BT allows parents to block access to LGBTI, sexual health websites

Parental controls blocking software offers parents the option to prevent their children from accessing sex education, including advice on health, and LGBT issues

BT allows parents to block access to LGBTI, sexual health websites
20 December 2013 Print This Article

British internet service provider BT is offering parents the option to remove access to LGBTI and sexual health websites.

Their parental controls blocking software offers parents the option to prevent their children from accessing sex education, including advice on health and LGBTI issues.

According to the options set out on their site, there are some 17 different categories of material that parents may choose to block, including pornography, gambling and drugs.  Also up for blocking is a category titled ‘sex education’. 

Parents who opt to block material in this category ‘will block sites where the main purpose is to provide information on subjects such as respect for a partner, abortion, gay and lesbian lifestyle, contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy’.

This came to light after concerns some filtering packages might be ‘mistakenly’ filtering LGBTI sites.

Twitter user Andrew Emmerson, who did some further investigating, discovered the description of BT’s parental controls on the website and promptly made this fact public.

Several were shocked by the discovery, pointing out many young people live in homophobic households and are often the ones who are most in need of advice.

Equalities educator Alice Hoyle, who blogs at Sex Edukation and whose specialisms include HIV education, tackling sexual bullying, and LGBT school issues, described it as ‘shocking’.

She said: ‘Young people have a right to access such information on the internet, and good parents would never try to block them from doing so.’

This sentiment was echoed by Jane Carnall, who manages the community website for LGBT.co.uk.

She told Gay Star News: ‘Responsible parents will not want their children denied access to information that can protect their health.

‘BT Care’s policy of allowing parents to filter out sex education sites would block young adults from accessing essential information to protect themselves and their partners, including information available on NHS sites.’

In a statement to Gay Star News, BT said: ‘There has been an accidental mis-description of the way our parental controls operate.

‘Some parents of very young children may wish to block sex education material. One of our optional filters does just that. It does not discriminate between heterosexual and LGBT content.

‘We apologise for any confusion that has been caused. We shall revise the way we describe the optional sex education filters available for parents of very young children.

‘The filters in question are not turned on by default, but are activated only if chosen by parents.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

OTHER POSTS

No thumbnail available

John Barrowman admits he 'would love to make out with Stephen Amell'

Gay actor has mysterious new role with Amell in new hit show Arrow
No thumbnail available

'Stroke made me gay' says Welsh hairdresser

UK television show tells bizarre story of a straight lager lout from Wales who says he became a gay hairdresser after surviving a freak accident
No thumbnail available

Gay couple kicked out of Texas club for dancing to country music

Apparently in one nightclub in Texas, it is ok for gays to bump and grind to hip hop and dirty dance to salsa, but cannot two step to country ballads
No thumbnail available

Hundreds protest against gay marriage in Sierra Leone

Gay activists fear repeat of last Friday's anti-gay protests in Freetown.
No thumbnail available

Rick Santorum: Christian bakers making cakes for gays is like forcing gays to make ‘God Hates Fags’ signs

Former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says compelling a Christian baker to make a gay wedding cake against their will would be the equivalent of forcing a gay owned print shop to print signs for the Westboro Baptist Church
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Gay Catholics given VIP seats at Vatican

Unprecedented move is seen as a 'sign of movement' in the church
No thumbnail available

Fox News: ‘Don’t be deceived’ by trans US WikiLeaks soldier Chelsea Manning

Chat Show ‘Fox & Friends’ critical of The New York Times for using correct pronouns for WikiLeaks soldier
No thumbnail available

Berlin joins protest against St Petersburg censorship law

German parliament members join activists to protest new and established anti-gay Russian laws
No thumbnail available

Over 150 attend vigil against UK newspaper for printing trans hate speech

Trans supports express disappointment with The Observer for publishing a Julie Burchill comment piece littered with trans slurs