back to article Virgin IT dept shocked by donkey-shagging Taliban

Four Virgin Atlantic employees at Gatwick airport were sacked after a video purportedly showing a member of the Taliban having sex with a donkey was emailed to the airline's entire IT department. The vid, called “What the Taliban do when they are not making improvised explosive devices", according to the Sunday Mirror, was …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds harsh, but not unheard of

    I know several very competent individuals who've been let go by big corporates (mostly investment banks, but not always) for *receiving* emails containing porny content. Which is a bit of a fail in terms of understanding how much control any user has over the sort of email they receive...

    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of the appeal, especially the claim that more senior people regularly send out smut via mail...

    1. Bumpy Cat

      Do not cross the BOFH

      I can't wait for the email logs and backups to come out, and some senior person wailing "But I hit delete! Why is the mail still there?!".

      Let's hope those senior people have given the BOFH proper incentives for making sure the mail doesn't come to light.

  2. Elmer Phud


    Internal Examination of Donkey - but when it lets go ,it really lets go.

    (donkey jacket)

  3. Anonymous Coward


    But THEY did it too!


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Donkeys? That's sick!

    I thought camels were more their style ...

    1. Richard Jones 1


      No - camels get the hump too easily, (sorry someone had to say it).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I thought camels were more their style ..."

      They normally are but all the pretty ones were spoken for.

    3. alien anthropologist

      @AC 10:11

      > I thought camels were more their style ...

      Not really. Young boys apparently are in Afghan culture (and they in turn become abusers when adult). And Afghan men do what Afghan men do when far from home, when sharing blankets.

      Anyway, this was how they rolled there according to Doug Beattie in his book... a good read about the fighting there from a grunt perspective.

      Infantry. The Queens of The Battlefield. They get it from both sides.

    4. Ian Moffatt 1

      Camels? Too fast

      Donkeys are slower, so it's easier to keep in step.

      And they don't spit :-(

      1. Piezor

        Spit or swallow?

        I don't think they would be putting it in that end mate.

        Donkeys have a penchant for carrots afterall.

  5. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Thought it was Virgin (ne: Teleworst)

    When I read the headline, I just assumed that the Virgin (internet / broadband / fibre / teleworst whatever they call themselves this week) IT people looked at what their 50Mbit users were downloading...

  6. Miek

    More likely ...

    ... the 'Beasty' element to the Porn Vids that got 'em sacked, it's a crime to watch this kinda thing don't you know?

    1. There's a bee in my bot net

      Shame it wasn't titled "Taliban donkey shagging vid" then...

      I mean, how would you know until it was too late?


  7. Anonymous Coward

    Long lonely days and nights...

    "I thought camels were more their style ..."

    ... I guess after too long alone, too much heat any hole is a goal!

  8. Scott Broukell

    presumably ....

    ... the donkey was a member of His Butt to Rear.

    1. philbo

      Please may I..

      nick that gag?

      I've written a parody to "Runaround Sue" about this story, and that'll slot in perfectly

  9. alien anthropologist
    Big Brother

    Nothing new....

    Back in the 90's when corporates, this part of the planet, first got web access it was still pretty much unfiltered.

    Worked at a major corporate who had an admin looking at web logs to manage and control Internet access. So porn sites were not blocked - but access seen via the logs and then reported to management by this admin as part of his job description.

    The very same admin that told me of what the best of the best bestiality sites were that he found on the net... <shudder>

    Who watch the watchers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <--- anonymous

      That used to be the best part of my job: locating, confirming (by viewing) all of the raunchiest (so they said, but I didn't think so) stuff on the internet, and then reporting it to corporate security.

      (Not that I didn't enjoy most every other part of my job, but that was like a BONUS.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Nothing new....

      When we used to borg another comapny's network into ours, guaranteed if there was any pr0n to be found it was usually a hidden stash on some kit only their network/firewall admins had access to.....

  10. Matt.Smart


    The Taliban in question must have felt like a bit of an Ass...

  11. Ted Treen

    Oh well,

    More PC posturing by management who have almost certainly committed far more heinous sins...

    Par for the course these days...

    Anyone remember common sense?

    I believe it became extinct in the mid-late 1980's

    1. Adrian Coward

      It's not what you do....'s what you are SEEN to do. If they had been caught watching it, then they probably would've just got a warning. Emailing to to *hundreds* of other people though was asking to be made an example of.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So in the 80s it would have been acceptable to post some donkey porn into everyone in a company?

      I think not.

      Remember: The computers at work are not your own, they belong to your employer, it is perfectly acceptable for your employer to put terms of use for email and internet. This isn't some PC crusade on behalf of the employer.

      I believe the real common sense issue here is having the common sense not to email porn to everyone in your company.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        But, as I understand it, the material sent out in this case was not by any reasonable definition "porn".

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suspended for receiving....

    Is entirely different from sending it on.

