Censor Watch
 2013: May
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31st May

  Propaganda Opportunity...

Campaigners clamour in undue haste to claim something from the evil of Mark Bridger
Link Here

The Guardian The Guardian seeks to ban all porn

See  article from  guardian.co.uk (but now updated)

Internet pornography is usually abusive and often violent. Mark Bridger, convicted yesterday of the murder of April Jones, had compiled a store of it. Pornography is easily and freely accessible, and at most requires only a credit card. The link between such material and violence, most commonly against women and children, is not quite beyond dispute -- occasional studies claim there is, as one headline had it, a sunny side to smut. But there is strong evidence that at the very least it is addictive, can normalise violence, and at the same time diminishes sympathy for its victims. It is a kind of incitement to hate. It should be banned. But that is easier to say than to do.

Update: The Guardian seeks to ban most porn

1st June 2013. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

A few hours later the Guardian edited the leader to retract from the 'all porn should be banned' and to call for a ban on 'abusive and violent porn'. But as the article opens with 'porn is usually abusive', then the edit makes little difference.

Update: The Guardian explains that it doesn't seek to ban porn

10th June See  article from  guardian.co.uk

Internet pornography is sometimes abusive and often violent. Mark Bridger, convicted yesterday of the murder of April Jones, had compiled a store of it. Violent pornography is easily and freely accessible, and at most requires only a credit card. The link between such material and actual violence, most commonly against women and children, is disputed -- occasional studies claim there is, as one headline had it, a sunny side to smut. But there is strong evidence that at the very least it is addictive, can normalise violence, and at the same time diminishes sympathy for its victims. It is a kind of incitement to hate. Abusive and violent pornography should be banned. But that is easier to say than to do.

NSPCC conflates extreme porn with child porn

See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

nspcc logo The NSPCC said there was a worrying link between his looking at indecent images online and the crime he went on to commit.

It called for effective measures to curb the ease with which extreme pornography and indecent images of children can be accessed.

End Violence Against Women

The End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition wrote to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, calling for a change in the law to close a loophole that allows some simulated images of rape.

Rape Crisis

A spokesman for Rape Crisis, a campagn group, said: Our concern is that given current legal loopholes, similar men using pornography simulating acts of sexual violence including rape, child sexual abuse and incest, would not be committing an offence under existing extreme pornography legislation.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Jim Gamble went on FiveLive demanding that CEOPs role and budget be dramatically expanded.

John Carr of UKCISS wants people to register to view porn

See article from politics.co.uk

UKCCIS logo But John Carr, a member of the government's Council on Child Internet Safety, has suggested Google could do more.

They could for example turn safe search on by default. That would block access to all hardcore porn sites.

Google could set it up in such a way they'd have to register with them to get an account. They could ask them to verify if they're 18 or above. That would be a huge deterrent for many of these guys. That would stop them getting on the pathway to child abuse images we've been discussing.

Carr said being forced to register to view pornography would act as a significant deterrent to paedophiles, who use mainstream pornographic websites advertising barely legal or teen sex images as a gateway for illegal material.

They will eventually get to places where the images are, he added.

Blocking access or putting any kind of barriers to sites like that would help reduce the number of guys who get involved with this stuff in the first place.

Daily Mail always likes to big up any film connections

See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

The Last House On Left When police searched Bridger's cottage they found that he had been watching a brutal rape scene from the 2009 re-make of the slasher film, The Last House on the Left.

He had recorded the scene where a young teenage girl is raped by the leader of a gang in front of his watching gangmates, some of whom help to hold the victim down while she is being attacked.

Police then discovered that the murderer recorded the rape scene for a second time when the film was repeated on a +1 channel an hour later. Horror: Police outside Bridger's white-washed cottage, where he watched violent films and child pornography before he murdered April

Horror: Police outside Bridger's white-washed cottage, where he watched violent films and child pornography before he murdered April

Elwen Evans QC, for the prosecution, said given what happened in that room, the discovery was significant and Bridger must have watched the scene not long before whatever happened to April took place.

She added: This is not just the playing of a rape scene on television. That particular rape scene had been recorded twice. A deliberate action to capture the most distressing aspect.'

 

31st May

 Offsite Article: Theresa May betrays our values by banning extremists from the airwaves...

Link Here
index logoBanning hate preachers from the airwaves is the wrong response

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

30th May

  We take all the complaints seriously...But...

For once ASA quickly dismisses puerile whinges about Ikea gnomes advert
Link Here

ikea gnomes advert video An Ikea advert showing a couple using vaguely violent methods to kill off garden gnomes has drawn dozens of whinges from viewers.

Ikea's Say No To Gnomes campaign features a family updating the look of their garden with new products, only to find the upset gnomes launching a revenge attack.

The couple fight back, kicking them across the garden and into a pond before using a hammock to hurl them against the fence. The woman finally aims a jet of hose water at an assembled mob, smashing them into pieces.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received nearly 50 complaints ludicrously claiming that the ad was offensive, unsuitable for children, frightening, violent and encouraged emulation and anti-social behaviour. The ASA responded:

As a starting point, we take all the complaints we receive seriously. However, just because an ad has prompted a negative reaction amongst some viewers does not mean that we will automatically investigate.

We didn't take any further action on this occasion.

While we appreciated that the ad would not be to everyone's taste, we thought it was clearly fanciful and light-hearted. We also didn't share the view that it would encourage or condone violence or anti-social behaviour and was unlikely to upset children.

 

30th May

 Update: Talented Thighs...

Daily Mail drag up a few trivial tweets and a trivial sound bite about Jennifer Lopez on Britain's Got Talent
Link Here  full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

j lo bgt video Jennifer Lopez performed her single Live It Up on Britain's Got Talent semi-final results show on Tuesday. The act was shown after the 9pm watershed.

She gyrated on stage in a thong and fishnet tights. Her dance routine provoked  the inevitable 'furious backlash', with campaigners calling on Ofcom to 'crack down' on ITV for airing it on a family show.

Apparently thousands of viewers took to Twitter to make their comments, with one saying the singer looked like a prostitute .

Judge Amanda Holden seemed to be a fan, declaring: JLo's arse. I just wanted to bite it. It was fabulous .

Mediawatch UK said the programme had deliberately targeted younger viewers by screening the episode during the half-term holiday. The group claimed that millions of children will have watched the performance, despite the lateness of the hour.

Director Vivienne Pattinson whiged:

Parents will have been more likely to let their children stay up beyond their normal bedtimes.

And given the main show is incredibly popular with children, lots of them will have wanted to stay up a bit later to find out who won. It was totally inappropriate to show something like this, given their audience. It seems as if they never learn.

TV censor Ofcom said it had received 30 complaints about the performance so far.

An ITV spokesman said:

We do not believe that Jennifer Lopez's performance would have exceeded the expectations of the vast majority of the audience for this long-established entertainment programme.

 

30th May

 Update: Blocked Information...

The Australian government investigates the extent of secretive internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

australian government logo An Australian security agency has used federal powers to block Australian access to websites, in the latest development surrounding revived fears of internet censorship.

Bureaucrats at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and the Attorney-General's Department separately confirmed at Senate estimates hearings that a total of three departments had requested that ISPs block specific websites from access within Australia.

The requests, known as section 313 notices, come under 15-year-old legal powers that require telecommunications carriers to cooperate with law enforcement in stopping unlawful use of their services. However, until recently the powers were not believed to have been widely used for the purpose of blocking websites.

DBCDE deputy secretary Abdul Rizvi said on Thursday that a total of three federal agencies were found to have used the powers to block website access, after a meeting was held on May 22 between 12 federal agencies to determine the scope of the issue.

The bureaucrats conceded they were unsure exactly how much agencies were using the notices, and whether state government departments were also requesting website blocks.

 

30th May

  Hoards of Zombie Censors...

Australia's advert censor bans TV trailer for video game Dead Island Riptide
Link Here

dead island riptide advert video A TV advertisement for the zombie game sequel Dead Island: Riptide has been banned by Australia's advert censor.

The ad, plucked from the game's opening cinematic features a young couple choosing to blow themselves up rather than face the zombie hoard.

According to Australian website Mumbrella claimed:

The ad is too graphic in terms of its depiction of suicide, particularly the final image of the man hanging from a tree because it may be very traumatic for those who have lost a family member to suicide.

The Advertising Standards Board upheld the complaints, claiming the issue of suicide is a very significant community concern and (the Board) considered that the use of images which are strongly suggestive of suicide is not appropriate in the context of a television advertisement for a computer game.

 

30th May

  Stereotypically PC...

Newspaper cartoons about free school dinners wind up New Zealand's Race Relations Commissioner
Link Here

school dinners cartoon New Zealand's Race Relations Commissioner, Susan Devoy, has been ranting at newspaper cartoons she said were offensive and appalling.

She has questioned the high threshold required for a finding of racism within the commission's inquiries and complaints process. Asked why anyone should make a complaint about the cartoons when the threshold for what was considered racism was so high, she replied: I ask myself that all the time .

The cartoons, by award-winning cartoonist Al Nisbet, were printed in the Marlborough Express and The Press.

The Marlborough Express cartoon featured a group of adults dressed in school uniforms heading to school with bowls in hands. Among them were a man and woman who looked to be Maori or Pasifika. The man says to the woman, who has a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, Psst. If we can get away with this, the more cash left for booze, smokes and pokies .

The Press cartoon featured what appeared to be a rotund group of seven, surrounded by Lotto tickets, beer cans and cigarette packets. The man says: Free school food is great. Eases our poverty and puts something in you kids' bellies.

Devoy told reporters that the cartoons were a case of wrongful stereotyping:

It continues to stereotype certain populations, and it continues to stigmatise people who live in poverty, particularly children

Devoy said the editors of the newspapers should apologise for running the cartoons. There was a right to freedom of expression and speech, and people could say and print what they liked even if it was offensive ...BUT... they needed to act responsibly.

 

30th May

 Offsite Article: Burnt by Facebook...

Link Here
Witch Hunts Graphic History BurningFacebook take down the page associated with the book, Witch Hunts. As usual, once the shoddy censorship is widely publicised, Facebook change their mind.

See article from witchhuntsbook.com

 

29th May

  Rejected For Moderate Usefulness...

BBFC to lose its role censoring cinema adverts
Link Here

Pearl & Dean logo The Department for Censorship, Media and Sport writes:

Adverts shown in cinemas will no longer have to be reviewed by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) under plans announced today.

At the moment all cinema advertisements are subject to the Advertising Standard Authority's (ASA) Committee on Advertising Practice Code, but also have to be reviewed by the BBFC as well.

Following a public consultation, in which the majority of responses favoured removing the BBFC requirement, we believe deregulation is fully justified. We think that the application of the ASA's code provides the right levels of consumer advice and protection.

We are now looking at the best way to bring about the planned changes, and we will make an announcement in due course.

But don't worry about the BBFC... They have picked up a new job of censoring pop videos and other currently exempt videos.

 

29th May

 Update: Shared Concerns...

Facebook set to require real identities for those that want to post bad taste humour
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Facebook logo Recently there has been some attention given to Facebook's content policy. The current concern, voiced by Women, Action and The Media, The Everyday Sexism Project, and the coalition they represent, has focused on content that targets women with images and content that threatens or incites gender-based violence or hate. 

In light of this recent attention, we want to take this opportunity to explain our philosophy and policies regarding controversial or harmful content, including hate speech, and to explain some of the steps we are taking to reduce the proliferation of content that could create an unsafe environment for users.

Facebook's mission has always been to make the world more open and connected. We seek to provide a platform where people can share and surface content, messages and ideas freely, while still respecting the rights of others.

To facilitate this goal, we also work hard to make our platform a safe and respectful place for sharing and connection.  This requires us to make difficult decisions and balance concerns about free expression and community respect.  We prohibit content deemed to be directly harmful, but allow content that is offensive or controversial. We define harmful content as anything organizing real world violence, theft, or property destruction, or that directly inflicts emotional distress on a specific private individual (e.g. bullying). 

In addition, our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities  ( www.facebook.com/terms ) prohibits "hate speech." While there is no universally accepted definition of hate speech, as a platform we define the term to mean direct and serious attacks on any protected category of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease. We work hard to remove hate speech quickly, however there are instances of offensive content, including distasteful humor, that are not hate speech according to our definition. In these cases, we work to apply fair, thoughtful, and scalable policies. This approach allows us to continue defending the principles of freedom of self-expression on which Facebook is founded. We've also found that posting  insensitive or cruel content often results in many more people denouncing it than supporting it on Facebook. That being said, we realize that our defense of freedom of expression should never be interpreted as license to bully, harass, abuse or threaten violence. We are committed to working to ensure that this does not happen within the Facebook community. We believe that the steps outlined below will help us achieve this goal.

As part of doing better, we will be taking the following steps, that we will begin rolling out immediately:
  • We will complete our review and update the guidelines that our User Operations team uses to evaluate reports of violations of our Community Standards around hate speech.  To ensure that these guidelines reflect best practices, we will solicit feedback from legal experts and others, including representatives of the women's coalition and other groups that have historically faced discrimination.
  • We will update the training for the teams that review and evaluate reports of hateful speech or harmful content on Facebook. To ensure that our training is robust, we will work with legal experts and others, including members of the women's coalition to identify resources or highlight areas of particular concern for inclusion in the training. 
  • We will increase the accountability of the creators of content that does not qualify as actionable hate speech but is cruel or insensitive by insisting that the authors stand behind the content they create.  A few months ago we began testing a new requirement that the creator of any content containing cruel and insensitive humor include his or her authentic identity for the content to remain on Facebook.  As a result, if an individual decides to publicly share cruel and insensitive content, users can hold the author accountable and directly object to the content. We will continue to develop this policy based on the results so far, which indicate that it is helping create a better environment for Facebook users.
  • We will establish more formal and direct lines of communications with representatives of groups working in this area, including women's groups, to assure expedited treatment of content they believe violate our standards. We have invited representatives of the women Everyday Sexism to join the less formal communication channels Facebook has previously established with other groups.
  • We will encourage the Anti-Defamation League's Anti-Cyberhate working group and other international working groups that we currently work with on these issues to include representatives of the women's coalition to identify how to balance considerations of free expression, to undertake research on the effect of online hate speech on the online experiences of members of groups that have historically faced discrimination in society, and to evaluate progress on our collective objectives.

 

29th May

 Update: An Axe to Grind...

PCC receive 83 complaints about newspaper coverage of Woolwich terrorist attack
Link Here  full story: Terrorist Attack in Woolwich...Terrorist attack and its censorship consequences

woolwich beheading The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has received 83 complaints about newspaper coverage of the Woolwich muslim terrorist attack.

Readers contacted PCC about the stories and pictures used by newspapers, including tabloids and broadsheet titles. Each of the national titles carried dramatic front pages the following day showing one of the murder suspects with bloodied hands, prompting criticism from some readers.

The PCC declined to say which titles it had received complaints about, but said it may break down the figure at a later date.

 

29th May

  Bonded Propaganda Slaves...

Singapore introduces state licensing and censorship scheme for news websites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Singapore...Heavy handed censorship control of news websites

Singapore flag The Singapore government is stepping up censorship control of local online news sites which report regularly on the country and have significant reach.

