Censor Watch

 2017: August

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 Extract: Britain's Got a Talent for Whingeing...

UK's top 10 TV programmes as judged by the number of complaints to Ofcom


Link Here 19th August 2017
britains got talentTV censor Ofcom has provided Trusted Reviews with figures that reveal which television items have received the most viewer complaints over the past year:

10. Benidorm (ITV) -- 137 complaints

9. Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls (Channel 4) -- 153 complaints

8. Good Morning Britain (ITV) -- 181 complaints

7. Sky News (Sky News) -- 190 complaints

6. Emmerdale (ITV) -- 275 complaints

5. Coronation Street (ITV) -- 303 complaints

4. Comic Relief (BBC 1) -- 340 complaints

3. Emmerdale (ITV) -- 448 complaints

2. Coronation Street (ITV) -- 473 complaints

1. Britain's Got Talent (ITV) -- 663 complaints

... Read the full article from trustedreviews.com

 

 Update: Russia's relationship czar...

Government film censors clear the movie Matilda for release disappointing the religious leaders calling for a ban


Link Here 19th August 2017  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols
Poster Matilda 2017 Aleksey Uchitel Matilda is a 2017 Russian historical biography by Aleksey Uchitel.
Starring Michalina Olszanska, Lars Eidinger and Luise Wolfram. IMDb

In the twilight of Imperial Russia, prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya becomes the mistress of three Grand Dukes.

A historical film about the last Russian czar's affair with a ballerina has been cleared for release by film censors at the Russian Culture Ministry. Vyasheslav Telnov, the head of the ministry's film department, said it checked Matilda and found it in full compliance with legal norms.

Matilda, which describes Nicholas II's relationship with Matilda Kshesinskaya has drawn virulent criticism from some Orthodox christians and hard-line nationalists, who see it as blasphemy against the emperor, glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Russian lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya spearheaded the campaign for banning the film. She even asked the Prosecutor General's office to carry out an inquiry into Matilda, which is set to be released on the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

Matilda opponents have gathered signatures against the film, and earlier this month several hundred people gathered to pray outside a Moscow church for the movie to be banned. Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed regional leader of Chechnya has supported the calls for a ban, as have authorities in the neighboring province of Dagestan.

 

 Update: Dangerous Thailand...

The Vogue for Thailand making commonplace social media postings into a criminal offence


Link Here 19th August 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking
vogue august 2017Vogue fashion magazine has been reporting on the dangers of social media posts that contain images which included alcohol brands. Vogue magazine warns:

Tourists might not realize as they make their guidebook-mandated pilgrimage to nightlife hotspots like Khao San Road, is that despite the country's many Full Moon parties and bar girls, alcohol advertising is illegal. And posting a photo on social media of your beer by the beach could count as advertising.

Recently police have begun to strictly enforce 2008's Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which bans displaying the names or logos of products in order to induce people to drink such alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly.

Last month, police announced their intention to more closely patrol social media and charge those found breaking the law. That means even if your favorite actress wasn't being paid for her endorsement and really was just sharing a photo with a drink by the pool or on a night out, she could find herself facing a 50,000 baht (about $1,500 USD) fine for indirectly inducing drinking.

Earlier this month, eight local celebrities were fined for posting selfies with alcoholic drinks on social media, with Thai Asia Pacific Brewery and Boon Rawd Brewery Co. (the producer of Singha beer) also implicated in the case. But police aren't just monitoring the accounts of the rich and famous -- at the beginning of August, three bar girls found themselves arrested after making a Facebook Live video inviting people to come enjoy a beer promotion.

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast 71 Dr Who...


Link Here 19th August 2017
Doctor Who - Series 9 DVD Why some episodes are rated PG whilst others are rated 12

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship Ratchet...


Link Here 19th August 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Weibo logo China launches criminal investigation of major internet companies suspecting that they are not censoring social media users enough

See article from sputniknews.com

 

 Update: Strong Words...

Ofcom fine Kanshi Radio over Sikh song with lyrics derogatory to other religions


Link Here 18th August 2017  full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check
kanshi radio logoPinky Pinky
Kanshi Radio Limited, 30 June 2016, 01:59 and 1 September 2016, 00:05

Kanshi Radio is a satellite radio station providing speech and music programmes for the Asian community in the UK.

This sanction was in relation to the broadcast of a song, Pinky Pinky, which was in Punjabi and lasted approximately 11 minutes. The song contained highly offensive language and aggressively pejorative references to the Muslim community, and Muslim women in particular. It also contained well known sacred Islamic phrases, interspersed with offensive terms, gunshots and sexualised noises.

Ofcom found that the programme breached Rules:

  • Rule 2.1: “Generally accepted standards must be applied to the content of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/ or offensive material.”
  • Rule 2.3: “In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context (…). Such material may include, but is not limited to offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.”
  • Rule 3.2: Material which contains hate speech must not be included in television and radio programmes except where it is justified by the context.
  • Rule 3.3: Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in television and radio services except where it is justified by the context.

Ofcom published its decision on these breaches on 5 December 2016 in issue 318 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin. Ofcom gave examples from the sonly lyrics eg:

Your sister's cunt, Oi, your sister's cunt, let me fuck your mother's cunt. Let me fuck your sister, come over here and let me give you some Sikh cock. Allahu Akbar motherfucker.

