Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2013: December

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Offsite Article: Slavishly Commercial...

Link Here30th December 2013
12 Years a Slave film posters withdrawn over famous names being given prominence over the leading actor

See article from



Update: Prayer, Pussy, Propaganda and Prohibition...

State controlled Moscow cinemas ban Pussy Riot documentary

Link Here29th December 2013
Full story: Pussy Riot...Protest in a church sparks vengeful persecution
Shortly after two members of Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot were released from prison as part of a propaganda attempt to clean up Russia's public image ahead of the 2014 Sochi Games, comes news that a screening of a documentary about the group's trial and subsequent imprisonment has been shut down by officials in Moscow. The U.S. made documentary is titled, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer .

The theater where the documentary was to be screened received a letter from Sergei Kapkov, the head of Moscow's cultural department, forcing a cancellation of the screening on the basis that theaters that accept public funding are not to screen films that provoke society:

Letter Kirill Serebrennikov, the director of the Gogol Center theater, announced the move on his Facebook page and posted a copy of the letter:

Until recently, in all interviews, I would declare like a mantra: 'There's no censorship at the theater, there's no censorship at the theater.' That's it, fuck, there's censorship at the theater! Cynical, pointless and stupid.



Update: Saluting Censorship...

France is considering banning the performances of Dieudonne M'bala M'bala

Link Here29th December 2013
Full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour
France is considering banning performances by a comedian for insulting the memory of Holocaust victims and whose shows could threaten public order, the interior minister, Manuel Valls, has said.

The interior ministry is exploring legal ways to ban Dieudonne' M'bala M'bala, who has been fined repeatedly for hate speech.

Jewish groups have complained to the president, Francois Hollande, about Dieudonne's trademark straight-arm gesture, which they call a Nazi salute in reverse and a claimed link to a growing frequency of  anti-jewish remarks and acts in France.

Update: Salutations

2nd January 2013. See  article from

The San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has apologised after being photographed giving a salute considered to be antisemitic. In his apology, he said the photograph had been taken three years ago, and added that he had not known at the time that the gesture could be in any way offensive or harmful .

The French NBA star was pictured giving the quenelle , which has been described as a reverse Nazi salute , with its originator, the French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala. Dieudonne, a controversial figure whose film The Anti-Semite was banned from the 2012 Cannes festival, maintains that it is intended as an anti-establishment gesture.

Update: Calling for a ban

6th January 2013. From

The mayor of Paris has joined France's interior minister in calling for comedian Dieudonne, whose vitriolic brand of humour has outraged jews, to be banned from the stage.

Speaking on Europe 1 radio, Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, a socialist, on Sunday likened Dieudonne to a criminal who defends crimes against humanity . We must ban the performances (of Dieudonne), he said, echoing recent comments made by Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

Outraged by Dieudonne's latest jibe against Jewish radio presenter Patrick Cohen, Valls said he was examining options to ban performances by a man he brands as a little trader of hate .

Officials in several cities where Dieudonne is set to perform during a nationwide tour this month have also said they are trying to ban his show.



Update: People Watching...

US judge declares mass snooping to be constitutional

Link Here29th December 2013
A legal battle over the scope of US government surveillance took a turn in favour of the National Security Agency with a court opinion declaring that bulk collection of telephone data does not violate the constitution.

The judgement, in a case brought before a district court in New York by the American Civil Liberties Union, directly contradicts the result of a similar challenge in a Washington court last week which ruled the NSA's bulk collection program was likely to prove unconstitutional and was almost Orwellian in scale.

Friday's ruling makes it more likely that the issue will be settled by the US supreme court, although it may be overtaken by the decision of Barack Obama on whether to accept the recommendations of a White House review panel to ban the NSA from directly collecting such data.

Judge Pauley said privacy protections enshrined in the fourth amendment of the US constitution needed to be balanced against a government need to maintain a database of records to prevent future terrorist attacks:

The right to be free from searches is fundamental but not absolute. Whether the fourth amendment protects bulk telephony metadata is ultimately a question of reasonableness.

Update: Appeal

3rd January 2013. See  article from

The American Civil Liberties Union gave notice on Thursday that it will continue its legal case challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's collection of all US phone records, drawing the federal appeals courts into a decision on the controversial surveillance.

A federal judge in New York, William Pauley, gave the NSA a critical courtroom victory last week when he found the ACLU has no traction in arguing that intercepting the records of every phone call made in the United States is a violation of the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizures.

As expected, on Thursday the ACLU filed notice that it will appeal Pauley's decision before the second circuit court of appeals. The civil liberties group said in a statement that it anticipates making its case before the appellate court in the spring.

The government has a legitimate interest in tracking the associations of suspected terrorists, but tracking those associations does not require the government to subject every citizen to permanent surveillance, deputy ACLU legal director Jameel Jaffer said in the statement.



Update: Twats Blocked as Promised...

Claire Perry's website blocked by O2's crap blocking system

Link Here29th December 2013
David Cameron's Mary Whitehouse, Conservative MP Claire Perry has been campaigning for the censorship of the internet via overbroad website blocking well in excess of the claimed porn blocking.

Having got her wish granted she found out for herself, the ISP algorithms are crap and block everything including her own website.

The Independent reports that Perry's site was among those added to the blocked list by O2's blocking system. It's thought all the mentions of porn and sex on her site in relation to why we need such censorship was enough to flag it up as one requiring blocking.

An O2 spokesperson told The Independent that the network had since changed its filter, allowing access to a few of the many negligently blocked sites.



Updated: Propaganda Battle...

China Recommends...The computer game Battlefield 4

Link Here28th December 2013
A Chinese newspaper has accused the US makers of computer game Battlefield 4 of demonising their country with cultural aggression .

The article, which appeared in military paper Zhongguo Guofangbao last week, also accuses American company Electronic Arts of discrediting China with cultural aggression .

It is a first person shooter game with players taking control of an American soldier in a conflict against a rogue Chinese general and missions include an attack on Beijing.

According a comment piece in the South China Morning Post:

When western countries would make war games in the past, they would settle on Russia if they needed an imaginary enemy.

But in recent years, with the boosting of China's national strength, China threat theories run rampant, and foreign companies are increasingly keen to put the Sino-US conflict in their games as a gimmick to attract attention.

The use of video discredit one country's image in the eyes of other countries is a new form of cultural penetration and aggression.

Update: Duly banned

28th December 2013. See  article from

Due to the supposed discrediting of China's national image in the futuristic plot line of the game, Battlefield 4 has been banned from sale as of this week. The Chinese Ministry of Culture said the game is to be removed from physical shelves as well as all China-based online sales channels.

Those that've already downloaded the game in China will be unable to access any online content and are encouraged to delete the game from their consoles and PCs. The Chinese Ministry of Culture suggests that Battlefield 4:

Is an illegal game, with content that endangers national security, and is all about a cultural invasion.

Battlefield 4 relevant available downloads, patches, news, and other requirements [shall be] deleted within 24 hours.

Apparently the bit in the game where American soldiers must march into China to help in a state of social instability is not entirely welcome as a possible futuristic outcome in the country at the moment.



A Danger to Democracy...

David Blunkett calls for libel censorship to prevent people mocking politicians

Link Here28th December 2013
David Blunkett has called for satirical TV shows such as Mock the Week to be liable for censorship by those they mock.

The former Labour Home Secretary claimed that the line between comedy and politically-motivated abuse was increasingly being crossed on programmes such as the BBC series Mock The Week , which may require tighter censorship as a consequence. Blunkett spewed:

The protection that broadcasters in particular have is 'well, everybody knows this is comedy don't they?' So it's not libellous, it's not dangerous in the sense that it's targeted and therefore vicious towards an individual. And I think we need to watch that.

Sometimes actually it isn't comedy, it's comment and current affairs in the middle of what is supposed to be a comedy programme. There's a bit more of that going on at the moment.

But of course the whinge is personal as Blunkett's blindness has been the target of Mock The Week' s panel of stand-up comics. A joke in a 2010 episode ran: Sometimes Ministers would break up boring Cabinet meetings by convincing David Blunkett he was black.

Dan Patterson, Mock The Week producer and co-creator, expressed his apologies to Blunkett if he was offended by the blindness gag, which had not prompted any complaints at the time of broadcast. The show has since softened under a different line-up.



Update: Rushing to Recommend...

Adore You, the latest sexy music video from Miley Cyrus

Link Here28th December 2013
Full story: Miley Cyrus...Gender extremists are aghast at sexy Miley
The easily 'outraged' are enjoying the latest music video from Miley Cyrus called Adore You

Supposedly even the singer's own fans have joined the backlash against her latest raunchy video, branding it gross', sick' and pornographic'.

The former Disney star has been accused of cynically exploiting' her hordes of teenage fans by releasing an X-rated video of herself on Christmas Day simulating masturbation to the sound of her new single Adore You.

It has prompted one of the Government's main whingers about online child safety, the secretary of the Children's Charity Commission John Carr, to call for immediate action to ensure such videos have 18+ age ratings. He spouts:

Lots of children and young teenagers will be browsing the internet with the tablets and mobile phones they have been given for Christmas. And one of the first things they will have stumbled across on Boxing Day is this explicit video. Instead of being freely available online it should be hidden behind age-filters.'

Pippa Smith of Safer Media, a campaigner against violence, sex and strong language in the media, called the video a new low' in teenage pop culture.

Meanwhile the video is proving very popular on YouTube with 15 million views. Hardly sounds like a fan backlash.



From Bad to Worse...

Cameron warns newspapers to sign up for the new UK press censor lest Labour dream up something worse

Link Here27th December 2013
David Cameron has warned Britain's newspapers that they should sign up urgently to the Royal Charter passed by Parliament earlier this year.

Cameron claimed a less liberal, enlightened government in the future might play hard ball and enforce legislation. Translation? Do a deal with the Tories or Labour will bring out the big stick.

According to the editor of The Spectator, Fraser Nelson, who interviewed Cameron a while ago, this threat was thought up in the back seat of the prime ministerial Jaguar.

Nelson published the quotes on his blog only today, claiming there wasn't enough space in his magazine's lavish coverage of its big prime ministerial interview to include a mention of press censorship. In teh interview Cameron raises the spectre of a heavy-handed Labour administration saying: \

I think I've done my bit. But it's up to you guys now -- and, as I say, I think you might be at risk if you don't do it. Not from me, but from a less liberal, enlightened government in the future. Remember, everyone else wanted to legislate.



