Does 'Inclusive' Irish Ikea Store Have An Anti-Gay Grudge?

Ikea home furnishings exterior with a tree on the left hand side

Ikea’s wifi appears to have an anti-LGBT filter on it which blocks access to websites like The George, Gay Switchboard and the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival

 

Ikea’s Ballymun store appears to have a grudge against LGBT content. A man named Tom was browsing the internet via Ikea’s free wifi noticed that some content was blocked by Ikea’s web security provider, including LGBT content that was not of an explicit nature.

While browsing the internet, Tom tried to navigate to publin.ie, a website which professes to be Dublin’s pub guide but he discovered that the website was blocked on the grounds of “alcohol and tobacco”.

“I was in Ikea in Ballymun in the past few days and was using your wifi and I happened to click on a link to www.publin.ie and the website was blocked under the grounds of ‘alcohol and tobacco’!” Tom wrote in an email to the Scandinavian homeware giant.

“I wondered what else was blocked. I tried a few dodgy websites and they were blocked. Fair enough.”

When Tom tried to access LGBT content, however, he was restricted from doing so.

“Why do you block access to The George Pub, Gloria the gay choir, The Frontrunners running group, The Gay Theatre Festival, outhouse.ie, Gay Switchboard, Glen.ie and The Gay Hiking Group,” he asked, “but not The Globe bar (on [the] same street), The Dublin Gospel Choir, Sportsworld Running Group and the Dublin Theatre Festival as a comparison?

“Is the common word here ‘gay’? It’s certainly not pub, choir, running or theatre festival! Please explain.

“Is gay an adult/pornographic term to you and your web security people,” he asked.

“Why the anti-gay slant?”

An Ikea employee confirmed that they had been made aware of this issue, that they are investigating the alleged bias and would provide an update once they had more information.

Image: William Murphy via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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