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Porn safer than religion

A study by antivirus giant Symantec reports that if your anti-malware protection isn’t quite up to snuff, you’re probably safer sticking to porn sites and avoiding those that serve up Bible studies and other ideological exhortations.

Websites with religious or ideological themes were found to have triple the average number of “threats” that those featuring adult content, according to Symantec.

The study reports that porn sites ranked 10th overall in the survey of sites most compromised by malware, and speculates that the purveyors of porn are keeping their shops cleaner in order to avoid discouraging repeat business.

The article doesn’t say what specific sites were the worst offenders, but I’m going to guess that we’re talking about amateur evangelistic and apologetics web sites like the one put up by our old friend Mighty Timbo. There’s a ton of peer pressure in evangelical circles to get out there and spread the gospel, and a simple web site is both less work and less uncomfortable face-to-face interaction, so a lot of believers are creating a page or two just to soothe their conscience and restore some street cred with their fellow believers.

The big business Christian web sites are probably as clean as the porn shops, and for much the same reasons.

Comments

  1. cswella says

    Forget the internet, that’s true in general as well. I’d rather everyone got together and watched a porno, rather than kill each other over religious ideas.

  2. Steve says

    No surprise given that porn sites have a lot more customers than religious ones. They’d have to be screened better. Especially pay sites.

  3. Larry Clapp says

    > The big business Christian web sites are probably as clean as the porn shops, and for much the same reasons.

    This cracks me up.

  4. thebookofdave says

    Keyboard ministers really have no incentive to clean up their web sites. Removing computer viruses isn’t going to have any effect on the mind virus they host.

  5. left0ver1under says

    Were the viruses really placed on religious sites by hackers (i.e. the religous were technically inept making it possible)?

    Or did the religious site owners deliberately put the viruses on their own site for profit (see: “Left Behind” spyware)?

    Given that the religious are anti-learning, anti-education and anti-science, I’d suspect the former. But don’t exclude the latter as a possibility.

  6. julial says

    Here’s more speculation on why porn is cleaner than religion:

    The fraudsters rationally concentrate their efforts there.
    They realize that the population of potential victims at religious sites is pre-qualified as more gullible. So they preferentially focus their activities there with expectation of higher response and therefore higher profit.

  7. Ryan Jean says

    I’ve often said that, contrary to many atheists’ assertions, religion isn’t so much a virus as it is a vector. The more fundamental abandonment of critical and scientific thinking skills for the mystery and hollow promises of magic and superstition is the real virus, and religion simply provides the opportunity for infection by bundling up those with more human needs like fellowship and us-vs-them dynamics. I guess that calling it a vector turns out to be accurate in more ways than one…

  8. Piscador says

    Here’s another explanation.

    Fundies and conservatives as a group aren’t among the must technologically literate people. Unless they have a knowledgeable IT expert looking after their sites, it’s unlikely that they’ll have their security locked down.

    Porn merchants, on the other hand, are generally more comfortabe with technology. Porn has always been at the cutting edge of e-commerce. The businesses that run these sites know that malware will cost them money in the long run.

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