back to article Three to drop mobile smut shield

Network operator Three is to stop filtering out smut that monthly subscribers are attempting to view on their mobile phones. "We know this has frustrated many of you," it said. Punters on PAYG packages will continue to face blocks when they attempt to view certain web sites - and not just rude ones. Three said its filter also …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    only 72 hours o no, how many of them knew there was a filter in the first place?

    1. ph0b0s
      Thumb Down

      This is the problem

      This is my main problem with this system. It is not ready for prime time. The filters should be able to be turned on or off at mobiles users pleasure. Until then this is possible, it is more of a hindrance than a help.

      I does not have to be instant, but within a few days, as phones can be hand me downs within families etc.

      1. The Alpha Klutz

        "It does not have to be instant, but within a few days"


        Would the phone company be happy if it took days to pull up someone's call logs? Why should their customers wait days for similarly critical tasks.

        Half an hour at the most. And there should be none of this "you can only turn it on and off x times". Software is good because you can do things infinite times. Let's not tack pointless restrictions on.

        It's not like we're asking some clerk to go to the basement and dig through 40 years worth of paper files. Companies need to learn that computers give them licence to operate differently than before, an opportunity that they should seize with both hands. Otherwise die like the record labels will.

        I'm tired of some middle manager who gave up on technology the first time he failed to program his VCR, always telling me that a job will take days or weeks when I know for a fact that it will take seconds.

  2. JasonW

    Not just smut etc...

    also b3ta is filtered out, even with the smut filter deactivated. Somehow they think they're going to stop users of b3ta in their tracks with their (chargeable) adult services - even if they were off to b3ta for the latest meme-du-choix


    Of course changing your APN from to 3internet side steps it without any mucking about proving how old you are or anything, which is nice.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Bloody hell

    Three just removed the last issue that was keeping them from being the single best (for data) mobile company in the UK.

    They truly deserve some kudos.

  4. Andy Hards
    Thumb Up

    You could always use Opera

    apparently, someone told me, I think, um, that it bypasses the filter.

    My filthy mind has just turned that Thumbs Up icon into something else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just don't

      Try their <sigh> "customer service"

    2. Rimpel
      Thumb Up

      The mind boggles

      >My filthy mind has just turned that Thumbs Up icon into something else.

      Is it related to your surname?

  5. Adam 10

    Annoying filter

    On a road trip, stuck in traffic I tried to find a few jokes to entertain my friends... kept on getting their filter... or as I call it, the "COME ON, BUY SOME PORN" screen. I rung customer services and all they did was try to sell me the porn. Still provided entertainment for my friends as I spent 30 mins getting more exasperated and shouting "I DON'T WANT ANY PORN, STOP TRYING TO SELL ME PORN!!!"

    The "filter" is purely about revenue... if they were concerned with fragile young minds it wouldn't offer, and I quote, "red hot xxx lesbo action!" (their exclamation mark, not mine).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it should have been opt-in in the first place

    here's a hint, literally nobody cares what YOUR kids see online. least of all you yourself.

    so can we please stop this make-believe nonsense that we're protecting people, if you can cite a single peer reviewed paper that is proof positive that this fascist bullshit is of any MEASURABLE benefit AT ALL (you can't), then I STILL won't allow you to censor my internet connection on an opt-out basis.

    Fascist should always be OPT IN. Tell that to the god botherers. Tricking people into feeling guilty about their perfectly normal consumption of media has been a nice little earner for thousands of years.

    'you can't read that *other* holy text'


    'Mr Satan will burn you for eternity. hey dont believe me, believe Mr !Satan.'

    oh ok makes sense...

    replace "other holy text" with porn and here we are.

    time to wake up people.

  7. Subliteratus

    Is it really about teh kiddehs?

    I ran into 3's filter trying to surf for info on breast augmentation the first week I got a SIM-only contract from them. I cancelled that contract less than half an hour later. I don't want to have to phone some call center minion and tell them I want to be put on the perv list.

    But Vodafone, my next provider, were worse. I specifically told the salesperson that I didn't want adult filters on my contract, and I saw her click the checkbox on the application page to disable the adult content filters but they were still in place when I checked. Muppets. Luckily I'm on a SIM-only plan - ditching Vodafone at the end of the month now.

    I'm convinced it's less to do with protecting the kiddies than it is with reducing their data volumes. Most customers would be too embarrassed to enable the content and there's no way (I can find) to do it online - you have to phone and talk to someone. Fewer skin pics = lower data costs.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    The told me it was to do with the IWF

    I asked for my filter to be turned off, not because I wanted to look at porn, but because I like WWII history and as soon as a site mentioned NAZI's or Swastikas it was blocked as "Hate". Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;)

    Anyway, one of their support guys said it was the IWF block which I believe is for child porn and I could turn it off for a fiver a month.

    [quote]We don’t put a filter on internet for accessing any websites. However the Internet Watch Foundation puts restriction on all website which can be viewed by a person above the age of 18.

    So if you want to access any of these sites, you’ll need to activate an X-Series Silver Add-on for £5 a month. You can either call us and we’ll activate it for you or you can buy the Add-on from My3." [/quote]

  9. floweracre
    Paris Hilton

    When ???

    Did they mention when this Nancy state ban being lifted?

    Reminds me of a film... "P0rn Three"

  10. NogginTheNog


    The filter was what prompted me to set up a public-facing proxy on my home server, and then redirect my Opera Mobile browser to it, so I wouldn't get blocked from looking at anything "grown-up" (not just filth!).

    However I later called them and mentioned it, and they said they could move to their unfiltered X-Series option, at no extra cost, which would remove the filtering. And they did.

    As for Three Customer Service, I think they're fab: polite, helpful, and mostly knowleadgeble enough (for call centre staff!). I've consistently got a deal I can't refuse whenever upgrade time comes around. I've learnt though to never speak to the first-line monkeys, but to go to the "I'm thinking of leaving" staff. They have the best deals.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real motive...

    1. change tarifs to lower the ceiling for excess charges, and build in more margin into higher data tarifs

    2. Remove pr0n filter

    3. profit!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good one.

    Already told O2 I was leaving over their screw up version of this, now I know where I'm leaving to.

    Smart move and will pick up a few customers from O2.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I was wondering if anyone from O2 was reading this story, this is a better way to implement the filtering.

      Still, at least they can both be turned off.

      Virgin Media have PIN codes on a lot of the Sky Movie channels because they transmit films with 12+ content before the watershed. That's fine.

      If you have a Sky box you can turn the PIN off in settings if you want (e.g. when in a household like mine with no children), but Virgin don't allow you to do that.

      I called customer services to ask why and they explained the reason for the code being in place.

      "To protect children".

      Me: "Yes, but I don't have any children and have no plans to have any. Can I turn it off altogether"

      VM: "No."

      Me: "Why."

      VM: "In case you have children visit. Maybe relatives or family friends - do you not have any friends who visit with their chilrden?"

      Me: "Yes, occasionally. That probably covers about 15-20 hours a year, but they don't usually watch the TV"

      VM: "There you go, you do have children in the house, that's why the filter can't be turned off."

      Me: "!" (speechless).

      Corporate stupidity, ain't it grand?

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