From 1 June, 10 websites will be subjected to an individual licence, just like traditional media platforms.

Once the affected sites come under the individual licensing regime, they will have to fork out a performance bond of S$50,000. They will also have to comply with any take-down notice from authorities within 24 hours. The authorities can ban content including tha which solicits for prostitution, undermines racial and religious harmony, or goes against good taste.

Communications and Information Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim also hinted that the rule may in future apply to overseas news sites reporting on Singapore. He said the Broadcasting Act will be amended next year, with the view of including overseas news sites reporting on Singapore. Yaacob said:

Our mainstream media are subjected to rules, you know... Why shouldn't the online media be part of that regulatory framework? I don't see this as a clamping down, if anything, it is regularising what is already happening on the Internet and (making sure) that they are on par with our mainstream media.

Online news sites which fulfil two specific criteria will be subjected to this latest censorship scheme.

  1. Sites which publish at least eight articles on Singapore over a period of two months.
  2. They must also have been visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month, over the same period.

So far, 10 such sites have been identified. All belong to mainstream media, with the exception of Yahoo news.

The 10 websites are: asiaone.com businesstimes.com.sg channelnewsasia.com omy.sg sg.news.yahoo.com stomp.com.sg straitstimes.com Tnp.sg todayonline.com zaobao.com

 

29th May

 Offsite Article: First they came for the lads' mags...

Link Here  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills
Telegraph logoThen they came for me. By Toby Young

See article from blogs.telegraph.co.uk

 

28th May

  Sharp Comment...

Comic reference to Woolwich terrorists on Dutch TV leads to a few 'outraged' tweets
Link Here  full story: Terrorist Attack in Woolwich...Terrorist attack and its censorship consequences

langs de leeuw knives video Actors were briefly shown vaguely waving bloody knives and cleavers like killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. This occurred as a a throwaway reference to the UK in a spoof of the Eurovision Song Contest.

A spoof compere was doing the rounds interviewing people sitting at tables representing a few European states. When he approached the UK table he asked those sitting there to wave to the camera. They were shown to be holding knives as per the Woolwich terrorist. The compere then pretended to run away screaming.

The show was Saturday night's Langs de Leeuw show on Holland's publicly-owned VARA channel. The same programme caused 'ourtrage' last week with a presenter sampling breast milk direct from a participant.

The latest sketch sparked a little 'outrage' from Dutch viewers via the inevitable Twitter.

Niet Mohammed wrote: Has Paul de Leeuw no shame?

DCorleone59 added: For almost 400,000 euros a year, Paul de Leeuw makes fun of the brutal killing of Lee Rigby.

Edin Mujagic wrote: Someone killed with a machete is NOT, I repeat NOT funny!

 

28th May

 Update: Indonesia's Miserable Dance of Repression...

Aceh bans women from dancing in public
Link Here

indonesian dancer The authorities of the district of North Aceh have issued an edict forbidding women to dance in public.

The incident has sparked protests by human rights activists and ordinary citizens, who describe the regulation as bizarre.

The law that forbids women to dance in public, recently completed but already a source of lively debate, was signed by the head of the district of North Aceh Muhammad Thaib. He claims that the way in which women dance could easily fuel corporal desire in men. And, according to the dictates of Islam, this is not right.

Among the many who have taken to the streets to demonstrate, is a local dancer and choreographer Affandi who says that such regulation is unfounded and beyond any logic. If the authorities want to issue a regulation of any kind - he adds - they would do better to deal with corruption, rather than targeting the arts. Although he accepts the fact that Islam (the local version) prevents women from reciting prayers in public, because their voice could stir men.

 

28th May

 Offsite Article: Borderline Orwellian Warping of Language...

Link Here  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills
nuts launch issueIt Is Deeply Offensive to Women to Suggest They Can Be 'Harassed' by Lads' Mags

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk

 

27th May

  Hating Hate Preachers...

British Government speaks of proposal to ban hate preachers from TV
Link Here

Theresa May Hate preachers will be banned from British television, Theresa May signalled last night.

The Home Secretary condemned the BBC and other broadcasters for interviewing disgusting extremist cleric Anjem Choudary after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby. May said she will ask TV censor Ofcom to step in.

Under plans to be drawn up by a new task force on extremism, Ofcom is expected to be given powers to stop hate preachers appearing on television. At the moment the censor has the power to intervene only after an inappropriate broadcast has been made.

The move is the most dramatic attempt to gag extremist views since the Thatcher government's 1988 ban on IRA spokesmen being heard on television, which led to the words of Gerry Adams being read out by an actor.

 

27th May

  Betting 2/1 On that Everything Will be Banned from TV by 2020...

Australian Government speaks of proposal to ban Live betting odds from TV
Link Here

barry dennis odds Australia has unveiled plans to ban television and radio broadcasts of betting odds during live sports matches.

Gambling advertisements will no longer appear during live events and around sporting venues, the government said. Gillard told a press conference:

From the moment that the players step onto the field, to the moment that they leave the field, there will be no live odds.

The broadcasting industry is expected to submit a revised code to Australia's media watchdog reflecting the changes.

Under the new rules, advertisements would only be allowed before or after a game, or during a scheduled break in play, such as quarter-time and half-time.

 

27th May

 Update: Harassed by Lawyers...

Gender extremist lawyers claim that selling lads mags is somehow harassment
Link Here  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

keeley hazell The Lose the Lads' Mags campaign by UK Feminista and Object is calling on high-street retailers to immediately withdraw lads' mags and papers featuring pornographic front covers from their stores. Each one of these stores is a workplace. Displaying these publications in workplaces, and/or requiring staff to handle them in the course of their jobs, may amount to sex discrimination and sexual harassment contrary to the Equality Act 2010. Similarly, exposing customers to these publications in the process of displaying them is capable of giving rise to breaches of the Equality Act.

High-street retailers are exposing staff and, in some cases, customers to publications whose handling and display may breach equality legislation. Displaying lads' mags and pornographic papers in mainstream shops results in the involuntary exposure of staff and, in some cases, customers to pornographic images.

Every mainstream retailer which stocks lads' mags is vulnerable to legal action by staff and, where those publications are visibly on display, by customers. There are, in particular, examples of staff successfully suing employers in respect of exposure to pornographic material at work. Such exposure is actionable where it violates the dignity of individual employees or customers, or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. We therefore call on such retailers to urgently heed the call to Lose the Lads' Mags.

Aileen McColgan Matrix Chambers, Sarah Ricca Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors, Anna Mazzola Bindmans, Mike Schwarz Bindmans, Harriet Wistrich Birnberg Peirce & Partners, Helen Mountfield Matrix Chambers, Elizabeth Prochaska Matrix Chambers, Tamsin Allen Bindmans, Gwendolen Morgan Bindmans, Salima Budhani Bindmans, Nathalie Lieven QC Landmark Chambers

 

26th May

 Update: Vulgar Censorship...

India bans Comedy Central 10 days for supposedly vulgar and obscene content
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

stand up club Comedy Central has been banned for ten days for airing supposedly obscene and vulgar words and being derogatory to women.

Stating multiple clauses that the channel has breached, the I&B Ministry asked Comedy Central to go off air from May 25 till June 4 for a comedy broadcast during Stand Up Club and Popcorn programmes on May 26 and July 4 last year.

The order issued by Delhi High court claimed that the programme showed a stand up comedian mouthing supposedly vulgar words accompanied by obscene and suggestive gestures and gyration.

Jokes during his performance supposedly denigrated women, indecently and crudely referred to sex organs of men-and women and the sing-song rendition by the man sought to pornographically describe male lust, whilst depicting women as a commodity of sex.

The second case was an episode from the reality show titled Popcorn wherein members of the Comedy Central crew are seen playing pranks on the general populace. In this case, one of the Comedy Central crew members was seen mimicking the act of intercourse with a set of dummy legs, in different locations.

Update: Ban stayed

28th May 2013. See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

A division bench of the Delhi High Court has stayed an order of the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry that prohibited transmission and re-transmission of the television channel, Comedy Central.

The HC bench stayed the order after hearing Sujeet Jain, executive vice-president, of Viacom, who had challenged the ban.

 

26th May

  11 people arrested for comments on Facebook and Twitter...

Presumably inciting religious hatred can now be added to the charge sheet of the Woolwich terrorists
Link Here  full story: Terrorist Attack in Woolwich...Terrorist attack and its censorship consequences

Twitter logo The murder of soldier Lee Rigby has unsurprisingly provoked a backlash of anger across the UK, including the attacking of mosques, racial abuse and comments made on social media. Eleven people have been arrested around Britain for making racist or anti-religious comments on Twitter following the brutal killing in Woolwich.

The incident has also prompted a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents, according to the organisation Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism. Before the attack about four to eight cases a day were reported to its helpline. But the group said about 150 incidents had been reported in the last few days, including attacks on mosques.

Two men from Bristol, were held under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. Detective Inspector Ed Yaxley of Avon and Somerset Police said:

These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol.

Surrey Police said a man has been charged in connection with comments placed on a social media website following the murder of the soldier. Superintendent Matt Goodridge said:

Surrey Police will not tolerate language used in a public place, including on social media websites, which causes harassment, alarm or distress.

A Hastings man has been charged by police after allegedly posting an offensive message on Facebook.

Meanwhile, a Southsea woman has been charged with allegedly sending a grossly offensive message on Facebook, an offence contrary to Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

Police have also arrested three people ahead of an EDL protest for allegedly making racist tweets.

 

25th May

 Update: So how much does he expect society to change because of this decision...

Government announces that slightly sexy pop videos will have to be vetted by the BBFC
Link Here  full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill

Ed Vaizey The government announces that more DVDs are to carry an age rating, more is to be done on online age ratings and WiFi will be family friendly. placeholder

Age ratings will be given to a range of video content that is currently exempt - such as some music and sports DVDs - so that those unsuitable for younger children will have to carry a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) age rating in future.

Video Recordings Act

The government is publishing the response to its recent consultation on the Video Recordings Act which addresses concerns about the exemptions from age rating that are currently given to a range of music, sports, religious and educational DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

The Video Recordings Act will now be changed so that any of these products that are unsuitable for younger children will have to carry the familiar 12 , 15 and 18 BBFC age ratings in future. The changes are expected to come into force in 2014.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:

Government realises that the world has moved on since these exemptions were written into the Video Recordings Act some 30 years ago.

The changes we've announced today will help ensure children are better protected, and that parents are provided with the information necessary for them to make informed choices about what their children view.

In order to help ensure parents can make more informed decisions about the material their children watch online, ministers are also calling on industry to develop solutions so that more online videos - particularly those that are likely to be sought out by children and young people - carry advice about their age suitability in future.

 

25th May

  A Bit Less Suffocating...

ATVOD reduces its censorship fees by 5%
Link Here

ATVOD logo 2011 The Video on Demand censor, ATVOD is reducing its fees by 5%.

The new tariff for the year ending 14th March 2014 retains the banded structure first adopted for 2011-12. The biggest operators pay most, and the structure offers concessionary rates for micro-scale, small-scale and non-commercial service providers.

The key decisions are:

  • Average fees reduced by 5%
  • Abolition of additional service fees: service providers can now notify all their VOD services as constituent parts of a single overarching service and therefore pay just one fee, with lower rates for those operating through a single outlet
  • Concessionary rates of £91 - £96 for non-commercial service providers
  • Concessionary rates of £137- £145 and £183 - £193 for commercial service providers with turnover below £50,000 and £100,000 respectively
  • A three band standard tariff based on the turnover of the service provider, with rates set at £732 - £771, £4,740 - £6,151, and £9,480 - £12,302
  • A cap of £25,000 on the total fees paid by any single provider

It must be a bit galling that the companies pay such high fees to investigate very few relevant complaints. All the money seems to spent on moralising, politicking and driving adult internet businesses offshore.

 

25th May

 Offsite Article: Could the snooper's charter stop terror attacks?...

Link Here  full story: Terrorist Attack in Woolwich...Terrorist attack and its censorship consequences
index logoSome UK politicians have said the murder of a soldier in Woolwich, London this week demonstrates the need for greater surveillance of communications data. But would a snooper's charter really have made a difference?

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

24th May

  Bloody Warnings...

800 complaints about TV coverage of the beheading in Woolwich
Link Here  full story: Terrorist Attack in Woolwich...Terrorist attack and its censorship consequences

woolwich beheading Dramatic footage showing a suspect carrying bloodied knives in the aftermath of the murder of a soldier in Woolwich has so far prompted relatively few complaints to broadcasters, despite attracting millions of viewers around the world.

The video, which was first broadcast by ITN-produced ITV News on its 6.30pm bulletin on Wednesday, had prompted about 800 complaints to the BBC, ITV and media regulator Ofcom by lunchtime on Thursday.

The bulk of the complaints, 500, directly to ITV, with Ofcom receiving about 100 separate complaints about the channel's decision to air the film.

An ITV News spokesman said:

We carefully considered showing this footage ahead of broadcast and made the decision to do so on a public interest basis as the material is integral to understanding the horrific incident that took place yesterday. It was editorially justified to show such footage in the aftermath of such a shocking attack, and we prefaced it on ITV News at 6.30pm and News at Ten with appropriate warnings to make viewers aware in advance of the graphic images about to be shown.

After midnight on Wednesday, ITV edited the video on its website to obscure the body of the soldier and the face of the second suspect. It is understood that this was after editors decided there was less public interest justification in showing the unedited footage to a Thursday lunchtime audience.

The BBC, which also broadcast the Woolwich footage, said it had recorded approximately 200 complaints. The BBC posted its response as follows:

Complaint

We have received complaints from viewers who felt that it was inappropriate to broadcast footage of one of the suspected attackers in Woolwich making a statement after the attack.

We also received complaints that the accompanying footage we broadcast in our news reports on this story was too graphic and distressing.

The BBC's response

In our coverage of the Woolwich murder we thought very carefully about the pictures we used to tell the story. We gave great consideration to how we used the footage of the attacker. The footage, captured by a bystander, was an important element of the story and shed light on the perpetrators and the possible motives for the attack. We did not show the footage in its entirety, we gave warnings for pre-watershed transmission and dealt with the material as carefully as we could.

Where there were distressing images we used them sparingly and again, we gave warnings for pre-watershed transmission. We acknowledge that some of the images central to reporting the story were distressing and we were very mindful of possible audience sensitivity when we used them.

 

24th May

 Update: Basically Porn is Everywhere...

So why are crime rates falling? And why is life continuing pretty much as before?
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

porn is everywhere The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England is calling for urgent action to develop children's resilience to pornography following a research report it commissioned which found that: a significant number of children access pornography; it influences their attitudes towards relationships and sex; it is linked to risky behaviour such as having sex at a younger age; and there is a correlation between holding violent attitudes and accessing more violent media.

The report published today by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, Basically... porn is everywhere: A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effects that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People also found that:

Children and young people's exposure and access to pornography occurs both on and offline but in recent years the most common method of access is via internet enabled technology Exposure and access to pornography increases with age Accidental exposure to pornography is more prevalent than deliberate access There are gender differences in exposure and access to pornography with boys more likely to be exposed to and deliberately access, seek or use pornography than girls.

