An archive of disturbing illustration
Rotten Dot Com is the Internet's preeminent publisher of disturbing, offensive, disgusting, yet extremely compelling content. Founded in 1996 after the enactment of the Communications Decency Act, our mission is to actively demonstrate that censorship of the Internet is impractical, unethical, and wrong. While the CDA was ruled unconstitutional in 1997, and similar laws have come and gone, we continue to serve as a haven for free speech of a most controversial nature.
More than 200,000 people visit rotten.com every day. There are no exhibits displayed on the front page; users must select the title they wish to view. It is in this manner that individuals voluntarily subject themselves to intense media that challenge both their tolerance for the grotesque and their will to look away.
The First Amendment encompasses not just our right to speak, but our audience's right to listen. Laws that seek to impede or prevent our publications from being available to everyone who wishes to view them are as abhorrent to the Constitution as any form of direct censorship. The public has a right to select and consume what it pleases.
Over the years, Rotten has been the subject of countless news stories worldwide, the Howard Stern Show, investigations by the FBI and Scotland Yard, as well as congressional testimony. In the state of Florida, our website was used as justification for new legislation barring the public release of autopsy photos following Dale Earnhardt's death. Rotten has been threatened by the German government and has endured legal threats from large corporations including Coca-Cola, Mattel, and Pillsbury.
Through it all we have managed to survive and take on additional projects, including hosting BonsaiKitten.com, a highly controversial, satirical website evicted from MIT servers and commercial Internet service providers that has received refuge on our network.
Rotten remains a vigilant defender of civil liberties for all, for as long as we are able.
firstname.lastname@example.org / Rotten Staff
September 10, 2001