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Censorware is a term used to describe content filtering software[?] by its opponents. They point out that content filtering software acts as a effective restraint on speech, and that government-driven mandatory installation of content filtering software is equivalent to censorship.

Censorware is often proposed as a solution to the problem of hate speech on the Internet. Opponents of censorware point out that these tools not only block other content in addition to hate speech, either unintentionally, or as part of the political agenda of the manufacturers of the content filtering software, but also fail to block all the hate speech.

A good example of this is the simple-minded approach where filtering of all sites containg the word "breast", in the belief that that part of the body can only be mentioned in a sexual context, has the consequence of blocking sites that discuss breast cancer or women's clothing.

Similarly, over-zealous attempts to block the word "sex" would end up blocking "Essex" and "Sussex".

Some censorware companies argue that their filtering criteria are backed by intensive manual checking. Opponents of these companies argue that doing the required filtering, even in principle, would require resources greater than these companies' income, and that these claims cannot be true.

Content filtering software products:

External links:

Content filtering software products (external links):

Antifiltering technologies:

  • Safeweb (http://www.safeweb.com/)'s Triangle Boy

Opinions for and against censorware:

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