Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2013: October

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Tip Toeing Over Chinese Sensitivities...

Ballet censored for its run in Hong Kong

Link Here31st October 2013
Hong Kong Ballet censored its latest show by cutting a section of the performance about China's Cultural Revolution.

The censorship was noted after the local premiere of The Dream of the Red Chamber , a collaboration between the Hong Kong Ballet and Germany's Ballett Dortmund, at the Cultural Centre's Grand Theatre.

At the end of the ballet, a 12-minute projection sequence depicted different stages in China's history including the Ming dynasty, Qing dynasty, the provisional Republic of China and the Cultural Revolution. In the part depicting the Cultural Revolution, dancers in Red Guards uniforms waved copies of Mao Zedong's little red book , both historic icons of the turbulent period. Following the premiere, the projection sequence was cut from the show.

Some media reported that senior management from Hong Kong Ballet met their German counterparts and decided to self censor the section because of Chinese sensitivities.

Madeleine Onne, Hong Kong Ballet's Artistic Director, told a press conference that the projection sequence will be reinstated after it was improved in technical ways .



Update: Censors Confess Under Torture...

Japanese cuts to Grand Theft Auto 5 revealed

Link Here30th October 2013
Grand Theft Auto 5 has been censored in Japan.

The games has been shorn of its sexual content, and its infamous playable torture sequence has been cut entirely.

Kotaku has compared the Western and Japanese editions of the game alongside one another, concluding that the latter contains less violence and sexual content.

The cuts include:

  • Trevor revealing a bare butt when discussing his penis
  • Trevor humping a clothed girl on a kitchen table
  • Franklyn observing a clothed teen idol having sex in a garden
  • The torture scene has been deleted



Update: Ticked Off Like a Third World Despot...

CPJ rebukes Cameron for seeking to silence the Guardian and seeking a newspaper censor for the British press

Link Here30th October 2013
The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by threats against the press made by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in parliament.

Cameron said, It would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act against the press if newspapers don't demonstrate some social responsibility and stop reporting on National Security Agency files leaked by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden. Cameron singled out the Guardian, saying that the paper had gone on and printed further material which is damaging after having already been accused of harming national security.

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said:

If David Cameron has evidence that the Guardian or other publications have damaged U.K. national security, he should share this evidence instead of issuing vague threats about taking action.  Governments around the world look to the U.K. as a model for media policies, but in this case, Cameron seems to be taking a page from the book of less enlightened governments that invoke 'social responsibility' to ward off valid criticism.

Cameron mentioned the possibility of resorting to news censorship, through high court injunctions and Defence Advisory notices or through other tougher measures, the Guardian reported .



The Post Censor Period...

Nude art makes an appearance in Burma

Link Here30th October 2013
Dozens of female nude paintings are on display in a three-day art exhibition, S + Z II, at Lokanat art gallery in Rangoon.

With the absence of art censors, the artists say they had a chance to push boundaries.

This is the first big exhibition that I have done to show my nude paintings locally, Sandar Khaing said. Her nude paintings were previously featured in a solo exhibition in the north Thai city of Chiang Mai in 2009. A series of 51 of her paintings are on display now at the Lokanat exhibition. She explained:

In the past, even the backside of the female nude body was not permitted because of censorship. I was only able to show one or two nude paintings in other group exhibitions, and I would put my paintings in the corner on the top floor of the exhibition so they could not easily be seen by everyone.

There are no painters who don't produce nude paintings at least once. There are a lot of nude paintings, but they have not been permitted to show. Through this exhibition, other artists will know nude paintings are allowed to be shown now.



Bleeping and Blurring is Not Enough...

Censor cops issue caution to Movie Mix for airing an episode of Cops featuring bared boobs at Mardi Gras

Link Here28th October 2013
Movie Mix, 22 June 2013, 09:00'

Movie Mix is a general entertainment service and is owned and operated by Square 1 Management Ltd. Cops is a documentary series that follows law enforcement officers in America.

This episode featured officers policing the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans. A complainant alerted Ofcom to graphic scenes in this broadcast.

Ofcom noted the following content: [eg]

  • The episode, which aired at 09:00, was preceded by the verbal and visual warning, "due to the graphic nature of this programme, viewer discretion is advised"

  • In the opening title sequence, there was a montage of clips of the Mardi Gras festival, including three women on a balcony pulling up their tops to reveal their breasts (which had been blurred) to onlookers

  • A woman gave her account to police in the aftermath of a fight with another woman. While language was audibly bleeped there was no blurring of the subject's mouth: she [bleep] started hitting me for no reason..

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 which states:

Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Square 1 said that because all shots of nudity and swearing had been blurred and bleeped in this particular episode, it was considered suitable for daytime broadcast, but not in daytime schedules at the weekend or during school holidays. Due to a mistake, this restriction was not marked on this episode and the programme was broadcast at 09:00 on a Saturday. The Licensee apologised for the error and said that as a result of this incident all daytime episodes of this series were being reviewed and checked.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

Ofcom first assessed whether this episode contained material unsuitable for children. We considered that the images and implied language (as set out in the Introduction), when assessed individually, were not necessarily unsuitable. In Ofcom's view, however, the cumulative effect of this material conveyed an adult tone unsuitable for child viewers.

Ofcom concluded that the material was in breach of Rule 1.3.

Ofcom considered the broadcast of this material was a significant failure in compliance by Square 1. We noted a recent case1 involving the broadcast of content on Movie Mix that was unsuitable for children in the early evening on a week day. We were therefore concerned that a similar issue of inappropriate daytime scheduling should arise so soon after the previous compliance failure. We are putting Square 1 on notice that should similar compliance issues arise Ofcom may take further regulatory action.



Does Garlic Work Against Censors?...

ASA dismisses whinges about vampire posters for National Theatre of Scotland production

Link Here28th October 2013
A poster, a bus poster and a leaflet for the Dundee Rep Theatre:
  • a. The poster featured a large picture of the head and shoulders of a young child with vampire fangs, bloodshot eyes and with blood running from her eyes, nose and mouth. Text stated NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND ... LET THE RIGHT ONE IN . Underneath text stated the dates of the production run and box office details.
  • b The poster on buses featured a cropped image of the child's head showing blood running from her eyes and nose. Text stated NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND ... LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and included information about the production run.
  • c. The leaflet cover featured a close up of the girl's bloodshot eye and nose with blood running from both. Text stated NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND ... LET THE RIGHT ONE IN . The inside pages included the picture used on poster (a) and a close up picture of the girl's left eye, with blood running from it. Text gave details of the play and production details.

A complainant challenged whether:

1. posters (a) and (b) were unsuitable for public display where they could be seen by children; and

2. leaflet (c), which was available in a number of public locations, was unsuitable for display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA understood that the image of the child in posters (a) and (b) was central to the play and had been used to convey the nature of the production. We also understood the reasons why the image might appeal to some older children, given the plethora of vampire TV programmes, films and books popular with that age group.

We acknowledged that some younger children might not understand the images, but we considered that the posters, although undoubtedly striking, were not particularly frightening or disturbing. We considered the posters (a) and (b) were unlikely to cause harm or distress to children and concluded that they were suitable for outdoor display.

We noted the image on the front of the leaflet (c), which was available in a number of different venues, was a close up of the child's bloodshot eye and nose with blood running from both. Although visually striking, we considered that the picture was less arresting than the larger and full image in poster (a) and the cropped image in poster (b) and was likely to gain even less attention from children. We considered that, although some children might see or pick it up, the leaflet was unlikely to be particularly appealing to them as to encourage them to pick it up or to hold sufficient interest for them to inspect it in detail.

We considered that the leaflet was unlikely to cause harm or distress to children and concluded that it did not breach the Code.

We investigated posters (a) and (b) and the leaflet (c) under CAP Code rules 4.2 (Harm and offence) and 5.1 (Children harm), but did not find them in breach.



Update: Putting a Dead Parrot out of its Misery...

Ireland's Fianna Fail party introduces a bill to end book censorship

Link Here27th October 2013
Full story: Book Censorship in Ireland...Minister for censorship investigated by how own censor board
  Irish opposition party, Fianna Fail is seeking to disband the country's book censors.

The party's justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, has laid a bill before the Dail calling for the abolition of the Censorship of Publications Board.

The board has been more or less dormant of late but returned to public attention earlier this year when Justice Minister Alan Shatter's novel Laura was referred to it after a ludicrous complaint by a member of the public that the novel's contents were somehow "obscene and contravened laws on procurement of an abortion or miscarriage".

However, no decision on the salaciousness or otherwise of Shatter's novel has been made, because the board currently does not have any members.

Collins said he had tabled the motion in order to put the board out of its misery. He said such a level of inactivity indicates the board is essentially defunct; it is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python .



Update: Cultural Sensitivities...

Ke$ha banned from performing in Malaysia

Link Here27th October 2013
Full story: Pop Stars in Malaysia...Malaysia not much into the world of pop stars
Malaysia has banned the Ke$ha from performing in Kuaka Lumpur.

The singer claims that authorities in the country banned her because of fears her explicit lyrics would upset muslim cultural sensitivities.

Ke$ha tweeted to her fans:

to be clear. I did NOT cancel. I was not allowed to play. and then I was going to play anyways and was threatened with imprisonment.

A Ministry of Communications and Multimedia spokesman said it was a unanimous decision to cancel the gig because it touched on religious sensitivities and Malaysian values but did not elaborate further.



Update: Tit for Tat...

Afghan clerics refuse to condemn suicide bombing unless TV is censored more

Link Here27th October 2013
Full story: TV Censorship in Afghanistan...Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors
Afghanistan's muslim Ulema Council claims that  immoral shows on television pose a greater danger to the country than do suicide bombers.

The spokesman of the council, Faroq Husseini, warned that if immoral shows were not prevented the clerics would not denounce suicide attacks any more.



Update: The Government is Listening...

A rare roll back of state censorship. The government proposes to reduce the need for council licences for music events

Link Here26th October 2013
Full story: Licensed Music Censors...Licensing sets up authorities as music censors
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is consulting on proposals to further reduce the need for licences for small scale music events.

The proposals are basically to take away the need for a local council licence for events with less than 500 attendees. Previously licences were required for events with between 200-500 attendees.

The main proposals for the entertainment industry are:

Live music

A performance of live amplified music in alcohol licensed premises or in a workplace will not be regulated where the entertainment takes place between 08.00-23.00 and the audience consists of up to 500 persons. (The current audience limit is 200 persons).

Recorded music

Any playing of recorded music in alcohol licensed premises will not be regulated where the entertainment takes place between 08.00-23.00 and the audience consists of up to 500 persons.

Live and recorded music exemptions

The following events will not be regulated for live and recorded music between 08.00-23.00, where the audience consists of up to 500 people:



Update: Well if they can't even use clear language in the instructions...

US cinema not keen on enforcing the adults only restriction for Blue is the Warmest Colour

Link Here 25th October 2013
The US film censors at the MPAA have rated Blue is the Warmest Colour as NC-17: No one 17 and under admitted. This convoluted way of defining an 18 certificate is a mere recommendation as it is not backed up by US statute.

