Recent reports have revealed a very interesting fact -
adult content filters used by mobile operators
have started a process called "over-blocking". This means
that legitimate sites are being blocked by filters.
The Open Rights Group (ORG) and the LSE
Media Policy Project both thought this was unfair which is
why they teamed up to reveal the sites that were blocked despite
being legitimate organisations or businesses.
Some of the sites that were unfairly blocked are as follows:
1. La Quadrature du Net -
French digital rights activists. The block has been removed shortly
after users reported they could not access it.
2. Shelfappeal.com - general
interest blog. Orange reportedly blocked it on the 15th of
3. St Margaret's Community
Website - an appreciation and information website which
keeps the residents of St Margaret's (South West London) informed
about the area (reported blocked on the 8th of March on Orange and
4. Torproject - website
representing the privacy tool, Tor. Blocked by Vodafone, O2 and
Three last January.
5. eHow - advice website.
Orange was reported as blocking it on the 9th of March.
6. Biased-BBC - blog which suggests
that the BBC isn't an entirely impartial news source. Blocked by on
O2 and T-Mobile on the 5th of March. Classified as "hate page" by
7. Equisitetweets - page
which allows users to save their favourite Twitter threads. The
website was reported as blocked by Vodafone, Orange, and T-Mobile
on the 15th February.
The list has been compiled to underline that content filters can
slow down traffic to some websites which are unfairly blocked,
meaning that the webmasters or firms may lose out on consumer
awareness and business opportunities.
SimplifyDigital is keen to know if such a report exists based on
TalkTalk's HomeSafe programme, some glitches have
been revealed before but these were mainly concerning adult content
still being visible rather than unfair blocks.
Lastly, the ORG stated in its Internet
"What is clear is that the blocking extends well beyond
adult sexual content. And it is important to recognise that what is
'appropriate' is not at all easily defined, leaving many of the
reports in a grey area."
As the saying goes - one man's trash is another man's treasure.
One cannot simply decide what a "hate site" is and expect
everyone to merrily agree.