Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2011: April

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30th April   

Update: 'Free' is a Banned Word in Turkey...

Turkish internet censors list 138 words that trigger URL blocking
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people

A request made by the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate, or TIB, to ban a total of 138 words from Turkish Internet domain names has no legal basis and has left companies unsure of what action to take, according to experts.

Providing a list and urging companies to take action to ban sites that contain the words and threatening to punish them if they don't has no legal grounds, Yaman Akdeniz, a cyber-rights activist and a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, told the Hu rriyet Daily News. Akdeniz said no authority could decide that an action was illegal just by association.

The TIB cited the Internet ban law number 5651 and related legislation as the legal ground for its request. The law, however, does not authorize firms to take action related to banning websites.

The hosting company is not responsible for controlling the content of the websites it provides domains to or researching/exploring on whether there is any illegal activity or not. They are responsible for removing illegal content when they are informed and there is the technical possibility of doing so, according to Article 5 of the law.

The list of banned words has caused many scratching of heads

The effect of the TIB's request could see the closure of many websites that include a number of words. For example, the website ( could be banned because the domain name has the word animal in it; likewise,, ( could be closed down because of the word anal. Websites will also be forbidden from using the number 31 in their domain names because it is slang for male masturbation.

Some banned English words include beat, escort, homemade, hot, nubile, free and teen. Some other English words would also be banned because of their meanings in Turkish: pic, short for picture, is banned because it means bastard in Turkish. The past tense of the verb get is also banned because got means butt in Turkish. Haydar, a very common Alevi name for men, is also banned because it means penis in slang.

Gay , naked, confession, high school student, breath and forbidden are some of the other banned words.


30th April   


An Indonesian film under fire for addressing inter-religious topics
Link Here

An Indonesian movie, simply titled ? , has sparked nutter protests, but many Indonesians feel it is high time society talked openly about inter-religious topics.

The movie's characters explore struggles with their faiths through scenes such as inter-religious marriage or workplaces that challenge the practice of their beliefs. One controversial scene has a character playing a Muslim working in a restaurant that sells pork.

The film has drawn flak from the hard-line camp, such as the Islamic Defenders Front, which threatened to raid cinemas that screen it. It labeled some scenes blasphemous.

The Indonesian Ulema Council warned that it is considering banning the film for its bold portrayal of some issues, such as implying that it is all right for one to abandon Islam, and for showing alternative paths to God, which the council said ? goes against its beliefs of championing the religion.

Hanung Bramantyo, the director of the movie, has a different view: All I try to do with my films is to present different perspectives. The only way we can wage a proper battle against the stupidity and ignorance that cause so many problems in our lives is to strive for a well-rounded and informed viewpoint.


30th April   

Updated: Kitchen Advert Panned...

Italians whinge at IKEA advert due to supposed stereotyping
Link Here

Ikea has been accused of exploiting offensive Mafia cultural stereotypes in an advertisement to promote a new kitchen range.

The advertisement, shown on television and the internet, and titled Very Good Fellas , features gangster-like figures who speak with Sicilian and Neapolitan accents as they dispose of a suspiciously large and heavy black bag of refuse.

It turns out that the apparent Mafiosi are simply a group of ecologically conscious friends gathering for dinner, whose conduct bears out the slogan: Behaving well in an Ikea kitchen comes more naturally.

The advertising sparked widespread indignation among people in the south of Italy who claim they are being stereotyped.

Fabrizio Concas, Ikea Marketing Manager, said he was surprised by the reaction and wanted to apologise to all southerners who have felt offended by our advertisement .

Update: Italians whinge at second IKEA advert

30th April 2011. From

A top Italian official has called an Ikea advertisement with two gay men holding hands in bad taste .

I find it serious and in bad taste that a Swedish multinational comes to Italy to tell Italians what they should think, Secretary of State for family policy Carlo Giovanardi said in a television interview.

The Swedish furniture giant's advertisement shows two men with a shopping bag, holding hands, and the words: We are open to all families .

I think that many clients of Ikea will not find this pleasant, claimed Giovanardi. While Ikea was free to address itself to whom it pleases, the term family as used in the advertisement is in direct opposition to our constitution which says that family is founded on a marriage , he added.

Gay rights activist Aurelio Mancuso said Giovanardi's statements were dangerous and aggressive and risk fueling the climate of homophobia that drives violence and insults against gays, lesbians and transsexuals.


29th April   

We Are Not Amused...

Australian TV show banned from joking about royal wedding
Link Here

The Australian TV show The Chaser, which had planned an irreverent commentary to accompany images of the ceremony, has been pulled from ABC2's schedule, after learning that footage of the event is banned from being used in any comedy or satirical program.

ABC TV director Kim Dalton said he was surprised and disappointed that The Chaser could not be aired, while one of the show's stars, Julian Morrow, described the rule as out of step with a modern democracy.

Clarence House, which oversees the affairs of Prince William and drew up the broadcast contract with the BBC, issued a statement saying that it was standard practice for these kinds of religious ceremonies to include a clause which restricts usage in drama, comedy, satirical, or similar entertainment programs.

Organizations championing freedom of expression have questioned whether the royals should have the right to impose such restrictions, especially given that the taxpayer will pick up most of the costs involved in organizing the event.

Padraig Reidy, news editor at Britain's Index on Censorship, describes the royal family's control of the coverage as bizarre. He adds that plans for preemptive arrests and restrictions on the right to protest were even more concerning, branding as unprecedented the police's intended approach.


29th April   

Rated M for Mature...

US self assessed ratings for console downloadable games
Link Here

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has introduced a new streamlined rating process for games that will only be sold and downloaded through console and handheld storefronts such as Microsoft Xbox LIVE Arcade, Nintendo Wii, or DSi™ Shop and Sony PlayStation Store.

These games will receive the same recognizable ESRB ratings via a process whose efficiency and ease of use provides the scalability necessary to address the steady increase of games delivered digitally across an ever-expanding multitude of new devices and outlets.

Publishers of these downloadable games will complete a different submission form than is used for all other games. The new form contains a series of multiple choice questions designed to assess content across all relevant categories, such as violence, sexual content and language, among others. The questions also address important contextual factors such as the game's realism and visual style, its incentives (i.e., whether a certain action is meant to be avoided or results in failure), the player's perspective (i.e., omniscient, distant or third person vs. immersed, close-up or first person), and more. The responses provided determine the game's rating, which is issued to the publisher as soon as a DVD reflecting all disclosed content is received by ESRB.

All other types of games will continue to undergo the traditional rating process, which involves completion of a more open-ended questionnaire and review of a content DVD by a minimum of three raters who reach consensus on the appropriate rating.

The ESRB rating process that has been in use since 1994 was devised before the explosion in the number of digitally delivered games and devices on which to play them. These games, many of which tend to be casual in nature, are being produced in increasing numbers, by thousands of developers, and generally at lower costs, said ESRB president Patricia Vance. This new rating process considers the very same elements weighed by our raters. The biggest difference is in our ability to scale this system as necessary while keeping our services affordable and accessible.

All games rated via this new process will be tested by ESRB staff shortly after they are made publicly available to verify that disclosure was complete and accurate. In the event that content was not fully disclosed during this process, the rating displayed in the console or handheld store will be promptly corrected. In egregious cases of nondisclosure – which include a deliberate effort to misinform the ESRB – the game and - more - all of its promotional materials will be removed from the store through which it is being sold, pending its resubmission to ESRB.


29th April   

Update: Hidden Agenda...

EU proposal to create a Great Firewall of Europe
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law

Broadband providers have voiced alarm over an EU proposal to create a Great Firewall of Europe by blocking illicit web material at the borders of the bloc.

The proposal emerged an obscure meeting of the Council of the European Union's Law Enforcement Work Party (LEWP), a forum for cooperation on issues such as counter terrorism, customs and fraud.

The minutes from the meeting state:

The Presidency of the LEWP presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace with a certain virtual Schengen border and virtual access points whereby the Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU black-list . Delegations were also informed that a conference on cyber-crime would be held in Budapest on 12-13 April 2011.

Malcolm Hutty, head of public affairs at LINX, a cooperative of British ISPs, said the plan appeared ill thought-out and confused . We take the view that network level filtering of the type proposed has been proven ineffective.

Broadband providers say that illegal content should be removed at the source by cooperation between police and web hosting firms because network blocking can easily be circumvented.


29th April   

Update: Vaguely Repressive...

India enacts repressive internet censorship law
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

April 2011 saw the enactment of Information technology Rules Act 2011 which introduce internet censorship to India.

The new repressive rules massively curtail freedom of internet speech and have left many offended as it destroys the internet as a platform of speech and beliefs.

The Act says that any statement that threatens the unity, integrity; defense, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order is to be censored from the web. The act is very vague and is likely to invoke even more controversy in days ahead.

The new rules empower any official or private citizen to demand the removal of content that they consider objectionable on the basis of long list of criteria prepared by the information department.

The Department of Information Technology is empowered to block any site that displays any disparaging material. Article 19 of the Indian constitution allows for 'reasonable' restrictions. These restrictions have been used so far to ban books, movies on sensitive subjects like sex, politics and religion. India has also been famed for condemning speeches by famous personalities as seditious.

Cyber Cafes under Duress

See  article from

As part of India's Information Technology (Guidelines for Cyber Cafe') Rules, 2011, cyber cafe' owners are now required to make an effort to stop users from accessing pornographic or supposedly obscene websites.

According to The Times of India, cyber cafe's were notified on April 11th of a ruling requiring them to register with a government agency to ensure their adherence to the new guidelines.

In addition to monitoring porn, the new rules make it mandatory for Internet cafe' owners to install a filtering software and keep a log of all websites accessed by customers for at least one year. It also states that users will be required to present an identity card before being given access to a public computer. Additionally, building cubicles with a height of more than four and half feet will also be disallowed.

Cyber cafe' owners will be asked to give user logs to the registration agency every month.

Update: Vague Censorship of Free Speech

5th May 2011. See  article from

If there's a segment that indicates how poorly thought out India's finalized Internet control rules are, it is sub-rule 2 and 4 of the segment pertaining to Intermediaries in the country's finalized Information Technology rules.

Sub Rule 2 states that Users shall not host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever;

Additionally, Sub Rule 2 also states that users may not publish anything that threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states, or or public order or causes incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence or prevents investigation of any offence or is insulting any other nation.

Sub rule 4 states that

(4) The intermediary, on whose computer system the information is stored or hosted or published, upon obtaining knowledge by itself or been brought to actual knowledge by an affected person in writing or through email signed with electronic signature about any such information as mentioned in sub-rule (2) above, shall act within thirty six hours and where applicable, work with user or owner of such information to disable such information that is in contravention of sub-rule (2). Further the intermediary shall preserve such information and associated records for at least ninety days for investigation purposes.


29th April   

Update: Not So Safe Haven...

Iceland creates government controlled committee to censor the internet
Link Here

A new media control law has been accepted by the Icelandic parliament.

The new law seeks to protect children from obscene content and to ensure freedom of speech.

To uphold its goals a new media committee will be created to mediate between the media, the public and government.

But the measure is still proving controversial. It is argued, among other things, that the Iceland is consistently ranked near the top in global press freedom rankings and that the creation of a government-controlled committee to protect and enforce press freedom is a contradiction in terms which will end up doing the exact opposite.

The fact that the national broadcaster, RUV, is not controlled by the new law is also causing debate. This is the first media law in Iceland to cover the press and broadcast media together.

2,000 people have signed a petition urging the president to veto the law and thereby send it to a public referendum.


28th April   

The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray...

Censored texts restored to Oscar Wilde's novel
Link Here

An uncensored version of Oscar Wilde's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray , has finally been published.

JM Stoddart, Wilde's editor, made a number of alterations to downplay the overt homoeroticism in the novel before it appeared in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in June 1890.

He also removed references to the protagonist's female lovers as mistresses , and withdrew other sections that smacked of decadence , according to Nicholas Frankel, the editor of the new, original edition.

But his efforts did not go far enough, and following its publication more passages were removed, The Guardian reported.

One section reading It is quite true I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend was changed to: From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence on me .

Frankel said it was time to published the uncensored text, claiming he hoped to bring it out of the closet for a 21st century audience.


28th April   

Every Little Helps...

Police censor public screening of film about the Bristol Tesco Riot
Link Here

An unofficial screening of a film showing footage of a riot in Bristol has been blocked by the police.

A large number of people had been expected to attend the event in a park in the city after advertising had been posted online.

The free Riot Special , which has been organised by Occasional Cinema, was due to take place in Mina Park, in the St Werburghs area of the city.

It was to show footage recorded last Friday night by citizen journalists during the riot in the Stokes Croft area. The advert stated: After the spectacular events of last week we present an evening of citizen journalist footage from the riot and discussions on how police tactics failed so miserably.

However, before the event could start Avon and Somerset Police used legislation to prevent the screening. A force spokeswoman said: The group was dispersed under legislation available to the police to maintain public safety and reduce the risk of potential disorder.

Bristol City Council, the owners of the land, also supported this decision. The organisers have now engaged with the police and the event has been moved to a privately-owned property nearby.

Even there the police tried to stop the screening claiming that gathering constituted a rave under the Criminal Justice Act.

Chief Inspector John Holt claimed: This was not about censorship. We believed there was a very real risk to the local community if the screening were to go ahead in a public park. We would always encourage people wishing to organise outdoor events to engage with us so that they can go ahead safely, peacefully and without disruption to local residents.


27th April   

Barking up the Wrong Virtual Tree...

Whingeing at phone app game featuring dog fighting
Link Here

Kage Games, LLC, describes its Dog Wars app as a game that will never be in the iPhone App store.

And for good reason. Dog Wars features the training of virtual dogs to fight to the death and challenge other phone users to dogfights.

Alicia Silverstone was so 'appalled' when she heard about the Android phone app that she wrote a letter to the CEO of Google, maker of the Android, and Kage Games, asking that they pull the game right away:

As a mom-to-be and someone who has adopted and loved rescued pit bulls, I join PETA's millions of members in imploring you to cancel this game immediately. If one dog dies as a result of this game, you will not forgive yourself.

The app makers seemed to be anticipating a bit of nutter controversy and said in their game description:

It is just a video game. Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can't understand fantasy role play games ... Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not mean it is illegal to make a song, movie, or video game about it.


27th April   

In fact it was a little bit frightening...

Ludicrous easy offence at a beach bar performance of Carl Douglas' Kung Fu Fighting
Link Here

A pub singer has been arrested on supposed suspicion of racial harassment after singing King Fu Fighting in front of two Chinese people.

Carl Douglas had a hit with the song in 1974

Simon Ledger says he fears he will end up with a criminal record for performing the disco classic at a seafront bar on the Isle of Wight on Sunday after two people walking past apparently took offence.

After striking up the melody in front of customers at the weekend he noticed a man of Chinese origin walking past with his mother, making gestures at him and taking a picture on his mobile phone.

He said that he later received a telephone call from police - while he was dining in a Chinese restaurant - asking him to meet officers about the incident. He was then arrested and questioned before being bailed.


27th April   

Comment A Safe Pair of Hands...

Safermedia whinge at a Mariah Carey picture on the cover of OK!
Link Here

Safermedia has voiced supposed concerns over a shot of Mariah Carey on the front of OK! magazine.

The pregnant singer is on the front cover of the latest edition of the celebrity gossip magazine with her belly exposed and her husband, Nick Cannon, covering her cleavage with his hands.

The group is asking people to write letters of complaint to the magazine's publishers and the Press Complaints Commission.

Safermedia claim that the advert demeans women and sexualises pregnancy and motherhood unnecessarily . This is an unusually explicit cover for OK! Magazine ... and is another example of pornography becoming increasingly mainstream in all forms of the media.


27th April   

A Bit of Earache...

Italian church wound up by TV advert featuring Jesus figure
Link Here

The Catholic Church has whinged at an Italian television advert in which a man resembling Christ tries to ward off the advances of an overweight dominatrix dressed in suspenders and stockings.

The advertisement, for a type of mobile phone earpiece, shows the man tied to a bed in a pose that evokes Jesus on the cross.

Sweating and looking anxious, he winces when a woman in tights and high heels enters the room, thwacks whip on the bed and starts to straddle him.

Hey Dad, can you help me? the male actor says in English, looking upwards as if to God.

The ad for a company called Nodis, was aired on the national television channel, Italia 1.

It's a sordid concept and incredibly insulting to those who believe in Jesus Christ, said an editorial in Avvenire, a daily newspaper owned by the Catholic Bishops Conference. Related Articles

The newspaper's editor, Marco Tarquinio, said the commercial should never have been made. He suggested that Catholics offended by the ad should stop watching the channel and boycott the company's products.

