Tuesday, September 7, 2010

T-Mobile customers complain at 'blocking' of gay websites


Customers of T-Mobile have complained that the mobile phone network bars access to gay websites.

T-Mobile, one of the UK's largest mobile phone networks, appears to block gay-related content as unsuitable for under-18s.

This includes gay websites which contain no nudity or offensive content.

The provider has a system called Content Lock, which is automatically set on phones to filter out 'offensive' material. Users must confirm they are over 18 to remove the restrictions.

PinkNews.co.uk is among the websites affected, while others include gay travel websites, bar and club listings and gay culture websites.

Bryan Manley-Green, who is with T-Mobile, told PinkNews.co.uk: "This must be in breach of the Equality Act and it must be affecting gay businesses."

Mr Manley-Green said that after a lengthy conversation with a T-Mobile customer complaints advisor and assistance from staff at a local store, he was able to access gay websites on his phone.

Several other readers contacted us about the problem, including Darcy C-Oshimida, who also could not access gay websites through her T-Mobile phone.

She said: "I think this is ridiculous and assumes that anything gay must be inappropriate for children. I believe you are losing a lot of readers this way, and important young readers at that."

T-Mobile did not return repeated calls for comment. PinkNews.co.uk readers have also complained that rival network O2 also blocks access to all gay related websites.

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