In Ofcom's view the breaches were serious and we therefore considered the imposition of a statutory sanction in this case.

In accordance with Ofcom's penalty guidelines, Ofcom decided that it was appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances to impose a financial penalty of £17,500 on the Licensee

 

 Offsite Article: Thou shalt not criticise...


Link Here 18th August 2017  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress
Metropiltan Police badge Victory for street preacher arrested for criticising Islam

See article from christianconcern.com

 

  Euston, we have a problem...

ASA bans trailers for Alien Covenant as shown at railway stations


Link Here 17th August 2017

alien covenenant advert video Two digital outdoor ads displayed on large screens in two stations in central London, for the film Alien: Covenant, seen in early May 2017:

a. The first ad began with a spacecraft approaching a planet followed by scenes on the planet. In one scene a man in a dark room shined a torch on an alien egg, the top of which began to slowly open. A close-up showed an alien-like mouth suddenly exploding from it, towards the camera. A woman in distress was then shown running down a corridor, being chase by an arachnid-like alien, followed by a close-up of her screaming. An arachnid-like alien was then shown running towards the camera. The final shot showed a woman hiding from an alien which was just on the other side of a door frame.

b. The second ad featured large on-screen text which stated in turn: RUN, HIDE, SCREAM and PRAY. The text appeared next to brief clips from the film, including the scene with the woman in distress running down a corridor being chased by an alien, the alien egg slowly opening, the close-up of the woman screaming, a woman looking panicked and shouting through the glass window in a closed door, the close-up of the alien-like mouth suddenly exploding towards the camera, and the final shot of a woman hiding from an alien which was just on the other side of a door frame.

Three complainants, one of whose children had seen the ads, challenged whether the ads were likely to cause fear or distress, and whether they were suitable to be shown in an untargeted medium.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA understood the film was rated as a 15 by the BBFC and considered that the advertiser should therefore have taken particular care to ensure that scenes included in the ads would be suitable to be shown in a public space where children were likely to be present.

The ads contained scenes of characters who were clearly in distress, as well as images of an alien mouth suddenly exploding from an egg out towards the viewer, and a woman being chased by an alien. We considered those scenes were likely to frighten and cause distress to some children and that the ads were likely to catch their attention, particularly as they were shown on large screens. We concluded the ads were not suitable to be shown in an untargeted public medium and therefore breached the Code.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Twentieth Century Fox Film Company Ltd to target their ads more carefully in future to avoid the risk of causing undue fear and distress to children.

 

  A forgotten childhood...

Government to incorporate upcoming EU privacy protection directive into UK law


Link Here 17th August 2017

DCMS logoPeople are  to have more control over their personal data and be better protected in the digital age under new measures announced by Digital Censorship Minister Matt Hancock.

  • Public to have greater control over personal data - including right to be forgotten

  • New right to require social media platforms to delete information on children and adults when asked

In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill. It will provide everyone with the confidence that their data will be managed securely and safely. Research shows that more than 80% of people feel that they do not have complete control over their data online.

Under the plans individuals will have more control over their data by having the right to be forgotten and ask for their personal data to be erased. This will also mean that people can ask social media channels to delete information they posted in their childhood. The reliance on default opt-out or pre-selected 'tick boxes', which are largely ignored, to give consent for organisations to collect personal data will also become a thing of the past.

Businesses will be supported to ensure they are able to manage and secure data properly. The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), will also be given more power to defend consumer interests and issue higher fines, of up to £17 million or 4% of global turnover, in cases of the most serious data breaches.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said:

Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.

The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.

The Data Protection Bill will:

  • Make it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data

  • Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased

  • Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used

  • Require 'explicit' consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data

  • Expand the definition of 'personal data' to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA

  • Update and strengthen data protection law to reflect the changing nature and scope of the digital economy

  • Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them

  • Make it easier for customers to move data between service providers

New criminal offences will be created to deter organisations from either intentionally or recklessly creating situations where someone could be identified from anonymised data.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said:

We are pleased the government recognises the importance of data protection, its central role in increasing trust and confidence in the digital economy and the benefits the enhanced protections will bring to the public.

Data protection rules will also be made clearer for those who handle data but they will be made more accountable for the data they process with the priority on personal privacy rights. Those organisations carrying out high-risk data processing will be obliged to carry out impact assessments to understand the risks involved.

The Bill will bring the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law, helping Britain prepare for a successful Brexit.

 

 Update: No refuge from censorship...

Malaysian film censors target films at refugee festival


Link Here 17th August 2017  full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
kakuma can dance video Several films about refugees have been censored for showing at a festival in Malaysia.

Activists say the Film Censorship Board (LPF) officials came to the Refugee Festival in Kuala Lumpur late last week, subsequently demanding the partial censorship of Bou , a film about trafficked brides from Burma (Myanmar), and total ban on Kakuma Can Dance about refugee hip hop dancers in Kenya.

Refugee Festival organiser Mahi Ramakrishnan, who directed Bou (bride in the Rohingya language) said Malaysian authorities turned up immediately prior to the opening of the event to force the filmmakers to gain prior clearance from the LPF before screening their work.

