Saturday, 14 December 2013

Censorship: No Sex Education Please, We're Filtered

www.nhs.uk
The #CensoredUK hashtag, spearheaded by the Sex and Censorship group [PornPanic], has been drawing attention to some of the unexpected sites that end up being blocked when internet providers buckle to government demands to censor "adult content".

Nine out of 10 homes will have porn filters on their computers by the end of January, after a Government deal with four big internet providers. Web giants TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky and BT, have all agreed to introduce network filters which can block inappropriate content from all the online devices within the home.

Across several mobile internet providers, however, harmless sex and relationships education sites are being blocked by their web filters. In my experience, the sexual health charity Brook, for example, has turned up on website checkers as being default blocked. But this is plainly not adult content, so why?

...I've said it many times before, and I'll keep saying it. Sexual health is not "adult content". Lumping important (and for many young people, the only) sexual health advice they will have access to in with porn is a mistake. I've always supported voluntary blocks installed by parents on a home by home basis, but phone and internet providers need to understand that doing this for everyone as a default is not their job. More to the point, politicians need to understand that making internet providers do so is not the Government's job.

There is also a concern for LGBT teens, some of whom will not have the support of their families and may have little access to safe, reliable information about sex and sexuality. What about them?


Dr Brooke Magnanti, Daily Telegraph.

Jane Fae writes on companies that are blocking gay websites.

• Sex & Censorship - On the UK Internet block-list.

Update: BBC Newsnight report on how the new ISP porn filters are not filtering some hardcore porn, but are blocking sites about sex education, domestic abuse and rape crisis helplines...

Upadte2: Gay Star News and Pink News realise this is happening after it's happened and they've been sent a press release about it saying it's happened to London Friend, saying they've been blocked by TalkTalk!

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