The recommendation does not legally bind theaters, however, and exhibitors told theWrap that no effective enforcement mechanism exists to make them comply. In the MPAA's official Classification and Ratings Rules, all the sanctions aimed at violators deal with the companies that release films, not the theaters that show them.

Now one major New York theater, the IFC Center, has announced that it will not enforce the NC-17 rating given to Blue Is the Warmest Color , and there is nothing the Motion Picture Association of America can do to make them do it.

John Vanco, senior vice president of the IFC Center, told the New York Times in a statement that the film:

Is not inappropriate for mature, inquiring teenagers who are looking ahead to the emotional challenges and opportunities that adulthood holds. High-school age patrons would be admitted to the movie.

Update: OK for French teens too

24th November 2013. Thanks to Sergio

The film has been awarded a 12 rating in France albeit with a warning to parents.



Update: State of Decay...

Australia's Censorship Board reveals that a large proportion of its postbag were complaints about the banning of 2 computer games

Link Here25th October 2013
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Australia's film and games censors has published its Annual report revealing some facts and figures about game censorship.

The Australian Classification Board considered 695 computer games during the year, with 291 receiving the G classification as suitable for viewing by anyone. 17 games received the new R18+ classification, which has been available only since the start of the year. And 2 games were banned.

Saints Row IV , in which players seek to destroy the alien Zin empire, was given the thumbs down for implied sexual violence and use of alien narcotics to increase a player's in-game skills.

The same went for State of Decay , a zombie apocalypse game in which players can use morphine, amphetamines and other drugs to enhance in-game abilities.

Censorship rules bar any sexual violence or drug use related to incentives and rewards. Both games are now available after their producers made cuts to meet the rules.

During the year, the Censorship Board received 795 complaints, the vast majority presumably from gamers objecting to the bans. Saints Row IV attracted 507 complaints, most opposing the RC rating. State of Decay prompted 270 complaints, with most opposing its ban.



Taking Advice from Experts in Repression...

Laos announces internet censorship laws based on those in China and Vietnam

Link Here25th October 2013
Laos authorities are preparing to introduce unprecedented social media censorship possibly modeled on Chinese and Vietnamese censorship laws, officials announced this week.

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is currently drawing up the censorship laws which are expected to take effect by the end of the year, the ministry's E-Government Centre Director General Phonpasit Phissamay said.

The rules are aimed at ensuring social networking sites are used in a manner supportive of the government Users may be prosecuted for posting  information the authorities don't like.

Amid the rapidly growing social media, Facebook users have been anticipating an online clampdown by the Lao Communist Party leadership, which has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1975.

I expected this would happen someday, even though government says we have a democracy, one Facebook user posted on the Laos News Update Facebook page. We won't be able to say anything [online] now. It's because the government can't stand criticism from people, another user said.



I Ham Outraged...

A few trivial tweets about a poster for ham in Capri

Link Here25th October 2013
An advertisement billboard is causing 'outrage' on the Italian island of Capri. It shows a couple of slices of the famous Parma ham placed strategically on the rump of a naked woman.

Above the image on the advertising poster for the company Onesto Ghirardi is the slogan, I Ham.

A few trivial postings on social networks claimed that the advert is degrading women and pointing out the a woman's body is not a piece of meat.

A local councilor in Capri, Anita de Pascale, reportedly asked the mayor to immediately ban the billboard. She told La Repubblica newspaper: The image is detrimental to the dignity of women .

However the authorities in Parma have not so far intervened.



Update: A chainsaw movie without cuts? Be careful what you wish for...

Uncut version of Texas Chainsaw looks set for first release on French DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here 24th October 2013
Texas Chainsaw is a 2013 USA horror thriller by John Luessenhop.
With Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Scott Eastwood. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

It was cut for an MPAA R rating, and this version was then distributed worldwide for theatrical release and home video.

The cuts were restored for an Unrated release but so far this has only been available on digital download.

Now the Unrated Version looks set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray, at least in France.

A 'Version Integrale' is now announced for:

The disks include the original English soundtrack.



Unfair Speculation...

Ofcom finds that Newsnight and This Morning unfairly implicated Robert McAlpine in a child abuse scandal

Link Here24th October 2013

The TV censor Ofcom has upheld complaints against episodes of Newsnight and This Morning which led to Robert McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child sex abuse allegations.

Newsnight broadcast allegations against an unnamed leading Conservative politician from the Thatcher years . McAlpine was not named, but was the subject of internet speculation. Days later the prime minister was handed a list of alleged abusers, which named the peer, on ITV's This Morning.

On the day of the broadcast it had been widely discussed on the internet, with McAlpine's name linked to it. It later became widespread speculation he was the subject of the allegations.

Ofcom ruled broadcasting the allegations in this context had led to McAlpine being incorrectly identified. ITV accepted this was an uncharacteristic lapse in editorial judgement on the part of the programme's editorial team .

Ofcom ruled both programmes had breached the broadcasting code and had treated Lord McAlpine unfairly, causing him distress and embarrassment.

Both the BBC and ITV subsequently apologised to Lord McAlpine and paid substantial libel damages.



Updated: Carry On Beheading...

Facebook speaks of implementing warnings about 'graphic content'

Link Here24th October 2013
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook has announced it is working on new ways to keep users from stumbling across gruesome content such as beheading videos.

Facing sharp criticism from the likes of David Cameron, Facebook issued a statement clarifying that violent videos were only allowed if they were presented as news or held up as atrocities to be condemned.

If they were being celebrated, or the actions in them encouraged, our approach would be different. However, since some people object to graphic video of this nature, we are working to give people additional control over the content they see. This may include warning them in advance that the image they are about to see contains graphic content.

Facebook banned beheading videos in May but recently lifted the prohibition - a development flagged by the BBC.

Facebook's administrators face constant pressure from interest groups trying to impose their own forms of censorship or fighting to lift restrictions they see as oppressive. Women's rights groups want the company to ban sexy content; others have ridiculed Facebook's ban on the depiction of female breasts. Some believers have urged the site to ban what they see as blasphemous content.

Sean Gallagher of Index on Censorship said:

Films about beheadings may be deeply upsetting and offensive, but they do expose the reality of violent acts that are taking place in the world today. When trying to draw a line about what should or shouldn't be allowed, it's important to look at context, not just content.

Update: Heads Roll at Facebook

24th October 2013. See  article from

Facebook has removed a video of a woman being beheaded and updated its policy on graphic violence following a supposed 'public outcry'.

In a move which David Cameron described as irresponsible , Facebook had said that it would be allowing users to upload images and videos of graphic violence so that they could be condemned .

It has now backtracked on that decision, moving to take down a particular video which sparked this week's debate. Entitled only Challenge: Anybody can watch this video? it seemed to show a masked man beheading a woman in Mexico. In a statement, Facebook explained refinements to its policy on violent content:

When we review content that is reported to us, we will take a more holistic look at the context surrounding a violent image or video.

Second, we will consider whether the person posting the content is sharing it responsibly, such as accompanying the video or image with a warning and sharing it with an age-appropriate audience.

Based on these enhanced standards, we have re-examined recent reports of graphic content and have concluded that this content improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence. For this reason, we have removed it.



Update: Making a Song and a Dance about Film Censorship...

Draft film censorship bill is published in India

Link Here23rd October 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in India...CBFC: Film censors and their cuts
A draft Cinematographic Bill has bee posted on India's Information and Broadcasting (I & B) ministry's website. Comments from the public are now invited.

The drafting committee have included a clause such that if a film has been awarded a certificate then this con then only be revoked by central government. Indian films have been targeted by by vested groups, religious campaigners and politicians all seeking localised bans on films, and the bill is seeking to end this rather chaotic situation.

The Committee has also sought to bring the classification of films up to speed by suggesting a shift to the internationally prevalent practise of age-related classifications and certifications. As against the current practise of U , U/A and A certification, the Committee has proposed to break-up U/A by age to 12+ and 15+ while retaining U and A . The bill also contains penalties of 1 to 3 years in jail, and/or large fines for showing films to underage viewers.

The Committee has also reviewed certain definitions contained in the Cinematograph Act, 1952, to incorporate the sea of changes in film-making. The word film under the proposed law will not be confined to the moving picture content of the film but will include songs and lyrics of the song. This has been done to give the film censors extended powers over songs that offend the easily offended.

The bill proposes that trailers, promotional clips, posters and other material should be certified by the Board or through industry associations.



Novel Advertising Restrictions...

ASA unilaterally declares a watershed for the internet

Link Here23rd October 2013

A TV and video-on-demand (VOD) ad, for the novel Criminal by Karin Slaughter:

a. The TV ad, which appeared at 9.45 pm during Body of Proof on 5USA, began with the on-screen text NEW FROM KARIN SLAUGHTER . A young woman was shown running in heels down a dark street and repeatedly looking over her shoulder. A male voice-over stated, You cannot escape me. I have chosen you ... The woman was then shown apparently being held to the ground, with a man's face to the back of her head. The voice-over continued, And tonight, you will pay for your sins. A female voice-over stated, Criminal, the most chilling novel yet from Karin Slaughter.

b. An ad with the same content appeared during Neighbours on the Demand 5 VOD service. Issue

  1. Two viewers challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and cause fear and distress without justifiable reason, because it depicted a woman in distress.

  2. One of the viewers also challenged whether ad (b) was inappropriately scheduled during a family show.

Clearcast said they gave the TV ad a post-9 pm timing restriction to ensure its audience would be adults, who would recognise it as an ad. They believed the scenes were similar to those viewed in film trailers and therefore it would not be shocking or cause fear and distress to the audience, or cause offence. They took account of the fact the ad was only 20 seconds long and believed the end frame cut the suspense quickly, and immediately made it clear the ad was for a fictional book, rather than a genuine portrayal. Clearcast said the ad also did not show any violence, blood or any other graphic scenes. They understood the nature of the ad might be upsetting for some viewers but believed that would not be widespread. They said the VOD ad was given an L3H advisory restriction. Clearcast said the wording on their system would be changed to ensure that was clear in all circumstances.

Channel 5 said Clearcast acted only in an advisory capacity for VOD ads and suggested restrictions that on demand service providers might adopt. The advisory restrictions did not have the same status as those Clearcast applied to linear programming. They agreed that ads in programmes that were directed at or of particular appeal to children should be restricted in a similar way to programmes on a linear service. However, Neighbours was not of particular appeal to children and was watched by a relatively small proportion of children. They said it was the nature of VOD services that programmes could be viewed at any time. So a programme that would be broadcast after 9 pm on TV could be viewed before 9 pm on a VOD service. Or, a programme that had appeared before 9 pm on TV might be viewed after that time on a VOD service. They emphasised that it was not known whether the complainants viewed the ad before 9 pm. They said that, while the advertiser bore primary responsibility for the compliance of VOD ads, they took seriously their own responsibilities to schedule ads on VOD services appropriately and would keep their practices under review.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged the ads, which we considered included tense scenes that suggested a woman was being pursued by an attacker, might be distasteful to some viewers. We noted the ads were given a post-9 pm timing restriction, which we considered was appropriate given that viewers would understand programming that appeared after then might, for example, include violence. We noted, however, that no violent or otherwise graphic scenes were shown and considered viewers would understand that the ads reflected the content of a crime novel. We considered if the ads were shown after 9 pm, they were not likely to cause serious or widespread offence or cause fear and distress without justifiable reason.