An association of Catholic television viewers, Aiart, made a formal protest over the commercial saying: The reference to Christ is explicit and deeply offensive to religious sentiment .


26th April   

Update: Cartoon Court...

Jordan court case opens with Mohammed cartoonist charged with humiliating islam
Link Here
Full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and 19 other Danish journalists and editors went on trial in Jordan on charges of blasphemy over the publication of the controversial Mohammed cartoons six years ago.

None of the defendants appeared in the Amman court.

The judge, Nathir Shehadah, decided to conduct the trial in absentia after he considered that the publication of arrest warrants and indictments in the local press served as legal notifications. The trial was adjourned to May 8, when the tribunal will be scheduled to hear defence witnesses.

The lawsuit was filed by the God's Prophet Unites us Campaign , a coalition of Jordanian academics, lawmakers, unionists, journalists, lawyers and politicians.

The list of charges, which has already been approved by the Jordanian public prosecutor, includes blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed and humiliation of Islam and Muslims.


26th April   

Broadcast Content Complaints Council...

Indian TV censor to start on the 1st of May
Link Here

Even as the formation of the 13-member regulatory body to monitor Indian television content in channels is in its final stages, the government is keen to retain the final say as far as content goes.

According to a government source:

The regulatory body, the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC), will be ready by the first week of May. It will get 21 days to act on any complaint. The information and broadcasting ministry will wait-and-watch over the functioning and will step in and ask the BCCC why it hasn't acted within the stipulated time.

Any member of the public can complain to the BCCC, which will be headed by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge and will comprise four members from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), four eminent civil society personalities, one member each from National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, and a representative from the affected party..

The BCCC's mandate is to censor supposedly objectionable, sensitive and vulgar TV content.


25th April   

Update: Freedom to Censor...

Obama's administration to appeal court rulings so as to allow TV censors to continue to censor strong language and nudity
Link Here

  Censor in Chief

President Barack Obama's administration apparently likes its entertainment served up family-style: it has asked the US Supreme Court to review a court decision that defanged the FCC's restrictions on TV profanity and nudity.

In two separate decisions, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that the FCC's indecency policy was too vague to be applied in two rather blatant situations. One involved the use of 'fuck' on an awards shows on the FOX network, and the other concerned full-frontal nudity of a woman on ABC's NYPD Blue. In both cases, the court ruled that the FCC could not impose fines.

Now, acting US Solicitor General Neal Katyal is filing an appeal to the Supreme Court, saying the precedent now precludes the commission from effectively implementing statutory restrictions on broadcast indecency that the agency has enforced since its creation in 1934.

If the court accepts the case, it will in the coming weeks.


24th April   

Update: Hung Jury...

New Zealand TV company wins court case against the censorship of Hung
Link Here

TVNZ has won a battle against the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority, which it believes has become increasingly conservative since its panel was reconstituted last year.

The High Court has ruled that an oral sex scene on the show Hung was not gratuitous, and that the authority was plainly wrong to rule against it.

The broadcaster says it is concerned at a number of decisions that lack consistency, and in our opinion fail to interpret public expectations correctly . TVNZ suggested that a review of the structure and operation of broadcasting standards regulation may be timely .

It indicated last week that it would return to the High Court to challenge the ruling against the Sunday programme in which a police officer used the f-word when describing his heat-of-the-moment exchange with Aramoana killer David Gray.

TVNZ and TV3 joined forces last month to take the authority to the High Court over rulings against Hung and TV3's soap opera Home and Away .

Justice Asher ruled in favour of TVNZ over the Hung decision on the grounds that it was plainly wrong .  The authority had said the scene, in which the main character -- a male prostitute -- gives a woman oral sex, was solely for the purpose of shocking and titillating the audience . Justice Asher disagreed, saying the scene occurred late at night, in an AO-rated show in which sex plays an inevitable part of the narrative .

However Justice Asher upheld the decision against the Home and Away scene, in which a young girl was shown straddling and kissing a boy while wearing only a bra.

That ruling could prove more significant because it rejected a number of approaches the broadcasters were relying on for their appeals. TV3 had argued the authority ignored its own previous similar rulings, ignored context and the content of other G-rated programmes, and gave insufficient reasons.


24th April   

Angering Greek Gods...

Dangerous email wipes out 5% from the worth of Greek banks
Link Here

A London trader will be questioned by police after he was accused by Greek authorities of allegedly sending an email which sent markets crashing.

Paul Moss who works at the London-based Citigroup allegedly sent an email from the Canary Wharf office and said Greece would restructure its debt as soon as the weekend.

He is now being accused of causing a 4.6% drop in Greek bank shares.

The country has been excluded from financial markets because of the crippling debt crises it suffered last year. However, authorities have constantly tried to ease investment fears by saying the debt is manageable.

Greek police confirmed they had recovered a computer from the US bank Citigroup and plan to question Moss about the damaging email .


23rd April   

Update: Free Speech Case to be Proud Of...

New Jersey Koran burner wins settlement from employer who ignored his constitutional right to free speech and sacked him
Link Here
Full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

A New Jersey Transit worker who was fired after burning pages of a Koran during a demonstration in Manhattan in September last year has been reinstated, reimbursed for lost wages and benefits, and awarded $25,000 in compensation for the pain and suffering caused by his dismissal.

The reinstatement of the worker was announced by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which sued the transportation corporation on his behalf, arguing that his actions were protected by the First Amendment.

The reinstatement was part of a settlement agreement, filed this week in Federal District Court in Newark, in which the man dropped his suit in exchange for getting his job back.

In America, we have the right to burn all kinds of things --- letters, flags, books, Bibles and Korans, Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the New Jersey group, said.

Jacobs said the case should serve as a reminder to our leaders that they can't punish and censor political expression based on their own emotional reactions or sense of morality.

The man was fired two days after the demonstration, accused of violating New Jersey Transit's employee code of ethics by tearing pages from a copy of the Koran and igniting them with a cigarette lighter to protest plans for building a Muslim community center and mosque two blocks north of ground zero. He was participating in a protest staged by about 2,000 people near the proposed site of the center, 51 Park Place, during a day of memorial and prayer services marking the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.


23rd April   

Update: Old Firm Censors...

Scottish Labour and Greens call for more internet censorship of football sectarianism
Link Here
Full story: Football Sectarianism...Sectarian Rangers football song wind up

Scottish Labour has called for more censorship of sectarian internet sites.

It was noted that there have been no prosecutions in recent years in connection with the internet bile that attaches itself to Rangers and Celtic.

Solicitor General Frank Mulholland has indicated that such offences will soon be punishable by up to five years in prison.

But Labour's community safety spokesman James Kelly said:

It's clear from recent days that there are still instances of online campaigns which are sectarian in nature and are unacceptable.

As well as condemning that behaviour, the authorities should be doing all in their power to try and clamp down on that. The job for a future parliament is to look at the laws around the internet and examine whether they're tough enough or not - and if they're not, look to beef those up.

It's not just a case of saying that these online campaigns are unacceptable and we want the authorities to act. We must ensure that the authorities have got the appropriate tools in legislation at their disposal to clamp down on this.

Two youth footballers with Scottish senior clubs have been dismissed in recent days over online comments. Max McKee, an under-19 player with Clyde, was sacked after posting on Twitter: Somebody needs to hurry up and shoot Neil Lennon. Berwick Rangers youth player Keiran Bowell was dismissed for an online post which said he wished Lennon had been killed.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said ISPs and hosting companies must take the same degree of responsibility as newspapers or magazine publishers in policing their content: If an ISP or a hosting company is having their service abused, or is allowing it to be abused in that way, they need to take action to cut people off.

See  article from

Police were said to be preparing to raid the homes of people allegedly involved in Old Firm internet hate campaigns.

An operation to target people posting racial and religious hate comments about Old Firm stars such as Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers striker El Hadji Diouf is planned ahead of the two teams meeting at Ibrox on Sunday. it was reported.

The Daily Record newspaper said that the addresses were identified with the help of the ISPs.


23rd April   

Update: No Joke...

Have I Got News For You censored by court injunction
Link Here
Full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

The BBC was last night forced to blank out parts of Have I Got News For You to protect the identity of a celebrity who has won a gagging order.

Tory MP Louise Bagshawe came close to identifying a married Premier League footballer who had an affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, but was censored.

Last night, as part of the BBC One show's odd one out round, four images of people who have taken out injunctions were displayed with their faces blacked out. Miss Bagshawe, who is also a novelist, said: You're not allowed to know who they are. They may or may not have done something with ladies who are not their wives. One of them definitely doesn't rhyme with... even though he is a footballer.

When she said the rhyme, the sound was muted and a black bar was slapped across her mouth.


23rd April   

Update: May Offend those of a Delicate Disposition...

New Zealand to show LA Zombie
Link Here
Full story: LA Zombie...Bruce LaBruce's gay zombie film under fire

The gay zombie porn flick that caused so much grief in Australia has been included in the line-up for New Zealand's Out Takes 2011 event.

LA Zombie follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. The work by Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce has full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois Sagat, it features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses.

The film was supposed to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia last August, but was banned by the Australian Film 'Classification' Board.

At the time the festival's director Richard Moore told The Age that LaBruce's blend of sex and violence can be confronting, but I would argue that within the context of the festival, it is nonsensical and patronising to not allow people to decide what they want to see.

LA Zombie had its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London in October and it was reported by The Yorker that at least one-third of the audience walked out stupefied .

The film is to screen at Auckland's Rialto Cinemas on Monday 6 June and Wellington's Paramount Theatre on Friday 10 June. The Out Takes programme warns that almost all of the movie's content may offend those of delicate disposition.


23rd April   

Dum and Dummer...

Indian film Dum Maaro Dum hyped by air stewardess training school and protesters claiming a negative view of Goa
Link Here

The cinema film Dum Maaro Dum has secured the Delhi high court's green signal for its release after the film's makers assured that it would blur some scenes at an air hostess training institute.

Dum Maaro Dum's release was objected to by Frankfinn Airhostess Training Institute which had sought damages worth Rs35 lakh from director Ramesh Sippy for allegedly depicting it in a negative manner in the movie.

In a civil suit to the court, the institute had contended that one of the characters, shown as its student in the film, was given a negative role which tarred the image and reputation of the institute.

The character in the film does not show a student of Frankfinn in a good light. This film does not help in any way to maintain the good reputation and image of the company, the air hostess training institute told the court seeking removal of certain scenes in the movie.

The company also sought removal of the institute's uniform, the logo and any other similar trademark in the film.


A protest levied in Goa against Rohan Sippy's latest release Dum Maaro Dum has calmed down post release of the film as localites of Goa were seen happy after watching the film.

Political parties and women's organizations were protesting against the film, accusing the filmmaker of tarnishing the image of Goa and Goan women and using derogatory scenes and dialogue.

Just a handful of protesters were seen outside multiplexes in Goa displaying placards and singing songs. Panaji Police had provided tight security outside multiplexes on Friday expecting trouble and an untoward situation.

Movie buffs who watched the film stated that the film does not portray Goa in a negative light as its promos have hinted. Pramod Acharya, journalist stated that the film was entertaining and it contains facts.


23rd April   

Comment: At the Very Margin of Acceptability...

Ofcom begrudgingly accepts mildly sexy X Factor dancer performances
Link Here

The X Factor Final
ITV1, 11 December 2010, 19:00 (repeated 12 December 2010, 09:30)

The X Factor Final was the climax of the seventh series of this popular talent show.

While viewers waited for the voting to be concluded and the announcement of the name of the act which had made it through to the Sunday final show, the programme featured two well known singers. One, Rihanna, performed her latest song, What's My Name , at 20:32 in a dress which was removed by a dancer during the performance to reveal a strapless top and high waisted pants. Later at 20:47 Christina Aguilera sang the song Express from the film Burlesque in which she stars. This featured the singer with a number of dancers performing in a burlesque- style of dance and dress.

Ofcom received 2,868 complaints that the performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera were too sexually explicit for broadcast before the 21:00 watershed. Some considered that The X Factor was a family show and that the content of both performances was not suitable for children to view before the watershed. With reference to both performances complainants commented that they [Rihanna and Christina Aguilera] performed in a very sexual manner and the content was too sexually explicit and inappropriate for the young audience of this show . With specific reference to Christina Aguilera's performance, complainants expressed concern that: the dancing, costumes and tone were sexually explicit and at odds with the watershed which should seek to protect children from sexualisation and there were extremely revealing background dancers performing indecent dance moves .

Approximately 2,000 of the 2,868 complaints about this programme were received following coverage about the performances in a daily national newspaper. The newspaper coverage reported on concerns that the performances were too explicit for a family programme, and included a number of still images of the performances. However, from a comparison of the images it is clear that the photographs that were published in the newspaper were significantly more graphic and close-up than the material that had been broadcast in the programme, and had been taken from a different angle to the television cameras. Readers of the newspaper would have therefore been left with the impression that the programme contained significantly more graphic material than had actually been broadcast.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.3: Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
  • Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach...Just...

In considering this case, Ofcom took into account that The X Factor is a Saturday night programme which many families sit down together to watch.

Rihanna's performance

With reference to Rihanna's performance (which commenced at 20:32), Ofcom noted that she began in a long wrap-around dress and approximately half way through the routine the dress was removed by a dancer to reveal a strapless top and high- waisted pants.

Rhianna's dance routine had some mildly sexual overtones and included images of her gyrating and rocking her buttocks. However, it was largely shot at a wide angle to show all of the dancers on the stage and from a distance. Where there were close ups of Rhianna, these focussed on her front or her head and shoulders, not her exposed back. Additionally, the camera panned quickly and continuously throughout the performance, resulting in the shots of the individual dance movements of both Rihanna and her dancers being very brief.

Ofcom was therefore of the view that, taken as a whole, the performance by Rihanna was presented in a style which would not have exceeded the likely expectations of the audience either on 11 December between 20:30 and 21:00 or the following morning from 09:30. With reference to the content, the performer and the dancers were in Ofcom's opinion adequately dressed with clothing covering their buttocks. The part of the dance routine which featured some gentle thrusting of the buttocks by Rihanna was in keeping with her performing style, suitably limited and brief in duration, and in Ofcom's view was suitable for a pre-watershed audience.

Ofcom concluded therefore that this material was appropriately scheduled and the broadcaster complied with Rule 1.3.

Christina Aguilera's performance

Ofcom considered that this performance taken as a whole was sexualised in nature to some extent. The outfits of some of the dancers were revealing, with limited coverage of the buttocks, and were of a sexualised nature because they were based on lingerie such as basques, stockings and suspenders. The outfits, taken together with dance positions featuring thrusting buttocks and women bent over chairs, resulted in a routine which aimed to reflect the essence of burlesque but contained sexualised elements. Taken individually, some of these images may not be uncommon in programmes broadcast pre-watershed. The routine however had a number of simultaneous, sexualised elements concentrated into a relatively short period of time and there was therefore a cumulative effect.

We note the explanation given by Channel TV that its control over the detailed nature of the performance itself was limited in this case. In such circumstances, broadcasters must take particular care to employ other measures to retain independence of editorial control. In this case, we acknowledge that Channel TV had sought to minimise the potential for offence by taking other measures, such as particular camera angles. Therefore, while the dancers did adopt some sexualised positions intermittently as described above, Ofcom noted that shots of these poses were fleeting, as is expected in a fast paced routine. Additionally, the performance was largely shot at a wide angle to show all of the dancers on the stage and from a distance – minimising the potential impact.

Importantly, throughout the routine there were no close-up shots of individual dancers so the viewer was not drawn to any one dancer's clothing or actions in detail. The dancers were in effect a backdrop to Christina Aguilera, who was not wearing similar clothing or following the same dance routine. For all these reasons, the impact of the dancers on-screen was significantly lessened.

Ofcom considered that there was editorial justification for the type of costumes that the dancers were wearing, and the style of the dance routine overall. They reflected the burlesque-theme and storyline of the feature film Burlesque in which Christina Aguilera starred, and which was shortly due to go on general cinematic release at the time of this broadcast. However, the overtly sexual nature of the burlesque-style routine of the dancers was, in Ofcom's view, nevertheless clearly capable of causing offence to some viewers and we considered that this content was at the very margin of acceptability for broadcast before the 21:00 watershed, and especially when broadcast on 12 December 2011 at 09:30. However, on balance, and taking all matters into consideration, including the steps taken by Channel TV to minimise the potential for offence, Ofcom was of the view that this performance was not in breach of Rule 1.3 of the Code.

