Council web filter blocks marriage site as ‘hate’

first_imgOtago Daily Times 23 Aug 2012An automated web content filter for the Dunedin City Council’s internal network has deemed a Family First New Zealand website on traditional marriage a “hate” site, and blocked access for staff. The block on the “Protect Marriage” website, which promotes marriage between a man and a woman, has outraged Family First NZ director Bob McCoskrie, who says it is discriminatory and the result of an agenda being pushed either by someone at the council, or at the content filter company. “It’s part of a culture war that is going on at the moment. Activists are working hard to eliminate all opposing debate on this important family issue – as we experienced with the unprecedented hacking of our website when first launched.” The council says there was no conscious decision to block the site. Mr McCoskrie said the lobby group was contacted by a city council staff member who, he said, was “stunned” when they tried to access the website to sign the group’s petition against a Labour Party Bill to legalise gay marriage, and was told the site was deemed “hate” and that the web page “contravenes Dunedin City Council’s acceptable usage policy”. “The staff member’s response was that ‘if the concept that marriage should be between a man and a woman is offensive, then I despair for the future of this country’. We agree,” Mr McCoskrie said.Council communications and marketing manager Graham McKerracher said the council did not control the filtering process, which was done by a United States company. When the company was employed, the council gave it broad categories of offensive content it wanted limited in its internal network. The company’s filter automatically scanned sites for words or phrases that placed sites in those categories and sites deemed offensive were automatically blocked. Mr McKerracher could not say why the Protect Marriage site was blocked. But a block meant the site, or someone leaving a comment on the site, might have used language determined by the filter to be offensive, resulting in the site being put on a banned list. Comments could not be left on the site and he was confident none of the administrators or owners of the site had previously done anything that could be construed as offensive or “hate” related, Mr McCoskrie said. “My challenge to them is to produce the evidence.” Council staff were still able to access gay marriage websites, and at least two other websites blacklisted by web filters at other companies. “It is highly hypocritical and inconsistent that one side of the debate can be blocked, but not the other. This is discrimination at its worst and [the council] seems to be initiating their own version of hate speech laws.” Mr McKerracher said if sites promoting gay marriage had not been picked up by the same filter it was because no offending words or phrases that placed them in a category that was blocked were identified. He said any staff member who wanted to fill out the petition could do so at home.http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/222778/council-web-filter-blocks-marriage-site-hatelast_img read more


Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez lose in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments No. 8 Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez ended their season on Friday with a second round defeat against Oklahoma State’s No. 14 Vladica Babic and Sofia Blanco, 4-6, 7-5, 8-10. In a match filled with nine deuce points, numerous errand shots and a healthy dose of I-formations, the Orange could not hold on after forcing a super tiebreak.SU’s first doubles pairing opened the match up with three errors to drop the first point of the game. Babic commanded the net in the first couple of games, but her partner started to falter during serves. Blanco hit the net five times in the third game and faulted twice to give the Orange its first game of the match.The conclusion of the first set centered around deuce points. With four of the last seven games of the set resulting in a 40-all score, SU could not capitalize. At 40-40 at 2-2 and 3-3, associate head coach Shelley George implored Ramirez to get closer to the net, but the sophomore was outshined by Blanco with her 5-foot-11-inch frame up close to take both points.At 4-4, with Ramirez serving, the Orange started to play the I-formation. After consecutive failed serves, Ramirez elected to change strategies for the moment. With one of the deciding games on the line, Knutson attempted to recover a net cord that ultimately led her to fall onto one knee to go down 4-5. Down 15-40, Babic placed a forehand winner directly in the back left hand corner past the outstretched arms of Knutson, taking the first set.SU opened the second set similarly to the first by getting swept to start. An airmailed shot from Ramirez, which left the Leighton Family Court parameters, topped off the early deficit for the Orange. After the changeover, SU recovered to go up 2-1 on a cross court volley from Ramirez to go up a break.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKnutson clinched two straight games at 40-all to help SU level at 3-3 midway through the second set. As the set winded down, the Cowboys started to employ an I-formation of its own when Blanco served. Unlike the Orange, who only used it five times in the first 15 games of the match, OSU began to attempt it on almost every first serve. SU held strong though, fought off the tactics and forced a super tiebreak.Syracuse opened the super tiebreak firing, going up 5-1 at the first changeover. But it wouldn’t sustain. Eventually, OSU went on a run of its own to tie it at 6-6. After swapping the next four points, Babic ended SU’s season on two forehands to close out the match. Blanco and Babic screamed and embraced after the victory. Knutson and Ramirez walked off the court with their heads down in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.The loss ends the Orange’s season as it finished without a quarterfinals birth in all three NCAA tournaments — team, singles and doubles.center_img Published on May 25, 2018 at 4:30 pm Contact KJ: kjedelma@syr.edu | @KJEdelmanlast_img read more


Tebow rules in OT, too

first_imgby Arnie StapletonAP Pro Football Writer DENVER (AP)—“Pull the trigger,” John Elway told his Denver Broncos star, Tim Tebow, trying to shake the quarterback from a three-game funk.Tebow went one better—he pulled off an upset.A rejuvenated Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas on an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime and the Broncos defeated the stunned Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in the AFC wild-card game on Sunday.It will be talked about for much longer, destined to earn a spot in Denver’s colorful playoff history, somewhere up there with The Drive, The Fumble and the franchise’s two Super Bowl titles.Wild doesn’t begin to describe it. The play took 11 seconds and was the quickest ending to an overtime in NFL history. It was also the longest overtime touchdown in playoff history.Thomas hauled in a high play-action pass at the Denver 38, stiff-armed Ike Taylor and then outraced backup safety Ryan Mundy to the end zone.“I was just saying, ‘Man trust your speed. Trust your speed. Don’t cut back. Don’t cut back.’ And he kept it straight. He outran the guy,” said Willis McGahee, whose fourth-quarter fumble helped Pittsburgh tie it.“I was like, ‘Oh my God, is he still running?’ Please just go. Please. Please.”Tebow, who had done next to nothing in the second half after a 20-point explosion in the second quarter, looked as startled as everyone else. He chased down Thomas and knelt on one knee—Tebowing as it’s known—in the end zone while the crowd was going crazy. Then he pounded a fist in triumph and took a victory lap.“When I saw him scoring, first of all, I just thought, ‘Thank you, Lord,’” Tebow said. “Then, I was running pretty fast, chasing him—like I can catch up to D.T! Then I just jumped into the stands, first time I’ve done that. That was fun. Then, got on a knee and thanked the Lord again and tried to celebrate with my teammates and the fans.”“We’re just a fighting team. A lot of resilience,” cornerback Champ Bailey said. “In any adverse situation, we’ll find a way to get out of it. Everybody says we backed into the playoffs, we’re in. We did something right along the way. We’re in it. We won a game. Now, we’ve got to go try to win another one.”Tebow’s passer rating of 125.6 was the highest in Broncos postseason history.“He showed he’s a quarterback in the NFL, case closed,” McGahee said. “They say he couldn’t throw. They said we wouldn’t be able to run the ball on them. We did that. I wonder what they’re going to say next week.”Hines Ward called this defeat “just as disappointing” as last year’s loss to Green Bay in the Super Bowl.last_img read more