Make Tech Easier: 4 Ways to Block Websites on Chrome . “Google Chrome is great, but it can also get in the way. Whether we’re procrastinating and our hand auto-pilots our mouse to the Facebook bookmark, or if sites show up in our Google search results that we know are probably fake news but click through anyway because the headline told us to, there are plenty of good reasons why we’d want to block websites on Google’s browser. In this article we take you through every way we could think of to bar certain sites for life (or at least until you unblock them again).”
Quartz: Not just porn, Indian telecom firms are blocking other websites, too. “Over three months after the Indian government banned hundreds of porn websites, internet users from across the country are reporting blocked access to a wide variety of other online services. These include VPN (virtual private network) and proxy sites, torrent sites, the website for the messaging platform Telegram, and even the audio-streaming site Soundcloud.”
Phys .org: Unblocking naked Venus: Facebook OKs museum nudes after all. “It seems Facebook can be friends with a topless Venus after all. The social media giant said Tuesday it mistakenly blocked a museum in Switzerland from using images of two statues—a marble Venus and a bronze of a nude, kneeling man—to promote an upcoming exhibit.” Facebook is really excellent at making mistakes like this, isn’t it?
Techdirt: Facebook Rejects GRIS Launch Trailer For Being Sexually Suggestive When It Clearly Is Not. “It should be well understood at this point that attempts by internet platforms to automagically do away with sexualized content on their sites via algorithms are… imperfect, if we want to be kind. The more accurate description is to say that these filters are so laughably horrible at actually filtering out objectionable content that they seem farcical. When, for instance, Tumblr can’t tell the difference between porn and pictures of Super Mario villains, and when Facebook can’t do likewise between porn and bronze statues or educational breast cancer images consisting of stick figures…well, it’s easy to see that there’s a problem.”
Lifehacker: How to (Really) Block Distracting Websites with Your Hosts File. “When you edit your hosts file, you’re telling your system to use a particular IP address instead of whatever your DNS server resolves to when you type a URL into your browser’s address bar. So, instead of facebook.com sending you to 188.8.131.52 (or whatever Facebook’s IP is when you read this article), you can have your browser send yourself to your own computer—127.0.0.1—which loads a fat pile of nothing on your screen.”
Tubefilter: Iranian Government To Ban Instagram, Citing National Security Concerns. “Iran’s National Cyberspace Council has approved the initial steps to bar the app, Bloomberg reports, noting that the photo and video-sharing platform will soon join the likes of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram. Javad Javidnia, deputy for cyberspace affairs at the public prosecutor’s office, confirmed the move to a local newspaper, reportedly citing national security concerns as the reason for the restriction.”
TechCrunch: Indonesia unblocks Tumblr following its ban on adult content . “Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population, has unblocked Tumblr nine months after it blocked the social networking site over pornographic content.”