Wednesday, 30 September 2009

How religious is your blog?

A little background to this post:

Recently, our younger disabled son became the owner of a new computer. This wasn't because we bought it for him, but because, under a government scheme, disabled children are deemed to be in need of better access to IT/computers etc. The computer comes with some specialist gadgets such as a touch screen, suitable software for games and some switches (which he can use) that would replace the keyboard or mouse (which he cannot use). The techie guy will visit next week to show us how install/use the specialist gadgets, which will be really great, as at present, we can't work them out!
I thought I should at least try to familiarise myself with the new computer, as far as possible, or at the very least, see if I could find my own blog on it.
Success! Here I am typing up this post.

Then, trying to access some of the blogs linked to mine, the computer came up with an
 ' access denied- Religion  '  message for five of the blogs I enjoy!

These were:

Catholic and loving it
Curt Jester
Hermeneutic of continuity
What does the prayer really say
Inside Catholic
(Sorry I can't link them, computer won't permit)

Of course, I know our child's computer must have come with some sort of filtering program designed to block  material unsuitable for childrens' eyes....such as religion(!)
......but how does it distinguish between, for instance, a blog named 'Catholic Commentary' (allowed) and 'Catholic and Loving it' (blocked)?
Or, Catholic mom of 10 (allowed) and 'Inside Catholic' (blocked)?

Maybe there's an award out there, for great Catholic blogs identified as being too religious for children!


  1. As I understand it, filtering programs have a database of words which are deemed unsuitable. Depending on how sophisticated the program is, (and the algorithm within it), it can detect certain words not only in the title of the website or blog, but indeed on every page.

    So, your website may be religious in context, but on page 102 you may have written about a certain subject, (albeit in a religious context), using certain words that are forbidden. If the program detects them it would block the whole website.

    Hence some blogs being allowed and others not.

    (I hope mine is allowed !!!!).

    God bless.

  2. Tell the tech to take filtering off. He's being a wisenheimer, or someone's using an illegal installation copy of something, because YOU the owner would set all that up.

    I assume you don't live in a communist country and wherever you live doesn't have the RIGHT to set up YOUR filters.

  3. I agree with Karen, ask him to remove the filter. I have no filter on our computers because they simply don't work. As the children are not allowed on any website I haven't seen and vetted I am the filter here anyway. The computer is in the living room and I can see all that happens there.
    From the days my children went to school and used filtered computers where awful stuff got through I realised these things were pointless and give adults a false sense of security.

  4. Gem and mum6kids:
    I live in the UK; some here would agree that it feels increasingly as what we might think of as a totalitarian state! Roll on the election..
    I think I'll take the advice re the techie: we don't have filters on the other computers, and don't have problems either as direct parental control is the most effective filter.

    'I realised these things were pointless and give adults a false sense of security.'--a bit like CRB checks then!
    Thanks for stopping by, and for comments.

  5. Filters are easily removed by anyone with a little knowledge of computers. So it shouldn't cost a lot (if anything) for this techie to do it for you.

    The best filters I think are parents !!!

    God bless.

  6. I'm delighted to find myself in such company. Thank you for trying to access my blog!

  7. Fr.Tim Finigan, yours is one of my daily must-reads!

  8. You mean to say mine's not Catholic enough?? Well don't click on Sir Cliff!! lol