It was brought to my attention that Panera Bread allegedly blocks my blog because it falls into the category of pornography and nudity. I say allegedly because I haven't tried for myself, not because I doubt the veracity of the report. I appreciate the feedback and will be investigating.
So I'm going to try hitting up the local free wi-fi spots to see if I can access my blog. You can help by giving it a shot when you whip out the laptop at a local spot and letting me know.
I would guess it happens at corporate spots more than local coffee houses.
So far I can Voluto in the East End and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh do not block my blog. Last time I checked, The Quiet Storm and the Square Cafe also did not block my blog.
Why does it matter? It is clearly annoying to me because it is my blog and I care about it.
But this is also about liberty and equality. My blog is about the LGBTQ community and the words “lesbian” “gay” “queer” are not offensive, pornographic or sexual. To be lumped into those categories based on words is demeaning to our identities and offensive to me, both as a member of the community and a blogger.
It is not about free speech. No one made a law saying Panera Bread or any other corporation has to block my site, so be careful. But we as a community need to know when our views, opinions and information are being suppressed to “protect” people from being offended. Then we need to speak up.
I'll keep you informed. And I'll be taking my laptop with me more often.