    I've seen email addresses get inundated with porn from the users friends (working at other companies). Our worker got an official warning, which later removed when I was called to explain that we cannot control who sends things from outside the company and produced the spam log :D

    Those sending, well I heard on the grapevine that a couple of the other companies IT admins got a whole new list to check.

  13. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Sending smut on company emails? In this day and age? Planks!

    ' The quartet are due before an employment tribunal today where they will claim unfair dismissal on the grounds that "more senior Virgin staff regularly sent pornography to the airline’s staff". '

    As my teachers and parents said, 'Just 'cos Fred does it, doesn't mean you have to join in does it? Haven't you got a mind of your own to realise the consequences?'.

    Yep, I don't doubt management do the same thing but they're management and management NEVER EVER get caught "with their pants down" so to speak. You planks were stupid enough to send it around and what's more, daft enough to got caught sending it!

  14. Big Al

    Could have been worse...

    ... could have been Spanish donkeys!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Could have been worse...

      ... or German cucumbers!

  15. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Cows Are Not Fun Because:

    1. You need to stand on a bucket..

    2. The tail gets in the way.

    3. You have to run around to the front to kiss 'em.

  16. Steady Eddy


    I pity the mule...

  17. ColonelClaw

    Seen it

    I saw this video at least a year ago, maybe 2, and it was on YouTube at the time. I was emailed the link by (surprise, surprise) a soldier friend of mine who had just returned from Afganistan.

    I'm not sure if it's still on YouTube, but it certainly wasn't graphic, being shot at night using night vision at quite a long range. Basically it was funny, and certainly not obscene - how anyone could get fired for receiving this by email beggars belief.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    names pls

    can we list all there names please so it shows up on google incase i consider hiring these morons,.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whilst I'm sure sending humorous e-mails were not why the company provided employees with e-mail; I say this is just another excuse to go over the top wit the response. It was just a bit of horseplay after all.

  20. philbo

    Fired for donkey porn?

    Must have felt a bit of an ass hole

  21. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    I suspect..

    .. that the reason for letting them go is not RECEIVING this stuff, but sending it on.

    AFAIK, anyone who works for a Virgin branded setup must underwrite a policy which tells them in no uncertain terms that such non-business email is "verboten". The reason for that is simple: Virgin spends a fortune on managing their brand and the associated brand values, and it only takes one idiot to cause damage.

    Originating rubbish from a Virgin branded email address is thus *begging* for trouble - it will get caught in their filters and flagged for attention. QED.

    I can't see this go to court - it's part of their contract..

  22. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    When in Rome....

    Being part of an international group is fun because you often get email sent to you by mistake from those a bit quick to click in the company addressbook. After we borged a French company, there was the funny incident of an UK's director's PA getting a series of naturist pics sent through to her because her surname and initials were shared by one of our new French colleagues. The guilty parties were quite surprised by the attitude of their new and prudish UK overlords, to the point where the French HR director even asked what the fuss was all about! Needless to say, the UK's HR scheme got implemented across Europe despite Continental objections.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    poor planning

    I think your missing an important piece here; Virgin's entire IT department is 4 people, and they let all of them travel together? I guess since they all made it off the plane, plan B was to just fire them for porn? Get real, there's more to this...

  24. Graham Marsden

    "may have been in breach of the Obscene Publications Act"

    No, because the OPA covers "publication for gain", ie publishing *and selling* something.

    This case wouldn't even come under the Extreme Porn Act unless it could be demonstrated that the images were intended "for sexual arousal" and that they were kept for "an unreasonable length of time" and actively sought out by the recipients instead of being sent to them unsolicited.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      This falls under animal cruelty laws--especially if the talib refused to snuggle with the donkey afterwards!!!

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Maybe...

        In many Islamic countries it's only a crime if it's not your donkey (or goat, or camel). Shias class it as a crime if you don't kill the animal afterwards ("sorry, goat, but you were just a one-night fling"), or if you sell the meat from the animal in your own village. Well, if you're a bloke, that is - both Sunni and Shia women are executed if caught enjoying anything hairier than the average Mo. I'm not sure what the Islamic punishment is if you are caught watching a vid of beastilaity - maybe go work for Virgin?

  25. Andus McCoatover

    No, I'm not posting*.

    Temptation tempered by the beautiful photo of Lester's jenny.

    In more important news, said jenny has been named by the amicably qualified judge as....

    (C,mon - it's killing me....)

    *Question that "Did he use a "bin Liner" is too obvious...ok, I lied.

  26. Andus McCoatover


    I call my Learned Friend, Editor of that fine esteemed newspaper, the Sunday Mirror...."

    "On second thoughts, is there a representative from The Big Issue in the court?"

  27. jamest297

    Wrong Beast

    The "Virgin" employees made their mistake by posting with the wrong animal preference of the talibanski. If they'd stayed with camels (or even goats or sheep) the donkey protectors would not have raised a concern.

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