VIRGIN MEDIA is sporadically showing its internet users a note that suggests that they might benefit from an adult content filter - something that many people do not want, and that many others find do not work.
Adult content filters are contentious and have seen a number of innocent sites fall victim to an iron-on lace curtain. Despite this they exist, and for ISPs they exist as part of efforts to keep the government and its Nanny-like whims in order.
Virgin Media has recently upped its game in this area and will, on an apparent whim, interrupt a web session with the suggestion that you really need some sort of filter in your life.
"Sorry to interrupt...do you want to switch on Web Safe parental controls?" it says. "For most of us, the web is a wonderful thing that improves our lives in many ways. But as most of us also know, there are some things online that you might not want your family to see."
The solution to this, natch, is the Virgin Media filter which you could, should you want, accept into your life via that very page. There is some suggestion that Virgin will nag users on this like a nanny goat, and the message promises that it will only let things lie when the user accepts or denies its filter.
We have been exposed to the message, and have seen some evidence of users coming up against it online. We polled Virgin Media on it, and it confirmed that the page is part of ongoing moves to protect children.
"Together with all of the ISPs Virgin Media has committed to communicating with our customers about the options they have about protecting their family online," it said. "We are also committed to making sure our customers make a choice about activating the parental controls."
Today the Open Rights Group told us that ISPs must offer users an "unavoidable choice" about the adoption of adult filters by the end of this year, adding that the moves were to be expected. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday