rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

So Long, Jenni!

By now, I suppose everyone has heard that Jennicam will be shut down on December 31st., but if you haven't, here's the article about it in today's Sacramento Bee. Jennifer Ringley has been webcasting her life for seven years, since she set up her first web cam in her dorm room. She moved to Sacramento in 2000, taking her cameras with her. She seems to have done well with her small business, having gained a large number of followers who pay $15 a year for access to her site. I've never seen it, myself. I see no reason to pay to see a woman doing (probably) pretty much the same things I do, day after day. But she was the first person to put her life on the Internet, and is thus a sort of digital landmark.

The thing I find most interesting though is the reason she gives for closing down her site. She has been collecting fees from her fans through PayPal, and earlier this year that company (now owned by e-Bay) decided that it would no longer accept payment for sites containing "adult" content. Yeah, I guess you might get a glimpse of Jen's jugs as she changed clothes or something, but I can't imagine her site being all that hot. But even if she was banging people all night long, I don't see why PayPal should have a problem with it.

Consider this: If I were to go down the street to Lexie's House of Lesbian Delights and purchase a VHS of Sorority Girls 9; The Tuna Melt Party, I could pay for it with a check drawn on my account at Bank of America. When the bank got the check from Lexie's bank, they would not say "sorry, we can't cash this check because it was used to buy something with 'adult' content!" No, Bank of America doesn't give a rat's ass what I do with my money. As far as I know, no bank does. They cash the checks, and mind their own business. What the hell makes PayPal so high and mighty that they think they should become the arbiters of public morality? Are they better than Citibank all of a sudden? At their board meetings, do the directors sniff and snort while exchanging tales about the wicked behavior of that sink of iniquity, Wells Fargo Bank?

Personally, I've never bought porn, since so much is available for free on-line I don't find any need for it. But I see no reason why a company whose business is facilitating the transfer of money between individuals who have agreed to the exchange should place any restrictions on what those individuals have chosen to buy and sell. Of course, maybe PayPal feels that they have an obligation to protect the purity of their unquestionably righteous business practices from the malign activities which would sully them.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Jenni is just tired of the game, and wants some privacy for a change, and is using the change in PayPal policies as a pretext for shutting down. After seven years, I don't see how she couldn't want a break. But still, what the hell is PayPal's problem? And what will become of web sites such as Big Dick's Leather and Lather? Must we all pay for out sweat-scented penis-shaped soaps by check?

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