Ramakrishnan later showed a cut version of Bou on Aug 13, in which the LPF demanded certain, politically sensitive scenes were muted, played without subtitles or simply removed, including one showing footage of Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak. According to campaign group Fortify Rights, another such scene is where a human trafficker explains false passports for Rohingya child brides are made in Bangladesh before the trafficker will pay money to clear [Malaysian] immigration.

 

 Update: Misleading intentions...

Vietnam's government announces an internet censorship systems to identify and block news that it does not like


Link Here 17th August 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Vietnam...New law requiring websites to delete content
Vietnam flagAn internet censorship system including software that identifies, blocks, collects and processes 'misleading' information on the Internet will soon be launched in Vietnam.

Software that blocks PCs from accessing websites containing 'misleading' information, and an investigation system that analyzes methods used by cyber criminals will also be developed.

The project was recently approved by the Ministry of Information and Communications and will run until 2025.

 

 Offsite Article: Is Your Laptop Watching You Masturbate?...


Link Here 17th August 2017
Naah... It's just an attempted scam

See article from lifehacker.com.au

 

  Skirting around extremism...

Another disgraceful PC ban by ASA who claim that anything slightly sexy somehow causes widespread offence


Link Here 16th August 2017

christy skirt advert A product listing on www.ratandboa.com, for The Christy Skirt, seen on 2 March 2017, which featured an image of a woman from the neck down wearing a top that partially exposed her breasts and revealed a nipple piercing.

A complainant challenged whether the image was offensive, because it was highly sexualised and objectified women.

Rat and Boa Ltd stated that while the image may have been distasteful to the individual complainant, the Code stated that this was not enough in itself to find a breach. They said that there was nothing in the ad to suggest anything that would otherwise breach any other parts of the Code.

They explained that the woman in the photo was the co-founder of Rat and Boa and she had undertaken the shoot with her own free will and expression of artistic license. They stated that it was unreasonable to suggest that she would objectify women or herself.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted that the image was cut-off at the model's shoulders and her breasts were partially exposed, revealing a nipple piercing. One hand was placed on the waist band of the skirt, pulling it down to show her lower abdomen. We considered that the image was gratuitous and sexually provocative, because the model's pose emphasised her breasts and torso, rather than the product itself.

We concluded that, by using a sexualised image of a woman, the ad objectified women and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Rat and Boa Ltd to ensure that their future ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

  Dreaming of a right to protest in the USA...

US government is bullying an internet company to obtain personal details of those involved in a protest against Donald Trump.


Link Here 16th August 2017
dreamhost logoThe US internet company DreamHost is fighting government demands for it to hand over details of millions of activists.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) wants all visitors' IP addresses - some 1.3 million - to a website that helped organise a protest on the day of President Trump's inauguration. In addition to the IP addresses, DreamHost said that the DoJ requested the contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors.

DreamHost is currently refusing to comply with the request and is due in court on 18th August,

In a blog post on the issue, DreamHost said that, like many other online service providers, it was regularly approached by law enforcement about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations. But, it added, it took issue with this particular search warrant for being a highly untargeted demand.

Civil liberties group The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is helping DreamHost fight its case, said: No plausible explanation exists for a search warrant of this breadth, other than to cast a digital dragnet as broadly as possible.

 

  The Sun takes heat...

Muslim campaigner finds that IPSO will not take complaints about a Sun column that criticised islam


Link Here 16th August 2017

ipso 2016 logo A muslim campaigner has said he is powerless to complain about a Sun column criticising Muslims because the Editors' Code gives no protection to minority groups on grounds of religion.

In a column on immigration, Sun comment writer Trevor Kavanagh said:

There is one unspoken fear, gagged by political correctness, which links Britain and the rest of Europe. The common denominator, almost unsayable until last week's furore over Pakistani sex gangs, is Islam.  Thanks to former equalities chief Trevor Phillips, and Labour MPs such as Rotherham's Sarah Champion, it is acceptable to say Muslims are a specific rather than a cultural problem.

He concluded his column by saying:

What will we do about The Muslim Problem then?

Miqdaad Versi has made numerous complaints to press regulator IPSO and secured 30 national press corrections over reporting of Islam and Muslims. He said:

In a week where we have seen the serious challenges of neo-Nazi plots against Muslims, we have a national newspaper asking its readers to consider what solution there should be for 'The Muslim Problem'. What would be the reaction if this was about any other minority faith or racial group?

It is seriously disappointing that the press regulator IPSO is not willing to afford protection for groups against incitement to hatred or violence.

While the code protects individuals from discrimination it does not do the same for religious and ethnic groups. The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Tell MAMA and Faith Matters have nonetheless submitted a joint complaint to press regulator IPSO. In a statement they said:

The printing of the phrase 'The Muslim Problem' -- particularly with the capitalisation and italics for emphasis -- in a national newspaper sets a dangerous precedent, and harks back to the use of the phrase 'The Jewish Problem' in the last century.

More than 100 MPs have also signed a statement accusing the Sun of 'hatred and bigotry'.