Confidential Report: An Australian Transgression...

Documentary finds it is effectively banned as too sexy for R18+, and too violent for X18+

Link Here26th December 2013
Confidential Report: An Australian Transgression is a 2010 Australia documentary by Robert Cettl.
With Mel Kelly, Teri Louise Kelly and Desiree Laz. IMDb

A politically charged documentary film, deemed suitable for inclusion in Australia's national film archive, which examines the ethics of censorship has found itself unable to be shown publicly after seemingly falling foul of the very laws it explores. Unable to obtain a rating or certification, the film is now effectively banned by the very censorship it sought to expose.

Since the early 2000s limited scenes of actual sex are allowed in Australia under an R18+ rating. Films like Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs , John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus , Lars Von Trier's Anti-Christ , Gaspar Noe's Irreversible , Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses can be shown.

However, while the X18+ rating prohibits any violence, sexual violence or assaultive language in a film with actual sex, the presence of limited actual sex within the R18+ rating allows for an aesthetic combination of hardcore sex, violence and sexual violence, subject to the impact test. [meaningless bollox where by the censors claim to have some objective scale of censorability. Anything they want to ban or cut they describe it as a high impact, and then say it is banned because it is high impact, as if this was some sort of justification].

The intent of Confidential Report: an Australian Transgression is an exploration of these aesthetics and the censorship agenda that supports them, in the context of the specific underground Adelaide, South Australian community that deploys them as artistic tropes and is not in any way offended by them.

The film thus deliberately includes examples of all prohibited content -- actual sex, assaultive language, violence, sexual violence, blasphemy -- but staged in such a matter as to be constantly self-referential and, in terms of the impact test, comparatively mild and as aesthetics, unpolished, raw, home movie and social media inspired.

In so doing, the film depicts (interpretively) exactly the offensive aesthetics that straddle the R18+, X18+ and RC classifications.

As Confidential Report film includes sexually explicit scenes as well as both violence and sexual violence (and sexually assaultive language in performance), it deliberately includes taboo aesthetics as delineated in the Australian Film Classification Board Guidelines as prohibited. It arguably falls between Australia's two adults-only ratings R and X (for non-violent erotica).



Update: 'Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow'...

Russian church whinges at a version of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband

Link Here26th December 2013
Full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols
Russian police have opened a probe into a play based on Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband staged by Moscow's MKhT theater, which the Russian Orthodox church claimed to be "blasphemous."

The probe into Idealny Muzh. Komediya (An Ideal Husband. A Comedy) , written and directed by Konstantin Bogomolov , was opened in response to complaints by four members of the public.

The complaints may be linked to comments by the Russian Orthodox church which earlier criticized the performance. Perennial whinger, and Russian Orthodox Church spokesman, Vsevolod Chaplin was quoted as saying:

From my point of view, [the performance] contained the profanation of the crucifix symbol, as an almost totally naked woman imitated it.

In late November, a performance of the play was disrupted by Orthodox activists, who went onstage, shouting blasphemy accusations.



Good Game...

TV and computer games cleared of causing behavioural problems by University of Glasgow research

Link Here26th December 2013
A recently released University of Glasgow study that takes the data from a survey of 11,000 children born between 2000 and 2002 comes to the conclusion that playing video games - even at a young age - does not lead to behavioral problems.

The authors of the study aimed to examine both television and video games screen time, in the hopes of finding connections with attention disorders, anger issues, and other problems that might be connected to both. Researchers wondered aloud if games may have more powerful effects due to active user engagement, identification with characters and repeated rehearsal and reinforcement.

But their research went in another direction. They learned that exposure to video games had no effect on behavior, attention or emotional issues, and that watching three or more hours of television starting at age 5 did lead to a small increase in behavioral problems in youngsters between 5 and 7. Television and video games did not lead to attentional or emotional problems and there seemed to be no difference between boys and girls in the survey results.

The survey relied heavily on parents reporting average screen time and later behavioral problems, but the size of the research pool -- more than 13,000 families -- left researchers confident their results were solid. Researchers also said they modified the results to take into account various parenting approaches and socio-economic differences.



Large-scale public executions in North Korea for watching foreign films or possessing a Bible...

Link Here26th December 2013
Approximately 80 people have been publicly executed in the despotic country of North Korea, some for minor offences such as watching foreign films or being found in possession of a Bible.

The large-scale public executions, reported by South Korean media, took place in seven cities across the impoverished country.

In one such mass execution, 10,000 people were herded into a stadium and forced to watch as a number of people were shot with machine guns. The condemned men were reportedly lashed with poles, hooded, and then sprayed with machine-gun fire.

South Korean media reported some of the men were put to death for minor crimes such as distributing pornography, watching South Korean films and using prostitutes.

None of those put to death in the recent executions had committed capital crimes such as treason or terrorism but mass executions are sometimes used to deter interest in foreign influence in the reclusive state.

The regime is obviously afraid of potential changes in people's mind-sets and is preemptively trying to scare people off, said an official of the defector-run North Korea Intellectual Solidarity website, Agence France-Presse reported.



Update: O2 takes down its URL blocking checker...

It provided excellent transparency into what websites were blocked. Unfortunately for O2 this revealed how cheap, shoddy and negligent its blocking algorithm is

Link Here25th December 2013
Following complaints, media attention and general realisation that O2's website blocking algorithm is shite, O2 have permanently taking down the transparency tool.

While O2 are the only company providing any transparency with their checker , this is a bad move. People need to see how the filters work, and the checker helps them do this.

O2 claimed on the website that the facility closed for maintenance , but no doubt everyone will see through the propaganda bollox an realise the closure is due to bad publicity for the web blocking.

Before being alerted by the media, O2 were blocking general access to Childline, the NSPCC, the Police and many others. Pink News reports that: O2 has labeled Stonewall, BBC News, the Conservative Party and the Number 10 Downing Street website as unsuitable or uninteresting to under 12s.

What this emphasises is that transparency needs to be of right, and not something that can be withdrawn for commercial or public relations purposes. Websites need to identify that they are blocked, or not. Complaints should not only be dealt with because of Twitter campaigns.

ORG is now intending to generate a tool for anybody to check website blocking by any ISP. See project to make filtering and blocking transparent  from



Offsite Article: Keir Starmer advocates for cultural guidelines for police...

Link Here 25th December 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
The former director Director of Public Prosecutions for the Crown Prosecution Service, has been active in drawing up guidelines for sensitive areas of criminal law. [But these still allowed the persecutions to continue]

See article from



Offsite Article: Discriminatory ISP Blocking?...

Link Here25th December 2013
The secret censorship stopping you seeing gay websites Companies you have never heard of are busy blacklisting LGBTI websites, and in doing so they may be breaking equality laws

See article from



The Daily Mail Recommends...

Homeland Season 3

Link Here24th December 2013
The Daily Mail claims that Channel 4 is 'under fire' for graphic violence as it shows brutal climax to Homeland.

[A few] viewers were left 'outraged' last night after Channel 4 screened a brutally graphic public execution in the season finale of hit-show Homeland.

[A few] disgusted viewers took to Twitter in rage, and critics blasted the episode as offensive , saying the show's creators should end the production.

One person tweeted: Homeland. Brutal. I'm drained.

Another wrote: #homeland brutal scenes not really full of festive good cheer!

One woman said: Homeland is so brutal, ffs it makes me so angry and upset

While another commented: Homeland season 3 finale was brutal. Actually a bit stunned...

What the hell??? How disgusting is that scene in Homeland, another person said.

And then of course the Daily went through all the best bits of the violence delighting in the gory detail.



Extract: Crap Website Blocking at BT...

Kids who's parents opt to block gay and sex education sites probably need the information more than most

Link Here24th December 2013

Over the weekend, people were appalled to discover that BT filters supported homophobia, with a category blocking, sites where the main purpose is to provide information on subjects such as respect for a partner, abortion, gay and lesbian lifestyle, contraceptive, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

BT have since reworded this description to remove the gay and lesbian reference , but given that their filtering is provided by an unnamed third party supplier it seems highly unlikely that the filter itself has changed overnight -- merely the description. Such measures would never be taken against the heterosexual lifestyle - this is discrimination, pure and simple, hard-coded into our national communications infrastructure.

Of course it's impossible to see what's been blocked other than through tedious trial and error. One website owner (@pseudomonas) asked BT on Twitter for information about whether their site was blocked, and their experience was something like talking to a brick wall who only speaks French. The bottom line here is that even parents have no idea what they're actually blocking, and we have no way of assessing the harm caused by BT's measures.

...Read the full article

Meanwhile O2 unblock a few high profile unfairly blocked sites, no doubt leaving millions more smaller sites still unfairly blocked

See  article from

The telecoms company O2 has been forced to amend its so-called porn filter after it negligently blocked access to charity sites including ChildLine, the NSPCC and the Samaritans.

The recently unblocked sites are:

  • National charity dedicated to preventing child abuse
  • Online version of the NSPCC's ChildLine helpline for kids in trouble, especially busy at Christmas
  • Highly regarded charity helpline is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and also sees its greatest demand at Christmas
  • Portal to a huge range of government websites
  • Democracy in action
  • British Library, with details of events including latest exhibition, Georgians Revealed
  • Devizes MP Claire Perry, campaigner for tighter controls on internet content

Update: Go Away Cameron

25th December 2013. See

I built this Chrome extension to bypass UK's censorship. It is the easiest way to access blocked sites. Simply install the GAC Chrome extension, login, and the blocked sites are immediately bypassed.




Updated: O2 Bullshit...

O2 claims that its 'block everything' website censorship system has the BBFC classifying all websites. In fact the BBFC just provides a flimsy set of classification guidelines for ISPs to read (and obviously ignore)

Link Here24th December 2013
An interesting piece from Strange Things Are Happening

Despite Cameron's assurance that only the most pornographic sites would be blocked -- he specifically stated that things like The Sun 's topless Page 3 girls would not be caught by filtering -- it turns out that the companies are all using their own systems, often supplied by filtering companies in the USA and China (yes, a nation that is home to companies that think a female nipple is obscene and a Communist dictatorship where free speech is virtually non-existent) and which use a simplistic, catch-all method of defining porn. And of course, it's not just 'porn' that is being restricted. Adult material was the Trojan Horse used to introduce wholesale blocking of a wide variety of content.

