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Digital Freedom and Privacy

What Are You Searching For?

Porn-wise, natch, not “where’s the best doughnut shop?” or “what the hell is Instagram really FOR??”

Some of the answers surprised even me, a long-time curator of a fairly wide variety of porny GIFs (there are now well over 4,000 GIFs stashed all around the site.) I will admit, though, that most of the content here is probably pretty mainstream – in part because I’m not interested in getting prosecuted for a hobby.

The internet knows, because of course, what you all are searching for, and not just on Pornhub (that’s material for another pretty humorous post….)

This came to my attention through an article in The Atlantic, discussing and laying out an interview by article author Olga Khazan with book author, and former Google data scientist, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. The article, Our Searches, Ourselves is a good read in general, and the book, Everybody Lies,is at the top of my to-get list.

Khazan writes:

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former data scientist at Google, used his data-analysis skills to learn what was really on Americans’ minds. The result … shows how the terms and questions people type into search engines don’t at all match what they claim on surveys.

“So for example,” he told me recently, “there have historically been more searches for porn than for weather.” But just 25 percent of men and 8 percent of women will admit to survey researchers that they watch porn.

So, what are some of the findings that struck me? Let’s take rough sex, which is politically incorrect these days for sure.

gif of blonde gasping as she is roughly fucking from behind

Continue reading →

Your Devices Are Whispering – and you can’t hear them

Occasionally, VERY occasionally, I visit the subject of digital freedom and privacy, a topic of interest to we enjoyers of internet carnality.

Today’s post explores the latest variation of tracking – how “they” watch and use our habits and visits and clicks from our email and web site views, and build databases and profiles of us to sell us their stuff.

I wrote before about Locally Shared Objects, (LSOs), also known colloquially as “flash cookies” or “supercookies,” which can remain on a computer even if a user tells his or her browser to delete all
cookies. More on that HERE . And that’s not just on desktops; just for one example, did you know that Verizon’s supercookies (also known as zombiecookies) – a snippet of code injected into mobile users’ web requests — silently identify and track its customers, sharing the information with AOL’s wide-reaching ad network? Continue reading →

Is Facebook Your Pimp?

Unless you choose to do something about it, Facebook is both your peeper and your pimper.

gif of peeping tom watching someone through a peephole

You must know by now that although Facebook is free to use, you – and everything about you, your data – are the product. The pimp bargain is you give yourself to Facebook and Facebook sells you to other people, advertisers in one form or another.

The peeping bargain, which most people forget, is that when they download or sign up for an app or website using their Facebook login, they’re giving those companies a direct look into their Facebook profiles and lots of their personal data. That will usually include not just your email address and phone number, but frequently your current location and much more. And its a permanent peep – more like an always-on webcam than a locker room peephole.

If you’re cool with being pimped out and peeped at in exchange for what you get from Facebook, then its all good. If not, if silly you has some concern about your privacy, you can do two things:

  1. Opt out of being pimped by the ad tracking;
  2. Control who is looking at your naked data: look up the list of app companies that are logged in to your Facebook account and delete them or edit what part of your nakedness they are allowed to see.

Pop the pimp first.

cartoon image of woman slapping man in suit

You can comfort yourself a little bit with the knowledge that the ads being targeted at you are coming anonymously and in bulk, at everyone who is in some way similar to you. They aren’t literally being targeted at you individually, even if it feels that way. If you really don’t like them, you can opt-out of most of them by following the instructions here and here.

If you want to go even further, by limiting the ad cookies that advertisers use to track Facebook users across the rest of the web, follow these instructions here and read this backgrounder here.

Now you are a woman of mystery (the majority of Facebook users are female in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.).

gif of smoke curling out of the lips of a mysterious beautiful woman with her eyes in shadow

Now for the apps. That requires a bit more digging.

Here is the summary of where you need to go in Facebook’s settings to see which apps are plugged in to your account: Settings > Apps > Apps you use > Show All Apps > Edit/delete. A more detailed set of instructions follows:

First go to the settings button on your Facebook page.

Facebook settingsFacebook

Scroll down and click “Settings.”

Facebook settingsFacebook

Inside the settings menu, click on Apps.

Facebook settingsFacebook

This looks like a list of apps that are signed into your account. But pay close attention to the “show all” option at the bottom of the list …

Facebook settingsFacebook

Voila! The list of apps tracking this user is so long you have to make this super zoomed-out view to see them all:

Facebook settingsFacebook

On each app, there is an Edit function and a delete “x” mark. Let’s look at what QuizUp, the hot new trivia mobile game app, knows about this user.

Facebook settingsSettings

QuizUp knows his email, birthday, and current location. Because it’s a mobile app on his phone, it also knows his phone number. But that’s not all …

Facebook settingsFacebook

Click this little “?” symbol on “basic info” and it turns out that QuizUp is getting a bunch more info about him, too, including a list of all his friends and his profile picture!

Facebook settingsFacebook

You can control this information by clicking on the “x” symbol to delete the app’s access to your Facebook account. That might mean the app won’t work, however.

Review each app to either edit its permissions or delete its access to you on Facebook entirely. It’s a bit time-consuming — but otherwise you’re just giving these people a permanent free peephole to watch and record your naked data.


[Article adapted, and enhanced with visuals, by me for my carnal audience, from the original authored by Jim Edwards, at – :]

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Bot Attack

I have been laying low for several days here. The site began suffering a distributed bot network attack in the middle of the week.

My site hosting service, Hostgator, immediately undertook protective measures to block the attack, but the extent of those protections made it even difficult for me to do much in the backend of the site: thus no posts.

The attack is now over and the Borg and its bots have moved on to another target.

Thanks for your patience and the regular irregular posts will now resume!


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How to Back Up Your Tumblr Adult Blog and Save It From Yahoo Oblivion

Few know better than I that sinking feeling of popping open the computer one morning and finding you’ve been erased – Blogger/Google did that to me almost three years ago now, and my Blogger blog was simply shut down, no warning, no appeal, never to be seen again. All images uploaded (I had over 700) simply vanished and could be be found or rescued. They killed my entire Google account including my gmail address. And all, I believe, because “someone” complained.

The same thing happened to Garm, who was, and still is but not on Blogger, marvelously creative at image reworking and manipulation. I warned him when it happened to me, to no avail. Happily I archived a number of his images which are scattered through the collections on the pages under Galleries up top, and I featured his work in three of the DJs of Porn posts (first, second, and third).

So. What about this Tumblr dustup?

Now Yahoo has bought Tumblr, and for some weeks before the deal was announced, Tumblr had been making the Tumblr porn blogs invisible to search engines, especially Google, by the way it handled the robots.txt file. Sex blogger Bacchus at ErosBlog (not on Tumblr :)) who has been blogging on sex since 2002, has documented this and come up with detailed instructions and a rationale for you all out there in carnal land to back up your porn Tumblr blogs and save them from possible no warning doom. Here is his post reblogged in full, and props to him for taking the time, energy and interest to offer this solution: Continue reading →