IT: SmartFilter blacklists computer science library as 'Sex'

Seth Finkelstein
Thu, 7 Mar 2002 15:57:53 -0500

I've archived this at

[Summary - SmartFilter blacklisted a web digital library devoted to
"NIPS", that is, "Neural Information Processing Systems", as 'Sex'.
The reason should be obvious, but if not, take a look at the
(surprisingly, unblacklisted) site

Note censorware advocates sometimes deride these reports as legends and
stories. You can verify this blacklisting by clicking on the following

Of course, after this is publicized, SmartFilter'll eventually change it,
and the censorware blacklist will be assumed perfect once again ...

My previous reports on SmartFilter:
SmartFilter's Greatest Evils:
SmartFilter - I've Got A Little List:

[Forwarded with permission]

 From: Yann LeCun
 Subject: SmartFilter blocks computer science library
 Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 13:42:12 -0500


I thought you might be amused to know that the NIPS Online web 
site ( ) is currently being blocked by 
SmartFilter. This may be a good example of the "collateral damage" 
caused by censorware. NIPS Online is a free digital library that 
provides access to the proceedings of a yearly computer science 
conference called Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS).

I am the creator and maintainer of NIPS Online, and I am not sure
why my site is being blocked (the content is as innocuous as can be),
though I suspect the acronym NIPS may have something to do with it.

What I know is that prominent scientists at some industry research 
labs are being denied access to important scientific publications 
because their employer uses bad censorware (not that there is such 
a thing as good censorware).


  -- Yann LeCun

 Yann LeCun                        Fellow, Computer Science Division
 NEC Research Institute        tel:+1(609)951-2614 fax:(609)951-2482
 4 Independence Way          yann[at]research[dot]nj[dot]nec[dot]com
 Princeton, NJ 08540-6634, USA.      

Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  sethf[at-sign]
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought list -