At the moment, only O2 actually allow anyone to check which sites are blocked under their system. You can depress yourself with it here: Naturally, Strange Things Are Happening is forbidden, listed as 'pornography' (here's a challenge -- find me a single genuinely pornographic image on this site). But the last couple of days have seen the internet digging into the filters and finding that, yes, a whole load of innocuous sites are also blocked. These include Childline, The Samaritans, various sex education and domestic abuse sites, the British Library and even and Inevitably, it seems that pretty much every LGBT site is blocked.

Bizarrely, O2 have tried to blame this on the BBFC. The British censors have drawn up guidelines as to what is considered 'adult content' (you can read them here and yes, they are problematic), but they're certainly not vetting individual sites, because that would require a staff a hundred times bigger than the one they have -- but 02 have been telling people on Twitter "all websites are classified by BBFC" , which suggests that either someone doesn't understand how their own system works or that someone is being rather economical with the truth. Because I can pretty much guarantee that the BBFC would not classify The Samaritans or Childline as 'adult content'. Oh, and guess what Mr Cameron? Page 3 is also blocked.

O2 have been explaining their crappy blocking system on Twitter:

O2: @C9J Websites are classified by BBFC ( ) whether 18+ or restricted for under 12 audience, or open for everyone.

Read the full article

So what about the BBFC website classification guidelines?

See mobile internet website classification from

In fact the BBFC guidelines on website classification are almost incompetently flimsy. They have a background that hasn't really prepared them for being used for ISP website blocking. The rules were drawn up by an obscure group (The Independent Mobile Classification Board, IMCB) to classify content for mobile phones. This was before the internet became available on phones and was more about classifying the likes of Playboy video clips that the mobile companies had hoped to sell to their subscribers.

The rules are more about video clips than wider internet conten,t and in fact the BBFC guidelines for film and video censorship map well into this initial requirement. The BBFC recently took over the mobile content censorship task and updated the guidelines in line with current video classification rules.

Another historical characteristic of the guidelines is that they only support 2 classifications:

  1. Available for all (not necessarily suitable for all) or
  2. Restricted to over 18s

However the guidelines are really only based on film/video issues. They simply do not cover the myriad of issues about websites. Eg they do not speak of how website links effect the classification of websites, does a non-porn site linking to a porn site get classified as a porn site. The guidelines speak of frequency of strong language that makes sense in the context of film or video but  say nothing helpful about what frequency means in terms of a multipage website with mixed content.

One wonders how the BBFC would classify its own site given that it has an extensive database of hardcore pornography descriptions. It would be interesting if it declared itself to be age rated.

In fact it would be fascinating to get a few website rating from the BBFC.

What would be the rating of YouTube. It has loads of video 18 rated content (albeit not much hardcore porn). In reality it would be totally untenable to give YouTube any sort of age restricted rating).

We would all be fascinated to know the rating for The Sun's website complete with Page 3.

And of course the ultimate, is know how the Daily Mail website would be officially rated.

Update: BBFC sort out O2 and their bullshit

24th December 2013. From Twitter

In response to bullshit tweets from O2, eg:

O2: @C9J Websites are classified by BBFC ( ) whether 18+ or restricted for under 12 audience, or open for everyone.

The BBFC have tweeted:

We've been working with @ O2 today to correct how they communicate the BBFC's role in classifying content available via mobile phones

We provide the Classification Framework which is applied by @ O2 & their commercial content suppliers ( )



Censorial Thought of the Day...

Mediawatch-UK to celebrate 50 years since the founder's call to arms by tweeting a Mary Whitehouse 'thought of the day'

Link Here24th December 2013
Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch-UK writes on the group's blog:

2014 will be landmark year for Mediawatch-UK.  It will be 50 years since Mary Whitehouse issued her call to arms at Birmingham Town hall in 1964 and we will be marking the occasion with a series of initiatives.  As you can see we are adopting a new logo for our anniversary year which we hope will remind people of our longevity and the continued support for our campaign.

Beginning on 1 st January we will be tweeting a quote from Mary Whitehouse's writing every other day.  It is ironic that much of what we know about her views has come to us filtered by the media itself. This will be an opportunity to hear Mary Whitehouse in her own words taken from the books she wrote during her lifetime.  I think many people will find it quite surprising.

You can follow the initiative on Twitter - @MrsMWhitehouse and Facebook - and we will also be updating our dedicated website -- -- with the quotes.  If you are not a Twitter or Facebook user you can subscribe on the website and you'll receive an email every time a new quote is added.



Update: Kitchen Closed...

Singapore's heavy handed registration requirements for news websites silences Breakfast Network

Link Here24th December 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Singapore...Heavy handed censorship control of news websites
A Singaporean news site known as Breakfast Network was forced to close down after it rejected onerous new government registration requirements. Founded by former Straits Times journalist and blogger Bertha Henson, the site features social and political news and commentary. Henson elected to cease website operations after failing to submit documents demanded by the Media Development Authority (MDA). Despite warnings from the MDA, Breakfast Network is maintaining an online presence through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Under a section of the Broadcasting (Class License) Act introduced last June , a corporate entity or website providing political commentary must register with the MDA to ensure that it does not receive foreign funding. Aside from revealing its funding source, the website must submit the personal information of its editors and staff.

Breakfast Network was ordered by the MDA to register on or before December 17 but the website editor said the government's technical requirements and registration forms contained too many vague provisions .

For its part, the MDA directed Breakfast Network to cease its online service, including its Facebook and Twitter publications:

Since Breakfast Network has decided not to submit the registration form, and will therefore not be complying with the registration notification, MDA will require that Breakfast Network cease its online service.

Netizens and media groups quickly denounced the overly-intrusive requirements imposed by the government and warned against excessive media regulation. Cherian George described the site's closure as death by red tape . Braema Mathi of the human rights group Maruah worried that the registration requirement has chilled and reduced the space for free expression in Singapore. She continued:

As a regulator tasked with developing the media landscape in Singapore, MDA should consider the substantive impact of its decisions, not just its own subjective intent. Registration requirements can operate to censor free expression as effectively as, and more insidiously than, outright demands to remove content.

The closure of a leading socio-political website has put a spotlight on what the Singaporean government calls a light touch approach Internet regulation. Many groups believe this and other new policies are undermining media freedom in the country.



Update: Land Grab...

Closure orders for sex workers' flats being approved regardless of the evidence

Link Here24th December 2013
Full story: Sex Sells in Soho...But the authorities aren't so keen
A Closure Order against a flat in Tisbury Court, Soho, was thrown out of court this morning. District Judge Barrie found that insufficient steps had been taken to contact the owner of the premises.

This decision is in contrast to the rulings of District Judge Susan Williams who presided over approximately ten other closure order cases against Soho flats over the last two weeks. She seemed determined to approve the closures regardless of the evidence or lack of it.

The Closure Orders came about from police raids on premises on 4 December when over 200 officers broke down doors, put women out on the street and boarded up the flats. All the other flats remain closed.

Cari Mitchell from the English Collective of Prostitutes commented:

We were in court to witness every case where sex workers gave evidence about their situation. We saw that Judge Williams was strikingly biased in favour of the police. She disregarded evidence from sex workers who bravely came forward to explain that they worked independently and were not being controlled. We are encouraged by this victory and we strongly urge women whose flats have been closed to appeal. To deprive mothers and grandmothers of their livelihood, particularly at Christmas, is cruel and sadistic. Haven't the police got better things to do to protect women and girls from rape and sexual assault than to target women working consensually?

Actor Rupert Everett, who was in court for two of the cases, described the closure orders as a land grab . This is in reference to local concerns that the closures of sex workers' flats aim to evict the original population of Soho to gentrify this historic area. Last week, a decision approving Soho Estates' massive Walkers Court development was waved through by Westminster Council planning committee despite many objections, including from the Soho Society which represents most of the residents and businesses and from English Heritage.



Offsite Article: Free Speech and Religion...

Link Here24th December 2013
Defending the right to be offended by Index on Censorship

See article from



Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues...

MPAA cuts for PG-13 and reports that the UK 15 rated cinema release is uncut

Link Here23rd December 2013
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a 2013 USA comedy by Adam McKay.
With Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate and Paul Rudd. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

The US Theatrical Version was cut for an MPAA PG-13 rating for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence.

Hollywood website Collider asked Will Ferrell and David Koechner about the cuts that were made for an MPAA PG-13 rating:

  • Ferrell said that the crack scene was a battle, that's been augmented. Originally there was more footage and the shots were wider. Also the censors weren't impressed when Brian actually gives the recipe for crack on the air! Some of the missing footage can be seen in the British trailer, the Vials of Smiles.
  • The word vagina was said too many times in the 50 Greatest Vaginas in History. These had to be changed to "gina," "va-jay-jay".
  • There's a scene where Brian says "We can do stories on the amount of ejaculate on hotel duvets". This had to be changed to avoid use of the term term ejaculate .

Uncut in the UK?

As well as the comment that the UK trailer contains deleted footage, it is reported on Twitter that the UK cinema release contains footage that was cut in the US.

In the UK, the cinema release was passed 15 uncut for infrequent strong sex references and hard drug use. The BBFC Insight explained further:

There are infrequent strong visual and verbal sex references, including a scene in which a man graphically explains different types of condoms, and a scene in which a man explains in detail how to perform oral sex on a woman. The film also contains frequent comic sex references of a less detailed nature.

There is a scene in which men are seen smoking crack, which is comically presented as part of a news investigation. However, the men doing the smoking are subsequently arrested. There are also verbal references to drug use. There are occasional scenes showing adults drinking alcohol and a scene in which a man has a cigar in his mouth.

The film contains one use of strong language ('fuck'), as well as some milder bad language, including uses of wanker , dick , shit , bullshit , bastard , bloody , son of a bitch and asshole . There is also some discriminatory language and behavior, all of which is clearly disapproved of. In one scene, rival news teams engage in a comic mock battle with makeshift weapons. This includes some heavy blows, as well as comic sight of an arm being severed and an eyeball landing on a hockey stick. There is also a scene in which Ron is depressed and attempts to hang himself. The attempt fails and there is no detail.

More to Come

Director Adam McKay has previously said that the improvisational nature of the film has provides loads of alternative jokes. He is putting together another version with alternative dialogue.



Update: Searching for More Censorship...

Google reports a 68% increase in government requests to censor its content

Link Here23rd December 2013
Google recently published an update to its semi-annual Transparency Report, and the latest figures show an ongoing increase in the efforts of governments around the world to censor content on services like Google and YouTube.

