Sandwich giant Pret A Manger blocks access to PinkNews as ‘mature’

Branches of sandwich giant Pret A Manger are blocking access to sites like PinkNews over “mature” content rules.

Chris Bromley posted on the Pret A Manger Facebook page saying he had been trying to access LGBT content in the St Martins Lane branch of the store.

But he said he was blocked from accessing sites like PinkNews over “mature” content rules on the in-store wifi, provided by Pret through third-party wifi provider Crowd Wifi.

Crowd Wifi at Pret blocks PinkNews

Bromley says he tried to access a number of LGBT news outlets in the UK, none of which promote explicit or adult content.

He wrote: “I have complained about this before but you are still blocking LGBT content from your customer wifi. I would really like a mature rational explanation of why you think LGBT content should be censored.

“Of the battles as I’ve needed to fight to be treated as free and equal as a LGBT person, having to fight for uncensored content from a sandwich shop due archaic and discriminatory view of LGBT people is not the one I expected. ???️‍?✊?#LGBTLivesMatter #QueerLivesMatter.”

A number of other companies including Oxfam, Scotrail and University College Hospital have in the past unblocked access to PinkNews after realising that it was blocked as “mature” content.

Firewall providers Symantec and Norton back in 2014 unblocked access to sites based on “sexual orientation” and removed the category from their blocked lists.

A Pret A Manger social media staff member responded to say that the chain had switched wifi providers and were “working to get this resolved as soon as possible”.

They wrote: “We have recently switched to a new third party provider for our shop Wifi and there have been a few teething problems including the restriction of some websites and also applications such as What’s App.

“I am currently speaking with them to get the sites you have mentioned unblocked but also to ask discuss how we can prevent LGBT sites being blocked in future.

“I really appreciate you letting us know and I am working to get this resolved as soon as possible.”

But Bromley says he has reported the problem before and that it has still not been resolved.

He shared screenshots with PinkNews of complaints made on 1 May, which Pret responded to to say the block would be removed.

Pret’s wifi is provided by Crowd Wifi.

PinkNews has reached out to Pret A Manger for more information on its wifi provider and why LGBT sites were blocked in the first place, and is awaiting a response.