Update

Norton Symantec folds, then hides

Norton removes AVFM from list of hate sites, and perhaps others, just as much longer list of banned sites surfaces.

It appears that Norton Symantec has removed A Voice for Men, and perhaps a dozen other websites from a DNS registry list of “known hate sites” after a media inquiry left them with some uncomfortable questions about their practices.

John Leyden of theregister.co.uk conducted an investigation of Norton Symantec’s listing of A Voice for Men and other MHRM sites after getting complaints about the actions from our fellow activists at MRALondon.org.

It appears Symantec acted quickly to remove the block. The matter was also investigated by Simon Edwards, technical director at Dennis Technology Labs and chairman of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization. Edwards, an experienced antivirus tester, set up Norton DNS and determined that it “”[L]ooks like Symantec has updated its records”.

As reported by Leyden, “The screenshot posted by avoiceformen.com makes it clear that it was Symantec’s DNS system that was labeling its site as a “hate group”. 

So while it appears that the security software manufacturer has relented and removed A Voice for Men from the defamatory DNS listing, there are still unanswered questions about how it happened in the first place. It also appears that Symantec is making little effort to explain anything to the sites affected or to the Norton customers who have demanded answers. Company representatives now seem intent on acting as though the banning never happened.

Early in the investigation, before the Register became involved, a concern about the DNS listing was brought up by a Norton Symantec user in their customer forum. That individual posted a complete list of the sites that were known to be banned, and followed that with a request:

 

Please fix this issue ASAP It would also be appreciated if you could find out who exactly was responsible for falsely categorizing such a large number of sites on this topic, such censorship is very disturbing indeed.

That request we met, after it was revealed that the blacklisting had become a very active discussion on Reddit, with an initial response by forum administrator and Norton Symantec employee Tim Lopez, who stated the following:

 

I posted in the Reddit thread directing people to this forum thread so that these forums can be utilized as the source of the most recent information on this topic.

Just to let you know, we’re investigating this right now and looking in to the reasons for these categorization. 

I’ll provide an update as soon as I have more information!

Cheers,

Tim Lopez
Norton Forums Administrator
Symantec Corporation

Lopez later promised to have an update on the matter available the next day. To my knowledge, no such update has been provided.

Gee, list of hate sites? What list of hate sites?

I think it can be safely assumed that Symantec is now just holding its breath, hoping that this will go away, without any public concern over why the company put itself in the position of censoring their customer’s access to differing political views.

Said the Register’s Leyden:

 

…[W]hat’s far more difficult is to fathom why Symantec can’t account for how its technology classifies a named site, despite complaints from the party concerned, combined with two days of nagging from El Reg‘s security desk.

Leyden’s investigation not only calls into question the lack of accountability on the part of Symantec, but also questions the basic premise for the listing.

 

The men’s rights movement, of which A Voice for Men is a part, is a reaction against social changes brought about by feminism. The group bills itself as “masculine counter-theory in the age of misandry”.

The movement rejects criticism that it a reactionary force seeking to restore centuries of patriarchy.

All of this is clearly not agreeable fodder for many women but to label the site as a “hate site” seems a little over the top.

This is clearly not the final chapter in this story for Symantec. AVFM has learned since the story began that the list of banned websites may be much, much larger than originally known.

According to The Rights of Man Blog, there are actually some 48 men’s and father’s issues related sites that have made their way to being banned by Norton Symantec. We do not know at this time if any or all of these other sites have been removed from Norton’s hate list. And more importantly, we do not have an explanation from Norton Symantec as to how and why they got there to begin with.

Not acceptable.

Norton should not be allowed to just blow off public concerns about its conduct in defaming an established segment of the population whose sole “mistake” is to hold the belief that men and women should be treated equally under the rule of law and in social custom.

As they present themselves to the public now, it appears that Symantec’s position is that men do not qualify for the same rights and considerations as everyone else, and that indeed any effort to assert that they are will be met with censorship and public demonization.

On behalf of AVFM I want to express my thanks to John Leyden of The Register for bringing more public attention to this story, and I want to urge him to continue, as we are, to demand an accounting by Norton Symantec for its actions.

About Paul Elam

Paul Elam is the founder and publisher of A Voice for Men, the founder of A Voice for Men Radio, and appears weekly on AVFM Intelligence Report, Going Mental with Dr. Tara Palmatier and monthly on MANstream Media with Warren Farrell and Tom Golden.

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  • sevencck

    Great article, this bullshit gets harder to believe with each passing day.