The new figures show that governments made 3,846 takedown requests in the first half of 2013, which is up from 2,285 requests in the previous six month period, a 68% increase. Plus of course the requests that Google is not allowed to tell us about. The published requests targeted 24,737 pieces of content.

Google says it complied in only one third of the cases. Google refers to the requests as censorship and cited:

[A] worrying upward trend in the number of government requests, and underscores the importance of transparency around the processes governing such requests.

The increase in this report appears tied to a spike in requests from Turkey, which demanded the most takedowns of any country (1,673). The second biggest number came from the United States (545), which was followed by Brazil, Russia and India.



More Speed Less Checks...

A new Italian law will speed up internet take downs leaving little time to consider the validity of the request

Link Here23rd December 2013
A new package of regulation has been passed in Italy, cutting the costs and time needed to get sites blocked or copyright infringing work removed from the internet.

The new rules, which gives internet censor, AgCom, the power to block users' access to certain websites in the country, received the green light after a five-month long battle. The package of regulations will come into effect on 31 March next year and has received a warm welcome from the entertainment industry while drawing intense criticism from a coalition of lawyers and activists threatening to challenge it in Italy's highest administrative court.

With the new provisions, if AgCom agrees an Italian-hosted site is infringing rights-holders' copyright, the watchdog can order its hosting provider to remove the digital works in question. Alternatively, it can also ask ISPs to block their customers' access to the site, whether the site is hosted in Italy or not. Providers have three working days to comply with AgCom's decision. In total, from the filing of the complaint to AgCom's verdict, the whole process should last no more than 35 days.

However, some lawyers and activists say that by speeding up the process, the new regulations pave the way for unfair verdicts. Guido Scorza, a lawyer and expert in online law said:

Copyright is a complicate matter and I don't see how AgCom, which doesn't have a dedicated copyright team, could explore all the nuances of certain cases with the necessary diligence in such a short time.

ISPs too are deeply concerned about the new law since they could risk a fine up to EUR250,000 if they don't comply with AgCom's rulings in time. Dino Bortolotto, president of ISP association Assoprovider, told ZDNet:

The regulation is weighted in favour of copyright holders and doesn't even mention the costs that ISPs will bear in order to comply with orders that are likely to become more frequent. We will devote many man-hours to operations carried out in favour of people that don't need money. It is as if we are going to work for Elton John for free.



Offsite Article: Ofcom's draft work programme for 2014/15...

Link Here23rd December 2013
Ofcom launch public consultation on what should be censored next. Perhaps a surprising lack of new ideas for the censorship of internet or TV content

See article from



Drawing the Lines...

BBFC podcast 17 on the subject of classifying anime

Link Here22nd December 2013
The BBFC writes:

In our final podcast of 2013, we discuss classifying anime and interview BBFC Director David Cooke about key film classification decisions from 2013.

And the detailed topic of discussion is the classification of Japanese anime.



Update: Doesn't Know When to Stop...

Nymphomaniac set for Volume 1 and 2 Director's Cuts and Producer's Cuts

Link Here22nd December 2013
  Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 is a 2013 Denmark/Germany/France/Belgium/UK drama by Lars von Trier.
With Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård and Stacy Martin. YouTube icon IMDb

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has been steadily hyping content too shocking for mainstream audiences. Former child stars in hard-core sex scenes, and soon we will get a chance to check out the claims.

The Hollywood Reporter says that the prestigious Berlin Film Festival will play host to the world premiere of to the director's cut version of Nymphomaniac: Volume 1.

Nymphomaniac stars recurring von Trier leading lady Charlotte Gainsbourg as Joe, the self-confessed sex addict for which the drama is named. After being beaten and left for dead in the street, Joe is taken in by a kindly stranger. With him, she shares her life story, full of twisted trysts, casual sex, and serious kinks.

The initially reported plan was Nymphomaniac would be cut in two versions. One would be a (digitally faked) hardcore version The other would be a tamer version. However, Joe's odyssey of sexual adventure ballooned into a running time of over four hours, and from there talk switched from two versions of one film to two volumes divided by chapters.

The Wall Street Journal reports that In general, apart from scenes with oral sex, the onscreen activity is not as graphic as in adult fare (In addition, unlike in real porn, body doubles are used). Also, the film often portrays sex as a mechanical, unemotional act. Von Trier seems to want to show that appetite for sex is human, but that it also sometimes makes humans act inhuman.

Von Trier's cut clocked in at over five and a half hours long. From there, producers were looking to trim Nymphomaniac to four hours, and then split that running time in half for Volumes 1 & 2 . This trimmed producer's cut is what is expected to debut in Denmark on Christmas Day.

Those seeing Nymphomaniac in Berlin will be seeing the director's cut that those in the US and Denmark will see the Producer's Cut..

In the US, Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 will be On Demand March 6th with a limited theatrical release following on March 21st. Nymphomaniac: Volume 2 will make its way to On Demand by April 3rd, with its theatrical run following on April 18th.



Extract: Cumming for Bigfoot...

Book censorship of monster porn by Amazon and co

Link Here22nd December 2013

In October, the online news site The Kernel published an incendiary story called An Epidemic of Filth, claiming that online bookstores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith and others were selling self-published ebooks that featured rape fantasies, incest porn and graphic descriptions of bestiality and child abuse.

The story ignited a media firestorm in the U.K, with major news outlets like the Daily Mail, The Guardian, and the BBC reporting on the sales of sick ebooks.

Some U.K.-based ebook retailers responded with public apologies, and WHSmith went so far as to shut down its website altogether, releasing a statement saying that it would reopen once all self-published eBooks have been removed and we are totally sure that there are no offending titles available.

The response in the U.S. was somewhat more muted, but most of the retailers mentioned in the piece, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, began quietly pulling hundreds of titles from their online shelves --- an event Kobo coo Michael Tamblyn referred to last month as erotica-gate .

...Read the full article



Recommended by the End Violence Against Women Coalition...

Robin Thicke wins top award for his chart topping sensation, Blurred Lines

Link Here 22nd December 2013
Full story: Robin Thicke and Blurred Lines...Sexy music video offends the easily offended
All that grinding with topless ladies, twerking with Miley Cyrus has earnt US singer Robin Thicke a shiny new accolade, that of sexist of the year .

The Blurred Lines chart-topper received the title from the End Violence Against Women Coalition after the lyrics to his worldwide number one were deemed rapey by some critics.

More than 60 member groups of the coalition voted in the sexist of the year poll, which saw Prime Minister David Cameron come second -- the same slot he landed in last year.

Thicke's controversial video and sexist lyrics led to last summer's Blurred Lines being banned in more than 20 universities up and down the UK , with students' unions acting in an effort to end rape culture and lad banter on campus .

The End Violence Against Women Coalition's Sarah Green extended her heartfelt congratulations to a worthy winner .

But with so many organisations generously raising awareness for the single, then perhaps it was inevitable that Thicke's Blurred Lines would be a hit. In fact it was named this week as iTunes' best-selling single of 2013.



Update: Green Light for The Sun...

Lincoln University students vote down proposed campus ban on Page 3

Link Here22nd December 2013
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun
University of Lincoln students have voted to allow The Sun to remain on sale on campus following a referendum of the student body.

A motion had been proposed following objections to the newspaper's regular page 3 feature. Proposers claimed that the topless model shots printed by the tabloid were objectifying women and undermining equality. Others argued that it was a woman's choice to take part in glamour modelling.

Several other British universities have banned the red-top from campus shops, including Leeds, Birmingham City, Bradford, Essex, Kingston, Manchester and East Anglia.

A total of 1,310 students cast their vote and 52% supported the sale of The Sun at the University of Lincoln.



Offsite Article: Twitter trolls are not 'normal' guys...

Link Here22nd December 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
The fact that just two loners are being done for the trolling of Caroline Criado-Perez explodes the myth of endemic misogyny online. By Rosa Minogue

See article from



Offsite Article: Modern slavery: an invented crime...

Link Here22nd December 2013
Full story: Trafficking Hype...Trafficking figures hopelessly over exaggerated
The myth of modern slavery is built on dodgy stats and political opportunism. By Frank Furedi

See article from



Extract From the Archive: Diehard...

BBFC reveals that back in 1988 Die Hard was an easy 18 but not a hard 18

Link Here21st December 2013

Die Hard was first submitted to the BBFC in July 1988.

The depiction of violence was the main focus for the BBFC, and these reports explain clearly how the careful choreography of the action worked at the 18 category. Much is left to the imagination and Bruce Willis diffuses much of the violence with his persona . Whilst there are some close-up shots of injury details the examiners recognise that these do not revel in sadism for the sake of it .

Overall, the depiction of violence avoids any harmful selling of brutality , and the team were confident that Die Hard could sit comfortably at the 18 category without any cuts.

...Read the full article



Update: Public Interest...

UK news broadcasters cleared by Ofcom over bloody interview with Lee Rigby murderer

Link Here21st December 2013
Broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Sky News are understood to have been cleared of breaking TV censorship rules by airing graphic footage of soldier Lee Rigby's murder.

TV censor Ofcom received nearly 700 complaints about TV news coverage of the Woolwich attack in which Rigby died on 22 May, which included graphic footage filmed by a member of the public on a mobile phone of one of the assailants with blood on his hands.

Michael Adelbolajo and Michael Adebowale were convicted of murdering Rigby thsi week at the Old Bailey.

Ofcom had been waiting on the end of the trial before announcing their decision whether to uphold complaints about the news coverage. It is now understood that Ofcom has cleared all the broadcasters on the basis that showing the footage was in the public interest.

A spokesman for Ofcom said:

Ofcom plans to publish the full and detailed outcome of its investigations under the broadcasting code in its regular broadcast bulletin, with the next one due out early in the new year.

Update: Sentenced

27th February 2013. See  article from

The two terrorists who murdered British soldier Lee Rigby on a south London street fought with guards in the dock of the court yards from the grieving family of the soldier they butchered as a judge sentenced the mastermind of the attack to die in prison.

Michael Adebolajo who hacked at Rigby's head, was sentenced to a whole-life term for leading the first al-Qaida- inspired terrorist attack on British soil to claim a life since the 7 July bombings eight years ago. The sentence means he is unlikely to ever be released.

His accomplice, Michael Adebowale, who stabbed at the soldier's torso, was ordered to serve a minimum of 45 years in jail. Both men had been convicted unanimously by a jury in December.

