Three Mobile, purveyors of pron?

I have a mobile from Three, and last week while on the train, I tried to follow a link to Richard Herring’s blog from his Twitter stream.

This is what it started loading:

Now Richard Herring on occasion is known to use bawdy and risque humour, but it is all just text, and I wouldn’t say in the NSFW category.

Obviously his site is on some content blacklist, used by some software Three have bought (or written) to stop minors accessing undesirable content? That’s the reason isn’t it, protecting children? Lets see what the rest of the page looked like:

So on a page, to protect children it is advertising…well you can see can’t you?
Lets reiterate. This is the page you get if you have not confirmed you are 18. i.e.possibly a child.
So, maybe it is not for protecting children. Then what the hell is it for?
Oh, I see:

You want 99p from me. Is that a business model?
Or could it possibly be so you have my CC details, and assent for using ‘adult services’ so you can spam me with pron from now on?

Even worse, this thread seems to indicate that even if you do pay 99p to prove you are an adult, you still cannot access the content you want (like the Richard Herring’s blog), it just gives you access to Three’s paid for adult services.

It is at best pretty tawdry, and at worst, a blatant attempt to extract revenue from customers under the guise of protecting minors.

But the worst part is that they are blocking sites that are not pornographic, and dare I say, under 18s might want to legitimately use. 

I notice, and are also blocked. But betting sites are not.

Edit (8th April 2011): Interestingly, while revisiting this blog post today, it appears Three have completely removed their content filter (for me anyway). I wonder if this is temporary or permanent.

Edit 2: Ah - an explanation: