The Gaping Maw
The Gaping Maw was a shock site affiliated with Rotten.com that gained attention for its offensive content. It was established in 2000 as an editorial and commentary archive. The majority of the articles were written by cartoonist Tristan Farnon, known by the alias "Spigot," who was also involved in projects like Jerkcity and Leisure Town. These articles often featured news satire and reflections on modern society. The inclusion of The Gaping Maw and the Rotten Library, which provided intellectual and humane perspectives, helped improve Rotten.com's reputation beyond being just a puerile "shock" site.
However, on June 22, 2005, The Gaping Maw was forced to shut down temporarily due to new governmental regulations related to the distribution of pornography. These regulations, specified under 18 U.S.C. 2257, required age verification of models. In compliance with the law, all articles were removed from the website, and the site's title page displayed a statement expressing disappointment with the passage of these laws. The page was prominently labeled "CENSORED BY US GOVERNMENT."
The Gaping Maw eventually returned online in January 2006, but with some articles remaining unpublished and others heavily edited to comply with the regulatory requirements. Despite these changes, the website continued to offer its distinct brand of content to its audience.