Ofcom concluded however that the performance was sufficiently justified by the context in which it was presented. In particular the performance was within the likely expectations of the audience for pre-watershed programmes. The broadcaster therefore applied generally accepted standards and Rule 2.3 was not breached.

Ofcom will shortly be issuing new guidance about the acceptability of material in pre- watershed programmes that attract large family viewing audiences. We will also be requesting that broadcasters who transmit such programming attend a meeting at Ofcom to discuss the compliance of such material.

Not in Breach of Rules 1.3 and 2.3

Offsite Comment: This is what Ofcom calls 'acceptable'

23rd April 2011. See  article from

One blonde dancer is dressed, if that's the word, in a low-cut basque while striking a lewd pose that leaves nothing to the imagination. Another in skimpy bra, suspenders and stockings leans provocatively over a chair while others leer suggestively into the camera.

The scantily-clad women formed part of the sleazy performance by Christina Aguilera during last year's controversial final of ITV's X Factor. Family friendly? A blonde dancer strikes a raunchy pose that leaves little to the imagination

TV watchdog Ofcom this week ruled that explicit routines by Miss Aguilera and fellow pop star Rihanna were at the limit of acceptability for broadcast before 9pm for a family audience.

But, to the astonishment of many, the media regulator said they did not breach broadcasting rules.

Instead, the regulator rebuked the Daily Mail, saying that some 2,000 of the 2,868 complaints it received followed our coverage of the sexual content of a programme which horrified parents and politicians. Ofcom claimed the Mail used images that suggested the talent show contained significantly more graphic material than had actually been broadcast . Now readers can judge for themselves.

...Read the full article

Comment: Mediawatch-UK

28th April 2011.  From

Vivienne Pattison, of Mediawatch-UK said:

During the last 10 years, it seems the watershed has quietly been eroded. So much so, that Christina Aguilera's sexual X Factor routine was recently cleared by the broadcasting watchdog of being inappropriate for a young audience.

Ofcom did say it was 'at the very margin of acceptability', but it does make you wonder what they would have to do to breach the guidelines. The argument goes that society has changed and, therefore, what's acceptable on television has changed.

However, in recent years, far too much emphasis has been placed on 'freedom of expression' with little or no emphasis on the corresponding responsibilities.

Offsite Comment: An Irish View

30th April 2011. See  article from

The next time you see Christina Aguilera on The X Factor, she will likely be dressed as a nun (and not the perved-up Lady Gaga variety).

Christina-gate is big news in Britain, where Right-wing commentators are of the view that an entire generation risks being corrupted by the sight of Aguilera slow-grinding up against a chair. Which raises the question: has anyone in the UK ever heard of the internet?

The notion that the most scandalous image a young person is likely to see today is a semi-clad pop singer is beyond ludicrous. Five minutes trawling the web will reveal images that make Christina look like a Saturday morning TV presenter from 1979.

...Read the full article


21st April   

Update: Celebrity Judge...

Yet another gagging order with an even more far reaching scope
Link Here
Full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

A High Court judge has issued an unprecedented gagging order in an attempt to prevent details of a television star's private life being published, even on the internet.

Mr Justice Eady, who has been at the centre of most recent controversial libel and privacy cases, made the injunction against the world rather than just against national newspapers and broadcasters.

His order seeks to prevent the publication of intimate photographs of a married public figure after a woman tried to sell them for a large sum of money .

The judge said the woman owed the unidentified claimant a duty of confidence and breaching his privacy would damage the health of the man and his family.

His order is intended to cover discussion of the case online as well as in traditional media, despite the difficulties in enforcing it.

The injunction contra mundum is intended to be never-ending and, as its Latin name suggests, applies to the entire world.

It is understood that it is the first time that such an order has been granted in a privacy case.

The ruling takes secrecy laws to a new level, marking a further advance in the steps the courts are prepared to take to protect high-profile figures and to restrict the right to freedom of expression.


21st April   

'Tis Pity She's a Whinger...

Christians 'distressed and outraged' at poster or play
Link Here

A poster promoting a play about incest has been replaced after complaints by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds about its use of religious imagery. The Playhouse said it regretted any offence caused by the original poster.

West Yorkshire Playhouse's advert for its new production of the 17th Century play Tis Pity She's a Whore featured an image of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

It has now been replaced after complaints from some local people and a letter from the Bishop of Leeds. John Grady, from the diocese, said it had received complaints from people who were 'distressed and outraged' by the poster and its use in the approach to Easter.

The play, written by John Ford, tells the story of a brother and sister involved in an incestuous relationship.

The Playhouse said the poster was intended to represent a sacristy . It said: The focus of the image, and therefore at the centre of the poster is the picture of the children holding hands, the suggestion being that candles are being lit and prayers given in the sacristy for these children. The validity and relevance of the Pieta image depicting John Ford's controversial 1633 play remains, and will still be seen on promotional material.


21st April   

What a Load of Buttocks...

Ofcom whinge at buttocks in a Fio Rada music video
Link Here

Music Video: Flo Rida - Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
4Music, UK Hot 40, daytime
Also MTV Base and MTV Dance, daytime

4Music is a music and general entertainment channel broadcasting mainly chart music, including pop and R&B/Urban. The channel is owned and operated by Box Television Ltd.

4Music broadcast a music video by the artist Flo Rida for the song Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) . This video was broadcast at various times before the watershed, including at 14:00 and 18:00.

The video was set in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and included images of female dancers wearing both carnival dress and revealing thong bikinis. The dancers were shown dancing in a carnival style in the streets and dancing on the beach in their swimwear. While doing so they were shown bending over with their buttocks to camera, and repeatedly shaking and playfully slapping their buttocks.

Ofcom noted that throughout the four minute video there were almost 20 very close up shots of the dancers? buttocks (both while they were wearing carnival dress and while dancing in their bikinis on the beach). During the video a female dancer, who was wearing a thong bikini (and not carnival dress), was shown dancing very closely up against Flo Rida and touching his naked upper body. While she danced in this manner, Flo Rida was shown miming repeatedly slapping the female dancer on her buttocks in a playful manner.

Ofcom received three complaints from viewers who were concerned about the broadcast of this music video. One of the complainants described the video as extreme crudeness and filth and another said I was shocked to see women in thongs and bras gyrating and basically dry humping men in this video . Another complainant said that the video was a sexist and offensive video which mostly comprises women in thong bikini bottoms acting in a pornographic manner . All of the complainants were concerned that the video was broadcast before the watershed and at the time when children are most likely to watch TV . One complainant said …this objectification of women at such an early time and on a channel that appeals to young people really concerns me.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Box Television said that as with many RnB and pop videos, this video could be said to contain a sexual tone and innuendo. However, whilst the video features female dancers wearing thong bikinis and Carnival attire, synonymous with Brazilian Carnival, there is no nudity, inappropriate touching of the dancers or explicit sexual display .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

Under the Communications Act 2003 ( the Act ), Ofcom has a statutory duty to require the application, in the case of all television and radio services of standards that provide adequate protection to members of the public from the inclusion of offensive and harmful material.

Ofcom also has a duty to set such standards for the content of programmes as appear to it best calculated to secure the standards objectives, one of which is that persons under the age of eighteen are protected .

The video included images of the dancers dancing in a very provocative manner, such as repeatedly shaking their bare buttocks to camera, bending over to camera and playfully slapping their bare buttocks. In addition the dancers were shown dancing closely up against the rapper Flo Rida and touching his naked chest while he repeatedly mimed slapping one dancer on the buttocks. The video also included around 20 close up and intrusive shots of the female dancers? buttocks, some of which were when they were bent over or had their legs apart as part of their dancing. Therefore for much of the video the dancers? faces could not be seen. Ofcom also considered that some of the lyrics of the song Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) contained some sexual innuendo (for example, Oh-oh baby, you want some more baby? I love the way you do it cos you do it so crazy… ).

In Ofcom's view, the cumulative effect of the repeated close up images of the female dancers' buttocks, together with some of the provocative dancing and actions in the video, resulted in the video's imagery conveying a highly sexualised theme.

The fact that these images were mainly shown while the dancers were wearing bikinis on the beach, rather than in traditional carnival dress, increased the sexualised nature of the imagery and detracted from the editorial justification put forward by the broadcaster for the inclusion of these images.

Given the above, it is Ofcom's view that the content of this particular music video was not suitable for children. While the material did not contain any explicit sexual images, it nevertheless conveyed a highly sexualised theme for the reasons set out above. Further, it is our view that this particular video contained more sexualised images, and in particular close up and intrusive shots of the dancers' bare buttocks, than would normally be expected in a music video of this genre, broadcast at a time when children were likely to be watching.

We therefore concluded that the material breached Rule 1.3.


21st April   

An Instrument of Satan...

Nutters rant about a new film parodying the pope
Link Here

Nutters claim that the film, Habemus Papam by the Italian director Nanni Moretti, is an instrument of Satan and is particularly offensive as it has been released in the approach to Easter.

Bruno Volpe, the Catholic lawyer, has launched suit for defamation against Moretti and the producers under the terms of the Lateran Pact, which extends the same protections to the prestige of the pope as to the Italian president. Volpe said Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope) , never mentioned the current Pope by name but it was nevertheless clear that it was a parody of Pope Benedict XVI and dishonoured the figure of the Pontiff in general.

Salvatore Izzo, a Vatican expert, branded the work disrespectful and boring in an open letter to Avvenire, the Catholic bishops' newspaper. He said Catholics should boycott the film. Why should we support financially that which offends our religion? he asked, admitting he had not seen the film.

Antonio Vacca, the bishop of Alghero, described Moretti as an instrument of Satan for separating man from God .


21st April   

Catholics Pissed...

Christian vandals attack Piss Christ art exhibit
Link Here

 When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ , he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.

The photograph, full title Immersion (Piss Christ) , was made in 1987 as part of Serrano's series showing religious objects submerged in fluids such as blood and milk. Serrano defended his photograph as a criticism of the billion-dollar Christ-for-profit industry and a condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends . It was also vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007.

Civitas, a lobby group that says it aims to re-Christianize France, launched an online petition and mobilised other christian groups.

The archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, called Piss Christ odious and said he wanted this trash taken off the gallery walls.

Last week the gallery complained of extremist harassment by fundamentalist Christian groups who wanted the work banned in France. Lambert, one of France's best known art dealers, complained he was being persecuted by extremists who had sent him tens of thousands of complaint emails and bombarded the museum with spam. He likened the atmosphere to a return to the middle ages .

On Saturday, around 1,000 Christian protesters marched through Avignon to the gallery. The gallery immediately stepped up security, putting plexiglass in front of the photograph and assigning two gallery guards to stand in front of it. But on Palm Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the exhibition. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object. The attackers also slashed a Serrano photograph of a meditating nun.

The gallery director, Eric Me'zil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show so people can see what barbarians can do . He said there had been a kind of inquisition against the art work.

The French culture minister, Frederic Mitterrand, condemned the vandalism as an attack on the fundamental freedoms of creation and expression, but recognised that the art work could shock audiences.


21st April   

Update: Three Kisses for ICANN...

.XXX domain finally goes live
Link Here
Full story: ICANN XXX Domain...Long debate about allowing .xxx domain

The .XXX domain has finally opened for business.

Following approval from ICANN, a US quango, the new pornography-only suffix has been added to the Domain Name System.

The first registered addresses,, and are being used to promote sales of .xxx domain names.

A trade organisation, the Free Speech Coalition, said that it will make it easier for governments to block access to pornography websites and has called on pornographers to boycott .xxx. Saudi Arabia and India have already said they want to block all the new addresses.

The first tranche of addresses, which will allow brands to buy their trademarks, will reportedly go on sale in November.

Once other high-value keywords have been auctioned off, .xxx addresses are expected to cost around $70, seven times as much as a typical .com address.


19th April   

Kissed Better...

Facebook censors restore picture of gay kiss after protest
Link Here
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Facebook has apologised for removing a photo of a gay kiss taken from the  UK soap EastEnders, It was removed for being sexually suggestive and supposedly abusive .

It was used by US writer Niall O'Conghaile to accompany a blog post about the kiss-in held to support a gay couple who were kicked out of a pub.

Facebook said in a statement: The photo in question does not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and was removed in error. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Hundreds of people added the image to their profiles to complain about the removal.


19th April   

Prolonging the Agony...

Campaigners have a whinge about Terry Pratchett euthanasia documentary
Link Here

Campaigners have whinged that the BBC were cheerleading for assisted suicide after filming a man killing himself at the famous Dignitas clinic.

Sir Terry Pratchett, a prominent supporter of euthanasia, presents the programme which follows a man in the late stages of motor neurone disease as he travels from Britain to the Swiss clinic. The programme includes the moment of a suicide victim's death is a first for terrestrial television.

The programme is due to be broadcast on BBC2 this summer, a move condemned by campaigners, politicians, medics and religious leaders. They accused the corporation of being unethical, promoting assisted death and euthanasia, and disregarding the supposed sanctity of life.

Dr Peter Saunders, director of charity Care Not Killing, said: The BBC is acting like a cheerleader for legalising assisted suicide. It is regrettable that a man's death will be shown on screen but we are also concerned that this documentary will not be balanced. Given Sir Terry Pratchett's position, the fear is that it will show all the supposed benefits of assisted death with very little redress.

The documentary, entitled Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die , has already been filmed. Viewers will see the man, named only as Peter, struggle to cope with his illness, which leads to loss of mobility and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. They will then see his final days and hours in Switzerland.

Pratchett said: I am a firm believer in assisted death. I believe everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable disease should be allowed to pick the hour of their death. And I wanted to know more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to go there myself.

Phyllis Bowman, Right to Life campaigner, echoed fears that the BBC is biased on the topic: The BBC has an agenda -- it has had one for years. Allowing Sir Terry Pratchett to make this documentary is effectively promoting assisted death. My worry is that it will be presented as the preferable option, or the right thing to do when people feel they are getting old or infirm.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries warned that the BBC was in danger of normalising a very serious issue : It is pushing back a moral boundary. A programme like this will romanticise assisted death and dying. This is an authored piece so it will be one-sided. I hope the BBC is thinking of ways it can present the counter-argument.

The BBC defended the decision to show the last moments of a man's life. A spokesman said: Death is an important part of the human experience and is integral to any discussions about assisted dying, which is why it is appropriate for it to be included. We know that watching a death can be distressing for some members of the audience, so we will ensure that clear warnings are given beforehand. The BBC doesn't have a stance on assisted suicide, but we do think that this is an important matter of debate.


18th April   

Update: Classic Nutters...

Submissions to Australian Senate classification review propose censorship of art exhibits
Link Here
Full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

Australian artists could be forced to have their work checked by censors before being displayed. Some work could be blacklisted despite being legal, if nutter recommendations to a federal inquiry into Australia's film and literature classification scheme are accepted.

The Senate inquiry, launched by the nutter senator Guy Barnett, has heard submissions calling for any film containing full frontal nudity to be refused classification; artworks and books showing nudity to be classified; all artworks to be restricted to certain age groups; and that artistic merit should be abandoned when classifying art.

The executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff, said many of the organisations that had made submissions to or spoken at the inquiry's hearings, and members of the inquiry, had tried to demonise artists and paint them as child pornographers.

We are particularly worried that artists might have to have all their work classified immediately, regardless of the material, she said. There is a sense [in the inquiry] that art is dangerous.

Senator Barnett, who chairs the inquiry, is a critic of the photographer Bill Henson, whose photograph of a naked 12-year-old girl sparked a ferocious debate in 2008. He questioned many of those appearing at the hearings about the Henson photographs.

The executive director of the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Robyn Ayres, said that: Classifying all artworks would create a huge workload for bureaucrats and impose heavy costs on artists who would have to pay for their work to be classified. It would create a huge hurdle for artists and it would create a chilling effect. We have already seen it with [the depiction of children in artworks]. Artists just don't want to be there ... there has been pressure taken over fairly innocuous work, she said, referring to the collapse of a charity auction for the Sydney Children's Hospital because hospital officials did not approve of a photograph of a six-year-old boy naked from the waist up.

The committee is to report by June 30.


16th April   

Update: Standing Up for British Humour...

Stephen Fry organises benefit gig to help Paul Chambers appeal his conviction for tweeting a supposedly menacing joke
Link Here
Full story: Police Twitter Twits...Man charged over terrorism quip on twitter

  Comedian Stephen Fry has said he is prepared to go to prison over the Twitter joke trial. Fry was appearing at a benefit gig for Paul Chambers who is appealing to the High Court against his conviction for sending a supposedly menacing communication. He had tweeted: Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!