On this point, we investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) and BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

2. Upheld

We noted ad (b) was given an L3H restriction by Clearcast, which their website stated was to be transmitted post 2100 ... Not suitable for pre-watershed . While we acknowledged that restriction was advisory only, and that the advice on Clearcast's website also related to TV ads, we noted that indicated the content of the ad to be such that it was considered suitable to appear only with programmes that would be broadcast after 9 pm on TV. We considered the advisory restriction was appropriate, but that the content of the ad, which included tense scenes that suggested a woman was being pursued by an attacker, was such that it was not suitable to be shown with content that appeared before 9 pm on TV, such as Neighbours. Because the ad appeared on Channel 5's VOD service with a programme we understood would have been broadcast before 9 pm on TV, we concluded that it was inappropriately scheduled and therefore breached the Code.

On this point, the scheduling of ad (b) breached CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence).


Ad (b), in its current form, must not be scheduled to appear on VOD services again with programming that would appear before 9 pm on TV. We told Channel 5 to take more care when scheduling ads in future.



Can You Buy Halloween Masks of PC Extremists Screeching 'Offensive'?...

A tiny amount of complaints kicks of the advert censor to investigate a bus advert featuring a halloween zombie

Link Here 23rd October 2013
Bus adverts which feature the face of a zombie splattered with blood are being investigated by the advertising censor. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received three complaints about the banner promoting Shocktober in Crawley, West Sussex. The advert can be seen on more than 100 buses operating in London and Sussex.

Tulleys Farm in Turners Hill hosts the annual Halloween attraction which features haunted houses and rides. Stuart Beare from the farm said they did not intend to offend anyone.

The image of the zombie girl on our advertising is no worse than many images you'll see at this time of year in newspapers and magazines, on the Halloween costumes in the supermarket aisles and even on kids' TV programmes.

We are waiting for the Advertising Standards Authority to come back to us with their judgment to see if we have to take the ads off the buses.

A spokeswoman for the ASA said:

We had complaints about the same ad last year, and we did not find that there were grounds for an investigation.



Safe and Supervised Search...

Google introduces an extensive parental control system for its Chrome browser

Link Here23rd October 2013
Google has unveiled supervised users for its Chrome browser. A supervised user is a special class of Chrome user account that's created and controlled by another user who acts as its manager or parent.

Additional restrictions can be assigned at the manager's discretion. For example, certain sites can be blocked, or the supervised user's account can be set to a whitelist configuration so that it can only visit approved sites.

Supervised users can contest these restrictions by filing access requests with their manager, which managers can approve or deny via the supervised users dashboard .

Managers also have the ability to view a supervised user's browsing history and to lock the Google search engine's SafeSearch feature to a restricted setting.

At the moment the feature is for beta users and has not been included in standard releases.



Offsite Article: Chinese Censorship Expanding Abroad...

Link Here23rd October 2013
Report on how China is using its economic might to bully other countries into accepting censorship

See article from



Offsite Article: China challenged over human rights record at United Nations...

Link Here 23rd October 2013
Activists say despite Beijing's claims of improvements, dissenters, minorities and the disabled still face state brutality

See article from



Runner Bean...

Philippines film and TV censors get wound up by Mr Bean on daytime TV

Link Here22nd October 2013
The Philippines Movie and Television Review and Classification Board called the attention of a television network after it aired on daytime a show that exposed the main character's behind.

MTRCB chairman Eugenio Toto Villareal said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer that they were shocked as the board's monitoring and inspection unit saw a nude Mr. Bean running in a corridor in its Monday morning episode that was shown on ABS-CBN.

What alarmed the MTRCB was the situation comedy Mr. Bean starring British actor Rowan Atkinson, was aired in the daytime:

We were shocked by the scene where Mr. Bean came running through a corridor only using a signage [board] to cover his private parts. Few minutes later, he exposed his behind.

We have always reminded the networks that the television hours 6 a.m to 9 p.m. are safe harbor periods for child viewers.

The MTRCB, on Twitter, asked ABS-CBN to explain buttocks exposure scene in Mr. Bean daytime episode yesterday.



Offsite Article: Seeing Things That Nobody Else Does...

Link Here22nd October 2013
Read the FCC complaints about Satanism and pornography in The Simpsons

See article from



Fairy Tale Villains...

New Zealand National Library bans the very influential graphic novel, Lost Girls

Link Here20th October 2013
A renown graphic novel that depicts the sexual encounters of fairytale heroines has made history as the first book pulled from the New Zealand National Library catalogue for being too explicit.

The book has never been classified by the official book censor and the decision of the library to self-censor has angered those who say libraries should be champions of literary freedom.

Lost Girls, by English graphic novel writer Alan Moore and his wife, artist Melinda Gebbie, was originally purchased in 2008 for the library's collection at the request of a member. The three-volume book has Wendy, from Peter Pan, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Alice from Alice in Wonderland meeting by chance as adults on the eve of World War I. They talk through their sexual experiences, and also violence and drug use.

Louise LaHatte, regional collections manager for Auckland City Libraries, claims that the library was worried if the book was referred to the censor it would be found objectionable - meaning the library had broken the law. Unlike films, books get classified only if someone thinks they are offensive and demands they be checked.

Frustrated local comic fans say the library has missed the artistic and literary significance of Lost Girls. Auckland cartoonist Dylan Horrocks said:

I don't know if they were aware of its significance in the graphic novel world. They [author and artist] are two very significant creators doing a very personal work that they took very seriously as a personal and creative and political statement.

The library should be a champion of freedom of information

The library is now discussing whether to put the book back into the collection. It is seeking advice from the Department of Internal Affairs



Update: Too Blue for Idaho...

Blue is the Warmest Colour banned from Idaho cinemas

Link Here20th October 2013
Abdellatif Kechiche's award winning drama, Blue Is the Warmest Colour , has been effectively banned in the US state of Idaho.

Carole Skinner, owner of the Flicks theatre in Boise, said the cinema was unable to show the film because its alcohol licence prohibits the screening of movies which feature acts or simulated acts of sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, flagellation or any sexual acts which are prohibited by law and any person being touched, caressed or fondled on the breast, buttocks, anus or genitals . Blue is the Warmest Colour, suffice to say, includes pretty much all of the above.

I'm surprised that Idaho gets to see any movies at all beyond Despicable Me 2 .

Update: The film will play in Idaho after all

5th December 2013.  See  article from

After the media drama, hand wringing and claims that it wouldn't open in Idaho anytime soon, NC-17 movie Blue is the Warmest Color will begin a run at Edwards 9 Cinemas in Downtown Boise on Friday.

Sorry, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. No news here after all. The movie --- a French lesbian coming-of-age drama --- is the sort of art-house film that normally would be shown at The Flicks. But theater owner Carole Skinner does not book films rated NC-17. Why? Because she sells alcohol at her multiplex. Idaho statute prohibits businesses that serve alcohol from showing films with sexually related material or pretty much any view of human naughty bits.

It's a ridiculous, outdated statute. But Idaho theaters aren't required to sell alcohol. Edwards 9 Cinemas, for example, is not handcuffed by the restriction.



Offsite Article: A Matter, of Principle or Principal?...

Link Here20th October 2013
Many but not all, western authors line up to get their books censored for the Chinese market

See article from



Forced to Adopt an R Rating...

Weinstein to appeal against the MPAA rating for Philomena

Link Here19th October 2013

Philomena is a 2013 UK/USA/France drama by Stephen Frears.
With Michelle Fairley, Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.
YouTube icon IMDb

Summary Notes

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

For comparison the BBFC passed the cinema release 12A uncut for infrequent strong language and moderate sex references

Film producer Harvey Weinstein is to appeal against a decision by US film censors to give his studio's latest film an R rating. Philomena received the rating from the Classification and Ratings Administration for two instances of bad language.

But the Weinstein Company will now officially appeal against the rating, The Hollywood Reporter has said .



Of Good Report from the South African Film Censors...

Ban gets small film noticed and so gets a showing at the London Film Festival

Link Here19th October 2013
Of Good Report achieved notoriety in South Africa where it was banned by the film censors. The film follows an introverted school teacher in rural South Africa who starts an obsessive sexual affair with a 16-year-old pupil (played by a 23 year old actress) with tragic consequences,

The film screened this week at the London International Film Festival, where director, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka said he is not quite sure if the film's infamy is a blessing or a curse:

It's a double edged sword for me, on the one level this is a small film, it's an independent film, so by definition you will always be struggling and jostling for attention for a film like that especially on a wider scale, in terms of the world of films -- it has no stars, it's in black and white, it's a South African film, so really in terms of attention not many people would have heard of the film had the banning not happened. So the now I am 'the banned film from South Africa' that has given it some kind attention. However, I say it's a double edged sword because on the other hand who wants to be associated with child pornography?'



Recommending the ABCs of Death... petitioner whinges about the non real depiction of animal cruelty

Link Here18th October 2013
The ABCs of Death is a 2012 USA/New Zealand horror by Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis...
With Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Iván González and Kyra Zagorsky. BBFC link YouTube icon IMDb

Promotional Material

The ABC's OF DEATH is an ambitious anthology film featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world's leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children's educational ABC books, the motion picture is comprised of 26 individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational; THE ABC's OF DEATH is the definitive snapshot of the diversity of modern horror. Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films are proud to present this alphabetical arsenal of destruction orchestrated by what Fangoria calls "a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world."

A petitioner on claims that staged and non-real depictions of animal cruelty should be banned. The petition current has 1085 signatures and reads:

This film dramatizes dog fighting (human vs dog), as well as crush films (stomping small animals to death). Neither of these have anything to do with the horror film genre nor are they acceptable forms of artistic expression. Tell Netflix that you do not want to see this!

To: Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO

The ABCs of Death SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM NETFLIX! D is apparently for Dog Fight, which is a ultra slow-motion film of a MAN beating up a DOG. This is NOT OK! I have absolutely NO tolerance or acceptance of ANY portrayal of violence towards animals. P is for Prostitution, I think. A woman has a bunch of kids and is doing whatever she has to in order to get a bike for her girl's birthday, which of course involves lots of shady sex - whatever - that's all fine and good. At some point, she is given a business card by this guy and ultimately goes to some warehouse to meet him. He has a video camera and a glass tank with a kitten and some small animals (mice, etc.). She starts playing with the kitten and then puts it on the floor, petting it with her spiked high-heel. I hope I don't need to tell you what comes next, and I turned it off unfortunately seconds too late, and heard the kitten scream. A CRUSH VIDEO, REALLY, NETFLIX?! This goes so far beyond what is OK that I just cannot even believe a film like this is on here. Regardless of whether any animals were or were not harmed in the making of this, it is an OUTRAGE to support even the portrayal of such a horrible act of cruelty. If this was a message against this type of thing, then the message was NOT properly received by me, and I'm suspecting not by any other person with a soul.



