Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2014: August

 2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Latest 
Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   July   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec    


Updated: Forked Tongue Wagging...

Whingeing at lesbian lizard kiss on Dr Who

Link Here31st August 2014
UK TV censor Ofcom has received six complaints following a lesbian kiss on Doctor Who, reports Gay Star News.

The complaints came after a scene in which Madame Vastra helps to keep her wife Jenny alive in response to a threat from droids that only move when they can sense breath.

A few worthless tweets were also dredged up.

Update: Ofcom will not investigate the whinges

28th August 2014. From Thanks to Nick

A spokesman for TV censor Ofcom has now responded to the complaints:

Ofcom can confirm it received six complaints about a kiss broadcast in an episode of Doctor Who on Saturday 23 August.

Having assessed the complaints, we can confirm that they do not raise issues warranting further investigation. Our rules do not discriminate between scenes involving opposite sex and same sex couples.

Update: Censored in Asia

31st August 2014. See  article from

The BBC cut a lesbian kiss scene from Doctor Who to avoid offending audiences (and TV censors) when it was screened in Asia.

The feature-length edition was broadcast to viewers in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore last Monday. BBC insiders say the scene, which lasted just a couple of seconds, was cut to avoid falling foul of a broadcasting code in Singapore which says programmes should avoid any content that could justify homosexual and lesbian lifestyles.

George Dixon, BBC Worldwide's global editorial director, said:

When preparing shows for international transmission, we occasionally have to make edits to ensure we're not breaking any local broadcasting rules.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was not impressed. He said:

The BBC should not bow to censorship demands from other countries. If these countries are bigoted and are not willing to show same-sex love, they have no right to demand that the BBC conforms to their standards of prejudice.



New BBC chief censor...

Rona Fairhead set to be BBC Trust chairwoman

Link Here31st August 2014
Rona Fairhead, the former head of the Financial Times Group, has been chosen as the new chairwoman of the BBC Trust.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said Fairhead was the preferred candidate to replace Chris Patten, who quit in May. She will be the first woman to chair the trust, which is the body in charge of overseeing the BBC.

Patten, who was appointed in 2011, left the job of chairman on health grounds following major heart surgery.

A BBC spokeswoman said there was an appointment process that still needed to be completed. But we welcome the announcement of Rona Fairhead as the preferred candidate for chair of the BBC Trust, she said.



Truth Hurts...

A Russian proposal to ban foreign films that 'demonise' Russia as an aggressive invading power

Link Here29th August 2014

A member of Russia'a culture committee recently recommended a ban on foreign films that demonize Russia.

While the idea of stricter control over the image of Russia and Russians in foreign films has been floated by top officials time and again over the last few years, the first concrete proposal aimed at banning foreign films that demonize Russia was recently made by Batu Khasikov, a member of the culture committee at Russia's Federation Council, the upper chamber of Parliament. He proposed:

Specific requirements should be introduced for film exhibition in the country, and movies where everything related to Russia is overtly demonized or shown in a primitive and silly way should be banned from theatrical distribution.



Cheapo Book Censor...

Aldi bans Roald Dahl's children's book Revolting Rhymes

Link Here29th August 2014
The supermarket chain Aldi has withdrawn Roald Dahl's classic children's book Revolting Rhymes from its Australian stores following a few whinges on its Facebook page.

An Aldi spokesprat said the book had been pulled after:

Comments by a limited number of concerned customers regarding the language used in this particular book. Aldi Australia would like to inform all of our customers that we take the concerns from the community seriously.

The particular poem that prompted the whinges, reads:

Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone who does that sort of thing for fun?
The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut? Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'



PC Censors on the Human Zoo...

Recommending Exhibit B by Brett Bailey

Link Here29th August 2014
Exhibit B , by artist Brett Bailey, has people chained and caged in a reflection of the human zoos popular in the 19th century, to demonstrate the brutal reality behind colonisation .

Brett, a white man with a wealthy background who grew up in Apartheid South Africa, reckons his piece is thought-provoking. He said:

It is a piece about humanity; about a system of dehumanisation that affects everybody within society, regardless of skin colour, ethnic or cultural background, that scours the humanity from the 'looker' and the 'looked at.'

PC Activists have called for the work to be censored. About 2,500 people have signed a petition calling for it to be banned. Campaigner Zita Holbourne said:

We don't believe that in order to remind people of the horrors of racism, enslavement, apartheid and colonial rule it is necessary to place black people in cages and put them on display in an exhibition and that this exhibition does nothing to promote race equality.

The petition, started by journalist Sara Myers, includes:

We wish to register our utmost disgust at what we consider to be an outrageous act of complicit racism with the Barbican agreeing to the housing and display of this production.

Exhibit B is set to open at The Barbican in London from September 23-27.



Extreme Measures...

Gambia outlaws pornography

Link Here29th August 2014
The government of the Gambia has passed a controversial law that imposed extreme penalties for producing and selling pornographic materials.

Under the new legislation, it is an offence to produce, publish, procure, import, export and sell any form of pornography into the West African nation.

The legislation imposes a mandatory fine of not less than D20,000 or a ten-year jail term, or both for anyone guilty of participating in the production, trafficking, and publication of pornography.



Offsite Article: British Board of European Film Censorship...

Link Here29th August 2014
Movie-Censorship takes a look at films that were distributed throughout Europe in versions cut by the BBFC

See article from



Offsite Article: NC-17 is called the rating of death. Is this true?...

Link Here29th August 2014
Full story: MPAA NC-17...US adults only certificate is the kiss of box office death
As a producer of one of the handful of NC-17 films ever made, Lucky Bastard, I can tell you it's like the guys on Jackass finding out what happens when you get kicked in the nuts: Yes, it hurts like hell.

See article from



Update: When algorithms rule our news, should we be worried or relieved?...

Facebook and Google use systems to curate what appears on our screens -- but sociologists call this algorithmic censorship

Link Here 29th August 2014
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor



Offsite Article: Internet Censorship Around the World...

Link Here29th August 2014
The IVPN team have created a map of internet freedom around the world, based on the 2013 Freedom House report: Freedom on the Net

See article from



Updated: Found missing 7 minutes...

Australian film censors finally unbanned Found, in an even more heavily cut version

Link Here28th August 2014
Full story: Banned Films in Australia...I Want Your Love
Found is a 2012 USA horror by Scott Schirmer.
Starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck and Phyllis Munro. YouTube icon IMDb


The uncut version of the movie was banned by the the Australian film censors earlier this year in May.


The distributor, Monster Pictures,  has just resubmitted a cut version, approximately 6 minutes shorter than the previous submission.

However the film censors did not relent and the film is still banned, even in its cut form.


The Australian film censors relented after the film was submit for the third time, this time with about 7 minutes being cut.

The heavily cut film is now rated R18+ for high impact sexualised violence, violence and themes

The extended classification information reads,:

  • High impact: themes, violence
  • Moderate impact: language, nudity

Still no word how the film is faring at the BBFC. It is due for UK release on 13th October 2014.



Update: Classification App...

Australia parliament passes bill to allow the use of a classification tool to rate games and apps

Link Here28th August 2014
Full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media
Australia's parliament has just passed a bill to allow the government the option to allow the use of classification tools for the classification of specified categories of media, particularly computer games.

The target of the legislation is the vast amount of apps and small games available online. Current law suggests these require to be censored by the Classification Board. However in reality this is totally uneconomic and unfeasible. The plan is to allow users to classify the apps using government approved classification tools, presumably taking the form of a questionnaire for the games makers.



Shooting, stabbing and strangling Nazis...

ASA dismisses whinge about advert for computer game, Wolfenstein: The New Order

Link Here28th August 2014

An ad for the video game Wolfenstein: The New Order was displayed on a gaming website, An ad bordered the home page and was headed Wolfenstein: The New Order ...] HOVER TO EXPAND THE VIDEO and pictured two figures holding guns. A PEGI 18 symbol was also shown. Hovering over the top section of the border for three seconds, without clicking, opened a video trailer ad over the home page and played automatically. On-screen text at the start of the video stated MATURE 17+ ... Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs . The video included a scene depicted in black and white where two Nazi officers wearing gas masks walked amongst the bodies of dead peace protestors. One Nazi soldier was shown executing a man on the ground with a bullet to the head, whilst a robot animal walked in the background. The trailer included other scenes of game footage which depicted people being killed or hurt, including by being shot. Dialogue included What the fuck did I just do? , What you been up to ...? Shooting, stabbin', strangling Nazis and Well, I'm on the motherfucking moon .

The complainant, who believed the ad to be excessively gory and shocking and was concerned that it could be seen by children, objected that the ad:

1. in the particular scene showing the execution of a man, was offensive and distressing; and

2. was unsuitable to be shown on a home page with no restrictions on who could view it.

Eurogamer said their site was a video games site written for and read by a mature gaming audience. They said their readership was generally in their mid to late 20s and 30s. They said their last readership survey in May 2014 showed that 96.89% of their readership was aged 18 or over. They provided a breakdown of the readership survey respondents by age category.

ASA  Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The video trailer included graphic scenes of violence, including a man being shot in the head, and the dialogue featured swearing. The ASA therefore considered that the content of the ad had the potential to cause offence or distress. However, the ad had appeared on a website where the readership was predominantly a gaming audience aged 18 or over, who we considered were likely to be familiar with the nature and contents of different types of video games. The ad shown on the home page included the name of the game, a PEGI 18 symbol and pictured two figures holding guns. We therefore considered that it indicated the video trailer was likely to include violent content. The trailer played when the home page ad was hovered over for three seconds, during which a countdown was displayed. The start of the trailer also included a prominent warning of the nature of the video's contents. We considered that website users were provided with adequate information and warning about the nature of the contents of the ad, and users who did not wish to view such material were able to avoid doing so. We therefore considered that the ad was unlikely to cause offence or distress to those people who viewed it.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the nature of the video trailer, which included graphic violence and swearing, meant that it would not be suitable to appear in an untargeted medium. However, the website on which the ad appeared had a predominantly adult audience, and the latest readership survey showed that only 3 % of the website's users were aged under 18. Readers were also provided with adequate information and warning about the nature of the contents of the ad, and the ad stated clearly that the game had a PEGI 18 rating. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to be seen by children and that it had been responsibly targeted.



The Pussycat Riot...

Tongue in cheek campaign protests against internet censorship

Link Here28th August 2014

Sadly, Internet censorship is rife in many countries. Consequently hundreds of millions of people worldwide are denied daily their right to knowledge by governmental controls on sites such as YouTube and Facebook.

It is imperative we recognise and challenge the powers that restrict not only the public's access to the simple joy of funny cat content, but to information as a whole.

Freedom is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Cats know everything.

From the very heart of the Internet we raise our banner with #ThePussycatRiot: a new protest movement to unite the cats of the world and their owners in opposition to cyber censorship. We aim to raise awareness of the oppressive regimes preventing people from freely enjoying the boundless wealth of mankind's innovation and creativity... And cat videos.



ASA Beyond Redemption...

Advert censor bans another advert using iconic Brazilian landmark

Link Here27th August 2014

A website for a betting service,, featured an image of the statue of Christ the Redeemer with the surrounding city of Rio de Janeiro visible behind. The statue had been digitally altered so that the figure's robe was purple, and the word BETDAQ had been superimposed onto it. The image was headed WORLD CUP 2014 - BET WITH BETDAQ .

A complainant objected that the use of an image of Jesus Christ to promote gambling would be offensive to Christians.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the statute of Christ the Redeemer was a well-known landmark for the city of Rio de Janeiro and was therefore likely to be understood as a reference to the city and the location of the 2014 World Cup, particularly as the city was visible in the background of the image and the tournament was clearly referenced in the ad. However, we also understood that any image of Jesus was likely to hold religious connotations for believers, and that despite its secular use as a landmark this was still the case for the statue in question. We noted that, although the figure was not seen taking an active part in gambling, it was emblazoned with the logo and colour scheme of a betting company and was featured in a prominent role in an ad for a gambling service. We considered that this created an association between the figure of Christ and gambling and commercial activities. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to the website.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Ladbrokes to take care in future when using religious imagery.



Update: Uncritical News...

Thailand's military dictators allow banned satellite channels to resume broadcasting as long as their news is censored

Link Here27th August 2014
Full story: Thai Coup 2014...Media censorship prominent in Thai Coup

Thailand's military dictators have allowed 12 banned satellite channels to resume broadcasting. The channels have been off the air since the May 22 coup. However the channels have been forced to sign a declaration to not air political news.

Some of the channels are well-known political-oriented satellite stations, such as the yellow-shirt ASTV, Democrat Party-backed Blue Sky and red-shirt Asia Update, said they were satisfied by the terms and conditions laid down by the junta.

Most of them even agreed to change their name in a move to end memories about previous political stances.

The channels allowed to start broadcasting also include MV5, DNN, UDD, P&P, 4 Channel, FMTV, Hot TV, Rescue TV and Student and People Network for Reforming Thailand Channel.

ASTV, which will now be known as News TV, still plans to focus intensely on news, albeit now censored.

The broadcasting committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecom-munications Commission announced conditions for the 12 satellite TV channels to apply for a new licence to resume broadcasting next week. The channels will need to apply for a new licence as Pay TV and comply with the NCPO's condition that they would broadcast no content that affects national security and the social divide by signing a memorandum of understand with the NBTC.



Update: Wrecking the Miserablist's Case...

Britain's 2nd most whinged about music video wins at the MTV Award

Link Here27th August 2014
Full story: Miley Cyrus...Gender extremists are aghast at sexy Miley
David Cameron and his bunch of miserablist hangers-on will be well unpleased as their bête noir, Miley Cyrus, was among the winners at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in California.

Miley Cyrus won the Video of the Year award for Wrecking Ball , which according to PC extremists has 'sexualised' and 'harmed' anyone who watches it.  And it's one hell of a lot of 'harm' as the video has now been watched 699,008,259 times on YouTube alone.



A feather in the bully's cap...

Picking on a fashion designer for being unPC about indian headdresses

Link Here27th August 2014
PC bullies have picked on fashion designer Trelise Cooper for featuring Native American headdresses in her show for New Zealand Fashion Week.

She was forced to apologise on Facebook:

It was never my intention to disrespect another culture. It is my mistake that through my mistake and ignorance, like me, people now know and are aware of the sacredness of the head dress to Native Americans. To those who I have offended, I sincerely apologise.

The Trelise Cooper Facebook page had earlier captioned a picture of a model wearing a headdress with 70's bohemian vibes which sparked a few miserable messages on Twitter and Facebook:

Filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi whinged:

I think I understand what Trelise means by 70s vibes - a time when it was cool to be culturally insensitive and racism was super awesome. Nice throw back to better times, babe, we native people celebrate with you

Kylie Klein Nixon screeched:

The sacred symbols of other cultures are not fashion accessories for you to play with. This is a disgrace. And you are incredibly ignorant.



Update: Sexless Tape...

Hollywood comedy unbanned in India after 10 minutes of cuts

Link Here26th August 2014
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
The revising committee of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has cleared the Hollywood comedy, Sex Tape , giving it an adults only A certificate.

The committee asked the film's distributors to cut around 10 minutes' footage from the film. Committee chairman Nandini Sardesai said:

Several scenes shown before the title of the film feature frontal nudity and blatant sexual intercourse which was definitely not beautiful; we have asked distributors to cut them out.

The distributors were armed with a proper self-censorship sheet and they even offered to cut more scenes if needed. We have already pointed out the deletions and they have agreed to carry them out.

The film was previosuly set for release in India in the first week of August. But last month, the examining committee of the CBFC denied the film a certificate due to its adult content.



Update: Protesting Censorship...

Researchers find that Chinese censorship of social media is more about preventing organised protests rather than blocking personal opinions:

Link Here26th August 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
A research article has appeared in the journal Science . It is titled Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation by Gary King, Jennifer Pan and Margaret E. Roberts.

The abstract reveals that the censorship of people's social media posting is more about preventing organised protests than censoring personal opinions:

Chinese censorship of individual social media posts occurs at two levels:

  • (i) Many tens of thousands of censors, working inside Chinese social media firms and government at several levels, read individual social media posts, and decide which ones to take down.

  • (ii) They also read social media submissions that are prevented from being posted by automated keyword filters, and decide which ones to publish.

To study the first level, we devised an observational study to download published Chinese social media posts before the government could censor them, and to revisit each from a worldwide network of computers to see which was censored. To study the second level, we conducted the first large scale experimental study of censorship by creating accounts on numerous social media sites throughout China, submitting texts with different randomly assigned content to each, and detecting from a worldwide network of computers which ones were censored.

To find out the details of how the system works, we supplemented the typical current approach (conducting uncertain and potentially unsafe confidential interviews with insiders) with a participant observation study, in which we set up our own social media site in China. While also attempting not to alter the system we were studying, we purchased a URL, rented server space, contracted with Chinese firms to acquire the same software as used by existing social media sites, and---with direct access to their software, documentation, and even customer service help desk support---reverse engineered how it all works.


Criticisms of the state, its leaders, and their policies are routinely published, whereas posts with collective action potential are much more likely to be censored---regardless of whether they are for or against the state (two concepts not previously distinguished in the literature). Chinese people can write the most vitriolic blog posts about even the top Chinese leaders without fear of censorship, but if they write in support of or opposition to an ongoing protest---or even about a rally in favor of a popular policy or leader---they will be censored.

We clarify the internal mechanisms of the Chinese censorship apparatus and show how changes in censorship behavior reveal government intent by presaging their action on the ground. That is, it appears that criticism on the web, which was thought to be censored, is used by Chinese leaders to determine which officials are not doing their job of mollifying the people and need to be replaced.



Update: At war with @Peace...

New Zealand campaign group complains against song about killing of the country's prime minister

Link Here26th August 2014
Full story: Family First...New Zealand TV nutters
The New Zealand morality campaign group Family First is outraged about a Hip-Hop song by a group named @peace which contains lyrics about killing the Prime Minister and having sex with his daughter.

National Director Bob McCoskrie says you can't go any lower than this type of personal and offensive attack on a politician and their family. He calls for the election campaign to be lifted to a higher level than burning of effigies, torching candidate billboards, chanting F John Key .

Family First will lay a formal complaint with the Office of Film and Literature Classification.



Offsite Article: Inept Mobile Phone Censorship at EE...

Link Here26th August 2014
Even when child protection turned off it keeps coming back on

See article from



Update: The Expendable Expendables 3...

No sign of a 'harder cut' for UK home video

Link Here25th August 2014
The Expendables 3 is a 2014 USA action adventure thriller by Patrick Hughes.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The latest episode in the previously R rated series was controversially toned down for a child friendly MPAA PG-13 rating.

Stallone suggested during pre-release hype that there will be a 'harder' version released on home video. However there is no sign of this for the first batch of home video releases. Or at lease no sign of an extended version on promotional material provided to Amazon UK.



Update: Disturbing...

India's film censor bans Dilli 1984

Link Here25th August 2014
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned another film dealing with the turbulence of 1984. Dilli 1984 , based on the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, has not been certified on the grounds that the board could not even suggest cuts as the entire film was disturbing.

The film was screened before the board on August 14 and was denied a certificate four days later.

The film's director Ashok Gupta, said:

We had kept the film very close to the reality and showed the truth which apparently was uncomfortable.



An Emoticon for Outrage...

Thai Buddhists complain about messaging app emoticons

Link Here25th August 2014
Line Thailand, which operates the country's most-popular mobile-messaging app, has pulled three sets of emoticon images of Buddha in supposedly inappropriate poses following online complaints.

Thousands of Thai Buddhists claimed the images were disrespectful because they portrayed the religious figure in funny, cartoon-like positions.

Led by a group called the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, about 40 Buddhist organisations worldwide launched an international protest campaign on to have the recently introduced Buddha , The Mask Revolution and Saint Young Men sets removed. The Stop Buddha Line Sticker petition had attracted about 5,700 signatures..

Line then removed the contentious images from its Thailand sticker shop . However the emoticons remain available for purchase and download elsewhere in the world.

Line Thailand said in a statement:

They are no longer available for sales in Thailand market, since they may cause discomfort in cultural aspect. Line has no intention to disparage Buddhism but we feel deeply sorry for any inconveniences that may have been caused



Offsite Article: Ten Extremely Disturbing Movie Moments...

Link Here25th August 2014
That Got Past The British Censors! By Pooch

See article from



Offsite Article: Diaspora...

Link Here25th August 2014
'The online social world where you are in control', as proven by Islamic State

See article from



Festival of Censorship...

China bans the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival

Link Here24th August 2014
The authorities in China have shut down the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival on its opening day.

Organisers said they had been pressure by officials wanting to ban the festival, which had been due to run for a month.

The organisers said they had received a series of warnings from officials to cancel the festival - one report said they complied after being briefly detained.

Security was tight at the venue in the Beijing suburb of Songzhuang, with about two dozen police or security officers blocking the area and preventing around 30 film directors and members of the public from entering, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports.

The Chinese government keeps repressive control of movies and is suspicious of independent films that could contain criticism of the Communist party and its policies..



Fact and Furious...

Man jailed for nearly 3 years for recording movie at cinema for internet upload

Link Here24th August 2014
A man has been jailed for 33 months after recording Fast And Furious 6 from the back of a cinema in Walsall.

A judge in Wolverhampton ruled that Philip Danks uploaded the movie, which was downloaded 700,000 times.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) claimed this meant millions of pounds lost for the film's distributor, Universal Pictures.



Update: Unlikable Law...

Indian State legislation to post on Facebook or even 'like' anything that may hurt the religious sentiments of the easily offended

Link Here23rd August 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
In the latest blow for free speech, the government of the southern Indian state of Karnataka has passed legislation that makes it illegal to upload, share, or like content with a view to hurt religious sentiments knowingly or unknowingly .

Back in June, Karnataka police warned citizens about the type of things that were covered by the Information Technology Act:

Citizens are warned not to upload, modify, resend (forward) and like (share) malicious or misleading images, videos and messages through any medium with a view to hurt religious sentiments knowingly or unknowingly. Citizens are encouraged to inform the Police Control Room at...

New legislation, the lengthily named Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates (Amendment) Bill, 2014, means that citizens can now actually be arrested if they have even committed an offence under the Information Technology Act.



Singing a Song of Political Correctness...

Sweden's TV 4 apologises to Costa Rica for using its national anthem in a gameshow promotion

Link Here23rd August 2014
A Swedish TV network has apologised to Costa Rica for using the country's national anthem to promote a comedy show.

TV4 is using the anthem in a trailer for Parlamentet (The Parliament), a popular gameshow featuring some of Sweden's leading comedians.

After receiving complaints from Costa Ricans living in Sweden, Costa Rica lodged a diplomatic protest, claiming the use of its national anthem was a grave disrespect to our national symbol.

A spokesman for TV4, Anders Edholm, told the Associated Press that producers have apologised to Costa Rica's ambassador to Sweden and Norway, and assured him the network would not air the trailer after the first episode of the series was broadcast on Sunday. If any Costa Ricans were offended we of course apologise, he said.



Update: The Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014...

Details of the new law that will come into force on 1st October 2014 requiring BBFC censorship for more music, sport, religion and documentary videos

Link Here 22nd August 2014
Full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill
The new law modifies section 2 of the Video Records Act to become something like:

Section 2: Exempted Works

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, a video work is for the purposes of this Act an exempted work if, taken as a whole--

(a) it is designed to inform, educate or instruct;

(b) it is concerned with sport, religion or music; or

(c) it is a video game.

(2) A video work other than a video game is not an exempted work for those purposes if it does one or more of the following:

(a) it depicts or promotes violence or threats of violence;

(b) it depicts the immediate aftermath of violence on human or animal characters;

(c) it depicts an imitable dangerous activity without also depicting that the activity may endanger the welfare or health of a human or animal character;

(d) it promotes an imitable dangerous activity;

(e) it depicts or promotes activities involving illegal drugs or the misuse of drugs;

(f) it promotes the use of alcohol or tobacco;

(g) it depicts or promotes suicide or attempted suicide, or depicts the immediate aftermath of such an event;

(h) it depicts or promotes any act of scarification or mutilation of a person, or of selfharm, or depicts the immediate aftermath of such an act;

(i) it depicts techniques likely to be useful in the commission of offences or, through its depiction of criminal activity, promotes the commission of offences;

(j) it includes words or images intended or likely to convey a sexual message (ignoring words or images depicting any mild sexual behaviour);

(k) it depicts human sexual activity (ignoring any depictions of mild sexual activity);

(l) it depicts or promotes acts of force or restraint associated with human sexual activity;

(m) it depicts human genital organs or human urinary or excretory functions (unless the depiction is for a medical, scientific or educational purpose);

(n) it includes swearing (ignoring any mild bad language); or

(o) it includes words or images that are intended or likely (to any extent) to cause offence, whether on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation, or otherwise.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2):

A video work promotes something if the work is likely (to any extent) to stimulate or encourage that thing.

Human or animal character means a character that is or whose appearance is similar to that of:

(a) a human being, or
(b) an animal that exists or has existed in real life, but does not include a simple stick character or any equally basic representation of a human being or animal;

Imitable dangerous activity means an activity which:

(a) if imitated by a person, may endanger the welfare or health of any person or animal, and
(b) may be easily imitated by a person; and violence does not include any violence that is:

(a) mild, or
(b) not directed towards human or animal characters, unless it is sexual violence. .

Note: the original definition of an exempted work is retained for video games.



Update: The Fear of Film...

India bans film about the assassination of Indira Gandhi

Link Here22nd August 2014
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Kaum De Heere is a 2014 India drama by Ravinder Ravi
Starring R
aj Kakra , Gurpreet Ghuggi , and Rahul Devi YouTube icon BBFC link

India has banned the release of a film based on the assassination of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, after complaints it glorified her killers. The film, Kaum De Heere , (Real Heroes), had been scheduled for release on Friday.

It tells the story of Ms Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards who shot her dead apparently to avenge her decision to send troops in a deadly raid on the Golden Temple. Sikhs say thousands were murdered when the army entered Sikhism's holiest shrine in Amritsar to flush out militants. Mrs Gandhi's assassination triggered an outburst of communal violence targeted at Sikhs and more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in attacks across India.

Officials of the home and information and broadcasting ministries and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) saw the film again and deemed it not fit for release. Chief film censor Leela Samson said after a review of the movie:

We saw the film and decided that it must not be released.

The home ministry earlier voiced serious concern at the content of the Punjabi film, and asked the I&B ministry to take a relook at its clearance. It said the Punjabi-language film Kaum De Heere may affect communal harmony in Punjab and other northern states.

There were reports that CBFC CEO Rakesh Kumar, who was arrested by the CBI recently for corruption, had previously cleared the film after allegedly taking Rs 100,000.

The Congress Party - which Indira Gandhi led - had previously threatened to carry out protests if the film was released and the party's youth wing also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for the film to be banned, saying it presented her assassins as heroes.

In the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for strong bloody violence.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

25th August 2014. See  article from

After Kaum De Heere was banned the producer of controversial film has threatened to take legal action against the censor board. The producers say, the prohibition is not justified given that it is based on true incidents, as per the findings of the Justice Thakkar Commission that had probed the assassination. Moreover, contrary to media reports the film does not portray the killers as heroes but presents the actual chain of events and give biographical accounts of Satwant, Beant and Kehar Singh.

Satish Katiyal stated:

We are consulting our lawyer. First, we will file a case against the censor board. We will go to court and then we will go to public. There is nothing controversial in the film. The Centre has banned the film due to political pressure. It is a rumour that we bribed to get our film cleared from censor board.



The art of grabbing power...

Singapore's media censors take on a new remit for arts entertainment but won't force event organisers to self censor.

Link Here22nd August 2014
Singapore's media censor, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), has said it will not be proceeding with a new censorship scheme for arts entertainment organisers, following a public consultation exercise in May and numerous industry consultations.

The Arts Term Licensing Scheme was one of the changes proposed by MDA to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act to force arts entertainment event organisers to classify their own performances.

Under the scheme, licensees would have to either adopt a General rating or else a Restricted 18 rating. But during the public consultation, 45 arts groups backed a position by artists' network Arts Engage, which objected to the scheme. Among their concerns was that such a scheme would encourage self-censorship as assessors fear hefty fines and penalties if a work was wrongly classified.

The MDA said it remains mindful that arts groups were the intended key beneficiaries of the scheme and it would not be meaningful to roll out the scheme if the majority of the arts groups were opposed to it.

But while MDA will not proceed with the Term Licensing Scheme, it will proceed with other proposed amendments to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act. They include streamlining the enforcement process by vesting MDA with investigation powers for arts and entertainment breaches. Currently, MDA has to report such violations to the police for investigation.



So does whingeing about a trivial joke do anything to engender respect...

BBC apologises about an Irish joke aired in a report about the Edinburgh fringe

Link Here 22nd August 2014
THE BBC has apologised for broadcasting a trivial Irish joke on its flagship Scottish news programme.

The joke was broadcast on BBC1's Reporting Scotland news show during a pre-recorded segment about the funniest joke at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It involved a reporter asking members of the public about what they find funny. Among the contributions broadcast:

Two Irish guys look in the mirror. One goes: 'I know that guy.' The other one goes: 'I know you do, it's me you stupid guy.'

One family told The Irish Post they were gobsmacked to hear the quip:

I thought it was absolutely disgusting to see that your own national broadcaster would allow this to happen. To see comments like that about your own ethnic group on the news is so disheartening.

Responding to the complaint, the BBC apologised for broadcasting the joke. A spokesman said:

During a series of vox-pops a member of the public told a joke which may have offended some viewers.



Update: Bangerz and Twerks...

Dominican Republic and New Zealand recommend Miley Cyrus on tour

Link Here22nd August 2014
Full story: Miley Cyrus...Gender extremists are aghast at sexy Miley
The Dominican Republic government commission that oversees public performances is banning a Sept. 13 concert by Miley Cyrus on morality grounds.

The commission said in a statement that it took the action because Cyrus often:

Undertakes acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law.

Meanwhile Moralist campaigners in New Zealand claim that Miley Cyrus' show is porn and the promotion of substance abuse dressed up as pop music. The singer is set to play an Auckland show in October.

Family First's Bob McCroskrie hyped the show saying that reviews of the Bangerz tour indicated that it featured foul language, highly sexualised imagery, and normalised drug use. He suggested:

Parents should save their money, protect their children and expose them to the far more positive messages of celebrating their achievements, their personality and their uniqueness.

But Cyrus has hit out at the whingers, saying her show is empowering and brings happiness to her fans.



God's Stormtroopers...

Star Wars art work claimed to be blasphemous

Link Here22nd August 2014
A sculpture in an east London gallery has offended the easily offended. The Long Suffering Stormtrooper by artist Ryan Callanan displayed in the window of a Gidea Park gallery depicts a Star Wars stormtrooper being crucified.

Christian Sarah Jenkin reported the Picture Frame Gallery to Trading Standards saying:

It's extremely blasphemous and offensive. Some people may find it funny but, as a Christian, I don't.

It's time Christians stand up and say 'no we are not putting up with this'. I'm not going to throw a brick through the window but I will speak up.

Callanan explained that the work represents the sacrifice of the movie stormtroopers as cannon fodder for someone else's cause. The avid Star Wars fan said that he isn't offended by Mrs Jenkin's criticism:

If it was George Lucas having a go at me I would be more upset.

Jenkin is awaiting a reply from Trading Standards.



Offsite Article: Super PC...

Link Here22nd August 2014
Cover for a new Spider-Woman comic book series causes a stir

See article from



Offsite Article: Giving viewers what they enjoy and defending them from PC miserablists...

Link Here 22nd August 2014
HBO president of programming, Michael Lombardo, speaks about scenes of sex, violence and rape in the immensely popular Game of Thrones

See article from



Commented: Undue Prominence...

Will censorship of a murder video solve the conflict in Iraq?

Link Here21st August 2014
The video showing the murder of the kidnapped reporter James Foley by Islamic State terrorists has taken on an iconic importance. It is almost as if the video is somehow the cause of a war that has already been raging for sometime.

