Some UK mobile phone carriers are automatically blocking access to gay sites.
An investigation by The Telegraph into UK phone carriers including Orange and 3UK showed that some providers prohibit access to certain sites because they deal with ‘mature content’.
Since these filters are found to be automatic, access to certain sites including LGBT news sites proves problematic for minors who can’t authorize for the filters to be removed, or users with company phones who may not want to approach their employers regarding the online blocks.
Journalist Willard Foxton wrote that individuals who need to browse ‘mature content’ without leaving a history for parents, family or colleauges ‘are teenagers who are looking at mature content like advice for homosexuals, feminist blogs or sexual health advice’.
According to the article, Orange filters classify feminist articles as mature content, and 3UK blocks access to political satire.
The filters not only present a censorship issue to consumers who miss out on full access to the web via their smartphones, but give mobile phone providers the ability to decide what is and isn’t appropriate content for adults, and minors, to see.
Mobile phone carriers aren’t the only companies who’ve faced LGBT censorship issues this year.
On 5 January Gay Star News reported US personnel are still banned from accessing LGBT content from US Department of Defense computers.
According to John Aravosis of AMERICAblog, a gay news website that discovered the block, ‘the pages referenced in several recent articles were denied access based on web filters blocking the "Blog/Personal Pages" category, not the specific sites themselves.’
I wonder how long the Pentagon computers would ban all things Jewish or Catholic. This should have been fixed a very long time ago, and in fact, it should never have happened’.