Websense (2)

Websense has recategorized LGF as “News and Media” rather than “Racism and Hate”. That’s not the end of the matter – the company is inherently flawed.

The problem is that Websense maintains master category lists and automatically distributes these to all of its customers every 2 days.

So it only takes a few trolls – either in the Websense category management team or hacking in from outside – to shut out any site they choose by putting it into a commonly blocked category, such as the “Racism and Hate” they used on LGF.

And unless the unsuspecting customers have time to examine every Websense category update, they’ll never know they’ve been censored – unless the trolls are silly enough to hit a heavily used site like LGF.

Looking at the initial denials from Websense and its subsequent admissions, I’m guessing it was hacked.

Censorship undermines democratic society, and Websense is a censor’s dream – covert, unaccountable and – it seems – easy to subvert.

The company has no place in a free society.


One Response to Websense (2)

  1. eleventyurple says:

    This kind of thing is constantly exploited in communities such as myspace, livejournal, etc.

    It’s usually brushed off by people because of common dislike of such places. But the interactions always go something like this:

    Interest group wants someone shut up, gathers some friends together, fires off several complaints without any foundation in reality. The site sees the sheer numbers and acts, either out of laziness or I believe sometimes sympathy for the interest group. The delete button is pressed.

    The users find they have been deleted out of nowhere (to them) and contacts customer service or abuse. Almost always nothing is done, after many form letters and interactions.

    There’s a huge imbalance in the process. Some would say it’s just the human factor, I think it’s just what it appears to be, an unfair imbalance. People are constantly using the abuse and complaint processes of major sites to sway opinion or eliminate influence that counters their belief systems or politics.

    But how can this sort of thing be fixed? I’m not sure it can be, because there’s a general disinterest on the part of observers.

    If it’s myspace, the general opinion is that the user is an idiot for using myspace in the first place, so the whole thing is dismissed. And I think the people doing these sorts of things know this.

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