The benefit gig, at London's Bloomsbury Theatre, aimed to raise funds for Chambers' appeal. Freedom of speech. Among the other celebrities lending their support to the fundraising evening were Al Murray, Rufus Hound, Katy Brand and Father Ted writer Graham Linehan.

Fry argued that Chambers' tweet was an example of Britain's tradition of self-deprecating humour and banter. Appeal funds This [verdict] must not be allowed to stand in law, Fry said, adding that he would continue to repeat Chambers' message and face prison if that's what it takes .

Chambers' lawyer, David Allen Green, also addressed the audience, briefing them on the key details of his case. 'Speak freely' Although he was careful not to criticise the courts, he said the decision to find his client guilty does not make me proud to be an officer of the court . We should be able to have banter. We should be able to speak freely without the threat of legal coercion.

Chambers' appeal is likely to go before the High Court later this year.


16th April   

Update: Three of a Kind...

US confiscates three major internet poker domains and arrests associated execs
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

In a major operation against online gambling, the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office have charged the founders of the three biggest Internet poker sites with supposed fraud, illegal gambling and laundering (ie spending) billions of dollars in gambling proceeds.

The FBI said it's indicting 11 defendants, including the founders of PokerStars , Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The feds also seized five Internet domain names used by the companies to host their poker games and issued restraining orders against 75 bank account used to process payments. The U.S. attorney's office is also seeking $3 billion in damages. The defendants could be sentenced with up to 20 years in prison.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits Moreover, as we allege, in their zeal to circumvent the gambling laws, the defendants also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud. Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don't like simply because they can't bear to be parted from their profits.

The feds say the poker sites violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006. The offshore poker companies have argued they operate outside the reach of U.S. law.


16th April   

Updated: A Burning Challenge to Democracy...

Election candidate gets Koran burning charges dropped
Link Here
Full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

A British National Party election candidate accused of publicly burning a copy of the Koran has been freed after the charge against him was unexpectedly dropped. He had uploaded a video of his burning a Koran in a private garage saying : I am burning the Holy Koran and I hope that you Muslims are watching.

Sion Owens was arrested and charged at the weekend under Section 29 (probably meant Section 4A) of the the much abused Public Order Act. The BNP candidate in next month's Welsh Assembly elections spent the weekend in custody.

He has been warned that police are continuing to investigate the alleged incident and to expect further action. It is understood that his release was due to a technicality regarding the Act under which he was arrested and charged.

Offsite Update: Koran burning was on a private video and was not made public

16th April 2011. Based on article from by Patrick Hayes

Something very odd happened at the weekend. A 40-year-old member of the far-right British National Party (BNP) was arrested for burning a copy of the Koran in his own back garden. Yes, it is apparently now a crime to express your disdain for a certain religious faith in the privacy of your own home. But that's not the end of it. What makes this case especially odd is that the man in question - Sion Owens - was reported to the police by a broadsheet newspaper that claims to be liberal: the Observer. Since when has it been the job of the respectable, left-leaning press to grass people up to the cops for alleged speech crimes?

When spiked looked into this strange story, we discovered that there are some major disagreements at the Observer in relation to it. The crime correspondent defended the Observer's actions, but one of the paper's top columnists questioned the wisdom of reporting a private expression of ideas to the authorities.

Owens, a senior member of the BNP who lives in south Wales, does seem to be an odd individual. Going into his garden, placing a Koran in a metal Quality Street box, dousing it with flammable liquid and then setting it alight while a colleague filmed him - it was a stupid and childish act. However, it was done in a private garden. So regardless of the fact that it was videoed, this was a form of private expression, and therefore none of the state's business.

...Read the full article


16th April   

Catholics Are Too Demanding...

Bullying Philippines McDonalds into banning advert featuring kiddy romance
Link Here

Fast-food chain McDonalds has had to scrap an ad from the Philippines. According to reports, the ad offended Catholics and Catholic leaders.

The commercial shows a young five-year-old girl asking a boy of the same age if she can be his girlfriend. The boy however rejects the girl. He then goes on to complain that women are too demanding.

The girl then tells the boy that all she really wanted was some French fries from McDonald's. After the boy hears this, he smiles and holds her hand while walking to McDonalds.

Church leaders complained about the advert, saying it sent the wrong message to children. Bishop Deogracias Yniguez, a senior member of the Catholic Bishops Conference, said concerns had centred on having very young children doing such an adult-themed commercial: We should be very sensitive and recognisant of the culture and the values of our country .

After discussion with the Bishops, McDonald's issued a statement, saying:

We recognise and respect the stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and have stopped airing the said commercial across all television stations.

Over the years, we have strived to produce advertisements that highlight positive values like love for family and charity which mirror what the brand stands for. McDonald's remains committed in promoting positive values and will continue raising the bar to be better at what we do whether it is our food, our service, to even how we communicate to the public.


15th April   

Shameless Vice...

New DVD of giallo previously banned from a cinema release
Link Here

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh is a 1971 Italy/Spain giallo by Sergio Martino. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

Previously banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1971 cinema release

Review from US Amazon : Well-Craftedinus

A solid, well-crafted giallo that delivers the goods without achieving classic status. Despite the title - and the opening quote from Freud - the film has minimal interest in character psychology. In fact, Mrs Wardh's vice is little more than a plot device, though the weirdly-scored slow-motion flashbacks are certainly memorable.

The characters are interesting without being in any way sympathetic. The men are manipulative predators and the women play dangerous games. In the last act, the sado-masochistic undercurrents make way for a series of plot twists. While these are not too predictable, the final solution is unremarkable.

Sergio Martino stages some impressive set-pieces, aided by editor Eugenio Alabiso. While Martino lacks the artistry of Bava or Argento, he certainly knows how to make a movie.


15th April   

Update: Blocking Rights Abuse...

European Court of Justice offers preliminary advice that mandatory ISP blocking breaks the Charter of Fundamental Rights
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law

The European Court of Justice has given a preliminary opinion that will have far-reaching implications in the fight against overaggressive copyright monopoly abusers. It is not a final verdict, but the Advocate General's position; the Court generally follows this. The Advocate General says that no ISP can be required to filter the Internet, and particularly not to enforce the copyright monopoly.

The opinion is very clear: Advocate General Cruz Villalon considers that the installation of that filtering and blocking system is a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. By the same token, the deployment of such a system would restrict freedom of information, which is also protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights.


15th April   

Update: Cartoon Court...

Jordan court will try Mohammed cartoonist for blasphemy
Link Here
Full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

A Jordan court case will begin this month accusing Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard of blasphemy over the famous cartoon depicting Mohammed wearing a turban bomb.

Zakarya Sheikh, spokesman for a group of local media outlets that sued Westergaard in 2008 said that the artist and others have been summoned by a magistrates' court in Amman to stand trial on April 25.

These legal measures seek to prevent attempts to insult Islam and incite racial hatred against Muslims worldwide, particularly in Europe, Sheikh told AFP.

Kurt Westergaard has been quoted in local news reports as saying that he would like to go to Amman to stand trial. However, what I fear is that I am convicted in advance. I have no problem with Islam but with the terrorists. He said he respects Islam but will not apologise.


15th April   

Backward People of East Anglia...

Lowestoft christians have a whinge at Richard Herring's Christ on a Bike
Link Here

Christians are planning to protest outside a comedy night called Christ On A Bike when it visits Lowestoft on 28 April.

Richard Herring's show is billed as a humorous look at Jesus, combining childlike guile with rigorous academic research .

Presbyterians from Oulton Broad claim the show is blasphemous and vulgar . Matthew Pickhaver, church youth worker, said: We plan to peacefully stand outside the theatre and give out a simple tract about the real Jesus.

The Reverend Kyle Paisley, from Oulton Broad Presbyterian church, said: When I looked at the flyer, I marked three things - the vulgarity, the blasphemy and the downright dishonesty of the man. We're just using our right as Christians to say how we feel.

On his Warming Up blog, Herring said: Some of the more backward people of East Anglia (and imagine how backward that must make them) are planning on protesting, which is probably great news, as that is the one that is selling about the worse so far.


15th April   

Unconstitutional Prudery...

Californian art exhibit censored after an employee cried 'sexual harrassment'
Link Here

Managers at the Marin Civic Center censored a painting of a nude female from an annual art show because an employee claimed it constituted sexual harassment.

The National Coalition Against Censorship and the First Amendment Project have now sent Marin County a letter to show them the error of their ways. In it, they sought to explain that:

  1. One painting of a naked lady in a contemporary art exhibit does not constitute sexual harassment. Even if you don't like paintings of naked people it still is not, and cannot be perceived as, the kind of systemic, repeated behavior that creates a hostile work environment and therefore sexual harassment.
  2. As a public space opened to exhibiting artwork, Marin Civic Center has First Amendment obligations to refrain from censoring work based on personal views. The courts say public officials can't pull strings to get rid of artwork that they personally don't like. That includes art featuring naked people. That even includes art featuring naked people in a venue where children might see it. The children WILL BE FINE. Really.
  3. When Marin Civic Center officials censored that painting, they not only abridged Silvia Cossich Goodman's right to free expression, they also did a disservice to the people of Marin County by not letting them evaluate art for themselves.


15th April   

Snoop Dogg Aroused by Censors...

Rapper complains that his single titled 'Wet' was changed to 'Sweat'
Link Here

Snoop Dogg has bemoaned a radio censorship ruling which required him to change the title of his single Wet .

Speaking to Vibe magazine, the rapper expressed his frustration at what he perceives to be double standards of acceptability in the music industry: I did a song called 'Wet' and these motherfuckers at radio made me change the title to 'Sweat'.

Snoop Dogg previously claimed that he wrote Wet in honour of Prince William's upcoming wedding to Kate Middleton and hoped that the track would be played at the royal's bachelor party.

Not sure if the lyric would be considered particularly 'appropriate' in the royal household:

Tell me baby are you wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
I'm gonna get you wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
Tell tell me baby are you wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
I just wanna get you wet wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)


15th April   

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Nutters...

Polish catholics have a rant at Harry Potter
Link Here

A Catholic diocese in Poland has warned that the Harry Potter books are unacceptable because they encourage instructions to practise magic .

The letter from Gliwice diocese also warned that in the best-selling books the dangerous world of magic is presented as good , and preached about the dangers of Halloween and the ancient and pagan Polish traditions associated with St Andrew's day when people try to predict the future.

It suggested that: Teachers and parents should teach children to go the Lord Jesus if they have problems, and not seek help and answers from fortune telling. .


15th April   

Update: Fire and Ice...

Firefox add-on redirects requests from domains seized by the US to their new locations
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

The seizure of file-sharing related domain names by the US Government hasn't been as effective as the entertainment industries had hoped since many of them simply continued their operations under new domains. To make these type of domain transitions go more smoothly, an anonymous group has coded a simple Firefox add-on that automatically redirects users to these new homes.

ICE director John Morton confirmed last week that the seizures will continue in the coming years. But at the same time the authorities amp up their anti-piracy efforts, those in opposition are already coming up with ways to bypass them.

One of these initiatives is the MAFIAA Fire add-on for Firefox. The plugin, which will support the Chrome browser at a later stage too, maintains a list of all the domains that ICE (hence the fire) has seized and redirects their users to an alternative domain if the sites in question have set one up.


15th April

 Offsite: So W.R.O.N.G...

Link Here
A campaign against nutters like Ann Diamond spouting bollox on TV about games

See article from


14th April   

Very Expensive Red Tape...

Newspapers and magazines speak out against ATVOD's expensive censorship fees and ludicrous remit creep
Link Here

Newspaper and magazine trade organisations are speaking out in opposition to the UK's new VOD ATVOD. Several individual newspaper and magazine publishers are already protesting being included under ATVOD's oversight and having to pay through the nose for the privilege.

The Newspaper Society's director for policy, editorial and regulatory affairs, Santha Rasaiah, told paidContent:UK:

Electronic versions of newspapers and magazines are expressly excluded from the scope of the AVMS directive. Throughout negotiations on the directive and its implementation into UK law, assurances were repeatedly given, including during the course of Parliamentary debate, that publishers' current online activities, including video clips, would not be caught by the new legislation and did not satisfy the definition of 'TV-like' programme services for regulation by ATVOD. These recent determinations by ATVOD are therefore surprising and of concern to the industry. It is important that press freedom is not curbed by unintended regulatory creep.

See  article from

The magazine business' Periodical Publishers Association, working with the Association of Online Publishers, complains that

Atvod has determined that short video clips, collected together on a section of a publisher’s website, fall under the definition of "TV-like" services, as set out in the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations (AVMS).

The PPA argues, however, that video clips on publishers’ websites are not TV-like and therefore do not fall within Atvod’s remit. It is in the process of appealing to media regulator Ofcom.

Barry McIlheney, chief executive of the PPA, said: Essentially, the disproportionate regulatory fees being charged by Atvod are damaging innovative digital businesses and putting them at a disadvantage compared to their European counterparts.

According to the PPA, ATVOD fees can rise to £ 25.000 whereas the next-highest equivalent fee in Europe is (EUR712) per company.


14th April   

Update: Wilder's Blasphemy Trial Resumes...

But it seems to be a judge that is on trial
Link Here
Full story: Media Censorship in Hungary...Repressive media censor established in 2011

The court case against MP Geert Wilders has resumed.

Central to the session was the dinner at which judge Tom Schalken allegedly tried to convince Islam expert Hans Jansen that Wilders should be convicted.

On 3 May 2010, Jansen met Schalken at a dinner. The latter was one of the three judges who earlier ordered the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) to prosecute Wilders for inciting to hatred and discrimination. The OM itself had concluded Wilders never made any statements that were an offence.

Both Schalken and Jansen were called as witnesses yesterday. Jansen had already caused a tense atmosphere. Schalken had ordered him at the dinner to distance himself from Wilders, according to the Islam expert. Jansen, known for his criticisms of Islam, stated that Schalken wanted to show him at the dinner the ruling in which he ordered the OM to prosecute Wilders. Schalken confirmed this in yesterday's sitting.


14th April   

Free Speech Wreckage...

Captions censored from MEPs' photo exhibition criticising Russian investigation of Smolensk aircrash
Link Here

Captions accompanying a Polish exhibition at the European Parliament have been covered up, after officials concluded that the wording underneath the photos were too controversial.

The exhibition, entitled Truth and Memory , was organised by MEPs from the conservative Law and Justice party. It's a scandalous situation, said Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP, one of the co-organisers of the exhibition.

His colleague Tomasz Poreba said: All this is happening in an institution that so often has moral platitudes on its lips, calling for freedom of speech .

Responsibility for the decision about the censorship is held by the five so-called quaestors, each of whom represents a different country. One of the five is a Pole, Lidia de Geringer de Oedenburg told Polish Radio that the exhibition organisers failed to honour the stipulations required, sending the material just a week before the launch, rather than two months beforehand as required. She added that the pictures speak for themselves, and that the captions were not necessary.

The awkward material includes a caption describing a Russian soldier smiling as he breaks up parts of the wreckages. Another tag cites a body thrown onto foil at the crash site. However, one of the co-organisers of the show, journalist Katarzyna Hejke, says the exhibition reveals the carelessness with which the wreckage of the plane was treated by the Russians.


14th April   

Organ of Censorship...

Russia wound up by prize winning giant dick painted on bridge outside KGB headquarters
Link Here

Russia's culture ministry said it was disgusted by the awarding of a top art prize for a phallus painted on a bridge but vowed to stay out of the controversy as it was not an organ of censorship .

Street art group Voina, (translated as War), won the Innovation prize last week for the phallus which it painted on a drawbridge opposite the headquarters of the FSB security service in Saint Petersburg last summer.

The ministry said it found the work, titled A dick captured by the FSB, provocative, hooligan-like and disgusting, but said that interfering in the jury decision would be a great blow to developing civil society.

In a statement it called the prize a slap in the face for common sense and said the ministry should have intervened at the nomination stage or pulled out as a backer of the prize. The prize is awarded by the State Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow, although the ministry said it did not provide the prize money.


14th April   

Update: Hanging On...

Alan Shadrake appeals against conviction in Singapore over his book
Link Here
Full story: Book Censorship in Singapore...Singapore takes offence and puts author on trial

Last November, Alan Shadrake was found guilty of contempt of court over his book, Once A Jolly Hangman, which skewers Singapore's brand of capital punishment. He was fined 20,000 Singapore dollars and sentenced to six weeks in jail. Human rights groups complained that the verdict was harsh and unnecessary.

Shadrake was back in court this week, this time to appeal the verdict. He vows that he will fight his case and doesn't care if he ends up back in a Singaporean jail.