Update: Reading Up on Book Censorship...

Retailers and moralists ponder how best to implement book censorship

Link Here18th October 2013

Kobo is the company behind the self-publishing service used by WHSmith that led to a few complaints about pornography, fictional rape, incest and bestiality. The company was quick to push the censorship panic button and promise to strip its shelves of adult content.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph , Kobo's chief executive Mike Serbinis said that the company has a responsibility, as one of the stewards of the publishing industry's transformation to digital, to censor its catalogue.

It has had staff working around the clock since Saturday to remove supposedly offensive material that violates the usual vague terms and conditions of Kobo's content policy. It is also conducting a thorough review of Kobo's self-publishing catalogue, which includes several hundred thousand titles, to ensure that all authors and publishers are complying with its censorship policies.

Meanwhile, thousands of adult-book lovers have signed a petition on calling on e-book retailers to stop removing erotica from their online stores.

However, Serbinis claims that Kobo somehow 'supports' freedom of expression.

Kobo is the only company to have taken such drastic action, even though similar titles have been found in the e-book stores of other online retailers. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have removed several abuse-themed e-books from their stores, but neither have taken their sites offline or are conducting proactive reviews of their catalogues.

Perhaps on the positive side, banning erotica may enable some smaller publishers a chance to get in on a sizeable chunk of the eBook market and provide a little more competition.

Offsite Comment: How Amazon, Nook And Kobo Should Deal With Their Porn Problems

18th October 2013.  See  article from

Forbes speculates how the companies who decide to ban porn and erotica (and chance missing out on a 50 Shades of Grey portion of the market), could implement book censorship. The suggestion seems to be that automatic scanning could identify books with sexy stuff and then use human book censors to ban the works they don't like.

...Read the full article .



Petition: Leave our self-published and/or Indie authors alone...

Petition against book censorship by retailers

Link Here18th October 2013

There is a LARGE amount of people who read this genre as a way to escape their reality. We are all consenting adults, you need to own a credit card to be able to purchase said books, so why all of a sudden start cracking down on contolling such. Why is okay to sell adult products on said websites but not FICTIONAL reads. What happened to freedom of speech?! LEAVE OUR EROTICA ALONE!!

**This petition is NOT condoning non-fictional bestiality, incest, pediphilia or other things of such extreme nature**

To: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; Michael Serbinis, CEO of KOBO; Leonard Riggio, Founder and executive chairman of Barnes and Noble,

Leave our erotica and self-published Indie authors alone.


Sign the petition



Update: Can Christians Ever be Cured?...

Christian organisation re-opens legal case calling for a ban of pro-gay bus adverts

Link Here18th October 2013
A Christian group has lodged papers at the High Court attempting to force Transport for London to take down hundreds of new billboards on double-decker buses telling people who disapprove of homosexuality to get over it .

It claims that transport chiefs are deliberately ignoring a ruling by a High Court judge that the posters, from the gay rights group Stonewall, are highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians who claim that gay sex is a sin .

Core Issues Trust, a Christian counselling group which advocates controversial reorientation therapy, booked advertising space on London buses last year promoting the idea that people can become post-gay through therapy. The posters were modelled on advertisements taken out by Stonewall a few weeks earlier reading: Some people are Gay. Get over it! Mayor Boris Johnson stepped in and banned them saying it was clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness .

The ban was allowed after a court challenge, but the judge did question the decision to allow the earlier Stonewall advertisements, and Christian groups have asked to get the Stonewall ads banned too. The outcome is due later this year.

But pre-empting this decision, further similar Stonewall advertisements have begun to reappear on buses across London as part of a new campaign.

Dr Michael Davidson, founder and Core Issues Trust, is lodging an urgent judicial review application seeking an injunction forcing TfL to ban the new advertisements.



Better than a Kwik Fit Fitter...

Australian advert censor whinges about bra fitting advert

Link Here18th October 2013
An Adelaide lingerie advertisement has been banned from television screens after the Advertising Standards Board upheld a whinge about it being in poor taste.

The ad showed a woman in a bra and underwear walking into a tyre shop to ask the man behind the counter can you fit me?

Its message was that Innerware Lingerie offered free professional bra fittings, but the censors found that it breached their rule which stipulates that advertising or marketing communications shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience .

The board considered that the advertisement did have a strong sexual suggestion with the combination of the woman wearing lingerie, her sexualised strutting, the focus on her body and the sexualised conversation.

In the board's view the level of sexualisation was not sensitive even to an M classification.  ( M would be a PG-15 in US notation).

Innerware has apologised for any offence the ad may have caused viewers. Innerware has since modified the ad and a new version is now screening on television.



Lyrical Acrobatics...

Stonewall offended by Eminem's lyrics for Rap God

Link Here17th October 2013
Eminem's new single Rap God has been praised as a sign that the rapper is still relevant in today's music industry, but its lyrics have offended gay campaigners at Stonewall.

The group said the song's content was outdated and deeply offensive , and claimed the rapper was stuck in the last century .

Rap God is currently top of the UK and US iTunes charts, and has earned positive write-ups in Time and Rolling Stone. MTV lauded its expertly laid verses .

The lyrics are complex and layered with metaphor. An offending passage seem to be:

I attempt these lyrical acrobat stunts while I'm practicing that
I'll still be able to break a motherfuckin' table
Over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half
Only realized it was ironic I was signed to Aftermath after the fact

The second verse frequently references gays, eg:

Little gay-looking boy, So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy

Richard Lane, media manager at Stonewall, said:

Compared to inspirational modern artists like Frank Ocean and Macklemore, who have vocally supported tackling homophobia, Eminem seems stuck in the last century with these outdated and deeply offensive lyrics.



Offsite Article: Students are acting like Victorian censors...

Link Here17th October 2013
Full story: Robin Thicke and Blurred Lines...Sexy music video offends the easily offended
Free-speech advocate Greg Lukianoff lays into the prudes at UK student unions. By Tim Black

See article from



A Birder's Guide to Everything...

Distributors appeal to the MPAA wanting a PG-13 instead of the awarded R rating

Link Here17th October 2013
  A Birder's Guide to Everything is a 2013 USA comedy by Rob Meyer.
With Ben Kingsley, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Katie Chang. IMDb

Summary Notes

David Portnoy, a 15-year-old birding fanatic, thinks that he's made the discovery of a lifetime. So, on the eve of his father's remarriage, he escapes on an epic road trip with his best friends to solidify their place in birding history.

The film was rated R For some language and crude references. The distributors presumably wanted a PG-13 for its teenage audience and so have appealed to the CARA Appeals Board



Oops in Arabic...

Film censors miss a bit in Escape Plan

Link Here16th October 2013
Moviegoers in the United Arab Emirates saw the screen turn black as frazzled officials broke up the screening of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest action flick after a character was heard cursing in Arabic in the movie.

The National, a state-backed newspaper, reported that the Dubai Media Council asked theaters in the Emirates to halt the screening of the Escape Plan.

Authorities quickly censored the profane words out of the film, and the revised version was back in theaters within hours.



Head Censor?...

ASA dismiss 137 whinges are TV advert for which alludes to a blow job

Link Here16th October 2013

A TV ad, for, a car insurance comparison website, featured a robot called Brian, knocking on the window of a parked car. The man, seated in the driving seat of the car, was startled and the woman, seated in the passenger seat, who was bent down out of view, sprang upright. The character Brian said I've run your details through my extensive circuits resulting in a saving of £ 225 on your car insurance . The man said That's alright, that is to which Brian responded Who is our daddy? The man said I don't know.

Objections to the ad were received from 137 complainants.

  1. The majority of complainants objected that the ad was offensive, because they believed there was implied reference to oral sex.

  2. A number of complainants objected that the ad was unsuitable for children to see.

  3. A small number of complainants objected that the ad was offensive, because it was degrading to women.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that, on close inspection, the woman was shown to rise from the footwell on her side of the vehicle. Notwithstanding that, we acknowledged the complainants' concerns that the presentation of the ad included an implied reference to oral sex. We acknowledged that the dishevelled appearance of the couple; the positioning of the woman; the surrounding location; and the reaction of the couple added to that impression. However, we noted the ad contained no explicit reference to sex and no explicit sexual imagery. Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the ad distasteful, we considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We considered the post 21:00 timing restriction would minimise the risk of younger children seeing the ad. Furthermore, because there was no explicit reference to sex or explicit sexual imagery, we concluded that the timing restriction applied was appropriate.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and Offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

3. Not upheld

We noted the ad depicted the woman in a state of alarm at the appearance of the robot. We acknowledged that some viewers would interpret the ad as a reference to oral sex. However, we considered the ad did not depict the woman as a sexual object, nor did it suggest that the woman was in distress. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was not likely to be viewed as degrading to women.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.



Gentile Outrage...

The Daily Mail dredges up a few trivial tweets and sound bites about a minor car crash

Link Here16th October 2013
The Daily Mail wrote:

Fans of family-friendly TV series Doc Martin turned against the programme's makers after a violent car crash formed a plot twist in the latest instalment of the usually sedate show.

Many of the six million viewers -- including children -- were left horrified after Doc Martin's wife was unexpectedly hit by a car, prompting many to vent their distaste on social networking sites.

The Daily Mail reported a few viewer comments that hardly pass muster as 'outrage', eg:

I wasn't expecting that! Not sure my nerves can take it!

Meanwhile TV campaigners whinged that the car crash twist in the episode of Doc Martin was inappropriate for a series that has a reputation for offering inoffensive content suitable for children, even though it was shown after the 9pm watershed.

Pippa Smith, co-chairman of campaign group Safermedia, spouted:

It was far too graphic even if it was on at 9pm. We also know that children will be watching.

It is not the sort of thing you would expect from this series and seems to be following a recent trend towards harder more unpleasant story lines as we have seen in the normally gentle Downton Abbey.

This is not entertainment.

And Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch, urged broadcasters to consider using warnings ahead of unusually graphic scenes.



Offsite Article: Words of Caution...

Link Here16th October 2013
Full story: Obscene Text...Writer prosecuted for text fantasy story
Should activities that are illegal to perform in real-life, such as the distribution of Class A drugs, be illegal to write about in a fictional context where no actual harm is caused?

See article from



Update: Pleasant Goat and the Big Bad Propaganda State...

Chinese cartoon censors roll out more propaganda requirements

Link Here15th October 2013
Chinese cartoon Pleasant Goat and the Big Big Wolf has kicked off another round of ever more repressive censorship.

China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television called out the popular cartoon , which made headlines earlier this year for episodes containing supposedly violent scenes, and the regulator said in a statement that it plans to outline new content standards for TV animation to address violent programming content.

According to China's official Xinhua news agency, under the proposal, cartoons should promote good and lash out at evil, advocate social morality and family virtues, and resist egoism, money worship, hedonism, superstition, pseudoscience and contents containing harmful thoughts and bad habits. It also said cartoons should avoid violent scenes, including depictions of attacks that children could easily imitate, and should not use daily necessities for dangerous purposes. More In Animation



Updated: Dangerous Text...

