Earlier today Telstra and Optus began blocking some sites that have been used to host the footage of the terrorist attack in Christchurch last Friday.
And it looks like as of earlier this afternoon the blocks were also filtering down to Vodafone users
In the wake of community and political pressure following the livestreaming of the horrific terrorist attacks at Christchurch on Friday, Australian ISPs have started blocking some sites used to rehost footage of the livestream, including the infamous 8chan image board.
There has been no official press or release from the Vodafone media team, but speaking to Gizmodo Australia a spokesperson stated,
"Vodafone Australia believes there is no place on the internet for this horrific, disturbing content. We have placed temporary blocks on dozens of sites known to be still actively hosting footage of Friday’s shootings in Christchurch. We understand users trying to access these sites for legitimate purposes may be inconvenienced but we believe it’s the right thing to do in these extreme circumstances to help stop the further distribution of this video. In Australia, blocking requests are generally made via the courts or law enforcement agencies however, this is an extreme case which we think required an extraordinary response. There were industry discussions in relation to this issue and we did make enquiries with various agencies but this is a decision Vodafone Australia made independently."
The telco also tweeted its intention to block these sites in response to a customer earlier today.
We understand users trying to access these sites for legitimate purposes may be inconvenienced but we believe it’s the right thing to do in these extreme circumstances to stop the further distribution of the horrific, disturbing footage.
— Vodafone Australia (@VodafoneAU) March 19, 2019
As I'm on the Vodafone network, I began testing the availability of some of the sites around 4:15pm AEDT. I received this message while attempting to access 8chan, Zero Hedge and Kiwi Farms:
At the time of writing 4chan still appeared to be available.
The blocks are yet to be consistent, despite beginning yesterday according to a Vodafone spokesperson. My partner, who is on the same network, was still able to access both 8chan and Kiwi Farm.
Both Telstra and Optus have confirmed that the site blocking will be temporary. Although Vodafone has declined to comments on specifics regarding the sites, we are expecting its approach to the blocking to be similar.
This story is developing...
This story has been updated to include a response from Vodafone as well as correct an error regarding Vodafone's response. The blocks from the telco started yesterday, though some users didn't seem to experience it until today. We regret this mistake.