FAQ @ rotten dot com

Part I - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where do you get your pictures?

A. Everywhere! People send them to us, sometimes we buy them, people hunt for pictures for us, and also we acquire reference materials that contain them. Occasionally, we will even take pictures ourselves.

Q. Are they real?

A. Yes, the pictures that appear to be dead bodies are in fact real. If a picture is represented as humor, such as the "Circular File" exhibit, then anything goes. We see a lot of fake pictures, and can spot them fairly easily. Real pictures of this nature aren't particularly rare; they are merely hidden from the public in most cases.

Q. When did you start Rotten?

A. In late 1996, I wrote a program to spit out all Internet domain names that weren't registered yet but were in the dictionary. This one was one of about a dozen generic words that I took, and the site actually started as a "what should I do with this domain now that I blew a hundred bucks on it" exercise.

Q. Why do you do it?

A. Our staff loves to upset people, it keeps our stools regular. Since the site has actually acquired a life of its own, it really is out of our hands. Well, that's true until we switch to an adult contemporary music format.

Q. Aren't you ashamed?

A. No, not really. We don't really show anything that the major television networks don't show you, it's just a matter of degree. Perhaps when CNN admits its shame, so will we. They make a fortune on the misery of fellow man, and few complain about that.

Q. You are going to burn in hell.

A. God I hope so, I couldn't stand another hour of peaceful contemplation accompanied by insipid harp playing. But there isn't any part of the Bible that has anything to say about running this kind of website. People tell us this, we ask them to find supporting verses (we will even let them use Old Testament fire and brimstone) and then we never hear from that person again. Because, there simply are no Bible passages to support this viewpoint.

Q. Oh I love your site but I'm offended by a particular picture. Please take it down.

A. Different people have different triggers, so we will often receive a complaint like this. Well, many of our pictures receive complaints like this; honoring them all would make us boring. If you send us such a message, it isn't likely we will listen to you. Just move along.

Q. Do people claim to find people they know in pictures?

A. Yes, from time to time that happens. Sometimes we know exactly where a picture came from, and someone in a totally different place will claim that a particular picture is a relative. In fact multiple people have claimed to know the circumstances of the exact same picture, and this is of course nuts. If you see someone you think you know, it is highly likely that it isn't that person.

Q. What's the story behind that "Motorcycle" pic?

A. We have to admit the "motorcycle" pic has caused a lot of email, it being one of the most disconcerting things people have ever seen. We called it "Motorcycle" because it arrived as motorcycle.jpg, but it is more likely an attempted shotgun suicide. The man lived. An attorney wrote us demanding that we take the picture down, but was unable to provide enough details for us to comply with his request.

Q. Can't you provide more details about pictures?

A. Often, unfortunately, we can't. When we end up with a police photo, or whatnot, there is generally no accompanying documentation. It's great when we do have such information, but because our sources are secretive, shaky, or even completely anonymous, the best that we can do is just show the picture.

Q. Do you ever take stuff down for legal reasons?

A. Yes. If a sufficiently compelling argument is put forward by a duly licensed attorney, we have been known to remove images. Is that selling out? Maybe. It just isn't worth fighting most battles, particularly with Goliath corporations. We'll just put up different pictures. Any demand to remove pictures had better have at least some merit though; we haven't removed all pictures or features that have been demanded of us.

Q. Why aren't you in jail already?

A. The founding fathers of the United States had the foresight to provide us with loopholes to excuse our bad behavior. By not violating any criminal codes, somehow, we manage to stay out of jail.

Q. Is Rotten a hate site?

A. No, of course not. We love everyone! Especially you! There might be a bit of self loathing mixed in however. Our self esteem committee is working on that one.

Q. Where can I submit pictures?

A. You can email digital pictures to publicity@rotten.com. High quality JPG's are the preferred format, but any format will be taken if necessary. If you have original pictures or materials to send: Rotten.com, PO Box 4436, Mountain View CA, 94040, USA. We love receiving your weird photos, zines, or artwork in the snail mail. Good stuff gets a tshirt in return; mediocre stuff gets laughed at!

Q. Do you have tshirts?

A. Yes, finally. Look here!

Q. How much traffic does Rotten.com get?

A. We get about 15 million hits a day, this totals 250GB of downloads during that period. About 250,000 unique individuals will visit the site during the course of a day. It's quite insane. According to the PCDATA web rating figures, Rotten is more popular than the New York Times website.

Q. We want to advertise, do you accept banners?

A. Fuck off and die. Banners are an abomination unto the lord; were we to display graphic banners as some trashy porn sites do, we would lose our innocence and purity.

Q. Can I link to rotten.com?

A. Sure! You don't have to ask. We encourage everyone and anyone to link to us and spread the word. Spraypaint our URL on city buses, carve it into school desks with your switchblades, and splash it on hacked webpages. Free tshirts to anyone with rotten.com tattoos.

Q. What happened to the story about Princess Diana?

A. It's here, we took the link off the main page because it's old news now. Really, really old news.

Q. I have a picture of Kurt Cobain! [enclosed]

A. It is highly unlikely that the picture is of Kurt Cobain, since we had a copy of it long before he ever killed himself.

Q. How do you think someone would feel if their dead body was posted up on the internet?

A. I would think they feel nothing, what with being dead and all.

Q. Do you do interviews?

A. Rarely. If you are a well established organization and want to fly me somewhere, I might do one. Up until this point I have shunned nearly all media attention -- exception of the New York Times -- but I think I am more open to this sort of discussion than before.

Q. That is you with the bird, just admit it.

A. God, how do these rumors get started. My penis is prettier, and my bird is prettier. Just ask anyone who's seen them both.

