US congressional candidate claims he was testing for viruses after screenshot shows open porn tabs

After the gaffe, Mike Webb suggested that "what does not kill you does make you stronger"

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File photo. Image: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A conservative candidate running for Congress in the US has defended himself after he shared a screenshot of his web browser that showed two pornography tabs open.

Mike Webb posted the screenshot on Facebook, intending to show a map & search results alongside a post about a phone call he received from a staffing agency in Virginia.

However, eagle-eyed followers soon spotted that two of the other tabs open read "IVONE SEXY AMATEUR" and "LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BOOTY".

The image went viral, but Mr Webb later re-posted the image along with a lengthy 2,000 word post attempting to explain the tabs.

In the post - now deleted but quoted by The Guardian - the Christian candidate suggested that he was running a test to see if somebody was attempting to infect electoral candidates' computers with malware.

He wrote: "Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems".

In a follow-up post, Webb suggested that the incident saw his Facebook likes increase by 25%.

"Today's notorious post reached almost 200,000 people," he said. "The succeeding post reached a little more than a tenth of that, and all through the viral infection of social media and word of mouth.

"I was very much moved by the love and support of those who expressed their encouragement and support, even some in the national and local press," he added.