Today I was contacted by Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (BPjM). Our German users are most likely already familiar with BPjM and the problems associated with being put on their list of websites.
Many of you may be aware that there is an international attempt to block access to multiple websites in many countries. The shooting in New Zealand has prompted unprecedented censorship across the globe, resulting in many users utilizing VPN services to bypass their ISPs tools for blocking access to certain websites. There has been calls for *chan type sites to be removed from the internet. So far the confirmed websites being blocked NZ, Australia and parts of the European Union are listed below.
The BPjM is a regulatory arm of the German government associated with protecting kids. In their own word, "Our task is to protect children and adolescents in Germany from any media which might be harmful or dangerous to minors (e.g. racist / violent / pornographic content)". They maintain an index of websites that can not be displayed in search results performed in their country. Unfortunately one of the major issues with BPjM is that you aren't able to fight the index listing because it isn't clear if even discussing the topic is in violation of the law. Being on the Index also makes it difficult for adults to find the results they want, and even in Germany it's considered by some to be a violation of their free speech laws. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to fight. Therefore, Finalchan will soon (if not already) be blocked from search results, news organizations, results where the url is in them (forums), etc in Germany.
The letter did not specify that Finalchan.net would be listed, but instead directories beneath the URL will be. Some of our pages will be put into the list of youth endangering media.
Our older users may recall that Finalchan had issues with German regulations in the past. Indexing by the BPjM may be a result from that earlier contact, but the timing is suspicious at best. Please be aware of this situation, and let your German friends know that Finalchan.net is still accessible, in whatever method is legal in your country.