Update: Best not talk about problems in the muslim community lest you get sacked

17th August 2017 See  article from independent.co.uk

Shadow equalities minister Sarah Champion has resigned from her frontbench position following a row over an article she wrote in the Sun newspaper, noting that British Pakistani men are raping and exploiting white girls.  The article ran with the headline: British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls -- and it's time we face up to it.

In a statement the Rotherham MP said she apologised for any offence cause by the extremely poor choice of words which appeared in the newspaper five days' ago.

Champion hit the headlines last week when she warned people were failing to tell the truth about child abuse because they were afraid of being called racist, following the conviction of 18 men involved in a grooming gang. It was predominately Pakistani men who were involved in such cases time and time again.

 

  Still corrupting a weakly few of the king's subjects...

Fanny Hill: why people keep trying to ban the racy novel about a woman of pleasure, and why the press reports of a ban is 'fake' news


Link Here 16th August 2017

Fanny Hill John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at UCL. He wrote in the Guardian about the appranet 'banning' of Fanny Hill at Royal Holloway, University of London/ He wrote:

Many will have read the Fanny is banned story and thought: Those millennial nervous nellies, whatever next? My guess is that it is silly-season tosh. The book will be referred to, as necessary and instructive, but is not required reading. The professor who is alleged to have done the banning is Judith Hawley. I know her personally. She is the world's leading authority on Tristram Shandy, a novel thought so improper even Cleland called its author, Laurence Sterne, a pornographer.

Read the full article from theguardian.com

Now Judith Hawley, the academic associated with the 'ban' has responded in the Guardian saying that the 'ban' was misreported nonsense. She explained:

I didn't, as I was accused in the papers, remove Fanny Hill from the university course reading list for The Age of Oppositions, 1660-1780 following a consultation with students as the Times reported. It was never on the course, therefore it could not have been withdrawn ( or banned, as the Evening Standard put it ).

But she does go on to trying arguing that the academic environment of trigger words, no platforming and offence taking more an 'evolution' of free speech rather than reprehensible censorship. She said:

But it would be wrong to represent all current students as refusing to listen to views they don't want to hear. Rather, we could think about this in terms of an evolution in free speech. Students are raising questions about who has the right to speak, the right to determine the agenda, and calling for a diversity of writers to be taught.

See the full article from theguardian.com

 

  You can't say that!...

Fashion shop sign saying 'send me nudes' taken down after petition


Link Here 16th August 2017
misguidedThis week, fashion chain Missguided agreed to take down a neon sign displayed in two of their stores, following thousands of complaints from outraged parents.

Missguided, a clothing store aimed at young women and teenagers, had put up a pink neon sign in their Stratford Westfield and Trafford Park stores saying: Send me nudes.

A petition in protest was set up by President of Girls' Brigade England and Wales Rachel Gardener, and signed by over 8,000 people. The petition read:

Teenage girls feel under increasing pressure to create and send nude pictures of themselves.

It is illegal in the UK for nude images of under 18's to be created, sent and shared.

In posting 'Send me nudes' in their store, Missguided are promoting a negative and damaging culture.

Instead, they should be empowering young women to value their intrinsic value and express their uniqueness through the art of fashion.

The sign has now been taken down.

 

  Site Supremecy...

GoDaddy and Google are within their rights to deny website hosting to the Daily Stormer


Link Here 15th August 2017
go daddy logoInternet-domain provider GoDaddy gave far right website The Daily Stormer the boot after the site published a derogatory story about a 32-year-old woman killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Earlier on Monday, Google Domains became the registrar for the site. However, Google later said in a statement it's cancelling The Daily Stormer's registration for violating its terms of service.

This raises issues around what domain-hosting companies are responsible for, and where they draw the line on objectionable material. Legally webhosts are only required to close down websites on grounds of a federal crime. However, as a private business, website-hosting companies have the right to decide with whom they conduct business, and GoDaddy's decision does not violate the First Amendment, according to experts.

GoDaddy told CNN Tech:

While we detest the sentiment of such sites, we support a free and open Internet and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content. In this case, The Daily Stormer crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence.

 

  But it's not only the right that is out of favour with the internet gatekeepers...

The World Socialist Web Site claims that Google has been pushing sites like itself out of search results presumably so that we are all nudged into reading mainstream media sites instead


Link Here 15th August 2017
wsws logoData compiled by the World Socialist Web Site, with the assistance of other Internet-based news outlets and search technology experts, indicates that a massive loss of readership observed by socialist, anti-war and progressive web sites over the past three months has been caused by a cumulative 45%decrease in traffic from Google searches.

The drop followed the implementation of changes in Google's search evaluation protocols. In a statement issued on April 25, Ben Gomes, the company's vice president for engineering, stated that Google's update of its search engine would block access to offensive sites, while working to surface more authoritative content.

The World Socialist Web Site has obtained statistical data from SEMrush estimating the decline of traffic generated by Google searches for 13 sites with substantial readerships. The results are as follows:

* wsws.org fell by 67%
* alternet.org fell by 63%
* globalresearch.ca fell by 62%
* consortiumnews.com fell by 47%
* socialistworker.org fell by 47%
* mediamatters.org fell by 42%
* commondreams.org fell by 37%
* internationalviewpoint.org fell by 36%
* democracynow.org fell by 36%
* wikileaks.org fell by 30%
* truth-out.org fell by 25%
* counterpunch.org fell by 21%
* theintercept.com fell by 19%

wsws.org has launched a petition against Google's downgrading of these news websites.