It is the focus of attention of the entire world. And yet actually watching is now considered to have almost magic powers to convert normal folk into either muslim hating extremists or else else into murderous jihadists. Presumably ordinary people are best letting police, governments, and reporters watch it for them.

So it is somewhat inevitable that there has been a massive call for censorship of the video.

The Metropolitan Police Service provided to news reporters the following statement:

The MPS Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley.

We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation.

But it appears that the police have been making it up about the video being illegal to view. David Allen Green has been pursing the police for information about which law makes the viewing illegal. He received not even a pointer to a law that was even vaguely relevent. He concludes:

This was worrying. People need reliable and accurate public information, and they have the right to expect it from the well-funded PR departments of UK police forces. If a police force tells people something is against the law then it should be able to instantly say on demand what that law is. The law should not be made up by press officers as they go along, especially in respect of matters such as terrorism where confidence in law enforcement agencies is crucial.

And in the Daily Mail...

See  article from

This gruesome video is the latest, and perhaps the most shocking, example of what has become known as jihadist porn .

Countless millions of people will have watched the brutal killing of Mr Foley, and other barbaric acts carried out by the Islamic State. I certainly don't regard them all as voyeurs, any more than I see myself as one. But what have we gained? Haven't we, in fact, been damaged in some way?

Bloomberg picks up on discrepancies with showing images of Michael Brown killing...

See  article from

While Twitter is taking pains to remove images of the death of James Foley, the journalist who was beheaded by Islamic militants, some photos of the body of Michael Brown , the teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri , remains on users' streams. To many on Twitter, images of violence against Foley can be seen as spreading a terrorist's message, while publicizing Brown's death shines a light on a perceived injustice.

The Guardian picks up on Twitter getting into a tangle of selective censorship

See  article from

Twitter has got itself into a tangle. The social network's decision to remove all links to the horrific footage showing the apparent beheading of the photojournalist James Foley is one that most of its users, reasonably, support.

The social network went still further, suspending or banning users who shared the footage or certain stills, following public tweets from the company's CEO, Dick Costolo , that it would take action against such users.

It is hard to think of anyone having a good reason to view or share such barbaric footage, but Twitter's proactive approach reverses a long record of non-intervention.

Banning us from watching this video of a criminal act is a step too far

See  article from

There is a difference between individuals exercising their right not to view or share a video, and companies such as Twitter -- or indeed the police force -- denying people the right to view it



Fark Off...

Website decides to censor bad taste jokes with a theme of misogyny

Link Here21st August 2014
Fark is a website described as an older, weirder precursor to Reddit. It has now decided to censor bad taste jokes with a misogyny them. The website has made the following announcement:

Adding misogyny to Fark moderator guidelines.

We've actually been tightening up moderation style along these lines for awhile now, but as of today, the FArQ will be updated with new rules reminding you all that we don't want to be the He Man Woman Hater's Club. This represents enough of a departure from pretty much how every other large internet community operates that I figure an announcement is necessary.

There are lots of examples of highly misogynistic language in pop culture, and Fark has used those plenty over the years. From SNL's Jane, you ignorant slut to Blazing Saddles' multiple casual references to rape, there are a lot of instances where views are made extreme to parody them. On Fark, we have a tendency to use pop culture references as a type of referential shorthand with one another.

On SNL and in a comedy movie, though, the context is clear. On the Internet, it's impossible to know the difference between a person with hateful views and a person lampooning hateful views to make a point. The mods try to be reasonable, and context often matters. We will try and determine what you meant, but that's not always a pass. If your post can be taken one of two ways, and one of those ways can be interpreted as misogynistic, the mods may delete it -- even if that wasn't your intent.

Things that aren't acceptable:

  • Rape jokes
  • Calling women as a group whores or sluts or similar demeaning terminology
  • Jokes suggesting that a woman who suffered a crime was somehow asking for it

Obviously, these are just a few examples and shouldn't be taken as the full gospel.

We're trying to make the Fark community a better place, and hopefully this will be a few steps in the right direction.



Offsite Article: David Cameron, Porn Mogul...

Link Here21st August 2014
Full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos
Adam Handy points out that their may be unintended consequences of identifying the sexiest music movies with an 18 rating

See article from



Offsite Article: Why the MPAA thinks all gay people should be rated R...

Link Here21st August 2014
Querying the R rating for the new movie Love is Strange

See article from



Update: Ofcom Like Chinese...

Gold Channel to be investigated by the TV censor for not censoring Monty Python enough

Link Here20th August 2014
Monty Python Live is a 2014 UK comedy by Eric Idle.
Starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Carol Cleveland. YouTube icon IMDb

The BBFC rating is not yet published for video but it was passed 15 uncut for very strong language, strong sex references for cinema showing:

  • 2014 Eagle Rock RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 10th November 2014
  • 2014 Eagle Rock R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th November 2014

A TV channel is to be investigated by Ofcom for broadcasting swearing in a Monty Python show before the watershed. Gold Channel aired one of the the O2 Arena shows live, but apparently failed to bleep out all the swearing.

Gold Channel made a real pigs' ear of ugly and invasive (but necessary by TV censorship rules) cuts to strong language and sex references, but obviously missed a bit.

Ofcom have also received complaints about excessive censorship from viewers who would have preferred to see it without the cuts. But of course the Ofcom TV complaints system is totally one-sided and these complaints will be instantly dismissed. There are simply no Ofcom rules against cultural vandalism.

An Ofcom spokesman said:

After receiving complaints about the broadcast of the most offensive language before the watershed, Ofcom is investigating a live performance of Monty Python on Gold. All our licensees are required to comply with our broadcasting rules, which make clear that the most offensive language cannot be shown on television before the watershed.



Maybe a foundation for an internet for kids...

Google is planning a walled garden of services for the under 13s

Link Here20th August 2014
Google is planning to offer accounts to children under 13 years old for the first time.

Accounts on Google services such as Gmail and YouTube are currently not officially offered to children, though there is little to stop them from logging on anonymously or posing as adults to sign up for accounts.

Now Google is trying to establish a new system that lets parents set up accounts for their kids, control how they use Google services and what information is collected about their offspring. Google is also developing a child version of its online video site YouTube that would let parents control content.

Google and most other Internet companies tread carefully because of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. The law imposes strict limits on how information about children under 13 is collected; it requires parents' consent and tightly controls how that data can be used for advertising.



Update: Russia Just Doubled Its Internet Surveillance Program...

Explaining some of the details of Russia's mass internet snooping capability

Link Here 20th August 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media

Under the Kremlin's Internet surveillance program known as SORM-2 , Russian Internet service providers are obligated to purchase and install special equipment that allows the Federal Security Service (FSB) to track specific words (like bomb or government ) in online writing and conversation. If officials request additional information about a particular user, the ISP must comply.

Until recently, SORM-2 applied only to ISPs. Last week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree that will expand SORM-2's reach to online social networks and all websites that allow people to message one another. Sites like Facebook and Google are now obligated to install surveillance gadgetry, sometimes referred to as backdoors, that will allow the FSB to monitor Internet users independently. It's impossible to say exactly how this will work, as Medvedev's order prohibits websites from disclosing the technical details of the government's surveillance operations.

Decree N743 is intended to amend the controversial Law on Bloggers, which created a government registry for bloggers who have more than 3,000 daily readers. Registered bloggers are subject to media-focused regulations that can make them more vulnerable to fines and lawsuits than their less popular counterparts. Registered bloggers also are banned from using obscene language and required to fact-check any information they publish. Critics say the law places serious curbs on Internet freedom.

Medvedev's decision to extend Internet surveillance mechanisms to social networks surprised Russia's Internet companies. A PR officer from Yandex, the country's largest search engine, said the company received no advanced notice of the change.

Once again, it's unclear what we're supposed to do, what the actual requirements are, and how much all this will cost, said Anton Malginov, legal head of the, which owns, one of Russia's most popular social networks. Businesses are still awaiting clarification from Russia's Communications Ministry.

If the government chooses to enforce every letter of Medvedev's decree, Russia's social networks will join ISPs in buying and installing equipment that allows the FSB to spy on users. Thus SORM-2 would have its 2.0.

At first glance, SORM 2.0 seems redundant, as social network traffic already passes through the wiretaps now installed at the ISP level. In order to obtain detailed information about individual users, however, the FSB must file formal requests, which can be a burdensome process. Installing surveillance instruments at the source of the data, however, will grant authorities the power to conduct targeted realtime surveillance. The procedure will be faster and simpler than dealing with ISPs.

Before August 1, websites were under no obligation to record and store users' data. The Law on Bloggers changed that. Since August 1, even before Medvedev interpreted the blogger law to be an extension of SORM-2, social networks have been required to keep certain information on file for six months. The costs of this storage will undoubtedly fall on businesses and, in turn, consumers. Websites that cannot attract additional advertising revenue might erect paywalls or even be forced to close down. These massive data stores can also be vulnerable to malicious hacking by third party actors.

And the degree to which extending SORM-2 controls to social networks will help authorities catch criminals remains largely unknown.

How should bloggers respond to these developments? Most Russian Internet users don't have to worry about anything. As Anton Nossik, one of the founding fathers of the RuNet, put it almost a year ago, the government's actions against bloggers are politically driven. For the most part, Russia's new laws don't threaten Internet users who steer clear of politics. Those who do speak out about sociopolitical issues, however, might attract the FSB's sudden attention, though there are only enough federal police to keep a close eye on the country's leading dissidents.

Of course, that may be little solace in a world where Big Brother never sleeps.



Red Faced...

Swedish PC lynch mob gets wrong idea about black faced theatre group

Link Here20th August 2014

A theatre workshop aimed at fostering a greater understanding of discrimination has been pulled from a Swedish city festival programme after PC extremists accused it of offensive, racist blackfacing . In fact With Other Eyes , by the Danish theatre group Global Voices , uses make-up artists to change participants' race and gender, allowing them to see the world from a new perspective .

Martin Neilson, the Danish actor who launched the project, said it had been intended as a celebration of diversity , and blamed the organisers of the Malmo festival for the huge mistake of illustrating it with a picture of a blond Swedish boy wearing black face paint.

The project was cancelled after Jallow Mamadou, Chairman of the National Association for Afro-Swedes, handed a 240-signature petition condemning the workship to the festival organisers.

Neilson said:

It's always dangerous if a very, very small group of people suddenly has so much power in society that they are able to decide

Pella Strom, the organiser of the festival, later scheduled a debate where Neilson made his case, after which she decided to reschedule the project for next year's festival.



Offsite Article: Mass snooping in Australia...

Link Here20th August 2014
Government pushing to expand surveillance, hacking powers

See article from



Update: BBFC to kindly point out the sexiest music videos...

Details of the scheme for publishers to obtain BBFC age ratings for online music videos

Link Here19th August 2014
Full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos
The Guardian seems to have been the only source that I have spotted that actually tries to explain what will be going on:

Music videos will go through the same classification system as films and other video content. The voluntary pilot will involve the big three music labels in the UK, Sony, Universal and Warner Music, as well as the BBFC, YouTube and music video platform Vevo. The pilot will run for three months, kicking off in October.

It is presumably related that  music videos sold or distributed on disc or other physical form and deemed to include 12-rated-plus material will have to go through the age-classification process also starting in October under amendments to the Video Recording Act. The music labels will submit music videos that they consider could contain content that should be classified as for age 12 or over, using BBFC guidelines. The BBFC will then rate the videos as it does with other content, for which the labels will pay a fee to cover the cost of rating in the same way that the film industry currently does. The rating process should take around 24 hours, according to the BBFC. A rating of 12, 15 or 18 will be assigned to the music video and passed on to the label. Videos deemed not to include unsuitable content for children under 12 will not be classified.

The pilot scheme announced by Cameron will only cover music videos and will not be expanded to cover other video content on sites such as YouTube.

The music labels will tag the video with the age rating from the BBFC when uploading the video to hosting services. YouTube and Vevo are part of the pilot study, and will be supporting the ratings, placing a visible age rating on the video title on the respective sites.

The visible rating will probably take the form of the BBFC's age certification logos, although that is not yet set in stone, and is intended to give parents more information about the videos their children are watching.

YouTube has a similar system for displaying BBFC ratings on films, and requires users to be at least 13 years old to have an account, although most videos are viewable without an account.

The three-month pilot is intended to finalise a system that works for rating the videos and having the data tagged to them when uploaded to say they are classified. For the initial trial it will simply be a notification on the video of an age classification.

After the three-month trial it is expected that YouTube and Vevo, as well as other video hosting services, will look at developing parental control filters that screen out videos marked as inappropriate for children of specific age ranges.

Only new videos submitted by the music labels will be rated during the pilot, although there will be a decision at the end of the pilot as to whether videos that are already available should be retroactively classified.

The big three labels will conduct the pilot, but the BPI, which represents Sony, Universal and Warner Music and more than 300 independent music companies, expects that all music labels will adopt the system once finalised.

During the pilot the ratings will be there for information purposes only, to help parents make an informed decision. Parental controls on YouTube and others could be used to screen out videos via ratings, but their effectiveness will be determined by how difficult it is to get around age verification.

YouTube, like most other online services, does not verify a user's age beyond the date of birth given by the user at the point of signing up for an account. Age verification issues are beyond the scope of this initial pilot scheme.

Comment: Will other countries follow suit?

19th August 2014. See article from

Newsbeat spoke to Gennaro Castaldo from the BPI and asked if the pilot will have any impact if music videos by American artists, known for being racier, aren't certified?

Yes it's true that a lot of music video content comes from outside the UK, but also a huge amount of music that sells well around the world does come from Britain and from British artists.

So I think, what we do in this country is followed by other territories. So I'm sure they'll be following our pilot with interest and in due course I think they'll then decide how they want to act on that.

I think this is a really good place to start, we have to start somewhere and if we can begin here in the UK, for other territories to follow, then I think that would be a really good example too.



Updated: News from the Moral High Ground...

Indian police question and then arrest CEO of film censors on bribery allegations

Link Here19th August 2014
A top official of India's film censorship board has been questioned by police from the Central Bureau of Investigation over an allegedl demand for Rs 70,000 from a certified agent for clearing a regional film.

The agency searched Rakesh Kumar's house and also arrested an agent and advisory panel member.

Sources said an authorised agent for censor certification had approached CBI alleging that another agent Shripati Mishra has been demanding Rs 70,000 on behalf of Rakesh Kumar for issuing the censor certificate for regional language film of Chhattisgarh Mor Dauki Ke Bihav.

After getting the complaint, CBI laid a trap at number of locations to catch the suspects while receiving the bribe for arranging the censor board clearance for the movie.

Update: Censors to be revamped

16th August 2014.  See  article from

India's information and broadcasting ministry is set to overhaul the system of film certification after the name of Central Board of Film Certification CEO Rakesh Kumar came up in a CBI case into alleged corruption.

It is understood that the government has taken a serious view of the case in which two senior official have already been caught allegedly seeking a bribe from regional film maker for according certification for a film.

Sources stated that the information and broadcasting ministry could make an announcement for the revamp of the entire film certification process. It is learnt that the current process has come under scrutiny as it leaves a lot of scope for corruption and is considered to be lacking transparency.

Update: Censor now arrested

19th August 2014. See  article from

Indian police from the CBI have now arrested Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) CEO Rakesh Kumar in an alleged bribery case.

Last week the CBI had registered a case against Kumar and also arrested an authorized censor agent and an advisory panel member of the CBFC for demanding a Rs 70,000 bribe on the behalf of the CEO to urgently clear a film from Chhattisgarh. The CBI had conducted search on Kumar's residence last week and had recovered large amounts of cash, gold jewellery and property documents.

The CBI said the complainant, an authorized agent for censor certification, had approached the CBFC on behalf of a producer of a regional language film, Mor Dauki Ke Bihav , for its early clearance. The film was to be released on August 15. CBI officials said they had been receiving information about bribe demands by Kumar. Unless the producers approached the CBFC through select agents, he would delay issuing censor certificates, an official said earlier.



