Filtering and Blocking: gathering in the evidence

Those who read my rantings elsewhere on the net may have noticed me writing about this filtering and blocking thing for a while. Earlier this year, i had the temerity to suggest to Government porn Tsarina, Claire Perry MP that the initiatives in place were badly thought out and had the potential to backfire. Badly.

Her response, at the time (I paraphrase), was that we should not let the “quest for the best drive out the adequate”. OK. That’s rhetoric and soundbite but still: you can see where she’s coming from.

Along the way, i’ve written the occasional piece pointing up this or that bit of ludicrous blocking. Or filtering. Or moderation. I’ve also drawn attention to the ludicrous notion that it is OK to hand over out national cultural identity to a bunch of organisations who are basically non-UK, commercial, secret and unregulated. But for the most part, no-one much took any notice. Until this week.

Filtering and Blocking: the ridiculous reality

All has now changed, as online filtering starts to move from theory to reality – and the BBC highlighted how a raft of perfectly ordinary sites, from health and sex education to LGBT advice lines were being blocked – while simultaneously, a fair old bit of pron was getting thru.

Since thursday i’ve ended up writing four pieces on this. In summary, for those who missed them, they are:

– a critique of the filtering in its entirety together with an outline solution to some of its worst excesses in

– a story about TalkTalk “accidentally” blocking the UK’s oldest LGBT charity

– a follow-up story about TalkTalk blocking the website of LibDem LGBT – one of whose members had the temerity to criticise them

– and a story about BT deliberately singling out information about gay and lesbian relationships as something parents might wish to “protect” their children from

Somewhere i need to write up the ludicrous story about Facebook censoring a female nipple while allowing a male nipple to be displayed in one and the same picture. And then, there’s O2, which appear to think that anything and everything to do with LGBT is something for parents to block on behalf of their children as well as HMRC and, i hear this afternoon, a site promoting women’s expertise.

Next steps – and information

This has got to stop and, if you want to drop back in to this site from time to time, you will see that things are beginning to move. Various communities are likely to be meeting in the new year. There is a better solution which i am also going to publish shortly.

Meanwhile, the genie may be well and truly out of the bottle, but there is too much rumour and horror story flying around. And so, with much trepidation, i am going to ask people to drop me a line about any odd filtering or blocking (or moderation) they encounter.

Send it here (to this blog) or feel free to decipher out my e-mail, which is jane at ozimek dotco dotuk.

And a happy xmas to you all. 🙂



About janefae

On my way from here to there
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