Q. Are you single?

A. Well, DUH.

Part II - Less Frequently Asked Questions

Q. You people are lunitics! (sic) I cant believe putting junk like this on AOL! I am going to notify AOL if you dont write back!

A. I'm sure AOL would love to hear from you.

Q. Your caption for the jpg here reads, "nothing offends a chinaman more than calling him a chink". I'm sure a Chinese person prefers not to be called a Chinaman as you have, moron.

A. Look up "facetious" in the dictionary, sir.

Q. I don't understand how you people can continue live with yourselves after condoning a site which praises death, murder, and suicide.

A. We praise murder and suicide? That's news to us. Perhaps you are delusional. Therapy?

Q. Me and several people viewed your site and saw some disgusting photos. Being a Catholic I am totally disgusted and appalled, at a photo you have on your site showing a drawing of a young boy giving a blowjob to Jesus Christ. You people at rotten.com are truly sick jackasses that should have thier heads examined. You can say what you want about me after seeing this message, you see I dont care. But there are alot of decent folks who think that your crap is not humorus at all.

A. That drawing is from a religious text. Your filthy mind turned it into what you saw, not ours.

Q. Why do you put up a website that are shown perforate people by pistols and shotguns? [disjointed English in an email from Germany]

A. Why do you live in a country that exterminated Jews?

Q. I have been to your web site a few times and I don't see how you can do that to people who have passed on, especially children! I think the elephantis and things that people may have never seen like that are pretty nasty but interesting none the less. I think what you are doing is horrible how could you show these dead bodies "no" how dare you show these dead bodies. Why are you showing them for people to have a good laugh or for people to get grossed out. I accidentally came across the dead child photo and it almost brought me to tears. My sister in law showed me, before I could reject, the picture of the dead child with his jaw ripped off, I lost sleep for three days not only because of what happened to that poor child but that some sick person would publicise something like that. I hope you realize what you are doing is wrong before you meet your maker, he may not be very forgiving of this.

A. Why on earth do you keep visiting if you find it so upsetting?

Q. Hello! Obviously you in the photography section do not know what in the hell you are taking pictures of. The President was giving the sign of "I Love You". If you ask any intelligent person who has ever studied American Sign Language to any degree will tell you that it is no the sign of satan. It is "I Love You". The sign of satan requires that the thumb be tucked. If you will notice in you carefully taken photo, it is sticking out! This otherwise is an awsome site and I visit often and refer friends to it. I realize you must have had a brain-fart. I happen to be fluent in sign language by the way.

A. We've received many dozens of complaints from sign language afficionados over the years regarding that picture, we just leave that picture up to irritate them. It works very well.

Q. I was wondering how on earth your site hasn't been banned, and how on earth you people sleep at night knowing that your opening giving the world access to this brutal imagery you have on display. What you are showing is quite blatantly illegal. I guess you people are intelligent as I understand this site has been around for some time and until now you have gotten yourselves out of trouble when neccessary. I feel I should warn you that I intend to investigate ways in which I can help have this site closed down. The problem is that anyone could stumble across this site accidently, like I did, and that includes kids, and besides anyone who takes pleasure in this depravity needs help, which I am sure includes all those involved at your site. I would appreciate a response to this in which I want you to attempt to justify your ideas and site content to me. Fuck you all you cowardly, depraved, twisted, evil, thoughtless, incompassionate monsters.

A. Our content is clearly labelled for what it is -- and this is not required under *any* U.S. law, nor can it be -- and also, we don't have any pictures on our main page, also not required by law. If you go to our page and click on a link, it's your fault, you asked to see it. Now as to the fact that you don't like the pages, I'm sorry. It is not a crime. We still do have the 1st amendment. These pictures aren't any different than what you see in mainstream media, just we show you a lot of them at once. So while we will continue to wallow in our depravity, you'll just have to lie awake nights. Oh well! Cheers.

Q. I can't believe you guys put that one in of the baby. I was at a party last night and we were laughing at all of them and then that came up. My daughter passed away at the age of 20 days of SIDS and that just grossed me out. Please take it off. Thanks, Andrea.

A. Okay, story straight -- you were at a party... laughing at other people's misfortune... and then were reminded of your own. Oh the irony.

Q. Hi, I just wanted to ask you obviously very sick, thoughtless human beings whether God plays a role in your life at all. The immoral, sick, disgusting, corruptive, horrible, sinful, evil stuff that you put up for all to see shows me the horror that exists within the human mind. Do you not want something better for yourselves? You are all human beings and every pathetic move and action that you make is viewed by some beautiful being that put us here. Why would you create something as horrible as your website and let other human beings have access to it when you very well should know what a vulnerable existance we have? Anything bad can pollute and influence and corrupt and hurt us. This is the existance that we have created for ourselves but it is not the existance God wants us to live. He wants us to be happy, to show love and kindness to one another, to help one another out whenever we can, and what you're doing is sick and disturbing and only takes human existance further and further away from He who had put us here. This world and existance is not ours, so please be more kind and loving and respectful with your actions. A site called www.rotten.com with all its sick horrors should not exist. Please get rid of it and start spreading LOVE and beauty with all that you do. Thank you and remember, God loves you so please try and make Him proud of us and worthy of having been brought into existance. And don't forget....you have been touched by an angel.

A. This truly does bring a tear to my eye. In fact I am reminded this moment of Psalm 137:8, "O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us - he who seizes your infants and dashes their brains against the rocks." Rejoice in the Lord.

Part III - Contact

Thanks for listening. The rotten staff can be reached at publicity@rotten.com. In the meantime, new items will be added to this page as issues warrant.

In particular, email is subject to ridicule; we'll also be going through old email looking for a few gems.

[return to rotten.com]