Israellycool has been unblocked on the O2 phone network in the UK and a report about it has made the pages of the Jewish Chronicle (the UK’s most stablished Jewish newspaper).
Telecommunications company O2 has removed blocks on two pro-Israel websites.
The company had denied access to israellycool.com and elderofziyon.blogspot.com to users aged under 18.
The sites feature a range of pro-Israel content and reports on antisemitism.
O2 made the decision following a ruling by the British Board of Film Classification(BBFC), which oversees web content.
O2 press officer John Maley said in a statement: “The BBFC have confirmed to us that they have recently assessed the two websites and have overruled the grading service where these sites were classified as 18-plus content.
“As a result of the BBFC’s decision, we will be removing the restriction for both sites.”
O2 uses Symantec Rulespace, a company that classifies online content, and which Catherine Anderson, head of communications at the BBFC, said was “not a perfect science”.
She added: “It’s automatic filtering, so sometimes things which are borderline will get blocked and a person needs to look at it on a contextual basis. Sometimes keywords are flagged and it’s blocked as a result.”
Both sites include examples of antisemitic content on their pages in order to highlight and condemn its existence elsewhere online.
I don’t believe we were “automatically” filtered. I believe these systems solicit input from “the crowd” and so if your site is marked by enough people as a hate site, the filter shuts you down. This never seems to happen to Electronic Intifada or reams of other sites filled with Jew hatred, Holocaust denial and other vile stuff.
But it’s good that, upon a real inspection, Israellycool and Elder of Ziyon are both found to be, as you know, free of malicious hate speech and full of truth.
Update: As the image to the right from Jonathan shows, we are, however, still classified as adult content for over 18s only by EE (formerly Orange) in the UK. We’ve been in and out of their blocking system before.
If you’re a customer of EE in the UK, please consider complaining on our behalf. Or turn off the Adult filters (now you have a good excuse).