Pornographic websites won’t be the only sites blacklisted in Australia if mandatory ISP filtering is introduced. Your blog might be as well.

Many innocent blogs are likely to be banned

The recent trial of ISP filters in Tasmania showed that at best 1 out of every 100 websites were incorrectly identified and blocked. That’s bad news for bloggers. The very nature of how and why we publish blogs means we’re a prime target for being banned when we shouldn’t be.

For starters, blogs are often written in a casual tone and the odd swear word isn’t uncommon, nor is the use of slang words. No doubt one or two of us have written ‘boobs’ instead of ‘breasts.’ It’s how we speak. Unlike a company’s website where content often remains dry and stale, blogs are full of broad and erratic vocabulary.

Secondly, most of us don’t just blog about one topic, we blog about everything and we do it daily. The more diverse our content, the bigger the risk an ISP filter will incorrectly identify one of our posts and ban us.

Think of how many bloggers posted about the Bill Henson debacle that never usually touched such issues. Pet blogs, gardening blogs, everyone was having their say.

To a mandatory filter that sort of discussion is going to set off alarm bells and there’s a good chance your blog could be blocked. If you ever made post about abortion, drug abuse, or sex, your chances of beating a filter aren’t any better.

And if the list of banned sites remains anything like the current ACMA blacklist which is supplied to software filtering companies, getting your site unbanned (or ‘whitelisted’) may well be impossible. No one knows whose listed on the existing one, let alone has the ability to appeal a decision.

If Telstra or Sony’s website was incorrectly blocked it’d likely be noticed and given the all-clear, but whose going to watch out for your blog about cooking that made the mistake of mentioning chicken breasts one time too many.

For anyone who plugs away day in day out on their blog, or relies on it for work, we all know that no collateral damage is acceptable, let alone 1 – 8%. Sure, you might never be blocked, but is it worth the risk?

No Clean FeedConsider adding the No Clean Feed button to your site if you’d like to help put an end to the Government’s mandatory filtering plan.