Amazon ban books that offend the technology news site, the Kernel

Link Here14th October 2013
Retailer Amazon has banned several e-books from its Kindle Store after a report highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality.

Amazon took down the books with titles such as Taking My Drunk Daughter. The titles were highlighted by technology news site The Kernel.

The titles were found in the self-published section of the retailers' sites - an area where authors can offer their own work. The companies take a percentage of the sales made through their stores.

Mark Stephens, former chairman of the Internet Watch Foundation ludicrously claimed that, under Britain's Obscene Publications Act (OPA), publishers have a duty to protect the public from accidentally encountering material that could outrage public decency.

In fact the OPA says that material is prosecutable if it 'depraves and corrupts' likely viewers. Something that clearly rarely, if ever, actually happens and is difficult to prosecute in front of a jury as jurors are quick to notice that no one in the court case, including themselves, seem very depraved or corrupted by what they have seen.

Many of the authors have taken measures to minimise 'offence' by adding disclaimers to their descriptions, such as saying characters were over 18 or step-daughters .

Pro censorship campaigner John Carr, said parents would be shocked at what content was discoverable. He told the BBC:

At the very least there should be a certain class of material that is adult, which ought not to be universally accessible.

Update: WH Smug

14th October 2013. See  article from

WH Smith shut down its website on Sunday after it was revealed that a search for the term daddy brought up hardcore pornographic ebooks featuring bondage and humiliation alongside stories for children. [Does the hardcore tag mean anything for books?]. At least 60 pornographic ebooks, some featuring rapes and bestiality, were available on the company's online store.

Alerted to the availability of the ebooks, the majority of which are self-published, WH Smith took the extreme measuire of shutting down its website until the ebooks could be censored.

In a statement WH Smith said:

This is an industry wide issue impacting retailers that sell self-published ebooks due to the explosion of self-publishing.

However, we are disgusted by these particular titles, find this unacceptable and we in no way whatsoever condone them. It is our policy not to feature titles like those highlighted and we have processes in place to screen them out. [er like reading them]

The shop also announced that in future it would not display any self-published books until it was confident that inappropriate books would not be shown.

Rentaquote politician, John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, said:

It is disgusting that WH Smith, one of the country's most respected retailers, is selling hardcore pornography alongside children's books. Retailers have a responsibility to families and it is unacceptable that anyone could access this material within a click of a mouse.



Offsite Article: Vengeful MPs, their Monty Python press charter...

Link Here13th October 2013
A lethal threat to free speech. By Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator

See article from



Update: Introducing the State's Right to Impose an Unfair Trial...

All parties agree on rules for Britain's news censor

Link Here 12th October 2013
Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, has announced that the main political parties had agreed rules for the new news censor who will police journalists' conduct and deal with complaints.

MPs have proposed a system underpinned by statute, compelling newspapers to submit to the new regime. Those that refuse to participate would face deliberately unfair trials in the event of libel cases.

The latest plan was drawn up in talks between Miller for the Conservatives, Harriet Harman for Labour and Lord Wallace of Tankerness for the Liberal Democrats. It is expected to be approved by the Privy Council on Oct 30.

Following criticism from the industry, politicians agreed that people filing complaints against newspapers could face a fee under the new regulatory regime, to deter speculative or frivolous claims. They also agreed that editors could be involved in drawing up a new code of conduct for the press, which would be approved by the news censor.

Offsite Comment: The secret state is just itching to gag the press

12th October 2013. See  article from . By Jonathan Freedland

Get regulation wrong, and it won't be tales of Cheryl Cole that are censored, but revelations like those of Edward Snowden



Offsite Article: We should all stand with the Yid Army...

Link Here12th October 2013
Some proud Yiddos tell spiked why they'll continue using the Y-word. By Rob Lyons

See article from



Offsite Article: Daily Mail earnestly recommend Masters of Sex...

Link Here12th October 2013
But are surely salivating at the prospect of being able to call it 'vile' when a few easily offended whingers take to Twitter

See article from



An Insult to the People of Europe...

European Court of Human Rights decides that innocent webmasters must carry the can for insulting posts on forums

Link Here11th October 2013
An alarming judgment has been issued by the European Court of Human Rights that could seriously affect online comment threads.

The judgment in the case Delfi AS v Estonia suggests that if a commercial site allows anonymous comments, it is both practical and reasonable to hold the site responsible for content of the comments.

In 2006, Delfi ran a story about a ferry operator's changing of routes. This story lead to some heated debate in the comments thread, with, according to the judgment highly offensive or threatening posts about the ferry operator and its owner .

The ferry owner sued Delfi responsible for defamation and won. Delfi appealed on the grounds the the European eCommerce Directive suggested it should be regarded as a passive and neutral host.

The ruling stated:

Given the nature of the article, the company should have expected offensive posts, and exercised an extra degree of caution so as to avoid being held liable for damage to an individual's reputation.

The article's webpage did state that the authors of comments would be liable for their content, and that threatening or insulting comments were not allowed. The webpage also automatically deleted posts that contained a series of vulgar words, and users could tell administrators about offensive comments by clicking a single button, which would then lead to the posts being removed.

However none of the mechanisms prevented a large number of insulting comments from being published on the website.

The judgment also threatens online anonymity:

However, the identity of the authors would have been extremely difficult to establish, as readers were allowed to make comments without registering their names. Therefore many of the posts were anonymous. Making Delfi legally responsible for the comments was therefore practical; but it was also reasonable, because the news portal received commercial benefit from comments being made.

The ruling is not yet final and may be subject to further review.



The Dead Stay Dead in Germany...

Dead Rising 3 banned

Link Here11th October 2013
Xbox One zombie game Dead Rising 3 will not be released in Germany, a Microsoft representative told GameSpot:

Dead Rising 3 will not be released in Germany as part of the Xbox One launch lineup on Nov. 22 having been unable to attain an age-rating upon review by BPjM (Bundeprufstelle fur jugendgefahrende Medien), the country's entertainment software self-regulation body,

It is not clear what specific content in Dead Rising 3 caused the ban or if Microsoft plans to submit an cut version of the game. The original Dead Rising and its sequel are also banned in Germany.

Since Xbox One titles are region free, gamers in Germany can still play the game by importing it from another country, probably Austria.



Offsite Article: Locking up free expression: Azerbaijan silences critical voices...

Link Here 11th October 2013
Intimidation, violence and media clampdown. The country's record on free expression has undergone a marked deterioration in the run up to its presidential election. By Index on Censorship

See article from



Update: Pot Unable to Call the Kettle Black...

David Cameron failed to challenge the Prime Minister of Hungary over his country's draconian press laws.

Link Here10th October 2013
Victor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, has been condemned by world leaders for introducing the most terrifying press laws since the Cold War . But not a mention by David Cameron

The prime minister's failure to confront Orban is the first evidence of warnings by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, that introducing statutory regulation in Britain will undermine Britain's ability to promote free speech.

Cameron and his government are now at loggerheads with the British newspapers over plans to impose a press censorship regime.

Earlier this week Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, rejected proposals by newspapers to establish a system of self-regulation backed by fines of up to £ 1million for those who breach the code.

Index on Censorship, which campaigns for greater press freedom, described Cameron's failure to confront Mr Orban as a great shame . A spokesman said:

They have introduced some of the most terrifying press and media ownership laws since the Cold War. It is really at the front line of censorship in Europe at the moment. It seems a great shame that the Prime Minister would not even raise this.



Update: Negatively Stimulated Old Minds...

Malaysian politicians, who don't believe in censorship, line up to propose internet censorship

Link Here10th October 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet
Malaysia's former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants the authorities to impose internet censorship of pornography.

Once an advocate of non-censorship of the internet, Mahathir lamented that the easy access to sexually graphic sex sites are negatively stimulating the minds of the young.

He claims without evidence that online pornography has led to a rise in violent sexual crimes and a supposed decline in morals.

There must be some form of code of ethics to prevent such sites from being accessed. The governments of the respective countries should take action against those responsible for polluting the minds of young children with pornography.

He admitted that there was opposition towards censoring the internet when he launched the Multimedia Super Corridor over a decade ago. However, he said the recent rise in violent sexual crimes and declining morals due to exposure to online pornography was alarming.

Mahathir then claimed that such censorship would somehow not curb freedom of expression.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) corporate communications head Sheikh Abdul Rafie Sheikh Abd Rahman previously made similar claims that while pornography sites were usually censored, it somehow did not amount to censorship.



First Time Concessions...

BBFC takes a step to reduce economic censorship of films for a small market

Link Here9th October 2013

The BBFC is pleased to announce a new tariff for short films made by film students or by first time filmmakers affiliated to a recognised funding scheme. The student short film tariff aims to enable filmmakers creating short films of up to 40 minutes as part of educational studies or funding schemes, to receive a theatrical age rating for their film, at a reduced tariff.

The tariff was designed in response to a number of requests from student and first time film-makers wishing to submit their short film for classification for theatrical screenings.

David Cooke, Director, BBFC said:

We have seen an increase in the number of requests for short films, created as part of film studies or funding schemes, to be submitted for classification. We're careful to advise students about seeking Local Authority permission to screen their short films in local cinemas, but many would like to receive an official classification and black card for their film. We hope by introducing a reduced tariff for these short films we can meet this demand and enable those studying film, or receiving funding to make films, to secure wider theatrical distribution for their work.

The student short film tariff is available at £50+VAT for films of up to 20 minutes and £100+VAT for films of 20 to 40 minutes. The film can be either fiction or non-fiction, but cannot be a trailer, advert, music promo or similar and the film must have been created through a recognised funding scheme or training initiative, no more than two academic years prior to the date of submission to the BBFC. The full criteria for the BBFC student short film tariff, can be found on the BBFC website .

The new student short film tariff follows continuing work by the BBFC to reduce costs for all its customers. The BBFC is a non-profit organisation and fees have not risen for 6 years, while new concessions have also been introduced, including a 25% discount for identical video versions of classified films and a free of charge digital age rating for use online for any video, DVD or Blu-ray work classified.



Update: Blurred Thinking...

ASA order that Beats Pill speaker advert featuring Blurred Lines should only be shown after 7:30pm

Link Here9th October 2013
Full story: Robin Thicke and Blurred Lines...Sexy music video offends the easily offended

A TV ad promoted Beats Pill speakers.

The ad featured Robin Thicke, performing his single Blurred Lines , and three female models. Throughout the ad, the song was played with the lyrics Everybody get up ... Good girl, I know you want it, I know you want it, I know you want it, you're a good girl, can't let it get past me, you're far from plastic, talk about getting blasted, I hate these blurred lines.

The ad opened with a close-up shot of one of the women holding the Beats Pill against her chin as she mimed to the words Everybody get up . Throughout the ad, the women were shown wearing crop tops and hot pants as they danced and interacted with Robin Thicke and the product. In one scene they were shown lifting Beats Pills as if they were dumbbells and in another, one of the women was shown holding a Beats Pill in a hotdog bun. Another shot showed all the women dressed in see-through nurses' uniforms over their hot pants and crop tops. The following shot showed one model looking through two Beats Pills as if they were binoculars. Towards the end, a woman was shown kneeling on her hands and knees with a Beats Pill laid on her back.

