Censorship | News

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Unblocks LGBT Websites

Tim Casey, Vice President of Marketing & Operations, International Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, LLC, issued a response today to earlier reports that wi-fi at its businesses were blocking LGBT websites:

Coffeebean2 Said Casey:

"At approximately 3:00pm on Thursday we were notified by a customer using our complementary wi-fi service that two specific sites catering to the LGBT community were blocked from access. Those sites included Pam’s House Blend and Towleroad. After learning of the issue, our technical team researched the situation and took immediate steps to unblock the sites that were brought to our attention. It is not, and has never been, the policy of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to block Internet content or websites from our customers or members of the LGBT community. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf subscribes to an OpenDNS platform that incorporates a peer review component which allows users to flag particular sites they deem inappropriate. In this case, a small amount of flags triggered the system and the sites in question were blocked automatically. No web-content filter is perfect, but we are grateful to the customers who quickly brought this to our attention for resolution. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf supports diversity on all levels and values the community members of the areas we operate in. Our goal in offering free wi-fi service is to open communication and exchange of information, not to block information."

We thank Casey for taking prompt action on this.

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Comments

  1. Good deal.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jun 12, 2009 6:19:47 PM


  2. Hey, that's great that they responded so quickly and they gave a good, honest explanation.

    Good on them

    Posted by: gabriel | Jun 12, 2009 6:20:53 PM


  3. "Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf subscribes to an OpenDNS platform that incorporates a peer review component which allows users to flag particular sites they deem inappropriate. In this case, a small amount of flags triggered the system and the sites in question were blocked automatically. No web-content filter is perfect, but we are grateful to the customers who quickly brought this to our attention for resolution."

    That's EXACTLY the statement Amazon.com should have made instead of saying "computer glitch."

    Posted by: Tom H. | Jun 12, 2009 6:21:23 PM


  4. Oh wow!~ Power to the LGBT AND Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf....I'll consider going there from now on too. THANK YOU for your explanation and for doing something about it. :)

    Posted by: Bosie | Jun 12, 2009 6:27:52 PM


  5. Very nice. You're awesome, Andy. I hope you will always use your blogger power for good. As Uncle Ben says, with great power comes great responsibility. Also, he makes tasty rice. :)

    Posted by: Citysqwirl | Jun 12, 2009 6:35:50 PM


  6. I don't know why anyone would be against this. Sites likes TowelsRoad.com are disgusting and pornographic and shouldnt be allowed near children.

    Posted by: Bobby Sock | Jun 12, 2009 6:45:31 PM


  7. Hmm...a guy named Tim who works in marketing? Seems like he might have had an inherent interest in this.

    Sorry, I just had to be an ass.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 12, 2009 6:47:37 PM


  8. Awesome! Kudos to The Coffee Bean for responding so quickly. I'll definitely be more inclined to drop in for a vanilla blended the next time I see one.

    Posted by: Ken | Jun 12, 2009 7:22:05 PM


  9. Can we get Tim Casey the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Guy to be President of the United States?

    Maybe then something will get done instead of politics as usual.

    Posted by: henry | Jun 12, 2009 7:29:53 PM


  10. I don't know why anyone would be against this. Sites likes TowelsRoad.com are disgusting and pornographic and shouldnt be allowed near children.

    Posted by: Bobby Sock | Jun 12, 2009 6:45:31 PM

    why are you here then bobby sock?

    Posted by: james | Jun 12, 2009 7:43:51 PM


  11. @ James,

    He's looking for something to beat off too and is disappointed that it's all politics today (with the exception of a brief mentions of Madonna and Bruno).

    @ BOBBY SOCK, You've mistaken this site for Queerty. Towleroad doesn't have any "Morning Goods". Towleroad is mostly political and social crap. Sometimes they throw in a few pictures of athletes but you can't hardly see the good stuff.

    Posted by: Wheezy | Jun 12, 2009 8:43:36 PM


  12. Well I have not seen these sites personally, but I have heard in many chat room that they are filthy and I applaud coffee shops banning them.

    Posted by: Bobby Sock | Jun 12, 2009 9:07:08 PM


  13. Dear Bobby sock, you need some foot powder cuz you sure stink. So what if this was pornographic site? I'm an adult, I have a right to read any site I choose. So, mind your own fungal business you do gooder prick. And, BTW, you idiot, this is a news blog. If you want to raise your holy roller, bigoted, stupid, ill informed, ignorant, intellectually retarded, freakshow family in a society that censers, I suggest you move to North Korea or Afghanistan. Pack it up, baby.

    Posted by: Boone68 | Jun 12, 2009 9:21:11 PM


  14. Congrats on getting the blocks rescinded. The popular chain of restaurants, Panera Bread, has the same blocks against LGBT websites.
    Infuriating.

    Posted by: Paul Kraft | Jun 12, 2009 9:30:51 PM


  15. Great! Maybe now they can look into Whole Foods free wi-fi service blocking Towleroad.com. At least here in Glendale, CA.

    Posted by: Marty | Jun 12, 2009 9:32:48 PM


  16. I know Tim Casey...he was my boss back when we both worked for Starbucks Coffee. He is one of the kindest, most genuine men you could ever hope to know. I was very out, as were several of my coworkers, and I can assure he is committed to inclusion and diversity. @Paul, Tim has a lovely wife and a beautiful family.

    Posted by: Doug | Jun 12, 2009 9:56:36 PM


  17. "At approximately 3:00pm on Thursday we were notified by a customer using our complementary wi-fi service that two specific sites catering to the LGBT community were blocked from access."

    Just because a site covers news from a GLBT perspective doesn't mean that it "caters to the LGBT community." It's news for everyone Coffee Bean.

    Posted by: Anon | Jun 12, 2009 9:58:15 PM


  18. Sorry, Doug, as I said I was just being a stereotypical jerk. He does sound like a very good guy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 13, 2009 1:05:08 AM


  19. Finally someone with a real Pair! Great response from Casey

    Posted by: Zo | Jun 13, 2009 1:13:51 AM


  20. I'm writing this from India where Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has recently launched. A friend of mine, who's a big LGBT rights supporter, was part of the team that chose the menu, and one of the sandwiches that he came up with was for Lettuce, Gouda, Basil oil and Tomato. His boss, who possibly didn't get it, okayed it and now if you go to some of the locations (like Select Citywalk mall in Delhi) you will see on the menu... LGBT sandwich. So even unwittingly, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is LGBT supportive.

    Posted by: Vikram | Jun 13, 2009 9:05:09 AM


  21. @Vikram: VERY creative!! Love that your friend was able to include a nod to LGBT issues while selling food.

    Posted by: Crash | Jun 13, 2009 6:54:34 PM


  22. "At approximately 3:00pm on Thursday we were notified by a customer using our complementary wi-fi service that two specific sites catering to the LGBT community were blocked from access."

    Just because a site covers news from a GLBT perspective doesn't mean that it "caters to the LGBT community." It's news for everyone Coffee Bean.

    POSTED BY: ANON | JUN 12, 2009 9:58:15 PM

    News for everyone? Read the top of the page, "A site with homosexual tendencies". look at the ads... 85% aimed at the LGBT community in some way.

    News for everyone?? no.. do not try to pay a victim just because coffee bean said the site caters to the LGBT community because take a look around, this site is aimed towards the LGBT community.

    Ask a straight person what this site is, they will have no idea

    Posted by: Miah | Jun 17, 2009 5:00:10 AM


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