Business online safety Regs

To decapitate or not to decapitate – a political bet? Vodafone filter

An eagle eyed reader spotted this little piece of bemusement from Vodafone.

decapitationHis newsfeed this morning had an interesting enough looking headline “Labour to launch decapitation strategy against Clegg” meaning that they were going to have a go at unseating him in the next general election.

vodafone_filteringInterest piqued, the reader clicked on the link only to come up against Vodafone’s content filter.

What was the content one wonders that made the Vodafone filter kick in? The reference to decapitation? Or did it find the politics of the host blog politicalbetting offensive.

Points arise:

This is a clear case where the blocking is erroneous. The filtering tools being used don’t appear intelligent enough to understand the context of the use of the word decapitation, assuming that is the “problem”.

There does appear to be a reporting mechanism so that you can tell Vodafone you think they have made a mistake or to remove the content control. How many people will go to the effort of doing this? It’s a bit of a faff isn’t it? You do have to consider that there will probably be many other websites where similar erroneous blocking has occurred. How many of these sites, some of which will be likely be innocent businesses, will be inadvertently affected?

Will now appear on the Vodafone block list? I’ve used the word decapitate twice in the title. It’s a gamble (deep intake of breath). I’m going to assume that it wasn’t the site itself that the filter objected to. That would be pretty naughty.

It does beg the question who decides what is and isn’t acceptable content for a website and what therefore should be filtered? Note that in the screenshot Vodafone is trying to sell gambling services to its subscribers. Is this acceptable? Who decides?

Answers on a postcard, or in the comments section, assuming you can access this site.

You may also want to read these posts on filtering.

This post  on how to bypass the Virgin Media filters has in particular  had tens of thousands of visits.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

4 replies on “To decapitate or not to decapitate – a political bet? Vodafone filter”

Dan has it spot on; I have lost count of the number of times I have used Scunthorpe as an example to Parliamentarians.

On a more serious note, there’s issues in the media about blocking access to sex education sites for teenagers, for support groups for those that are uncertain of their sexuality – the law of unintended consequences was probably written for the Internet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.