The British author has become an unlikely symbol of resistance to Singapore's thin-skinned elite. The pros and cons of the death penalty are rarely debated in Singapore. Last year Shadrake told the Monitor that he had discovered serious mismanagements of justice in his research for the book, which contains interviews with a retired hangman.

Singaporean prosecutors argue that Shadrake's book is libelous and erroneous, and told the court that the author was unrepentant and deserved to be jailed. He should reap the consequences of his contempt, a prosecutor said.


13th April   

Uncut Cut Scenes...

L.A. Noire rating stirring interest amongst games
Link Here

Another game release sees lots of interest in the announcement of the BBFC rating.

The BBFC have passed L.A. Noire 18 uncut with the comment: Contains very strong language, strong violence, sex references and nudity

The BBFC also notes 5 hours and 12 minutes of video inserts or cut scenes. The re is also 3 hours and 25 minutes of supplementary gameplay footage.


13th April   

An Underweight Whinge...

ASA dismisses nonsense about underweight fashion model in advert
Link Here

A national press ad, in the Times, for Miu Miu featured the model Kasia Struss sitting on a chair in front of a mirror, holding a handbag in her lap, and wearing a low-cut, sleeveless dress which exposed her arms, shoulders and de'colletage.

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because they believed the model looked significantly underweight.

CAP Code (Edition 12) 1.3 Response

Prada Retail said that the model featured in the ad, Kasia Struss, was 23 years old and was regarded as one of the current top models. They said that Kasia Struss worked for a variety of fashion houses and had done so on a regular basis for about five years, and that it was clear from her portfolio, which they provided, that Ms Struss was naturally tall and slim.

Prada explained that the ad featured in its campaign for Miu Miu Spring Summer 2011 collection. The campaign was dramatic and high fashion and featured statuesque models posing in a mirror wearing its garments and accessories. Prada noted that to make the look more dramatic, Ms Struss' hair was slicked back and she was wearing nude make up with bright red lips. They said that the lighting used for the photograph bounced straight off Ms Struss' body so as to highlight her features and pale skin. Prada provided an alternative version of the ad which showed Ms Struss from the side and from behind as reflected in the mirror. They said that the image of her back and her frame clearly showed that she was not significantly underweight.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA noted that the model in the ad was slim, and that the lighting effects, make-up and low-cut dress emphasised her body shape. However, we considered that the ad was typical of those used for fashion products and that the model did not look significantly underweight. We therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.


13th April   

Update: Refried Whinges...

Ofcom OK with Top Gear's Mexico jokes
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear
BBC2, 30 January 2011, 20:00

Top Gear is a long-running light entertainment series presented by Jeremy Clarkson, based on a motoring magazine format.

A section of this particular programme was devoted to car news, with the three presenters discussing new cars unveiled that week. One of the presenters, James May, introduced a new sports car from Mexico, saying that it was called the Tortilla (a name he then admitted he had made up). Richard Hammond then said:

Why would you want a Mexican car? Cos cars reflect national characteristics, don't they? So German cars are very well built and ruthlessly efficient, Italian cars are a bit flamboyant and quick -- Mexican cars are just going to be a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence, asleep, looking at a cactus, with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.

James May responded by describing Mexican food as like sick with cheese on it , which Richard Hammond corrected to re-fried sick . When the discussion turned to the car's price and specifications - both of which were disparaged - Richard Hammond returned to the subject and sparked the following conversation:

Richard Hammond: I'm sorry but just imagine waking up and remembering you're Mexican. 'Oh no ...'

Jeremy Clarkson: It'd be brilliant, it'd be brilliant because you could just go straight back to sleep again. 'Aaah, I'm a Mexican ...'

Richard Hammond: ... that's all I'm going to do all day ...

Jeremy Clarkson: That's why we're not going to get any complaints about this -- cos the Mexican Embassy, the Ambassador's going to be sitting there with a remote control like this [slumps in seat and snores]. They won't complain. It's fine.

Ofcom received 157 complaints from viewers. The complainants were offended by these comments, which they considered, in summary: to be derogatory, racial stereotypes and as such cruel, xenophobic, discriminatory and racist.

Ofcom considered these complaints under Rule 2.3 of the Code, which states:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...

Ofcom Decision: Not in breach

In this instance, we recognised that the comments made about Mexican people were based on negative national stereotypes and had the potential to be very offensive both to Mexican people specifically, as well as to viewers more generally.

Ofcom therefore considered whether the broadcast of these offensive comments had been justified by the context. In this case, Ofcom took into account that Top Gear is well known for its irreverent style and sometimes outspoken humour, as well as the regular format of the studio banter between the three presenters. We considered that viewers of Top Gear were likely to be aware that the programme frequently uses national stereotypes as a comedic trope and that there were few, if any, nationalities that had not at some point been the subject of the presenters' mockery throughout the history of this long running programme. For example, this same episode featured a competition between the UK's Top Gear presenters and their Australian counterparts, throughout which the Australians were ridiculed for various national traits.

In this instance, therefore, Ofcom considered that the majority of the audience would be familiar with the presenters' approach to mocking, playground-style humour, and would have considered that applying that approach to national stereotypes was in keeping with the programme's usual content, and the presenters' typical style. Ofcom was of the view that the majority of the audience would therefore be likely to have understood that the comments were being made for comic effect.

However, Ofcom notes that taste in comedy can vary widely, and that these comments would not have been to everyone's taste. Ofcom is not an arbiter of good taste, but rather it must judge whether a broadcaster has applied generally accepted standards by ensuring that members of the public were given adequate protection from offensive material. Humour can frequently cause offence. However, Ofcom considers that to restrict humour only to material which does not cause offence would be an unnecessary restriction of freedom of expression.

Given the comedic intent and the context of this programme, Ofcom concluded that the broadcast of this material was justified by the context. The programme was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.3.


13th April   

Cable Cutters...

15th Anniversary US Blu-ray of Ben Stiller's The Cable Guy
Link Here

The Cable Guy is a 1996 US comedy by Ben Stiller. See IMDb

The US release is uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

However the UK release is cut. It was passed 12 after 4s of BBFC cuts for category for:

  • UK 2005 Columbia/TriStar R2 DVD
  • UK 1999 Columbia/TriStar R2 DVD
  • UK 1997 Columbia/TriStar VHS
  • UK 1996 cinema release

A single 4 sec cut was made to this black comedy, in order to secure a required 12 cert.

  • The cut occurs towards the end, when Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick, are fighting on top of the TV satellite. A couple of shots of Carrey headbutting Broderick and an ear clap have been removed.


13th April   

Censorship Standard...

Previously censored Gambian newspaper cleared to publish again
Link Here

The privately-owned Standard newspaper which was in 2010 banned by the Gambia authorities has been given the green-light to operate.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that the decision was announced by the newly appointed State House Press Secretary, Fatou Camara, during a rare interaction between President Yahya Jammeh and media owners and editors in the country.

The sources said following the lifting of the ban, Sheriff Bojang Snr., the editor of the Standard which is published monthly, announced that the newspaper would reappear on the newsstands on April 1. However, the sources said the newspaper did not appear as announced.

Personnel of the notorious National intelligence Agency (NIA) on October 2010 acting on the orders of President Jammeh suspended the newspaper after it made its second appearance. The Standard in its maiden issue on August 2010 ran an article about former President Dawda Kairaba Jawara based on information from the book authored by the editor.


12th April   

Censors Less Cruel...

BBFC advise that Cannibal Holocaust now only requires one animal cruelty scene to be cut
Link Here

Shameless Screen Entertainment has submitted a fully uncut version of Cannibal Holocaust to an advisory board at the BBFC who have advised them that the film would (only) have to be cut by 14 seconds! (compared with 5:44s of cuts at the last submission in 2001).

At 18 minutes - Remove sight of man killing small mammal with a knife. Cut required from 0:18:21 - 0:18:35.

In conversation, Deodato has advised Shameless that, in his mind, the muskrat scene was the only animal-killing in the film where the animal was sacrificed, all of the other animals were eaten as was normal practice in that part of the world.

The BBFC feels that all previous cuts to the scenes of sexual violence can now be waived as the scenes in question are horrifying and repugnant, and clearly not designed to eroticise or promote sexual violence. As for the other animal cruelty scenes (the turtle, monkey and pig), the BBFC's view is that these killings were quick, clean and humane and therefore do not contravene BBFC policy.

Shameless has now decided to release not one, but two versions of the film! This means that the Shameless release will feature this longest ever UK version and Deodato's 21st Century Edit, which will see the animal cruelty toned down. As a result, Deodato's version will contain less animal cruelty than the BBFC classified version!


12th April   

Update: Violated But Survives...

Australian censors pass A Serbian Film after cuts on the 3rd attempt
Link Here
Full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

In November 2010, the Australian Classification Board banned the 99 minute uncut version of A Serbian Film.

Distributors Accent then prepared a 97-minute censored version that they hoped would achieve the desired R18+. The Classification Board had other ideas, and in late February banned the cut version. 

Now the Australian censors have passed a 96 minutes version of the film with an R18+ certificate.

Note that the UK version runs at about 95:20s after having suffered 4 minutes of BBFC cuts. So it appears that the Australians will see a version similar to the cut UK release.

The DVD will be available to rent and buy this August.


12th April   

Tainted by Nutters...

Canadians whinge at film title Dead Hooker in a Trunk
Link Here

A double feature of the films Dead Hooker in a Trunk and The Taint has been cancelled after its venue, the Roxy Theatre, received complaints about the film titles and wording on posters around Saskatoon.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk plays something like a Quentin Tarantino movie whilst The Taint is a low-budget, independent movie about tainted water than turns men into women-killing zombies. The violence is said to be more against the men than the women.

Complainers whinged about both the title Dead Hooker in a Trunk,a so-called grindhouse moviie, and the use of the words Kill women in the advertisement for the feature The Taint.

The screening was organized by the Dark Bridges Film Festival. Dark Bridges creator John Allison said he was surprised to hear Magic Lantern, which owns the Roxy Theatre, decided to cancel the event: It's a very slippery slope when we start saying this topic is not appropriate to talk about. Grindhouse movies generally are not serious. They are satires. It's pushing boundaries and trying to make you question your beliefs on some of this stuff.

Last week, Allison put up posters around town. The next night, nearly all of the posters on Broadway had been torn down. He also received several complaints via email. Several people wrote to Allison that free speech should not include hate speech. 'Kill women, kill women' is not only poor judgement and bad taste but it's very threatening and dangerous.

Allison was then informed the screening had been cancelled.

The film's creators, Vancouver sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska, say the people complaining are being closed-minded about the film's title: I am shocked and saddened that someone in this day and age could be so closed minded about the mere title of a film. Without attempting to research the film in the slightest, they rushed to judgment and condemned something that in fact should be something that Canadians should be very proud of.

Magic Lantern said: Our theatre does not play pictures that are smut nor use titles whose only purpose is to shock and offend .

Meanwhile in Britain, Dead Hooker in a Trunk has been passed 18 uncut with the comment: Contains strong bloody violence, gore and one use of very strong language

Update: Acquitted

13th April 2011. See  article from  

A screening for the films Dead Hooker in a Trunk and The Taint, which was pulled from the Roxy Theatre by the theatre owner, has been moved to the Broadway Theatre.

The movie night, sponsored by the Dark Bridges Film Festival, was pulled after the Roxy and organizers received several complaints about the poster, which featured the words kill women on the promo for The Taint. The poster was also torn down at various locations around the city.

The Dark Bridges double feature will play at the Broadway Theatre on April 22 at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.


12th April   

Police Rap...

New Zealand rapper winds up the police with the song 'Fuck the Police'
Link Here

New Zealand singer Tiki Taane has been arrested for singing the rap song Fuck the Police , says he has performed the song many times live and hopes to keep his relationship with police positive .

In a statement Taane, who will appear in court on Friday, said he was arrested at an R18 concert in Tauranga:

I was handcuffed and taken to the cells where I spent the rest of the night.

I have been charged with disorderly behaviour, likely to cause violence, for reciting the lyrics to a song by an American rap group called NWA.

This song is a protest song written by Ice Cube in 1988, and I have often played and sang along to it at my R18 concerts with no trouble at all.

Taane says the concerned promoter and his DJ were taken in but later released uncharged.

Some people at the show said the singer began singing Fuck the Polic e when police carried out an inspection of the club.

A police inspector said because of an incident that happened during the visit, police returned after the bar closed at 3am to speak to staff and entertainers. When they approached Taane afterwards things got out of hand , a witness said.

Taane said his performance was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. Unfortunately I think a certain officer got a little bit upset and wanted to come back and prove a point, I guess, by arresting me and then walking me out in handcuffs in front of the audience, so I'm a bit bewildered by it.


12th April   

Dawn of the Red...

Hollywood remake of Red Dawn censored by China?
Link Here

The 1984 movie Red Dawn portrayed a Soviet invasion of the continental United States wherein a group of high school students identifying themselves with their high school mascot (the Wolverines) are forced through circumstances to form up into a guerilla force conducting operations behind enemy lines. The film was a big hit as the Soviet Union was considered the greatest threat to the United States at that time.

In the fall of 2009 plans were put forth for a remake of Red Dawn, this time, rather than Soviets, it was to be Chinese invading the US and set in Washington State. The new film was to be completed and released in November, 2010. The filming was completed however the release was stopped.

It seems that Chinese pressure and US concern about possible consequential loss of trade opportunities put a stop to it.

The film has now been edited in post production and will feature a coalition of Chinese and North Korean Iinvaders. And it will be the North Korean element that will be the focus of the film. Film editors have replaced Chinese insignia and flags with those of North Korea.

Commentators at have contended that:

the Chinese have censored an American movie and to an extent as to make it unbelievable. How many people think North Korea could accomplish a ground invasion in the continental United States? The idea is laughable. Now on the other hand how many people consider a Chinese ground invasion as a plausible possibility?


12th April   

Romper Rant...

Jokey T-shirts with references to al Qaeda come to the attention of politicians
Link Here

Baby clothes with bad taste jokes about martyrdom and extremist Jihadist creeds have come to the attention of politicians.

Clothes and T-shirts with slogans referring to al Qaeda can be bought on the popular Cafepress website, which is run by a company based in California.

The items included a baby suit for newborn children carrying the slogan, Your 77 virgins are waiting for you in heaven so pull up your linen and start your grinnin, which refers inaccurately to the 72 virgins that are said to await Islamist martyrs in paradise.

Another baby suit declares, as for the disbelievers [Christians] they shall have an everlasting torture, a painful doom, while a one Ummah T-shirt was also available.

But Cafepress was also looking to cash in on those supporting the war on terror, with one T-shirt proclaiming, Take your jihad and shove it.

Another design printed on baby suits, T-shirts and even thongs was the slogan proud infidel. It was printed with two crossed machineguns and a target.

Based on article from

British MPs have also called for a probe into the Californian website Cafepress, which is selling the clothes.

David Cameron has promised the Government will get a grip on extreme Islamism, the Daily Star quoted Robert Halfon Tory MP for Harlow, as saying.


12th April   

Dancing on Egg Shells...

Dancing on Ice taken to task over 'missing a couple of chromosomes' comment
Link Here

Dancing On Ice
ITV1, 23 January 2011, 18:10

The Dancing on Ice series was hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, and the judges are Robin Cousins, Emma Bunton and Jason Gardiner. Celebrities are paired with professional ice skaters and perform live routines each week. The judges give criticism and advice to the contestants following their performances. The contestants are mentored by Karen Barber, the Head Coach, and ex-Olympic ice skaters, Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean.

On 23 January 2011, following a performance by the celebrity Jeff Brazier and his professional partner Isabelle Gauthier, judge Jason Gardiner commented:

The Jackson 5 are very tight and you aren't. You're choreography, especially in your arms, is still very, very sloppy and messy and it almost looks like you're weak and there's moments especially in your facial expressions as well with everything, it's almost like you're missing a couple of chromosomes.

Ofcom received 242 complaints about Jason Gardiner's reference to missing a couple of chromosome ', which complainants considered was highly offensive, particularly to those with chromosomal disorders , discriminatory and completely inappropriate .

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 of the Code:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context (see meaning of context below). Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision

Ofcom noted the Licensee's explanation that when referring to Jeff Brazier missing a couple of chromosomes , Jason Gardiner had, in fact, intended to reflect his opinion that Jeff Brazier's facial expressions resembled that of a chimpanzee.

