The other night while The Comedy Network (the Canadian equivalent of Comedy Central), I spotted an odd “Emergency Alert System” warning (see the video). I couldn’t quite put my finger on it why it struck me as odd until I realized I hadn’t seen an emergency warning since I left the US. In fact, I couldn’t recall seeing any type of emergency system warning in Canada. Ever.
And then my wife noted that the URL specified at the end of the alert led to a porn site. Whoops!
It turns out, some clever/enterprising/unscrupulous operator has hit upon an unusual opportunity. It turns out that the emergency alert was actually a commercial for a new show called Hotbox , and the associated URL for the show (www.hotbox/thecomedynetwork.ca) is incorrect. If the user enters this URL, then the user’s browser will attempt to correct the malformed URL into “www.hotbox.com/thecomedynetwork.ca” – which is a porn site. New versions of the commercial attempted to correct the URL to hotbox.thecomedynetwork.ca; however, this is still prime for a unique typing error – if the user simply mistypes the URL as “hotbox/thecomedynetwork.ca” they’ll end up at the same porn site.
Now, this could all be a coincidence/an error. But it’s especially funny given the faux Emergency Alert/ad states a “hotbox warning” is in effect for several towns with somewhat rude names: Shag Harbour, Crotch Lake, Little Bullhead, Beaverlodge.