It’s Pride Month, so that can only mean one thing: Right-wing Christians calling the LGBTQ community a “dangerous cult” and creating an online filter to weed out LGBTQ content in order to prevent kids from facing “indoctrination” through internet “propaganda.”
A Christian tech startup has announced the launch of an internet filtering service designed to protect children from indoctrination into what it says is a “dangerous LGBTQ cult”…
Christian parents are rightfully concerned about the way their kids are being systematically exposed to false ideas about human sexuality at school. Then, those ideas are all-too-easily reinforced with unfettered internet access at home. A couple clicks can spiral into catastrophic physical and spiritual harm. As parents, we are entrusted with training up our children in the ‘way they should go.’
The site claims to work by blocking “~1.8 million pornographic websites already catalogued in our database,” a number Mason says he’s constantly increasing… somehow. The goal is to make the internet a “Safer Place for Souls™” — he put that trademark symbol there — by preventing access to “Porn,” “LGBTQ+,” and “Abortion.”
But those categories aren’t clear-cut. What counts as unsafe? We already know that Christian filters aren’t foolproof. (Thanks, Josh Duggar.) But besides blocking adult websites, what else is considered dangerous?
Wikipedia since it has articles about those subjects? YouTube for hosting videos featuring LGBTQ people? This website? The New York Times? Google?
There’s a difference between learning about sex and acting on it. There’s a difference between advocating against gender norms and watching a Trixie Mattel makeup tutorial. Nowhere on the company’s website is there a clear explanation of what websites are restricted, how new ones are added to the list, and how the filter makes sure good information isn’t swept away.
The most ironic part? FreeFiltering isn’t even free. The site encourages customers to pay $99 for “expert” help with a remote set-up, $11.99/month for a premium membership, or an elusive “$30.00+/month” for a patron membership. (Why would anyone need a premium membership if the free filter works? Who knows.)
Knowing all this, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that FreeFiltering also happens to operate much like a multi-level-marketing scheme, which is why they need your Social Security Number upon registration. The FreeFiltering Independent Evangelist Program…
… enables Web Site Users, also known as Evangelists, to earn commissions for referring paying customers to FreeFiltering LLC (the Company or FreeFiltering) and for leading an organization of Evangelists who also refer paying customers to FreeFiltering.
What happened to just trying to protect your kids?
Anyway, according to the press release, the “first 40 families who agree to participate as beta-testers during the company’s launch” can get free remote setup… at which point I guess they can start scouring the internet for porn to see what happens.
But let’s be honest: If a parent is installing a cheap filter to prevent kids from getting access to certain content online, there will always be a way around it, and the kids will figure it out quickly. There’s no reason to think this is reliable. It’s just another way to cash in on conservative Christian parents who are gullible enough to think they can keep their children in a bubble forever.
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