In the course of a snapshot of metacafe, which tries to paint the site as a happy retro-dinosaur stuck in web 1.0 of viral video — you know, so 2005 — the NYT Bits Blog has this little aside about Metacafe's evolving standards of good taste,
Viral Videos Still Rule at Metacafe: Over the last year, the site has moved from what Mr. Hachenburg describes as a European sensibility to an American one. In other words, there's now less sex and more violence.
More violence is not progress in my book. I wonder what drove this move?
It used to be that you could tell when there was a recession going on by magazine covers — in bad times the women's mags got a lot more brazen about putting SEX in their headlines. (Not sure if the same applies to lad mags — have they been around long enough?)
Is the Internet counter-cyclical?
It’s an indication of bubble-dom, as expressed by wanting-to-get-bought-out.
That is, the changes are to remove aspects likely to be uncomfortable to big acquirers (sex), and to attract a demographic which would spend a lot of time on the site (violence).