The ASA received 97 complaints about the ad.

  1. A number of the complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive because it was sexist, objectified women and was degrading to women.

  2. A number of the complainants challenged whether the ad was inappropriate to be broadcast at a time when children would be watching TV, because they believed it was overtly sexual.

  3. Some complainants challenged whether the models featured were irresponsibly thin.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad was intended to be playful and comic, and its content was based on the Blurred Lines music video and served to show the portable and convenient nature of the Beats Pill product.

We considered that a number of scenes, such as those in which the women were dressed as nurses, were holding the Pill in a hotdog roll and using the product as dumbbells, were sexually suggestive. We also noted that, in comparison to a fully clothed Robin Thicke, the women were shown in crop tops and hot pants, dancing and interacting with the product, and that the ad included a number of shots of their bottoms and exposed midriffs, with their heads obscured. In addition we noted that the women were often looking directly at the camera, pouting or putting their fingers near, or to, their mouths. We also noted the final scene, when one of the women was shown on all fours, in what we considered to be a provocative position, with the product on her back.

However, while we accepted that some viewers might find elements of the ad distasteful, particularly the shots of the women's bodies with their heads obscured and the shot of the woman on all fours, we considered that those shots were brief, and when taken as a whole, the ad did not show sustained, overtly sexual or provocative behaviour. We also considered that most viewers would recognise the stylised nature of the ad and understand that it was reflective of a music video. Therefore, whilst we acknowledged a number of viewers might find the content of the ad distasteful, we did not consider that the ad was likely to result in widespread or serious offence and concluded that it was not in breach of the Code.

On that point, we investigated the under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

2. Upheld

The ASA noted that both Beats and Clearcast believed that the ad was only mildly sexual in nature, playful and comical, and that children would not understand the mild innuendo associated with the shape and use of the product in the ad. We noted that the ad did not contain any explicit nudity or intimate interaction between the characters, but did include shots focusing on the women's headless bodies and a number of sexually suggestive scenes. Therefore, we considered the overall tone of the ad was sexual, and concluded that the ad was not suitable for broadcast before 7.30 pm.

On that point, the ad breached BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Under-16s).

3. Not upheld

We noted that all the women featured in the ad were slim, and that the outfits they were wearing, along with the shots of their bodies and of them dancing and working out using the product, emphasised their body shape. We considered, however, that the ad was stylised and reflective of the characters and images generally seen in music videos, and that the models did not look underweight. We therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.

On that point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising), and 4.2 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach. Action

The ad must not be broadcast again before 7.30 pm.



Update: Unfairly Censored...

Iran's minister of book censorship signals an easing of the rules

Link Here9th October 2013
Full story: Book Censors in Iran...Iranian literary censors
Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati has said that filtering of books in Iran has been too strict and many of the cases have been unfairly expurgated.

He asserted that the current criteria for filtering out book contents are too strict:

Had the holy Quran was not divine, it would have already been censored by the same filters

He further explained that he delayed his pick for the post of cultural deputy of the ministry due to the sensitivity of the post and its significance.



Dumbed Down by Hollywood...

Director of Snowpiercer angry at 20 minutes of cuts inflicted by The Weinstein Company

Link Here8th October 2013
Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korea/USA/France action Sci-Fi drama by Joon-ho Bong.
With Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris. YouTube icon IMDb

Summary Notes

In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine.

Speaking at a gala screening of the dark sci-fi drama Snowpiercer at the Busan festival, director Joon-ho Bong made a point of calling out to any North Americans, Brits and Australians to let them know that this would be only chance to see the film as he intended it to be watched.

Bong said that the final cut of the film in English-speaking territories lies with The Weinstein Company:

We are still in discussions about the cut, but it is clear that this is the only director's cut you will be able to see, Bong said.

Sources close to the director say that privately he is furious. He has been quoted in other media as saying that up to 20 minutes are to be cut.



Update: Woody Smouldering...

Blue Jasmine withdrawn from India over mandatory on screen smoking warnings

Link Here8th October 2013
Full story: Smoking and Drinking in Films...India wound up by smoking in the movies and TV
Blue Jasmine is a 2013 USA comedy drama by Woody Allen.
With Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard. YouTube icon IMDb

Woody Allen' s Blue Jasmine will not be shown in India.

Allen is not one to compromise his artistic vision. He decided not to show the film in India rather than add legally required anti-smoking messages to two scenes.

PVR Pictures Ltd., the Indian distributor said the director considered the required additions, written warnings that appear on screen during scenes with smoking, and found them to be unacceptable.



Sweet Dreams Turn Sour...

Annie Lennox: I'm all for freedom of expression. I'm all for boundary pushing...BUT...this is clearly one step beyond, and it's clearly into the realm of porn.

Link Here8th October 2013
Annie Lennox has captured a fair bit of press coverage over a bizarre claim that sexy music videos are somehow pornographic. Surely there would not be many people in the country who could not distinguish a Miley Cyrus video from a porn film. Still, you can claim any old unchallenged bollox if you are preaching from the moral highground.

Pro-censorship Lennox was speaking against in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live's Anna Foster and Peter Allen. She spouted:

I'm all for freedom of expression. I'm all for boundary pushing ...BUT... this is clearly one step beyond, and it's clearly into the realm of porn.

She seemed a little angry that millions of people enjoy sexy music videos:

There are so many millions of hits on Youtube; with this barrage how do you stop your kids being exposed to it? It is so powerful. I am sure I talk for millions of parents.

Claiming that she's a liberal minded person, Annie at one point commended artists who are pushing sexuality boundaries but reaffirmed that the music videos need to be age appropriate, and shouldn't be viewed by young audiences.

I actually think that what is really required are some kind of very clear boundaries. There is a difference between what is pornographic and what is entertainment.

She previously wrote on her Facebook page that if a pop star created a soft porn video or highly sexualised live performance, then it needs to qualify as such and be X-rated for adults only .

If sexy music videos were to be rated by say the BBFC, then hardly any would be 18 rated. A 15 rating would be tops, with most qualifying for a 12.



The Maharashtra Black Magic Act...

Indian railways enforces a new law seeking to eradicate human sacrifices on trains

Link Here8th October 2013
India's Western Railway has banned advertisements carrying messages of tantriks, black magicians and occultists inside the coaches of suburban trains.

The ban has been enforced under the new Maharashtra Black Magic Act which seeks to eradicate human sacrifice, inhuman, evil and aghori practices.

The WR warned that the law stipulates a jail term of up to seven years if anybody is found pasting such advertisements in the suburban trains and thereby propagating superstitious practices and witchcraft.

The WR is continuing a drive to clean out coaches of such advertisements and has detected 156 cases of illegal pasting of stickers, an official said. Six people have already been sent to jail.

The witchcraft issue came to the fore after the killing of prominent anti-superstition campaigner Narendra Dabholkar in Pune August 20. His killers are yet untraced and are on the run.




Banned Cameroon film gets a Kenyan video on demand release to evade the ban

Link Here8th October 2013
The President is a Cameroon film by Jean-Piere Bekalo
With Gerard Essomba, Valery Indongo and Valsero

Kenya's BuniTV has hosted an online release of the banned Cameroonian film The President: "How Do You Know Its Time to Go?" , directed by Jean-Pierre Bekolo.

According to Buni TV, the move will make it possible for Cameroonians inside and outside the West African country to access the film following its swift banning by the government.

The film is a story about a fictional president who disappears days before the general election, and refers to Cameroon's strongman President Paul Biya, who has been in power for more than three decades.

Director Bekolo Said:

Today, new technologies provide a solution for filmmakers in countries that still impose censorship on cinema and where freedom of speech is still threatened. Online distribution will make The President widely available, and hopefully this will lead to real dialogue on the issues the film raises.

The film premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July and touches on a number of taboo subjects including the ailing health of President Biya, who spends most of his time outside the country for treatment, and a reflection of other presidents in similar circumstances including Eduardo de Santos, of Angola, and Zambia's Michael Sata said to be in India or London.

This film, although set in Cameroon, is said to be a reflection of a number of African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria whose presidents have died in power after undergoing treatment for years amid denial from aides and parties.

The film will be available from October 12 BuniTV's subscription service.



Offsite Article: Social media becomes the scapegoat in India...

Link Here8th October 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
The regulation of social media in India has been a subject of great controversy. By Mahima Kaul

See article from



Extract: The Guardian Doesn't Believe in Blanket Censorship...BUT...

Applauds pro-censorship campaigners and believes that the censorship debate should be initiated and led by women

Link Here 7th October 2013
A Guardian editorial prompted by whinges at Miley Cyrus, concludes:

...We applaud Ms O'Connor, the No More Page Three campaigners and Mr Cameron for at least questioning the values of organised religion and commercial entertainment: but no blanket prohibitions, please. Rather, let us have an open discussion -- initiated and led by the UK's female citizens, and not merely prompted by some Las Vegas shock merchant making shareable pop videos.

...Read the full editorial

I think I prefer the Daily Mail



Offsite Article: World War Z...

Link Here7th October 2013 reveal the many cuts to produce the PG-13 rated Theatrical Version

See article from



Family First New Zealand Recommends...

Into the River by Ted Dawe

Link Here6th October 2013
The New Zealand children's book of the year, Into The River by Ted Dawe, will carry a warning that it is only suitable for readers aged 16 years and older.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification said in its findings on the novel, saying people might be offended but the book would remain unrestricted. It recommends, however, that the book be read by a mature audience.

Information and policy manager Kate Ward said there were already young-adult books with similar sexual descriptions, and to place a restriction on Dawe's novel would be unfair.

Dawe welcomed the decision, saying it was based on a thorough and expansive analysi

Into The River includes detailed descriptions of sex acts, strong language and scenes of drug-taking. It claimed top prize at this year's New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. The award organisers had sent explicit content stickers to all booksellers after the book won the supreme award.

However some morality campaigners are not happy with the over 16 warning. and have been lobbying the government for the book to be age restricted. Now New Zealand's Secretary for Internal Affairs has approved Family First NZ's application for leave to apply to the Film and Literature Board of Review to review the classification of the book.

Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, whinged:

The Office of Film and Literature Classification originally reviewed the book, which contains explicit sexual content, highly offensive language and other adult themes, after Family First NZ laid an official complaint. The OFLC acknowledged that it's suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over, but they have made no requirement to warn parents about the content. They say it is up to marketers and booksellers to take the responsibility of warning parents and caregivers -- something the OFLC won't do.

The OFLC bases their judgment extensively on those with a vested interest in the book or its award -- for example, the author, the chief judge of the Awards, and a blogger who just happened to have 'worked on in its initial assessment and editing phase'.

They also argue that a low number of calls to the Classification Office suggests there's little objection. They fail to mention the widespread condemnation by many in the media including the NZ Herald editorial, and they also fail to acknowledge the massive protest to NZ Post calling on them to withdraw the Award given to the book, and that some bookstores refused to sell the book.

