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As we’ve said in previous shows, not everyone using the dark web is doing something criminal.
In some ways this corner of the Internet gets a bad name, and research has shown that many
of the darkest things supposedly happening in the dark web have been exaggerated.
That said, it’s well known that many people, mainly the younger generation, go there to
buy illegal substances that they may have otherwise procured on the street.
It’s also well known that people with strange inclinations visit this place to chat with
others that share their fascination with what we might call the more eccentric aspects of
If you’ve seen our shows on the dark web, you’ll know that finding it is not hard
The question is, should you go there?
That’s what we’ll discuss in this episode of the Infographics Show, Why You Should Avoid
the Dark Web.
Let’s just give you a quick recap on what the dark web is as you may not have seen all
our other shows on this place.
It’s said that only around 10 percent of the Internet is the Internet as we know it,
meaning the part we can all access.
Much of the rest of the Internet we call the Deep Web, which is just the part of the World
Wide Web that is not indexed by search engines such as Google.
It’s a common mistake to think the dark web and the deep web are the same.
The dark web is just a small part of the deep web.
Many people give the example of an iceberg.
The bit at the top that we can see is the Internet as we know it.
The main part that lies under the water is the deep web and the dark web is just a very
small part at the very bottom of the iceberg.
This is naturally where people go when they don’t want to be found.
That might be because they have a store there selling the aforementioned illegal substances,
or it might just be because they are living in a country that has very oppressive laws
In the dark web you’ll find sites that end with .onion.
These websites are not accessible using your regular browser.
But you can easily download the Tor browser and before you can say where am I you’ll
be in the dark web.
Here you should have complete anonymity.
Ok, so the question is, should you go there?
Well, firstly you should know that the dark web of course is of interest to authorities.
Illegal things happen there, so we can expect authorities to keep an eye on the place.
You should also know that the Tor browser has vulnerabilities.
With this in mind, you might ask just how safe is your anonymity?
We might also ask if there are other reasons why you should not visit the dark web, reasons
more related to you finding things you probably shouldn’t have found.
With the latter concern in mind, we looked at Reddit and Quora posts containing people
talking about negative experiences on the dark web.
We can’t vouch for the honesty of the posts, but indeed there are people out there who
said they came across things in the dark web they wish they would have never seen.
One person on Quora wrote, “I browsed dark web for well over half a year before a horrible
experience made me quit.”
That experience sounded very nasty, and it’s not something we want to recount here.
Let’s just say that it involved a video of someone being hurt.
Now, others say this kind of thing is very unusual even for the dark web, but we must
remember that it does happen because an Australian man was put in prison for making such videos.
Unless you are sick to the bone, this is not the kind of thing one wants to see in life,
so we can say that one reason not to go into the dark web might be because out of curiosity
you see something you might not ever be able to forget.
Another person who used the dark web said he looked at forums where he found what he
called weird stuff.
By that he meant people talking about hurting others, discussing gore, and talking about
depraved things such as wanting to eat people.
And yet another person said he witnessed what he called a very creepy video.
He said there were about 50 people watching this video, again relating to someone being
hurt – in this case not very hurt but still not something most people would want to see
– and many of the folks watching this video were making what he called “obscene comments.”
Another person on the same thread said he was just hitting random links when he came
across a cooking section, only the cooking involved humans.
This wasn’t a video, but a ‘How To’ kind of section.
“I was traumatized for a few days,” he said, because he just read the comments.
So, unless you want to be traumatized, we suggest you might give the dark web a wide
We are quite sure you have to go looking for this kind of stuff, however, so perhaps if
you have to go there just be careful what you search for.
As one website that gives advice on the dark web tells us, it’s easy to “CLICK SUSPICIOUS
LINKS OR PARTAKE IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.”
That website says some of these links are deceptive, and before you know you are virtually
living in the realms of the demented.
We looked at another website called DarkWebNews.com.
It told us that many people access the dark web without using the Tor browser.
It said this can be done using websites such as “Tor2Web” and “Onion2web”.
The problem here is that you are exposed, and this puts you at risk of being hacked.
Other than that, many people do use the Tor browser but they don’t use a VPN.
