Jason Chen (2007-02-01). "Fujitsu Sells Waterproof Phone With Tub Girl". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
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It's not a Lemon party without old Dick!
- Sepinwall, Alan (October 5, 2012). "Season première review: '30 Rock' – 'The Beginning of the End': Tank it!". HitFix. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
...because there's nothing worse than a surprise Lemon party
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- "American Dad Season 8 Episode 2 Killer Vacation (3) #240300". TV equals. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
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- Schroeder, Audra (2014-10-26). "The Legacy of Rotten.com". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
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- Reynolds, Daniel (August 2009). "Esthetics of the Extreme in Shock Websites". Applied Semiotics (23) – via Questia Online Library. (Subscription required (help)).