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Author Topic: 'NetNanny' labels WND site as 'hate'  (Read 2174 times)
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« on: August 04, 2007, 02:31:31 PM »

'NetNanny' labels WND site as 'hate'
Software filters still blocking Web access
Posted: August 2, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A government employee who loaded a filtering software onto his personal computer at home was surprised when NetNanny delivered the following warning about WorldNetDaily, the leading independent news site on the Internet:

"You are being blocked for viewing: www.WorldNetDaily.com/ For content of the following type(s) Hate/Violence

Warning delivered to NetNanny user trying to reach WorldNetDaily.com

"I just downloaded this from the Internet a couple days ago," Matthew Kroelinger told WND from his Virginia residence. "It does that every time."

Fans of WND have had their struggles with filtering programs in recent months, as they battle the cyber powers that occasionally block access to the day's top news and columnists including Ann Coulter, Joseph Farah, Chuck Norris, and Pat Boone.

The NetNanny software is from ContentWatch.com, a significant operator in the filtering industry, about which WND readers have complained multiple times already.

After the first complaint, the company promised to reconfigure its algorithms that assessed content to be blocked, in order for WND to be accessed. When told of the second episode, spokesman Scott Cleghorn said he had checked, and his version of the NetNanny program allowed access to WND.

He said a possibility was that the software that was installed might not have had the most recent updates. He also said he was checking whether the algorithm corrections had been applied to both WND.com and WorldNetDaily.com addresses.

ContentWatch declined to return a telephone message about the newest problem, reported by Kroelinger.

He said he installed the software because a young relative was visiting, and he wanted to minimize the dangers the Internet would pose. He said he has to go into the administrative functions of the software in order to view WND, even though there's no such conflict for Fox News or CNN or a variety of other news sites.

"You guys are a major news wire," he said. "It's a little too odd sometimes."

A California reader, who asked to remain anonymous, earlier had told WND the same thing. He had been able to override the block with his administrative procedures in the program but he had been "shocked" by the designation of WND as "hate/violence."

"Newsmax wasn't affected, CCN wasn't affected that way, even Fox News did check out," he said.

The first reader to complain about NetNanny was from California, who said he bought the software for his home computer, and got the identical response as the one seen by Kroelinger.

WND has reported in the past on its extensive efforts to make sure filtering companies and others don't prevent WND fans from reading the news and commentary on the site.

It was earlier this year when WND finally resolved a blocking situation involving the military provider that makes Internet services available to U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine bases worldwide.

The U.S. Navy had launched an investigation into the issue of blocking WND's site at WND's request after the news site got a flood of e-mails from readers who saw various messages that the site was being blocked.

It eventually was determined that an undefined "security" issue between the web-hosting location that WND uses and the Navy computer existed, and later was resolved.

WND was launched 10 years ago by Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, and for more than 100 weeks in a row was listed as the No. 1 most popular website in the world by Global 100.

WND has also been consistently ranked by several major Internet ratings agencies as the "stickiest" news site on the Internet meaning readers average more time on it than any other.

By WND's own traffic counts, the site attracts about 8 million "unique visitors" (meaning different people) every month. It attracts between 50 million and 70 million pageviews per month.

WND also was No. 5 in a new survey of the top "conservative" websites of 2007, a category headed by DrudgeReport. FoxNews.com, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post followed.

While WND has never considered itself "conservative," it is currently ranked as the No. 1 conservative website by Alexa.com, the public rankings agency affiliated with Amazon.com.

WND is also ranked as the 861st biggest website of any kind in the U.S. and No. 1 in the Alexa category of News and Media.

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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 02:34:03 PM »

That's why I prefer Dogpile as a search engine over Google. If you "accidentally" type in a wroing search parameter, Dogpile warns you that you about to go onto a site with "adult content' and you can opt to cancel.


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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 03:59:25 AM »


I'm amazed. I've been to WND many times and never seen anything improper. They certainly aren't radical right, but I do view them as fairly conservative Christian. I'm having a hard time trying to imagine anything that WND might have that would warrant being blocked by a Net Nanny.

Thanks for the information about Dogpile. I'll try it.

By the way, I have a Christian filter that I'm playing with now called Dansguardian made for Linux Christian Ubuntu. So far, it appears to be a highly aggressive program that blocks many good things. There are varying levels that it can be set at, but it even interferes with the installation of regular programs. I've played with Dansguardian long enough to see that parents could lock a computer down to the extent that almost nothing could be done. As an example, you have to specifically authorize the viewing of any ".jpg" or any other graphic format capable of displaying a picture. The same is true for graphics of any kind, films, movies, etc.

Dansguardian also scans web pages for various levels of inappropriate language in many areas not limited to cursing, profanity, and gutter language. They even have filters for violence and everything you can think of. It's free for Linux, and I can see that a parent could render a computer almost safe with the strict settings without any editing. The problem is that it's so strict that many good sites would also be filtered out. It works with algorithms, phrases, words, graphics, and things I've never heard of before.

I did try it on strict settings, and many completely Christian sites were banned. I would have to investigate the specific reasons on each one, but I suspect there was fairly innocent things that caused the triggered bans. However, you can also put a "white list" in the configuration that isn't filtered. I think that one word as simple as "gay" is enough to trigger a ban on the strict setting.

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