 

  But its not only the left and right that is out of favour with the internet gatekeepers...

LGBTQ folk are being censored by Facebook's poor quality keyword algorithms that are designed to protect them


Link Here 15th August 2017

Facebook logoAs queer artists and activists, we're alarmed by a new trend: Many LGBTQ people's posts have been blocked recently for using words like dyke, fag, or tranny to describe ourselves and our communities.

While these words are still too-often shouted as slurs, they're also frequently reclaimed by queer and transgender people as a means of self-expression. However, Facebook's algorithmic and human reviewers seem unable to accurately parse the context and intent of their usage.

Whether intentional or not, these moderation fails constitute a form of censorship. And just like Facebook's dangerous and discriminatory real names policy , these examples demonstrate how the company's own practices often amplify harassment and cause real harm to marginalized groups.

For example, two individuals wrote that they were reported for posting about the return of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel's celebrated Dykes To Watch Out For comic strip. A gay man posted that he was banned for seven days after sharing a vintage flyer for the 1970s lesbian magazine DYKE , which was recently featured in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. A queer poet of color's status update was removed for expressing excitement in finding poetry that featured the sex lives of black and brown faggots.

A young trans woman we heard from was banned for a day after referring to herself as a tranny alongside a selfie that proudly showed off her new hair style. After she regained access, she posted about the incident, only to be banned again for three more days.

...Read the full article from wired.com

 

 Update: Sunless Offices...

Flintshire councillors propose motion calling for a ban of the Sun and its journalists from council offices


Link Here 15th August 2017  full story: Councils Censor The Sun...UK councils call for local newsagents to ban The Sun
flintshire council logoCouncillors are set to vote on a proposal to ban the The Sun newspaper and its journalists from Flintshire County Council offices.

The motion has been put forward by Deputy Leader Cllr Bernie Attridge and Cllr Kevin Hughes. It also seeks to ban Sun journalists from reporting on council meetings. The motion is said to reflect continued strong feelings about the Sun's reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy.

However the council  move has been met with criticism from the Welsh Conservatives. Shadow Local Government Secretary, Janet Finch-Saunders said it was was an attempt at censorship of the media. She said:

This is a childish and typically spiteful move from a Labour Party which no longer cares for the fundamental principle of free speech, and which no longer backs a free press.

Whilst we might not like certain newspapers -- and might question the impartiality of other platforms -- we have a right not to consume their output. But we shouldn't have a right to ban them. This is how dictatorships start, and Jeremy Corbyn should know a thing or two about them.

The legality of the motion is being considered ahead of a scheduled council discussion on September 27.

 

  OONI...

Monitoring website blocking in 90 countries


Link Here 14th August 2017
ooni logo A new tool wants to make it easy to track internet outages and help people learn how to circumvent them.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), which monitors networks for censorship and surveillance, is launching Ooniprobe, a mobile app to test network connectivity and let you know when a website is censored in your area.

The app tests over 1,200 websites, including Facebook ( FB , Tech30 ) , Twitter ( TWTR , Tech30 ) and WhatsApp.

Created in 2012 under the Tor Project, OONI monitors networks in more than 90 countries through its desktop and hardware trackers, which are available to anyone. It publishes censorship data on its site . The organization has confirmed censorship cases in a number of countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The website has recently introduced a mobile app so that OONI can reach more people potentially affected by internet outages, especially in emerging markets where smartphones are more common than computers.

 

  In for a long hunt...

A spat between the Countryside Alliance and the BBC reveals that there could be a lengthy BBC complaints process before complaints reach Ofcom for final arbitration


Link Here 13th August 2017

BBC logoThe BBC is currently overhauling its complaints system after Ofcom took over censorship duties in April, replacing the BBC Trust. However there is still a part of the process where viewers have to complain to the BBC first before seeking recourse with Ofcom.

The Countryside Alliance has clashed with BBC bosses over the new framework which the group believes does not improve the process and only allows viewers to go to Ofcom after a three stage process. In a letter to the corporation, Tim Bonner, the alliance's chief executive, said this process could take several months and urged a rethink. He wrote:

Given the timescales for responding, it is likely that it could take several months before a complaint could be seen by Ofcom if the complainant were unhappy with the responses received from the BBC. We are not satisfied that this provides the expected level of oversight which Ofcom was intended to have in the new Charter.

The Countryside Alliance, a group lobbying for hunting and shooting, previously came off worse when complaining that Springwatch presenter Chris Packham referred to them as the 'Nasty Brigade' in a BBC magazine article. Presumably they feel that when they did not get what they wanted from the BBC Trust then they would like to give Ofcom a shot.

Bonner said that the alliance had submitted a number of complaints to the BBC and BBC Trust over the past 18 months which have not been upheld.  He added:

We would have welcomed the opportunity to pursue our complaints with Ofcom at the earliest possible opportunity in order for an external regulator to review the complaints independently.

The BBC's royal charter specifically allows the BBC to try to try to resolve complaints in the first instance before they are passed to Ofcom.

 

  Stony reception...

