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I’m lovin’ it: McDonald’s blocks porn on its Wi-Fi service

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

July 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Customers across the nation learned this year that, when they go to the world's most popular fast food chain, pornography is no longer part of the combo.

McDonald's announced that it is filtering its free Wi-Fi to prevent patrons from exposing children to pornography inside its restaurants.

"I'm lovin' it!" said Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough is Enough, a nonprofit founded in 1994 dedicated to children's online safety, upon hearing the news. “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” and “from potential sexual exploitation and predation.”

She called the move an "act of corporate responsibility and commitment to children and family safety."

The group launched a petition drive in late 2014 asking McDonald's and Starbucks to filter their widely used public Wi-Fi to prevent customers from watching porn in public.

McDonald's responded by blocking pornographic websites from Wi-Fi at its corporate-owned stores, which account for about 10 percent of the fast food giant's 14,000 stores in the United States, early this year.

The company, which reported $25.4 billion in revenue in 2015, then offered the safer Wi-Fi to its franchisees, and the majority of its stores now use it, according to a company spokesman.

“I want to publicly thank McDonald’s for making its WiFi safer for its patrons,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), “McDonald’s now joins the ranks of other corporations such as Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread, which are all doing their part to address the public health crisis of pornography by proactively filtering pornography on its Wi-Fi.”

Meanwhile, Starbucks is considering following their lead.

"We are in the process of evaluating a global protocol to address this in all of our company owned stores, and are in active discussions with organizations on implementing the right, broad-based solution that would remove any illegal and other egregious content,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement released last Friday. "Once we determine that our customers can access our free Wi-Fi in a way that also doesn't involuntarily block unintended content, we will implement this in our stores.”

Customers, especially those with young children, will thank – and patronize – stores that value the well-being of their customers.

“Internet safety is now the fourth top-ranked health issue for U.S. children, with peer-reviewed research confirming  Internet pornography as a public health crisis,” Hughes said. “There are many studies on the deleterious effects of internet pornography on the developing brains of children and teens and the fueling role of porn on child sexual exploitation.”

The state of Utah has declared pornography a “public health crisis,” as does the draft copy of the Republican Party platform. Even MTV has warned its viewers about the dangers of porn use.

Porn in public places marks the final step in a slow, steady march out of seedy theaters and plain brown wrappers to a ubiquitous, multibillion dollar industry. Earlier this year, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled against a University of Wisconsin student who argued that he had a constitutional right to watch pornography in the university's library.

“I commend McDonald’s for adopting a socially responsible corporate measure that ensures its customers enjoy safe, public space free from pornography,” said Hawkins.

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