It concludes that there are still many unanswered questions about the affect exposure to pornography has on children: a situation the Office of the Children's Commissioner considers requires urgent action in an age where extreme violent and sadistic imagery is two clicks away.

The report is based on a review of published evidence led by Middlesex University in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Kent, supplemented by a focus group of young people. The researchers identified 41,000 items of academic literature about pornography undertaking an in-depth analysis of 276 to draw its conclusions.

The report welcomes the work being done by Claire Perry, MP on internet controls, in her role as advisor to the Prime Minister. It makes a series of recommendations in addition to carrying out further research as follows:

  1. The Department for Education should ensure that all schools understand the importance of, and deliver, effective relationship and sex education which must include safe use of the internet. A strong and unambiguous message to this effect should be sent to all education providers including: all state funded schools including academies; maintained schools; independent schools; faith schools; and further education colleges.

  2. The Department for Education should ensure curriculum content on relationships and sex education covers access and exposure to pornography, and sexual practices that are relevant to young people's lives and experiences, as a means of building young people's resilience. This is sensitive, specialist work that must be undertaken by suitably qualified professionals, for example, specialist teachers, youth workers or sexual health practitioners.

  3. The Department for Education should rename sex and relationship education (SRE) to relationship and sex education (RSE) to place emphasis on the importance of developing healthy, positive, respectful relationships.

  4. The Government, in partnership with internet service providers, should embark on a national awareness-raising campaign, underpinned by further research, to better inform parents, professionals and the public at large about the content of pornography and young people's access of, and exposure to such content. This should include a message to parents about their responsibilities affording both children and young people greater protection and generating a wider debate about the nature of pornography in the 21st century and its potential impact.

  5. Through the commitments made to better protect girls and young women from gender-based violence in the ending violence against women and girls action plan, the Home Office and the Department for Education should commission further research into the safeguarding implications of exposure and/or access to pornography on children and young people, particularly in relation to their experiences of teenage relationship abuse and peer exploitation.

  6. The Home Office should incorporate the findings of this report into the ongoing teen abuse campaign. Future activity on this workstream should reflect young people's exposure to violent sexualised imagery within their peer groups and relationships.

  7. The Youth Justice Board should include questions on exposure and access to pornography within the revised ASSET assessment tool, to better inform understanding of possible associations with attitudes and behaviour and improve the targeting of interventions for young people displaying violent, or sexually harmful, behaviours.

 

24th May

 Update: War on Porn...

Solving violence against women by jailing more innocent men by extending the Dangerous Pictures Act
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

deeds or words Gender extremists seem to be targeting an extension the Dangerous Pictures Act to include images of simulated rape (as per the Scottish version). Interesting when discussing the concept of 'educating' children about pornography it is taken as read that the 'education' will be moralising propaganda against porn. It never seems to be discussed what such 'education' should entail.

Responding to the publication of a new report by the Office of the Children's Commissioner on young people and pornography, Holly Dustin, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition & Fiona Elvines of Rape Crisis South London said:

There should be concern at the highest levels of government that boys are accessing violent and sadistic pornography, and that it is influencing their behaviour and attitudes. Sexual violence towards women and girls is rarely out of the headlines and we know from our own research that sexual harassment and unwanted sexual touching is commonplace amongst young people. This does not happen in a vacuum, rather our sexist culture and media provides a conducive context for abuse to occur.

This report provides further strong evidence of the need for schools to be required to teach young people about sexual consent, and how to deal with pornographic and violent imagery they see online, in music videos, adverts or elsewhere.

Furthermore, we believe that the government must look at legislation on extreme pornography and close a loophole that allows the lawful possession of simulated images of rape pornography, similar to that viewed by Stuart Hazell.

 

24th May

  Rated M for Moralism...

Australian private members bill calls for age classification for advertising billboards
Link Here

sin city billboard The political party, Katter's Australia Party, has put up a Private Members Bill which would see advertising billboards given classifications from G to MA15+ and also levy a tax on the more risque advertising.

Under the proposal, a censorship panel would be set up to determine the rating of billboards. The panel would also split the state into classification zones , so only G-rated billboards could be shown in a G-classified zone and PG-rated billboards in PG zones. Only G-rated posters could be anywhere near schools, hospitals, bus stops and sporting fields, while M and MA15+ billboards would be severely restricted to areas rarely frequented by children , such as industrial estates.

The cost of the panel, who and how many people would be on it and how they would make their judgments was yet to be determined by the KAP.

KAP Queensland leader Ray Hopper said the explicit material he would want to see branded MA15+ included signs promoting products that boast longer lasting sex . He said that the scantily-clad women on a Sin City billboard on the M1 would be unlikely to be acceptable under the proposal. Hopper said the levy should be 10% of the cost of advertising on the billboard.

The proposed Bill is now set to come up for debate some time during the year.

 

24th May

  Parents TV Council Pissed...

Ke$ha drinks her own pee in MTV documentary
Link Here

ke$ha video During her MTV documentary Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life , pop star Ke$ha took a swig of her own urine, prompting the inevitable 'outrage' from family organizations.

According to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ke$ha indulged in urophagia because she'd heard it was good for you, a common belief among practicers of alternative medicine.

Parents Television Council had got advance notice of the offending scene and released a press statement before the show's Tuesday evening airing:

The Parents Television Council denounced MTV for its plans to air an episode tonight of Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life in which pop star Ke$ha is slated to drink her own urine. PTC President Tim Winter said:

We are calling on parents and grandparents to be aware that this episode will air tonight and take appropriate measures.

Before critics say that parents can just 'change the channel,' they miss the larger point. It is an outrage that this kind of disgusting, vile content is being subsidized by each and every cable subscriber. We should all have the ability to choose and pay for only the channels we want to watch, but the cable industry won't let that happen without a fight.

 

24th May

  Is that Ohio in Iran?...

Ohio Senate passes bill to ban all internet cafes in the state
Link Here

Ohio state seal The Ohio Senate has okayed a bill that would eliminate internet cafes in the state. It now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign the measure.

There are more than 600 of the businesses in the state. Supporters say eliminating them will cost six to eight thousand people their jobs. They favor regulation instead.

Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine claims that many of the businesses are fronts for organized crime. Patrons buy cards for phone and internet which include chances to play computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.

Senator John Eklund generalises that internet cafes are nothing more than illegal gambling operations.

 

23rd May

 Update: Insulting Religious Bla-Bla...

Turkish blogger jailed for a year for blasphemy
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Turkey...Blasphemy repressing Turkish people

Turkey flag An Istanbul court has sentenced Turkish-Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan to 58 weeks in prison for an alleged insult to the religious character Muhammad in a blog post. The charges were insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of the society.

Nisanyan was charged with blasphemy after writing a blog post titled:

[We] need to fight hate speech. Making fun of an Arab leader who claimed he contacted Allah hundreds of years ago and received political, financial and sexual benefits is not hate speech,

On May 22, the day of the sentencing, Nisanyan bravely retweeted his blog post, writing:

Let's share the article that was sentenced to 13-and-a-half months at the Istanbul 10th Criminal Court for insulting religious bla-bla.

 

23rd May

 Offsite Article: Something for the Slippery Slope Moralists to Consider...

Link Here
the spectator logoNow we are all staying in, watching sexualised talent shows, enjoying internet porn or playing violent video games, Britain is becoming a nicer place to live (except in Woolwich)

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

22nd May

  The Not So Fast and The Furious...

A stalled reorganisation of film censorship in Pakistan leaves cinemas without new films
Link Here  full story: Film Censorship in Pakistan...Pakistan devolves some decisions to provincial censors

cbfc pakistan certificate Over the course of two weeks, Pakistan's film industry has lost millions of rupees after the caretaker government dissolved the culture ministry and hence the Central Film Censor Board without actually appointing an alternative censor. The reorganisation intends to decentralise film censorship in Pakistan and pass the responsibility to the provinces.

It is still being debated whether a CBFC has a role in censoring national or foreign films while the provincial censors could be limited to censoring regional films.

After weeks of cinema losses, the caretaker set-up in Sindh notified that the Sindh Board of Film Censors will now be active and announced that Zulfiqar Ramzi will be its honorary chairman. In the absence of a federal censor board, the Sindh censor certificate will apply to all of Pakistan.

Distributors say several major films including The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Yeh Jawani Deewani and Fast and the Furious have all been delayed. Zorraiz Lashari of the Film Distributors Association said:

Everybody is suffering. They should call it a careless government instead of a caretaker government... We are being forced to use the same films over and over.

 

22nd May

  ASA Don't Like Puerile Whinges...

Advert censors dismisses complaints about underwear ads on the underground
Link Here

figleaves like me advert Two outdoor posters on the London Underground for Figleaves.com, an online underwear retailer:

  • a. A poster featured a blonde woman wearing a red bra and knickers, standing with her hands on her hips and looking suggestively towards the camera. The phrase LIKE ME? in large, pink letters was stamped across the middle of the poster, and VOTE FOR ME in smaller letters appeared in the top left-hand corner. The ad included social media links and Figleaves website address.
     
  • b. A poster featured a man in red boxer shorts looking suggestively towards the camera. The phrase LIKE ME? in large, red letters was stamped across the middle of the poster, and VOTE FOR ME in smaller letters in the top left-hand corner. Social media links and a web address were included. Issue

The ASA received four complaints.

  1. Three complainants challenged whether ad (a) was unsuitable for display where children could see it.
  2. One of those complainants challenged whether ad (b) was unsuitable for display where children could see it.
  3. Two complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive because they believed it degraded women by portraying them as sexual objects.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ads were for a lingerie company and we recognised that their advertising would understandably feature a model wearing lingerie. In this instance, the female model was wearing a matching bra and knickers set and the male model was wearing boxer shorts. The ads did not show nudity and the images were relevant to Figleaves, although we understood that the ads may not appeal to everyone.

We noted the ads only appeared alongside escalators on the Tube or opposite Tube train platforms. The Facebook branding appeared in the posters and we considered that the vast majority of the adult audience were likely to be familiar with the concept of Liking brands on Facebook and likely to make that connection when they saw the ads. Facebook required account holders to be 13 years of age or over and because of that, we considered younger children may not understand that connection. Notwithstanding that, we considered the strap line LIKE ME? was unlikely to be seen by children as one about the models' attractiveness or sexuality.

We considered the expression in both models' eyes and their poses were no more than mildly sexual and as such, we considered the ads were not unsuitable to be displayed where they could be seen by children. We noted Figleaves had applied a 100 m placement restriction on the ads, which we considered more than adequate. We therefore concluded their placement was not socially irresponsible.

On these points, we investigated both ads under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find them in breach.

3. Not upheld

The ad did not include anything which was overtly sexual and as stated above, we considered that the vast majority of the adult audience were likely to understand the connection between LIKE ME? and Facebook. We considered the strap line together with the image in ad (a) was unlikely to be seen as portraying women as sexual objects to be desired. We therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

22nd May

 Update: Offending Free Expression...

Russian parliament passes 2nd reading of new blasphemy law
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

Russian Duma logo The Russian Duma has passed a second reading of a repressive blasphemy law. The legislation has been softened, but still represents a significant ramping up of punishments compared to existing laws.

The second reading was approved overwhelmingly, with 304 Duma deputies voting for, only 4 against and 1 abstention. Under the revised bill, Russians would face a year in jail for intentional and public displays that cause offense to religious sensibilities, down from three in the previous draft; desecrating religious sites and paraphernalia would be punishable by up to three years in jail, down from five.

The bill covers offence to all of Russia's major religions, not just Orthodox Christianity. It could be passed in its third and final reading as early as this week. It is expected to come into force sometime this year.

Communist deputy Oleg Smoli pointed out some of the dangers:

An offense to religious sensibilities is a term that defies definition. A radical believer could find offense in expressions of other people's faith, or atheism.

Sergey Mironov said:

We are happy that the proposal has been scaled back from covering all religious offense, to deliberate acts. But we are still not sure that it can be stretched to indict many Russians, even those who did not set out to offend anyone.

Update: Signed into law by the president

9th July 2013. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

President Vladimir Putin has signed the new law amending the Russian Criminal Code and providing for up to one year in prison for insult to religious feelings of believers.

 

22nd May

 Update: Facebook Prudery Has Few Friends...

Facebook censors French protest against its censorship of nudity
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

facebook nude protest Day of Nude on Facebook , a French protest aimed at challenging Facebook's unnecessary censorship of photos was censored when Facebook took down the event page and suspended the accounts of some involved in the online demonstration.

Launched by French photographer Alain Bachellier, the Facebook event asked its 8,000-plus participants to publish a nude picture on Monday, Le Huffington Post reports. While some chose to post of a photo of their own creation, most instead shared copies of famous nude works of art.

Coinciding with the final day of the European Festival of Nude Photography, the Facebook event sought to fight against the ridiculous censorship that flouts the basic rules of our freedom of expression in the name of Puritanism or the moral rules of another age,

A spokesman for Facebook France told the Agence France-Presse that page was closed in the early afternoon.

Facebook authorizes users to mobilize around common causes, included cultural ones, but it can't authorize the cause itself to encourage users to disrespect their conditions of use.

 

22nd May

 Update: Violence is Fine as Long as it's Against Men...

Feminists call on Facebook to censor 'hate speech' and violence against women
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Facebook logo We, the undersigned, are writing to demand swift, comprehensive and effective action addressing the representation of rape and domestic violence on Facebook. Specifically, we call on you, Facebook, to take three actions:

  1. Recognize speech that trivializes or glorifies violence against girls and women as hate speech and make a commitment that you will not tolerate this content.

  2. Effectively train moderators to recognize and remove gender-based hate speech.

  3. Effectively train moderators to understand how online harassment differently affects women and men, in part due to the real-world pandemic of violence against women.

To this end, we are calling on Facebook users to contact advertisers whose ads on Facebook appear next to content that targets women for violence, to ask these companies to withdraw from advertising on Facebook until you take the above actions to ban gender-based hate speech on your site.

Specifically, we are referring to groups, pages and images that explicitly condone or encourage rape or domestic violence or suggest that they are something to laugh or boast about. Pages currently appearing on Facebook include Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus, Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won't make you a Sandwich, Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs, Raping your Girlfriend and many, many more. Images appearing on Facebook include photographs of women beaten, bruised, tied up, drugged, and bleeding, with captions such as This bitch didn't know when to shut up and Next time don't get pregnant.

These pages and images are approved by your moderators, while you regularly remove content such as pictures of women breastfeeding, women post-mastectomy and artistic representations of women's bodies. In addition, women's political speech, involving the use of their bodies in non-sexualized ways for protest, is regularly banned as pornographic, while pornographic content - prohibited by your own guidelines - remains. It appears that Facebook considers violence against women to be less offensive than non-violent images of women's bodies, and that the only acceptable representation of women's nudity are those in which women appear as sex objects or the victims of abuse. Your common practice of allowing this content by appending a [humor] disclaimer to said content literally treats violence targeting women as a joke.

The latest global estimate from the United Nations Say No UNITE campaign is that the percentage of women and girls who have experienced violence in their lifetimes is now up to an unbearable 70 percent. In a world in which this many girls and women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes, allowing content about raping and beating women to be shared, boasted and joked about contributes to the normalisation of domestic and sexual violence, creates an atmosphere in which perpetrators are more likely to believe they will go unpunished, and communicates to victims that they will not be taken seriously if they report.