The iPhone is Mightier than the Sword...

Washington State police ask people not to tweet during shootings and manhunts

Link Here19th August 2014
Police in Washington state are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing.

The TweetSmart campaign began in late July and aims to raise awareness about social media's potential impact on law enforcement.

A social media 'expert' at the International Association of Chiefs of Police said she's unaware of similar campaigns elsewhere but the problem that prompted the outreach is growing. Nancy Korb, who oversees the group's Center for Social Media said:

All members of the public may not understand the implications of tweeting out a picture of SWAT team activity.

It's not that they don't want the public to share information. ..[BUT].. .It's the timing of it.



Offsite Article: The Expendables team fails its primary objective...

Link Here19th August 2014
Did piracy and/or a PG-13 rating doom the box office takings for Expendables 3?

See article from



Empire Building...

DCMS formally informs the European Commission of a draft UK regulation to incorporate ATVOD's impractical age verification rules into UK law. (And then ludicrously claims that this will not have an impact on international trade).

Link Here18th August 2014
On the 7th July 2014, the UK Government Department of Culture, Media, Sport and Censorship notified the European Commission of its draft regulation to incorporate ATVOD's impractical age verification rules for accessing hardcore porn on the internet into UK law.

The DCMS document states:

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014

Main Content

Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (inserted by the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2009 and 2010) transpose the requirements of Directive 2010/13/EU in relation to on-demand programme services. Section 368E(2) provides that on-demand material that might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen must only be made available in a manner which secures that such persons will not normally see or hear it. This draft instrument amends section 368E in two ways. First, it provides that any material that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has issued a R18 classification certificate in respect of (or any material that would have been issued such a certificate) (hard-core pornography) must not be included in an on-demand service unless it is behind effective access controls which verify that the user is aged eighteen or over. Secondly, it provides that any material that the BBFC has refused to give a classification certificate in respect of (or any material that would have been refused such a certificate) must not be included in an on-demand service at all.

Brief Statement of Grounds

In 2010 the Department wrote to Ofcom raising concerns about whether section 368E would in practice provide sufficient safeguards to protect children from sexually explicit material. Ofcom's report in 2011 recommended that the Government introduce new legislation to prohibit R18 material from being included in on-demand services unless mandatory restrictions are in place and prohibit altogether material whose content the BBFC would refuse to classify. The co-regulators, Ofcom and the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), were concerned that the evidence for children being caused harm by exposure to R18 material is inconclusive and the legislative protections currently in place were not sufficiently clear to provide certainty in this area. In the interim period pending legislative changes the co-regulators, adopting a precautionary approach, interpreted section 368E(2) as requiring R18 material to be behind access controls. This instrument has the effect of removing any uncertainty from the regulatory framework providing clarity to consumers and providers of on-demand services. It also provides the same level of protection that exists on the high street in relation to the sale of hard-copy DVDs to the provision of on-demand services. In a converging media world these provisions must be coherent. The BBFC classification regime established under the Video Recordings Act 1984 is a tried and tested system of what content is regarded as harmful for minors. This Act was notified as a technical standard - Notification No. 2009/495/UK.

Reference Documents

  • References of the Basic Texts: Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003
  • ATVOD Rules and Guidance and research report
  • Video Recordings Act 1984
  • BBFC Guidelines
  • Ofcom Report: Sexually Explicit Material and Video On Demand Services, 2011
  • Exploratory Memorandum

TBT aspect

No - The draft has no significant impact on international trade



Political Twerking...

David Cameron announces that online music videos will carry age classifications from October

Link Here18th August 2014
Full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos
Online music videos will carry an age classification from October as part of a pilot scheme by YouTube, music video service Vevo and the BBFC in the name of protecting children from graphic content , David Cameron has announced.

In a speech to the Relationships Alliance on Monday, the prime minister said the rules for online videos should be brought into line with content bought offline. Cameron said:

From October, we're going to help parents protect their children from some of the graphic content in online music videos by working with the British Board of Film Classification, Vevo and YouTube to pilot the age rating of these videos.

We shouldn't cede the internet as some sort of lawless space where the normal rules of life shouldn't apply. So, in as far as it is possible, we should try to make sure that the rules that exist offline exist online. So if you want to go and buy a music video offline there are age restrictions on it. We should try and recreate that system on the internet.



Realistically Expensive...

High resolution sex dolls are a hit in Japan

Link Here18th August 2014
Japanese sex dolls are now so life-like that they come with authentic-looking eyes and skin that feels real to touch.

One maker, Orient Industry, will even customise a doll to your exact requirements so you can choose her bust size, hair colour, eyes and everything about her right down to moveable fingers.

The company says its new range of dolls, made of high quality silicone, are so good they are being mistaken for real women and boasts that anyone who buys one will never want a proper girlfriend again.

The dolls are sold under the name Dutch Wives', which is a Japanese term for a sex doll. Priced at a little over £ 1,000 each, sales suggest they are a roaring success.

Company spokesman Osami Seto said:

The two areas we identified as really needing improvement were the skin and the eyes. We feel we have finally got something that is arguably not distinguishable from the real thing.



Updated: Dominatrix Beats Regulator into Submission...

Ofcom upholds appeal that BDSM website is not TV-like and so is not liable to censorship by ATVOD

Link Here17th August 2014
Urban Chick Supremacy Cell (UCSC) is a BDSM themed website structured as a WordPress blog. It features blog articles many with either short hardcore videos and/or photosets. The videos are generally short averaging about 7 minutes. The site is commercial but at a low scale. Ofcom notes that UCSC has only 58 customers and generated a total revenue of $2,193 since mid-2011.

The Appeal

In January this year ATVOD claimed that the website was a Video on Demand website subject to its expensive and onerous censorship regime. But UCSC took advice from the campaign group Backlash and their friendly specialist lawyer and decided to appeal against the ATVOD determination.

TV censor Ofcom heard the appeal and decided that indeed UCSC did not fit the legal definition of service liable to ATVOD censorship and so overturned ATVOD's determination.

The determination of whether a website is liable to ATVOD censorship is based on vague and poorly worded European legislation which basically requires basic TV censorship rules to be applied to websites that compete with traditional highly censored linear TV.

The determination is both complex and vague but the key points in Ofcom's decision seem to be as follows.


The AVMS Directive is a European Directive amongst the purposes of which is to provide a measure of fair competition across Member States between those providing:

a. traditional (linear) television broadcasting services; and

b. on-demand services that are essentially the same, or sufficiently similar, and which compete for viewers and advertisers.

The key phrases from law is that a service is an on-demand programme service (ODPS) which is then liable to ATVOD censorship if:

Its principal purpose is the provision of programmes the form and content of which are comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services.

Ofcom also note explanatory notes in the European directive named recitals. Recital 24 of the Directive which states that:

It is characteristic of on-demand audiovisual media services that they are 'television-like', i.e. that they compete for the same audience as television broadcasts, and the nature and the means of access to the service would lead the user reasonably to expect regulatory protection within the scope of this Directive.

Ofcom also noted references to competition in Recitals 21 and 24 and in particular, that regulation should not cover services:

Which are primarily non-economic and are not in competition with television broadcasting, such as... services consisting of the provision or distribution of audiovisual content generated by private users for the purposes of sharing and exchange within communities of interest. And that, It is characteristic of on-demand audiovisual media services that they... compete for the same audience as television broadcasts.


UCSC appealed that the content provided by the service was not comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television content. In support of this the Appellant said that the average duration of the 91 videos available on the site was seven minutes and 53 seconds.

The Appellant also referred to factors proposed in Ofcom's 2012 Essential Research Report for indicating whether an on-demand service is considered by its audience to be a reasonable substitute for linear TV. The Appellant gave the example of six factors (duration of content, look and feel of the service, who controls what is watched, effort expended to access the service, perceived quality of content and where the content originated) which it said indicated that UCSC was not a reasonable substitute for linear TV.

The Appellant also argued that, due to UCSC's limited customer base and turnover (58 paid customers and a turnover of $2,193 in approximately two years), the website could not be considered to be in competition with linear TV.

Ofcom decision

Ofcom agreed with ATVOD in that many aspects of the website did in fact fit the definition of an ODPS service liable to ATVOD censorship but also found a few aspects that did not fit the definition, and overall decided that the website did not fully meet the definition of an ODPS.

The issues in favour of UCSC not being an ODPS were:

That videos on the website were not of professional production values and many were presented just as clips:

There were no production credits of the type that were on the Playboy service (i.e. listing key production talent). Whilst not determinative, this can be a feature of material more likely to be viewed as comparable to programmes available on linear services.

The majority of the videos were not self-contained, nor episodes from wider series, but took the form of individual acts edited from longer single fetish sessions.

Ofcom noted various elements of the videos which were indicative that they had been made with a limited production budget. For example, the majority of videos available on the UCSC service were filmed in one location and many appeared unscripted and lacked any narrative conceit. In addition, audio had not been recorded using professional equipment, there was no music to accompany the scenes, the videos did not appear professionally lit and the content appeared to have been filmed using basic, consumer-grade cameras. The production values of the material presented on the UCSC Service were accordingly not closely comparable to professional content broadcast on linear services.

Ofcom also noted that the website was laid out as blog of posts in chronological order. There was no particular website navigation to pick out particular videos of interest:

Ofcom noted that the Service had been constructed using a blogging template and therefore could only be navigated in a traditional web-like manner. This rudimentary, non-TV like navigation was demonstrated by the members' homepage, which consisted of 20 chronologically presented posts, each with an attached photo gallery or individually embedded video. Consequently, Ofcom considered that a user viewing material on the UCSC Service would be unlikely to consider themselves to be watching a programme service competing with linear television programme services.

Ofcom concluded that UCSC was not an ODPS:

Ofcom considers that the form and content of audiovisual media material on the Service, provision of which is its principal purpose, is not comparable to the form and content of linear television programme services. The Service was not, therefore, an ODPS within the meaning if the Act.

The moral of the story seems to be that low production value videos, without a particular narrative structure, presented in a blog are not likely to be TV-like and be considered a competing option to traditional linear TV.

ATVOD Response

ATVOD responded to the Ofcom decision in a press release (along with a second case that went in ATVOD's favour)

Assessment of how tv-like an on-line adult services is lies at the heart of a second ruling published by Ofcom. Ofcom upheld an appeal by the provider of the website Urban Chick Supremacy Cell - which included audiovisual content featuring bondage, domination and sado-masochism - against an ATVOD determination in January 2014 that it was an on-demand programme service and therefore subject to regulation by ATVOD.

Ofcom concluded that the form and content of audiovisual media material on the Urban Chick Supremacy Cell site was not comparable to the form and content of linear television programme services. Therefore, the website did not meet the statutory definition of an On-Demand programme service and was outside of the remit of the statutory rules.

Commenting on the decision, ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said :

The two appeal decisions demonstrate that there is sometimes a fine line separating adult services which are subject to the statutory rules from those which are not. UK services which feature the most extreme material are not subject to the video on demand regulations -- which protect children from material which might cause them serious harm - unless they are considered 'tv-like'. Websites operated from outside the UK are also not subject to the ATVOD Rules.

ATVOD will continue to discuss with policy makers further options for reducing the exposure of children to pornography and other potentially harmful VOD material on websites based both inside and outside the UK. We strongly support initiatives designed to improve the take up of parental control software and have worked with the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the drafting of legislation which will prohibit on UK based, tv-like VOD services any material which would not be classified for sale on a DVD.



Update: Why doesn't Iran trust its citizens?...

Iran dictates that all news websites but be registered or else they will be blocked

Link Here17th August 2014
Last week, Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced that all news websites that do not obtain government-issued licenses will be blocked nationwide.

Hassan Mehrabi, the Ministry's director of local press regulations declared that all news websites in the future must obtain licenses from the Ministry's press supervisory board. Further details about the new policy appeared in a report covered by the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA).

Prior to the new regulation, most websites registered within Iran would abide by self-censorship in order to avoid being filtered. Targets of filtering have often been reformist websites, such as those associated with the Green Movement and its leaders.

This news comes three months after moderate President Hassan Rouhani's conference on information and communications technologies, where he announced:

The right of citizens to have access to international networks of information is something we formally recognize. Why are we so nervous? Why don't we trust our youth?



Obituary: Madeleine Collinson...

Star of Hammer's Twins of Evil dies aged 62

Link Here16th August 2014
Madeleine Collinson was a Maltese model and actress. She was chosen as Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month in October, 1970, together with her twin sister Mary Collinson. They were the first identical twin Playmate sisters.

The Collinson Twins first arrived in Britain in April 1969,] and prior to their appearance in Playboy one of the first people to use them was the famed glamour photographer/film maker Harrison Marks who cast them as saucy maids in his short film Halfway Inn .

It was when Hammer cast them as the Gellhorn siblings in the 1971 film Twins of Evil that their eternal fame was cemented.

Their career, however, didn't last and despite the Playboy spread and modelling work, they retired from the industry, and Madeleine raised a family back in Malta.

Madeleine passed away on August 14, 2014 according to the Peter Cushing Society.



The Daily Mail Recommends...

Inbetweeners 2: Misogynistic, depressingly crude... yet it's box office gold

Link Here16th August 2014
The Daily Mail has found itself a new Christopher Tookey-like film critic who has had a mega-whinge about the new British movie, Inbetweeners 2 . Brian Viner spouts:

Four young Englishmen go backpacking around Australia. That is the inoffensive, seven-word synopsis of The Inbetweeners 2 movie. But this blurb hides such a barrage of obscenity, of words and images ranging from the plain crude to the downright misogynistic, that it makes my heart sink to report that the film's first-week box-office returns already proclaim it the comedy hit of the summer.


The Inbetweeners 2 carries a 15 certificate, meaning it is deemed unsuitable for those under 15, but the people checking tickets might as well have been handing out lollipops on the door for all the care they took to weed out those too young. It is dispiritingly evident that, on occasion, the film classification board is simply wasting its time.

In fact, it mystifies me that this was given a 15 certificate at all --- it would have been rated 18 a few years ago. The humour may be puerile, but the obscene language and imagery are far too much for young teens.


For, with every instance of words such as gash and clunge (used to describe women or their genitalia), with every homophobic jibe, every misogynistic suggestion that all girls are either easy conquests or appalling harpies, and with every fresh burst of appreciative audience laughter, I sank lower and lower in my seat.

...Read the full review

On the Other Hand: Filthy fun down under

See review from

For a more appreciative piece

Yes, it's puerile at points. Yes, at others it's downright filthy, as Jay would say. But it is also food-snorting-out-of-your-nose funny.


The putdowns and piss-taking of mate-dom do two things. First, they capture something of the essential un-PCness of groups of mates, their willingness to leave nothing unmocked. Offensiveness is the currency of young male friendships. And what makes it work is that among mates, there is trust that despite the unparalleled cruelty of the jibes, that person is still your friend.

...Read the full review



Offsite Article: PG-13 Has Ruined the Modern Action Movie...

Link Here16th August 2014
Full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
Can you point to any decent action in a recent big-budget American movie? Action that isn't edited to ribbons so that it looks like a bunch of fuzzy arms and legs flying across the screen in a spasmodic flurry of movement?

See article from



Offsite Article: No Joy of Sex in Ireland...

Link Here16th August 2014
How the noted sex manual was banned by book censors right up to 1987

See article from



Second Hand Censors...

ASA bans advert for Aston Martin dealership

Link Here15th August 2014

An ad for a used car dealership appeared as a sponsored post on the complainant's Facebook news feed. The ad featured an image of a woman, visible from the shoulders down, facing away from the camera and resting one knee on a countertop. She was wearing a shirt but appeared to be naked from the waist down. Text beside the woman was accompanied by the Aston Martin logo and stated You know you're not the first, but do you really care? - ASTON MARTIN PRE OWED[sic] . The image and its strapline had been posted by Belvue Cars with the accompanying text Need we say more? .

The complainant, who considered that the ad was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Belvue Cars Ltd said that they had not created the original image and strapline, and because it already existed and carried the Aston Martin logo, they had understood it to be acceptable for re-posting on their Facebook site. Having considered the complaint, they stated that they agreed the ad could cause serious offence and that they had therefore withdrawn it from use.

