|“||In a world of media whitewash, where human suffering is reduced to pixels on a screen, it is the visionaries of the underground who expose the realities of life on this planet.||”|
Ogrish.com was one of the earliest shock sites that hosted uncensored and graphic content, similar to Rotten.com. Established in 2000, it featured videos of accidents, war, and uncensored news, along with footage of gore.
Background and history
In 2005, access to Ogrish.com was blocked by several internet service providers across different countries. Later that year, the Zippocat video was posted on Ogrish.org, which caused controversy and was eventually removed from the site. However, a YTMND site featuring the video and music from the game DOOM was created, which led to the creation of the NEDM meme. On April 21, 2006, Ogrish.com transitioned from a "gore" website to an "uncensored news" website and introduced a podcast service. In the same year, Ogrish.com introduced a podcast service DJed by Shawn Wasson and added a new forum section called Underground Media, where members can choose to view more images and videos. The website derives its name from the archaic word "ogrish", meaning "like an ogre". Occasionally, the website goes down and resurfaces under the names ogrish.co and ogrish.tv.
The site displayed numerous graphic videos of violent incidents, often without obtaining consent from the families of those depicted, resulting in controversial debates over the rights of individuals in the images. One example occurred in 2002, when Ogrish posted graphic footage of the jumpers from the September 11 attacks. The site also faced backlash in 2004 when it shared the execution video of Kim Sun-il, leading to hacking attacks from Koreans. In 2005, the German internet watchdog group Jugendschutz.net contacted Level 3, the local telecommunications company, resulting in Ogrish's IP address being blocked in Germany due to violations of German legislation that mandates age verification for access to adult content. This block affected many other countries outside of Germany that connect through the blocked Level 3 connection, such as the Netherlands, France, Poland, Italy, and Switzerland. In 2006, Ogrish.com updated its design to a faster-loading and less graphic-intensive layout, replacing its "Flame/Lame/Hate" section with "The Ogrish Zoo" which prohibited racial slurs. However, this change was quickly abandoned, and "The Underground," a private member group, was implemented instead.
In November 2006, Ogrish rebranded into LiveLeak and redirected to its site, Liveleak.com. LiveLeak gained notoriety in 2007 after the leaked execution of Saddam Hussein was posted on the site, drawing attention from White House Press Secretary Tony Snow as a source for updates on active soldiers. The site faced criticism later that year when a BBC program revealed that LiveLeak was hosting videos of street violence between children. Co-founder Hayden Hewitt refused to take down the videos, citing the site's mission to show real life as it is. LiveLeak made headlines again in 2008 for hosting Dutch politician Geert Wilders' anti-Quran film, which was temporarily taken down due to personal threats against Hewitt. In 2014, LiveLeak partnered with Ruptly for content. In 2014, an Islamic State terrorist group posted a video on YouTube and other sites showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, which prompted YouTube and Facebook to delete related footage and implement bans. LiveLeak's policy was updated to ban all beheading footage produced by the Islamic State, but they continued to host the original video that depicted the aftermath of Foley's execution. In 2019, Australian telecom Telstra blocked access to LiveLeak, among other websites, in response to the spread of the video of the Christchurch mosque shootings. LiveLeak responded by removing uploads of the video and clarified that they did not carry it. In June 2020, LiveLeak temporarily disabled users' ability to log in and suggested videos from other sources like YouTube or Dailymotion. As of June 14, 2020, users could log in and view LiveLeak's hosted videos again. On 5 May 2021, the LiveLeak website closed and redirects to ItemFix.
- "Frequently Asked Questions." Ogrish.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20061023065518/http://www.ogrish.com/faq.html.
- Chosun Ilbo. "Naver Founder in Police Custody." English Chosun. June 23, 2004. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200406/200406230055.html.
- http://www.fitug.de/debate/0508/msg00037.html "Re: Beispiele für deutsches Recht, das Provider zur Identifizierung von Nutzern zwingt?". fitug.de. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
- "Mashable - LiveLeak" from Mashable is an online news and media website. Retrieved on April 11, 2023. (https://mashable.com/archive/liveleak)
- "LiveLeak Bans Islamic State Beheading Videos After James Foley Murder." U.S. News & World Report. August 22, 2014. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014.