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A shock site is a website that is intended to be offensive, disgusting, or disturbing to its viewers. They contain material of high shock value that is considered distasteful and crude; the content is generally of a pornographic, scatological, graphically violent, insulting, painful, profane, or otherwise provocative in nature. Some shock sites display a single picture, animation, video clip or a small gallery, and are often passed around 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 actively 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.com is famous for its extremely graphic content such as murders, suicides and violent accidents in the form of photos and videos. 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 was released on bail and is currently awaiting trial.
Goatse.cx 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.
Lemonparty.org 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 plays 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 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.
- Herrmann, Steve. "Shock tactics." BBC. June 5, 2007. Retrieved on February 23, 2009.
- – Jason Chen (2007-02-01). "Fujitsu Sells Waterproof Phone With Tub Girl". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Jones, Steven (2010). "Horrorporn/Pornhorror". In Attwood, Feona. Porn.com: Making Sense of Online Pornography. Peter Lang. p. 124. ISBN 9781433102073.
- Kirkpatrick, Stewart (2004-06-09). "Lazy Guide to Net Culture: NSFW". The Scotsman (Edinburgh).
- 11/20/07. ""Best Week Ever: Full Act 4" | Show Clip". VH1.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Edmonton gore site owner charged in Magnotta video investigation released on bail". Global News. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- "The Hands of God". Snopes.com. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Kumar, Pawan (2008-11-11). "Goatse.cx; Distended?". Yaziyo News.
- Johnson, Robert ‘Bobbie’ (June 8, 2007). "B3ta hacks the BBC with Olympic goatse". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- "goatse.ru". Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- Hutchinson, Lee (2012-11-19). "How goatse.cx went from shock site to webmail service". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
- "Lemon party". Best week ever TV. Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "The Simpsons – Lemonparty.org reference". YouTube. 2011-01-17. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Liz Lemon Party". CollegeHumor. December 14, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
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
- "It isn't a Lemon Party without old Dick". YouTube. Google. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Opie & Anthony – Jimmy Fallon Lemon Party". YouTube. Google. 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Chelsea Handler talks about Lemonparty.org". YouTube. Google. 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Avatar". RiffTrax. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "American Dad Season 8 Episode 2 Killer Vacation (3) #240300". TV equals. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Superbad Stars Plug Lemonparty.org". YouTube. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Wilson, Jeremy (2013-09-20). "The vilest sites on the internet". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
- Chen, Adrian (2013-04-16). "Goatse and the Rise of the Web’s Gross-Out Culture". Wired.com. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
- Anderson, Lessley (2012-06-13). "Snuff: Murder and torture on the internet, and the people who watch it". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
- Schroeder, Audra (2014-10-26). "The Legacy of Rotten.com". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
- Dewey, Caitlin (2014-10-28). "When botched surgeries and suicides go viral: The revolting rise of ‘medical gore’". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-11-02.
- Reynolds, Daniel (August 2009). "Esthetics of the Extreme in Shock Websites". Applied Semiotics (23) – via Questia Online Library. (subscription required (. ))