Facebook advised that the ad violated their own guidelines on advertising and confirmed that it had been removed from the website.

Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Belvue Cars Ltd had not created the original image and strapline. We also understood that, although it bore the Aston Martin logo, it was not official advertising for Aston Martin and was not in any way associated with that company. We considered that at the point the image and its strapline were re-posted by Belvue Cars on their Facebook page, together with the company name Belvue Cars and the comment Need we say more? the content took a promotional form and that it was Belvue Cars' responsibility to ensure that it complied with the requirements of the CAP Code.

We considered that the image of the partially naked woman, whose head was not visible in the picture, together with the text You know you're not the first, but do you really care? , as well as the comment Need we say more? , presented a sexist and objectified view of women that was likely to cause serious and widespread offence to those who saw it as a sponsored post in the Facebook news feed for Belvue Cars. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.



So is being a miserable git a good example for children?...

Campaigner attacks Punch and Judy show in Derby shopping centre

Link Here 15th August 2014
A Punch and Judy show put on for children at the Intu Derby shopping centre has been attacked for supposedly promoting domestic violence.

The show by puppeteer Jon Thursby was staged by the shopping centre as part of a week-long beach event for children.

Vanessa Boon, who is a PC campaigner for equal rights and against domestic violence, saw the show and whinged:

I was shocked and sickened as I saw Punch hit his wife, Judy, six times with a stick as she lay on the floor and then threw his baby down the stairs while children were encouraged to laugh and sing 'that's the way to do it!'

Boon said that she spoke to Mr Thursby about her concerns and complained to the shopping centre. She was disappointed to see that the show was still running three days later.

Yasmin Nazir, chief executive of Derby Women's Centre, landed a few blows too:

I think it's just shocking, given the awareness we have around domestic violence, that a show of this nature is being played out to such a young audience.



PC Sideshow...

Fairground bikini mural censored after whinges from the Australian Christian Lobby

Link Here15th August 2014
A mural featuring a four-metre high woman in a skimpy bikini has been ordered to cover up after protests from local Christians.

The painting on a ride at the Brisbane Ekka carnival was claimed to be 'inappropriate' by the Australian Christian Lobby. Wendy Francis, Queensland director of the ACL, wrote in an online petition:

Our children's innocence should not be compromised by attending the Brisbane Ekka.

This imagery is situated in the section of sideshow alley where there are lots of little kids rides. If this image was in an adult workplace it would be deemed as sexual harassment and removed.

The petition received more than 1,000 signatures.

Later a representative from the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland said the inappropriate mural had been covered up with placards.



Offsite Article: Found by the Hollywood Reporter...

Link Here15th August 2014
A shy fifth-grader discovers his teen brother's a serial killer in this grisly cult film fest favorite. (Meanwhile we still waiting to find out what the BBFC made of this)

See article from



Offsite Article: Burger me!...

Link Here15th August 2014
We need to scrap the ASA. By Rob Lyons

See article from



Offsite Article: Would you trust the Police to have access to your medical records?...

Link Here 15th August 2014
And would you trust your doctor if your records went straight to the police (and probably many others state agencies too)?

See article from



Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

Carl's Jr and Hardee's TV advert for the Texas BBQ Thickburger

Link Here14th August 2014
Full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
One Million Moms, a christian morality campaign group, writes:

Will Hardee's and Carl's Jr. ever learn? They are at it again with another disgusting ad. Their newest Texas BBQ Thickburger commercial focuses on the model's sweaty chest and legs with several suggestive shots. This ad is extremely degrading to women and should be pulled off the air immediately.

Not long after One Million Moms contacted the company about its advertisement starring Kate Upton making out with a burger at a drive-in movie wearing only skimpy lingerie, the company aired three different commercials all with the same theme. The restaurant is using sex to sell its burgers with scantily-clad models licking sauce seductively in provocative poses. 1MM has had enough with their soft porn ads! We will politely, but sternly let them know that we are not giving up on protecting our families.



Update: Commendably Uncooperative...

The Co-op declines to censor the Sun as demanded by PC extremists

Link Here13th August 2014
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun
The Co-op has refused to bow to demands from anti-Page 3 campaigners to withdraw advertising from the Sun newspaper and to banish its sales to the top shelf.

The No More Page 3 campaign had targeted local Coop regional meetings and had won votes to censor the Sun in three southern regions.

The board of Co-operative Food told campaigners that it entirely respects the views of those campaigning to have 'Page 3 ' type images dropped from the Sun and the Star , but said:

We are mindful, in consideration of these motions, of the need to balance the following: our commercial need to market effectively to our customers; our commitment to create a family-friendly shopping environment and the problems associated with using corporate influence via sales, promotions or advertising to seek to influence editorial decisions.

With over 18 million customers using the Co-operative every week and a significant proportion of our target audience, including members, reading the Sun it is vital that our media choices continue to reach this large audience cost effectively.

Removing advertising from the Sun based on what the paper chooses to publish runs the risk of being seen as trying to directly influence editorial decisions and sets a precedent for all publications and media channels in the future.

There is a need to balance, in a free society, press freedom alongside newspapers ' responsibility to deliver accurate, fair and appropriate content.

For these reason we do not use advertising to influence editorial decisions and currently have no plans to change this policy.

The Co-op sells half a million copies of the Sun each week.



Farage comes in Bottle whilst Clegg comes in Earhole...

ASA see the funny side of Paddy Power advert alluding to Clegg and Farage as wankers

Link Here13th August 2014

An ad, for Paddy Power, seen in the Metro. It featured the text WHO'S THE BEST MASS DEBATER? CLEGG 6/4 FARAGE 1/2 ... and photographs of Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage with suggestive facial expressions.

Two complainants, who understood that the ad alluded to masturbation, challenged whether it was offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted the ad appeared in a newspaper aimed at an adult audience, in the context of two TV debates between the two politicians featured. Adult readers of the Metro were likely to recognise the ad as a reference to betting on the evening's forthcoming debate and, although there were no explicit references to masturbation, they would understand the double meaning of the text and facial expressions.

We understood that the advertisers had intended to convey their service in a light-hearted way and considered that readers would regard the ad as an attempt at humour on the part of Paddy Power. We also considered that readers might not share the advertisers' humour and find the ad to be disrespectful and in poor taste.

Marketing communications must not contain anything likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We acknowledged the complainants' views, and considered that many readers may have found the choice of text and images to be distasteful. Given the context in which it appeared, however, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause offence to a serious or widespread degree.



Update: Could real-time Internet blocking algorithms be coming to Russia?...

Moving beyond lists of blocked websites

Link Here 12th August 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media
With the RuNet already plagued by Roskomnadzor blacklists, blogger registration, and the blocking of Twitter accounts with no discernible justification, Russia now wants to introduce an automated real-time filtering system that will block websites that contain harmful content.

The proposed plan would add a second layer of censorship to Russia's already-pervasive website blacklist system , under which ISPs are required to block all websites containing calls to riots, extremist activities, the incitement of ethnic and (or) sectarian hatred, terrorist activity, or participation in public events held in breach of appropriate procedures.

According to an ITAR-TASS report , Russia would require ISPs to install smart filters that would screen and block harmful content , which would presumably be identified based on a pre-determined list of keywords. The smart filtering idea and its technical details have been proposed by the Safe Internet League, a Kremlin-loyal NGO partnering with several large Russian ISPs.

Safe Internet League executive director Denis Davydov explains that existing blacklists are not great at filtering out dangerous content, and says their system, once installed at the level of ISPs, could analyze web content in real time and easily block offensive pages:

We suggest introducing preemptive Internet filtering, which allows us to automatically determine the content of the page queried by the user in real time. The system evaluates the content on the page and determines the category which the information belongs to. In case the category is forbidden, the system blocks the webpage automatically.

The typically snarky personalities of the RuNet thought the League's new initiative would do nothing to create a safer online environment -- instead, the added layer of algorithmic bureaucracy would only contribute to the existing limits already imposed on netizens in Russia, and would make the users work even harder to access their preferred content.

Earlier this summer, Duma deputy Yelena Mizulina had already proposed an automated Internet filtering system in an attempt to protect the minds of Russia's youngsters. Mizulina demanded that the Internet service providers block adult Web content by default in an effort to create a Clean Internet. Consumers would be allowed to opt out of the filtration system, but only by making a special request to their ISP.

Davydov says developers at the Safe Internet League have already tested their two-step filtration model in Kostroma and Omsk regions, as well as the Komi Republic, and have found it works quite well (or so he says). Should the system go into broader use, it will generate a significant escalation of state attempts to control the Russian Internet. Users have found multiple ways of getting around blocks generated by blacklists, using VPNs and other circumvention tools to view their favorite blacklisted websites. If the smart filtering system is indeed implemented, one can only guess how quickly Russian netizens will learn to work around the new, ever-pervasive Internet controls.



Anti-Beard Comments...

The Guardian's high priestesses of political correctness are 'shocked' that there is opposition to their diet of anti-men articles

Link Here12th August 2014
The Guardian published an article about a report written by Charles Leadbeater, a former Labour policy adviser. The report was commissioned by the Nominet Trust to promote technology for social good and to highlight projects that use the internet as the basis for social and civic improvement.

Leadbeater claimed that pervading online misogyny is the most visible reason why the internet is failing to live up to its potential to improve people's lives. He cited internet insults suffered by Mary Beard as an example that shows internet has lost promise of mid-2000s as a route to collaboration for the better. Speaking to the Guardian Leadbeater said:

I'd love to create something like the Mary Beard Prize for women online, to support people who are supporting women to be able to use the internet safely. The kind of abuse [suffered by] the classicist Mary Beard, the gymnast Beth Tweddle and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, would not be tolerated in a public place and there is no reason why it should be online.

It's outrageous that we've got an internet where women are regularly abused simply for appearing on television or appearing on Twitter. If that were to happen in a public space it would cause outrage.

He cites research that the most important signifier of a safe and vibrant public space is the presence of women and families -- when they felt comfortable it was a sign that the space was good for everyone .

Colourful comments

See  article from

The article must have caused more than a little colourful debate as the Guardian published a follow up article discussing the online comments received. The article was headlined:

The readers' editor on... the online abuse that follows any article on women's issues.

Perhaps it is time to assess whether online anonymity should be an option rather than the default position

The Guardian then alludes to the robust comments received in comments on such politically correct articles:

I'd love to create something like the 'Mary Beard Prize for women online' to support people who are supporting women to be able to use the internet safely, Charles Leadbeater said in the article , which was published on 8 August.

A great idea and one that would win support from many editors at the Guardian who see the amount of the moderators' time spent weeding out either off-topic or offensive comments in threads attached to any article loosely related to feminism or women's issues.

As one moderator told me: There seems to be a huge backlash against the Guardian's increasing coverage of feminist issues, from more frivolous pieces (body hair, sunbathing topless, anything to do with Beyonce') to pieces on domestic violence, FGM etc. WATM (what about the men) is now something we look out for on any piece about women as standard.

Alex Needham, acting network editor, raised the issue at the Guardian's morning conference following an article by Hadley Freeman on 5 August about the arguments for and against women shaving their body hair.

He told me in an email: On any article by Laura Bates or Jessica Valenti, or most recently this piece by Hadley, the first 15 or 20 comments always say 'not this again, Guardian, where are the men? We face this kind of problem, so cover that instead.' Because the comments are off-topic they're then removed, which leads to cries of censorship and the claim that the Guardian is sexist -- that the problems of white working-class males (who these commenters say are the real victims in society) are ignored.

The Guardian goes on to discuss how to censor the opposition to its political correctness by mandating real identities for commenters. Of course at no stage is it considered that perhaps the Guardian could tone down its one sided, men belittling, politically correct bullying pieces and offer a little more balance for the other side.



Offsite Article: Rule Draconia?...

Link Here12th August 2014
A review of Video Nasties - The Definitive Guide Part 2: Draconian Days plus some interesting experiences from the time of the moral panic

See article from



On the Buses...

BBFC cuts revealed to a British comedy series made by Hammer films

Link Here11th August 2014
On the Buses is a 1971 UK comedy by Harry Booth.
Starring Reg Varney, Doris Hare and Michael Robbins. BBFC link IMDb

Stan gets a little annoyed when his Mum and Sister keep buying expensive items on hire purchase, but the money he earns for overtime working as a bus driver means that he can afford it... just! His job is secure, as bus drivers are hard to come by, and his overtime prospects are good, until the bus company decide to revoke a long standing rule and employ women bus drivers. Aghast at the thought of no overtime and, therefore, less wages, he joins forces with his long time work colleague Jack to sabotage the new female employees.

Cut by the BBFC for an A rated 1971 cinema release. The cuts persisted into all home video releases since

UK: Passed A/PG after BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2006 Optimum/Studiocanal DVD at UK Amazon
  • 2006 TPC DVD
  • 2003 Warner Triple Feature R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • 1988 Warner VHS
  • 1971 cinema release

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 1 - Remove the shot of Stan peeling a banana as Jack is making love to the girl in her house.
  • Reel 4 - Remove the shot of Stan pushing down the radio aerial after his unsuccessful attempt to make love to the girl.
  • Reel 5 - Remove the shot of Stan pushing down the radio aerial after his unsuccessful attempt to make love to the girl.
  • Reel 8 - Remove the dialogue line "You got so excited you put it in the wrong place."
Mutiny on the Buses is a 1972 UK comedy by Harry Booth.
Starring Reg Varney, Doris Hare and Michael Robbins. IMDb

Bus driver Stan Butler agrees to marry Suzy, much to the anguish of Mum, her son-in-law, Arthur, and daughter Olive. How, they wonder, will they ever manage without Stan's money coming in? Then Arthur is sacked, and Stan agrees to delay the wedding. Meanwhile, he hits on an idea: Arthur should learn to drive a bus. Somehow he does just that, and even gets a job. Stan then blackmails the Depot Manager into giving him the job of driver on the new money-making Special Tours Bus. A great idea ...if only the inspector hadn't taken Stan on his trial run to the Windsor Safari Park.

Uncut by the BBFC

Holiday on the Buses is a 1973 UK comedy by Bryan Izzard.
Starring Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis and Doris Hare. BBFC link IMDb

Sacked by the bus company Stan and Jack get jobs as drivers ferrying punters to and from a holiday camp and arrange for the rest of the family to come and stay. Blakey is there as the chief security guard and manages to get caught in accidental compromising situations with the camp's nurse. The Butlers head for one disaster after another as Jack and Stan, still chasing women half their age, take two girls for a bus trip on the sands only for the bus to sink in as the tide approaches. Olive gets into bed with someone else's husband when she makes it back to the wrong chalet in the dark and 'little' Arthur sprays the chalet with ink, requiring a re-painting job. The holiday over Arthur's sidecar combination manages to come apart on the way out as it did on the way in.

Passed A after BBFC cuts for 1973 cinema release. Uncut and PG rated on on VHS and DVD.

UK: Passed A after BBFC category cuts for:

  • 1973 cinema release

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 1 - Shorten the shot showing the girl's bare breasts.
  • Reel 5 - Remove all but one of the reaction shots of Jack's head as he and the nurse make love.
UK: Passed PG uncut for:
  • 2006 Optimum R2 DVD
  • 2003 Warner Triple Feature R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • 1989 Warner VHS



Obituary: Menahem Golan...

Prolific director and producer who specialised in commercial but diverse films

Link Here11th August 2014
Menahem Golan was an Israeli director and producer. He produced movies for such stars as Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Charles Bronson.

Using the pen name of Joseph Goldman, Golan also wrote and polished film scripts. He was co-owner of Golan-Globus with his cousin Yoram Globus.

Golan's production company, The Cannon Group, produced a long line of films during the 1980s and early 1990s, such as Delta Force, Runaway Train, and some of the Death Wish sequels. In 1986, Cannon was taken over by Pathe Communications.