The men disrupted sentencing at the Old Bailey, with the dead soldier's family sitting nearby, as the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, branded them traitors to their religion. The judge began sentencing for the sickening and pitiless attack by saying that Adebolajo and Adebowale were converts to Islam who became radicalised and extremists.

Adebolajo had claimed his act of butchery was a military strike commanded by God and that he was a soldier of Allah.



Conjuring up an estimate of widespreadness of offence...

ASA dismisses whinges about TV trailers for The Conjuring being a bit scary for kids

Link Here 21st December 2013
The ASA doesn't seem to have much to go on with tiny amount of complaints , often just one. Yet it is quick to claim the ability to be able to say how 'widespread' the offence is for a particular advert. The censor is quick to say that just one complaint is enough to show widespread offence yet in this case the censor arbitrarily says that 13 complaints doesn't indicate widespread offence.

Seven TV ads for the cinema release of the Conjuring, a certificate 15 film:

  • a. The first ad featured a tolling bell throughout. Scenes included a girl being invisibly pulled down a bed, a screaming woman lying face down on the floor holding on to a door frame, a girl looking up a dark staircase and a woman lighting a match and screaming when a pair of clapping hands suddenly appeared behind her. Dialogue from the film featured in the ad included It's latched itself to your family and it's feeding off you , Look what she made me do , I see the dark entity that haunts your house , What we have here is something inhuman and It's something that's never walked the earth .
  • b. The second ad was interspersed with shots of a cinema audience watching and reacting to the film with screams, covering their faces and looking shocked. The ad featured the woman on the floor and the girl being pulled down the bed, as well as a woman being violently pushed into a closed door, a scary doll's face and the sound of a giggling child. Dialogue included Something awful happened here , Look what she made me do and Oh God! . Menacing music built to a crescendo.
  • c. The third ad included the scenes of a woman lighting a match and screaming when a pair of clapping hands suddenly appeared behind her and being violently pushed into a closed door. A woman was heard screaming for help.
  • d. The fourth ad, which lasted 10 seconds, featured a young girl screaming, the woman lighting a match and screaming when a pair of clapping hands appeared, the girl being pulled down the bed and the woman on the floor.
  • e. The fifth ad had menacing music with sound effects, brief shots from the film including a worried looking woman. Dialogue included Something awful happened here , Look what she made me do , You have a lot of spirits here and When the music stops, you see him standing in the mirror behind you .
  • f. The sixth ad was the same as ad (e), but had text stating In Cinemas Now rather than In Cinemas August 2 .
  • g. The seventh ad, which lasted 10 seconds, featured loud menacing music, a scene of flying bats and a bat crashing into a car windscreen, and a frightened young girl sitting on a bed. Dialogue included You have a lot of spirits here and It's feeding off you .

Ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) were cleared by Clearcast with a post 7.30 pm restriction.

Ads (e), (f) and (g) were cleared by Clearcast with an ex-kids restriction, which meant they should not be shown in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children.

Thirteen viewers challenged whether the ads were inappropriately scheduled and unsuitable before 9 pm. Three of the complainants said their children, aged between six and eleven, were frightened by ads (a), (b) and (f).

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted ads (e) and (f) included an element of tension created by both the music and the dialogue from the film, but the scenes were nonetheless brief and did not show any violence or specific threat. Ad (g) featured more dramatic and menacing music, but other than the scene of a bat hitting a car windscreen, which was sudden and unexpected, the ad did not feature any graphic or threatening scenes or dialogue. We noted a restriction had been applied to ads (e), (f) and (g) which would prevent them from being broadcast in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children. We acknowledged that some viewers found the ads unsuitable for broadcast when their children were watching during other periods of the daytime, but concluded that the ex-kids restriction was nonetheless sufficient for those ads.

Ads (a), (b), (c) and (d), which had post 7.30 pm restrictions, contained noticeably stronger scenes from the film and the atmosphere of tension and fear was undoubtedly heightened, with scenes of a woman screaming, a girl being pulled down a bed, a woman lying on the floor holding on to a door frame and a pair of clapping hands suddenly appearing. However, although we noted some adult viewers were unsettled or disturbed by the ads and sympathised with their reaction, we nonetheless considered that the ads did not go beyond what viewers would normally expect from ads promoting a 15-certificate horror film and broadcast after 7.30 pm. We considered that the restriction was also sufficient to ensure that the ads would not be broadcast when young children, who might be distressed by them, would be watching. We noted some older children had been upset by ads (a) and (b) but, although we sympathised, their reaction to the ads did not appear to be widespread.

We concluded that all the ads (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) had been appropriately scheduled.

We investigated the ads under BCAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence), 5.1 (Children) and 32.3 (Scheduling), but did not find them in breach.



For Homosexual References?...

Film makers unimpressed by being given an R rating for upcoming comedy G.B.F.

Link Here21st December 2013
G.B.F. is a 2013 USA comedy by Darren Stein.
With Natasha Lyonne, Evanna Lynch and Sasha Pieterse. IMDb

In G.B.F., social warfare erupts when three high school clique queens battle for supremacy: drama diva Caprice, Mormon princess 'Shley and blonde fashionista Fawcett. When unassuming Tanner is outted, he finds himself cast as the hottest new teen-girl accessory: The Gay Best Friend.

The MPAA rated the US comedy G.B.F. (gay best friend) as R for sexual references.

However, the film makers were targeting a PG-13. The film's director, Darren Stein, wrote in a Facebook post:

I always thought of G.B.F. as a PG-13 movie, Unfortunately, we were given an R 'For Sexual References' while not having a single F-bomb, hint of nudity or violence in the film. Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read 'For Homosexual References' or 'Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing.'

I look forward to a world where queer teens can express their humor and desire in a sweet, fun teen film that doesn't get tagged with a cautionary R.

Screenwriter George Northy told Gawker:

I watch the shows Awkward and Glee and you can find pretty much around the same level of references, and those are TV-14. It's so silly when you really think about the MPAA in terms of how every 13-year-old in the country has seen hardcore pornography in this age of the Internet, and yet they can't go to a movie theater and see a movie like G.B.F. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.



Update: Uganda Bans Everything...

Pornography, miniskirts and being gay

Link Here21st December 2013
Full story: Ugandan Ethics Minister...Nutter minister rants about gays and miniskirts
Ugandan MPs have passed a nasty anti-pornography Bill that will ban miniskirts and other clothing deemed to be sexually explicit.

The Bill, widely opposed as a threat to women's rights, could also see many films and TV dramas being banned. Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on their television channels.

According to the Daily Monitor the anti-pornography Bill outlaws anything that shows sexual parts of a person such as breasts, thighs, buttocks or any erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement or any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals.

The Bill needs to be signed by the president before becoming law.

The Ugandan parliament's has also made an abrupt decision to pass anti-homosexuality laws that would condemn same-sex couples to life in jail for mere touching,

The bill, rushed through by MPs, also bans the promotion of homosexuality and makes it a crime punishable by prison not to report gay people to the authorities or to conduct a marriage ceremony for same-sex couples.

The law was first introduced in 2009, when it advocated the death penalty, but after a worldwide outcry, that was removed from the final version .

The morality extremist MP who proposed the bill, David Bahati claimed:

This is victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil. Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks.

Frank Mugisha , a leading Ugandan gay rights activist, said:

This is a truly terrifying day for human rights in Uganda. It will open a new era of fear and persecution. If this law is signed by president Museveni, I'd be thrown in jail for life and in all likelihood killed. We urgently need world leaders to call on president Museveni and demand he stops this bill of hate from becoming law.

More than a million people have backed Mugisha's campaign on the petition website Avaaz to stop the laws.

Update: Presidentially unsigned

13th January 2013. See  article from

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is giving Ugandans a little hope by dragging his feet on signing a new anti-porn bill recently passed by the country's Parliament.

Update: Presidentially signed and quickly followed by mass arrests of gays

15th January 2013. See  article from

Dozens of gay men are reported to have been arrested across northern Nigeria as police begin to enforce nasty new laws that criminalise same-sex marriages and membership of gay rights organisations.

The legislation, condemned by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and human rights groups in Europe, has come into force shortly after the Ugandan parliament passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Last week Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which provides penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years' imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay clubs, societies and organisations.

Dorothy Aken'Ova, executive director of the country's International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, said that the legislation, hailed the Jail the Gays law, had led to mass arrests. Police in Bauchi state, she claimed, had a list of 168 purportedly gay men, of whom 38 had been arrested.



Offsite Article: Ten recommendations to ISPs for dealing with over-blocking...

Link Here 21st December 2013
Newsnight has helped demonstrate once again that over blocking by ISPs internet filtering systems is a real and serious

See article from



Offsite Article: Denying Free Speech...

Link Here21st December 2013
Reddit has banned climate change deniers, and ripped its own reputation to shreds. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from



Update: Negligent Blocking...

Newsnight investigates the crap internet blocking systems used by ISPs for parental control

Link Here20th December 2013
Adult content blocking systems used by major ISPs are blocking websites offering sex education and advice on sexual health and porn addiction, the BBC has learned.

The four major internet companies have started to roll out so-called porn filters to their users. BT launched its filter this week , Virgin has a pilot programme ahead of a full launch early in 2014, and Sky's was turned on a month ago. TalkTalk's blocking system started in May 2011.

Newsnight also discovered all the major ISPs that have launched full default filters are also failing to block hardcore porn-hosting sites.

Among the sites TalkTalk blocked as pornographic was , an award-winning British sex education site, which receives more than a million visits each year. TalkTalk also lists Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre website as pornographic. The company also blocked a programme ran by sex education experts, taught to 81,000 American children that has been in development for more than 20 years.

The TalkTalk system failed to block 7% of the 68 pornographic websites tested by Newsnight.

Sky's filter fared much better, blocking 99% of sites, but it did block six porn-addiction sites.

BT blocked sites including Sexual Health Scotland , Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline , and Reducing The Risk , a site which tackles domestic abuse.

Justin Hancock runs BishUK and was not aware his site was being blocked by some systems until he was alerted by Newsnight. He said:

It's really frustrating because I'm trying to provide a sex education site for young people and it's hard enough directing young people to good quality information on the internet.

They might fix my site in the short-term but what about all the other sites that are out there for young people, not just sex education sites... who are TalkTalk to say what is allowed and isn't?

Offsite Article: Why WordPress bloggers were blocked by TalkTalk, and what it tells us about Internet filtering

See  article from

At the end of November a number of WordPress blog admins complained on WordPress forums that they were having problems accessing their accounts. It appeared that TalkTalk subscribers who had Wordpress blogs could not access their administration pages over https, and so couldn't write and publish new blog posts.