In Ofcom's opinion, it was more likely that viewers would have interpreted Jason Gardiner's comment to be a derogatory remark associating Jeff Brazier's facial expression with a human chromosomal disorder, and therefore demeaning people with such human disorders .We therefore concluded that the material was capable of being highly offensive to some viewers.

Ofcom noted that Jason Gardiner is well known for being the most critical judge on Dancing on Ice, is often acerbic in his comments and wishes to reinforce that image within the well established format of the show. We noted that the studio audience often reacts in a negative manner (by booing, for example) to his remarks and his comments are often countered by the other judges.

We also noted that following the exchange between Jeff Brazier and Jason Gardiner, the programme presenter Holly Willoughby asked the head coach, Karen Barber, for her view and she strongly criticised Jason's comments and the manner in which Jason had delivered his criticism: Well, I think it, um, it doesn't have to be personal Jason. Your criticism can be about what's on the ice. You get very offensive, you don't need to do that ... it doesn't have to be so hurtful, your comments .

We considered that this was a live broadcast in which Jason Gardiner's comment was unscripted, and the audience was likely to have expected his comments to be acerbic and negative. In Ofcom's view, Karen Barber's comments, to some extent, mitigated the remarks made by Jason Gardiner. However, we did not consider that these contextual factors were sufficient to justify the inclusion of the comment, given its potential to be highly offensive.

However, Ofcom also noted the measures taken after the broadcast by Jason Gardiner, who made clear in a public statement that it had not been his intention to offend, or indeed for the comments to have had the meaning that some viewers took from them. We also took into account the measures ITV had taken, discussing the matter with Jason Gardiner to ensure he understood viewers' concerns and that the matter would not be repeated. Ofcom also notes ITV's public apology, and apologies given to complaints it received directly from viewers. In view of the steps taken by both the licensee and Jason Gardiner, Ofcom therefore considers the matter resolved.


11th April   

Update: Nutters See Sexualisation Everywhere...

Preliminary releases from the review, Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood
Link Here
Full story: Sexualisation...Sexualisation as reported by Linda Papadopoulos

  Historically sexualised

The review, Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood,  is due out next month. It claims that nine out of 10 parents think that their children are growing up too quickly because of increasing sexualisation and commercial pressures, mainly from the internet and television.

The review has found that direct advertising through mobile phones was the marketing tool that most angered parents, with 35% believing it wrong. Products linked to social networking websites which invite children to click on them were second on the list of features to upset parents.

Although mothers and fathers want their children to have a mobile phone for safety and social reasons, they now realise it leaves them powerless to stop access to inappropriate internet sites, including pornography, the review claimed.

The review, conducted by Reg Bailey, the chief executive of Mothers' Union, a Christian charity, has also claimed growing concerns about the exposure of children to sex on television.

In a poll of 1,000 parents, the review has found 41% said that in the previous three months they had seen television programmes or advertisements before the 9pm watershed that they considered wrong for their children to view because of their sexual content. 40% said they had seen window displays or advertising hoardings inappropriate for children.

Bailey is unlikely to call for new legislation, but will argue that the process for parents to lodge complaints should be strengthened and simplified.

Parents concerns are said to include:

  • Children are growing up to quickly and behaving in an overtly sexual manner before they are old enough to really understand what sexually provocative behaviour means.
  • Celebrity culture, adult style clothes and music videos are encouraging children to act older than they are.
  • Lack of responsibility from business and government in allowing advertising to children.
  • Too many clothes, toys, games, music videos or other products that are inappropriate for the age group they were aimed at.
  • The use of phone and text adverts when promoting products for children.
  • The increasing pressure to buy non-essential items for their children so they don't feel left out.
  • Public places (shop window displays, advertising hoardings) that they felt were inappropriate for children to see because of their sexual content.
  • Programmes or adverts on TV before 9pm watershed that they felt were unsuitable or inappropriate for children due to their sexual content.


11th April   

Update: Catholic League For Religious And Civil Rights Recommend...

Judas by Lady GaGa
Link Here
Full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

  Lady Gaga's new single, Judas , is being slammed by religious groups even though they haven't seen it yet.

It is believed that the singer will depict Mary Magdalene in the video accompanying the song, while Hawaii Five-0 actor, Norman Reedus, plays Judas.

The Catholic League For Religious And Civil Rights have claimed that Gaga is stomping over the Easter celebrations.

President of the CLFRCR Bill Donahue said:

People have real talent then there is Lady Gaga. I find her to be increasingly irrelevant.

Is this the only way to jet up her performance? This isn't random, we are getting closer to holy week and Easter.

The video is due out on 19th of April.


11th April   

Vain Censorship...

Dubai censors negative article in Vanity Fair
Link Here

The up market magazine, Vanity Fair has wound up locals with an article panning the Gulf city state of Dubai. The magazine's April edition is on sale in bookshops but with the three pages of the column headlined Dubai on Empty removed.

The UAE newspaper censors of the National Media Council denied censoring the magazine. Local sources suggested the action against the Dubai-bashing article may have been at the initiative of magazine distributors rather than a case of formal censorship.

The missing piece was written by A.A. Gill who commented:

There is no greater compliment for a journalist than to be hand-censored. If anyone has any doubt about what I wrote about Dubai, the fact that you can't read it in Dubai makes the case.

The article slams Dubai and its expat and Emirati residents, as well as its giant shopping malls, its treatment of workers and legal system. Gill even belittles the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building that is the pride and joy of Dubai.


11th April

 Offsite: Prudish Censors...

Link Here
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels
TV censor reveals Ofcom's parallel world

See article from


11th April   

Googling for Shakedown...

US considering an expansion of domain blocking internet censorship
Link Here

The US House and Senate are both drafting rogue sites legislation that will likely support website blocking at the domain name level and will require online ad networks and credit card companies to stop working with sites on the blacklist. That idea is controversial enough when only the government has the power to pursue the censoring; it gets even more controversial if private companies get the right to bring a censorship action in court without waiting for government to act.

Both houses of Congress are considering such a private right of action as they work to review and revise last year's COICA Web censorship bill, but Google can't say strongly enough what a bad idea this would be.

Appearing at today's Legitimate Sites v. Parasites hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Google's Kent Walker was clear: a private right of action to bring a COICA claim would give rightsholders tremendous leverage over Google. Walker went so far as to warn of shakedowns from private companies wanting to force changes in Google's behavior.

Last year's version of COICA included no private right of action, but that could change this time around. As Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said today, We could begin to grant a right of private action... I would be the first to be critical if we step over the line, but I think that there's more that can be done, and I think that we need to use this hearing as another opportunity to come up with some legislation that we'll all be proud of.


10th April   


A BBFC 15 rating for Scream 4
Link Here

Screa4m is a 2011 US horror by Wes Craven.

Notably it is the first in the Scream series to qualify for a BBFC 15 cinema rating rather than the usual 18 rating. Hopefully a result of the BBFC trend to more realistic ratings rather than any watering down of content.

In the US, the cinema release is R Rated which generally covers both UK 15 and 18 horror film ratings.

The BBFC offered the consumer advice: Contains strong violence, gore and language and further explained:

Screa4m is the fourth instalment in the popular series of horror films, in which the masked killer returns to the town of Woodsboro. The film was classified 15 for strong violence, gore and language.

Like the previous instalments, SCRE4M is steeped in a deliberate awareness of its own history and that of the horror genre in general, with characters regularly commenting on modern horror films. This invests the action with a knowingly comic and ironic edge. The BBFC's Guidelines at 15 state Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised and Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable . The attacks on victims are preceded by tense and terrifying set-ups, which carry a strong sense of menace and which contain the kind of jump moments that are a staple of the horror genre. However, this sense of threat and menace includes no significantly sexualised elements and nor does the violence itself, which is mainly executed by the masked character of Ghostface. Stabbings and slashings have bloody consequences, with injuries seen on faces, bodies, and on the walls and floors of various domestic settings. However, the attacks have a frenzied nature and are rapidly-paced with no undue dwelling on their gory results, nor any strong sense of sadism in the violence.

The film also contains multiple uses of strong language. At 15 the Guidelines state There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, 'fuck') .


10th April   

Update: Boyled Over...

Ofcom censures Channel 4 over Katie Price gag on Tramadol Nights
Link Here
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week

Frankie Boyles Tramadol Nights (Katie Price joke)
Channel 4, 7 December 2010, 22:00

Tramadol Nights was a six-part comedy series which was written by and featured the controversial, alternative comedian Frankie Boyle. The series featured the comedian in various stand-up and comedy sketches which covered topics such as AIDS, cancer, religion, racism, sex, paedophilia, rape, incest, war and disability.

In the second episode of the series Frankie Boyle made various comments about the former glamour model and reality TV personality, Katie Price (formerly known as Jordan), and her eight year-old son, Harvey, who is known to have a medical condition and learning difficulties.

Frankie Boyle said:

Apparently Jordan and Peter Andre [Katie Price's ex-husband] are fighting each other over custody of Harvey. Well eventually one of them will have to lose and have to keep him.

I have a theory that Jordan married a cage fighter [Alex Reid, Katie Price's second husband] because she needed someone strong enough to stop Harvey from fucking her.

Solicitors acting on behalf of Katie and Harvey Price complained to Ofcom that the comments were discriminatory, offensive, demeaning and humiliating. The solicitors informed Ofcom that Harvey has a condition called septo-optic dysplasia, and is also on the autistic spectrum. The solicitors stated that Harvey has very restricted sight, needs constant medication and has learning difficulties. Harvey, as a result of his condition and medication is large and strong for his age .

Ofcom also received approximately 500 complaints about the comments, including, from the learning disability charity Mencap and from the Royal London Society for the Blind. In summary, the complainants stated that it was highly offensive, discriminatory and abusive to broadcast these comments about an eight year-old disabled child. The complainants were also offended that the comments named a child as engaging in rape and incest.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 2.1 Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material.
  • Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context (see meaning of context below). Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision: In breach

Ofcom was of the view that the material in question appeared to directly target and mock the mental and physical disabilities of a known eight year-old child who had not himself chosen to be in the public eye. As such, Ofcom found that the comments had considerable potential to be highly offensive to the audience.

It is important to note that the Code does not prohibit the broadcast of offensive or potentially offensive material, but requires that it is justified by the context.

Channel 4 argued that the comments were wholly justified in the context because it gave careful consideration to the broadcast of the series in advance and applied a number of measures to ensure its content complied with the Code.

We noted that Frankie Boyle is an established comedian, who has appeared on a number of comedy television programmes. He is also well known for his controversial and provocative humour, which often plays on his negative views of society and celebrities.

Further, we noted from Channel 4's statement that the programme was carefully considered by senior editorial staff and edited in advance of broadcast. We also noted that the programme had been scheduled to begin at 22:00 to lessen the risk of offence and was preceded by a clear warning to the audience about the very strong language and uncompromising adult content which some viewers will find offensive.

Ofcom considered that, even taking into account contextual factors such as the nature of the series as a whole, its scheduling, publicity and the clear pre-transmission warning, these comments went beyond what would have been expected by the majority of viewers of a late night comedy show broadcast on Channel 4.

Therefore, in view of the particular circumstances of this case, Ofcom concluded that on balance, the context of this programme was not sufficient to justify the broadcast of this material.

However, in view of the careful consideration Channel 4 took in the broadcast of the series overall, Ofcom concluded that the broadcaster was clearly aware of its responsibilites under the Code and had attempted to comply with the Code's requirements. Taking into account the challenging and provocative nature of the content of the Tramadol Nights series overall, Ofcom did not consider that these breaches demonstrated a fundamental failure of Channel 4's compliance procedures. Rather, in Ofcom's view, this case involved an erroneous decision on a matter of editorial judgement on the broadcaster's part.

Breaches of Rules 2.1 and 2.3

Complaints about the rest of the series

Frankie Boyles Tramadol Nights (mental health sketch and other issues)
Channel 4, 30 November 2010 to 29 December 2010, 22:00


The second episode of the series included a sketch which showed a man calmly talking to camera, in what appears to be his kitchen. He said the following:

I have mental health problems. There's a lot of stigma attached to mental health, a lot of people are unfairly stigmatised when their conditions allow them to lead perfectly normal lives.

The camera then pulls out to reveal the man holding a knife and images of his dead wife and three dead children covered in blood on the floor. He then says:

Who the fuck am I talking to?

Ofcom received eight complaints about the broadcast of this sketch, including a complaint from the mental health charity, Rethink. The complaints raised concerns that the sketch inferred that people with mental illness are violent; promoted discrimination against people with mental illness; mocked people with mental illness; and was misleading.

Ofcom Decision: Not in breach

In this case, the sketch depicted a man talking to the camera who explained: I have mental health problems . He then talked about how many people with mental health problems are unfairly stigmatised by others when, in fact, ...their conditions allow them to lead perfectly normal lives . The sketch ends as the camera reveals that the man is in fact a violent murderer.

Ofcom considered that some viewers may have understood the sketch, on its face, to have been mocking people with mental health problems by inferring that they are likely to have violent tendencies. Taken in this sense, Ofcom accepted that the sketch had the potential to cause offence in that it appeared to seek to derive humour from ridiculing people with mental health issues and reinforcing stereotypes about them.

However, Ofcom noted Channel 4's submission that intention of this particular sketch was in fact to satirise an established public campaign Time to Change , which aimed to stop discrimination against people with mental health problems. Further, Channel 4 argued that the sketch set out to reverse the concept of the original campaign, which attempted to challenge the stereotype that those with mental health conditions are violent.

Ofcom was of the view that the Time to Change campaign itself was unlikely to be widely enough known to the audience for the sketch's particular intention to be clear to viewers. However, Ofcom considered that, whilst the material had the potential to cause offence, most viewers would have been likely to understand the nature of the sketch, and importantly, that its intention was not to ridicule those who have mental health problems, but to target public information campaigns of this nature, and society's unease about dealing frankly with the subject of mental health.

Ofcom considered that the intention of this sketch -- to use satire and controversy to make a joke about society's attitudes to mental health - would have been well understood by the majority of the audience. Ofcom also considered that the sketch would not have gone beyond what would normally be expected in a programme of this type, particularly taking into account the nature of other material in the series which also frequently used satire and controversy to derive humour from society as a whole, or its attitudes to particular issues.

On balance, we therefore concluded that the broadcast of the material was justified by the context, and the sketch was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.3.

Further, we found that Channel 4 had applied generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from this material, which was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.1.

Other issues raised about the series

Ofcom also received complaints from viewers which raised a number of other issues about the content of the series. In summary, the complainants were offended by certain content, which included: references to AIDS and cancer; references to Jesus and religious dress; comments about rape and paedophiles; sketches about a quadriplegic stuntman; and the involvement of children in a sketch which included swearing, sexual abuse and violence.

Ofcom assessed these complaints and the relevant content of the series. In view of the nature of this late night comedy series, and the other relevant contextual factors about the series as a whole (as set out above), Ofcom concluded that the material did not raise any issues under the Code.

Ofcom also received approximately 70 complaints from viewers who were offended by the inclusion of what they considered to be racist language in the series. Complainants referred, in particular, to the broadcast of language such as paki , nigger and black pussy .

Ofcom viewed the relevant content of the series and noted that in all cases when language of this nature was used it was clearly positioned as observational comedy, which targeted the views and attitudes of society rather than particular black and minority ethnic communities. The language was always presented as a reflection on a character he was playing.

Ofcom concluded that the material was clearly editorially justified and in keeping with audience expectations for this late night comedy programme. The content was therefore justified by its context, and Channel 4 applied generally accepted standards in its broadcast.

Not in breach of Rules 2.1 or 2.3

Comment: Background

12th April 2011. From Andrew

For those of you outside of the UK (the only country apparently willing to put up with her shit), Katie price is a former glamour model also known as Jordan. Long story short, this woman has been married 3 times in the same amount of years, and is popularly known as an egotistical, materialistic, media whore. Yet now, like so many people in her position, the boot has switched feet, and the own medicine is not liked.

Katie Price is now moaning about Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle making a derogatory compliment out her heavily disabled son, Harvey. Price herself, has milked this disablement to her advantage over during the tenure of her sons life, to not only win magazine covers, but also to the point that she has been publically made out to be a wonderful mother.

Ok, so onto Frankie Boyle. The Scottish comedian is NOTORIOUS for jokes about taboo subjects, such as child molestation, racial bigotry, and rape. The chance that Price actually watched the show in question is very unlikely. Had the joke not been aimed at her she would have probably laughed along with everyone else. Anyway she has stated on more than one occasion that she doesn't understand upper class people or high brow humour.


10th April   

Update: Big Appeal...