    • JohnKimble1

      Actually Norton have no idea what they’re talking about. No sites have been unblocked (just tested at least 20 including avfm and not a single change). I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working on the issue of men’s rights sites been censored so I know what I’m talking about. If you’ve previously visited a site then sometimes you can get your browser’s cached version of the site rather than the “blocked” message – it seems to take a few reloads for the “hate site” message to kick in.

      It really is VERY easy to test the block – anyone here can manage it in seconds. You simply set your DNS server settings to 198.153.192.60 or 198.153.194.60. The just test out the list of 48 and see what happens ( best to test one not in your history then no danger of caching)

      If people could report here or on The Rights of Man if a site has been unblocked, I’ll double check any reports of unblocking and keep my list of 48 up to date.

      I’m doing more research on this issue, more news to follow soon.

      • Never Blue Again

        Checked …! Yes AVfM is still blocked…. ! :evil: :evil:

        Need to refresh the browser 4 – 5 times to clear up old cache.

  • http://menzmagazine.blogspot.com/ Factory

    This would have been impossible to expect, let alone see, not even a year ago.

    “Ineffective” MRM my ass.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      At this point I owe you so many beers we might as well just drive to the brewery.

      • http://menzmagazine.blogspot.com/ Factory

        Lay under the spigot and open the taps…now that’s drinkin’.

  • Aimee McGee

    Discovered we are an ‘adult site’ according to T-mobile today. I kinda get that…but it’s a pain unlocking your ‘adult content’ block!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/DannyboyCdnMRA Dan Perrins

    Ban us, Block us, Censor us, keep trying to shut the movement down, it matters little.
    The absolute truth is men’s rights are human rights and when you try and do anything to that simple absolute truth you WILL be exposed for the bigots you are.

    • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

      MHRM solidarity – Yea!

    • feeriker

      Any organization that truly stands up for human rights becomes an instant target of the reigning establishment. The good news is that, as with so many other movements throughout human history (think: the original New Testament Christian church), persecution only makes the movement that much stronger.

  • Turbo

    Damn straight Dannyboy, nicely stated.

  • August Løvenskiolds

    Sort of OT, sort of a pivot…

    Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, the fabled Dallas Cowboy players of the 1990′s, with the addition of the Mayor of Dallas, Texas, are planning a male shaming event in Dallas to combat Domestic Violence by addressing half the problem. They are hoping to get 10,000 men to dress in cheerleader outfits, or something.

    Here’s the link from the Dallas Morning News:

    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/rawlings-to-announce-downtown-rally-against-domestic-violence-with-troy-aikman-emmitt-smith.html/

    et les femmes? No.

    Now, who is pulling the strings for this “rally”?

    “Paula Blackmon, the mayor’s chief of staff…cautions: ‘It’s not just a rally,’ because rallies alone don’t end domestic violence.”

    No shit, lady, especially when one ignores the violent ladies.

    • JFinn

      And, as usual, nothing about the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence – children. It’s misogynistic to fight violence against children, considering the #1 beater and murderer of their children are women.

    • feeriker

      Any word of whether or not a counter-rally by MHRM activists is being discussed? If I were in the Dallas metro area (I travel there at least four times per year for work, but unfortunately won’t be there on the planned date of the mangina rally), I’d definitely and gladly join up with one.

  • Zerbu

    Great article, and good for you for pushing your activism further, Paul. I bet that if I was in a similar situation, I would have chickened out and said “it’s okay, apology accepted”.

    OT: AVfM’s Alexa rank has just passed the 60,000 mark.
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/avoiceformen.com

  • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

    For-profit companies have few ways to avoid bowing to market forces, and bad publicity is a very powerful market force.
    The government can ignore criticism and everybody still has to support it with taxes; not so in the private sector where consumers have choices.

  • Mateusz Wacek

    And the problem with having private organizations doing it is that there is no public recourse other than government regulations, which just brings in the government (and implies that private organizations, left to their own devices, aren’t going to work for the public good), or to “vote with your dollar”, which means that those with the highest amount of spending power have the most votes. It’s even worse when there is no alternative, and it’s not like the average guy has the capital needed to start a competing company (though, I’m loving the idea of some female MRAs using government grants provided for women to start businesses, and using that to found male-friendly companies…).

    Companies are driven by profit, making more money for the shareholders, not benefiting the public, not a code of ethics, and not a desire to support human rights. If misandry is profitable, then it’ll continue.

    Whether services like these are provided by the government or by private individuals, there needs to be an accountability to the people.

