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T-Mobile responds to complaints of gay web content ‘blocks’

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  1. “It’s possible that the sites were blocked because they contain advertising or other content that falls outside of the Content Lock system which helps prevent children from accessing 18-rated material. This is done in accordance with a voluntary code that mobile operators agreed to in 2004″

    The big fat LIARS!

    PinkNews is one of the sites blocked.

    I can be as critical of Pink News as the next person but the advertising on here is not ‘Over-18’s only’, and never has been!

    The only appropriate response is to switch providers until T-Mobile reverse this homophobic policy (and it is clear homophobia if hetero adult websites are not blocked).

    Can we assume that T-Mobile is officially a homophobic company?

  2. I would just like to thank Pinknews for pressing for statements from other service providers. Thanks Pinknews!!

  3. marjangles 8 Sep 2010, 2:04pm

    I just tried to access Pink News from my Vodaphone phone and was initially told that it was too big or something and then was asked for age verification. So it seems it isn’t just T Mobile.

  4. This seems to be happening more and more… not only with mobile networks but also at work…. I can no longer access Pink News or Advocate at work but can access gay.com and even gaydar!

  5. It would be better to focus attention on T-Mobile – make an example out of them for the other networks.

    The others will end their homophobic policies if they see T-Mobile’s reputation is damaged by its homophobia.

  6. I bet it doesn’t block straight adult content and if it doesn’t, then this is clearly a double-standard and should be addressed. Hypocrisy of the worst kind. I’d urge customers to switch carriers. Hi T-Mobile where it hurts, in its deep pockets.

  7. Tony Tansley 8 Sep 2010, 9:05pm

    I’ve been with t mobile for 10 years and never had problems with access. Is blocking porn homophobic? Why are people so quick to judge before giving an opportunity to explain?

  8. Scott of Sydney 9 Sep 2010, 12:06am

    Where are your rights groups on this. No Black Rights group would accept this as a basis for denying access to their sites. Likewise no gay rights groups should either. One law for all.
    Not one law for heterosexuals and another for homosexuals.
    Thus T Mobile has to by law apply the exact same standards to Straight Media as it does to Gay Media.
    Anything eles is discrimination and most likely illegal under equal protection laws.

  9. Simon Murphy 9 Sep 2010, 12:08am

    “Is blocking porn homophobic? Why are people so quick to judge before giving an opportunity to explain? ”

    Blocking porn is not homophobic.

    Unless straight porn is accessible and gay porn is blocked.

    As is the case with T-Mobile – have you actually read the article?

    And gay news sites with no pornographic content is also blocked. Why is that?

    T-Mobile are homophobic. Scummy bastards!

  10. I’ve no problems with o2 but I used to with voda.
    T-mobile know they screwed up but can’t admit it. It’s really bad pr… They should of said we are aware of the issue we appolagise and will resolve it asap.

    Useless provider

  11. When I was on Orange I also found they blocked some trans support sites as well and the one of the ones in question had no advertising at all.
    It’s quite worrying that young LGBT are being blocked from information.

  12. When I got my t-mobile dongle I couldn’t even get on the Stonewall website. I had to ring t-mob to get it unblocked.

  13. Tony, if blocking gay porn but not straight porn is what T-Mobile is doing, then yes, its homophobia. You either block all or none.

    Scott, the analogy you make to one rule for straights and one rule for gays can be applied to the inequality of marriage in our country. Marriage for straights (gays are banned), and civil partnerships for gays (straights are banned). Two different laws. If that’s not blatant discrimination, I don’t know what is. At least the Liberal Democrats and a handful in the Labour Party are coming to that realisation, admitting and supporting a change, but precious little coming from the Tories, if any.

  14. M. T. Bags 9 Sep 2010, 3:24pm

    I don’t think this is as much homophobia as it is just plain laziness. They might think of the money it may cost to sort out but outweigh that with the better customer service it could provide.

  15. Louise:
    > When I was on Orange I also found they blocked some trans
    > support sites as well and the one of the ones in question had no
    > advertising at all. It’s quite worrying that young LGBT are
    > being blocked from information.

    I don’t know what sites you are referring to, but as a campaigner for the rights of transsexual minors (and others), and user of Orange on an age-unverified PAYG SIM I’m not seeing access to relevant essential sites being blocked. That includes PinkNews. The same goes for 3. I don’t have phones or modems for other networks.

    Incidentally, I don’t know if its coincidence, or a deliberate response, but ads for T-mobile are currently being served up on the PinkNews site. I find that antagonizing.

  16. Robert:
    > Scott, the analogy you make to one rule for straights and one
    > rule for gays can be applied to the inequality of marriage in
    > our country.

    I’m a campaigner for marriage equality, but don’t understand what you are saying here. There is a specific UK law against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, and another on grounds of “gender reassignment” in the supply of goods and services, at any age. And both will be combined come October under the Equality Act, again at any age. Internet access is a covered service. Marriage is a different matter under a different law, even though the motivation for discrimination may well be the same.

    If T-mobile or other internet service providers are blocking young people of sexual or other minorities from access to information on a different basis then it is illegal. PinkNews has a lawyer and surely knows what steps to take, but the first is to ask the offender to explain or stop and document the response, in detail. If that fails you go to a county court or see if the EHRC will take it up, which usually takes a time or doesn’t happen because they have their own priorities which are mysterious. Its a civil, not criminal matter, strangely, so nothing to do with the police.

    What has probably happened is that the laws which have come into force since 2004 when the mobile operators agreed on blocking access to some sites for under-18s have been ignored as not relevant. Probably because neither the Equalities and Human Rights Commission nor OFCOM have bothered to bring the matter to the operators’ attention, but that’s no excuse. The EHRC is busy, and OFCOM is determinedly hands-off (the non-regulating regulator), and doesn’t see equality laws as applying to itself either excepting its own staff (which is again wrong).

    Using “net-nanny” software from another country (such as the US, which is decades behind in human rights protection) is no excuse.

    In 2004 it was considered quite natural to discriminate against us on various grounds, you may recall. Also to “protect” young people of sexual minorities more from understanding their sexuality than heterosexual young people. Subsequent laws have changed that. However broadcasters, ISPs, and regulators (both OFCOM and the film, video and video games regulator, and perhaps others), are being very, very slow in understanding that. But there was nothing in the law to allow them years to “adapt”, and continue discrimination, after the law came into force.

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