Golan produced several comic book-style movies in the latter half of the 1980s, perhaps most notably Masters of the Universe, based on the toys of the same name and inspired by the comics work of Jack Kirby.[5] In 1987, Cannon gained infamy after their U.K.-based production of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace failed in theaters and provoked a negative backlash from fans. In 1989 Golan resigned from Cannon, and by 1993 it had folded. Immediately following Cannon's collapse, Golan became head of 21st Century Film Corporation and produced several medium-budget films.

Golan produced about 200 films, directed 44, won 8 times the Violin David Awards and The Israel Prize in Cinema.

And by way of a tribute here are a few of his 200 films that caught the Melon Farmers eyes.

 1993 Emmanuelle VI (executive producer)
 1987 Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (executive producer)
 1987 American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (producer)
 1986 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (producer)
 1986 Cobra (producer)
 1986 The Delta Force (producer)
 1985 Runaway Train (producer)
 1985 Death Wish 3 (producer)
 1985 American Ninja (producer)
 1985 Lifeforce (producer)
 1984 Exterminator 2 (executive producer)
 1984 Ninja III: The Domination (producer)
 1984 Bolero (executive producer)
 1983 10 to Midnight (executive producer)
 1982 The Last American Virgin (producer)
 1982 Death Wish II (producer)
 1981 Enter the Ninja (producer - uncredited)
 1981 Lady Chatterley's Lover (executive producer)
 1980 Schizoid (producer)
 1978 Lemon Popsicle (producer)



A Kiss is Just a Kiss...

Film censorship from a bygone era continues in India

Link Here11th August 2014
Hollywood films have traditionally been given more leeway than Indian home grown films when it comes to kissing. But now in a bid to stop such allegations of discrepancy, Indian films censors have started cutting kissing scenes in American movies too.

In a current example, the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) has censored a deep-mouth French kiss in the Lasse Hallstrom's The 100 Foot Journey which features Om Puri and Helen Mirren as two warring restaurateurs who come together to cook up a romantic dish.

A source close to the CBFC said:

The CBFC gave Reliance Big Entertainment, the co-producers of 100 Foot Journey the choice of keeping the French kiss with a 'UA' (parental guidance) certificate. But Reliance has opted to take a 'U' certificate without the French kiss, as it (the U certification) allows a much wider spectrum of audience to watch the film.

The earlier logic that westerners are more comfortable with indulging in and watch smooching does not apply any more. When we allowed kissing to remain in Hollywood films, Indian producers would point accusing fingers at them asking why there couldn't be kissing in their scenes. So no, from now on if you want a serious kiss-and we are not talking about just a peck which the CBFC allows anyway-then be prepared for a UA certification.




A Kiss is Just a Kiss...

Film censorship from a bygone era continues in Pakistan

Link Here11th August 2014

She may be Pakistan's sweetheart, but the country's most highly paid actress, Humaima Malik, says she worries about how home audiences will respond to her latest on-screen romance - soon she'll be seen locking lips with Indian co-star Emraan Hashmi in her first Bollywood starring role.

With this kiss, Malik joins the line-up of Pakistani female actors who have crossed the border to India, and - in the eyes of some - to infamy.

But the backlash against our girls going across the border to seek fame and fortune has always been extreme in conservative Pakistan. People feel that kissing the enemy is simply not on - not halal . In fact, until recently, kisses were invariably censored in all films shown in Pakistani cinemas.

Humaima Malik's kiss is unlikely to pass the Pakistan censors, who always seem to take patriotic umbrage at such close fraternising with the Indians. Bollywood may be bigger and brighter, but Lollywood (based in Lahore) and the Pakistani army are determined to bring our girls back to Pakistani cinema.



What's in a Name?...

India and Pakistan film censors object to jokes based on the name Abdullah

Link Here11th August 2014
The Indian censor board raised an objection over the way the name Abdullah has been mispronounced in the upcoming film Entertainment and has requested the film's makers to change it.

A character is named Abdullah, which is a very sacred name. Throughout the film other characters keep mispronouncing Abdullah's name, calling him all sorts of things like 'arashogollah' and 'amashallah', a source told IANS .

The source said the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) asked the film's producers to change the name to avoid hurting religious sentiments.

In response to the request, the name was changed from Abdullah to Habibulllah in the movie.

Commenting on the matter from a Pakistani perspective, Sindh's censor board chairperson Fakhr-e-Alam said he has asked distributors to either remove all the scenes where the name Abdullah is mentioned or mute the dialogues before the film is shown in Pakistan. He said:

Abdullah is a very sacred name and it has been used in a derogatory fashion in the movie

A source from the film makers commented:

It was a lot of hard work since the jokes on the name occur very often. But there was no other option; we can't afford to take the risk of hurting religious sentiments.

The source added that the CBFC also ordered the removal of a shot showing a character throwing a trishul (trident) across the screen:

The CBFC doesn't want any Hindu organisation asking why the trishul was used as a weapon.

The CBFC also objected to the use of term HIV in a comical dialogue.



A New TV Censor...

Ofcom appoints a new non-exec member of its Content Board

Link Here11th August 2014
Ofcom has announced the appointment of a non-executive member of the Content Board.

Mary Ann Sieghart will join as a member of Ofcom's Content Board from 1 September 2014. She is a journalist and broadcaster. She has held the position of Assistant Editor of The Times and worked for other media outlets including the Independent, Economist and Financial Times. She is a non-executive director of Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust and DLN Digital. She is also the Chair of the Social Market Foundation and sits on the Council of Tate Modern.



Offsite Article: If you can't beat 'em...Join 'em...

Link Here11th August 2014
Anti bullying campaigner calls for the government to bully the internet by beating it senseless with a big stick until it submits to censorship

See article from



Offsite Article: Why I Am Bullying Google...

Link Here11th August 2014
Full story: Max Mosley Privacy...Max Mosley, spanking and Nazi sex
Max Mosley explains his legal action against Google

See article from



Garbage Whinges...

US TV censor to investigate Miley Cyrus show that received 3 complaints

Link Here10th August 2014
Although there were only three complaints from the more than two million viewers, the US TV censor is determining if the Miley Cyrus Fourth of July Weekend Special violated its censorship rules.

The special was shot while the tour was in Barcelona and Lisbon earlier this year. Onstage, Cyrus' outfit consisted of a skintight unitard with a hood. She also did a sexy dance with a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln, which was the subject of one of the complaints:

She was dressed more in line with a video geared towards MTV. Her performance was impropriate [sic] for broadcast TV, as she grinded along there was a costumed performer depicting President Lincoln following behind her and alongside her and the character acted quite lecherous even patting her on the backside. Very patriotic for the 4th ya think?

A parent wrote to complain about the PG-13/TV-14 rating, which he said allowed the show to bypass his TV filter. He spouted:

I am offended, appalled and ready to start taking public action to remove this garbage from our televisions.



Whinge Objects...

Sexy music videos should be age rated claim miserablist women's groups

Link Here10th August 2014
Music videos should be age rated in the same way as feature films and video games because of supposedly endemic sexism and racism, according to miserablist women's groups.

Campaign literature criticises videos by Calvin Harris, Basement Jaxx, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus for misogynistic depictions of women. It also claims rap videos, in particular, were guilty of presenting women in a sexist way, often as commodities and sex objects. Black women were subjected to racist treatment by being commonly portrayed as hypersexual , invoking ideas of black women as wild and animalistic .

Sarah Green, of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, called on the Government to introduce age ratings:

Some forms of media, such as television and film, are well regulated and our society accepts and supports this. Other forms like music videos are getting away with very little scrutiny and as such seem to be competing for who can most degrade and insult women.

If the 'creative' people who make them won't stop this, regulators should rein them in and implement age ratings. More than 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for this.



Horrifying and Dangerous Misogyny...

Gushing praise for American Apparel promotional material

Link Here10th August 2014
Full story: American Apparel...Sexy clothing adverts wind up the advert censors
A picture used as part of American Apparel's latest clothing range has attracted a few trivial whinges accusing the retailer of fuelling Lolita fantasies and rampant sexism for showing a model bending over in one of its mini-skirts.

The image in question was posted on their Instagram account and a similar one was posted on their website. The first featured a woman in a plaid green skirt leaning over a car window, with her underwear in view.

It was branded as horrifying and dangerous misogyny by a fewTwitter users and has since been removed from both its social media account.

Emilie, a blogger at criticised the advert for reducing women down to little more than body parts to be claimed, and accused it of reinforcing idea that our primary purpose is to be appealing to men . She said:

The way in which American Apparel objectify and sexualise female bodies is damaging and rooted in patriarchal notions about a woman's worth.



Update: WeDontChat...

China extends its repressive internet censorship to instant messaging apps

Link Here10th August 2014

Chinese users of instant messaging apps will have to register their real names, and seek approval before publishing political news, under new censorship rules.

Public users of popular services such as WeChat will also have to sign agreements promising to uphold the socialist system , state media say. The State Internet Information Office (SIIO) announced the rules, which come into immediate effect. The SIIO threatened:

Instant messaging services should require users to verify their real-name identities before registering an account.

Where users break the rules, the providers will, as appropriate, issue warnings, restrict their posts... or even close their accounts, while retaining the relevant records so they can fulfil their reporting obligations to the authorities.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials said the Chinese authorities had told them that access to foreign messaging apps including KakaoTalk and Line - both owned by South Korean firms - had been blocked.



Theatre Censorship in Goa...

Stage drama causes controversy in India

Link Here10th August 2014
Tension prevails in Goa over the staging of a controversial theatre drama (Tiatr): Atankwadi Goeant Naka (Goa doesn't need terrorists).

Following a demand made by Sriram Sena for the arrest of the writer-director Tousif Shaikh for trying to portray Pramod Mutalik in bad light, the director Saturday morning decided not to hold the drama. Today was to be the premier show of the Tiatr .

The play has targeted Pramod Mutalik. What right does anyone have to portray Mutalik as a terrorist? , Gangadhar Kulkarni, general secretary of Sriram Sena questioned.

Besides those who had booked tickets for the show, a large number of people have gathered outside the venue amidst strong police presence. The Tiatr goers have demanded with the director that they would protest if he doesn't go ahead with the show.

The controversy over this Tiatr comes in the wake of a direction given by Ravindra Bhavan to give an undertaking that they would not criticize the government, MLAs or ministers last week. After the matter was raised in the assembly, the manager denied it and later withdrew the instructions.



Offsite Article: Hungry for Freedom...

Link Here10th August 2014
Film-maker defies China's censors to reveal horrors of the Great Famine. Hu Jie's documentaries tells story of students whose criticisms of Maoist excesses cost them their lives

See article from



Offsite Article: Time and time again we see that automated censorship is rubbish...

Link Here 10th August 2014
Twitch adds appeal button to streamed videos affected by crappy automated copyright enforcement system

See article from



Council Censors Thwarted...

A rare piece of good news from the Government. Eric Pickles announces a right to film and report on local council meetings

Link Here9th August 2014

In a boost for local democracy and the independent free press, councils in England were brought into the 21st century after Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, signed a Parliamentary order allowing press and public to film and digitally report from all public meetings of local government bodies. This 'right to report' updates a law passed by Margaret Thatcher as a backbench MP.

Following the passage of both primary and secondary legislation, the move opens councils' digital doors, covering broadcasters, national press, local press, bloggers and hyper-local journalists and the wider public. The new law aims to end active resistance amongst some councils to greater openness. Councils have even called the police to arrest people who tried to report, tweet or film council meetings, or claimed spurious 'health and safety' or 'reputational risks' to digital reporting.

This new law builds on Margaret Thatcher's successful Private Members' Bill from 1960 which allowed for the written reporting of council meetings by the press. The new rules will apply to all public meetings, including town and parish councils and fire and rescue authorities.

Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, said:

Half a century ago, Margaret Thatcher championed a new law to allow the press to make written reports of council meetings. We have updated her analogue law for a digital age.

Local democracy needs local journalists and bloggers to report and scrutinise the work of their council, and increasingly, people read their news via digital media. The new 'right to report' goes hand in hand with our work to stop unfair state competition from municipal newspapers - together defending the independent free press.

There is now no excuse for any council not to allow these new rights. Parliament has changed the law, to allow a robust and healthy local democracy. This will change the way people see local government, and allow them to view close up the good work that councillors do.

Further information New rights

The government has published a plain English guide of practical information on how the public can exercise their new rights, and what they should expect from their local government bodies.

The Openness of Local Government Regulations 2014 , which apply to England, give rights to members of the press and public to:

  • use modern technology and communication methods such as filming, audio-recording, blogging and tweeting to report the proceedings of the meetings of their councils and other local government bodies

  • see information relating to significant decisions made outside meetings by officers acting under a general or specific delegated power



ASA's Addiction to Censorship...

Advert censor whinges at drug allusion in a newspaper item titled the weekly fix

Link Here9th August 2014

An entertainment mailing from the Inverness City Advertiser, titled whatsonhighlands , stated ... the weekly fix ... A new way to keep up to date with what's on - and where to go, brought to you by: ica/ ... Inject some fun into your life, sign up today ... . The ad also featured an image of a full hypodermic syringe and needle.

Five complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ad was headlined the weekly fix with text that stated Inject some fun ... which in isolation was likely to convey the message that updates were essential reading for consumers interested in regional entertainment listings. However, the ad also included a visual of a needle and syringe which alongside the text weekly fix and inject , in the context of a consumer lifestyle mailing, the ASA considered were likely to imply recreational and illegal drug use. We therefore considered the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told ICA t/a not to use text and imagery which implied illegal drug use.



Update: Jimmy Wales speaks of a right to remember...

Wikimedia Foundation bosses speak of the censorship being enabled by the 'right to be forgotten'

Link Here9th August 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The foundation which operates Wikipedia has criticised of the right to be forgotten ruling, describing it as unforgivable censorship .

Speaking at the announcement of the Wikimedia Foundation's first-ever transparency report in London, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the public had the right to remember :

Wikipedia is founded on the belief that everyone, everywhere should be able to have access to the sum of all knowledge. However, this is only possible if people can contribute and participant in those projects without reservation.

This means the right to create content, including controversial content, should be protected. People should feel secure that their curiosity and contributions are not subject to unreasonable Government requests for their account histories. They should feel confident that the knowledge they are receiving is complete, truthful and uncensored.

The Foundation's chief executive Lila Tretikov called the ruling from the European Court of Justice a direct threat to our mission :

Our Transparency Report explains how we fight and defend against that. We oppose censorship. Recently, however, a new threat has emerged - the removal of links from search results following the recent judgment from the European Court of Justice regarding the right to be forgotten .

This right to be forgotten is the idea that people may demand to have truthful information about themselves selectively removed from the published public record or at least make it more difficult to find. This ruling, unfortunately, has compromised the public's right to information and freedom of expression.

Links, including those to Wikipedia itself may now be quietly, silently deleted with no transparency, no notice, no judicial review and no appeals process. Some search engines are giving proper notice and some are not. We find this type of compelled censorship unacceptable. But we find the lack of disclosure unforgivable.

As part of the Foundation's bid for greater transparency, it has issued its first transparency report, detailing the number of requests it has received from governments, individuals and organisations to disclose information about users or to change content on web pages. According to the report, the Foundation received 56 requests for user data in the last two years. In 14% of those cases, information was produced. The report also revealed that 304 requests were made for content to be either altered or removed, with the Foundation confirming that none of those requests were granted.

Geoff Brigham, general counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, said:

The decision is going to have direct and critical repercussions for Wikipedia. Without safeguards, this decision hurts free information, and let me tell you why: the decisions are made without any real proof, there's no judicial review, no public explanation, there's no appeals process.

Yet the decision allows censorship of truthful information when one would expect such judicial safeguards. If I may so say, in allowing this to happen, the European Court of Justice has basically abandoned its responsibility to protect the right to freedom of expression and access to truthful information. Two extremely important rights for democratic society.

In our opinion, we are on a path to secret, online sanitation of truthful information. No matter how well it may be intended, it is compromising human rights, the freedom of expression and access to information, and we cannot forget that. So we have to expose it and we have to reject this kind of censorship.



There's a more miserable side to Britain...

