Canada | Censorship | News

BigGayDeal.com

Canadian Coffee Shop Chain Apologizes For Blocking Gay Newspaper Site Over WiFi

The Canada-based Tim Hortons coffee shop chain is apologizing to the publisher of a Canadian free weekly gay newspaper for blocking access to the paper's website on its restaurants' WiFi, UPI reports:

Tim HortonsBrandon Matheson, publisher of Xtra, a gay free newspaper that circulates in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, said he began getting tweets from readers who said they could not access the newspaper's website, DailyXtra.com, while connected to the Tim Hortons WiFi, the Toronto Star said Friday.

Matheson, a Timmy Ho's regular, said he tried himself and it came up blocked. 

He contacted a web administrator to inquire about the situation and was told his not-particularly racy website was not suitable for Tim Hortons patrons to access in their coffee shops.

"We have reviewed this site's content and have found that it is not appropriate for all ages viewing in a public environment,' read the unsigned email from the company Tim Hortons contracts as web administrator. 'We try to ensure that all our guests can enjoy a safe and pleasant experience when visiting us."

Xtra wrote a story about being blocked at Tim Hortons and readers launched a Twitter campaign to encourage gays and lesbians to boycott the chain.

"For a 'safe and pleasant experience,' I guess I won't be going to @TimHortons," tweeted David Demchuk after reading the story.

Others joined in and a Tim Hortons representative contacted Matheson shortly afterward to inform him the company had reviewed and reversed the web administrator's decision.

"Sometimes websites are blocked in error; dailyxtra.com never should have been blocked in the first place," Tim Hortons spokeswoman Michelle Robichaud said. "We apologize if anyone was offended by that error."    

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. The power of the all mighty dollar..Good job Canadian-LGBT commuity

    Posted by: bructer | Jul 21, 2013 5:05:45 PM


  2. "Timmy Ho's" - Okay, I gotta admit, I've NEVER heard it called that.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jul 21, 2013 5:21:11 PM


  3. "We apologize if anyone was offended by that error."

    Well, Ms. Robichaud, clearly folks WERE offended by "that error" so no IF statement is needed. Just say you apologize for the error.

    Posted by: RJ | Jul 21, 2013 5:22:14 PM


  4. While Mr. Matheson thinks his website is "not-particularly racy", others might disagree. I just visited the site and found an advertisement for something called Squirt. It has a nearly naked man and the tagline "Hot 'n horny hookups".

    I find the call for a boycott to be a wild overreaction.

    Posted by: alex | Jul 21, 2013 6:01:40 PM


  5. While Mr. Matheson thinks his website is "not-particularly racy", others might disagree. I just visited the site and found an advertisement for something called Squirt. It has a nearly naked man and the tagline "Hot 'n horny hookups".

    I find the call for a boycott to be a wild overreaction.

    Posted by: alex | Jul 21, 2013 6:01:40 PM


  6. It seems the threat of a boycott made the company stop blocking the site, so I'd call it an effective strategy rather than a wild overreaction, Alex.

    And it's not like someone looking at the site would be projecting it on the walls or beaming it into children's eyes, so perhaps the blocking was the overreaction? The company apparently thinks so from a business POV, though I agree with RJ about the apology. ("If anyone was offended" is what should be blocked from all apologies.)

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 21, 2013 6:41:12 PM


  7. Tim Horton's has every right to ban a gay magazine that links to or advertises an "afternoon sex club" for men who can't control their libidos while sipping coffee.

    Memo to the community: Stop making society more sexually explicit under the gay rights banner. It's dishonest for starters.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 21, 2013 6:42:32 PM


  8. "Timmy Ho's"? Everyone in Canada calls it "Timmy's".

    Posted by: Jim Elliott | Jul 21, 2013 6:51:24 PM


  9. Not surprising that a website with a capital X would be blocked by someone reviewing tons of sites.
    They agreed to fix it -- lots of publicity for the website, not so much for Tim

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 21, 2013 7:03:24 PM


  10. Do people surf porn and masturbate on a coffee shop? I thought that only happen in the cyber cafe or libraries?

    Posted by: bambinoitaliano | Jul 21, 2013 7:33:11 PM


  11. I'm so sick of gays wanting everything just because their gay! Tim Hortons has every right to block them if they feel the site contains unsuitable material!!! The same ones complaining are those accessing questionable material. And if the paper is so concerned, don't advertise questionable sites or material! Enough already!!!

    Posted by: ENOUGH | Jul 21, 2013 7:53:15 PM


  12. Screw an apology! Do straight men get apologies from gyms when GAY men consistently perform lewd acts in the gym? HELL NO!!! Do we boycott 24hr Fitness because the gays are having sex in the gym? It's amazing how some gays will use "Boycott" as a weapon when clearly they are in the wrong!!!!!

    Posted by: ENOUGH | Jul 21, 2013 7:56:44 PM


  13. "I'm so sick of gays wanting everything just because their gay!"