Katie Price calls for Channel 4 boss to be sacked over bad taste joke
Link Here
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week

Glamour model Katie Price has called for the sacking of the Channel 4 boss who allowed the broadcasting of a bad taste gag by comedian Frankie Boyle about her disabled son Harvey.

The reality TV star, real name Katie Price, has written to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt claiming that David Abraham's position is completely untenable as chief executive of the official broadcaster for the 2012 Paralympics.

The show drew more than 500 complaints, including from Mencap and the Royal London Society for the Blind, who also called for Abraham to quit his job.


10th April   

Update: Uncensored Sport...

Burma to end press censorship for publications that don't publish politics, business or news
Link Here
Full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

The Burma junta's censorship board director Tint Swe said that the new parliamentary government would relax the current press censorship policy in accordance with the new Constitution, the Flower News Journal reported.

' The first step will be made on the day the new government takes office. But, as a result of the freedom of the press, the publications need to take responsibility, the journal quoted Tint Swe as saying.

Tint Swe also said that publishers and journalists of most journals and magazines will not need to pass articles through the censor board prior to publication.

... HOWEVER ... the new policy only applies to publications focusing on sport, entertainment, general knowledge, health, children's literature, the supernatural and technology. Publications which print articles about politics, business and news will still need to pass articles through the censorship board prior to publication.

Books and journals that have already been published will need to go via the censor board after publication. Printing houses and publishers must also be licensed by the state.

Update: Warnings

1st July 2011. See  article from

Burma's draconian censorship board, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division (PSRD), has issued a warning to several Rangoon-based journals not to try to take advantage of the PSRD's new post-publishing censorship regulation.

Editors at several weekly journals have been ordered to sign statements promising not to violate press regulations either in print or in photography. At least six journal signed the pledge the first day, said a Rangoon-based sports journal editor.

Beginning on June 10, publishers were permitted to run stories on sports, entertainment, technology, health and children's literature without PSRD approval. However, they were instructed that they still have to follow rules protecting the Three National Causes ---the basic principles espoused by Burma's military rulers---and avoid any writing that damages state instability.

Update: Business and Crime

17th December 2011. See  article from  

Myanmar has loosened press censorship on business and crime publications, local media reported.

A total of 54 journals, magazines and books will no longer have to submit their content to censors before publication, according to a report in the Myanmar Times, after changes introduced on December 9.

News media will continue to be subject to pre-publication censorship.


10th April

 Offsite: Rap Gets the Rap...

Link Here
Daily Mail blame rap music for the submarine shooting

See article from


9th April   

Prison Re-release...

Buzz Kulik's Riot released on US DVD
Link Here

Riot is a 1969 US prison drama by Buzz Kulik. See IMDb

The new US release is uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

It hasn't been released in the UK since being passed X (16) after BBFC cuts for the UK 1969 cinema release.

Review from US Amazon : Fine Escape Film

Riot is a good action film about Jim Brown and Gene Hackman staging a riot in prison in order to allow a distraction so they can escape through underground tunnels.

Brown and Hackman are great in this and the suspense of the last 30 minutes is killer! I rank this one up there with Escape From Alcatraz . A must see for all fans of escapism movies.


9th April   

Don't Mention the US Website Blocking...

US release their annual report on human rights throughout the world
Link Here

Hilary Clinton has introduced the 35th annual report to Congress on the state of human rights around the world.

In recent months, we have been particularly inspired by the courage and determination of the activists in the Middle East and North Africa and in other repressive societies who have demanded peaceful democratic change and respect for their universal human rights. The United States will stand with those who seek to advance the causes of democracy and human rights wherever they may live, and we will stand with those who exercise their fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly in a peaceful way, whether in person, in print, or in pixels on the internet. This report usually generates a great deal of interest among journalists, lawmakers, nongovernmental organizations, and of course, other governments, and I hope it will again this year.

I'm also pleased to announce the launch of our new website, This site will offer one-stop shopping for information about global human rights from across the United States Government. It will pull together reports, statements, and current updates from around the world. It will be searchable and it will be safe. You won't need to register to use it. We hope this will make it easier for citizens, scholars, NGOs, and international organizations to find the information they need to hold governments accountable.

We were particularly disturbed by three growing trends in 2010. The first is a widespread crackdown on civil society activists. For countries to progress toward truly democratic governance, they need free and vibrant civil societies that can help governments understand and meet the needs of their people. But we've seen in Venezuela, for example, the government using the courts to intimidate and persecute civil society activists. The Venezuelan Government imposed new restrictions on the independent media, the internet, political parties, and NGOs. In Russia, we've seen crackdowns on civil society groups turn violent with numerous attacks and murders of journalists and activists. In China, we've seen negative trends that are appearing to worsen in the first part of 2011.

As we have said repeatedly, the United States welcomes the rise of a strong and prosperous China, and we look forward to our upcoming Strategic and Economic Dialogue with Beijing and to our continued cooperation to address common global challenges. However, we remain deeply concerned about reports that, since February, dozens of people, including public interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals, and activists have been arbitrarily detained and arrested. Among them most recently was the prominent artist, Ai Weiwei, who was taken into custody just this past Sunday. Such detention is contrary to the rule of law, and we urge China to release all of those who have been detained for exercising their internationally recognized right to free expression and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all of the citizens of China.

Beyond a widespread crackdown on civil society activists, we saw a second trend in 2010 -- countries violating the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association by curtailing internet freedom. More than 40 governments now restrict the internet through various means. Some censored websites for political reasons. And in a number of countries, democracy and human rights activists and independent bloggers found their emails hacked or their computers infected with spyware that reported back on their every keystroke. Digital activists have been tortured so they would reveal their passwords and implicate their colleagues. In Burma and in Cuba, government policies preempted online dissent by keeping most ordinary people from accessing the internet at all.

The third disturbing trend of 2010 was the repression of vulnerable minorities, including racial and ethnic and religious minorities along with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In Pakistan, for example, blasphemy remains a crime punishable by death. And the blasphemy law has been enforced against Muslims who do not share the beliefs of other Muslims, and also against non-Muslims who worship differently.

In the first two months of 2011, two government officials in Pakistan who sought to reform the law, Governor Taseer and Minister Bhatti, were targeted by a fatwa and assassinated. Also, in Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria, violent attacks by extremists have killed dozens of people who have been peacefully practicing their religions, Christians and Muslims alike. In Iran, we have multiple reports that the government summarily executed more than 300 people in 2010. Many of them were ethnic minorities. For example, in May, four Kurdish men were hanged in Evin Prison. They had been arrested in 2006 for advocating that Iran should respect human rights. They were reported to have confessed to terrorism under torture. And because I believe, and our government believes, that gay rights are human rights, we remain extremely concerned about state-sanctioned homophobia. In Uganda, for example, homosexuality remains illegal, and people are being harassed, discriminated against, threatened, and intimidated.


9th April   

Own Goal...

Thailand pixellates goal mouth action during TV football
Link Here

A letter to Thailand's Nation newspaper:

Does anyone else feel that television censorship has become very annoying these days?

I can understand when they blur the image of a cigarette, a gun or a knife when someone is holding it. But football highlights? Since there is often a beer commercial sign behind the goal, the image is blurred and you can't see how and when the ball went in, or how the goalkeeper reacted.

In one cooking show they even blurred a knife when the chef was scoring a fish or slicing spare ribs. Cooking wine bottles are also blurred.

In a show about dairy farming, you guessed it, they blurred the cows' nipples!

But when it comes to night-time melodramas, you are allowed to watch eye-gouging, cursing, women pulling each other's hair and slapping each other back and forth. Whack! Whack! Whack! On some evening news programmes, they don't hesitate to show the corpses of flood victims or a murdered person whose body has been mutilated and beheaded.

Despite being Thai, sometimes I get frustrated trying to make sense out of this stuff.


9th April   

Hindus and Judiciary Offended by Film...

Indian hindus take film producers to court over claims of hurt religious feelings
Link Here

A society promoting Hindu Vedic traditions has approached the Madras High Court with a plea that the Union government and Central Board of Film Certification be directed to revoke the censor certificate issued to Tamil film Sattapadi Kutram , produced by S.A. Chandrasekaran.

According to the petitioner, the film contains several scenes hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. Members of the petitioner's society were shocked while watching the movie in which one of characters, dressed as a Hindu sannyasi/guru wearing saffron clothes was involved in illegal, deceitful, immoral and dishonest activities, the petitioner said.

it has been stated that scenes depicting Hindu ascetics as terrorists and police killing them in an encounter hurts the sentiments of the Hindus world-over.

The producer and director of the film had created the character with a mala fide intention to hurt the religious feelings and faith of Hindus, the petitioner added.

HDS alleged that there were scenes that depicted the judiciary in bad taste too: The director had been highly irresponsible in his unwarranted interference with the judiciary .

The scene in which a corrupt High Court judge is kidnapped by the youth and threatens him to deliver judgments according to their whims and fancies was also criticized by the High Court Judge Jyothimani.

The petitioner sought a court direction to the director of the film to remove all unwarranted scenes from the film.


9th April   

Time for Censorship...

China said to have banned time travel theme from movies and TV
Link Here

China won't be getting the new Bill & Ted movie when it comes out, thanks to a decision by the General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television to ban any further movies or TV show about time travel.

Chinese viewers have been enjoying successful TV shows like Shen Hua (Myth) , which involves a teenager travelling back 2,000 years and hooking up with prominent historical figures like Xiang Yu (a Qin Dynasty military general).

However the Chinese censors claim that these types of shows distort history for the sake of entertainment. ChinaHush reports that the decision to ban time-travel as a theme was made rather suspiciously on the 1st April, with the Bureau then releasing this statement: The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.


8th April   

Update: Telling Porkies...

Peta claims in advert that kids eating meat is child abuse
Link Here
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

A row has flared over an advert by an animal rights group which claims that giving children meat is child abuse .

The poster depicts an overweight young boy eating a burger. It states: Feeding kids meat is child abuse - fight the fat - go veg.

Peta says it paid for the billboard poster in Merthyr because the town has a problem with overweight youngsters.

But the county council said the message it conveyed was stereotypically offensive and blatantly inaccurate.

Meat Promotion Wales said: Peta's agenda is to force everyone to peruse a vegetarian lifestyle and they are willing to exploit the suffering experienced by genuine child abuse victims to further their own agenda. Red meat is an essential part of a healthy diet and we will be making a fresh complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about this poster.

The ASA said it had received two complaints in response to the poster.


8th April   

Update: 'Offensive' Terrorism?...

Government advertise website to report terrorism and extremism on the internet
Link Here
Full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

Information leaflets and posters have been sent to every police force in the UK advising the public on how to identify and report offensive or illegal terrorism related content.

Security minister, Baroness Neville-Jones, said that it's vital that online extremism is taken seriously: I want to encourage those who come across extremist websites as part of their work to challenge it and report it through the DirectGov webpage.

By forging relationships with the internet industry and working with the public in this way, we can ensure that terrorist use of the internet does not go unchallenged.

Websites reported to Directgov via its online form are referred to the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit. The specialist team of police experts work with industry and partners in the UK and abroad to investigate and take down illegal or offensive material if necessary.

In the last year, reporting through Directgov has led the government to remove content which has included beheading videos, terrorist training manuals and calls for racial or religious violence.

The Reporting extremism and terrorism online website defines what content is of interest:

What makes offensive content illegal

Not all offensive content is illegal.

The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to:

  • have or share information that could be useful to terrorists
  • share information that urges people to commit or help with acts of terrorism
  • glorify or praise terrorism

Examples of what makes terrorist or extremist content illegal are:

  • speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence
  • videos of violence with messages of praise for the attackers
  • chat forums with postings calling for people to commit acts of terrorism
  • messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group
  • instructions on how to make weapons, poisons or bombs


8th April   

Update: Interfering in Democracy...

Australian church bans pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-same-sex marriage candidates from poll station
Link Here

At the polling station set up at St Catherine's Catholic Church, Gymea, Monsignor Brian Rayner ordered a Greens party volunteer remove himself and his political posters from his property because of ideological differences.

Monsignor Rayner, whose Gymea church was paid $550 by the Electoral Commission to be leased as a polling booth for the day, told The Sun-Herald he would not have let the Sex Party or the Communist Party on church premises either.

I am environmental ... But why would I allow a group who are pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-same-sex marriage and anti-Catholic teaching on private property?

Instead, Monsignor Rayner told Greens volunteer Colin Ryan he could stand on the adjacent footpath.

Ryan said he had never encountered anything like this. I thought it was a joke at first .

Greens MP John Kaye called it a violation of free speech.

The church has to make up its mind. If it wants to be part of the democratic process then it has to allow for freedom of expression. If not, then it should remove itself from elections and miss out on the public funding.

An Electoral Commission spokesman claimed it was powerless to intervene. Such disputes were matters ... between the parties concerned .

See  article from

Sex Party president Fiona Patten said that religious organisations were paid good money to use their tax-exempt premises for a public service and they had abused that relationship. These two examples of intimidation and favouritism being evinced by clergy at polling booths, are clear indications of a breach of Section 151 of the NSW Electoral Act which expressly forbids this sort of behaviour under threat of 100 penalty points or 3 years jail , she said. The fact that an alleged Electoral Commission official has even come out in the Southern Courier backing the priest's actions and telling the Sex Party to Stop trying to blame the Catholic Church for all your woes , is highly irregular and shows bias on this issue .

She said that the Electoral Commission was very strict about what could be displayed on the perimeter of a polling place and the Sex Party and the Greens had adhered to these conditions. The NSW Electoral Commission must have a role to play to ensure that conditions are respected , she said. They need to clarify for the public whether these instances of interference are acceptable or not. If the priests had ordered Labor and Liberal posters taken down this would be under investigation now .

She said that it was incredibly hypocritical of church officials to take aim at Sex Party and Greens' policies on sex and gender, when their own backyard was littered with the broken lives of thousands of sexually abused children and they still would not allow women as priests.

The Sex Party has formally written to the NSW Electoral Commission asking for an investigation of the matter.


8th April   

Rise of Nightmares...

First 18 rated Kinect console game
Link Here

Gamers keenly scan the BBFC new releases for advance info about up n coming games.

The BBFC decision on the Xbox game, Rise of Nightmares, has been noted for it's uncut 18 certificate and BBFC comment: Contains strong bloody violence and strong language.

The game is exclusive to Kinect, making this the first hands-free adults only game for Microsoft's Xbox 360 motion controller.


7th April   

Hot, Cross and Bothered...

Whingeing at hellish hot cross bun adverts
Link Here

A pizza company has caused nutter 'outrage' in New Zealand with billboards advertising hot cross buns accompanied by the slogan: For a limited time. A bit like Jesus. Instead of the traditional Christian cross, the buns bear an inverted pentagram.

The giant billboards, placed by the Hell Pizza company, have been posted around Auckland.

Lloyd Ashton, a spokesman for New Zealand's Anglican Church, condemned the advertising campaign as disgraceful:

It's disrespectful to what a lot of people hold very dear.

They've dared here to take a clumsy poke at something that numbers of people hold sacred.

Patrick Dunn, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland, said:

I suppose in some ways they are acknowledging that Jesus was around for a limited time, but a number of people might decide to boycott Hell pizzas for a while and I will be one of them.

New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority confirmed it had received complaints about the billboards and would be investigating.


7th April   

Update: Hungary Believes in Free Press...BUT...

UN still unimpressed by Hungary's amended media control law
Link Here
Full story: Media Censorship in Hungary...Repressive media censor established in 2011

A U.N. human rights expert has said that EU-requested changes have not removed his concerns that Hungary's media law could be used to limit press freedoms.

Even after amendments to the law made at the request of the European Union, Hungary's media regulations still fall short of the required benchmarks, said Frank La Rue, the U.N. Human Rights Council's special investigator on freedom of expression.

Every time we hear about balanced coverage or objectivity of the press ... it inevitably becomes, with time, a form of censorship regardless of what the initial motivation was, La Rue said. The press is accountable ... to the public and never to the state and much less to the government.

La Rue said he was shocked to hear officials advocating things such as a framework of control for news media. He also criticized high fines that a media council can impose on editors and publishers for vaguely defined offenses, and the limits on journalists protecting the identity of confidential sources.

Zoltan Kovacs, the government's communications chief, said the government supports the ideals of freedoms of the press and opinion ...BUT... that local peculiarities need to be taken into account when those principles are applied.


7th April   

Update: Naked Prudery...

ASA whinge at skinny dipping advert in fashion catalogue targeted at university students
Link Here

Four full-page ads for Jack Wills clothing appeared in their 2011 edition of The Spring Term Handbook.