Statute of Chinese god covered up in Indonesia in response to muslim threats


Link Here 13th August 2017
guan yuAfter Muslims threatened to tear down a 100-ft statue of a Chinese god, authorities in Indonesia's East Java Province moved swiftly to cover it up with an enormous sheet last weekend amid mounting ethnic and religious tensions across the country.

The Islamist campaign against the statue, a depiction of the third-century general Guan Yu, who is worshiped as a god in several Chinese religions, began online and soon spread to the gates of a Chinese Confucian temple in Tuban, near the Java Sea coast, where the figure was erected last month.

On social media, Muslims assailed the statue as an uncivilized affront to Islam and the island's home people, and a mob gathered this week outside the East Java legislature in the city of Surabaya to demand its destruction.

 

 Offsite Article: Ethical referees...


Link Here 13th August 2017
misused trust Ofcom to unpick ethical dilemmas caused by the authorities once putting political correctness before justice when dealing with muslim grooming gangs

See article from birminghammail.co.uk

 

 Update: Political sensitivities...

Thai court confirms the ban on the film Shakespeare Must Die


Link Here 12th August 2017
shakespeare must dieShakespeare Must Die is a 2012 Thailand horror drama by Ing Kanjanavanit.
Starring Pirun Anusuriya, Sudhisak Bamrungtrakun and Minta Bhanaparin. YouTube icon IMDb

Thailand's Administrative Court has rejected a petition by the producer and director of a feature film against a ban imposed by the Film and Video Censorship Committee five years ago.

Shakespeare Must Die was banned from being screened in Thailand on the grounds that the movie's political content might cause divisiveness among people in the country. 

The film, directed by Smanrat Ing K Kanjanavanich and produced by Manit Sriwanichpoom, is an adaptation of Macbeth , a tragedy by English writer William Shakespeare. It depicted both an ambitious general who becomes king through murder, and another world in which the country's leader believes in superstitious, megalomaniac and murderous dictatorship. He is known only as Dear Leader and has a scary, high-society wife. The movie clearly alluded to prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was popular with working people but alienated the Thai elite.

The Administrative Court ruled that even though the story is fictional, the movie's content might cause disunity among people. It contains scenes based on a photograph from Bangkok's 1976 student uprising and violent scenes from red-shirt demonstrations.

Manit said the filmmakers would appeal the court's verdict. I feel like we didn't get justice, he said.

 

 Update: An end to the stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism...

India sacks its crazed chief censor


Link Here 12th August 2017  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
pahlaj-nihalaniPahlaj Nihalani has been sacked as the chief censor of India's board of film censors, the CBFC. He said that he had no regret about being asked to step down, is proud of being labelled as Sanskari censor chief and had in fact been preparing for his exit since the last six months.

Nihalani had wound up the Indian film industry with a serious of moralistic and pedantic censorship rules that led to a long trail of excessive cuts and bans.

Nihalani, who was appointed to the post in 2015, a year after Modi became the Prime Minister, has been replaced by writer-lyricist-and advertising exec, Prasoon Joshi. Nihalani commented:

We've speeded up the certification process and made it entirely digital. I just hope my successor doesn't succumb to false notions of liberalism propagated by the pseudo-progressive elements in our film industry and work in a direction opposed to mine.

Do I have any regrets? None at all. I worked in all sincerity and with utmost honesty. In the process, I offended a lot of the so-called progressive elements. I also got labelled a 'Sanskari' censor chief. I am proud of that label.

I hope I am remembered as the CBFC chairperson who took a firm stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism, no matter how unpopular it made me.

 

  Tip toeing on religious sensitivities...

Orthodox christians in Russia petition to ban the film Matilda


Link Here 12th August 2017
Poster Matilda 2017 Aleksey Uchitel Matilda is a 2017 Russia historical biography by Aleksey Uchitel.
Starring Michalina Olszanska, Lars Eidinger and Luise Wolfram. IMDb

In the twilight of Imperial Russia, prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya becomes the mistress of three Grand Dukes.

Russian Orthodox Christians have protested against the decision to release a film depicting Nicholas II's affair with a teenage ballerina. Wannabe censors of Matilda have started a petition against the film.

Earlier this month, several hundred people gathered to outside a Moscow church, praying for the movie to be banned. Many of the film's critics see it as blasphemy against the emperor, who is still greatly revered by the Russian Orthodox Church.

On Thursday, however, the Russian Culture Ministry finally announced that the film had received official clearance for release. Vyasheslav Telnov, the head of the Russian Culture Ministry's film department, said:

There is no censorship in Russia, and the ministry of culture stays away from any ideological views of beliefs. A feature film can't be banned for political or ideological motives.

Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church still exercises significant pressure in Russia. It has recently played a role in the shutting down of an exhibition displaying nude photos and the cancellation of a performance of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

 

 Offsite Article: No, satire isn't dead...It's resting...


Link Here 12th August 2017
That Was Satire, That Was: Sixties Satirists Safe choices and repetition have put lampooning comedy on its knees. By Keith Allen

See article from theneweuropean.co.uk

 

  An eyeful of political correctness...