According to a UK Home Office Survey, one in five people think it is acceptable in some circumstances for a man to hit or slap his wife or girlfriend in response to her being dressed in sexy or revealing clothes in public. And 36 percent think a woman should be held fully or partly responsible if she is sexually assaulted or raped whilst drunk. Such attitudes are shaped in part by enormously influential social platforms like Facebook, and contribute to victim blaming and the normalisation of violence against women.

Although Facebook claims, not to be involved in challenging norms or censoring people's speech, you have in place procedures, terms and community guidelines that you interpret and enforce. Facebook prohibits hate speech and your moderators deal with content that is violently racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic every day. Your refusal to similarly address gender-based hate speech marginalizes girls and women, sidelines our experiences and concerns, and contributes to violence against us. Facebook is an enormous social network with more than a billion users around the world, making your site extremely influential in shaping social and cultural norms and behaviors.

Facebook's response to the many thousands of complaints and calls to address these issues has been inadequate. You have failed to make a public statement addressing the issue, respond to concerned users, or implement policies that would improve the situation. You have also acted inconsistently with regards to your policy on banning images, in many cases refusing to remove offensive rape and domestic violence pictures when reported by members of the public, but deleting them as soon as journalists mention them in articles, which sends the strong message that you are more concerned with acting on a case-by-case basis to protect your reputation than effecting systemic change and taking a clear public stance against the dangerous tolerance of rape and domestic violence.

In a world in which hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted daily and where intimate partner violence remains one of the leading causes of death for women around the world, it is not possible to sit on the fence. We call on Facebook to make the only responsible decision and take swift, clear action on this issue, to bring your policy on rape and domestic violence into line with your own moderation goals and guidelines.

Sincerely, Laura Bates, The Everyday Sexism Project Soraya Chemaly, Writer and Activist Jaclyn Friedman, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) Angel Band Project Anne Munch Consulting, Inc. Association for Progressive Communications Women's Rights Programme Black Feminists The Body is Not An Apology Breakthrough Catharsis Productions Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation Collective Action for Safe Spaces Collective Administrators of Rapebook CounterQuo End Violence Against Women Coalition The EQUALS Coalition Fem 2.0 Feminist Peace Network The Feminist Wire FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World Hollaback! Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Jackson Katz, PhD., Co-Founder and Director, Mentors in Violence Prevention Lauren Wolfe, Director of WMC's Women Under Siege Media Equity Collaborative MissRepresentation.org No More Page 3 Object The Pixel Project Rape Victim Advocates Social Media Week SPARK Movement Stop Street Harassment Take Back the Tech! Tech LadyMafia Time To Tell The Uprising of Women in the Arab World V-Day The Voices and Faces Project The Women's Media Center Women's Networking Hub The Women's Room.

 

22nd May

  Forgotten Book Censorship...

Irish Justice Minister's novel set to be investigated by his own book censorship board
Link Here  full story: Book Censorship in Ireland...Minister for censorship investigated by how own censor board

Laura Novel Will Never Forget A sexy novel written by Ireland's Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, has been referred to the Censorship office. Book censors are set to investigate whether Laura: A Story You Will Never Forget is too obscene for Irish readers.

The book, which the minister wrote 24 years ago, contains steamy sex scenes and centres around the troubled private life of an Oireachtas member who is having an affair with his secretary. At one point in the book, the fictional parliamentarian attempts to force the woman to have an abortion in order to save his political career.

The Herald understands that a complaint about the book's sex scenes has been lodged with the Censorship of Publications Board. Another allegation is the novel advocates the procurement of an abortion or miscarriage. In Ireland there are two main categories under which books can be banned. The first is they are indecent or obscene while the second is they advocate the procurement of abortion or miscarriage .

A spokesperson for the Board confirmed that concerns have been raised with its secretary by a member of the public and added: The complaint will be considered by the new Censorship of Publications Board when it is appointed. Ironically, it is Shatter who is due to announce the members of the board in the coming weeks.

 

22nd May

  Speak Nots...

A new Chinese censorship policy revealed (just for a short while until being censored)
Link Here

China flag China's new so-called Seven Speak-Nots policy prohibits discussion of the following topics in a university setting:

  • universal values,
  • civil society,
  • citizen rights,
  • judicial independence,
  • freedom of the press,
  • past mistakes of the communist party, and
  • the privileged capitalist class

Last week, East China University Professor Zhang Xuezhong described the policy on microblogging site Sina Weibo and subsequently had his account deleted.

Mentions of the policy are no longer visible in search engine results in China and users report that all relevant comments on the policy have been wiped from Weibo.

A government memo entitled Concerning the Situation in the Ideological Sphere reportedly notes that the Speak-Nots have also been incorporated into China's Internet censorship policy.

 

21st May

 Update: A Blast from the Past...

Modern miserablists symbolically condemn the fun times of the 70's when people enjoyed Village People and Page 3
Link Here  full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

Ymca Women from the No More Page 3 campaign have staged a 1970s inspired flash mob outside The Sun headquarters in an attempt to get the tabloid to remove images of topless women from its Page 3.

The protesters danced and sang in front of the Wapping office block to the 1970s tune Y.M.C.A --- using their own lyrics and choreography.

They sang:

Page 3 puts porn on the bottom shelf.
It's not 1970 anymore, there's no place for this sexism today.
We're here to say we want No More Page 3!

Saturday's demonstration was organised by the No More Page 3 campaign, which was kicked off by writer and actress Lucy Holmes during last summer's London Olympics. The campaign has grown into a full-time operation staffed by a team of 12 volunteers.

 

21st May

 Update: Censorship Love-In...

Censors and moralists to gather at Westminster Forum for a one-sided discussion about blocking porn and anything remotely adult
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

westminster media forum logo This seminar will bring together key perspectives on the next steps in addressing commercialisation and sexualisation of children online, including efforts being made in the UK and Europe by policymakers, business groups and third sector initiatives concerned with enabling young people to have safe access to online communities and to participate in culturally rich content. It is timed following David Cameron's commitment to new web filter proposals and the European Commission's policy European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children.

Delegates will assess the current position and emerging challenges to achieving secure online access for young people, including initiatives and practical options for empowering parents and protecting young people involving businesses, schools, government and law enforcement. Following the recent commitment to new web filtering measures through which every parent is prompted to protect their child online, the agenda includes sessions on the tools and skills available to empower young people to safely access and utilise online content, such as through age verification tools, website monitoring, age-appropriate privacy settings and single click buttons for reporting harmful content - as well as the possible unintended consequences brought about by these tools.

We are delighted that Andy Baker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and Claire Perry MP, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood have agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar.

Further confirmed speakers include: Julian Ashworth, Director, Group Industry Policy, BT Group; Alexandra Birtles, Head of Public Affairs, TalkTalk; John Carr, Secretary, UK Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety; Will Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Childnet International; Susie Hargreaves, Chief Executive, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF); Lisa Harker, Head of the Strategy Unit, NSPCC; Peter Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, ATVOD; Adam Kinsley, Director of Policy, BSkyB; David Miles, Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI); Simon Milner, Policy Director, UK and Ireland, Facebook; Professor Andy Phippen, Professor of Social Responsibility in Information Technology, Plymouth Business School, Plymouth University; Libby Pritchard, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Vodafone; Vicki Shotbolt, Chief Executive Officer, The Parent Zone; Raj Sivalingam, Associate Director of Telecoms and Spectrum, Intellect and Daniel Wilson, Head of International Policy, BBC.

Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health has kindly agreed to chair a session at this seminar.

 

20th May

 Extract: Everything Is Offensive (Including David Bowie)...

David Bowie's The Next Day and Nine Inch Nails' Broken both censored
Link Here

Broken EP Nine Inch Nails David Bowie's rather brilliant promo video for The Next Day was briefly pulled from YouTube a few days ago.

...

Funnily enough, in that very same week another offensive music video finally surfaced after 20 years underground. A notoriously tough-to-watch short made by Nine Inch Nails (along with Peter Christopherson) to accompany their Broken EP in the early 90s popped up on Vimeo after 20 years of incomplete versions being traded on the black market. Despite the official sanction of the band, it lasted mere hours before Vimeo removed it on the grounds of it being really really horrible and yucky and nasty and putting them right off their tea (well, violating guidelines , but I'm pretty sure that was the gist).

...Read the full article

 

19th May

 Updated: Translated as Censorship...

Onerous translation requirements look set to end foreign news channels in Vietnam
Link Here

Vietnam flag A new law has come into force in Vietnam that effectively bans the broadcast of foreign news services.

The law requires international broadcasters to provide translation into Vietnamese of their contents before airing, with the exception of live sporting events. Pay television groups have said the law is impractical and prohibitively expensive.

A Vietnamese satellite TV provider has now stopped broadcasting foreign channels including BBC and CNN and has warned that the law would leave the country without access to international news and entertainment channels.

For the moment other major providers continued to broadcast as normal and it was unclear whether they would soon follow suit or were waiting to see how rigorously the government would enforce the new law.

Update: 20 foreign channels censored

19th May 2013. See  article from  english.vietnamnet.vn

Pay TV operators including K+, VTV CAB and SCTV began on Wednesday to stop over 20 foreign channels pending Ministry of Information and Communications licenses for editing contents of these channels.

The affected foreign channels include CNN, BBC, Star Movies, AXN, CNBC, Cinemax, Discovery World, NHK World, Star World and ChannelNewsAsia.

Vietnam Satellite Television Company (VSTV), the operator of K+, has sent a notice about this issue to its customers. It is considering adding a number of domestic TV channels to its current packages.

 

18th May

 Update: Wasting Space...

After years of wasting money proposing internet censorship, the government is now crowing about how much will be saved by dropping the idea
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Stephen Conroy The axing of Stephen Conroy's other pet project, the controversial mandatory internet blocking scheme, will save the government more than $4 million.

According to Budget 2013 papers, the government will achieve savings of $4.5m over three years by not proceeding with mandatory filtering legislation, a move announced in November.

The plan would have forced ISPs to filter web pages that contain refused classification-rated content based on a government blacklist.

Instead, major internet service providers will be required to block child abuse websites on Interpol's worst of child abuse list, and anything else banned by government bodies such as the financial regulator.

Senator Conroy mooted the ea in the lead up to the 2007 election but it has been fraught with delays ever since. The methods employed by the government were deemed impractical and seen as an attempt to censor the internet.

 

18th May

 Updated: Flannel...

Swedish sexualisationists smash windows of American Apparel store
Link Here  full story: American Apparel...Sexy clothing adverts wind up the advert censors

american apparel boy vs girl advert Swedish protestors smashed windows of the fashion store, American Apparel.

The protests were sparked by a blog post pointing out that American Apparel model male clothes using very staid poses, but use sexy pictures for women's wear.

The Local, a Swedish news site in English, spoke to blogger Emelie Eriksson about a post she wrote comparing the marketing for American Apparel's unisex items. When a male model is used, the garment is styled innocently, she argues, while the female models in the very same piece are made to look like they've just had sex. She said:

I think it's totally sickening how American Apparel markets its clothes. It shows they have a very degrading view toward women and I'm surprised they've been able to do this without facing any strong criticism.

American Apparel said:

As a company, American Apparel is very sensitive to gender and sexual issues, just as we have been to issues like immigration and gay marriage. In this case, the actual product model photo for this unisex item is fully clothed for women, just as it is for men. Unfortunately, some bloggers have confused an artistic photoshoot which accompany the pages with a product shot and a controversy erupted as a result.

Update: Ifs and Butts

18th May 2013. See  article from  thelocal.se

american apparel protest The man who founded a Swedish online fashion retailer has posed part-naked to help market the firm's clothes in protest at US retailer American Apparel using sexy images of partly-naked women to sell its wares.

Michaela Forni, a Swedish fashion blogger who manages the product range for online retailer byPM.se, told The Local:

We thought it was sick that American Apparel time and again gets away with such sexist advertising,

We wanted to do the exact same thing they did, but with the opposite gender. On our site, it's the man who has his bare ass in the air and is seen in a sexually seductive pose.

People say, 'Ew, you can't have those images.' But when women are portrayed similarly, no one reacts.

The man featured in the byPM.se images is the company's founder and part owner, Petter Lindqvist.

 

17th May

 Update: Barbiecue...

Femen kindly promote the Barbie Dreamhouse attraction in Berlin
Link Here  full story: Barbie Dreamhouse...Kindly publicised by nutters

femen barbie A FEMEN sekstremist has burned a Barbie-idol at the opening of Barbie Dream House in Berlin. Femen explain in somewhat clumsy English:

Ritual Barbiecue with fried meat of the plastic idol was made to demonstrate the true meaning of the history of commercial monster Mattel. They have turned a piece of plastic into a god for millions of girls from all over the world who now seek only to imitate plastic shapes and stupidity and absurdity of conduct.

The nazi ideology of Mattel purposefully creates the image of a female doll, dictating not only the appearance of new generations, and that the worst social role of reckless beauty finding a reason to exist in the continuous care of their appearance and the house.

FEMEN urges mercilessly burning of idols! A woman is not a Barbie! A woman is a revolution!

The Barbie Dreamhouse Experience allows paying visitors to try on Barbie's clothes, play in her kitchen and have a go on her pink piano. The exhibition will be open until August 25. (Voltairestraße 2a / Dircksenstraße, train and underground stations Alexanderplatz and Jannowitzbrücke)

 

17th May

  Car Crash Inducing Outrage...

CougarLife dating website has fun with breastfeeding billboard
Link Here

cougarlife advert A billboard on Sunset Boulevard for CougarLife.com, showing a naked woman breastfeeding her baby will be taken down in response to a few negative comments.

CougarLife.com is an online dating site that connects older women with younger men. In the billboard advertisement, a thought bubble floats above the child's head with a one-word question: Jealous? The advertisement also pixelates the point at which the baby's lips meet the mother's nipples, much like adult content.

Cougar Life spokeswoman Marlo Jordan said in a statement to The Huffington Post:

There is no reason for this billboard to be taken down. The Farmers Market is actually the perfect place to showcase this ad. There is nothing more natural than a woman breastfeeding.

People may have been offended by the message of older women dating younger men, but I find that shocking in this day in age.

WetPaint reports that CougarLife received a few angry tweets on its twitter feed.

The City of West Hollywood wasn't involved in the billboard removal, said a spokesperson. Instead, local people worked directly with Van Wagner communications to take it down.

Cougar Life are somewhat unrepentant, A blog post cougarlife.com reads:

We are baaack! The cougar dating site that brought you the infamous CougarLife.com...For Motherf*ckers billboard last year has returned with a brand new, car-wreck-inducing Mother's Day themed ad in the exact same upscale location.

 

17th May

 Offsite Article: Hungary: Rule of Law Under Threat...

Link Here
Hungary flagGovernment's Damaging Changes to Legal Framework Require EU Action

See article from hrw.org

 

16th May

 Offsite Article: Texas Chainsaw Cuts...

Link Here
Texas Chainsaw Blu ray Digital UltraVioletMovie-Censorship.com publish pictorial cuts made for the R rated cinema/DVD/Blu-ray version

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

16th May

  Big Knobs at the BBC...

