Feet Week: Meet the man behind wikiFeet, the encyclopedia where you can see every celeb’s toes
‘Rule 34’, as it’s known, states that if something exists, you’ll be able to find porn of it online.
Although not an official rule, it’s also largely true that if something exists there’s a Wiki for it – an online encyclopedia dedicated to chronicling fandoms or shows or games.
Much bigger than the Eastenders Wiki or Hitchipedia (for hitchhikers) is one of the most established players in the game – wikiFeet.
The site is a dedicated resource that houses scores of feet pics from almost every celebrity you can imagine, as well as an online message board where foot fetishists can discuss everything from toe length to arch height.
The site was created in 2008 by Eli Ozer, a 40-year-old freelance programmer who lives in Israel.
Eli knew he was interested in feet from a young age. He says: ‘The first time I realized I was attracted to feet was around the age of 13.
‘I remember pausing my VCR on parts of movies that showed feet.’
As part of his programming efforts, he channelled his interest into the creation of wikiFeet, making a site where users could upload pictures of their favourite celeb’s feet, and then find the ones they liked based on shoe size, popularity, nationality, or other markers.
Eli told Metro.co.uk: ‘I was working as a programmer for a medical center and worked on the site in my spare time.
The idea was to make an online collaborative collection of celebrity feet photos, in the hope that other people who share my fascination and curiosity would share photos of their favorite celebs.
‘It took a while, and little by little, people joined the site and added photos of their own. New galleries drew in new people and more people resulted in even more galleries.
‘I never expected the site to become as popular as it has.’
In 2017, Eli reported that a whopping 3 million people has used the site over the course of the year, and there’s now a wikiFeet Men and an X-rated version specifically for the feet of adult performers.
That much growth has undoubtedly proved a lot of work for just one man with a love of feet.
It can take a toll having to deal with such a huge load of content, and as a result Eli says he ‘hardly spend[s] time on the site anymore as [he is] involved in other projects.’
‘As the site grew I faced many challenges in hosting the site and managing the load on the server, in dealing with the hacking attempts and trolls wreaking havoc, and with managing the staggering amount of content,’ said Eli.
‘To help with content management I created “the guild”, which is comprised of devoted wikiFeet users who care about the site and who actively filter out inappropriate content every day.’
One specific troll incident took place in 2013. Eli says: ‘They created hundreds of user accounts, bombarded the site with the most disgusting photos and comments imaginable, tempered with the site ratings, tried to dox users, attempted to hack the server, etc..
‘At the time there was no guild in place and I’ve done all the comment moderating myself. I had to shut down the comment section entirely and approve every single user signup manually.
‘At some point, I started the guild and gave trusted users the power to moderate content and handle problem users.’
That doesn’t mean there still aren’t problems. For example, every Wiki site has to deal with copyright issues, but it becomes more prevalent when it’s photos that might be ‘controversial’ to some.
‘Celebs are usually cool with being featured on wikiFeet. People constantly comment on their hair, makeup, personal style, why not their feet?’ says Eli.
‘Understandably, some celebs are less comfortable than others. I sometimes get contacted by someone asking to remove their page from the site, and I always respect their request.
‘On the other hand, you will see a lot of posts on twitter and IG of celebs embracing their foot fans and taking it as the compliment that it is.
‘After all, love is love.’
Similarly, Eli has ‘implemented several measures to automatically detect [copyrighted] content when possible’ and removes it when it’s reported.
He continues, ‘The site is free anyway so I have nothing to gain from having extra photos.’
It might come across as somewhat sordid, but Eli says that wikiFeet isn’t designed to be seen as X-rated.
‘In general the site is not meant for hard fetishists,’ says Eli.
‘You will not find any nudity in the photos or any mention of sexual acts in the comment section, as these are strictly forbidden.
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‘The site is sometimes mislabeled as “foot porn”, when in fact it’s more about appreciating the symmetry and aesthetics of the foot. And most users agree this is a big part of the site’s appeal (confirmed by site polls).’
Each year, ratings are collated and the Feet of the Year awards are announced, with 2019’s shining stars including Brenda Song, Erin Moriarty, and Maya Hawke.
But it’s not just A-listers – you can find foot photos of pretty much every influencer or reality star you can think of.
Although you might think a resource as massive would make Eli rich, it hasn’t quite worked like that. He tells us that ‘the site does make money – but not enough to live off,’ so he still works a ‘regular’ job from home.
wikiFeet has always been more of a passion project for Eli, and there’s one celebrity’s feet he loves most.
‘Celebrity with the best feet: Emma Stone, hands down,’ he says.
‘Her feet are well kempt, healthy looking and aesthetically pleasing. She has high arches, soft soles, and toes that are very well proportioned.’
What’s the deal with Feet Week?
Feet Week is a week dedicated entirely to feet. as the name probably gives away.
We figured we could all do with something to occupy our minds during the pandemic – and what better topic than feet?
From 4 May to 10 May you can find articles on everything feet, from what it actually takes to be a foot model to what it’s like to be a pro toe wrestler.
Do you have a story to share? Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.
Share your views in the comments below.
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