ASA advert censors whinge about night club advert that they claim references porn facials


Link Here 11th August 2017

lola lo club advertTwo posts on the promoter's Facebook page advertising his Coco Beach Monday's club night at Lola Lo nightclub in Bristol.:

  • a. A post seen on their own Facebook page on 13 April 2017 included a picture of a female with her head titled back, her mouth wide open, her tongue extended out of her mouth and liquid being dropped in her eye with the accompanying text FREE BUBBLY & VIP FOR GROUPS DISCOUNTED DRINKS & BIG TUNES ALL NIGHT.

  • b. An event invite for the Coco Beach Mondays club night seen on the complainants Facebook feed on 13 April 2017 included the same picture as above with the accompanying text Nice artwork 206 haha leaving to the imagination whats [sic] out of shot!.Issue

The ASA challenged whether the ads:

  • 1. linked alcohol with sexual activity; and

  • 2. featured alcohol being served irresponsibly.

The ASA also received two complaints:

  • 3. Both complainants believed that the image was sexually explicit and objectified women and challenged whether the ads were offensive.

ASA Assessment: complaints upheld

The ASA was concerned by Coco Beach Monday's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, and ruled that they had breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.

1. Upheld

We considered that the way the model was posed with her head titled back, her mouth wide open with her tongue extended out and the liquid being poured out of shot, meant that the image was inherently sexual in nature. We considered that although the exact type of liquid being poured in to the models eye was not revealed in the image, it was heavily implied to be alcohol. Further, the text contained in the image promoted free bubbly and discounted drinks available at the club night. We therefore considered that because the image used in the ads was inherently sexual in nature and the text promoted free alcohol at the event, that it linked alcohol with sexual activity and therefore breached the Code.

2. Upheld

The ads demonstrated alcohol being administered through the eyeball, known as eyeballing. This method of alcohol consumption had associated health risks. We concluded that the ads portrayed a style of drinking that was unwise and showed alcohol being handled irresponsibly and therefore was in breach of the Code.

3. Upheld

We considered the image used in the ads to be sexually gratuitous and provocative, and that it mimicked the style of facial pornography. This was further emphasised in ad (b) by the accompanying comment, which stated that the Facebook user should imagine where the liquid came from. We considered that the image that appeared in both ads, taken together with the sexually suggestive comment that accompanied ad (b), objectified women. We therefore considered that the ads were sexist and likely to cause serious wide spread offence.

Action

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Coco Beach Monday's to ensure their future advertising was prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society, and to ensure they did not link alcohol to sexual activity or to show alcohol being handled or served irresponsibly. Further, we told them that they should ensure their ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

  The Emoji Movie...

BBFC suggest cuts for a U rating lest the little sentiments get all offended


Link Here 11th August 2017
Poster Emoji Movie 2017 Tony Leondis The Emoji Movie is a 2017 USA children's cartoon comedy by Tony Leondis.
Starring TJ Miller, Anna Faris and Sofía Vergara. BBFC link IMDb

UK: 2D and 3D versions were passed U for mild rude humour, comic threat, very mild bad language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2017 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice, at which stage the company was advised it was likely to be classified PG but that their preferred U could be achieved by removing some mild bad language. When the film was submitted for formal classification, the mild bad language in question had been removed and the film was therefore classified U.

Summary Notes

The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone's user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression - except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become "normal" like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic "app-venture" through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it's deleted forever.

 

  ... Oustanding nipples at the CBFC...

Indian film censors make significant cuts to Atomic Blonde


Link Here 11th August 2017
atomoc blondeCharlize Theron and Sofia Boutella's lesbian sex scene from their new film, Atomic Blonde, has been totally cut by Indian film censors at the CBFC.  The list of CBFC cuts says:

Delete the visual of the hand touching the bare breast in bed of two ladies, and delete the entire love-making (having sex).

In addition to the sex scene, shots of Theron's bare butt in the bathtub have been asked to be removed. Shots of her nipples visible under a sweater, and a separate scene in which she is topless, have also been ordered out. Words like cunt, cock, balls, bitchh, prick , and cocksuker have been asked to be removed from the subtitles, but not from the soundtrack.

 

  The Cable Guy...

Previous BBFC cuts waived for 2017 home video


Link Here 10th August 2017
Cable Guy Full Screen The Cable Guy is a 1996 USA comedy thriller by Ben Stiller.
Starring Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick and Leslie Mann. BBFC link IMDb

An upcoming video release has just been passed 12 uncut for moderate sex references, violence with previous BBFC cuts waived.

UK Censorship History

BBFC category cuts were required for a 12 rated 1996 cinema release and the subsequent VHS releases. The BBFC cuts were waived for 12 rated 2017 home video. The film is uncut and PG-13 rated in the US.

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

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

 

 Update: Bad Iman...

Ofcom closes Iman FM for condoning, promoting and encouraging violent behaviour towards non-Muslim people


Link Here 10th August 2017  full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

imam fm logoNotice of Licence Revocation
Iman Media UK Limited

Iman FM is a community radio station broadcasting to the Muslim community in Sheffield and the surrounding areas. The licence for this service is held by Iman Media UK Limited.

This revocation concerns the broadcast of a number of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki throughout the holy month of Ramadan. In breach decisions published on 5 July 2017 and 27 July 20174, Ofcom found that the broadcast of the lectures breached a number of rules including Rule 3.1 of the Code:

Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.

