KFC Australia Accidentally Censored Gay Interest Material On In-Store Wi-Fi [Updated]

KFC Australia Accidentally Censored Gay Interest Material On In-Store Wi-Fi [Updated]

KFC Australia has been caught out censoring LGBTQI interest material on its in-store Wi-Fi network. That’s pretty unfortunate, but the chicken chain has told us this morning that it all happened as a big accident, pointing the finger at category definitions within Norton’s Wi-Fi platform.

The story surfaced after a reader of the gay and lesbian news site, SameSame.com.au, discovered that KFC’s in-store Wi-Fi was blocking access to the site.

A few KFC stores were then checked out by the original tipster and SameSame staff, and they found that it was the whole network censoring access to so-called “Sexual Orientation” web sites.

KFC were tipped off after a post to its Facebook page that denounced its censoring of the material, and that complaint filtered up the chain until it hit the IT department who finally started work on the problem.

KFC have told us this morning that it’s not interested in censoring material relating to the LGBTQI community, nor does it want to take an stance on issues that may affect the community. The issue came up purely because of a glitch in the system that Norton provides KFC.

A source told us that the censored list for the KFC/Norton Wi-Fi system wasn’t being appropriately monitored, meaning that some material was being accidentally being classed as objectionable.

The issue is currently being rectified and work on reclassifying sites on the in-store Wi-Fi blacklist is set to be completed on April 16.

Norton is currently getting back to us on how this accidental filtering could have happened.


And now we have Norton’s statement, which is really great at telling us nothing we didn’t already know.

Norton ConnectSafe is a DNS service that can safeguard an individual or business’s Wi-Fi network by screening out chosen categories of websites, such as those containing malware, scams, or mature content. A limited number of Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in Australia are using Norton ConnectSafe to protect users on their free in-store Wi-Fi, and the custom website filtering policy in place for those locations mistakenly blocked sites focused on sexual orientation. KFC brought the matter to our attention, and at their request we are updating their ConnectSafe content filtering policy to no longer exclude those sites. The changes will go into affect on Monday.