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Sky UK block gay-teen support website deemed ‘pornographic’ by its algorithms

Sky UK block gay-teen support website deemed ‘pornographic’ by its algorithms

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Sky UK has been called out for blocking an important gay-teen support website that its algorithms deem as ‘pornographic’.

The broadcaster and internet service provider, along with other ISP’s, are gaining powers to shut down websites that they deem ‘offensive’ or ‘obscene’ as part of the Digital Economy Act 2010.

And as of April 2018, all users of real pornography sites will have to prove they are aged 18 to gain access.

Information sites are being blocked

But as Open Rights Group tweeted on Saturday (17 February) afternoon, Sky UK have blocked gay-teen advice website  gayteenresources.org.

The website is seen as an important resource for teenagers exploring their sexuality and for those that may be struggling.

Taking to Twitter, Open Rights Group said: ‘This site provides important information to gay teens who might be struggling  – but @SkyUK have it blocked as ‘pornography.

‘A recurring theme for the LGBTQ+ communities’

A visit to blocked.org.uk, which lists sites that cannot be accessed, reveals that O2, EE and Three have also automatically filtered the site from their mobile networks.

Bringing it to the attention of Gay Star News on Saturday was obscenity lawyer and rights activist Myles Jackman, who called the block a ‘recurring theme for LGBTQ communities.

‘CENSORSHIP: A website offering resources to gay-teens has been blocked as ‘pornography’. This is a reccuring theme for LGBTQ+ communities. Unacceptable,’ tweeted Jackman.

‘Hi Myles if a site has been miscategorised it can be reported via this link skyhlp.me/soFVvc,’ tweeted Sky to the lawyer.

One Twitter user, clearly incensed by Sky’s reaction, tweeted:  ‘You have it now. Just deal with it now. Oafs.’

The prejudice of algorithms: Digital Economy Act becomes more powerful in April

Speaking to Gay Star News, Jackman said: ‘This invidious trend demonstrates the ingrained homophobic prejudice of algorithms intended to protect younger people from certain content as it is unable to distinguish between legitimate LGBTQ+ relationship education advice and porn.’

Gay Star News has approached Sky for additional comment.