...Read the full article

Offsite Comment: Dear Claire, About Those Filters...

See article from By Jerry Barnett

The second time we met was in the Sky News studio. I know you remember me, because you described me as a "responsible pornographer". I felt dirty. I tried to put two questions to you, but you talked over them, as politicians are trained to do. So here are those questions again:

  1. I'm a parent: are you suggesting that my partner and I should censor our home Internet connection because we happen to have a child in the house? Should parents set their filters on or off?
  2. How can you prevent a repeat of the huge overblocking problem that already appears on mobile networks?

Since you wouldn't answer these, I will: 1) There is no sense in a filter that affects a whole household rather than individuals; 2) You can't prevent overblocking. You can promise to, just as you can promise to stop the tide. But you can't. It's impossible.

...Read the full article



Clock That!...

Advert censor surprisingly turns down complaint about underwear models being used to sell computer monitors

Link Here20th December 2013

A website, for a company selling electrical products, Overclockers UK, featured three ads marketing different monitors:

  • a. Showed a female model lying on her back, legs intertwined, looking upwards towards the camera. She was wearing revealing lingerie with a tight open cut jacket, exposing her underwear and cleavage area.

  • b. Showed a female model lying on her side looking into the camera. She was leaning her head onto her left arm, whilst her right arm rested on her body. She was wearing a see-through negligee, where her knickers were visible and her upper body partially exposed.

  • c. Showed a female model in a bikini sitting on the beach. She had her back to the camera, but with her head to the side and was looking into the camera Issue

The complainant, who considered the images were sexist and demeaning to women, challenged whether they were offensive.

Overclockers UK stated that as part of their marketing tactic for selling monitors or VDUs (visual display units), they used images of professional female models. They explained that such images proved to be effective by their sales revenue. They believed that sex sells , and that the images used in the ads attracted customers to the products, which ultimately led to a sale. They said that such a marketing tactic was adopted by thousands of companies and such sexual imagery was shown in billboards, TV ads and magazines.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that all three ads were marketing LED flat screens, each featuring a female model in revealing clothes. We noted that, in ad (a), the model was lying on her back, legs intertwined, looking upwards towards the camera. Whilst the imagery was not overtly sexual, we noted however, that the model was wearing revealing lingerie with a tight open cut jacket, clearly exposing her knickers and cleavage area.

In ad (b), we noted that the model was lying on her side looking directly into the camera. She was leaning her head onto her left arm, whilst her right arm rested on her body. Although she was not exposing as much nudity in comparison to the model in ad (a), she was, however, wearing a see-through negligee, where her knickers were visible and her upper body partially exposed.

In ad (c), we noted that the model was located on a seaside resort wearing a bikini, with her back and legs partially exposed.

We acknowledged that some people might view the images as being gratuitous, sexist and demeaning. However, we considered that the images were not overtly sexual and unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code Code rule 4.1 but did not find it in breach.



Updated: Beaten with the Censorship Stick...

Australia's game censors cut South Park: The Stick of Truth

Link Here20th December 2013
It's unclear exactly what has been in the game, but a spokesperson from Ubisoft told that a slightly modified version of South Park The Stick of Truth has been approved for release in Australia on March 6 .

The Australian Censorship Board actually rated South Park: The Stick of Truth twice. The official rating was the second time the game had been through the process. The game has been awarded the adults only rating, R18+

The Board also rated another Ubisoft title, Codename , and the censors again referred to it as a modified version.

Clues to the reason for the cuts may be contained in the write up by the US game rating organisation, ESRB:

This is a role-playing adventure game based on the animated South Park TV show. Players assume the role of a new kid in town who embarks on various quests with other boys in the neighborhood. Players can engage in turn-based combat, selecting attacks from a menu screen. Players use various weapons (swords, baseball bats, hammers), magic spells and melee attacks during fights; blood-splatter effects sometimes occur. Cutscenes occasionally depict cartoony characters dismembered or decapitated. The game includes several instances of mature humor and sexual material: one extended sequence depicts characters getting anally probed by alien creatures; another sequence (in an abortion clinic) depicts doctors using a vacuum to perform procedures on male characters; one level takes place inside the rectum/colon of a character (sex toys, random objects and fecal matter appear in the level)---all sequences are depicted in a cartoony and over-the-top manner. Characters are occasionally depicted nude (e.g., breasts, buttocks, male genitalia); one extended sequence depicts an out-of-focus couple having sex in the background; as players engage in turn-based battle in the foreground, sexual moaning sounds/dialogue is heard. During the course of the game, drug paraphernalia can be seen strewn around a methamphetamine lab. The words fuck, shit, asshole, and faggot can be heard in the dialogue.

From previous cases of game censorship it is probably 'the drug paraphernalia can be seen strewn around a methamphetamine lab' that caused the problems.

Update: It was the anal probe that offended the censors

20th December 2013. See  article from

South Park: The Stick of Truth has been cut by the Australian Censorship Board.

The version to be released in Australia is missing an entire interactive sequence in which the player character, among others, is subjected to anal probing by alien technology.

When Australian players reach this section, they will be confronted by an image of a crying koala accompanying a vivid text description of the events. The Board ruled that the text descriptions are allowable as humour.

This measure was implemented after the Board rejected an earlier modified version in which some elements of the scene had been toned down.

South Park: The Stick of Truth arrives on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March.

Update: More details

20th December 2013.  See  article from

South Park: The Stick of Truth has been cut by the Australian Censorship Board.

The version to be released in Australia is missing an entire interactive sequence in which the player character, among others, is subjected to anal probing by alien technology.

The scene is a homage to the very first episode of the TV series and includes that an alien probe is inserted anally into various characters within an interactive animated sequence and - mainly - with no indication of explicit or implicit consent .

The game was resubmitted in a slightly modified version. The censor's report doesn't exactly how it was changed cut it seemed that the victims of the anal probe are now sleeping or sedated and thus don't respond painfully to the probe. However this version did not allay the censor's concern about the lack of consent, and so was refused again.

In the third and successful submission, the alien probe scene was totally removed and replaced by a simple text that describes the events. It is framed by a picture that shows crying koala bears and the word CENSORED in big red letters placed right next to it.

The censors also criticised an abortion scene with an amateurishly executed abortion using a coat hanger and a vacuum cleaner. However the censors did not push this point and the scene remained unaltered.



New TV Censor...

Patricia Hodgson is named as next Ofcom Chairman

Link Here20th December 2013

The Government announced Patricia Hodgson as the next Chairman of Ofcom.

This follows the Culture, Media and Sport Committee pre-appointment hearing on 17 December and the confirmation from Secretary of State Maria Miller on the appointment.

Hodgson will replace current Ofcom Chairman Colette Bowe when she steps down at the end of March 2014 after serving her full term.

Hodgson joined the Ofcom Board in July 2011 and became Deputy Chairman in January 2012.



Obituary: Porn Pioneer...

Al Goldstein dies aged 77

Link Here20th December 2013
Al Goldstein, a porn pioneers who brought his particular brand of hard-core porn to the masses died on Thursday in New York from renal failure.

Goldstein was best known for sharing his raunchy sensibilities and radical ideas via Screw magazine and his New York City public-access cable show Midnight Blue.

The New York Times wrote:

Mr. Goldstein did not invent the dirty magazine, but he was the first to present it to a wide audience without the slightest pretense of classiness or subtlety. Sex as depicted in Screw was seldom pretty, romantic or even particularly sexy. It was, primarily, a business, with consumers and suppliers like any other.



Stupid Songs...

KFC advert attracts complaints as it seems to refer to Christmas carols as stupid songs

Link Here20th December 2013

  singing all our stupid songs

KFC launched a light-hearted spoof on the traditional Christmas number one-style music video. A controversial line in the song crops up when the KFC choir stand in front of a Scrooge-like character's house and sing:  singing all our stupid songs

The advert censor has received 25 complaints challenging whether the line all our stupid songs from the ad mocks Christian Christmas carols.

KFC claims the line was not meant to cause offence and it was meant as a reference to the Scrooge character's perception of Christmas:

This is a tongue-in-cheek advert which sends up the schmaltz of Christmas, and the brutal reality that the festive period can be a time of huge stress and a lack of goodwill to men. It looks at things from the perspective of a grumpy old man who is usually irritated by carol singers, but this year he sees the error of his ways. It was certainly not our intention to mock the Christian faith, and we are sorry if this offended anybody.



Update: Miserable Life in India...

Taslima Nasreen's writing has again been banned over fears of violent protest

Link Here20th December 2013
Full story: Blasphemy in India...Hurting religious sentiments
T he planned launch of an Indian television serial scripted by a Bangladeshi-feminist author Taslima Nasreen has been scrapped after several Muslim groups demanded that her writings be banned.

Dussahobas (Miserable Life Together) , a Bengali serial written by Taslima Nasreen, was to go on air on Thursday, but the TV channel behind the programme was forced to defer its plan after local police said the serial could stir unrest.

Syed Mohammad Noorur Rahman Barkati, an Imam of a Kolkata mosque, told Al Jazeera.

In her writings, she routinely seeks to ridicule Islam and vilify our revered Prophet Mohammed. In this serial, she might come up with something to show Islam in bad light again.

Nasreen's writing became well known after she was forced to flee Bangladesh in 1994 after her novel Lajja (Shame) was banned. She allegedly called for changes in the Quran, antagonizing sections of the country's population that prompted death threats against her.

Ishita Surana, spokesperson of Channel Aat, the Kolkata-based channel that commissioned the serial, said the serial did not have anything that hurts the religious sentiments of Muslims.

Nasreen insists her script talks only of women who became victims of dowry, forced marriage, rape, prostitution and other social evils. she explained to Indian news-agency PTI:

Unlike other TV serials which glorify women as being submissive or relegate them to the role of housewives, this serial portrays them as strong individuals...and how they keep fighting for their rights,



Offsite Article: Never have so many children been harmed to so little effect...

Link Here 20th December 2013
ATVOD held a conference on 12 December on protecting children from online porn. LSE's Benjamin De La Pava reflects on the discussion arguing that there remains little consensus upon which to base policy

See article from



Pickled Pratt...

Eric Pickles wants to ban councils from calling the bedroom tax, the bedroom tax

Link Here19th December 2013
Councils could be banned from using the phrase bedroom tax under moves to give Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, the power to veto contentious language in local authority newsletters, leaflets and online publicity.

