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O2 filter blocks children from Stonewall, BBC News, Conservative and Downing Street websites

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Reader comments

  1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Dec 2013, 5:45pm

    Why don’t the Tories just call it a day and admit it’s a major cockup and get rid of it? It doesn’t work. Parents should be making decisions for their children, not government with this nanny state nonsense, the antithesis of what the Tories stand for. Put freedom of speech and expression back into democracy for f_ck sake.

    1. Benjamin Cohen 23 Dec 2013, 6:40pm

      This filtering system has been in place for a few years, since before David Cameron’s policy. I think that this is very different from filtering porn. Children should not be banned from finding out what is happening in the world.

      1. Midnighter 23 Dec 2013, 7:27pm

        I agree, but if we are concerned about children being denied access to information about the world the difficulty remains that if a parent wanted to control the information accessible to their child at home, they can already do that simply by banning them from the internet altogether.

        If we are to be stuck with filtering, the problem is that what “should not be banned” is a judgement call that is being taken from us and given to another party. On that basis we should be resisting any solution where we lose the ability to have complete control over the filtering applied to our own homes, even if it is simply to choose to have filtering turned off.

        What we risk is losing a great deal of civil liberty on a “think of the children” premise, in large part due to sub-standard technologies. As consumers we should be at the very least pushing for the better solutions which exist and allow granular changes by the customer themselves to permit indvidual sites blocked by provided lists etc.

  2. If the claims of this article are true, then this whole filtering palava is a fiasco and we are all now engulfed in a world of ad hoc censorship! This is serious! What we can and cannot find via search engines is being determined by the whim of different and nameless individuals in different internet companies.

  3. Let me get this straight.. They arent just blocking porn, but also anything THEY deem ‘irrelevant’ to 12 year olds? Sorry but the BBC site is very much relevant to 12 years with an interest in the world.

  4. Seeing as Pink News hates the BBC this is surely a result worth celebrating for this Tory site?

  5. Nice to know that O2 considers British democracy to be “uninteresting” to our nation’s children. And heaven forbid kids should read the news.

    But celebrity and superhero websites are permitted.

    Are they hoping kids will grow up educated only in pop culture, ready to buy anything which businesses like O2 try to sell them?

    Utterly depressing.

  6. What moron at O2 think that they know what is and isn’t interesting to the UK’s 12 million children?

    O2 is primarily an entertainment company. Could it be that for cynical commercial reasons they have decided that children should be interested in entertainment but not in health, politics, news or current events?

  7. The internet is far too big to be blanket policed. Such blocks will never-ever-work! Parents should simply be not using computers as baby sitters and watch their kids better.

  8. This really isn’t news.. sites get accidentally and stupidly blocked all the time. I’m sure a quick email would have resorted in it being fixed.

    1. James Campbell 7 Jan 2014, 7:00pm

      I have posted on this issue before, but it bears repetition here. When away on business, I use a Vodafone broadband dongle. I am a doctor and using my mobile broadband I was blocked from medical web sites (well, medicine is a well-known pornographic area!) It took me months (yes, months) to get this crazy ban lifted.

  9. Craig Young 23 Dec 2013, 10:30pm

    The Tories I can understand, given the fact that the content (and their policies) are associated with violent and antisocial behaviour (they cause it), but the others?! Talk about a munted filter…abandon chip!

  10. And what if the child is a victim of abuse? O2 would seem to be complicit in this with what they ban.

  11. robbie rodrigues 23 Dec 2013, 11:46pm

    ‘age appropriate’ – like this applies universally.

    1. No kidding.

      I used to check the listings of the stock exchange regularly when I was 8.

      I like statistics and am interested in politics and economics… so it was just an interest I had.

      I wonder what age they think it should be okay for kids to watch that stuff at :/

  12. Pete (Nottingham) 24 Dec 2013, 11:20am

    It was the very last paragraph in this article that made me chuckle. Kinda defeats everything aforementioned!

  13. They have a delightful “lifestyles” category, items in which are apparently blocked from under-12s. Looking at Wikipedia pages (which are blocked with blacklisting not whitelisting) sheds some light on what that category is a euphemism for:

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