Ofcom considered the breaches of Rule 3.1 to be extremely serious.  Ofcom wrote in the Complaints Bulletin:

In  Ofcom's view the cumulative effect was to condone, promote and encourage violent behaviour towards non-Muslim people. Further, the lectures appeared to link violent acts of the past with actions that might potentially be taken today. Ofcom took the view that the content therefore amounted to a call to action which was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder.

It is also our view the material amounted to hate speech, as it was both abusive and derogatory towards non-Muslim people, and in particular, Jewish people. In our view, this content had clear potential to be highly offensive

Under section 111B of the Broadcasting Act 1990, in certain circumstances Ofcom may suspend a licence if the licence holder has broadcast material likely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime or lead to disorder. After considering the Licensee’s representations, Ofcom may then revoke the licence if it is satisfied it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

Ofcom served a suspension notice on the Licensee on 4 July 2017.

In Ofcom’s view the contraventions of the Code and the Licensee’s compliance failures were so extremely serious, and the Licensee’s conduct was so extremely reckless, that we had no confidence that the Licensee would be capable of complying with its licence conditions or that similar breaches would be prevented in the future. On this basis, in Ofcom’s view it was necessary in the public interest to revoke the licence and proportionate to decide that these breaches and failures justified the revocation.

Ofcom also considered that the Licensee’s failures rendered it unfit to hold a broadcast licence.

 

 Offsite Article: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs...


Link Here 10th August 2017
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs DVD BBFC's latest from their archive discusses 1937 cuts

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

  IPSO publishes its Annual Report...

And applauds the Daily Mail for being the top newspaper


Link Here 6th August 2017

ipso 2016 Our annual reports are, of course, about fulfilling the requirements spelt out in our regulations, so financial information and a full list of our regulated publications are naturally included. However, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the successes and the practical ways in which we've provided protection for those who feel they've been wronged by the press while at the same time protecting the freedom of speech.

This year, the report looks in much more detail at our complaints statistics. We've provided figures on investigated complaints for each of our 80 plus publishers and also detailed the number of resolved complaints, breaches 203 along with what sanctions were applied -- and the numbers of complaints that were not upheld.

For the first time, we've included the 25 publications that generated the highest number of complaints during the year along with the results of any resulting investigations.

  1. Daily Mail
  2. The Sun
  3. Mail Online
  4. Daily Express
  5. The Times
  6. The Daily Telegraph
  7. Daily Star
  8. thesun.co.uk
  9. The Mail on Sunday
  10. Sunday Life

In a year where IPSO received a record number of complaints and enquiries, the stats throw up a number (pun intended) of really interesting details. One that stands out for me is the increase in the amount of complaints that were resolved between complainant and publication 203 either with or without IPSO mediating. In 2015, there were 269 resolutions and in 2016, that number had risen to 334. Such resolution is means quicker redress and to me shows that our publications take redress seriously. I hear my colleagues speaking every day with complainants and these resolution statistics are a testament to their work in finding a mutually agreed solution to what might first look like an intractable problem.

 

 Offsite Article: Policing the internet...


Link Here 6th August 2017
may putin In the wake of the latest destabilizing cyber attacks, some Western leaders like Theresa May are joining Russia and China to urge state policing of the internet. This is not wise. By Alexander Klimburg

See article from thedailybeast.com

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast 70: Game of Thrones...


Link Here 5th August 2017
Game of Thrones - Season 1-6 DVD The BBFC get all coy about describing the classification issues wih the Battle of Bastards

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Voices of Moderation banned...


Link Here 5th August 2017  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
BREAKING THE SILENCE Malaysian book censors ban 8 books since March

See article from themalaysianinsight.com

 

  Lego Ninjago Season 6...

BBFC category cuts required for one episode of a children's cartoon


Link Here 4th August 2017
LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu: The Complete Sixth Season Lego Ninjago Season 6 is an action animation adventure by Peter Hausner. BBFC link

UK: Season 6, Episode 6, My Dinner With Nadakhan was passed PG for mild violence after 1s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2017 Warner video
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to remove a use of discriminatory language ('spazzing') in order to obtain a PG classification. An uncut 12 classification was available.
US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

 

 Update: Freely criticised...

The UN Human Rights Committee has told Pakistan to improve human rights and end its blasphemy laws


Link Here 4th August 2017  full story: Blasphemy in Pakistan...Blasphemy laws used for personal vendettas
UN logoThe UN's Human Rights Committee has told Pakistan to end its blasphemy laws and do more to protect religious minorities.

It criticised the Pakistani government's wider record on free expression, including its use of religiously biased content in textbooks and curricula in public schools and madrassas. Defamation is a criminal offence in Pakistan, and there have been legal crackdowns on the media.

It said Pakistan should review its laws relating to freedom of expression and repeal all blasphemy laws or amend them in compliance with the strict requirements of the covenant. Article 19 of Pakistan's constitution gives citizens the right to free expression, but allows for reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the 'glory of Islam'. Pakistan has also limited free speech for its broadcast media.

The committee asked Pakistan to report within a year to explain how it is implementing its recommendations on freedom of religion, conscience and belief.

 

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