The measures appear in the disgraceful Local Audit and Accountability Bill, which is about to become law, to require council publications to comply with government propaganda.

But the moves, which could also apply to websites and Facebook pages, are so widely-drawn that they could give Pickles the power to put a blue pencil through any language with which he disagrees, critics claimed.

The term bedroom tax could fall foul of the legislation, with councils obliged to use the propaganda phrase spare room subsidy to describe cuts to housing benefit to tenants in social housing who are deemed to have a spare room.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 370 councils, said the moves posed a real threat to local democracy , potentially preventing councils from campaigning on HS2, cuts to services and hospital closures.



Censorship is a Mug's Game...

ASA bans US website from selling a mug with a bad taste joke on grounds of offence

Link Here18th December 2013

A US website which sold gifts and cards,, featured a mug product with the words World's Greatest Dad' on it. The mug also included an image of Josef Fritzl.

The complainant challenged whether the image of Josef Fritzl alongside the text World's Greatest Dad was offensive.

Zazzle Inc did not response to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Zazzle Inc's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.

We noted the product was navigated to via the humour section of the personalised product website, but noted the product was not otherwise targeted. We considered that the juxtaposition of the image of Josef Fritzl next to the words World's Greatest Dad made light of the widely reported incidents of sexual and physical abuse of his daughter and therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

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

The ad should not appear again in its current form.



Update: Sword of Damocles...

Turkey Suspends, but does not drop, the prosecution of a classic French erotic novel

Link Here18th December 2013
Full story: Book Censorship in Turkey...Freedom of speech under duress
An Istanbul court has suspended the trial of a Turkish publisher and a translator accused of supposedly corrupting public morals over a French book written over a century ago.

The prosecution of the novel, The Exploits of a Young Don Juan, by French surrealist Guillaume Apollinaire is the latest in a series of trials restricting freedom of expression in Turkey.

The court suspended the case against publisher Irfan Sanci and translator Ismail Yerguz for three years, citing a technicality in the Turkish penal code.

But the ruling disappointed the defendants and their lawyers, who said they were expecting a full acquittal. Sanci's lawyer Adem Sakal told AFP that the defendants are considering taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights. Sanci vowed that he would continue publishing the book, but said:

This decision is like the Sword of Damocles over my head.

In 2009, a local court in Istanbul filed a complaint over the obscene content in the book, which chronicles the sexual awakening of a 15-year-old boy. The complaint was dismissed when a committee of academics concluded that the book should be considered a genuine work of literature, but in August, an appeals court overturned the decision, ruling that it lacked any artistic or literary value .



Update: The Sexualisation Report 2013...

A reasoned and well researched report covering the issues usually monopolised by campaigners and moralists

Link Here18th December 2013
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
From the introductory sections of the report:

People are worried about sexualization; about children becoming sexual at too young an age; about the ways in which women may be being defined by their sexuality; and about the availability and potential effects of online pornography, to name but a few of the often repeated concerns.

The word sexualization has been used to mean many things and to refer to a wide range of issues. This report aims to summarize what is known -- and not yet known -- on each of the main areas of concern.

The term sexualization was virtually non-existent in news headlines in 2005, but since then it has been widely used. Sexualization has become a political and policy issue; the topic of several significant reports and of comment by leading politicians.

The contributors to this report are conscious of the inaccurate and sometimes sensationalist information that often circulates publicly about sexualization, not only in media and popular books, but also in policy reports, statements by politicians and other public figures, as well as in some academic work.

Our aim is to set out clearly what current good research tells us about these issues, and make clear what is known and what is not known or is unclear.

The report addresses the wide range of issues relating to sex, sexuality and sexual health and wellbeing that seem to underpin public anxieties that are now commonly expressed as concerns about sexualization . These include STIs, pregnancy, addiction, dysfunction, violence, abuse, sex work, sexual practices, different forms of sexuality, medicalization, commerce, media and popular culture.



Offsite Article: It's a bleak midwinter for Britain's democracy...

Link Here18th December 2013
Full story: Election Censorship in the UK...Government proposes widespread censorship a year before election
Gagging bill latest: Fears for NGOs and free speech as UK's Lobbying Transparency bill threatens to put kibosh on campaigning

See article from



Update: Challenging the Red Lines...

Government Steps Up Efforts to Silence Saudis Empowered by New Media

Link Here18th December 2013
Full story: Blogging in Saudi...Saudi bloggers arrested and imprisoned

Activists in Saudi Arabia face a repressive and intolerant government as they advocate popular political participation, judicial reform, and an end to discrimination against women and minorities, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Authorities have responded by arresting, prosecuting, and attempting to silence rights defenders and to quash their calls for change.

The 48-page report, Challenging the Red Lines: Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia, presents the stories of 11 prominent Saudi social and political rights activists and their struggles to resist government efforts to suppress them. The activists have used new media, including news websites and blogs, and social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook, to build relationships with one another, discuss ideas and strategies for change, and develop public platforms to disseminate their reform message.

Saudi activists are using new media to take their government to task for rampant rights abuses, said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. The Saudi authorities think they can use intimidation and prison terms to stop the criticism, but the activists are finding ways to voice their concerns until they are heard.



Offsite Article: New scheduling guidance and monitoring programme for alcohol TV ads...

Link Here 18th December 2013
ASA publishes new rules to define broadcast programming that is not suitable for advertising alcohol and other age restricted products

See article from



Foreign TV Banned...

Pakistan's state of Balochistan bans Afghan TV channels

Link Here18th December 2013
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) in Balochistan, has banned relay of programmes of popular Afghan television channels by cable operators.

Pemra's Regional Director Jalal Khan told Dawn that Afghan TV channels RTA, ATN, Shamshad and Lemar had been shut because of instructions from headquarters of the organisation . He said he did not know the reasons.

The Afghan channels are popular among the people because they telecast programmes, including dramas and songs, in many people's mother tongue. The directive seems little to do with rights issues as Indian channels continue to be relayed to Balochistan.



Sri Lanka bans 1000 porn sites...

Link Here18th December 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Sri Lanka...Installing ISP website blocking

Sri Lankan authorities have taken measures to ban websites hosting what they claim to be obscene content and prevent the spread of such materials through the Internet, a government official said.

Director General of Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Anusha Pelpita said that over 1,000 obscene websites have been banned in Sri Lanka. He further said that the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission had recently banned several pornographic websites produced with Sri Lankans.



Top TV Personality of 2013: Archbishop Rowan Atkinson...

Ofcom reveal their top 10 TV programmes of 2013

Link Here17th December 2013
Ofcom have revealed their top programmes for 2013 as judged by their whingeometer.
  1. Comic Relief: Funny for Money BBC1 487

    A Comic Relief sketch in which Rowan Atkinson played a fictional archbishop of Canterbury and compared One Direction to Jesus's disciples. It featured Atkinson's archbishop saying praying doesn't work and a gag about 'loving your neighbour' not meaning ' shagging your neighbour'

    Ofcom summarily dismissed the whinges without doing its longwinded 'investigation'

  2. The X Factor Results Show ITV 317

    The offending episode featured Lady Gaga cavorting on stage in flesh-coloured underwear and a bra made out of a pair of shells. Ofcom weren't interested in the complaints though and didn't initiate a detailed response.

    The X Factor scored 734 whinges for several broadcasts that offended the easily offended over the year.

  3. Big Brother (June) Channel 5 305

    This episode featured Big Brother housemate Jemima Slade's commenting that she likes dark-skinned Mediterranean men but not black men.

    Big Brother totalled 965 whiinges over several broadcasts during the year.

  4. ITV News ITV 278

    The coverage of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby scored well for ITV News.
  5. Downton Abbey ITV 246

    A storyline featuring rape got plenty of press coverage, but did not cause much consternation at Ofcom
  6. Big Brother (Aug) Channel 5 244

    Complaints that Gina Rio had bullied fellow housemate Hazel O'Sullivan.

  7. Emmerdale ITV 193

    Compaints were about the murder of character Gennie Sharma. Serial killer Cameron Murray was shown smothering her with his bare hands but Ofcom ruled the coverage was not in breach.

  8. Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2012 Channel 4 182

    New year's Eve banter inspired a few complaints, but only after being heavily promoted by the Daily Mail
  9. Big Brother (July) Channel 5 166

    Complaints about boxer Daley Ojuederie fighting with O'Sullivan.
  10. Britain's Got Talent Results ITV1 162

    The was about a sexy dance performance by Jennifer Lopez. But it wasn't sexy enough to perturb Ofcom



Updated: A Crazed Attack on the Australian Film Censor...

South Australian politician asks film censor to review the 15 rating for the 2009 killing spree movie, Rampage

Link Here17th December 2013
Rampage is a 2009 Canada/Germany action crime horror by Uwe Boll.
With Brendan Fletcher, Shaun Sipos and Michael Paré. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

A man with a thirst for revenge builds a full body armor from Kevlar and goes on a killing spree.

At the request of the censorial South Australian Attorney-General, John Rau, the Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the film Rampage .

Rampage was classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice Strong violence by the Classification Board on 8 September 2009.

The Review Board will meet on 13 December 2013 to consider the application.

Presumably this review was for a MA 15+ being too lenient, the film was rated 18 in the UK with the consumer advice: Contains strong bloody violence.

Note: the MA15+ rating is a restricted rating that would be a 15A in UK terminology.

Update: Political interference rebuffed

17th December 2013. See  article from

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Rampage remains classified MA 15+ (Mature Accompanied) with the consumer advice Strong violence . The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the film was no higher than strong.

The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from the Minister, as requested by the South Australian Attorney-General, John Rau, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 8 September 2009 to classify Rampage MA 15+ with the consumer advice ‘Strong violence’.



Updated: Play Money for Personal Morality Game...

South Australian Attorney-General squanders tax payer's money on a mass review of MA15+ games that he feels should be more repressively censored

Link Here17th December 2013
Full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games
Australia's Censorship Board will soon undertake a review of a number of MA15+ games after receiving an official request to do so from South Australia's nutter Attorney-General, John Rau.

Games to be reviewed include Killer is Dead, Alien Rage, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, Deadly Premonition the Director's Cut, Company of Heroes 2, God Mode, Borderlands 2: Add-on Content Pack, Fuse, Deadpool, The Walking Dead, Gears of War: Judgment and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.

Rau feels that censorship rules for MA15+ games should be more restrictive.

Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA), expressed his shock at the move.

