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Starbucks is going to block porn in its coffee shops

Ella Braidwood November 29, 2018
Starbucks logo and a gay porn scene

Starbucks is set to block porn in its coffee outlets. (Starbucks/sakura01love/YouTube)

Starbucks has said it will block pornography on its WiFi networks in coffee shops.

Coffeehouse chain Starbucks said that it will block pornographic content on its WiFi from 2019 onwards, reports Business Insider. 

“We have identified a solution to prevent this content from being viewed within our stores and we will begin introducing it to our US locations in 2019.”

—Starbucks

It comes after years of pressure, with Starbucks pledging to block explicit websites back in 2016.

Other food chains, including Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, have introduced filters to block porn on their WiFi networks.

Starbucks will block porn from 2019 onwards

A Starbucks spokesperson said the filters would be introduced in some US stores in 2019.

“To ensure the Third Place [Starbucks’ coffee shops] remains safe and welcoming to all, we have identified a solution to prevent this content from being viewed within our stores and we will begin introducing it to our US locations in 2019,” the spokesperson said.

A man in Starbucks, which is set to ban porn from 2019 onwards on its WiFi
Starbucks will use filters to block access to porn in its coffee shops from 2019 onwards. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

More than 26,000 people have signed petition created by campaign group Enough Is Enough, which seeks to make the internet “safer” for families and children, urging Starbucks to block porn.

Donna Rice Hughes, CEO of Enough is Enough, recently released a statement criticising Starbucks for not following through on its commitment to ban porn in 2016.

“By breaking its commitment, Starbucks is keeping the doors wide open for convicted sex offenders and others to fly under the radar from law enforcement and use free, public Wi-Fi services to access illegal child porn and hard-core pornography,” she said, reports Business Insider.

“Having unfiltered hotspots also allows children and teens to easily bypass filters and other parental control tools set up by their parents on their smart phones, tablets, and laptops.”

A Starbucks store in Mexico, which could soon block porn on its WiFi
Coffee drinkers will soon be unable to access porn in Starbucks’ US outlets. (Starbucks)

Concerns that Starbucks could accidentally block LGBT+ content with porn filters

On Friday, a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN that it was working towards a way to ban porn that “also doesn’t involuntarily block unintended content.”

A number of food chains have inadvertently banned access to LGBT+ content on their WiFi networks through filters intended to block porn.

In 2011, McDonald’s was accused of censoring LGBT+ content when it blocked access to a number of gay support websites on its WiFi networks.

PinkNews has contacted Starbucks for comment.

More: US

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