Advert censor whinges at bookie advert featuring Christ the Redeemer

Link Here8th August 2014

A press ad for Sporting Index, seen in City AM and the Racing Post, featured an image of the Christ the Redeemer statue that had been digitally manipulated to show Jesus with his right arm around a bikini-clad woman, his hand resting just above her bottom, and a bottle of champagne in his left hand. The statue's face had also been altered from a solemn expression to a smile. A large caption at the bottom of the image stated There's a more exciting side to Brazil and a roundel next to the statue's head stated £ 500 IN FREE BETS* . Further text stated World Cup excitement guaranteed .

The ASA received 25 complaints about the ad:

  1. All the complainants, including the Evangelical Alliance, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Many of the complainants mentioned the woman and the bottle of champagne in particular.

  2. The ASA challenged whether the ad linked gambling with sexual success.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the statue of Christ the Redeemer was likely to be strongly evocative of Brazil in general and Rio de Janeiro in particular, and that as a famous landmark it was often used to publicise these destinations. However, we noted that, despite this secular use, it was still a depiction of Jesus and was likely to carry a large degree of religious significance for Christians in particular, and that care should therefore be taken over its use. We considered that general references to the statue in order to highlight the location were unlikely to cause offence because it would be clear in what context the image was intended to be viewed. We also appreciated that the imagery was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted reference to Rio de Janeiro's beach and Carnival culture. Nonetheless, we considered that a depiction of Jesus with his arm around a largely undressed woman, holding a champagne bottle and apparently celebrating a gambling win was likely to cause offence to a significant number of Christians, regardless of this humorous intention or references to Rio de Janeiro and the World Cup, because it depicted the person of Jesus in a context at odds with commonly held beliefs about the nature of Christ. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some readers.

2. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the inclusion of an attractive person in an ad for gambling might not in itself automatically imply a link between gambling and sexual success, and understood Sporting Index's view that the woman was intended to represent the culture of Rio de Janeiro. However, we considered that the ad strongly implied that the statue depicted a figure celebrating a gambling win and that the woman constituted part of this celebration. We noted that the figure's hand was placed just above the woman's bottom and that she was turned partly towards him, and considered that this pose implied a degree of flirtatiousness and sexual contact regardless of whether the figures were presented in a cartoon-like manner. We understood that the woman's attire was intended to be a reference to Brazilian beaches and therefore incidental to the message of the ad, but considered that this was not clear from the context of the ad and that the woman's clothing reinforced the implication of sexual contact with the other figure. In light of these factors we concluded that the ad breached the Code by linking gambling with sexual success.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Sporting Index Ltd to ensure that future ads would not link gambling to sexual success or be likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Comment: With All Due Respect

See  article from

Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy of the Evangelical Alliance, said:

We are grateful that the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld the Alliance's view on behalf of Christians everywhere.

This advertisement was in poor taste and clearly likely to cause offence. Even so, the expressions of incredulity from City AM and Sporting Index at the complaints illustrate a patent failure to grasp why such mockery and disfigurement of the person of Christ should be deemed offensive at all.

Such religious illiteracy and lack of respect for faith communities in the UK is concerning.



Oompa-Loompa Humpf...

New Penguin cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sends a few whingers into a blueberry coloured rage

Link Here8th August 2014
A new cover for Roald Dahl's beloved children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been branded creepy by a critic.

The Penguin Modern Classics edition - aimed at the adult market - is being released on 4th September to mark the book's 50th anniversary.

Its cover, featuring a photograph of a heavily made up young girl wearing a feather boa and sitting on her mother's knee with a doll-like expression, sparked a few trivial tweets.

Best-selling Chocolat author Joanne Harris tweeted: Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?

Giles Paley-Phillips, an award-winning children's author, said: I'm not liking the new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, looks more Lolita!

Penguin said the girl in the cover photograph was not intended to be either Violet Beauregarde or Veruca Salt, the spoilt young girls who feature in Dahl's tale, but a representation of the twisted parent-child relationships depicted throughout the book. Penguin said:

This design is in recognition of the book's extraordinary cultural impact and is one of the few children's books to be featured in the Penguin Modern Classics list.

This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl's writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life.



It's not a's a cock...

Fried chicken van has a little fun with its logo

Link Here8th August 2014
A fired chicken company has defended its new logo after a few customers complained about its phallic design.

The owner of the Dirty Bird van, which visits festivals and events around Wales, says it is just a clever way of making the d and b of the company name look like a rooster.

But some customers have claim they have been left 'shocked' by the logo. Customer Abigail Griffiths said:

I was queueing up with my two young sons when I looked at the logo and realised what it represents. It is not the sort of thing that should be on display around children.

Dirty Bird owner Neil Young denied the company tried to make the logo phallic. He said:

We've never really thought about it like that. Our designer created a d and b for dirty bird then pushed them together to make a cockerel



Identifying Trolls...

Lords committee proposes that social media websites should be forced to verify the identity of members

Link Here7th August 2014
The House of Lords Select Committee on Communication have published a report on social media offences. The committee more or less finds that general law on harassment and malicious communication etc are sufficient to cover the social media world. However the lords worryingly suggest that unanimous messaging should not be allowed with the onus on websites to verify ID before allowing users to post content or messages.  The report introduces itself as follows:

Legislation currently in existence, including the Communications Act 2003 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, along with the guidelines for applying them published by the Director of Public Prosecutions, are enough to ensure that criminal offences committed using social media can be adequately prosecuted, says the House of Lords Communications Committee in its new report.

However, the Committee is calling for more clarity from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as to when an indecent communication (e.g. revenge porn ) could -- and should -- be subject to prosecution under existing powers. It is also encouraging website operators such as Facebook and Twitter to speed up requests for identification of users from our law enforcement agencies, using powers already granted by Parliament. The Committee is also calling for better statistics on the balance of offences committed online and by traditional means, as well as the number of offences that are actually reported.

And the more detail conclusions are:

(a) the criminal law in this area, almost entirely enacted before the invention of social media, is generally appropriate for the prosecution of offences committed using the social media;

(b) there are aspects of the current statute law which might appropriately be adjusted and certain gaps which might be filled. We are not however persuaded that it is necessary to create a new set of offences specifically for acts committed using the social media and other information technology;

(c) the Director of Public Prosecutions' guidance for prosecutions involving communications sent using social media appropriately takes account of freedom of expression;

(d) what is not an offence off-line should not be an offence online. There is no specific criminal offence of bullying. We consider that the current range of offences, notably those found in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, is sufficient to prosecute bullying conducted using social media. Similarly, sending a communication which is grossly offensive and has the purpose of causing distress or anxiety is an offence under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988. Although we understand that trolling causes offence, we do not see a need to create a specific and more severely punished offence for this behaviour;

(e) we would welcome clarification from the Director of Public Prosecutions as to the circumstances in which an indecent communication could and should be subject to prosecution under section 127 of the Communications act 2003 or section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988;

(f) due to the frequent need to obtain evidence from abroad, it would be proportionate to extend the period for the investigation of offences committed using social media to be tried in a magistrates' court to be extended from 6 to 12 months;

(g) a number of statutes passed before the invention of the internet refer to publications in terms only of print media. For example, section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 restricts reporting by newspapers in relation to children involved in criminal proceedings: electronic communications and social media are not caught; we believe they should be;

(h) there are often calls to increase the severity of sentence available for the punishment of these sorts of offences. We favour increasing the courts' discretion in this area but we would be reluctant for Parliament to require more cases to be tried in the Crown Court (i.e. judge and jury as opposed to magistrates), due to the implications for workload. Any increase in flexibility should be carefully monitored and the proportionality of the consequences considered;

(i) from our perspective in the United Kingdom, if the behaviour which is currently criminal is to remain criminal and capable of prosecution, we consider that it would be proportionate to require the operators of websites first to establish the identity of people opening accounts but that it is also proportionate to allow people thereafter to use websites using pseudonyms or anonymously. There is little point in criminalising certain behaviour and at the same time legitimately making that same behaviour impossible to detect. We recognise that this is a difficult question, especially as it relates to jurisdiction and enforcement;

(j) from our perspective, the only way to resolve questions of jurisdiction and access to communications data would be by international treaty. The question is relevant to many more areas of the law and public protection than criminal offences committed using social media and is politically contentious in most countries. This raises issues beyond the scope of this inquiry.



Update: Religiously Challenged...

Legal challenge to South Africa's satellite porn package set for court

Link Here7th August 2014
Full story: Satellite Sex in Africa...MultiChoice consider adding porn channel
A morality and religious campaign group calls itself the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA).

In 2013 JASA started a legal case opposing the licensing of a satellite package of 3 porn channels by the South African licensing authority ICASA. That case will now be heard in court on 10th August 2014. Jasa claims that:

It is a step too far to introduce pornography to the family TV, which is usually in the only living room in the home. Inevitably children will be aware of it, even if parents attempt to prevent them watching. The 8pm watershed period is absurd because teenage children settle down to watch TV at that time after doing their homework.

As advised by counsel, Jasa alleged that Icasa erred in law in failing to find that the constitutional rights of children were laws of general application, which should have trumped the rights to freedom of expression, Jasa said.

Furthermore, Jasa alleges that Icasa ignored their obligation. .. to consider the moral and spiritual implications of TV channels... .



Offsite Article: Canvas Fingerprinting...

Link Here7th August 2014
New technology to let websites generate a unique ID for every computer enabling snooping and advert tracking that can't be turned off like cookies

See article from



Offsite Article: Mexican state lawmakers want to censor bad news...

Link Here7th August 2014
In major border cities, gangsters essentially edit the local news, ie censor it. Besieged residents witness a wild gun battle in broad daylight but when they pick up a newspaper the next day, they won't find a word about it.

See article from



High priests of PC get in an ethical tangle over toyboy taboo...

Advert censor confuses PC ideals with the truth

Link Here 6th August 2014

A billboard poster for Nicofresh e-cigarettes, which appeared in various locations in Belfast, featured an elderly white woman sitting on a sofa alongside a young black man. The man had his arms around the woman and his eyes were closed, whilst the woman held an electronic cigarette and was looking directly at the camera. Text alongside the image stated NO TOBACCO. NO TABOO .

  1. Six complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive on the grounds of race, because it implied that an interracial relationship was socially unacceptable.

  2. Four of the complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive on the grounds of age, because it implied that a relationship between an elderly woman and a younger man was socially unacceptable.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA considered that consumers were likely to interpret the ad to mean that, contrary to the relationship depicted, to smoke e-cigarettes was not a taboo issue. We noted the pronounced age gap between the man and woman, the fact they were a couple, and that the image was accompanied with the text NO TOBACCO. NO TABOO . We considered that consumers would believe that the ad was presenting a relationship between an older and younger individual, particularly an older woman and a younger man, and a couple of different races, as something that was unusual or socially unacceptable. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of race and age.

The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Nicofresh Ltd to ensure their marketing communications did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence in future, and to take particular care to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race or age.



Obituary: Marilyn Burns...

Texas Chainsaw Massacre star dies aged 65

Link Here6th August 2014
Marilyn Burns was an American actress, best known for her roles in Tobe Hooper's cult horror films The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and Eaten Alive (1977). She is also known for portraying Linda Kasabian in the three-time Emmy-nominated miniseries Helter Skelter (1976).


1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
1976 Helter Skelter
1977 Eaten Alive
1981 Kiss Daddy Goodbye
1985 Future-Kill
1994 The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
2012 BoneBoys
2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D




The Heat is On...

ASA dismisses ludicrous whinges that bikinis should be post watershed

Link Here5th August 2014

A TV ad, for Tesco F&F clothing range, cut between a woman and a man wearing different clothing in each shot and included the woman in a bikini and cut-off shorts. The models were shown either posing or moving around, including the woman rolling on the floor. The woman lip-synched to the song played throughout the ad, which included the lyrics I want your touch. I want your body. I feel the heat. It's you, it's you I want tonight. The heat is on. I want you here tonight. I feel the heat .

Thirteen viewers challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for broadcast before 9 pm, particularly at times when children could be watching.

Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA considered that, in the context of an ad for a summer clothing range, it was not inappropriate to feature the models in shorts, loose fitting tops and swimwear. The woman's outfits were not particularly revealing, other than the two piece swimsuit, which exposed more of her body than the other garments, but nonetheless there was no sexual connotation attached to the item of clothing. The majority of the models' poses were traditional catwalk positions and others, such as the woman rolling on the floor, were only mildly sexual in nature and unlikely to be understood by children.

Although the lyrics of the song were open to mild sexual interpretation, we considered that very young children would be unlikely to understand that allusion and the song was not unsuitable for older children, many already likely to be familiar with the song and its dance based lyrics.

We considered that the ad was neither sexually explicit nor suggestive, and was unlikely to cause harm to children or to a more general audience. We therefore concluded that the ad was suitable for broadcast before 9 pm.



Is this shutting down criticism of the bombing?...

Game mocking Gaza bombing has been removed from Google Play

Link Here5th August 2014
A phone game which mocks the bombing of Gaza was removed from the Google app store following public 'outrage'.

The game Bomb Gaza was developed by PLAYFTW for Android phones and tablets had been downloaded up to 1,000 times since its release on July 29 of this year. Its stated aim was to drop bombs and avoid killing civilians, according to the Guardian.

Comments in the game's review section expressed anger and bewilderment that real human suffering could be made into a game.

A Google spokesman confirmed the ban: We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies. The company did not specify which policy the game had violated.

According to Mashable, a second game referencing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Gaza Assault: Code Red , was also removed by Google.



Offsite Article: New internet snooping legislation...

Link Here5th August 2014
Combatting the Snowden Effect: National interest and media freedom in Australia

See article from



Offsite Article: The perils of the Streisand effect...

Link Here5th August 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Remembered for claiming the right to be forgotten

See article from



Extract: The Terminator...

The BBFC opens its archives and reveals that cuts were once considered

Link Here4th August 2014
The Terminator is a 1984 UK / USA action Sci-Fi film by James Cameron.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. IMDb

The film was originally passed 18 uncut for cinema release and video. The rating was dropped to 15 uncut in 2000.

The BBFC explains the initial 18 rating:

The BBFC first classified The Terminator in November 1984. It was passed 18 without cuts, but not until after much consideration about whether the film could be cut to achieve a 15 rating.

...Read the full article



What Could Possibly Go Wrong?...

Government proposes to connect up state databases to facilitate the analysis of people's worth and behaviour

Link Here4th August 2014
Details of the financial history, qualifications and property wealth of millions of Britons could be shared across Whitehall for the first time without their consent, the Telegraph has disclosed.

Information including voters' driving licences, criminal records, energy use and even whether they use a bus pass could be shared under a radical blueprint to link up thousands of state databases used by schools, councils, police and civil servants.

The proposals are likely to ignite privacy concerns when officials are granted unprecedented access to citizens' private data.

Ministers claim the ability to aggregate and mine citizens' data under a new legal framework will allow them to better monitor economic growth and population movements, identify troubled families and elderly people in need of support, and cut fraud. They want to use sophisticated customer analysis techniques developed by retailers such as Amazon and Tesco.

The proposals are contained in a discussion document produced by the Cabinet Office Data Sharing Policy Team in April. The proposals, drawn up by Francis Maude, will be contained in a White Paper published in the Autumn. It may feature draft legislation for introduction after the 2015 election, according to sources.

Under the most wide-ranging option being considered, private data could be shared by all bodies providing public services - permitting private companies to receive unprecedented amounts of citizens' data.



Extreme Political Correctness Meets Extreme Sport...

Advert censor whinges at TV advert for Jagermeister

Link Here4th August 2014

A TV ad, promoting Jagermeister, showed a group of male friends leaving for a road trip in the early hours of the morning. The men were shown travelling through snowy, mountainous terrain in a truck, and one scene showed them getting out of the truck to push it through a snow drift. The men were later shown carrying surf boards and changing into wetsuits before jumping into the ocean. They were then shown surfing on large waves and, as they returned to shore, patting each other on the back and congratulating one another. Later, in the evening, they were shown in a log cabin at a bar, where they each received a shot of Jagermeister in a frozen glass and were shown raising their glasses to one another whilst the voice-over stated, Jagermeister. It runs deep.

