We're censored by Websense, apparently

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xkcd
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We're censored by Websense, apparently

Postby xkcd » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:11 am UTC

I just heard that as of yesterday, xkcd.com is blocked by Websense, at least at one school.

I guess that's kind of an honor. I don't know what category it is -- any highschoolers with crazy censorship who can check that for us? I wonder if we're under "tasteless", "hacking", "message boards", or maybe "hate". That would make me sad; I don't hate anyone. Although I know that a lot of racist/hate groups declare the same thing, so maybe I AM a crazy racist and I just don't know it!

Anyway, the folk at Websense timed things just right. Today's comic is dedicated to them.
Last edited by xkcd on Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:35 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby xkcd » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:14 am UTC

Maybe we're on as "questionable"! I would kind of like that.

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Postby James » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:34 am UTC

So what is websense, then? Just some school-filtery device? Albino black sheep is considered general pornography at mine.

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Postby Fluidfox » Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:11 pm UTC

Maybe they're afraid you will twist young minds into something interesting... Wouldn't want any divergent thought going on. Most likely they didn't even bother to read it and slapped a block on it because of the phrase "webcomic" Isn't uninformed censorship grand?

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Postby xkcd » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:18 pm UTC

Most likely they didn't even bother to read it and slapped a block on it because of the phrase "webcomic" Isn't uninformed censorship grand?


Or maybe they did read it, and they have something against the terms "ass," "shit," "cunt," "fucking," or "cum dumpster,"

I don't know, I just always thought language was fun to play with, and I like poking around at the words people find offensive and sort of reflecting on why and how they're used. But hey, some parents don't want their kids exposed to that kind of reflection, because it could lead to the kids coming up with context for the culture around them, and you know where that leads.

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Postby davean » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:25 pm UTC

I'd ban us for our promotion of critical thinking skills, I'm sure its on the lsit of things I won't mess up when I become an evil overlord:

Unknown number: I will not promote critical thinking skills in the masses.

(http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)

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Postby Shoofle » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:38 pm UTC

I forget the category, but I think it was just "Webcomics" because they have that category. Websense is a filter for companies and schools and suchlike, and it's generally horrible. At one point they were posting daily lists of sites not blocked by their competitors, and so kids at schools with other filters could just check out the websense sites and get a day of looking at unblocked sites. Arg, it's awful.

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Postby Cowie » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:23 pm UTC

You've got forums.
Public educational institutions are probably required by law to censor free speech.

but yeah, it's possible you were added by the specific moderator, and not the site's main listing. You could probably contact them ANGRILY and ask why they've blocked your site, and demand they not give some bullshit like 'questionable content', but rather cold hard 'What's so wrong with a picture that has the word cunt in it' evidence. You should probably be as vulgar and concise as possible, and refer to their censoring of your website as 'cock-blocking my shit', regardless of whether or not that phrase actually translates to your intent.

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Postby Shoofle » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:55 pm UTC

Well, it is a choice. It would undoubtedly be ineffective. I asked the system administrator about it once (not with this website, some time back) and apparently they are required to have some sort of content-blocking thing. It's unlikely, though, that it was anyone in the administration at school who added xkcd - no one there would have a way to know about it, as far as I know. It's more likely, in my eyes, that it was spotted by people at Websense headquarters on boingboing. Curse you, publicity! You were our downfall!

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Postby xkcd » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:57 am UTC

Yeah, we're not actually interested in getting off Websense (except in that it's a direct problem for you). It's just all very funny.


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