quite different. Internet pornography is not the same as availability of pornography on the internet. True, the digital multimedia space of sharing and peer-2-peer distribution has made the internet the largest gateway to accessing pornographic objects which are produced through commercial production houses. However, the internet is not merely a way of getting access to existing older forms of porn. The internet also produces pornography that is new, strange, unprecedented and is an essential part of the everyday experience of being digitally connected and networked into sociality.
The recent controversies about the former congressman from New York, Anthony Weiner, sexting — sending inappropriate sexual messages through his cellphone — gives us some idea of what internet porn looks like. It is not just something captured on a phone-cam but interactive and collaboratively produced. Or as our own Porngate, where two cabinet ministers of the Karnataka legislative assembly were caught surfing some good old porn on their mobile devices while the legislature was in session, indicated, porn is not something confined to the privacy of our rooms. Naked flashmobs, young people experimenting with sexual identities in public, and sometimes bizarre videos of a bus-ride where the camera merely captures the banal and the everyday through a “pornographic gaze” are also a part of the digital porn landscape. The world of virtual reality and multiple online role-playing games offer simulated sexual experiences that allow for human, humanoid, and non-human avatars to engage in sexual activities in digital spaces. Peer-2-peer video chat platforms like Chatroulette, offer random encounters of the naked kind, where nothing is recorded but almost everything can be seen.
The list of pornography produced by the internet — as opposed to pornography made accessible through the internet — is huge. It doesn’t just hide in subcultural practices but resides on popular video-sharing sites like YouTube or Tumblr blogs. It vibrates in our cellphones as we connect to people far away from us, and pulsates on the glowing screens of our tablets as we get glimpses of random strangers and their intimate bodies and moments. An attempt to ban and censor this