Hey, it’s Ted.
As the advertiser behind the controversial digital billboard ads in Louisiana, I am aware that some members of the public have expressed outrage over the suggestive imagery and promotion of using a VPN to potentially avoid age verification for pornographic websites from Act 440. In particular, many Christians have voiced their displeasure at the placement of some of the billboards close to their local churches.
I’d like to immediately address these issues. First and foremost, I support adults’ freedom of expression and access to the information they want. Our article promoted in the ads, which recommends a few different VPN services, is meant to be used by adults who have the freedom to choose the internet content they want to access. And I believe these adults should be able to consume that media without government surveillance. As similarly stated in some of my ads: I should be able to watch step-bro porn without big brother watching over me.
My concerns over privacy do not end there. No matter how much one might trust the government to not abuse the information they intend on gathering and verifying, we know by history that even some of the most trusted systems are never safe. Some recent examples include a security breach from August 2022 of LastPass that left customer information accessible to hackers, and a Twitter data leak where hackers obtained the information of more than 200 million Twitter users, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. It’s clear that the more information we are required to provide in order to access the internet, the more exposed we become.
For the people of Louisiana, it’s as if in order to watch porn of people undressing, they now must also undress and expose themselves. It is a step towards the government taking away other liberties and restricting our access to information. It’s a step in the wrong direction.
I also recognize that some of our billboards have angered local Christians by being placed close to churches in the area. While I appreciate their points of view, I also stand up for our right to advertise our website in a public setting.
Furthermore, I understand that some residents have called for the removal of our billboards, suggesting that it sends the wrong message to children. However, I believe that it is the responsibility of parents to educate their children about appropriate online content. Our advertisement is intended for adults, not children.
According to Representative Schlegel, key author of Act 440, pornography can become a major problem for young children, with some even suffering from sexual disorders at premature ages. I do agree with Representative Schlegel that it can become a serious problem, but instead of creating friction of access for the adults who should be able to legally watch porn, I suggest parents, and even schools, be more open and educational about the potential dangers of over-stimulation and porn addiction. We should be teaching that masturbation can be both mentally and physically healthy for you, while also teaching moderation.
Ultimately, I stand by my decision to keep the billboards up and to continue promoting the VPNs in my article. While I recognize the right of individuals who disagree with me to express their views, I also believe in the right to freedom of expression and the right to access the content we choose as adults.