Times and Seasons is one of the most established and best LDS blogs with a variety of great writers and in depth discussions. But tonight, my testimony of that fine blog was shattered when a friend suggested I try accessing it while I was waiting for a meeting in an LDS stake center. Suddenly I got this frightening warning message (click to enlarge):
Yikes! All this time I thought Times and Seasons was just a good-ol’ Mormon blog. I had no idea I had been lured into a site about “Non-Traditional Religions and Occult and Folklore.” That occult part was scary enough, but to learn that it also dealt with folklore–whoa, you have to admit that sounds like some kind of cult.
Fortunately, I saw that Mormanity was not blocked by the filter there. At least not yet. (Maybe first thing tomorrow morning, though.) This blog is just a good ol’ Mormon blog about my very traditional Mormon faith. You can bet I’m not going to start messing with any of that folklore stuff here.
Of course, when I’m home alone and no one is filtering what I surf, I might still give into temptation every now and then and take a scandalous peak at Times and Seasons.
OK, on a serious note, when LDS facilities do have Internet service, they are meant for Church use and are likely to be password protected for use by those on Church business. It’s good policy to have strong filters in place. Anytime a commercial filtering service is used, all sorts of anomalies are likely. It looks like a third-party automated system is in place that may have misclassified a fine LDS blog (or maybe some article or comment was problematic and that has hurt the whole site in the filtering system). I’ve seen my own mild-mannered pages at JeffLindsay.com banned by various commercial filters for content labeled as occult, hate speech, or inappropriate humor. It is usually possible to request reconsideration of an unfair classification, and I hope someone will do that in this case and allow Church servers to deliver delicious helpings of Times and Seasons–and make sure they get me properly blocked (turns out there is a bit of folklore here after all and just a touch of non-traditional religion).
Bottom line: anomalies happen, but it’s good to have Internet filters on Church-provided wifi. It’s just odd that I’d be able to get pass the filters, especially with questionable content like tonight’s post.