  • napocapo69

    still an open issue

  • Murray Pearson

    It was BRILLIANT getting The Register on the case. They are principled journalists and dedicated shit-disturbers; they are sufficiently dedicated that Apple will not speak to them under ANY circumstances (heh heh heh). Bravo MRALondon for getting the best tech site on Earth onto our story!

  • JGteMolder

    The thing is; it doesn’t even make sense if the banned sites were actual hate sites; letting go on in the dark makes what they do and say easy. You want to deal with hateful assholes you don’t stuff them under the bed in the hope other people don’t see it (and when they do, you don’t know, and you can’t provide insulating information) you shine a big bright light on them, and go, “Hey guys, look at what these hateful assholes are saying? It’d be funny and cute if it wasn’t so disgusting!”

  • FacelessFather

    Let em block us.

    Free publicity.

    Guess what….you can’t avoid us anymore. We’ll be in your in your homes, on your TVs and monitors and in your head and in your face FYSU.

    HOLD THE LINE!

  • Robert St. Estephe

    Leyden wrote: “The men’s rights movement, of which A Voice for Men is a part, is a reaction against social changes brought about by feminism.”

    Since when is defending the Bill of Rights (free speech, due process, etc.) a reaction against social changes. Since when are unconstitutional laws and regulations some vague things called “social changes” rather than governmental actions open to debate in terms of constitutionality?

    How are questions about the elimination of due process, rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, forced drugging of children, and equal protection specialized matters relating to “feminism,” rather than matters of universal liberty in the general sense?

    • feeriker

      How are questions about the elimination of due process, rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, forced drugging of children, and equal protection specialized matters relating to “feminism,” rather than matters of universal liberty in the general sense?

      They’re not. Good points, Robert. I also bring these up whenever I’m in an adversarial discussion with someone who tries to narrow the focus of these issues to a “male-vs-female” context.

      This is what rubs the feminists and their enablers the wrong way: the fact that the rights the MHRM defends are ultimately universal, natural rights not confined to one sex. The point at which this becomes self-evident is the point at which the feminist ideology is shorn of its faux egalitarian facade and exposed for the dehumanizing nihilism that it really is.

  • Winstone

    good that Norton fixed the problem.
    Please insist pressing on Norton until the feminist employee who made the fraud is identified, fired, and added on “register her”.

    • JohnKimble1

      It isn’t fixed at all. Not even slightly.

  • keyster

    There is probably a commitee or Norton Security “Product Team”, headed by a rather strident feminist, (probably female because Symantec is VERY diversity sensitive), and they made this decision without authorization from anyone higher up.

    Understand academia is cranking out little feminist activists every year, and this is only validated working in Encorpera.

    If you’re a man working in a hight tech company in Silicon Valley, you’re humble, polite and quiet or you don’t work. If you’re a woman you’re aggressive, obnoxious and rude and you’re promoted.

    • feeriker

      If you’re a man working in a hight tech company in Silicon Valley, you’re humble, polite and quiet or you don’t work. If you’re a woman you’re aggressive, obnoxious and rude and you’re promoted.

      Believe me, that truism isn’t confined to either the Silicon Valley or the tech sector.

  • MrStonedOne

    C:\Users\kspier>nslookup avoiceformen.com 198.153.192.60

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: avoiceformen.com
    Address: 198.153.192.3

    C:\Users\kspier>nslookup avoiceformen.com

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: avoiceformen.com
    Address: 142.4.30.224

    Still blocked

  • JohnNewton

    I haven’t been keeping up with this particular problem, so I could be completely wrong, but wasn’t the issue that we were listed as “not safe for children” or something to that effect? Since we talk a lot about rape, murder and other such matters I could sort of see that being true in a sense.

  • Steveyp333

    so pretty much every men’s advocacy website online was blocked, right?

    what. the. hell.

    I hate to be the one to cry conspiracy but CONSPIRACY!!

    • feeriker

      “Conspiracy” is not a dirty word or a term of shame, despite what the prevailing attitude of the unthinking majority would have you believe.

      As the saying goes, “I’m not interested in conspiracy theories. I’m interested in conspiracy FACTS!”

      Folks, I think we’ve uncovered one here.

  • the Tired Low Social

    yea, this points out a good reason to get rid of norton when you get a new computer. what program from norton was blocking the sites? not the anti-virus i hope

    • feeriker

      It turns out to have been Norton DNS.

  • ubermensch

    For what it’s worth, you know you’re causing concern when censorship rears its ugly head.

    Actually, TBH, I find it quite disturbing.

  • Sad Dad

    I tried to find an email address so I could give them a piece of my mind but I couldn’t find one that would work. Does anyone know of an email address and put it on here so we can write to them?