Folks of my Internet generation, those who came online in the mid 1990s, have rose-tinted memories of early web “shock sites”—sites with unassuming URLs containing horrible, awful pictures of horrible, awful things. As the moniker implies, stumbling onto one (or being tricked into viewing one by friends) usually resulted in a dropped jaw and maybe an overwhelming wave of revulsion, followed almost immediately by the urge to show it to someone else to watch their reaction. The great grandaddy of all shock sites is the infamous goatse.cx, which featured an unspeakably awful image which I admit setting as the wallpaper on friends’ computers to more than once (BJ, if you’re reading, I’m sorry, but it was hilarious every time).

The shock site has been offline for a number of years now, primarily due to a dispute with the Christmas Island Internet Administration over misuse of the .cx TLD country code, but recently the goatse.cx URL began displaying something a lot more pleasant than the original picture.

Goatse goes webmail

Ars spoke with the webmaster behind the reborn Goatse.cx site, whom we’ll call “Bob.” Bob has asked, understandably, that we not use his name in this story—although the webmail service won’t have anything to do with the shock content of the original site, the personal and professional implications of having one’s name associated with “goatse.cx” could be significant.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/aQvXmv-nDkI/

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