Senior BBC censors get all offended by the rowing play on words, 'cox sackers'
Link Here

thinking allowed logo Thinking Allowed
BBC Radio 4, 4pm 25 April 2012

The BBC Radio 4 series Thinking Allowed explores the latest research into how society works and discusses current ideas on how we live today. Presenter Laurie Taylor is a former Professor of Sociology at the University of York.

The complainant objected to a grossly offensive play on words in this edition of Thinking Allowed. The host, Laurie Taylor, read out an email from an audience member which used the term cox sackers . This referred to an item the previous week of the sacking of a cox from a rowing team. The complainant believed that most listeners would have interpreted this as an offensive term and it was unsuitable to be transmitted in a programme broadcast at 4pm when children may be listening.

The complaints was previously dismissed by the programme team and then the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU), but this decision was appealed to the Editorial Standards Committee (ESC).

TheEditorial Standards Committee considered that the phrase cox sackers was intended to be a play-on- words and if the words had been articulated clearly, the phrase would have been within the expectation of the programme's audience. However, having listened carefully to the pronunciation of the phrase, the Committee believed the phrase was not articulated clearly enough and could easily have been misheard for the offensive word cocksuckers by the majority of the audience. On this point, the Committee agreed with the programme team that the words should have been enunciated rather more clearly and noted their apology to the complainant at Stage 1.

Having concluded there was a strong likelihood that the audience would have misheard the phrase, the Committee noted that the word cocksuckers is considered to be a seriously offensive word across all audience groups. On this basis, the Committee considered that in this type of programme, where there would be little expectation of strong language, the pronunciation of cox sackers in this broadcast would exceed generally accepted standards. The Committee believed that the word cocksuckers , due to its offensive nature, was inappropriate within the context of this programme at any time of day. The Committee noted that the particular pronunciation of the phrase cox sackers , which the Committee had concluded was highly likely to have been misheard by a significant part of the audience as cocksuckers , was broadcast at around 4.15pm. Although the Committee took into account that very few children listen to Radio 4, the Committee was concerned that the content was broadcast at a time when a significant number of children are available to listen to the radio and are more likely to be travelling in cars where Radio 4 might be on during the school run . Having regard to the Editorial Guidelines on Harm and Offence, the Committee concluded that the programme was in breach of those Guidelines. The BBC is required to apply generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion of offensive material. As it was highly likely that a significant part of the audience misheard the pronunciation of the phrase cox sackers and believed that a seriously offensive word had been used in its place, the content was in breach of the Guidelines. The Committee wished to apologise for any offence caused by this broadcast.

The Committee agreed that it did not expect this segment to be featured in any repeat broadcast of this programme. '

Finding: Complaint upheld.

 

16th May

 Update: Verified Repression...

China closes the microblogging accounts of influential intellectuals
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Weibo logo China has launched a new drive to silence its boisterous microblogging culture by closing influential accounts belonging to writers and intellectuals who have used them to highlight social injustice.

Attention has turned to the country's opinion formers. A recent commentary in the state-run Global Times newspaper warned that Big Vs -- meaning verified accounts with millions of followers -- had become relay stations for online rumours and accused them of harming the dignity of the law .

State news agency Xinhua claimed the account of He Bing, a well known professor, was suspended because he had purposely spread rumours . Other intellectuals have seen accounts deleted outright.

 

16th May

 Offsite Article: Shameful Australian Censorship...

Link Here
asic logoIncompetent internet blocking coupled with a politician's bollox denials and secret unchallengeable implementation leaves a thousand websites unfairly censored for several weeks

See article from theaustralian.com.au

 

15th May

 Update: Scissors Unchained...

Django Unchained re-opens in China after a further minute of censor cuts
Link Here

Django Unchained Blu ray UV Copy Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-winning film, Django Unchained , has reopened in cinemas in China, a month after it was pulled for supposed technical reasons .

A manager at a UME Cineplex cinema in Beijing said: The new version is one minute shorter than the previous one. He speculated that a nude scene may have been cut.

In a previous round of cuts, the distributor Sony Pictures said Tarantino had agreed to slight adjustments to reduce the violence prior to its initial release in China last month.

 

15th May

 Update: Reputation Management...

Google told to censor search suggestions when they are complained about
Link Here

Germany flag A German federal court has told Google to censor the auto-complete results that its search engine suggests.

The court said Google must ensure terms generated by auto-complete are not contrary to the wishes of those that complain.

The court case was started by an unnamed German businessman who found that Google.de linked him with scientology and fraud . Google must now remove certain word combinations when told about them, said the court.

A person's privacy would be violated if the associations conjured up by auto-complete were claimed to be untrue, the federal court said in a statement about the ruling. However, it added, this did not mean that Google had to sanitise its entire index. The operator is, as a basic principle, only responsible when it gets notice of the unlawful violation of personal rights.

The ruling on auto-complete overturns two earlier decisions by lower German courts.

 

15th May

 Update: Kiss my Ass...

Vivienne Pattison recommends Kelly Fox on Britain's Got Talent
Link Here

kelly fox kiss my ass Pensioner Kelly Fox causes a minor stir on Britain's Got Talent with her song Kiss My Ass.

Mediawatch-UK director Vivienne Pattison has asked David Cameron's Mary Whitehouse, Claire Perry MP, to investigate supposedly sexualised content on pre-watershed shows like Britain's Got Talent. Pattison whinged:

The ratings are falling and ITV is just pulling out the stops. First we had the lap dancer Keri Graham and now this granny. It is inappropriate. BGT is going all out to shock and Ofcom is simply underregulating the show.

In 2010, Ofcom said Rihanna's dancing on The X Factor had reached the 'limits of acceptability'. It must be past that by now. As a result, Ofcom is trying to redefine family viewing.

The Britain's Got Talent judges granted Fox a thumbs up for another appearance.

 

15th May

  Dangerous Insult...

Azerbaijan introduces repressive criminal offences aimed at internet censorship
Link Here

Azerbaijan flag Azerbaijan's parliament has legalized more repressive Internet controls in a move the country's opposition groups fear could be used to curb online dissent.

The parliament on voted on May 14 to make online libel and abuse criminal offences.

The new law allows for cases of slander deemed to be particularly serious to be punishable by up to three years in jail. The previous maximum sentence was 15 days.

 

15th May

 Offsite Article: Contracted Out...

Link Here
Freedom of Information logoAN update about co-regulator ATVOD conveniently being outside of the scope of Freedom of Information

See article from whatdotheyknow.com

 

14th May

 Offsite Article: Devilish Details...

Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
Houses of ParliamentUK's New Defamation Law May Accelerate The Death Of Anonymous User-Generated Content Internationally. Forbes points out that UK's new libel law has some impossibly nasty clauses for webmasters

See article from forbes.com

 

13th May

 Extract: Extremely Interesting...

A twitter report on the seminar, Criminalising Extreme Pornography: 5 Years On
Link Here

Durham University logo A conference took place last week titled 'Criminalising Extreme Pornography: 5 Years On' at Durham University this last week.

It brought together academics, activists, policy-makers and other regulatory authorities to evaluate the success or failure of the legislation and to asked what, if any, reforms are necessary to secure progress toward this objective.

Speakers included:

  • Simon Walsh  (barrister and alderman of the City of London)
  • Fiona Elvines  (Rape Crisis, South London)
  • Holly Dustin  (End Violence Against Women Coalition)
  • Alex Dymock  (University of Reading)
  • Clare McGlynn  and  Erika Rackley  (Durham Law School)
  • Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir  (Centre for Women's and Gender Research, University of Iceland)

The event was covered by live tweets and Chris has kindly organised this record into a surprisingly useful format.

See twitter report from storify.com

 

13th May

  Slaves to Easy Offence...

Pakistani Fashion Designer's 'Be My Slave' Shoot Called Racist
Link Here
aamna aqeel diva magazine A magazine photo shoot for an emerging fashion designer's collection has touched off anger throughout Pakistan for its depiction of a dark-skinned child serving as a slave to a fair-skinned model.

The clothing collection on display in the Be my Slave spread published in Diva magazine issue 106 is by Aamna Aqeel, who made her debut at Fashion Pakistan Week in Karachi in April 2013. Aqeel has maintained that she wanted the shoot to spark debate on child labor, and she is supporting and educating the young boy featured in the photos.

But with bonded slavery and racism very real problems facing Pakistan, some have accused Aqeel of engineering the photos with the intent to shock and gain publicity for her brand.

In a post on her Style Inn blog, entertainment journalist Usama Hamayun criticised the slave theme:

Her collection [at Fashion Pakistan Week] received very good reviews and I for one liked her collection as well. But this shoot disgusts me. Playing with such an insensitive theme in a country where racism and bonded labour are critical issues is not acceptable or aesthetically pleasing by any means. You can be fashion forward and push the envelope but above pics are simply tasteless and offensive.

 

13th May

  Tuned in to Repression...

Police raid Zimbabwe villages to confiscate radios used to listen to opposition broadcasting
Link Here

Zimbabwe flag The illegal seizure of wind-up radios reached new levels with reports that the police are now using primary school pupils to source information about the receivers.

Villagers in Lupane revealed that the police have been visiting schools and asking infant children aged between 4 and 6 years whether their parents own or listen to any radios.

This follows reports that suspected state security agents raided several homesteads at Mpofu village in the Gwampa area and confiscated the wind-up radios.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa one villager who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said the police have been going to schools, writing down names, and then visiting those suspected of owning the radios by night.

Our source said she suspects the police are aware of the popularity of shortwave radios in the area, hence they are now confiscating them:

The police have been announcing that villagers should not be in possession of these radios. Their reason is that we listen to news broadcasts from outside the country which criticise ZANU PF.

 

12th May

  Scrounging Links...

Irish film censor pressurises Netflix over providing age rating information
Link Here

Irish Film Censors Office logo The Irish film censor is attempting to scrounge a website link from the US video on demand service, Netflix.

The Irish Film Classification Office (Ifco) wrote twice last year asking Netflix to redirect people looking for information about the age suitability of a film to the censor's website. Ifco wants a link to be added in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of the Netflix website. Ifco wrote:

Ifco habitually receives queries and complaints, primarily from parents, relating to film content viewed without Ifco's age ratings, often online. This being the case, we feel it would be beneficial to your Irish users, parents in particular, to know more detailed consumer advice regarding your content is freely available.

Netflix have declined the link exchange citing technical difficulties.

 

12th May

  Humiliation by YouTube...

South Australia enacts a law against filming or distributing humiliating or degrading images
Link Here

South Australia flag A new law with jail sentences for filming or distributing humiliating or degrading images of people has come into effect in South Australia. However people who film an offence for the purpose of assisting police are protected from prosecution. Presumably this covers CCTV.

State Attorney General John Rau said the law carrying up to two years' imprisonment was a response to bad behaviour in the digital age.

The Government shares the community's concerns regarding the practice of people being deliberately humiliated via the internet.

Whether it be distributing a private image or video of an ex-partner, or the filming of an assault, you can now expect up to two years in prison.

The law is a reaction to an incident in 2011 where school children at Craigmore High arranged for an unsuspecting student to be king hit which was filmed and put on the internet. Several students were subsequently suspended.

 

11th May

 Extract: Basket Cases at the MPAA...

Director Frank Henenlotter's anecdotes about the BBFC and MPAA
Link Here

Frankenhooker DVD James Lorinz Frank Henenlotter recalls:

When we brought Frankenhooker to the MPAA the head of the board at the time called up our company and the guy said to the secretary, Congratulations, you're the first film rated S. And she said S? For sex? And they said No, S for Shit. And this is the ratings board!

...

When we premiered Bad Biology [2008] in London I had dinner the night before with a bunch of people and one was a member of the BBFC. I said to him, 'I'd love to know your opinion after the film, unofficially of course.' I said, 'How much trouble are we in?' And he said, 'Oh Frank, you're not in any trouble at all, this is hilarious and harmless.' Then he said, 'But if this was 20 years ago we would have had you arrested.'

...Read the full interview

 

10th May

 Update: Living On to Fight Another Day...

Google lose test case appealing against Russian internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

Google logo A test-case brought by Google to challenge Russian internet censorship has failed.

The case related to a video clip uploaded to Google-owned YouTube, which portrayed, using a blunt razorblade and fake blood, a woman cutting her wrists.

Russian regulators demanded the clip be removed, saying it provided information about how to kill oneself. Google complied, but filed an appeal, which has now been rejected by a Moscow court.

Google argued the clip was intended as entertainment rather than to promote actual suicide. In response to the ruling, Google said:

We do not believe the goal of the law was to limit access to videos that are clearly intended to entertain viewers.

The clip, entitled Video lesson on how to cut your veins , was deemed by Russian regulators to break strict new rules on web content thought to be harmful to children.

Perhaps it is relevant to note that the UK film censors of the BBFC used to cut sight of a particularly effective method of cutting veins when it was felt that not many people knew of this. The policy has now been adapted after the technique became more well known.

 

10th May

 Updated: Back the Next Day...

David Bowie's interesting knock at priests gets temporarily banned for YouTube
Link Here

david bowie next day video David Bowie's latest music video featuring him as a Christ-like figure surrounded by women in skimpy outfits and priests in a bar has been pulled from YouTube.

The video for the single The Next Day was temporarily removed from the video-sharing website with a screenshot saying it had been taken down because its content violated YouTube's terms of service, the singer's publicist said.

A spokeswoman for Google-owned YouTube said:

With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call, she said. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. [albeit with a deserved 18 rating].

Update: Christian's recommend The Next Day by David Bowie

10th May 2013. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk . See also article from  contactmusic.com

The Next Day David Bowie David Bowie has incurred the wrath of America's Catholic League over his religious-themed new video.

Bowie appears in the video dressed in Christ-like robes, while Gary Oldman plays a beer-swilling priest and Marion Cotillard is a hooker who transforms into a saint.

The video has riled Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who claims the clip is a mess :

The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women.

The video is strewn with characteristic excess: one priest bashes a homeless man, while others are busy hitting on women; self-flagellation is depicted; a dancing gal with bleeding hands makes a stigmata statement; and a customer is served eyeballs on a plate... In short, the video reflects the artist - it is a mess.

Meanwhile ex-archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey said:

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.

I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery - I very much doubt it.

Frankly, I don't get offended by such juvenilia - Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language although I hope Bowie will recognise that he may be upsetting some people.

Jack Valero of the Catholic Voices group said:

I wouldn't give him the time of day, it is just desperate. He used to be famous, why does he need to do this?

Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, added:

 It is actually just a bit sad -- what is he seeking to achieve?

Strangely none of the Christians seem to recognise that that the amount of abusive priests may be something to do with the justified criticism of the church.

 

10th May

 Updated: Tasteless...

Modern take on Wagner Opera references the Holocaust
Link Here

tannhauser A modern production of Richard Wagner's opera Tannhauser is causing a stir in Germany because of Nazi-themed scenes showing people dying in gas chambers and members of a family having their heads shaved before being executed.

The opera had performers inside glass chambers, falling to the floor as white fog billowed. After a half hour, the music stopped and a family stepped on stage. The parents and their children were having their hair shaved off and then they are shot dead.

