If you’ve ever found yourself sipping a latte in a an overstuffed cafe chair trying to read websites like, say, Queerty, only to be met with a message along the lines of “this content is blocked,” you know how annoying internet filters can be.
Public schools and libraries are actually required to use them, and many businesses that offer free wi-fi choose to switch them on. And all too often, LGBT content gets lumped in with porn and is deemed inappropriate.
But now imagine that instead of someone in a cafe trying to stay current on their queer gossip, it’s a suicidal gay teen trying to access The Trevor Project’s website from his high school’s computer lab. Big problem.
Well one leading internet filter company, Symantec, has taken a huge step to address the issue. They’ve removed “LGBT content” as a toggle altogether, meaning that while administrators of the software can still block offensive websites, there will be no way to block sites based purely on sexual orientation.
This opens the door to sites like GLAAD and The Trevor Project. GLAAD’s CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:
“Symantec gets it. It’s time that our software reflects our values, and that means filtering out discrimination.”
Not only is this the right thing to do for people who need access to gay advocacy websites, it acknowledges that it is flat out wrong to block gay sites that aren’t obscene.
And it means your dream of reading Queerty at the public library will finally come true. Hallelujah.
Hopefully the other filter services follow suit.
This article is very interesting. I live in the Middle East and the internet is censored in the entire country. However, Queerty is not blocked. hmmmmm
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