Family First have kindly counted occurrences of strong language in the book and took exception to OFLC report:

The word 'fuck' and its derivatives are used occasionally and the word 'cunt' is seen once. The language is not likely to cause harm. These are words and terms that have relatively common usage amongst teenage boys.

However Family First contend that 'cunt' is used nine times and  'fuck' is used 17 times, 'shit' 16 times, and 'cock' 10 times.

Family First is seeking clear warning labels for parents to be displayed on the cover of the book and for the book to be banned from school and public libraries. They have also asked NZ Post to withdraw the Award given to the book.



Update: 'Racist' Police insult British Tradition of Free Speech...

Ludicrous police investigation of Alan Sugar joke about child labour

Link Here 6th October 2013
Full story: Twitter Twits...Police overreact to trivial insults via Twitter and Facebook
Celebrity business man Alan Sugar has been investigated by police after being ludicrously accused of posting a 'racist' Twitter message.

He posted a photograph of a crying Chinese child to 3.2 million Twitter followers, joking that the youngster was upset after being told off for leaving Apple's iPhone production line, a reference to child labour in Asian factories where the phones are made. He tweeted:

The kid in the middle is upset because he was told off for leaving the production line of the iPhone 5.

The tweet prompted a single complaint to the Metropolitan Police from an easily offended Twitter user, who referred to Sugar as a vile racist .

No matter how ridiculous, and much police action infringes on free speech the police always consider that the complainer is always right. Police contacted the complainant twice, urging her to make a statement at a police station, which she eventually did. The police confirmed that police from Merseyside's Hate Crime Investigation Unit took several days to decide whether a crime had been committed by Sugar's joke.

In the end the trivial tweet was somehow classed as a hate incident -- which means no further action will be taken, but details will be kept on file.

The TaxPayers' Alliance condemned the police investigation, insisting police should not waste time and money chasing ill-thought-out tweets .



Update: Internet Opinion Analysts...

Chinese newspaper reports on the country's army of internet censors

Link Here5th October 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
  More than two million people in China are employed by the government as internet censors or propagandaists.

The Beijing News says the censors, described as internet opinion analysts , are on state and commercial payrolls.

The report by the Beijing News said that these monitors were not required to delete postings. They are strictly to gather and analyse public opinions on microblog sites and compile reports for decision-makers .

Tang Xiaotao has been working as a monitor for less than six months, the report says, without revealing where he works.

He sits in front of a PC every day, and opening up an application, he types in key words which are specified by clients.

He then monitors negative opinions related to the clients, and gathers (them) and compile reports and send them to the clients.

China rarely reveals any details concerning the scale and sophistication of its internet police force. It is believed that the two million internet monitors are part of a huge army which the government relies on to control the internet.



Update: 22 Nations All Waiting to be Easily Offended...

Arab League to consider a cross border prosecution area for a law against the supposed defamation of religion

Link Here5th October 2013
Full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN
Arab countries are working on a draft law that bans the defamation of religions and empowers cross border prosecutions in nations signing up to the law.

The draft, presented by Qatar, is being reviewed by delegates from several Arab countries at the Arab League. Under its provisions, all forms of defamation, derision or denigration of religions and prophets will be considered crimes.

Ebrahim Mousa Al Hitmi, the Qatari justice ministry assistant undersecretary for legal affairs, explained:

The main feature of the draft is that it gives every state the right to put on trial those who abuse and hold in contempt religions even if they are outside the country.

All penal laws in Arab countries criminalise defamation of religions but there are no specific sanctions when an abuser is outside the country. Therefore, the main goal of this law is to deter all forms of defamation of religions and give each country that ratifies it the right to file lawsuits against those who offend religions, even if they are not residents.

The draft will be considered by the Arab justice ministers when they convene.



The Daily Mail Recommends...Rihanna: Pour It Up...

'Obscene', 'vile' and 'pornographic'...and enjoyed by 17. 5 million people on YouTube

Link Here5th October 2013
According to the Daily Mail:

Rihanna faced an extra- ordinary backlash last night after even her fans branded her latest video obscene , vile and pornographic .

Hundreds took to social networking sites to tell the singer that she should be ashamed of herself over the X-rated images in Pour It Up.

'Hundreds' may have complained but this nothing given that 17.5 million have watched the video on YouTube.

The video was originally posted by Rihanna on Vevo, a video sharing site, but was banned due to its explicit content. The site has since reinstated it.

The Daily Mail lavishes praise on the video:

It features pole dancers, strippers and lewd dance moves including twerking , a particularly provocative hip-thrusting dance.

Rihanna spends most of the video dressed in nothing but a jewel-encrusted bikini and platformed stiletto heels. She sings about strip clubs, alcohol and money and is seen gyrating and sliding provocatively down a chair.

Miranda Suit, pro-censorship campaigner for Safermedia lauded the video:

[Rihanna's] crude, tasteless and explicit dancing, combined with the money-focused lyrics, are telling all her fans -- many of them still children -- that it is good for women and girls to sell their body, and right for men and boys to see women purely as a sexual commodity.

Rihanna has sold out completely to the commercialisation and objectification of women's bodies and their sexuality. And now she's promoting it to girls and boys.

She urged websites such as YouTube to ban such videos, adding: Parents want to know that their children are going to be safe online.

And of course the Daily printed plenty of pictures highlighting all the sexiest bits of the video.



Update: No Stranger...

Stranger by the Lake is banned from the Beirut Film Festival

Link Here4th October 2013
Stranger by the Lake is a 2013 France gay drama by Alain Guiraudie.
With Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou and Patrick d'Assumçao. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Lebanon has banned a French film depicting homosexuality and a local short film about the tradition of temporary marriage among some Shiite Muslims, film festival organisers have said.

The Beirut International Film Festival said it had been informed by censors that L'inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake) , a thriller by Alain Guiraudie about two men who fall in love after meeting at a cruising spot for gay men along the shore of a lake, had been banned. Perhaps unsuprising as the film includes scenes featuring real sex.

The other film is I Offered You Pleasure, by Lebanese director Farah Shaer. It deals with the controversial subject of temporary marriage, or pleasure marriage, a tradition among some Shiites that opponents view as an excuse for sex outside of conventional wedlock, otherwise forbidden by Islam.

A security official said the censorship board, which is attached to the interior ministry, had concluded the two films did not meet its criteria and that the minister would make a final decision on them.



No Fire Zone Under Fire...

Three documentaries about Sri Lanka banned from film festival in Kathmandu

Link Here4th October 2013
Three documentaries selected for Film Southasia 2013 (FSA), which has started in Kathmandu, Nepal, have been banned.

The FSA organizing committee was forced to cancel public screenings of Broken , The Story of One and No Fire Zone , which deal with the issues of post-conflict transition of Sri Lanka, following a directive from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC.

Director Nayan Tara Gurung Kakshapati said the MoIC, in its letter, has not explained why public screenings of documentaries by Sri Lankan film makers have been banned. It is believed that the government took such an action as per a request made by the Kathmandu-based Sri Lankan embassy.

Kakshapati said Sri Lankan documentaries, despite being banned, will still be parts of the FSA-2013. We will not screen them publicly, said Kakshapati. But, they will now be screened privately. And the jury members will also watch and consider them for prizes.

No Fire Zone has also been recently banned from a screening in Malaysia.



Update: Bad Talk...

Pakistan province bans Skype, Whatsapp and Viber

Link Here4th October 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
Authorities in Pakistan's southern Sindh province have banned Skype , Whatsapp and Viber in the name of security, triggering angry reactions from numerous users of the instant messaging applications.

The decision to enforce the ban for three months was made at a meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon announced said:

Terrorists and criminal elements are using these networks to communicate after the targeted operation was launched (against them).

Sindh's Home Secretary will contact the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to have these applications banned in the province. According to Memon, the Sindh government would contact the federal government to ensure that illegal SIMs too are shut down.



Burning Manuscripts...

Iranian film director has his passport confiscated apparently over a film critical of the government

Link Here3rd October 2013
Earlier this year, Iran was mulling litigation over how it was portrayed in Ben Affleck's Academy Award winner Argo , and it boycotted the 2012 Oscars in protest over the Innocence Of Muslims video that was made in the U.S. Now that a new government led by perceived political moderate Hassan Rouhani is in place, the Argo lawsuit has lost steam. This had led some to wonder if a new era of tolerance for freedom of expression was afoot. But, it has now emerged that Manuscripts Don't Burn director Mohammad Rasoulof had his passport confiscated on a recent return home to Iran, and is still blocked from leaving the country.

Why is Rasoulof landlocked now? People close to the situation are refraining from commenting for fear of complicating matters. But it's suspected that the subject of Manuscripts Don't Burn , Rasoulof's latest film which won a FIPRESCI prize in Cannes' Un Certain Regard last May, could be a factor. It was described by the Toronto Film Festival as an incendiary critique of the Iranian regime that tackles head-on the violent machinations of censorship in Iran.

In 2010, Rasoulof was arrested for propaganda against the regime and received a six-year prison sentence, ultimately reduced to one, and a 20-year ban on filmmaking. The prison sentence has not been enforced and he has continued to travel, recently accompanying Manuscripts to Telluride and Toronto .



A Couple Tweets and a Puerile Sound Bite from Mediawatch-UK...

But enough for a nonsense 'outrage' story about a breast exam on breakfast TV

Link Here 3rd October 2013
A few viewers have expressed their shock at the appearance of a topless woman on ITV at 8:45am.

Model Sue appeared topless as part of a demonstration to educate women how to examine their breasts for abnormalities that may indicate breast cancer on early morning breakfast show Lorraine, presented by Lorraine Kelly.

Dr Hilary Jones talked the model through the hand movements and pressure application, which she conducted herself, recommending that women spend three minutes examining each breast and armpit each time.

A spokeswoman from pressure group Mediawatch UK claimed such broadcasts could be problematic .:

Whilst there was nothing sexual or lascivious about the examination, this kind of thing can be problematic.

There probably should have been a warning beforehand, as there may have been young children watching and it might have upset them a bit.

The telegraph also cited a couple of trivial whingeing tweets and a supportive one.

A spokeswoman for ITV said :

We've had lots of lovely messages from our viewers thanking the programme for highlighting how to do a full examination - something it seems many women have been unaware and unsure of.



Soulless Censorship...

Beyond: Two Souls video game cut for a PEGI 16 rating

Link Here2nd October 2013
Sony has confirmed that the European release of Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls has been censored.

Sony says that around 5-10 seconds of footage has been edited in the European release so that the game could get a PEGI 16 rating. Sony did not say just what exactly censors in Europe found so offensive. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Ross Alexander on the PlayStation EU Blog:

There are only two amends between the EU and US versions of the game, amounting to about 5-10 seconds of gameplay that's not been removed, just edited slightly to be in line with a PEGI 16 rating.

For Beyond we wanted to make the game available to as many people as possible, hence applying for a PEGI 16 rating. The 5-10 seconds I mention above would have upped our rating to a PEGI 18, so it made perfect sense to make these two VERY minimal changes to get our planned 16 rating.