Monika Doll, a spokeswoman for the Dusseldorf opera house said that members of the audience booed and were shocked by the opening performance. She said Deutsche Oper am Rhein is debating whether to censor the provocative parts, added to the original by producer Burkhard Kosminski.

Michael Szentei-Heise of the city's Jewish community told The Associated Press that the adaptation at the city's Deutsche Oper am Rhein was tasteless and not legitimate.

The director, Christoph Meyer, said: This is not about mocking the victims, but mourning them.

The original Tannhauser opera is set in the Middle Ages.

Update: Censored

10th May 2013. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

The production, by director Burkhard Kosminski has now been unceremoniously pulled, with the theatre admitting it had been too much of a psychological and physical strain for many opera goers. For artistic reasons , Kosminski steadfastly refused to change the most offensive scenes after an initial barrage of complaints following the opening night on Saturday.

 

10th May

 Offsite Article: Perspectives: How far can you go?...

Link Here
Father Ted Series 1 DVDIs religion an impediment to humour, and is it more acceptable to make fun of Christianity than other faiths?

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

9th May

 Update: UK's Snooper's Charter Lite...

Snooper's Charter absent from Queen's speech but there is a reference to new legislation to more accurately record and correlate users with their internet activity
Link Here

UK Government arms This session's Queen's speech did not contain any explicit mention of the Communications Data Bill, but did make reference to proposals aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to match IP addresses to individuals.

My government will continue to reduce crime and protect national security. Legislation will be introduced to reform the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in England and Wales.

Legislation will be brought forward to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, cut crime and further reform the police.

In relation to the problem of matching internet protocol addresses, my government will bring forward proposals to enable the protection of the public and the investigation of crime in cyberspace.

The government provides more details in the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech:

[IP] addresses are generally shared between a number of people. In order to know who has actually sent an email or made a Skype call, the police need to know who used a certain IP address at a given point in time. Without this, if a suspect used the internet to communicate instead of making a phone call, it may not be possible for the police to identify them.

The Government is looking at ways of addressing this issue with CSPs. It may involve legislation.

Commentators have linked these proposals to comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in April, suggesting that the government could be considering some sort of intervention relating to IPv6 adoption.

Right now, there are not enough IP addresses to go round for all of the devices being used. Temporary addresses are attached to computers and phones while they are online, but the records of these are patchy, which means they cannot easily be matched back to individuals.

The police say a clearer picture would be a huge help in their investigations and we should explore how that can be done. --- Nick Clegg, writing in The Telegraph

 

9th May

  Likely Government Internet Shutdown...

Syrian internet comes back online after about a day of downtime
Link Here

Syria flag Syria's Internet links to the outside world were restored almost 20 hours after e-mail, websites and other services became inaccessible across much of the country, Google and other Web companies said.

Bakr Bakr, director general of the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, a government-related company, claimed that the Web outage was a malfunction in a fiber-optic cable, according to an earlier report by the Middle East News Agency. Maintenance teams were working to restore access, Bakr was cited as saying.

The reason for the disruption wasn't immediately clear and may be due to a government-ordered shutdown of the Internet, according to Dan Hubbard, chief technology officer at Umbrella Security Labs and OpenDNS. Damage to infrastructure or cyberattack also are possibilities, though unlikely, he said.

 

9th May

 Offsite Article: What is the 'Right' Amount of Sex on TV...

Link Here
The GuardianThe latest Ofcom survey of viewers shows that, for the first time, more than half of those over 65 think there is the right balance. But aren't programmes more explicit than ever before?

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

8th May

  The State of the Easily Offended Nation...

Annual Ofcom survey of being offended by what's on telly
Link Here

Ofcom logo Ofcom commissioned a public survey of 1830 UK viewers aged 16 and over. A similar survey is published each year so as to be able to track trends.

Ofcom's summary of results of relevant topics is as follows:

Levels of offence on TV

Less than a fifth of UK adults say they have been offended by something on TV in the previous 12 months a similar proportion to the previous year.

  • Almost a fifth (18%) of respondents said they had been offended by something on TV in the previous 12 months, a similar proportion to the 2011 results.
     
  • Older respondents were more likely than younger people to say they had been offended (27% of over-65s compared to 13% among 16-34s).
     
  •  As in the two previous years, among those offended, language (47%), violence (33%) and sexual content (32%) were the most common causes of offence. But among those offended, fewer people (10%) said they were offended by nakedness than in 2010 (14%) and 2011 (16%).
     
  • Among those who had been offended, four in ten (39%) agreed with the statement such things should only be shown when viewers are likely to expect them (e.g. after a clear warning), followed by 36% who agreed that others should be allowed to see these things , whereas 20% thought that it should not have been shown .
     
  • The main reaction on seeing something that caused offence was to switch channel (50%). Almost a quarter (22%) said they switched off, 15% continued watching the programme and 15% discussed it with others.
     
  • Audiences today are less likely than in 2008 to switch off when they see something that offends them (32% in 2008 vs 22% in 2012) and more likely to continue watching (5% in 2008 vs 15% in 2012).

Attitudes towards sex, violence, swearing and harmful content on TV

Opinions about the amount of sex, violence and offensive language on TV look to have shifted since 2005; with the proportion saying the amount is about right having steadily increased for each type of content, while the proportion stating too much has declined.

  • The majority of respondents felt that current levels of sex (67%), violence (56%) and swearing (56%) on TV are about right . One in four (24%) felt there was too much sex and just over two in five felt there was too much violence (39%) and swearing (39%). This compares to 36% of adults saying there was too much sex on TV in 2005, with 56% for violence and 55% for swearing.
     
  • Older respondents were more likely than younger respondents to think levels were about right for each type of content.
     
  • 16% of respondents said they had seen something on TV in the past 12 months that they thought was harmful, either to themselves, to other adults or children; a similar proportion as in 2011.

Protection of children and the TV watershed

Audiences today are more likely than in 2005 to think the 9pm watershed is at about the right time

  • 50% of respondents felt it was the responsibility of both broadcasters and parents to make sure that children do not see unsuitable programmes. Just under half (45%) felt it was mainly parents responsibility and 4% mainly broadcasters .
     
  • Parents were more likely than those without childcare responsibility to feel it was the responsibility of both broadcasters and parents to ensure that children do not see unsuitable programmes (53% vs 48%), and less likely to say mainly parents (42% vs 46%).
     
  • Most (96%) were aware that broadcasters are required to show television programmes that are not suitable for children only after a certain time in the evening.
     
  • Audience today were more likely to think the 9pm watershed was at about the right time, with three-quarters (75%) of respondents saying so. This compares to 64% in 20052 .

Internet Censorship

Opinions that the amount of censorship for the internet is too little have increased since 2010.

  • The majority of respondents (88%) thought TV programmes were censored, an increase from 85% in 2010. 74% felt that current levels of TV censorship were about right .
     
  • 40% thought the internet was censored. Almost half (47%) felt that current levels of internet censorship were too little , (increasing to 54% among parents), 23% said about right and 28% said they didn't know whether it was about right or not. Since 2010 the proportion of respondents who said they did not know has declined (from 38%).
     
  • Since 2010 opinions that the amount of censorship for the internet is too little have increased from 41% in 2010 to almost half (47%) of UK adults in 2012. This rises to more than half (53%) among parents.
     
  • 73% of respondents were aware that it is possible to watch/download programmes online. Awareness declined with age (81% of 16-34s vs 53% of 65+) and parents' awareness was higher than among those not responsible for children (80% vs 70%).
     
  • Among those aware that it is possible to watch/download programmes online, 55% thought that the content was censored and 10% thought that it was not. Awareness was higher among 16-34s (57%, compared to 50% of over-65s)

 

8th May

  New Extension of PC Censorship...

Ofcom whinge at jokey sponsorship advert immediately after rape scene in film
Link Here

phones 4u upgrade advert Phones 4U's sponsorship of network films on Channel 4 Channel 4,
26 December 2012, 23:32

Phones 4U, an independent mobile phone retailer, sponsors drama and films on Channel 4, E4 and Film 4.

A total of 17 complainants contacted Ofcom about a Phones 4U sponsorship credit broadcast on Channel 4 on 26 December 2012 during the film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . The complainants felt that the scheduling of the sponsorship credit was inappropriate and belittled the serious issues being dealt with in the film's content.

Ofcom viewed the sponsorship credit and noted that it started with a close-up shot of a woman's face in bed with a man, apparently having sex. The woman paused and leaned towards the camera and said: I'm faking it, can I upgrade?  Immediately before the credit the film showed a prolonged attack and disturbing rape on a young woman, the film's main character. This included a close-up of her face while she was screaming. The effect was to cut from the face of the screaming woman in the film's rape scene to the face of the woman in bed in the sponsorship credit

In addition, we noted that the next sponsorship credit, leading out of the same advertising break back into the film, continued the sexual theme and returned to the scene of the man and woman in bed used in the sponsorship credit described above. In this credit the man looked at the camera and said I've still got my pants on, can I upgrade?

Ofcom considered Rule 9.17:

Sponsorship must comply with both the content and scheduling rules that apply to television advertising.

The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising ( the BCAP Code ) states in Section 4 that:

Advertisements must not be harmful or offensive. Advertisements must take account of generally accepted standards to minimise the risk of causing harm or serious or widespread offence. The context in which an advertisement is likely to be broadcast must be taken into account to avoid unsuitable scheduling

Rule 32.1 of the BCAP Code states that:

Broadcasters must exercise responsible judgement on the scheduling of advertisements and operate internal systems capable of identifying and avoiding unsuitable juxtapositions between advertising material and programmes, especially those that could distress or offend viewers or listeners.

Channel 4 said that after the broadcast it had issued an apology to viewers who had complained directly to Channel 4.

The Licensee explained that there are 37 different Phones 4U sponsorship credits and those with a more adult nature are scheduled for post-21:00 broadcast. Channel 4 said that the sponsorship credits complained about were played in random rotation across all sponsored films on Channel 4 and Film 4 and had a post-21:00 restriction. Channel 4 said it regretted what had occurred and acknowledged that Unfortunately, the juxtaposition between the credits and this particular film inadvertently caused offence to viewers.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules

Ofcom considered that the juxtaposition of a light-hearted sponsorship credit featuring a woman during sex with a disturbing and distressing rape scene in a film was clearly unsuitable. In Ofcom's view this clearly had the potential to be offensive to viewers.

As set out in the BCAP Code, broadcasters are required to have processes in place to ensure advertising material is scheduled appropriately and unsuitable juxtapositions between advertising and programmes which may cause offence are avoided

Ofcom has taken account this action by Channel 4 and the apology it issued to viewers. However we considered that, in this case, Channel 4 had had insufficient processes in place to prevent the unsuitable juxtaposition of advertising and programming material, as required by Rule 32.1 of the BCAP Code.

Ofcom therefore considered that both sponsorship credits were in breach of the relevant rules

Breaches of Rule 9.17 of the Code, with reference to Rule 32.1 of the BCAP Code

 

8th May

 Update: Immature Legislation...

New Jersey Lawmaker proposes law to ban 17 year olds from buying 17 rated games
Link Here  full story: Newtown School Killings...Gun lobby vs violent media

New Jersey state seal New jersey State Assemblyman Sean Kean has introduced two bills that stem from reports that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter behind the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn, owned some violent video games, including games that carried a '17' rating, mature.

Kean's legislation would restrict the sale of video games rated mature or adults only to minors.

Officials in several states have attempted to pass laws that would prohibit the sale of certain video games to minors, but none have succeeded. Citing First Amendment protections.

The first bill proposed by Kean would prohibit retailers from selling video games that are rated mature or adults only to anyone under 18. The second would require the presence of a parent for a minor to purchase a violent video game.

Any retailer found to be in violation of either bill would be subject to a $10,000 fine for the first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent instance; be forced to cover any punitive damages to the minor who purchased the game; and could be on the receiving end of a cease-and-desist order from the state Attorney General's Office.

Though both of Kean's pending bills are currently backed by a small cadre of Republicans. Assembly members from the other side of the aisle have also taken on the violent video game debate. Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender (Union) is preparing a bill that would ban violent video games from public places such as arcades.

 

8th May

  Insulting Democracy...

Thai internet minster threatens to censor websites that insult the prime minister
Link Here

MICT logo Thai censorship minister Anudith Nakornthap of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) should not overstep his authority by threatening to shut down websites that carried  insulting remarks about Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by cartoonist Chai Rachawat on Facebook. The commentator compared Yingluck to a prostitute selling away Thailand. He wrote: Please understand. Prostitutes are not evil. They just sell their bodies. But an evil woman sells her country

National Human Rights commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara said that such threats were a violation of basic rights of Thai citizens and that the right to criticise is a foundation of democracy. The prime minister should instead use criticism as feedback to reconsider her conduct and improve her work. Niran said:

The government or executive branch should not overstep its authority by forbidding the expression of views by the people in a democracy because this is akin to depriving people of basic rights.

Opposition Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said he was surprised by MICT's threat because it came from a government that had previously insisted that the Computer Crimes Act is undemocratic. Abhisit said the latest move goes against democratic principles.

The MICT minister insisted that he was doing his duty and that he had the authority to do so. He urged anyone who finds offensive messages on the Internet to report them so they could be immediately removed .

Update: Prime Minister supports prosecution of critical commentator

8th May 2013. See  article from  bangkokpost.com

Yinglak The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry must take action against criticism made online, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said.

People have the right to criticise government policies ...BUT.. .if an accusation goes too far, it is the ICT Ministry's duty to take action, she said.

ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap gave his assurance Tuesday that his ministry will take action to protect not only the prime minister but others from 'unfair' online criticism.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) has appointed a team of officers to investigate Thai Rath cartoonist Somchai Katanyutanan, known by his pen name Chai Ratchawat, who is in legal hot water after allegedly calling the premier an evil woman on his Facebook page. The MPB said it will soon summon him to give a statement.

Update: Critical commentator's newspaper office attacked by thugs

14th May 2013. See  article from  cpj.org

CPJ logo The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called that Thailand's government must fully investigate this weekend's attack on Thai Rath, the country's largest circulation daily newspaper. The newspaper is where the besieged cartoonist, Somchai Katanyutanan, works.

According to local reports, four assailants threw firecrackers and two hollow iron balls,the kind used in the French lawn game petanque, at the newspaper's main office in Bangkok early Saturday morning. Glass was shattered in a security booth and two guards were injured. The perpetrators got away on motorcycles. Police officials said they were checking fingerprints from the crime scene and footage from CCTV surveillance cameras to identify the suspects, reports said.

Saturday's attack comes as Bangkok Metropolitan Police, at the request of Yingluck's government, are investigating Somchai for a Facebook post which referred to Yingluck as an evil woman and likened a speech she made on Thai politics to selling out national interests, according to reports.

The police complaint, which was filed on May 3, accused him on three counts: insulting an official during an official event, public defamation, and violating the Computer Crime Act, which prohibits the posting of defamatory comments over the Internet.

Update: Kicked off Facebook

14th May 2013. See  article from  nationmultimedia.com

Facebook logo Thammasat University academic Somsak Jeamteerasakul's Facebook account has been suspended for 30 days, leading to widespread criticism on social media.

