$#@! the filters

Wired.com has an entertaining article up about a contest put on by the Digital Freedom Network. The object of the contest is to find the dumbest Internet content filter a/k/a "censorware."

The DFN wants people to submit examples of content filters getting in the way of legitimate Internet use. The article lists several hilarious examples, including www.aplusexam.com (because it's got the word sex in it) and Scunthorpe, England (because, err, never mind).

My personal favorite, and the example that sparked the idea for the contest, was a woman with a last name of Babcock being unable register at a web site due to her last name. The funny part is that she proceeded to register as Babpenis and Babdildo without incident.

Of course, when you start talking to the people at the site, it turns less funny and more ridiculous. The executive director at Blackplanet.com, the site where Ms. Babcock ran afoul of filtering software, says "While I'm sympathetic to Ms. Babcock's issue, there's a balancing act we have to have for members to have a safe and civil community as well as freedom of expression." Freedom of expression to make your screen name Babdildo, I suppose.

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