Every major Internet service provider (ISP) in the UK has introduced a filter that will block ‘adult content’. This is not just pornography but anything deemed unsuitable for under 18s, including websites about alcohol, smoking and politics. What gets blocked varies from ISP to ISP and lots of sites get blocked by mistake.
Although ISP filters are not on by default, they are targeted at whole homes, meaning adults and children have the same filtering. They also often provide broad and misleading categories like “social media” that block blogs. Mobile operators still have default-on filters still make it dificult to switch filters off. And nobody is very clear that filters are imperfect, won't help with problems like bullying, can get in the way of everyday activities and will not provide genuine safety. In short, they are being oversold.
Open Rights Group believes that parents shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into switching filters on. On this website, you can find out more about why filters are bad for the Internet, what to do if your website is blocked and how you can help keep your children safe online.
This was a crowd-sourced project and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated. We’d also like to thank internet service provider Andrews & Arnold Ltd for sponsoring this film and supporting ORG’s project to check for blocked websites: blocked.org.uk