Fans of WND, the Internet’s leading independent news site, continue their battles against the cyber powers that occasionally block access to the day’s top news and columnists including Ann Coulter,
Chuck Norris, and Pat Boone – going so far as to remove filtering software if they need to.
A reader who signed his e-mail “Best Regards from Bogota,” told WND that his problem arose with the installation of the ICRAplus software from the Internet Content Rating Association.
His solution, eventually, was to remove the software.
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. For example, the system providing Internet access to Navy and Marine bases across the nation had blocked WND, a block that eventually was removed after WND requested an investigation into the action.
The reader from Bogota said he had been looking for a filter to prevent his 11-year-old brother from being exposed to adult material. He downloaded the software, and checked during installation that he wanted pornography filtered.
“After the installation was done I tested the software and tried to access adult pages, which were promptly blocked, until then everything was going well,” he said. But, as an avid reader of Pat Buchanan’s column on WND, he tried to access that a short time later.
“To my surprise the filter blocked the page and gave it the same treatment it gave to porn pages (a green screen came out claiming the content was [blocked] and that the supervisor’s password was needed). I tried to access the main page of WND and the pages of other columnists at the site, but the result was the same every time,” he said.
He said he contacted the ICRA site without success, then contacted WND.
A United Kingdom representative for ICRA responded to the new site’s request for an explanation with a note that since WND was not “labeled” with the ICRA, it should not be blocked. The company official also said consumers can check an option for disallowing “unrated sites,” which may affect news sources. Or the company explained the software, in conjunction with a Microsoft filter, “can sometimes go wrong.”
The two other complaints of blocking involved a company that offers Internet filters, and an Internet service provider whose software considered e-mails including links to WND as “spam.”
Both companies said the issues should be resolved.
A California reader told WND that he purchased the NetNanny software for his home computer, then tried to access the news site. “I got a warning when trying to go to WND .. I have attached a screen shot of the warning.”
That reads: “You are being blocked for viewing: www.worldnetdaily.com For content of the following type(s) Hate/Violence.”
The software is from ContentWatch.com, a significant operator in the filtering industry, about which WND readers had complained earlier.
At that time the company promised to reconfigure its algorithms that assessed content to be blocked, in order for WND to be accessed. Told of the latest problem, 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.
The California reader told WND 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 third case was reported by a businessman running an Internet consulting service. He says he frequently reads WND and forwards WND.com links for stories he wants to refer to friends and family.
But he said his recent attempt to forward a WND link resulted in a message that his e-mail had been blocked.
“**Message you sent blocked by our bulk email filter**” said the response.
He called the company for an explanation. “The employee stated it was because www.WND.com was in the link,” he said. “I asked why ‘WND’ was blocked by their spam filter … he did not know.”
A spokesman for that company, HostMySite, told WND there was no reason for the blocking and it couldn’t be explained.
“We ourselves are not in the business of blocking people’s e-mail,” the spokesman, who declined to be identified, told WND.
The WND reader said the issue just raised concerns. “Free speech is only free if you agree with what the liberals say,” he noted. “Perhaps someone doesn’t like WND.”
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, 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.
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.