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McDonald’s Blocking WiFi Access To Gay Websites To Ensure Restaurants Are ‘Family Friendly’

Remember that time McDonald’s tried reaching to gay fans of heart disease and cholesterol spikes with that France-only ad featuring a son coming out to his father? It got the U.S. National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce so furious with the restaurant chain it dropped all ties with McDonald’s, claiming the ad — which the burger giant went on to say would never air in the U.S. — amounted to “blatant geographic pandering to the LGBT community … while McDonald’s has continued to distance itself from the LGBT segment in the United States. To allow people to believe that McDonald’s is the kind of partner portrayed in this ad would be a complete failure on our part to serve as an honest and trusted resource for LGBT people and our families to help make informed decisions in the marketplace.” Well at least McDonald’s isn’t blatantly pandering to the LGBT community in New Zealand: The chain’s restaurants there are blocking gay and gay-friendly websites from being accessed on its free WiFi connection. The Internet access, now available in 132 New Zealand locations, won’t let visitors check out sites like GayNZ.com, NZDating.com, and the support service group Rainbow Youth’s site. Don’t worry: AaronAndAndy.com and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s page were still accessible. Why the blockade? Because, of course, McDonald’s wants to make sure any computer screens in its shops are family friendly. Says McDonald’s managing director Mark Hawthorn: “We do have a responsibility to make sure any information available on our system is child friendly and we will go a long way to protect that.” Five hundred seventy-six calories in a Big Mac, then, is child friendly?

On:           Jan 10, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • christopher di spirito

      I can’t imagine anything better than sitting in a busy, smelly, McDonald’s, eating a Quarter Pounder, while looking at Man Hunt on my laptop. Not.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Child friendly? So then do they also screen out New Zealands version of Cosmo Magazine so little girls don’t grow up with Body dismorphia? Or newspapers that are always covering stories about violence, rape, muggings etc…? Guess they screen out all those too?

      Jan 10, 2011 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John

      I tried sitting in their restaurant and using their WiFi while I ate a quick lunch once for work.

      Crying babies, loud kids, dirty tables, etc. all convinced me that that wasn’t a very good idea.

      McDonald’s can block the whole damned WWW for all I care because I’ll never use their WiFi again.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • datalore

      The same goes for Hungary. I’ve actually written them about this without mentioning what site I was trying to access (it was gay but not porn or porn-related) and the answer was that they don’t limit their WIFI service. I wrote back saying this wasn’t true but there was no further comment from them. And on the child friendly nature of the limitation; I could easily access a right wind hate site through McDonald’s WIFI. Maybe so. in NZ should try the same and confront them if it’s possible there as well.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete

      Maybe because 99% of gay websites contain massive amounts of sex because gays have only one thing on their mind no?

      Jan 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jacknastion

      Meh, McDonalds is just as bad for GLBT people as for everybody else. Hopefully this will discourage people from making unhealthy eating choices.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 5 · Pete wrote, “Maybe because 99% of gay websites contain massive amounts of sex because gays have only one thing on their mind no?”

      Really? http://www.advocate.com/ or the one you posted this on for starters should be a start on your misconceptions. If they did have “only one thing on their mind”, however, what do you think would be on the laptops’ hard drives, which they could look at instead.

      McDonald’s policy is simply brain dead: it simply doesn’t matter if “objectionable” material is downloaded from a web site or read off of a local disk.

      How to protest: set up your laptop to show an innocuous film (maybe Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire) but kill the sound and play the sort of music they’d use as background for porn instead.

      Or (alternatively) use a program like wget to fetch a snapshot of a gay web site and point your browser to a file on your disk. They can’t block your hard drive.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McMike

      @Pete: Oh, and 99% of heterosexual men don’t have only one thing on their mind, no?

      Get f’n real. The ONLY reason why gay men have more sex is because they’re not having to look to women to get laid.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike Smith

      Actually in Australia and NZ, and other countries McCafes and McDonald’s a very different product to the US. See http://www.papascott.de/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/mccafe-design-wenge.jpg

      While I wouldn’t be caught dead there, frankly, I don’t object to hookup and adult sights being blocked, be they gay or straight. Obviously McDonald’s don’t pick and choose which sites to block, rather they pay or subscribe to a service, as would a school or a library. With the number of children in McDonald’s is this really something we should object to?

      We should remember that they provide this service for free. If it was a paid service, then I wouldn’t pay for censored internet.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Franky

      Self-hating gays like Pete always project their obsessions of gay sex on healthy gays. It’s really so obvious and tired.

      The bottom line is, that there needs to be some better way of figuring out this situation when it comes to certain websites being unreasonably blocked. It’s not necessarily a homophobia issue, since there are several gay-oriented websites not blocked, it seems like it’s more of an issue with filtering, a teething issue potentially. This is something that will be interesting to see how it develops going forward.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe

      McDonalds blocks arteries with no accountability so i am not surprised about this.

      Jan 11, 2011 at 12:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james

      Mcdonalds is NOT homophobic. It just doesn’t want websites that include naked guys or advertisments on it. Those sites are not relevant for children.

      Wish the drama queens would stop making big deals out of this. You make the normal gay guys look bad.

      Jan 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
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