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When tyrants pull on their jackboots to stamp out free speech online, they reach for... er, a Canadian software biz?

Peter2 Silver badge

The software, the report says, is being used to block Google searches for LGBTQ-related keywords and to block non-pornographic websites by mischaracterizing them as sexually explicit.

Mmm. A hundred years ago in our own society a lady might have considered much of our currently accepted clothing to be sexually explicit. What the victorians considered indecent is rather different to the 1950's, which is different to today.

What a really, really conservative muslim majority country might consider sexually explicit today might differ from our cultures current standards (although perfectly comprehensible to our society in the Victorian era).

Simply put a country where woman are required to be completely covered (ie; Burka) might reasonably be expected to consider many websites pornographic, such as swimwear catalouges from the obvious end to pictures of women wearing western casualwear showing (any) bare skin at the less obvious. Is this what they are considering censorship, or are they blocking news services etc on the basis of being sexually explicit?

Given that the main thrust of their complaint is that they are blocking "LGBTQ-related keywords" it sounds a lot more like the former than the latter. Given that homeosexuality is punishable by death in some of these countries it's hardly surprising that they are blocking some pages on this topic, is it? And even if they didn't block western sites and people in those countries followed what (for citizens of first world countries) is good advice then what might happen...?

This sounds more like activism for activism's sake than a sustained deliberate effort to help the people concerned. If they want to publish things to those countries to change their culture then looking at what's going on in Saudi Arabia and many other countries with the under 30's then i'd say that things are going tolerably well as it is at the moment despite filtering.

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