“Chrome has a privacy mode; Google says you can create an ‘incognito’ window ‘and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on your computer.’ The latest version of Internet Explorer calls this InPrivate. Google’s use-case for when you might want to use the “incognito” feature is e.g. to keep a surprise gift a secret. As far as Microsoft’s InPrivate mode is concerned, people also speculated it was a ‘porn mode.’“
i don’t have anything earthshaking to say about this. but please note the following:
1. it’s in the nature of the internet to allow people to gratify their desires, whether beneficial or harmful, instantly. i’m talking specifically about pornography here — there’s no vetting period for pornography on the internet, no cooling down period built into the process of seeking, finding and consuming pornography.
2. because of this, pornography is the silent king of the internet. people go there for it.
3. so, web browsers — or let me break it down: the software(s) you use to get to the web — have a strong incentive to grease the wheel a little for pornographers.
4. but, societal norms are still such that you can’t just come out and *say* you’re greasing the wheels for pornographers.
5. so, the browser industry (you know, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) has come up with ‘privacy mode,’ which basically means automatic-tracks-covering-up mode. you can go where you want on the web and no record of your activities will be kept by the browser.
6. so now but note the way that Google advertises its privacy mode. The only explicit function they suggest is ‘keeping a gift private.’ But they still find a way to let you know that — wink wink — *other* browsers have suggested that you might possibly just maybe also use this feature to indulge yourself a tiny little bit in… pornography.
7. also, because Google is a search company, primarily, note that the language explicitly connects the ‘pornography’ utility of this feature with Internet Explorer, not with Chrome, so that searching for ‘porn mode’ won’t automatically implicate Chrome, even though they’ve let you know that Chrome is okay with your using their privacy mode for pornography, in a roundabout way.
8. this having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too approach to correlating privacy mode and pornography by the browser makers frustrates me to no end.
9. I should point out that Firefox hasn’t incorporated a privacy mode into the browser, but they don’t have to — there’s a popular extension that does it for them. To disable this feature in Safari, you have to actually monkey with the browser code itself, which no regular user is going to (be able to) do.
10. (and this is most important) You don’t have to get everything you want. You don’t have to. You don’t have to have everything you want. You don’t have to look at pornography on the internet, even if you want to. You don’t have to do it. Even if the browsers make it easy for you. It’s possible not to get everything you want and still be okay. You don’t have to get everything you want. Other people want you to try to get everything you want, but you don’t have to do it. You don’t have to have everything you want.