McDonald's implements porn filter at U.S. stores

by David Roach, posted Friday, July 15, 2016 (2 years ago)

BP file photo
NASHVILLE (BP) -- The McDonald's corporation's decision to filter pornography from Wi-Fi at its U.S. restaurants has been called "brave and bold" by the leader of Southern Baptists' anti-pornography campaign.

"I applaud McDonald's for this brave and bold step of protecting people, especially children, from the evil that hovers over every place that offers Wi-Fi," Jay Dennis, co-sponsor of the Join One Million Men Campaign, told Baptist Press in written comments. "McDonald's wisely understood and acted upon the fact that pornography is among the top public health threats in our country. Now I pray that other major corporations will also accept the reality that pornography is a danger to one's health physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally and spiritually."

In response to a petition drive launched by the internet safety organization Enough Is Enough (EIE) in 2014, McDonald's began filtering pornography and child pornography at its U.S. corporate-owned restaurants earlier this year, according to a July 13 EIE news release. The filtering service has been made available to McDonald's franchises as well.

U.K. McDonald's locations have provided internet filters since at least 2014, according to previous BP reports.

Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread are among other U.S. restaurant chains with porn-free Wi-Fi, EIE reported.

"Parents can have peace of mind that, when they or their children go to McDonald's, they will have a safer and more friendly Wi-Fi experience, filtered from pornography, from child porn and from potential sexual exploitation and predation," EIE President Donna Rice Hughes said according to the news release. "McDonald's deserves widespread praise for this act of corporate responsibility and commitment to children and family safety."

Starbucks, which filters pornography at its U.K. stores as well, was also targeted by the EIE petition drive but has not responded to the request for protected internet access in American stores, EIE reported.

Dennis, pastor of Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla., said any business aiming "to be truly family friendly" must "take the same steps that McDonald's and others have taken to protect those family-friendly places."

"I encourage people of faith to say 'Thank you' to corporations who have taken these steps,'" Dennis said. "Also, we must continue to press other corporations and organizations to recognize pornography as a threat to public health. In every state we must work to help our legislatures to pass laws that recognize this threat."

Launched at the 2013 SBC annual meeting in Houston, Join One Million Men is seeking commitments from 1 million men to live pornography-free lives. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the Woman's Missionary Union sponsored the initiative along with Dennis.

In 2015 the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Columbus, Ohio, adopted a resolution "on pornography and sexual purity," which expressed "deep grief over the widespread devastation inflicted by the pornography industry" as well as commitment to "purity in thought, word, and deed." The resolution "commend[ed] the good news that Christ is fully able to deliver and restore those who have fallen in sexual sin who look to Him in faith and repentance."

David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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