Oh my privates!

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POSTED: September 12, 2006

Recently, a blogger named Simon Owens ran a social experiment on Craigslist. He wandered into the “Casual Encounters” section of the personal ads where countless men and women were soliticing for no-strings-attached sex and wondered, Is it really that easy? As a test, he composed several ads with different permutations of assumed identity and sexual orientation: straight/bi men/women looking for the opposite/same sex.

The above paragraph is quoted from Waxy.org which goes onto describe how he was overwhelmed with replies, which he later tallied online. He also wondered/worried about how easy it would be for someone less scrupulous to use the tactics he used to ruin a lot of people’s lives.

To nobody’s surprise, somebody called Jason Fortuny has now done exactly that. He did more or less the same experiment, posing as a submissive woman looking for dominant men. He says that he got “178 responses, with 145 photos of men in various states of undress. Responses include full e-mail addresses (both personal and business addresses), names, and in some cases IM screen names and telephone numbers.”

Unlike the first experimenter, Fortuny then posted everything, including the names, addresses, photographs, email addresses and phone numbers online. Needless to say, a lot of shit began hitting a lot of fans, and apparently it still is.

The online discussion has been interestingly split between those arguing that exposing the men in this way, for doing nothing illegal, is disgusting, and those arguing that people stupid enough to send a nude photo of themselves along with their real name and work email address deserve all they get. And a minority pointing out that the presumed aims of the men in replying in the words they did removes them from any claims of sympathy.

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that in a world where Jackass is regarded as entertainment for adults, we can be fairly certain that if something is possible then somebody somewhere will do it, and think through the consequences later, if at all.

Jason Fortuny is now apparently busy removing his own name and contact details from as many places as he can on the web. He can’t remove them from the internet archive though.

Oh dear me (not).