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American Airlines’ Admirals Club has installed software that blocks access to WorldNetDaily.com, the Internet’s leading independent news site, for reasons of “hate” and “violence.”
Snapshot of American Airlines’ Admirals Club showing WND blocked for ‘hate speech’
It’s the second situation regarding a computer block WND has encountered in recent weeks. Earlier, the military provider that makes Internet services available to U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine bases worldwide admitted that WND had been blocked.
A WND reader reported that he had tried to access the news site at the airline’s facility for priority customers at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
The system’s response was that WND was blocked because of “hate speech.”
“I … got on their public use PCs and found that they block WND as ‘hate speech.’ Thought that was bizarre as I could connect to ‘MoveOn.org’ without a problem,” the reader reported to WND.
“I didn’t think to try something hideous like NAMBLA,” the reader said.
Jarrod Reswebber, a spokesman for the airline, said the “people there” told him the issue involved filters on the system.
“The issue seems to be they have some really sensitive filters,” he said. “Sometimes they block different sites for whatever reason. The filters are automatic.
“Sometimes it can be something like an ad on there,” he said.
He said airline officials now have begun working with the vendor who runs the filtering system, a third-party company, to submit the WND address for “consideration.”
“It’s not anything that American Airlines does,” he said. “That’s why we’ve submitted your site to be considered to be removed from the filter.”
Reswebber said he did not know the name of the company providing the filtering services.
The website recently worked through a weeks-long process involving the blockage by a Navy computer. That was confirmed by a contractor that runs much of the Internet service functions for the U.S. Marine Corp and the U.S. Navy.
Barbara Mendoza of EDS marketing strategy and communications told WND her company runs the Navy Marine Corps Internet, servicing bases in those two military branches. But after checking, she reported her system was not responsible for the trouble that prompted a flood of military service member contacts with WND about why they are not able to access the site.
“It appears the website is blocked by the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC) government website,” she reported.
The U.S. Navy had launched an investigation into the issue of blocking WND’s site several weeks earlier at WND’s request because of 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 readers have told the news site that the Navy and Marine blocking problem might have dated back as long as four years.
WND’s own server statistics show the news site has a huge following among members of the military. Statistics gathered over a period of just a few days show that from computers with an address ending in
“.mil,” indicating a military source, there have been readers coming through almost 1,000 Internet service providers.
Ironically, for the past 10 years WorldNetDaily has been immensely popular among U.S. military personnel, with countless service people both stateside and abroad emailing WND insider news tips, concerns and notes of appreciation. Indeed, from recent stories like the dismissal of Navy Chaplain James Klingenschmitt for unauthorized praying all the way back to one of the defining issues of the 2000 presidential election – the suppression of the military vote and the subsequent court-ordered recount of Florida’s military votes – WND has taken the lead on stories important to the U.S. military.
WND, a fiercely independent news site, 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.
Earlier this year, Internet audience ratings service comScore Media Metrix said WND’s traffic growth was No. 1 among all political news sources and No. 2 among all sites related to politics in any way.
WND’s traffic increased 54 percent in January, according to the report, which said WND attracted more visitors in the month than the websites of any of the presidential candidates including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
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 6 million “unique visitors” (meaning different people) every month. It attracts between 50 million and 60 million pageviews per month.