I can assure you that this does not affect the game's story at all, and that if you didn't know these scenes had been amended, you wouldn't even notice.

Beyond: Two Souls is set for release on October 11 in Europe and is exclusive to Playstation consoles.



Whingers Get a Good Slagging Off...

ASA dismisses complaints about Pot Noodle advert

Link Here2nd October 2013

A TV ad, for Pot Noodle, showed a male actor with visible stubble wearing various outfits. The character was shown in a tracksuit, two different dresses, a swim suit and tutu outfit. In the latter two outfits, the character was shown with his legs wide apart. The character said, Ever since I was little I've always dreamed of living an easy life. So, I married a footballer. I've been a WAG for 2 years now. I'm a real lady of leisure. I've even got my own fragrance. The scent's inspired by my greatest love, it's hot like a fever, spicy like chilli, divine like chicken. Piri Piri by Brian.

Two complainants challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive; and

  2. breached the Code, because it condoned and encouraged harmful discriminatory behaviour and treatment towards transsexual people.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted the ad identified the character as Brian and depicted Brian with masculine features, including visible stubble, a masculine voice and body type. In that context, we considered the ad made clear that Brian was a self-identifying man who sought an easy life that could be achieved through the lifestyle of a WAG. As such, we considered viewers were likely to interpret the portrayal as a light-hearted mockery of WAG culture rather than transsexual people. Whilst we acknowledged that some may find the ad distasteful, we considered it was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence, or condone and encourage harmful and discriminatory behaviour and treatment towards transsexual people.

On that basis, we concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility) and 4.2 and 4.8 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.



Updated: Revenge Against Revenge Porn...

Californian State Assembly and Senate pass a bill targeting 'revenge porn'

Link Here2nd October 2013
Lawmakers in California have passed a bill targeting the posting of so called revenge porn , when compromising pictures are posted after a relationship has broken up.

The bill makes it a crime to post pictures of anyone in a state of full or partial undress even if the picture was originally taken with that person's consent. But a crime would have only been committed if the pictures were posted with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and [that] the other person suffers serious emotional distress .

The bill reads:

This bill would provide that any person who photographs or records by any means the image of another, identifiable person without with his or her consent who is in a state of full or partial undress in any area in which the person being photographed or recorded has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the other person suffers serious emotional distress would constitute disorderly conduct subject to that same punishment.

Both the Senate and Assembly unanimously passed Senate Bill 255. It is now awaiting state governor, Jerry Brown, to sign it into law. Brown has 30 days to sign the bill into law, though it's unclear if he will.

Much of the bill stayed intact during its movement through the state legislature, with a single change. The final version of the bill does not cover selfies but Senator. Anthony Cannella, author of the bill, will try to include selfies, in an update next year.

Update: The state governor gives his consent

2nd October 2013. See  article from

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill outlawing so-called revenge porn and levying possible jail time for people who post naked photos of their exes after bitter breakups.

Senate Bill 255, which takes effect immediately, makes it a misdemeanor to post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without permission with the intent to cause emotional distress or humiliation. The penalty is up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.



Update: App Attack...

Chinese internet censors target mobile apps that publish news and information not sanctioned by the state

Link Here2nd October 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
A Chinese media censor has threatened to shut down mobile apps that don't comply with repressive government restrictions.

The State Internet Information Office claimed that some mobile apps were vehicles for pornography and obscene information, and harm the physical and mental health of youngsters .

The censorship will also affect apps that provide access to foreign news outlets blocked by Chinese authorities.

Under fire are apps like Zaker, China's most popular news aggregator with 17.5 million users, and Chouti, whose slogan is Publish what shouldn't be published . While the government has previously urged service providers to self-regulate to avoid the spreading of rumours , this latest more hard-line approach is a sign of diminishing patience.

From today, the government will shut down and ban any apps that fail to maintain order in news dissemination on the mobile Internet .

In the last two months, over 1,000 people have been arrested in China for crimes related to internet use. [ This equates to 4.4 arrests per million population per year. This compares with 28.3 arrests per million population per year in the UK (for just malicious communications)].

[I guess that if the size of the population is taken into account, this could be less than number of internet arrests in Britain].

Apple Duly Purges Anti-Censorship Browser from China App Store

See  article from

The strict regime of Internet censorship and surveillance enforced by the Chinese authorities drives many Internet users to seek out tools they can use to get around the restrictions, programs like OpenDoor, a browser that was available recently from the App Store in China.

Until Apple removed it.The removal of OpenDoor follows a pattern of Apple bowing to pressure from Chinese authorities, removing content from the Chinese version of its App Store to conform to the regime's demands for censorship. The removal took place in July of this year, according to the Chinese edition of Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

OpenDoor has 800,000 users on Apple devices; one third of them were or are from China, according to OpenDoor developers. Users from Iran and Pakistan, states that also practice Internet censorship, give the app high praise on its Facebook page.



Bonuses For Taking Out Medics To Be Increased?...

The International Committee of the Red Cross calls for video war games to teach the rules of war by penalising players for war crimes such as taking out medics

Link Here2nd October 2013

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) believes there is a place for international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) in video games.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has publicly stated its interest in the implications of video games that simulate real-war situations and the opportunities such games present for spreading knowledge of the law of armed conflict. The rules on the use of force in armed conflict should be applied to video games that portray realistic battlefield scenes, in the same way that the laws of physics are applied.

The ICRC is suggesting that as in real life, these games should include virtual consequences for people's actions and decisions. Gamers should be rewarded for respecting the law of armed conflict and there should be virtual penalties for serious violations of the law of armed conflict, in other words war crimes. This already exists in several conflict simulation games. Game scenarios should not reward players for actions that in real life would be considered war crimes.

The ICRC is concerned that certain game scenarios could lead to a trivialization of serious violations of the law of armed conflict. The fear is that eventually such illegal acts will be perceived as acceptable behaviour. However the ICRC is not involved in the debate about the level of violence in video games. What are some of the violations of the law of armed conflict that are of particular concern?

The ICRC is concerned about scenarios that, for instance, depict the use of torture, particularly in interrogation, deliberate attacks on civilians, the killing of prisoners or the wounded, attacks on medical personnel, facilities, and transport such as ambulances, or that anyone on the battlefield can be killed. Should video games be prohibited from depicting such acts?

Sanitizing video games of such acts is not realistic. Violations occur on real battlefields and can therefore be included in video games. The ICRC believes it is useful for players to learn from rewards and punishments incorporated into the game, about what is acceptable and what is prohibited in war.



A lesson in meaningless feminist jargon...

Teachers' union calls for lads' mags to be banned

Link Here2nd October 2013
The Association of Teachers and Morality Lecturers (ATL) has joined the campaign to get high-street retailers to ban lads' mags, criticising a supposed and unspecified damaging effect that magazines like Nuts and Zoo have on young people.

Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Morality Lecturers, said:

Not only do so-called 'Lads' Mags' portray women as dehumanised objects, but they also continue to be sold in many supermarkets and newsagents, where children can easily be exposed to them. Are the attitudes towards women and pornographic images in these magazines really what we want our children to be seeing? At ATL's conference this year our members told us resoundingly that they are worried about the increased 'pornification' of society and its pernicious effects on young people, which is why ATL wholeheartedly supports this campaign.

We congratulate the Co-Operative for taking action and look forward to seeing supermarkets empty their shelves of pornographic images. It's not only children who are exposed to this, but also the thousands of employees working in supermarkets stocking these magazines.



But the real problem for prohibitionists is that the kids see adults ENJOY drinking...

Anti-drink researchers find one in five songs in the charts has drink-related lyrics

Link Here2nd October 2013

  George Thorogood - I Drink Alone

Almost one in five songs in modern top tens contains a reference to alcoholic drinks, twice as many as ten years ago and almost three times as many as 30 years ago.

Recent number ones referring to alcohol include Rihanna's Cheers and Kesha's Tik Tok . Since 2001 lyrics about alcohol in chart-topping songs have more than doubled, according to researchers from Liverpool John Moores University.

The researchers described their findings as a major concern . The research team at Liverpool John Moores University counted mentions of alcohol in songs that reached the UK top ten in 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011. Songs that specifically mentioned drunkenness were also noted.

The proportion of hits featuring alcohol rose from 6% in 1981 to 19% in 2011. The number of references was lowest in 1991, at 2%.

The study attributes the rise of alcohol-related lyrics to an increase in the amount of U.S songs becoming popular in the UK. The analysis, published in the Journal of Music Psychology, found mentions of drink to be most common in tracks from the US and in R&B, rap and hip-hop genres.

Researcher Professor Karen Hughes claims that the hidden advertising could encourage youngsters to start drinking or lead those who already drink to consume more. She said parents should be aware of the content of songs their children listen to.

Hughes added that although lyrics cannot be censored, it may be possible to warn about references to alcohol on labels that point out sexually explicit and violent lyrics.



Offsite Article: Russia: We know what you blocked this summer...

Link Here2nd October 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Index on Censorship reports on a very long list of internet censorship actioned under a new law

See article from



Pointing Fingers at the Easily Offended...

New Zealand advert censors whinges at poster for radio channel

Link Here1st October 2013
For the second time in a year, Auckland rock station Radio Hauraki has been told to remove an advertisement featuring host Matt Heath, because it supposedly could offend children.

The billboard shows five of the station's hosts posing, including controversial Heath, with both middle fingers raised.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received several complaints about the billboard, one labelling it:

Offensive to say the least. Although it hasn't happened yet I imagine my children will have all sorts of questions about what the gesture means.

I can stop them listening to the radio station, but can't stop them looking at the billboard.

In a majority decision, the ASA upheld the complaint, claiming it was likely to cause serious offence.

The ASA found that although the gesture was relatively innocuous for the station's target audience, because the billboard was highly visible in a central city location to children and people who might be offended, the station was asked to remove it.



Update: We've Decided but we're not going to tell you yet...

Ofcom waiting for end of Woolwich murder trial before announcing their findings about rather bloody news reports about the murder

Link Here1st October 2013
  Ofcom has completed its investigation into the broadcast coverage of the killing of Fusilier Rigby on 22 May 2013. However, due to ongoing criminal proceedings, Ofcom is delaying the publication of its decisions.

Ofcom will publish its decisions on completion of the criminal proceedings.



Failing to Think...

Politicians ludicrously lambast internet censor, Ofcom, for a tiny amount of accesses to 'porn' websites

Link Here1st October 2013

Official figures indicate that over the course of three months, there have been just 4,000 attempts made to access online porn by employees working at UK TV and internet censor Ofcom. So who the bloody hell is going to regulate the regulators?, argues the conservative think tank Parliament Street.

But as Ofcom has about 750 staff then the average accesses per employee per month is 2. And hopefully both of those are to read, which is classified as porn by negligently bad blocking algorithms.

And then there is the small matter that it is Ofcom's job to access porn websites to keep tab on ATVOD's overzealous censorship and also to follow up complaints about websites associated with UK adult broadcasters.

I think the think tank should think about learning some basic arithmetic.

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