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Bitcoin Ordinals creator looks for fix after first instance of shock porn

Only days after the launch of the Bitcoin (BTC)-based Ordinals protocol, its creator had to deal with their first shock pornographic image which has been inscribed into the blockchain.

On Feb. 2 at around 12:15 AM UTC, an unsavory image known as “goatse” was inscribed onto the Bitcoin blockchain via the Ordinals protocol.

It featured on inscription 668 and was live on the Ordinals’ front page for roughly half an hour before the image was removed. It still exists on the blockchain but is not able to be viewed using the Ordinals website.

Ordinals creator, Casey Rodarmor, told Cointelegraph he acted quickly to remove the image from the Ordinals website but admitted there isn’t much that can be done to stop future instances given the nature of the protocol.

He is at least working on a solution to stop the images appearing on the Ordinals website.

The image, known as “goatse,” depicts a man manipulating his anus. Due to its shock value, it’s often used to trick internet users.

Rodamor said for the moment, that there was no way to hide certain inscriptions on the Ordinals’ website without manual input.

“The explorer has a config file that can be used to hide certain inscriptions, so we decided that was not very pleasant to look at,” he said. “We added it to that config file and now the server does not return that inscription and will not return that content.”

Ordinals has a simplistic website with every new inscription appearing on its home page.

While Rodarmor plans to have a “very liberal content policy” where people will “certainly” be able to inscribe pornographic images, he would like to censor them until he finds a way to automatically keep them off the first page, such as creating a separate space for them on the website.

Recent inscriptions on the Ordinals site show users are inscribing images of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon internet meme. Image: Ordinals

Critics of blockchain technology have concerns that its immutable nature could be used to forever host illegal or grotesque media while others argue its censorship resistance should be a key feature.

Asked if he was concerned about the criticism Ordinals may receive for censoring certain images, Rodarmor responded:

“The inscription is still on the chain and if you run your own copy of Ordinal — which everybody is free to do — it will not have that config file and you will see the gaping butthole if that is what you so desire.”

He added his site is just one instance of the block explorer and hopes others create more where they can “implement their own moderation policies according to their tastes.”

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Rodarmor said it’s only the second time he’s censored a pornographic image. He believes the technical difficulty and cost of inscribing an image onto the BTC network have reduced the instances of such trolling attempts.

Ordinals launched on Jan. 21 and immediately divided the crypto community with arguments on whether it was good for the Bitcoin ecosystem.

The protocol works by inscribing satoshis — the native currency of the Bitcoin network — with content such as images to make NFT-like structures that can be transferred.

The cost of inscribing a satoshi can cost tens of dollars in comparison to a regular network transaction that ranges from a few cents to a few dollars.