In the message via Phakjira Slk, Somsak said his account had been suspended because somebody had reported him as having violated Facebook's terms and conditions, adding that he was afraid he would be framed again if he were to register for a new page.

Meanwhile, the cartoonist has not responded to police summonses after Yingluck sued him for libel, deputy director of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Maj-General Anuchai Lekbamrung said yesterday.

 

8th May

  Lego Gettin' Dirty...

Humourous Lego stickers offend the politically correct
Link Here

Lego Epoxy Stickers Construction Phrase Josh Stearns, a father of two young sons posted photos of a set of LEGO stickers on his Tumblr account. Stearns was "appalled" by the image of a hard-hatted construction worker waving at an unseen passersby, shouting HEY BABE! He wrote:

I was so disappointed to see the brand affiliated with a product that normalized street harassment and cat-calling.

The Internet chattered. Bloggers weighed in; people began posting negative reviews of the product on Amazon.

LEGO took note; last week Stearns logged onto his computer and found an email from Charlotte Simonsen, senior director at LEGOs corporate communications office in Denmark. Simonsen explained that the stickers had been licensed by a company called Creative Imagination and have already been discontinued and apologised:

LEGOs typically uses humor to communicate the Lego experience. We are sorry that you were unhappy with the way a mini-figure was portrayed here.

Steams also received a response from Andrea Ryder, the head of the LEGO Outbound Licensing Department who said that the product was no longer available and that we would not approve such a product again.

 

7th May

  Fees on Demand...

YouTube set to start charging for its channels and become liable to the expensive ATVOD censorship regime for Video on Demand
Link Here

YouTube logo The Financial Times is reporting that Google will launch paid subscription channels on YouTube sometime very soon. Channels will be priced from about £ 1.30 a month. The idea would allow traditional broadcasters to offer content to viewers

YouTube has been interested in creating more high-quality channels for some time now. Recently it awarded grants of $1million to several UK bidders who pitched channel ideas.

There is one interesting side issue here, because at some point YouTube will become, in the eyes of the UK government - and likely others - a broadcaster. When that happens, the firm is going to have to obey UK censorship laws and make sure that under-18s are protected from unsuitable content.

Pocket-lint understands that the money YouTube gave to its channel partners to start channels was paid in advance specifically to avoid the need to be censored by ATVOD and Ofcom.

ATVOD's censorship fees are very expensive and the money is mostly spent dreaming up ways to suffocate the UK adult internet business.

YouTube is currently outside of the grasp of ATVOD as user content is specifically excused from their censorship under European law. However material from commercial channels which may be TV programmes is not exempt from TV censorship once it is under editorial control and uploaded by the channels themselves.

 

7th May

  Indecently Moral...

Parents TV Council launches #NoIndecencyFCC week to maintain TV censorship of fleeting nudity or strong language
Link Here

PTC logo US morality campaigners of the Parents Television Council have launched #NoIndecencyFCC Week, May 6-10. They are hoping to encourage moralists to file public comments to the FCC's proposal to limit broadcast indecency complaints.

PTC President Tim Winter said:

We are focusing on #NoIndecencyFCC to let the FCC know that we consider its proposal to limit broadcast indecency complaints extremely troublesome. Only pursuing so-called 'egregious' complaints from the public about indecent TV or radio content will lead to broadcasters pushing the decency limits even further -- including the airing of nudity or harsh profanity when millions of children are in the audience.

Federal law limits the broadcast of indecent material to the times of day when kids are much less likely to be in the audience, making no distinction for 'egregious' instances. Either material is legally indecent or it is not, and the 'egregious' nature of violating the law should only dictate the punishment a broadcaster faces for breaking that law. It is unnecessary for indecent content to be repeated many times in order to be actionable, and it is unwise for the FCC to pursue a new course that will guarantee nothing but a rash of new litigation.

We are encouraging the public to share its concern with the FCC in a public comment by the deadline of May 20. To date, over 90,000 public comments have been filed, most of them expressing outrage that the FCC would even consider such a proposal.

If this proposal is adopted, the greatest harm will fall upon our children and grandchildren, who already face waves of explicit content when they use the airwaves of which they, too, are co-owners. The FCC proposal erodes a parent's recourse for broadcast decency enforcement and, instead, cedes control of our airwaves entirely to the entertainment industry. It's time to say #NoIndecencyFCC!

The PTC is also encouraging people to take to Twitter using the #NoIndecencyFCC hashtag.

 

6th May

  Sharing Names...

Norway proposes law requiring ISPs to block file sharing websites and identify downloaders and website owners
Link Here

Norway flag Norway is taking steps against online copyright infringement by amending the Copyright Act. The revisions are popular in parliament and if passed will grant authorities the right to block sites at the ISP level.

The proposed amendments also will require ISPs to hand over information to identify both website owners and end-users of unauthorized material online.

The new legislation would allow rights-holders to take to court site owners involved in illegal content sharing and order the internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent or impede access to sites that have extensively made available material that clearly violates copyrights , Torrenfreak quotes the amendments.

Norwegian internet campaigners have said that the draconian measures would lead to widespread censorship. Blogger Morten told Bikyanews.com:

It is simply wrong and we will not put up with this and if that means holding massive protests to do so it will happen.

We understand that there is tension right now in the government, but action must be taken by us young people to make certain our freedom of speech is not attacked.

 

4th May

  BBFC Podcast 12...

Discussing Bollywood movies and reality documentaries
Link Here

TERRORISTS KILLERS MIDDLE EAST WACK In this episode of the BBFC podcast James Blatch marks the 100th anniversary of Bollywood and discusses how the BBFC classify films that are based on real life events.

 

4th May

  An Internet Suitable for Mary Whitehouse...

Government wants to block anything vaguely adult from public Wi-Fi
Link Here

David Cameron Anything judged to be adult content is to be banned from public wi-fi networks by the end of the year, according to David Cameron's Mary Whitehouse.

Claire Perry said the move was supposedly to prevent children from stumbling across adult material when using wireless internet networks in places such as cafes and railway stations, or seeing others who may be looking at it.

But one of the country's largest internet providers has threatened to throw a spanner in the works by warning that ministers' plans to block porn from public wi-fi could be against the law. BT says that blocking adult material from stores which use BT public wi-fi could breach 2000 legislation which bans the interception of electronic communications.

Anne Heal, the representative from BT Openreach, said: There is considerable nervousness that filtering content could be regarded as intercepting data, and which could put providers in breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Act allows certain public bodies to intercept data for national security reasons, but bans everyone else from doing so. BT's argument is that filtering web use without the user's express permission could be regarded as the interception of data.

However the six largest providers of public wi-fi have agreed to put adult content block in place. High Street companies offering free wi-fi from one of the six companies will be 'encouraged' to put the block in place to restrict browsing by children using mobile phones and tablets like iPads. These shops would be able to display a kid's internet logo so parents know their children will be safe.

Perry said:

I'm really pleased that the internet industry is committed to providing public wi-fi that is free of adult content. It is entirely appropriate and means that children can surf the web safely in thousands of different places.

Now we need to move fast in introducing family-friendly home internet filtering to make sure that our young people are not accessing violent and pornographic images.

 

4th May

 Update: Stop Press...

Government plans for a news censor put on hold to give time to consider alternative plan proposed by newspaper editors
Link Here  full story: UK News Censor...UK proposes state controlled news censor

House of Commons logo The Government's proposal for a Royal Charter on the future of news censorship has been put on hold after newspaper editors put forward an alternative plan.

The Royal Charter was due to be signed by the Queen when she chaired the next meeting of the Privy Council on May 15, but it has now been taken off the agenda for the meeting so the Government can hold more talks with editors.

Editors are unhappy with an element of statutory underpinning in the Government's proposal, and last month they published their own proposal for a Royal Charter, which would remove Parliament's proposed power to make changes to the regulatory system without the agreement of the industry.

 

4th May

  Will Child Protection Requirements Lead to More Adults Only Spaces?...

Playstation Network to be restricted to credit card carrying adults in South Korea
Link Here

playstation network logo Last year, a law was passed in South Korea to prevent gamers under sixteen from gaming during a six-hour block at night. A year later, the consequences are expanding.

When the law went into effect July 1, 2012, Sony temporarily took down the PSN Store. Sony had hoped to get it back up sometime later in 2012, because it needed to revamp the PSN to comply with the new law. That apparently meant that there were no new PSN games and no other downloadable content during this blackout.

This week, Sony Computer Entertainment Korea announced that the PSN is finally returning to South Korea starting May 16. However, people under the age of 18 will not be able to use the PlayStation Network at all.

According to Sony's South Korean arm, it was difficult for them to come up with a system that could limit game play time for minors as well as a system to verify parental permission. Thus, the PSN in South Korea will soon be ages 18 and up only as verified via a credit card.

 

4th May

  Daily Fun...

Chinese internet censors block twitter titters about the new People's Daily News building
Link Here

peoples daily Chinese censors have been working overtime on social network Weibo after users noticed that the new headquarters of state propaganda sheet the People's Daily News looked somewhat phallic.

According to the South China Morning Morning Post, Weibo searches for People's Daily and building appear to show that the terms have been blocked.

 

3rd May

 Offsite Article: A Review of the Banned Short, Morgue Street...

Link Here  full story: Banned Films in Australia...I Want Your Love
morgue streetOne of the most violent and disturbing movies I have seen in years. Morgue Street is an edgy, polished and extremely disturbing horror short that crosses just about every line you can imagine in its 11 minute running time.

See article from horror-movies.ca

 

3rd May

  Ching Ching...

GM censors Chrevrolet advert to avoid easy offense after old song contains trivial references to China
Link Here

chevrolet ching ching video Carmaker General Motors (GM) says it is withdrawing a TV commercial for its Chevrolet Trax four-wheel drive after its soundtrack was deemed offensive .

The ad features vocals from a 1938 recording which refers to China as the land of Fu Manchu where people say ching ching, chop suey .

It had been running on Canadian TV since early April and was also posted on Chevrolet's European website.

The lyrics have now been removed from the advert, which has been reissued.

GM Canada's communications director, Faye Roberts, said:

Once the issue was called to our attention, GM immediately removed the offensive content from the commercial. It is never our intention to offend the audience.

 

2nd May

  Pre-Prepared Outrage...

The easily offended set out how they will be 'outraged' by tonight's episode of The Politician's Husband
Link Here

politicians husband BBC bosses are braced for pre-prepared 'outrage' over sadistic sex scenes to be shown 5 minutes after tonight's 9pm watershed. David Tennant will be seen raping his wife in a 70-second scene in The Politician's Husband.

Vivienne Pattison, director of pressure group MediaWatch-UK, slated the decision to show adult material immediately after the 9pm divide. She said:

The Politician's Husband will be following on from snooker. Snooker to sadistic sex is quite an extreme leap and care should be taken to avoid putting the most 'challenging' material immediately after 9pm.

And Katie Russell, of the organisation Rape Crisis, insisted viewers should be warned of the sexually violent nature of the show before they watch it. She said:

It's important that any programme planning to screen such scenes carries clear and repeated warnings to avoid triggering flashbacks or distressing and re-traumatising sexual violence survivors.

A BBC spokesman explained:

This scene goes to the heart of the emotional story for the characters. It establishes that their sex lives are integral to the narrative, and while some viewers may find these scenes strong, they reflect the central themes of power and betrayal which impact on their political marriage.

It will air in a post-watershed slot and there will be a warning prior to broadcast that the drama contains scenes of sexual violence and some strong language from the start.

 

2nd May

 Update: BBC Tells Whingers to Bugger Off...

BBC publishes complaints response defending quips about Scottish tramps in Have I Got News For You
Link Here  full story: Have I Got News For You...News comedyquiz winds up the easily offended

Have Got News For You The Sun reported:

FURIOUS viewers have flooded the BBC with complaints after cockney film star Ray Winstone branded Scots TRAMPS.

The comments were part of a section on Scottish independence and sparked around 100 complaints to the BBC/Ofcom whingeing about supposed racism.

Guest presenter Winstone quipped:

To be fair the Scottish economy has its strengths --- its chief exports being oil, whisky, tartan and tramps.

He then went on to ask the audience if we should just tell the Scots to bugger off .

Dozens stood up and cheered in agreement.

Team captain Ian Hislop also joined in the fun suggesting that Mars bars could be the new currency north of the border.

The BBC's Response

We've received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with comments made about Scotland during Have I Got News For You on Friday 26th April.

Have I Got News For You is a topical and satirical entertainment panel show and as such contains jokes and provocative comment rather than genuine political reporting or debate. The guest host's material, including the questions and extra jokes he has written, do not reflect the opinions of the BBC, they are jokes concerning the major news stories of the week which are intended to be enjoyed by as great a proportion of the audience as possible. The programme has dealt with many subjects over the last 20 years and we don't believe the way the subject of Scotland was handled in this edition would have gone against audience expectations for the show.

 

2nd May

 Update: Good Clean Fun...

ASA dismisses whinges about a series of Lynx shower gel adverts
Link Here  full story: Lynx Adverts...Nutters wound up by a liitle innuendo from Lynx

lynx fever advert Seventeen interactive ads on video on demand (VOD), on You Tube and Facebook, and cinema screens for Lynx shower gel.

Eg VOD ads:

a. An ad showed five women with the voice-over referring to each one in turn as either party girl , high maintenance girl , brainy girl , flirty girl or sporty girl . The screen became static showing pictures of the five women with their names next to them. Text stated WHAT'S YOUR TYPE? CLICK ON A GIRL TO SEE HER FILM. KEEP UP WITH LYNX SHOWER GELS .

b. Clicking on PARTY GIRL took the viewer through to a video ad showing a man and woman dancing in a domestic setting. The voice-over stated, If you're the kind of guy who finds himself still up at 7.30 am dancing in the smouldering wreckage of his apartment, you're probably going out with a party girl. Keep going and she'll grant you access to her VIP area. Keep going with Lynx Fever. On-screen text stated KEEP YOUR PARTY GIRL HAPPY .

17 complainants saw the ads on various media

  1. All 17 complainants considered the ads were sexist, objectified women and were demeaning to women, and challenged whether the ads were offensive.

  2. Four of the complainants also challenged whether the ads were offensive, because they portrayed men as sexually obsessed, manipulative and devious.

Unilever said the cinema ads were given a U rating, with the exception of Party Girl which was given a PG rating. They said two of the VOD executions were given a post 7.30pm timing restriction which they said demonstrated the clearance bodies believed the ads were suitable for viewing by a broad audience.

Unilever believed the ads had been prepared with a sense of responsibility and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. They believed the number of complaints received (17) compared to the number of people who saw the ad - which was 10.4 million impressions across VOD and paid-for online space, and a combined audience of approximately 19 million people at the cinema - was very small. They believed that showed the ads had not caused serious or widespread offence.

Facebook reviewed the ads and were satisfied that they complied with their applications policy.

YouTube said none of the ads would have violated their advertising policies.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not Upheld

1. Not Upheld

The ASA understood the ads' scenarios were based on the two ideas that people have certain types to whom they are attracted and that in the early stages of dating, everyone adapts their behaviour to some extent in order to impress their partner. The women were identified as one of five types based on their interests and the viewers or cinema audience (whereby the cinema recorded which ad received the most cheers from the audience) could choose to see an ad based on the type of girl in whom they were interested.