  • The first ad showed a young woman from the shoulders down who was standing with one leg raised and bent at the knee. She was wearing a shirt and a short skirt that lifted to show her upper thigh, buttocks and the lower section of her knickers.
  • The second ad showed a group of three young women and two young men beginning to undress on a beach. One of the men was removing one of the women's tops to reveal her bra.
  • The third ad showed the same group at a distance running out of the water wearing only their underwear.
  • The fourth ad showed a young man and a young woman embracing and kissing. The man was topless and the woman was wearing only knickers. The side of the woman's breast was clearly visible and her left leg was raised and wrapped around the man who was holding it in position. From the left of shot water was sprayed on the couple. Issue

Nineteen complainants objected that the ads were offensive and unsuitable for publication in a clothing catalogue that was targeted at and seen by teenagers.

Jack Wills stated that their brand was targeted at university students aged 18 to 22 years old and that all of the models featured in their catalogue (the 2011 Spring Term Handbook) were at least 18 years old. Their logo stated that they were University Outfitters and they advised that they drew inspiration from the hedonistic university lifestyle . They said their marketing was intended to project a positive, fun and sometimes flirtatious image which they believed was an accurate reflection of student life.

Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted that all recipients of the Jack Wills catalogue had confirmed they were over the age of 18, but considered that some under 18-year-olds might have viewed or received the catalogue.

We noted the images in the catalogue were intended to tell a fun, hedonistic and flirtatious story of university life and we considered that those images would be appealing to younger teenagers, because they portrayed a lifestyle to which they might aspire.

We noted that each of the images contained partial nudity and considered that the fourth image in particular went beyond what could be described as fun or flirtatious. Because we understood that younger teenagers could have both direct and indirect access to the catalogue and because we considered the fourth image in particular to be overtly sexual in nature, we concluded that the catalogue was sufficiently provocative as to present a risk to younger teenagers.

The catalogue breached CAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 5.1 (Children - harm and offence).


7th April   

Eternity Extended...

Censored scenes restored to the novel From Here to Eternity
Link Here

An original version of 1951 novel From Here to Eternity is to be reissued digitally, with previously censored references to homosexuality restored.

The heirs of author James Jones have struck a deal with an ebook firm to put out a new edition that includes two scenes with gay content.

The uncensored version will be released online from 10 May.

It will include a scene in which Private Angelo Maggio reveals he is paid to have oral sex with another man.

Another scene referring to a military investigation into possible homosexual activity will also feature in the text.

The restored version will also include profanity that was considered too extreme for Eternity's original publisher Scribner.


7th April   

Update: Good Taste Bad Taste...

Cake maker prosecuted over Nazi icing
Link Here

The public prosecutors' office in Wiener Neustadt, in Austria, said that it had received a complaint by the MKOe Mauthausen Committee against Tortendesign, a bakery in the village of Maria Enzersdorf near Vienna, for offering customers cakes decorated with swastikas or a baby raising its right hand in a Nazi salute.

This is a particularly abhorrent example of how money is made from Nazi filth. We're going to file a criminal complaint, said Willi Mernyi, the group's chairman.

While the cakes are not actually put on display in the shop window, a catalogue containing photographs of the designs is made freely available to customers. The Nazi cakes were advertised in a separate adult section of the catalogue containing pictures of other inappropriate cake designs, such as penis-shaped marzipan sweets.

Pastry chef Manfred Klaschka told ORF public television: If someone orders it, I make it. I don't really think about it. I have to make a living. Related Articles

Austria bans neo-Nazi activities and the public display of Nazi symbols, as well as attempts to glorify the Nazi era and deny the Holocaust.


5th April   

Update: Burning Censorship...

Now US considers a defamation of religion law
Link Here
Full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says congressional lawmakers are discussing taking some action in response to the Koran burnings of a Tennessee pastor that led to killings at the U.N. facility in Afghanistan and sparked protests across the Middle East, Politico reports.

Ten to 20 people have been killed, Reid said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation : We'll take a look at this of course. As to whether we need hearings or not, I don't know.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Congress might need to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech, in light of Tennessee pastor Terry Jones' Quran burning, and how such actions result in enabling U.S. enemies.

I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war, Graham told CBS' Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation Sunday.


5th April

 Offsite: The Latest Nastiest Film of All Time...

Link Here
The Daily Mail's Chris Tookey has a rant at the 12A certificate for Sucker Punch

See article from


4th April   

A Nutter's Got to Know his Moral Perimeters...

Rajan Zed takes the opportunity of a new Indian film censor to have a whinge about sex and violence
Link Here

The Hindu serial nutter Rajan Zed has taken the opportunity of a new Indian film censor to call for censorship.

He has urged Leela Samson, the newly appointed chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of India, to halt the 'unnecessary' violence and 'vulgarity' of Indian films.

He claimed that seeing the continuous increase in the vulgarity and violence in Indian films, it appeared that the Board of the largest filmmaking country had lost the sense of India's cultural milieu and was ignoring the directions given in the Cinematograph Act.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that they were fully supportive of the artistic freedom and expression and did not want any unnecessary censorship ...BUT... were highly concerned about the increasing presence of the immodest, explicit and risque' scenes in the movies which were there simply for mercantile greed having nothing to do with cinematic elements.

Rajan Zed appealed to Samson to view the films as a regular Indian mother who was struggling to raise her children to become moral and successful citizens of India of tomorrow and not as the mother whose children attended night-clubs and late-night parties and knew no moral boundaries.

Zed pointed out that CBFC certification team needed to be retrained in what India stood for and what were our moral perimeters.


4th April

 Offsite: Hyper-Secrecy...

Link Here
Full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers
New gagging orders stretch right into the heart of parliament

See article from


4th April   

Update: Old Fogeys...

India sets up panel headed by retired judge to censor TV
Link Here
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

By mid April, a panel headed by a retired judge with the mandate to monitor television channels will be in place.

It will report on sensitive and supposedly vulgar content on television. This panel will also take up public complaints regarding any 'objectionable' content on TV, ministry sources said.

A watershed period or time for adult viewing will be fixed from 11 pm to 5 am. Watershed hours will have content that is meant for selective viewing which may not necessarily mean adult content. So naturally it's not a free-for-all situation, the source said.

At present, the I&B ministry has facilities to record programmes of 300 TV channels on a 24-hour basis and store recorded content up to a period of 90 days.


4th April   

Too Controversial...

Basic religious advertising shunned by US cinemas
Link Here

A pre-movie advertisement promoting an Easter church service was banned from California theaters because of its mention of Jesus.

Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, California, created the 30-second ad to air for three weeks on 45 movie screens across Orange County.

The commercial questioned claims like the disciples stole the body and Jesus didn't actually die on the cross . It asked moviegoers Did it really happen? And ended with Why we actually believe in the resurrection.

But the ad was pulled for its controversial material, mainly its mention of Jesus, and its failure to comply with specific guidelines set by National CineMedia. The agency for the national theater remarked that their constituents might be offended by such an advertisement.

Senior Pastor Mike Farabez of Compass Bible Church responded to ABC: There are certain things that they won't advertise, and there was no mention of Christ or Christianity or anything like that, that would preclude us from having an ad.

The church is promoting their Easter services elsewhere now. Their ad on Youtube features a warning at the beginning stating the commercial you are about to view was deemed too controversial to be shown as a paid advertisement in our local movie theaters because the name of Jesus Christ was used. Please help us spread the word by forwarding this video on and join us for Easter at the Bren.


4th April   

Dangerous Books...

Uzbek security forces close down religious book chops
Link Here

Uzbek security services have closed down bookstores specializing in religious literature in Tashkent, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Twenty bookstores in the Kitoblar dunyosi (World of Books) book trading center have been raided by Uzbek National Security Service (NSS) agents, police, tax officers, and representatives of the government Committee for Religious Affairs in the past week and closed.

Kitoblar dunyosi was the only place allowed to sell books on religion, primarily on Islam and mainly published in Uzbekistan.

According to a RFE/RL source, bookstore owners were selling only books approved by the state.

Local human rights activists say authorities have intensified their already tight grip on religion in the wake of the recent antigovernment uprisings in the Middle East. At the same time, the government is continuing its crackdown on what it calls radical groups willing to overthrow the constitutional order.

Human rights groups have criticized the authorities, saying many people have been labeled extremists and jailed for peacefully practicing their religion.

The government is also getting tougher on activities such as proselytizing and importing and disseminating religious literature. Officials have confirmed around 15,000 Bibles have been confiscated in the past year.


3rd April   

Raging Bitch...

Michigan drink censors ban beer label
Link Here

Flying Dog Brewery is suing Michigan's state Liquor Control Commission in federal court over its prohibition of the Raging Bitch beer label.

In its complaint the beer maker alleges the agency is censoring its free speech, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

The 20th Anniversary India Pale Ale label urges customers: Remember, enjoying a Raging Bitch, unleashed, untamed, unbridled -- and in heat -- is pure GONZO.

Ralph Steadman, an illustrator best-known for collaborations with author Hunter S. Thompson, penned the disputed phrase.

The drinks censor banned the label and affirmed its decision on appeal. The commission based its ban on its power to censor language on the bottle that is detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public .


3rd April   

Update: Playing the Nutter Game...

Victoria's Attorney General looks likely to echo christian lobby nonsense and oppose an adult rating for games
Link Here
Full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

long awaited reforms of Australia's censorship of computer games look set to fail after Victoria state declared its 'strong concern' that the move will legalise games with high levels of graphic, frequent and gratuitous violence .

Backed by a groundswell of support from the gaming community, the Gillard government is determined to fix the classification system for computer games, which allows unsuitable games to be rated for 15-year-olds, yet bans popular games for adults.

But the Ted Baillieu government's Attorney-General, Robert Clark, has echoed the concerns of the Australian Christian Lobby, putting him on a collision course with the federal government, which requires the backing of all states and territories to change classification laws.

Clark told Fairfax that he welcomed one impact of the reform, that some games classified MA15+ would move to the higher rating of R18+. But the move, he said, would also mean allowing games to be sold in Australia that are banned because of their high levels of violence:

[This] needs careful scrutiny and public debate. The Coalition government is very concerned that the draft guidelines currently being proposed by the Commonwealth would legalise games with high levels of graphic, frequent and gratuitous violence, including violence against civilians and police.

Clark said the community should have a chance to discuss the draft guidelines, which have not been made public, and see what sort of games would be legalised. The Victorian government will decide our position based on our assessment of whether the final proposal will adequately protect the community, he said.

But Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O'Connor, told Fairfax:

The public has been consulted extensively on this matter and overwhelmingly support the introduction of an adult classification for games/

About 60,000 submissions were received in the last consultation round, showing huge community support for the introduction of an adult computer game classification. I await state and territory governments' views on the draft guidelines and remain open to sensible suggestions consistent with community expectations and good public policy.


3rd April

 Offsite: The Propaganda of No Propaganda...

Link Here
Mexico's media agree to voluntary censorship

See article from


2nd April   

Cigar's All Round...

Brian de Plama's Scarface to be released on Blu-ray
Link Here

Scarface is a 1983 US gangster film by Brian De Palma. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2011 Universal RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon for release on 5th September 2011
  • UK 2004 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2000 Colmbia/TriStar R2 DVD
  • UK 1994 CIC VHS

In fact the distributors are really going to town on this one. In addition to the standard Blu-ray ( £ 16.93) noted above, there is also:

  • Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray ( £ 17.99)  at UK Amazon
  • Limited Edition Cigar Box Set Blu-ray ( £ 44.99)  at UK Amazon
  • Limited Edition Humidor (Luxury Cigar Box) Blu-ray ($699.99) at US Amazon
Previously passed 18 after 25s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1987 CIC VHS
  • UK 1984 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  • The chainsaw sequence was cut and the line: And now the leg...

Review from UK Amazon : Masterpiece

Scarface is a 23 year old masterpiece directed by Brian de Palma and is so influential that it defined a decade in some ways, in terms of the fashion that main character Tony Montana (Al Pacino) wore and the music and the era of the drug industry that also defined the 80s.

The story revolves around the actual event of Cuba throwing its prisoners onto boats headed for America and the film picks up on this idea and invents the character of Montana who along with friend Manny enter America as illegal immigrants and through a chain of events rise up to head an organisation that smuggles drugs. But just as life seems cosy for Montana a war erupts among a rival drug lord and the violence really kicks in and if you ever wondered what a death by chainsaw looks like, it is here in all its glory.

This is a film that certainly glorifies violence and creates a cool guy who is also a real nasty piece of work, the film is iconic with great quotable lines and a new generation has embraced this fully, so its legacy is safe and in terms of being a masterpiece, yes this is clearly one of the great movies of all time.


2nd April   

Grabbed by the Throat...

Facebook censors harangue university magazine and naked Swedes
Link Here

Once upon a time Facebook had an anything goes attitude to what people posted. But now Facebook walks on eggshells, fearing obscenity suits and nutter 'outrage'.

Facebook have just made the University of North Florida's newspaper, The Spinnaker , take down their profile pic, the cover of their latest edition.

The cover depicts a couple engaging in oral sex, the cover story being about the news that there may be a link between throat cancer and performing oral sex on someone infected with the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Spinnaker's Editor-in-Chief Josh Gore defended the image, which was taken of UNF students, saying that it got people to read the story and this was not pornography.

America inflicts its prudery on Sweden

See  article from

Many companies use Facebook to reach the 4 million or so users in Sweden. One of these is Bjo rn Borg, who since 2007 has a large platform of user-generated content on their page. Fans upload their own images and every week the company chooses a picture, which becomes the Swedish export of the week .

The happy snapper gets rewarded with free underwear and a chance to see his or her image posted on the official Bjo rn Borg Facebook page. But this particular image, taken by Jacob Mohr Hansen from Denmark, proved too much for Facebook. The picture got many hits and many users left comments. But by the evening it had been erased.

We realized it was probably the most daring image we had ever uploaded, but were confident it was still within what is considered OK, Micke Kazarnovicz, responsible for digital communication at Bjo rn Borg, told The Local. But Kazarnovicz' Facebook account had been frozen. In order to get his account back he had to promise not to upload any more 'pornographic' images.

They saw this as pornographic, but to us it was really more a laugh, completely tongue in cheek. There is no eroticism at all in the picture, just nudity, said Kazarnovicz.

Kazarnovicz said that : Facebook needs to be more aware of the cultural differences of its users. Otherwise they are promoting a cultural uniformity that really shouldn't be pursued.


1st April   

Shrinking Ofcom...

Hopefully they will sack their TV censors who are so easily offended by a little sex
Link Here

Ofcom has announced a significant reduction in its budget for 2011/12.

The cut follows an Ofcom programme launched in early 2010 to identify significant expenditure savings in response to the challenge facing the public sector more generally.

Over four years to 2014/15 Ofcom will reduce its total budget by 28% in real terms. In a drive to reshape and refocus the organisation, the majority of the cuts will be made in year one.

In 2011/12 Ofcom's total budget will be £ 115.8m. This is a 22.5% real terms year-on-year reduction, some £ 26.7m. Savings will be made across a wide range of Ofcom's expenditure.


1st April   

Update: Gandhi Beyond Reproach...

Indian state considers a law against supposed insult against Gandhi
Link Here

Even as the Gujarat government banned the book on Mahatma Gandhi by Joseph Lelyveld that has run into controversy for references suggesting he was a bisexual and a racist, the Centre is now mulling a law that would make showing any disrespect to the Father of the Nation an offence punishable with a jail term.

Sources in the Law Ministry said the ministry had been asked to suggest amendment to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, so as to make any action or gesture that shows disrespect to Gandhi an offence at par with an offence against the National Flag or the Constitution.


1st April   

The Great Firewall of Britain...

Ed Vaizey confirms plans for a website blocking scheme
Link Here

Minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed to Open Rights Group that Government ministers are talking to copyright lobby groups and ISPs about a voluntary “Great Firewall of Britain” website blocking scheme.  We need you to act now.

They want to block websites that music and film companies accuse of copyright infringement. 

But a 'self regulatory' censorship scheme places decisions about what you can and cannot look at online in the hands of businesses. It would remove the vital judicial oversight required by existing powers. Inevitable mistakes would lead to the censorship and disruption of legitimate traffic from businesses, publishers and citizens. And there is little evidence it will have any beneficial effects for the creative economy.

The good news is that the Minister has promised to include civil society groups in future discussions. We need to be there to counter the pressure rights holders are exerting on decision makers.

You can do your bit by letting your MPs know that website blocking is not acceptable and that the voice of civil society needs to be part of the discussions. Please email them now to tell them to oppose web blocking.

Read more on the legal and technical background here

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