    Enough was asleep or was throwing spit balls in class when the teacher explained to him that even though there are lots of words that sounds the same it doesn't mean that they mean the same thing. The naughty word for words like that is homophone (and no, it's not a phone owned by a homo.)

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Jul 21, 2013 8:01:33 PM


  14. Timmy Ho's? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say no one in Canada calls it that -- the writer of the UPI piece (copied here in full -- is that actually allowed?) must not be Canadian.

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | Jul 21, 2013 8:46:52 PM


  15. "Do straight men get apologies from gyms when GAY men consistently perform lewd acts on them in the gym?"

    There. Fixed it.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 21, 2013 8:55:41 PM


  16. @Enough with the exclamation points!!!! Someone needs a Valium. The site is hardly scandalous, unless you've been living in a cloister. Timmy's isn't freaking out, why are you? Worked up after spying on all that gym sex?

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 21, 2013 10:06:07 PM


  17. 1) I hear "Timmy Ho's" nearly as often as "Timmy's". Perhaps it's a regional/Toronto appellation.

    2) I don't understand why stores block *anything* on wifi. You can't see my screen, and if it's a site of a sexual nature I'm probably not going to wave it around so others can see it.

    Posted by: Knock | Jul 21, 2013 10:22:07 PM


  18. I stand by my statement that calling for a boycott because a single LGBT website was blocked a wild overreaction. Any website that displays ads for hookup sites that feature nearly naked models shouldn't be surprised when somethink like this happens.

    It's only censorship if Tim Horton's allows mainstream sites that have a similar level of nudity or sex-related ads.

    I'm of the opinion that corporate boycotts should be reserved for something more important than what sites can be accessed via free wi-fi. As it stands, I can't help but feel as though Mr. Matheson used a boycott to bully this company into getting special treatment for his website.

    If anyone can present evidence that Tim Horton's allows mainstream/straight websites with similar questionable content, I'll gladly rescind my statement.

    Posted by: alex | Jul 21, 2013 10:31:42 PM


  19. I stand by my statement that calling for a boycott because a single LGBT website was blocked a wild overreaction. Any website that displays ads for hookup sites that feature nearly naked models shouldn't be surprised when somethink like this happens.

    It's only censorship if Tim Horton's allows mainstream sites that have a similar level of nudity or sex-related ads.

    I'm of the opinion that corporate boycotts should be reserved for something more important than what sites can be accessed via free wi-fi. As it stands, I can't help but feel as though Mr. Matheson used a boycott to bully this company into getting special treatment for his website.

    If anyone can present evidence that Tim Horton's allows mainstream/straight websites with similar questionable content, I'll gladly rescind my statement.

    Posted by: alex | Jul 21, 2013 10:31:43 PM


  20. I have to add that I've never heard anyone refer to Tim Horton's as "Timmy Ho's". That being said, no one else can see websites you are accessing on your laptop while you are in a coffee shop. If they can see the details of the website, then they are being nosy. Much ado about nothing here.

    Posted by: David | Jul 21, 2013 10:42:51 PM


  21. One guy bullied a big corporation into doing something it didn't want to do? You think Tim Hortons is that much of a pushover? Really? And, looking at the site, I don't see any particularly scandalous content--basically it looks like any number of sites, including Towleroad. There are free pubs in racks all over most Canadian cities with racier stuff.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 21, 2013 10:55:39 PM


  22. "I find the call for a boycott to be a wild overreaction."

    I find the lack of parental supervision these days to be astounding! Appalling would be another appropriate description. Never give a minor unsupervised access to the Internet. NEVER!

    As for adults, if you don't want to watch/read it, then DON'T keep doing it!

    Simple solution.

    Posted by: AdamTh | Jul 21, 2013 11:00:21 PM


  23. Companies that provide Wi-Fi often use filtering software, that seldom is reviewed or customized. It is not surprising that only the threshold of "gay" gets a site blocked by these providers, which is very narrow minded and possibly homophobic. After Tim Hortons was notified, they should have reviewed the site, approved it, and gone into the Wi-Fi administrative tool and made the adjustment and propagated the change for all stores. However, Tim Hortons management responded the content was inappropriate. It is not clear if they really reviewed the site themselves or relied on the criteria of the blocking software.

    As others have noted, the content is pretty standard. I did not see any ads that were questionable at all. I would hardly call the tweets that were involved an organized boycott. Those were just the dynamics of social media. Alex, please pull your underpants out of your butt.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Jul 22, 2013 6:40:02 AM


  24. what's with the hang-wringing ninnies?

    people noticed it. attention was brought. justice was served.
    no cream, one sugar. plz.

    it's a good story. :)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 22, 2013 1:49:38 PM


  25. @ERNIE - I guess you just let us know that you're one of those self same pervs I described. SOme straight men find it disgusting and deplorable that gay men only go to gyms as a substitute for a bath house. This is why so many gyms have now placed undercover security and or police personnel in the gyms to halt this behavior.

    Posted by: ENOUGH | Jul 22, 2013 2:33:39 PM


  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment







Trending


« «Remembering Helen Thomas: A Gay White House Reporter's Reflections« «