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Whitehouse.com, Your Favorite 90s Porn Site, Is Now Protesting the Trump Presidency

Somethingsomething Deep Throat.

Sarah Emerson

Sarah Emerson

Image: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

One of my earliest internet memories is of telling friends to open Whitehouse.com—the .com porn site, not the official .gov government site!—in plain view on their screens. Preferably in the computer lab.

To an 11-year-old, this was the funniest goof ever, but in retrospect, I suppose it was also an instructional primer on domain name servers. How many people, looking for POTUS, accidentally saw penis?

As many as 80,000 people per day, apparently. That's according to Dan Parisi, the site's owner who recently spoke to me about Whitehouse.com's latest iteration: protesting President Trump.

I first contacted Parisi, who works in New Jersey real estate, with an interview request back in May. Trump was waging war on government agencies, and I thought Parisi could offer an interesting perspective on censorship and digital transparency. He wouldn't speak to me then, as he was in the process of relaunching Whitehouse.com, but agreed to chat when that came to fruition.

Yesterday evening, the new Whitehouse.com went live.

Screenshot: Whitehouse.com

On its 20th anniversary, Parisi is finally fulfilling the site's original intent. He always wanted Whitehouse.com to be politically subversive. And by displaying porn, in a way, he sort of did that. The federal government never acquired the domain, though Parisi claims he gave the feds Whitehousekids.com for free in 2005. I wasn't able to independently confirm this, and that site is up for sale right now. ("The government probably forgot to pay the renewal fees and somebody picked it up," Parisi guessed. "I do not have any of the paperwork after all these years.")

The revamped site, which claims to be "in support of Charlottesville victims," only contains a few news snippets (written by Parisi himself), and a poll asking whether Trump should be impeached (at the time of this story's publication, 60 percent voted "yes"). Soon, Parisi hopes to install a message board. Its logo is a Photoshop of Trump wearing KKK robes.

Screenshot: Whitehouse.com

"There hasn't been porn on the site since 2005," Parisi told me. "From the start… we wanted it to be a political site… but money was an issue at the time, and there was no way to get it off the ground."

Parisi spent $40,000 on web design, graphics, backend software, and server space for the site's initial launch in 1997, and was, at the time, looking for "extra bandwidth" to handle the massive influx of visitors. He claims to have paid $10,000 for Whitehouse.com, and $4,000 for Thewhitehouse.com.

Your typical fare was mostly raunchy political parodies. "A picture of the Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry," for example, "and a swimsuit-wearing model on its front page, alongside the message: 'Our candidates are better looking—and probably know more about the economy.'"

In 2004, Parisi told The Guardian that he no longer wanted to host porn when he became a father. "I'm not gonna say anything bad about the adult industry," Parisi told me, "but there were other things I was doing."

I should note that Parisi is a known "cybersquatter," having purchased domains like Wallstreetjournal.com, and Madonna.com, which he ultimately ceded to the artist in 2000 after an unfavorable ruling by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Over its lifetime, Whitehouse.com has hosted everything from political satire to real estate listings to videos of New Jersey town hall meetings. PC World ranked the site #13 on its tally of "The 25 Worst Websites," but I'm gonna respectfully disagree with that analysis.

When I asked Parisi about his party affiliation, he admitted to not voting in the presidential election. The deadly riots in Charlottesville, however, "pretty much clarified what we wanted to do," he said.

A normal day's traffic amounts to 5,000 unique visitors, Parisi said. When I asked if people still mistakenly land on the wrong White House domain, Parisi replied: "I really sincerely doubt it."

Most visitors, he speculated, are just dropping by to see what happened to their old porn haunt. It's a good thing, then, that Parisi has no plans to sell the domain.

"It's kind of difficult for me to part with it."