Let’s Measure the Blocking of LGBTQI Websites Around the World!

Call to Action:
Let’s measure the blocking of LGBTQI websites around the world!

LGBTQI websites are blocked in several countries around the world, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. This includes popular dating apps and sites, such as grindr, which is blocked in Lebanon and Iran.

How can we track the blocking of LGBTQI sites around the world?

We have teamed up with the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) – a free software project that develops tools for measuring internet censorship – to investigate the blocking of LGBTQI sites worldwide.

We invite you to contribute to this research!

In this post, we explain how you can test the blocking of LGBTQI websites in your country and contribute network measurement data which will be openly published to increase transparency (and potentially serve as evidence).

Measure the Blocking of LGBTIQ Websites

You can participate in our research through the following steps:

  1. Install the OONI Probe mobile app (and turn-off your VPN): Android iOS Tap on one of the LGBTQI buttons on this page: https://ooni.org/get-involved/run/

  2. Tap on one of the LGBTQI buttons on this page: https://ooni.org/get-involved/run/

  3. Note: The “LGBTQI (26 URLs)” button includes 26 LGBTQI websites, while the “LGBTQI (600 URLs)” button includes 600 LGBTQI websites. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, we encourage you to opt for more comprehensive testing (600 URLs), whereas if you’re using mobile data, you may find the testing of fewer websites (26 URLs) preferable.

  4. Open the LGBTQI button with your OONI Probe mobile app (not with a web browser).

  5. Tap Run

You can view the results through the Test Results section of your OONI Probe mobile app. Please note that false positives can occur.

About OONI Probe

The OONI Probe app includes tests designed to measure various forms of internet censorship, including the blocking of websites.

Every time you run an OONI Probe test, you collect network measurement data which can potentially serve as evidence of internet censorship.

You will be able to see the results immediately inside the OONI Probe app, and they will automatically be published on OONI Explorer as well.

All results from all OONI Probe users are automatically published on OONI Explorer to help increase transparency of internet censorship around the world. You can then download the measurements, perform your own analysis, and use them as part of research, advocacy, policy, and journalistic reporting.

Heads-up

The OONI Probe app is not a privacy tool, but an investigatory tool, as it's designed to expose various forms of internet censorship.

Keep in mind that:

  • Anyone monitoring your internet activity (such as your government, ISP, or employer) will know that you are running OONI Probe (just the way they know what other software you run). Running OONI Probe over a VPN is not recommended, as it may lead to inaccurate results.
  • Testing LGBTQI sites might attract the attention of those monitoring your internet activity. This may be risky if LGBTQI rights are not recognized in the country that you’re running OONI Probe from.
  • By default, your OONI Probe test results will automatically get published to increase transparency. You can opt-out from submitting your test results for publication by disabling the Sharing options in the Settings of the OONI Probe app.

Learn more about potential risks here.

OONI Probe collects and publishes the following types of data:

  • Country code (such as IT for Italy). This enables us to determine in which country the test was performed.
  • Autonomous System Number (ASN). This number allows us to identify the network in which the test was performed (such as AS30722 for Vodafone Italia).
  • Time and date of measurement. As censorship can (and often does) change over time, each OONI Probe test result provides a snapshot of censorship in a particular moment in time. By collecting the time and date of your OONI Probe test, we are able to determine when the particular censorship event took place.
  • Network measurement data. The specific type of network measurement data collected varies depending on the OONI Probe test, how it works, and what it’s designed to measure. To test LGBTQI sites, you will run OONI’s Web Connectivity test.

By default, OONI Probe does not aim to collect your IP address or other potentially personally-identifiable information. Learn more through OONI’s Data Policy.