The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it:

  1. linked alcohol with tough, daring behaviour;

  2. encouraged irresponsible and immoderate drinking; and

  3. implied that alcohol was key to the social success of the occasion. BCAP Code Response

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad was set in Iceland and depicted driving in difficult icy conditions and surfing in very cold and rough waters, both of which we considered to be potentially dangerous activities which required skill and daring. The group were not shown consuming alcohol, and there was no suggestion that they had done so, prior to the evening when they were shown in a bar. Nonetheless, because the ad featured both alcohol, and physically demanding and challenging activities, we considered that it made a clear association between an alcoholic product and tough and daring behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.

2. Not upheld

At the end of the ad the group of friends were shown in a bar each being served one iced shot of Jagermeister. Once served, the group members were shown holding and raising their glasses to one another, and there was no sense of urgency to consume the drinks. Whilst we acknowledged that shots were usually consumed quickly, or in one go, we considered that the presence of a single round of iced shots in the ad did not amount to, or encourage, immoderate drinking, particularly as there was no suggestion that they were consumed in a reckless or irresponsible manner. Therefore, we concluded that the ad did not encourage irresponsible or immoderate drinking.

3. Not upheld

A large portion of the ad showed the group journeying to the sea and surfing at their destination. Throughout those scenes the men were shown laughing, working together and enjoying one another's company. We therefore considered that it was clear that the men were good friends, who had known each other for some time. Later in the ad, the group were shown in a bar sharing a round of Jagermeister shots. We considered, however, that the presence of alcohol did not result in a shift in mood or a change in the group's relationships, and instead was incidental to their enjoyment of the evening and each other's company. For those reasons, we did not consider that the ad implied that the social success of the evening depended on the presence or consumption of alcohol.

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.



By Military Dictat...

Thailand bans the computer game, Tropico 5, as the theme of despot dictatorship is a little too close to home

Link Here4th August 2014
Tropico 5 is a 2014 simulation game from Kalypso

You, as El Presidente, will first take control of the infamous island of Tropico during early colonial times and then guide it through the centuries as the world changes and moves ever forward. You must tackle the changing needs of your people, as well as opposing governments and factions, and thus lay the foundations for your own dynasty. As you move through your years in office you can promote members of your extended family on the island to positions of power: such as ambassador, commanding general or even Supreme Ruler, to ensure your legacy thrives through the eras. As your influence and wealth grows, so do the threats to your burgeoning island superpower. Can you survive both World Wars, prosper through the Great Depression, rule as an iron-fisted dictator through the Cold War and advance your country to modern times and beyond? From the 19th to the 21st century, each era carries its own challenges and opportunities

A video game distributor says Thailand's film and video censors have banned a city-building simulation game for computers. The game allows players to play the role of a president of a tropical island, draft a constitution and manage the country, with the option of controlling the media and ruling as an iron-fisted dictator.

New Era Thailand marketing manager Nonglak Sahavattanapong said that the censorship office had banned sales of Tropico 5 because they feared its content might affect peace and order. But of course the reality is that the theme of despot dictators is a little too close to home.



A Word in Your Shell-Like...

Ninja Turtles poster featuring exploding towers and a September 11th opening date causes inevitable 'outrage'

Link Here4th August 2014
Paramount Australia have been left red-faced following the release of a new poster for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which has resulted in whinges citing PC bollox about disregarding the feelings of 9/11 victims.

The promotional poster, featuring the four heroes jumping from an exploding skyscraper juxtaposed with the film's Australian release date of September 11, was released yesterday evening through the distributor's social media channels.

A few Twitter users branded the promotion as bad taste , with hundreds more responding with equally whingey replies.

The image has since been removed from their social feeds.



Offsite Article: The BBFC and 12 years of 12A: does the system work?...

Link Here4th August 2014
The BBFC has released a video explaining how the 12A system works. But does it make sense, and how effective is it?

See article from



Carry On Behind...

BBFC Cuts revealed

Link Here3rd August 2014
Carry on Behind is a 1975 UK comedy by Gerald Thomas.
Starring Elke Sommer, Kenneth Williams and Bernard Bresslaw. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

BBFC category cuts for an A rated 1975 cinema release. The cuts persisted onto all home video releases.

Summary Notes

Professors Vrooshka and Crump decide to visit an archaeological site to study the artifacts there. Lo and behold, it's right next to a caravan site where all manner of people are staying. With a randy Major owning the site, a snobbish mother, and the two professors' constant innuendos, the film ends with a sinking caravan site and a striptease performance as a replacement for the cabaret night.

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 3 - Remove sight of Linda's dangling breasts seen through caravan window.

From IMDb. Furthers cuts rescinded after appeal to censor

The BBFC originally asked for other cuts to shots of topless nudity during the film wrongly shown by Professor Crump in the opening lecture scene. The producers successfully appealed to censor Stephen Murphy and the cuts to the opening scene were rescinded.



Update: Best Forgotten...

House of Lords Committee find the right to be forgotten wrong in principle and unworkable

Link Here3rd August 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The right to be forgotten , the arbitrary removal of online material according to who shouts loudest, is wrong in principle and unworkable in practice, a parliamentary committee has said.

The House of Lords home affairs, health and education EU sub-committee has condemned regulations being drawn up by the European commission and a recent landmark judgment by the European court of justice (ECJ).

The committee points out that the EU's 1995 data protection directive on which the ECJ judgment relied was drafted three years before Google was founded.  The committee's chair, Lady Prashar, said:

It is crystal clear that the neither the 1995 directive nor the [ECJ's] interpretation of it reflects the incredible advancement in technology that we see today, over 20 years since the directive was drafted.

We believe that the judgment of the court is unworkable for two main reasons. Firstly, it does not take into account the effect the ruling will have on smaller search engines which, unlike Google, are unlikely to have the resources to process the thousands of removal requests they are likely to receive.

Secondly, we also believe that it is wrong in principle to leave search engines themselves the task of deciding whether to delete information or not, based on vague, ambiguous and unhelpful criteria, and we heard from witnesses how uncomfortable they are with the idea of a commercial company sitting in judgement on issues like that.

We think there is a very strong argument that, in the new regulation, search engines should not be classed as data controllers, and therefore not liable as 'owners' of the information they are linking to. We also do not believe that individuals should have a right to have links to accurate and lawfully available information about them removed, simply because they do not like what is said.



The Uncertainlty of Corporate Censorship...

Bank censors circus troupe over skimpy costumes

Link Here3rd August 2014
A troupe of circus performers has been refused a business account after bank managers described their skimpy costumes as a moral problem .

Entertainer Joshua Morris set up Circus Uncertainty earlier this year and applied for a business bank account with Santander so he could get grants to fund work with terminally-ill children.

However, he claims the banking giant denied his troupe an account because the showgirls' outfits, a fringed bikini and stilts, were a moral problem . He was told on the phone he couldn't bank with the company because staff had looked on the circus' website and didn't like the look of costumes worn by some acts.

The performers are baffled by the decision as there is no nudity in the family-friendly act - which has performed at Glastonbury and was a centre piece at the Harbourside Festival.

As always with negligent corporate censorship, the censors admit their mistake when caught out, but this rather asks the questions how many other business have been suffocated by bank censorship that haven't had the good fortune to get press coverage. A Santander spokesman said: We are happy to review this account application following some clarification of the nature of the business.



Krusty Ofcom...

TV censor finds that the word 'bastard' is unacceptable for daytime showings of The Simpsons

Link Here2nd August 2014

The Simpsons
Channel 4, 9 April 2014, 18:00

The Simpsons is an irreverent animated comedy produced in the USA, with an appeal to a mixed audience of children and adults, and broadcast by Channel 4 at 18:00 on weekdays.

Seven complainants alerted Ofcom to the broadcast of the word bastard , which they considered inappropriate at this time of day and in a programme which appeals to children.

Ofcom viewed a recording and noted the following comment by the character Krusty the Clown around 18:23:

...who needs friends? The incessant beep of the global positioning system is all the companionship I need... [Krusty receives an electric shock as he pats the box, and, in anger, throws it out of his boat] Tell me where you are now, you bastard!

Ofcom considered Rule 1.16 of the Code, which states:

Offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed...unless it is justified by the context.

Channel 4 said that Ofcom will appreciate that the word 'bastard' is not the strongest language but nonetheless it considered: it was inappropriate for inclusion in an episode of The Simpsons at 18:00 in this context . It apologised for any offence that may have been caused and said it gave careful consideration to scheduling programmes at times when children were expected to be viewing to protect children from unsuitable content.

Ofcom Decision: resolved

Ofcom research on offensive language indicates that the word bastard is thought to be a stronger swear word and that, while some people consider there are some contexts in which this word is acceptable on television pre-watershed, care needs to be taken over its use.

Ofcom did not consider the use of bastard at 18:00 in this context in a programme like The Simpsons, with a clear appeal to children2, and broadcast on a public service channel with a broad audience, was justified by the context or in line with audience expectations.

However Ofcom has taken into account that: this failure was the result of an apparently isolated and unusual set of circumstances; Channel 4 proactively and quickly took steps to identify the cause of the issue and avoid the risk of a recurrence; and, Channel 4 apologised for any offence caused.

In light of these factors, Ofcom considers the matter resolved.



Called to Account...

Asking Ofcom to make ATVOD sign up for freedom of information

Link Here2nd August 2014
So how does UK's Video on Demand censor, ATVOD,  manage to evade accountability via Freedom of Information requests. Well maybe it can't, as revealed by the following letter to Ofcom.

Dear Office of Communications,

ATVOD has stated that it does not consider itself to be subject to the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act).

Section 3 FOIA includes a publicly-owned company as defined by section 6 . If ATVOD is a publicly-owned company as defined by section 6 it falls within the scope of section 3 and is therefore subject to FOIA.

Do you consider ATVOD to be a publicly-owned company as defined by section 6, bearing in mind, in this context, that the company (and therefore its directors and members) are bound by the designation and that ATVOD therefore appears to fall within the scope of s.6(2)(b)(ii) in that it is a company whose members are persons acting on behalf of that public authority or of companies wholly owned by that public authority ; that is OFCOM.

If ATVOD is bound to act in accordance with the determination and the determination is specified by OFCOM how can ATVOD, its members and directors (I understand that all directors are members - see the articles of association), not be persons acting on behalf of OFCOM?

Yours faithfully,
Graham Senior-Milne

Ofcom have acknowledged the letter and say they will answer within a month.



On the Political Stage...

Israeli funded stage show on the Edinburgh Fringe cancelled after protests

Link Here2nd August 2014
A show by an Israeli theatre group has been cancelled by the venue after protesters disrupted other nearby events.

The show was due to take place as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an annual cultural festival in the Scottish capital that celebrates theatre, music and comedy. However, the Underbelly theatre was forced to cancel all performances of The City by the Incubator Theatre group after anti-Israel demonstrators gathered outside, disrupting nearby events.

Described as Humphrey Bogart meets Jay-Z in a gritty and darkly comic whodunit hip-hop opera , The City did not have political content yet various Scottish cultural figures called for a boycott as the Incubator Theatre group receives part of its funding from the Israeli Ministry of Culture.



Update: Whips at the Ready...

Morality in Media to take on public figures who hype the Fifty Shades of Grey movie

Link Here2nd August 2014
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
Campaigners from Morality in Media throw down a challenge. Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director, Morality in Media writes:

Fifty Shades of Grey has taken the world by storm. The well-oiled PR machine they have hired would have you think that all women want to be treated as slaves and that NO really means YES!

I believe that a majority of people are not buying into these lies, but they are bullied by the mainstream media into staying silent. Today with the release of the new movie trailer, most of the popular news outlets are pushing this story that romanticizes and normalizes sexual violence.

The popular series promotes torture as sexually gratifying and normalizes domestic violence, particularly violence against women. This type of material cultivates a rape and sexual violence culture and is now permeating our society. With the popularity of this book, mainstream opinion-makers (like Oprah, the Today Show, Planned Parenthood and Broadway) are telling the public (especially youth) that humiliation, degradation and torture in sex is normal and to just give it a try.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, states that sadism and masochism are mental disorders, which should be dealt with on a professional psychiatric level.

We must oppose the continued promotion of BDSM in our society. We will go after all public leaders that propagate the lies that torture and violence are normal and healthy sexual templates.



Offsite Article: The Citizen Lab...

Link Here2nd August 2014
Meet the white hat hackers keeping you safe from Big Brother

See article from



Offsite Article: Propaganda Times...

Link Here2nd August 2014
Israel's news censor wants to pre-approve New York Times coverage of kidnapped soldier

See article from



Offsite Article: Surprise Surprise...

Link Here2nd August 2014
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The right to be forgotten is being well abused. It is being decided by an organisation who doesn't really want to be involved who only gets to hear one side of a story

See article from



Update: From a PC Slant...

TV censor uphold two complaints about racial pun on Top Gear

Link Here1st August 2014
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear Burma Special
BBC 2, 16 March 2014, 20:00

Top Gear is a long-running magazine series on motoring. Presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond provide information and commentary about cars. Programmes are light-hearted in tone, and typically include quirky and humorous banter between the presenters.

This particular episode was the second part of a two-part special, filmed in Burma, where the Top Gear presenters crossed the country in trucks and built a makeshift bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. On observing the completed bridge, on which an Asian man is seen walking towards them, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond engaged in the following conversation:

Jeremy Clarkson: That is a proud moment..but...there is a slope on it.

Richard Hammond: You are right...[pointing] is definitely higher on that side.

Jeremy Clarkson then narrates, over images of the bridge: we decide to ignore the slope and move onto the opening ceremony.

Ofcom received two complaints from viewers who expressed concern that the word slope referred to the Asian man crossing the bridge and was an offensive racist term.

Ofcom noted that the word slope is an offensive and pejorative term for a person of East Asian descent, which originated during the Vietnam War. [presumably alluding to slant eyes]

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include but is not limited to...discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...race...).

The BBC stated that the programme:

Used the word in what the programme-makers believed was an inoffensive, humorous play on words, addressed at the build quality of a bridge which the team had constructed and a local Asian man who was crossing it.

The BBC added that although the programme-makers:

Knew that the word could be used to refer to people of Asian origin they believed that such use was mere slang. The programme-makers were not aware at the time that it had the potential to cause offence particularly in some countries outside the UK

And had they been aware of this, the word would not have been used in this context. The BBC stated that it had already issued a public statement apologising for the use of the word and for any offence which its use caused.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

Ofcom acknowledges that slope is a term of offence more widely used in America and Australia. However it is also capable of causing offence in the UK particularly to people of Asian origin. Further, Ofcom research has indicated that viewers are likely to consider a word to be more offensive if they understand it to be making a derogatory reference to specific characteristics of a defined ethnic group.

Ofcom therefore considered whether the broadcast of this offensive word was justified by the context. Top Gear is widely known for its irreverent style and sometimes outspoken humour, as well as the banter between the three presenters. We also noted that regular viewers of Top Gear were likely to be aware that the programme had previously used national stereotypes as a comedic trope, particularly to describe the characteristics of cars. Various nationalities have, at some point, been the subject of the presenters' mockery during the history of this long running programme. The regular audience for this programme adjusts its expectations accordingly.

In our view, however, in this case Jeremy Clarkson deliberately employed the offensive word to refer to the Asian person crossing the bridge as well as the camber of the bridge. Ofcom noted that this sequence was scripted in advance, and that clear consideration was given at the time of production to using the term slope to formulate what the production team intended to be humorous word play around it. There was clearly an opportunity both during filming and post-production to research the word and reach a more considered view on whether it was mere slang and had the potential to cause offence to viewers.

We took into account that the BBC said the programme makers intended the use of slope to be an inoffensive, humorous play on words , but that the broadcaster accepted now that the word was capable of causing offence in the UK and apologised. We noted that the BBC provided no other arguments to justify the potential offence in the context.

Ofcom concluded, however, that in the circumstances of this particular case there was insufficient context to justify the broadcast of this material. The BBC did not apply generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from offensive material. As a result there was a breach of Rule 2.3.

 2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Latest 
Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   July   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec    

Censor Watch logo





Censorship News Latest

Daily BBFC Ratings

Site Information