A Heart Felt, Personal Tribute To LiveLeak and Co.

O, LiveLeak- we hardly knew ye. It feels like only yesterday that I invited you into my room and you lead me without question to whatever gruesome curiosity I could furiously type into your search bar. Or perhaps it wasn't you who satisfied my morbid queries, maybe it was Best Gore, or Ogrish, or if we're going way back into the dial up dark ages: Rotten Dot Com.

Yes! Rotten! You didn't think I forgot about you, did you? Impossible! Everyone remembers their first encounter with Internet gore. At some point in 1999, a middle school friend told me all about you. “ It's this gross website with pictures of rotted bodies and car accidents and stuff.” So naturally, as soon as the landline was free, my tiny baby fingers were pecking the letters 'r o t t e n . c o m' into my parents' keyboard so I could see this for myself.

And did I ever see. EW. Those bodies were like EXPLODED. GROSS. Thanks BRITTANY.

I didn't like what I saw because EW but I felt a certain pull to seek out more of that same grisly content. My still smooth child brain didn't yet know the term 'morbid curiosity', so I was led back to you, Rotten Dot Com, by this still nameless force over and over again and you, dear Rotten, repeatedly catered to my tastes. Until . . .

I loved you the most of all, Ogrish! I can say that here on my own personal website, where I can break from the shackles of socialization which prevent me from using the words 'favorite' and 'gore website' in the same sentence out in the IRL, but you were my favorite. I wish I could remember what sequence of events lead me to find you, I just know that once I found you, I was visiting you at least once a week to see what your front page had to offer. You had such an immense volume of content compared to your predecessors. You had a forum, descriptions that accompanied the images, multiple updates per day, and video(!!!!!). Then suddenly, Ogrish, you changed your identity!

It's at this point that I must be brutally honest, LiveLeak, as you were always brutally honest with me, I always preferred you as Ogrish. I liked your old layout better and the more specific content. All the extras made things a bit more cumbersome in my opinion, but these changes allowed you to grow and as more people became aware of you, your name soon became synonymous for messed up content.

My fondest memories of you, LiveLeak, are the the times I shared with you and my soul bond (EXEPHILE). We'd type in whatever strange thing popped into our heads and clicked 'search' to see what you could find for us. We called these adventures 'LiveLeak Safaris' and I miss them... and you.

I would be remiss to exclude Best Gore from this group eulogy, but of the big names in gore websites, you are actually the one I was least familiar with! By the time you came into existence Best Gore, BG if we're friendly, I was reasonably skilled in navigating the internet, and by this point most of the grisly, gore related content I watched came from a number of scattered places online. That said, you where where we all went for the Luka Magnotta video in 2012, and many of the places I found discussions around such hideous content lead back to you, and your sudden mysterious demise in November of 2020 left us all scratching our heads. (What does leaving to 'pursue other endeavors' even mean?).

Meanwhile, EXEPHILE and I had both noticed something strange happening on our LiveLeak safaris. The words we'd enter would bring back less and less content that could be considered gruesome or extreme in any nature. This is what writers call 'foreshortening', when they hint at something that's going to come later (or something like that, IDK I'm not a writer lol). Then in 2021 LiveLeak rebranded entirely to some boring safe for work video site called 'Item Fix' or something? WHO CARES IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So why did you both go away so close together after being on the Internet for so long?

LiveLeak, your rebranding as 'mainstream' site makes no sense! Having violent, controversial, or other niche content differentiated you from other video hosting sites such as YouTube. There's plenty of speculation, including the idea that government influence played a role, possibly encouraging both of you to shutter ahead of some upcoming military deployment. This theory being that without a well known, easily accessible 'go to' for people to find and post unedited, unfiltered war footage, it's much easier to keep the general public in the dark about the what can happen during armed conflict.

Where to go now? I'd like to tell you a few examples, but unfortunately, I don't want any of the remaining sites to become the next 'LiveLeak' or 'Best Gore' and suffer their same fates. EXEPHILE suggested that someone could make another 'Best Gore' and call it 'OK Gore' but now that I type it out that sounds a little too close to OK Cupid so maybe not. 'Sufficient Gore'? 'Fine Gore'? Leave your suggestion in the guestbook thanks for reading!!!!!!!!!!!!