Tech

Hardcore porn appears on news sites, including the Washington Post, after Vidme domain purchase

Facepalm: Looking through respectable websites such as The Washington Post, New York Magazine, and the Huffington Post, one wouldn’t expect to see embedded videos with titles such as “Why Don’t We Tag Team Your GF?” Surprisingly, that’s exactly what shocked visitors were faced with, the result of a porn company buying the expired domain of a defunct video hosting site.

Twitter user @dox_gay (via Motherboard) spotted the hardcore filth popping up between stories about Martin Shkreli, Donald Trump, and more. Sites across the internet, including The Verge, Mashable, and Uproxx, were suddenly showing the likes of “Marsha and Megan Make a Mean Team,” which isn’t an uplifting tale about two women who create a successful startup.

The problems stemmed from an adult entertainment company called 5 Star Porn HD and its acquisition of a domain for video hosting site Vidme. After launching in 2014 as a combination of YouTube and Reddit, Vidme shuttered in 2017 before being acquired by Giphy. Vidme’s Twitter account is still up, though it hasn’t posted anything since 2017, and its domain recently expired.

Seemingly as a result of the acquisition, all articles that feature Vidme embeds redirected to the 5 Star Porn HD homepage, as does the vid.me site—you may not want to confirm the latter while at work. This could have all been a marketing stunt by the company, of course.

Most major sites have now cleaned up the embeds, but with some of the articles several years old, you might be unlucky enough—or lucky, depending on your point of view—to run across some accidental porn yourself.



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