AMS web site linked to porn

Yowzah!: Visitors to myams.org on June 16 were only two clicks away from these scantily-clad individuals.
Yowzah!: Visitors to myams.org on June 16 were only two clicks away from these scantily-clad individuals.
Credit: 
Photo courtesy of www.jokeaday.com

Visitors to the official AMS web site June 16 were two mouse clicks away from half-naked women and men.

In an attempt to direct its visitors to a good laugh, myams.org linked to the Ray Owens’ Joke A Day web site, a site offering “babe a day” and “hunk a day” pages featuring scantily clad men and women in sexually-provocative poses.

The site also sells an e-mail subscription called Our Babe A Day that sends subscribers “two pictures of the most beautiful women on the planet...at least one of those pretty young ladies won’t have a stitch of clothing on her. Yowzah!”

The link to the Joke A Day web site topped the AMS’ list of links before it was removed June 18 following a story published in the Kingston Whig-Standard.

Communications manager Max Binnie, whose office is responsible for myams.org, said the inclusion of the offensive web site was an oversight.

“What’s going on right now is we’re totally revamping myams.org,” said Binnie. “We’re trying to create a web portal for students that you can go to and will send you off in any direction.”

The inclusion of the Joke A Day web site was a temporary measure until the AMS could construct their own humour database, said Binnie.

“We didn’t consider the fact that there was content on the site that was inappropriate,” Binnie said.

“We didn’t look at it as carefully as we should have.”

By linking to a web site that showcases pornographic photos, the AMS was in violation of the university policy on harassment and discrimination, said Irene Bugara, director of the Queen’s Human Rights Office.

The policy defines the inappropriate display of sexually suggestive pictures, posters, objects or graffiti as sexual harassment. This can be interpreted to include web pages, said Bugara.

As a visible web site that is run from campus, the AMS has a responsibility to monitor the content it links to, she said.

“[The link] didn’t create a huge outpour of calls from the community [to our office], but it didn’t go unnoticed,” said Bugara.

Bugara added that taking down the link is a good first step, but the “larger issue still exists of internal policies for the AMS.”

“People still haven’t come to grip with the seriousness and significance of the internet,” Bugara said.

“In a newsletter, people are more careful. Over the internet, people are much more casual about it. It’s worth taking a look at checks with that particular medium.”

Binnie said the AMS web policy is in the developmental stages and it will address the content of web links. Other links containing material that could be construed as inappropriate have already been removed, he added.

“We do feel we are a student government that stands for the rights of all students, and that’s why this is such a bad situation for us to be in,” said Binnie.

The number of visitors to the web site has increased since the story in the Kingston Whig-Standard, said Binnie, and this has propelled them to monitor the content of links.

“It will make us that much more careful in dealing with this stuff in the future, and we’ll ensure that nothing like this happens again,” he said.

Binnie said he takes full responsibility for the oversight and has no intention of punishing anybody in his office, including the web manager.

“I intend to fix the problem,” said Binnie. “I intend to apologize to the people who are offended by it.”

Sadaf Shallwani and Cesia Green, who volunteer at the Women’s Centre, said they will be looking for an apology. They contended that the behaviour of the AMS in this situation should not go unpunished.

“Linking to sites that showcase pictures of scantily clad women and men on the official web site for the Queen’s student government shows a total lack of respect and dignity,” they said in an e-mail to The Journal.

“It is very upsetting to know that individuals who can be so degrading and objectifying towards women are leading our student government into the future.”

Joke A Day

A man was on trial for selling drugs, and a neighbor was called as a witness.

The defense attorney asked, “Did you ever get any cocaine or other drugs from the defendent?”

“No Sir,” he said.

“Did you ever get any from his wife?”

“No sir.”

“Did you ever get any from his daughters?”

“Uh-excuse me sir,” the witness said, “but we’re still talking about drugs here, right?

The above was the joke of the day on June 16 at the Joke A Day web site. myams.org was linked to the site at the time.

Links on myams.org

Active Links
• Weather Forecast
• Horoscope
• Soap Opera Central
• Toronto Star
• CNN.com
• The Globe and Mail
• The National Post
• The Toronto Sun
• The Whig Standard
• poll for best AMS service
• The Whig-Standard story about myams.org
• QCard

Inactive Links
• myAMS
• myClubs
• myJobs
• myNews
• myServices
• myTown

The above list was compiled at press time on June 25.

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