After promoting one of my posts on minds.com, one of the commenters informed me that Sky has started to block The Gateway Pundit.
In case you did not know, The Gateway Pundit is a popular right-wing political blog that was founded by Jim Hoft. Not that the political leaning of a website really matters as I will defend any website, it does not matter if the website is left or right wing.
But anyway getting on the story. A couple of days after receiving the tip-off, I decided to some research to check the validity of the information I received. To my surprise when I checked the domain with blocked.co.uk, it was just being blocked by Sky Broadband Shield but was also being blocked O2. It is extremely concerning to see ISP filters blocking news websites as it stops people from being able to read someone’s political point of view.
Currently, they is no protection for websites aginst ISPs blocking them. This has lead to a situation where ISPs won’t respond to webmaster requests for their website to be unblocked. This leads to a large group of the population unable to hear non-mainstream political views which is very dangerous for a democracy. I know some people will bring up the point that you can opt-out of these blocks but those people have not considered the fact that most people don’t understand much about how blocking works and as such will not know how to turn off the blocks.
Lastly, one of my biggest fears is that option to opt-out will be removed, leading to people being unable to learn to policies of non-mainstream parties. This matters a lot as if your party is not already large, you will not get promotions through the media.
So in summary; A political blog is blocked by Sky and O2 aka a political point of view has been censored.
Update: TalkTalk and EE have now also blocked the website.
I have received a reply from O2, who have now unblocked The Gateway Pundit:
Thanks for getting in touch. We’ve reviewed the below website and can confirm that it’s now classified as business so will not be blocked. This will happen overnight.
Given the wide variety of content available online, occasionally we do accidentally block sites that should be available to anyone without proving their age. We do our best to remove any restrictions on these sites quickly once we’ve been made aware.
Hope this helps.
Update 2: A TalkTalk spokesperson has sent this statement to me (As such TalkTalk are removed from the list and I will be contacting blocked.org.uk about it):
“The Gateway Pundit is not blocked by TalkTalk. The data referenced on blocked.org.uk has not been updated since 2014 and the ‘Strict Filter’ stated does not exist on the TalkTalk service.”