Posted on 2 Comments

I hate filtering software

When I worked at The Learning Company we owned 85% of the filtering market with a product called Cyberpatrol. It was ineffective and inaccurate. Often the product blocked sites that should not be blocked while allowing sites that should be blocked to be seen, and children always found a way around the product.

Apparently, Websense has blocked Reality Me and Cathy as "Gambling" sites. What?! So I go to Websense and find that navigating their site is about as cryptic as their blocking of our sites. There is no way to look up what sites are blocked, no FAQ explaining how to appeal, and no way to send an email without being a customer. I find this kind of fascism on the web to be very disturbing. It would be like me opening a business in Knoxville only to find that one day my customer volume has suddenly dropped off without explanation. Then I receive a fax from a friend explaining that the city has removed the road leading up to my business because they had a rumor that my bookstore was actually a gambling establishment. No communication with me. No verifications. Just dug up the road!

I’ve now been on hold with Websense for 11 mintues. My dime. Lost productivity. And why? For someone else’s mistake. This is like when some firm has an accounting error and puts the onus on me, the customer, to disprove the accounting error (which has happened to me but I can’t remember the specific instance). I should bill for this time.

Update: Took 26 minutes just to get a email address to appeal to. About 15 minutes of that was the Websense employee explaining to me that the business using Websense needed to make an exception in the software for my site rather than having their proprietary database recategorize the site. This kind of idiocacy damages the functionality of the Internet as a whole.

2 thoughts on “I hate filtering software

  1. There was another site that Websense did this for (which one it was escapes me at the moment) but I was able to contact Websense and got it fixed. Progress happens, but it creeps.

  2. bloody ridiculous

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