The problem here is that Tor has been cracked a few times and if that happens your URL can
Ok, so you only went to that disgusting site out of sheer curiosity, but still, you went
there and it might not look for you when your local newspaper has a headline that goes something
along the lines, “Boy, 17, Caught Downloading Images of XXXX on Dark Web.”
We are also told you should not enable scripts on .onion sites, which is what many people
When you do this, we are told, you leave yourself open to hacking or you might just find a Trojan
Horse has gotten into your computer.
You might also accidentally download files from the dark web, and this is a big no no.
Still, people might just do this by accident.
But the big thing to remember, according to that same expert, is don’t think that what
you are doing on the dark web is legal.
That person says, “If you’re viewing a site on the dark web for any reason from actually
desiring to acquire those products or services to just wanting to quench your thirst for
knowledge on the subject, know that you may be held liable for what you come across.”
With that in mind, have people been arrested for using the dark web?
Well, in 2018 the U.S. media reported that authorities had made a huge bust of people
selling illegal things in the dark web.
Engadget tells us those authorities, “announced the first-ever national-level undercover bust
of dark web outfits selling drugs, weapons and other contraband.”
Now, perhaps you had visited some of those sites that got taken down.
Again, it was just out of curiosity, but if they could find the owners of the sites what’s
to bet you could have been exposed.
It’s just not something you want to happen to you, and it might not matter that you went
to those sites innocently.
Other websites tell us that the FBI and police from all over the world are regularly inside
the dark web.
Sometimes they go undercover and manage to find the address where parcels are delivered.
The Indian media tells us that arrests were made in 2017 by the Mumbai Anti Narcotics
Cell when some boys had ordered LSD from the dark web.
Arrests have also been made of the sellers.
In one such case in the UK a bunch of students at Manchester University were arrested after
making a fortune on the dark web selling illegal substances.
The Guardian wrote, “Thee gang, who compared themselves to the Breaking Bad character,
Walter White, included undergraduates studying pharmacology, computer science, petrochemical
engineering, geology and marketing.”
In another case, in 2016, a young British doctor was arrested for buying drugs and sentenced
to over four years in prison.
The press tells us that in the UK from 2017 to 2018 there were 1,210 drug seizures relating
to the dark web, so it might not be as safe as you think scoring your gear there.
Police in the UK said buying your stuff on the dark web carries more risk than buying
in the streets, because if your purchase came from abroad you could be said to be an importer.
The police also added that mail services in the UK are getting very good at spotting packages
containing such substances.
Ok, so let’s say you have no intention of reading or viewing gruesome content or procuring
a dozen MDMA pills or some such stimulant.
But then we might ask why you are in the dark web in the first place.
Perhaps you have a legitimate reason in that you want to discuss a sensitive issue about
yourself, or you are a whistleblower or an at-risk activist.
In that case, go head and get down with the dark web.
But if you don’t have those sorts of reasons one could argue that using the dark web is
not worth the risk.
Motherboard wrote in 2016 that authorities have developed very sophisticated ways of
finding people in the dark web.
As we said, sometimes they are undercover.
The FBI have been known to sell weapons on the dark web, and who knows where they might
Motherboard also tells us that the FBI set up one hack wherein when a user clicked on
a link that was supposed to take them to an unseemly illegal image, that person’s IP
address became known to the FBI.
What if you has just clicked on that link by accident?
What if your curiosity just got the better of you?
“As part of the operation, the FBI harvested over 1000 US based IP addresses, and Europol
generated 3,229 of its own cases,” wrote Motherboard.
That article tells us police units in many countries now have dedicated task forces concentrating
on the dark web, so you might ask if you really want to be there.
Maybe you went there already and did something illegal.
Well, we are told that when police make an arrest of a vendor or someone doing something
illegal, they often collect IP addresses of people who had connected with that person
Most people are only really interested in the Dark Web for one reason: they want to
know if their personal information is up for sale to the highest bidder!
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With all this in mind, what is your opinion of spending some time in the dark web?
Tell us in the comments.
Also, be sure to check out our other show These Scary Things Really Happen In The Dark
Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
See you next time.