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(not satire – it’s UK today)

Please note – 3UK haven’t flagged this site due to a mistake from over-sensitive filtering. They’ve said it’s flagged as policy because it contains what they call ‘mature content’.

UK internet service provider and mobile network 3UK have admitted they are now censoring – flagging or blocking – websites like this one which include satirical and critical political content.

They admitted in a tweet that they now flag and block not just sites with ‘adult content’ but also sites which include what they bizarrely call ‘mature content':

three UK blocking websites

This means that if 3UK don’t already know your ID – for example you’re on PAYG – when you try to visit a website 3UK have flagged as containing ‘mature content’ it will be blocked with a warning similar to the one you might get for adult content like extreme pornography.

When a site is blocked in this way, you can only enter it after you go through a process of proving your age which also often involves proving your identity or paying a fee.

Worried yet?

If not – you’re probably thinking the censorship is only going to be applied to sites with a lot of offensive content like swearing or violent images or whatever – not for political websites. So what’s the fuss?

After a LOT of pestering, 3UK have finally admitted they have flagged this site and have blocked it for anyone who can’t prove they are over 18:

3UK censorship

Remember – it’s not blocked for just the under-18s. It’s blocked for anyone who hasn’t proven to them they are over 18 – and that means you will have to give your full identity to 3UK before they allow you to enter this site.

Which means 3UK now officially regard political satire as porn – and are censoring it in exactly the same way.

But why have they blocked this site you may ask? There’s not even that much swearing on it. Much less than elsewhere on the web for sure. And surely there are other sites with critical political content which are not blocked by 3UK?

It’s a good question and I’m not sure of the answer.

But could it be something to do with this post I wrote last year:

The government’s allowing our water, gas and electricity to be sold to the Chinese and no-one seems to be noticing

This article strongly criticises Chinese investment in British infrastructure – particularly water.

One of the biggest investors in UK water and other infrastructure is a Chinese billionnaire with close ties to Beijing by the name of Li Ka-shing.

And who is the main shareholder of 3UK?

Yes – you’ve guessed it – a man by the name of Li Ka-shing.

Coincidence?

Could be. Although also coincidentally, only last month, the ruling Chinese Communist party leader Xi Jinping, announced moves to force internet users in China to fully identify themselves to service providers before they are allowed to visit politically sensitive sites.

Sound familiar?

We know the Chinese government and its allies don’t like criticism – but I didn’t realise its censorship of the internet was now extending to the UK.

Did you?

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Please share this article as widely as possible. My only defence against this kind of censorship is to show the owners of our internet service providers that they may be able to censor at will elsewhere in the world – but in the UK we won’t put up with it. Thank you.

If you’re on Twitter, you can ask 3UK yourself why they’re censoring this site by sending a message to them at @ThreeUK and @ThreeUKSupport.

Update: someone’s just informed me that O2 are blocking the site in the same way.

By the way, if you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

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