Complainants were concerned that the women appeared to be treated as sexual objects which could be chosen and their treatment in the ads was degrading. In the context of dating, we considered viewers were likely to see the ads as illustrating that some people were attracted to others with particular traits, characteristics or interests; something with which we considered viewers would be familiar. While the idea of choosing a type may be distasteful, in the context of the ads the women were unlikely to be seen as objects and therefore, we considered on that basis, the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ads were told from the man's perspective of the date and commented on the dynamic of the couple's relationship. However, the women were not depicted in a negative light and they were not shown in an overtly sexual manner. The ads referred to the sexuality of the couple's relationship using innuendo to infer that if the men acted in a certain way they would be rewarded sexually. We recognised that the humour would not be to everyone's taste but we concluded the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not Upheld

We understood the ads were intended to present an exaggerated view of dating from a male perspective during which the men adapted their behaviour to impress their girlfriends. Some complainants believed the ads portrayed men in a negative light showing them to be sexually obsessed and behaving in a devious and manipulative way.

We noted the ads showed each of the men doing things they may not willingly choose to do in order to impress their girlfriends with the ultimate goal that they would be rewarded sexually. We considered their behaviour in that context would be seen by some viewers as portraying men in a negative light. However, as mentioned above in point one, we considered that humour would not appeal to everyone and that some viewers may find it crass. Nonetheless, we considered the scenarios played out in the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to viewers.

On both points, we investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 30.3 (VOD appendix) but did not find them in breach.

 

2nd May

  Heads Roll at Facebook...

Facebook take down videos of decapitations
Link Here

CARRY DONT Charles Hawtrey LOBBY Facebook has said it will delete videos of people being decapitated which had been posted on its site:

We will remove instances of these videos that are reported to us while we evaluate our policy and approach to this type of content..

The social network had previously refused to ban the clips. It had said people had a right to depict the world in which we live . But the US's Family Online Safety Institute (Fosi) said the violent nature of the material had crossed a line .

The controversy arose when a one-minute long video was uploaded to the site last week showing a woman being beheaded by a masked man.

A second video clip showing the execution of two men has also been shared on the network after being posted last Wednesday. The victims say they are drug smugglers for a Mexican cartel before being attacked with a chainsaw and knife.

John Carr UK of Council for Child Internet Safety said he had flagged the material with Facebook as being inappropriate, but was sent the following reply:

Thanks for your report. We reviewed the video you reported, but found it doesn't violate Facebook's Community Standard on graphic violence, which includes depicting harm to someone or something, threats to the public's safety, or theft and vandalism.

An online petition calling for Facebook to remove decapitation videos had attracted 289 likes at time of writing.

 

2nd May

  Freedom of the Press 2013...

Freedom House reports that media freedom is at a low ebb
Link Here

freedom of the press 2013 The percentage of the world's population living in societies with a fully free press has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, according to a Freedom House report. An overall downturn in global media freedom in 2012 was punctuated by dramatic decline in Mali, deterioration in Greece, and a further tightening of controls in Latin America. Moreover, conditions remained uneven in the Middle East and North Africa, with Tunisia and Libya largely retaining gains from 2011 even as Egypt experienced significant backsliding.

The report, Freedom of the Press 2013 , found that despite positive developments in Burma, the Caucasus, parts of West Africa, and elsewhere, the dominant trend was one of setbacks in a range of political settings. Reasons for decline included the increasingly sophisticated repression of independent journalism and new media by authoritarian regimes; the ripple effects of the European economic crisis and longer-term challenges to the financial sustainability of print media; and ongoing threats from nonstate actors such as radical Islamists and organized crime groups.

David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House, said:

Two years after the uprisings in the Middle East, we continue to see heightened efforts by authoritarian governments around the world to put a stranglehold on open political dialogue, both online and offline. The overall decline is also a disturbing indicator of the state of democracy globally and underlines the critical need for vigilance in promoting and protecting independent journalism.

Worrying deterioration was noted in Ecuador, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, and Thailand--which were all downgraded to the Not Free category--as well as in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, and the Maldives. Meanwhile, Mali suffered the index's largest single-year decline in a decade due to a coup and the takeover of the northern half of the country by Islamist militants, and media in Greece came under a range of pressures as a result of the European economic crisis. The score declines in those two countries triggered a status change to Partly Free, as did a smaller negative shift in Israel.

Of the 197 countries and territories assessed during 2012, a total of 63 (32%) were rated Free, 70 (36%) were rated Partly Free, and 64 (32%) were rated Not Free. The analysis found that less than 14 percent of the world's inhabitants lived in countries with a Free press, while 43% had a Partly Free press and 43% lived in Not Free environments.

The world's eight worst-rated countries are Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In these states, independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the regime, citizens' access to unbiased information is severely limited, and dissent is crushed through imprisonment, torture, and other forms of repression.

Key Regional Findings:

The Americas: The region experienced a decline in press freedom in 2012, with Ecuador and Paraguay falling into the Not Free category and erosion also noted in Argentina and Brazil. The media environment remained extremely restrictive in Cuba and Venezuela, and Mexico continued to be one of world's most dangerous places for journalists, with high levels of violence and impunity for crimes against media workers, though positive legislation to address this issue was passed in 2012. The United States is still among the stronger performers in the region, but the limited willingness of high-level government officials to provide access and information to members of the press was noted as a concern.

Asia-Pacific: This region is home to one of the world's worst-rated countries, North Korea, and the world's largest Not Free setting, China. However, the regional average score improved in 2012. Burma earned the year's largest numerical improvement worldwide due to broad openings in the media environment, and Afghanistan also registered gains. Less positively, Thailand moved back into the Not Free category, and deterioration was noted in Cambodia, Hong Kong, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia: A modest overall reduction in press freedom occurred in this region during 2012, with deterioration in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan offset by improvements in Armenia and Georgia. Restrictive conditions persist in Russia, where the relatively unfettered new media, which have somewhat mitigated the government's near-complete control over major broadcast outlets, faced the threat of further curbs during the year. Hungary's score remained steady amid ongoing concerns regarding extensive legislative and regulatory changes that have tightened government control of the media.

Middle East and North Africa: This region's level of media freedom remained the worst in the world in 2012, and stasis or backsliding was noted in the vast majority of countries, with the exception of Yemen. While two of the Arab Spring countries, Libya and Tunisia, largely retained their significant gains from the previous year, Egypt moved back into the Not Free category. On the Arabian Peninsula, deterioration was noted in Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Israel, an outlier in the region due to its traditionally free and diverse press, nevertheless experienced several challenges during 2012, resulting in a status downgrade to Partly Free.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The region suffered a modest decline in press freedom in 2012, largely as a result of the losses in Mali, now rated Partly Free, and Guinea-Bissau, which slid into the Not Free category. However, trends elsewhere on the continent were positive, with significant improvements for Côte d'Ivoire and Malawi and smaller positive moves for Liberia, Mauritania, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. South Africa's score deteriorated slightly due to de facto restrictions on media coverage of wildcat mining strikes in August and September, and the advancement of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill remained an issue of concern.

Western Europe: The region has consistently boasted the highest level of press freedom worldwide, but its average score underwent an unprecedented decline in 2012. Conditions for the press in Greece deteriorated significantly, moving the country into the Partly Free category, while lesser slippage was noted in Spain, also as a result of the European economic crisis. Turkey, a regional outlier, continued to elicit concern due to its high number of imprisoned journalists.

 

2nd May

 Offsite Article: Manga Retouched...

Link Here
PUSSY KITTY ebookPolitical correct re-editing of Japanese manga

See article from kotaku.com

 

1st May

 Extract: Kids of Steel...

Superman comic writer lives in a fantasy world...as you might expect
Link Here  full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13

man of steel Greg Rucka, who's written Superman and Batman comics, says that Warner Bros.' and Legendary's re-imagining of the classic American tale may lose the character's heart by going too gritty. He explains:

Superman is precisely what we should be teaching our children. Superman inspires us to our best. I haven't seen Man of Steel, haven't read the script, and I've assiduously avoided spoilers. I genuinely don't know if this reality will be present or not. I want it to be brilliant. I want it to be glorious. I want it to be inspiring. I am keeping the faith.

But that PG-13 on Man of Steel is making me nervous. I don't know what it means. I don't know if it's a warning that there's another k-shiv coming for the kidneys, or if it's just the cost-of-doing-business, or even if it's an MPAA-bias against all superhero violence. I don't know if this is a genuine caution to parents, or a marketing decision aimed at a demographic too-cool for Superman's brand of hope and idealism, yet embracing of Batman's self-loathing rough justice, to assure them their ticket will be money well-spent. I don't know if that PG-13 is there out of sincerity or cynicism or politics.

I just know that if you make a Superman movie you can't take kids to, you've done something wrong.

Perhaps Greg Rucka hasn't noticed that all action movies are now at least PG-13 rated (or higher). Movies need a PG-13 to get a little street cred, even from kids. The PG is now used only for Disney style children's films and as such it has become the mark of a children's only film. Certainly not what the marketeers want for a movie that is being sold to a wider audience.

...Read the full article

 

1st May

  Oops We've Done It Again...

Table dancing Club Oops gets a second poster banned by the advert censor
Link Here

Club Oops advert A poster, seen on various telephone boxes in East London, stated New Club Oops..! Bar & Club ... Corporate Gentleman's Entertainment Attitude & Class Does Matter...! . The ad featured an image in negative of a woman from the waist down who, with the exception of high heels and a visible underwear waistband, appeared to be naked. Issue

  1. Four complainants challenged whether the poster was offensive, sexist and degrading to women.

  2. Two complainants challenged whether the poster was unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children. One complainant stated the poster had been placed within 100 m of a primary school.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Club Oops's recent advertising campaign had come to an end and that InFocus Media had agreed to remove the remaining few posters which still appeared.

We noted that the image just showed the lower half of a woman, from the waist down, naked except for some high heels and an underwear waistband. Whilst the image showed the woman wearing underwear, we noted that her buttocks were clearly visible, and considered that the image was provocative and sexually suggestive.

In addition, we considered that a number of consumers were likely to believe that the image of just the lower half of a woman was unduly explicit and degrading to women. We considered the image was overtly sexual in nature and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence. We therefore concluded that it was unsuitable for public display, especially where it could be seen by children.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

1st May

  ASA's Top 10 Adverts of 2012...

ASA publishes its annual report covering activities in 2012
Link Here

ASA logo The Annual report speaks little of censorship issues beyond a few general paragraphs about pandering to the sexualisationists, particularly for outdoor advertising.

The ASA continue to provide the their 10 best adverts of the year as judged by votes from whingers. Note that this year the numbers may be reduced because the ASA web page for complaints, now indicates when the ASA has received enough complaints (about 100) about a particular advert.

  1. Gocompare.com

    1008 complaints: Not upheld

    This TV ad, one of a series for the price comparison website, featured the former footballer Stuart Pearce kicking a football into the stomach of an opera singer. We ruled that the ad was not offensive, irresponsible or harmful, because the ad was not explicit or gruesome, and would be seen as light-hearted and comical.
     
  2. Gocompare.com

    797 complaints: Not upheld

    Another TV ad for the price comparison website, this time featuring Sue Barker taking aim and shooting the main character with a rocket launcher. We ruled the ads was not offensive or harmful because it showed over-the-top and fantastical behaviour and would be seen as light-hearted and comical. We also noted that the main character was shown unharmed at the end of the ad.
     
  3. ASDA

    620 complaints: Not upheld

    This TV ad, which featured a mother carrying out various tasks in preparation for Christmas, prompted complaints it was sexist. We did not uphold the complaints. We also rejected complaints that the ad was offensive to single fathers or men who played a primary domestic role. We thought the ad reflected ASDA's view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of their customers.
     
  4. Channel Four

    373 complaints: Upheld in part

    A series of ads for the TV programme My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, appearing on posters and in national and regional press and magazines, prompted complaints that they were offensive, racist and unfairly denigrated and degraded Gypsy and Traveller communities. After a request from the Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications to re-open our investigation, we agreed that some of the images together with the accompanying text were offensive and irresponsible.
     
  5. Kerry Foods

    371 complaints: Upheld in part

    We did not uphold complaints that the nudity in a TV ad for Richmond Ham was offensive. However, we agreed with complainants that referring to the product as Britain's only ham would be interpreted as meaning the product was British in origin, when that was not the case.
     
  6. Paddy Power

    311 complaints: Out of remit

    We received complaints that an online ad on Paddy Power's YouTube channel was offensive to members of the transgender community. The channel was registered in Ireland, and so it fell outside of our remit. We did however uphold a small number of complaints about the same ad which appeared on TV.
     
  7. (= 7th) Kellogg's

    234 complaints: Not upheld

    We did not uphold complaints that a TV ad for breakfast cereal showing a man being attacked by a snake was unduly distressing. We acknowledged that some viewers might find the theme of the ad distasteful, but that most would view it as comical rather than graphic.
     
  8. (= 7th) Wm Morrison Supermarkets

    234 complaints: Not upheld

    This TV ad prompted a number of complaints that it was irresponsible and harmful because it implied that it was acceptable to feed Christmas pudding to dogs. We didn't think the ad implied it was acceptable to copy this behaviour, as the dog did not eat the pudding. Also dog owners would be aware of the toxicity of grapes, raisins and other foods to their pets
     
  9. Kayak Software Corporation

    189 complaints: Upheld in part

    We ruled that this TV ad showing a man receiving brain surgery would be likely to cause distress without justifiable reason especially to viewers who had been affected by the type of operation depicted in the ad. We did not uphold complaints that the ad was offensive in general.
     
  10. St John Ambulance

    144 complaints: Not upheld

    We did not uphold the complaints about this TV ad, which showed a man and his family coping with his diagnosis, treatment and eventual recovery from cancer, only for him to die by choking to death on a piece of food. Although distressing in its portrayal, we felt the overall message of the ad (that the relatively simple techniques of first aid could avoid sudden tragedy), was justifiable.

 

1st May

  Tit for Propaganda Tat...

Chinese TV can only air in Taiwan if China reciprocates
Link Here

cctv logo China's international news propaganda channel is looking to expand into Taiwan. But local authorities have given a strict requirement that CCTV can only be aired in the country if Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) is allowed to air freely in China.

Air freely is a pretty tough sell to Chinese authorities, and CCTV-style censored stories don't exactly resonate with the Taiwanese, as South China Morning Post reports:

If the mainland grants our television channels landing rights, then yes, we have basis for discussion but if the other side does not allow us landing rights, then unfortunately, we have no basis for discussion, Lung [Taiwanese Culture Minister] said on the sidelines of a Legislative Yuan committee hearing.

 

1st May

 Offsite Article: The sorry state of the Irish media...

Link Here
RTE logoThe story of free speech in Ireland today has moved on considerably from the past, but the political class believes that they can decide just how the public conversation should be conducted. By Padraig Reidy

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

1st May

 Offsite Comment: Are You Being Served by Political Correctness?...

Link Here
Are You Being Served CompleteStop the attack on the 70s golden era of comedy by Carl Jones

See article from shropshirestar.com