Not only have these games already been examined against stringent guidelines, we also haven't heard of any formal complaints made by parents or adults who think the video games are wrongly classified, said Curry in a press statement. The review is an unwarranted and costly exercise to satisfy a vocal yet unrepresentative minority.

The iGEA point out that at $28,000 per review, such an exercise will cost the taxpayer $336,000.

Update: Political interference rebuffed

17th December 2013. See  article from

At the request of the South Australian Attorney-General, the Classification Review Board (the Review Board) recently reviewed the classifications of 12 computer games.

The Review Board upheld the MA 15+ (Mature Accompanied) classification for all of the 12 computer games. These titles are:

  • Killer is Dead,
  • Alien Rage,
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist
  • Deadly Premonition the Director's Cut,
  • Company of Heroes 2,
  • God Mode,
  • Borderlands 2: Add-on Content Pack,
  • Fuse,
  • Deadpool,
  • The Walking Dead,
  • Gears of War: Judgment and
  • The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) has welcomed the decision by the Review Board, while roundly slamming John Rau for wasting taxpayer money with a costly and unwarranted review. It's estimated that the whole process cost in excess of $330,000. Ron Curry, the head of the IGEA, said that it was a shame it had to happen.



A Reputation for Bullying and Censorship...

Sepp Blatter is attempting to censor book of satirical cartoons

Link Here17th December 2013

Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa has won an injunction in Switzerland, his native country, in order to ban the publication of a book of amusing satirical cartoons. The book, by Danish cartoonist (and former footballer) Ole' Andersen, features a Blatter lookalike.

Blatter's lawyers claim that Blatter has a good reputation and if the cartoons were published he would never be able to repair the damage.

But Blatter's attempt to ban the book, The Platter Cartoons, has only served to draw attention to it. The story of his legal action is being mocked in Switzerland and across Europe.



Internet Cleansing...

North Korea expunges the internet memory of executed politician, Jang Song Thaek

Link Here17th December 2013
A computer programmer in Christchurch is creating headlines around the world after discovering that North Korea has deleted thousands of news articles mentioning Jang Song Thaek, the former top government and party official, who was executed Thursday.

The discovery was made by Frank Feinstein who tracks North Korea's media output for a Washington website, NK News . NK News says that the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) has deleted more than 35,000 articles from its on-line archives.

The deletion, the biggest ever article removal in KCNA's history, means that with the exception of a small number of articles about Kim Jong Un, the digital record of state-approved news about him reaches back only to October 2013.

In addition to the 35,000 original Korean language articles, translations in English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese were all removed from the archives, bringing the total to nearly 100,000 deleted articles.



Update: Bravely Defiant...

Man gets 4 years in prison and 300 lashes for calling for democracy in Saudi

Link Here17th December 2013
Full story: Blogging in Saudi...Saudi bloggers arrested and imprisoned
A Saudi judge has sentenced a political activist to 300 lashes and four years in prison for calling for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia, his rights group said.

Omar al-Saeed is the fourth member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) to be jailed this year after the group issued statements attacking the ruling family over its human rights record and calling for democracy.

Saeed, who has also been issued with a worldwide travel ban for his so-called transgressions, did not have legal representation at the secret hearing when he was sentenced, ACPRA said in a statement on its website. And he has issued a scathing attack on the ruling elite who exacted the medieval punishment:

I am the proud prisoner Omar Mohammed al-Saed. I read out to you the motives and causes of my imprisonment: my hatred of injustice, the fabrication of pain and misery, taking advantage of passive attitudes, treating them as if they were fools, and denying them their livelihoods for brutal personal ambition.

This unjust sentence is an honour and pride to Omar al-Saed and a disgrace and shame to Judge Issa al-Matrudi.



Update: Causing offence, humiliation, embarrassment or distress...

Nurses come out against Page 3

Link Here 17th December 2013
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun
The Royal College of Nursing has issued a statement in support of a ban on the Sun's topless Page 3 glamour feature saying:

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) supports the No More Page three campaign because we believe that the humiliation and exploitation of women is something that should not be acceptable.

Gender stereotyping and the sexualisation of women can have detrimental effects on the safety of women in our society. The RCN promotes a working environment where our members and staff can work with dignity and not be placed in compromising situations that cause offence, humiliation, embarrassment or distress.

All nursing staff should be seen as respected professionals with no sexualised stereotypes attached.



Beyonce's vile lyrics and pornographic videos...

Recommended by Mediawatch-UK, Safer Media, and of course, the Daily Mail

Link Here17th December 2013
Beyonce has released her latest album by uploading tracks and videos straight to iTunes, claiming she wants to speak directly to her fans with no filter .

The Daily Mail blows an inevitable fuse saying:

Beyonce faced a backlash on social networking sites over vile lyrics and pornographic videos on her new album released on Friday, to the surprise of her fans

But later on the Daily Mail changes tack and admits that the her 'vile lyrics and pornographic videos' are actually immensely popular:

The singer's surprise album launch brought down website as millions of fans rushed to download her latest work with 80,000 copies selling in three hours.

Vivienne Pattison, of pressure group Mediawatch-UK, said:

This is such a shame to see because Beyonce didn't get to where she is by jumping on the same bandwagon as Rihanna and people like that who we expect to be explicit and controversial.

She was the one we always thought we could count on to set a good example and keep producing music with powerful messages that empowered women and girls. And I would have thought that a star of her magnitude wouldn't need to do something like this.

She has sold out and it's really sad. Like it or not Beyonce is a role model and she needs to take responsibility for that. Especially as a mother herself, it's very surprising that she would do this.

This is now on YouTube and children can see it. It's not like parents can protect their children by not buying the album. It's there, on the internet, for anyone to access and as a parent that is incredibly worrying.

The Daily Mail kindly points out the best bits to be outraged at:

Among the most shocking of the videos is Partition, in which Beyonce cage dances for her husband, 44-year-old rapper Jay-Z, before writhing around on the floor in her underwear.

In another song, called Blow, she describes being in a state of heightened sexual arousal. In the accompanying video she is joined by a troupe of nearly naked female dancers. One woman wears only a pair of knickers and stars on her breasts while others simulate lap dances with male performers.

Pippa Smith of Safermedia said she was shocked at the irrational decision to expose the child to the eyes of strangers on the internet. She said:

To have her own daughter is a bit beyond the pale, no one in their right mind would do that. She's far too young and Beyonce is exposing her to the views of all sorts of strangers which isn't safe online, what with all the worry about online predators.

It's a very, very stupid thing to do and not rational at all. My view would be that the whole album should be banned. Even with age ratings it would still circulate round the playground and it's sheer exploitation.

It just doesn't seem right. You get these beautiful young singers with amazing voices who start out squeaky clean and get a makeover and become vamps. And it is such a shame.



Obituary: Peter O'Toole...

Classic British actor dies aged 81

Link Here16th December 2013
 Actor Peter O'Toole, who starred in Sir David Lean's 1962 film classic Lawrence of Arabia , died on Saturday aged 81, his agent has said. He was being treated at London's Wellington hospital after a long illness. He received an honorary Oscar in 2003, having initially turned it down.

Peter O'Toole played some great roles in the movies, but few crossed paths with the Melon Farmers' remit. But of course there was one notable appearance, in the censorship classic, Tinto Brass' Caligula , when he played Tiberius.



Another safe family comedy...

India's generous tax subsidies for family films is making for an unadventurous industry

Link Here16th December 2013

While many in the Tamil film industry are glad that the state government provides a 30% tax exemption for U'-rated films, a growing number of filmmakers feel that there is a scramble for the 'U certificate that is taking the bite out of our films.

Director CS Amudhan revealed that there is a lot of pressure from the production and distribution side to make 'U'-rated films because they cannot afford to lose 30% of the revenue. He said:

Non-star films and small budget films have to be non-formulaic to get noticed. But it has become a business necessity to get 'U' certificate because they will not have the opening of a star-driven film.

He says He is now re-editing his upcoming Rendaavathu Padam after being told by the censor board that the film can only be given 'U/A certificate in its present form.

Producer Rajkumar said:

It is a big task to recover your investment after being taxed 30 per cent of your revenue, so producers are reluctant to take on out-of-the- box stories. This is the reason why we have many 'safe' comedy films these days.



Christians Recommend Christmas Shopping At...

Amazon, Abercrombie and Fitch, Nike, and Apple

Link Here16th December 2013
A religious group calling itself Faith Driven Consumer has kindly created a shopper's guide to ethical companies. The group explains:

With Christmas fast approaching, it's time to stock up the pantry, scout out the sales and spend time with the ones you love.

It's also a great time to be a good steward and match your wallet to your Christian worldview by actively supporting companies that align with your biblical faith and values. 

With more than $602 billion in projected sales up for grabs this Christmas season, faith-driven consumers like you and me have an unparalleled opportunity to support companies that are friendly to our Christian faith and worldview.

Given this, we've created the  2013 Faith Driven Consumer Christmas Guide  to help you be as well-informed as possible about the degree to which the companies you spend your hard-earned dollars with are faith-compatible.

We've ranked 43 major holiday retailers according to their sensitivity to a faith-driven worldview on a five-star scale -- based on seven criteria important to Faith Driven Consumers like us.  

The group's highest accolades are for the following companies:


While Amazon uses the word Christmas in its advertisements and supports a number of charitable causes, its sale of some pornographic content and unwholesome entertainment is a concern for Faith Driven Consumers. In addition, its staunch support of same-sex marriage and the homosexual, bisexual and transgender political and social agenda is in opposition to the biblical understanding of sexuality, marriage and family. Finally, Amazon's sale of pro-abortion materials and support for the United Way, which indirectly funds Planned Parenthood, is problematic for Christians.


Apple is a market leader in computer manufacturing, software and electronics. While Apple has worked to improve its corporate philanthropic efforts and allowed a Christian employee group to form, it vocally supports same-sex marriage, actively donated to efforts to defeat Proposition 8 in California and caved in to pressure from small groups of homosexual and transgender activists and their allies by removing previously approved, faith-based apps supporting natural and traditional sexuality, marriage and family. Here, Apple showed a high level of insensitivity toward a much larger market of Christian consumers and needs to take active steps to rebuild a relationship with those who hold to a biblical worldview and values system. Beyond this, Apple promotes internet pornography and was listed as one of the Top Ten Worst Advertisers in 2012 by the Parents Television Council.


While Nike's advertising is non-offensive and it contributes to causes that encourage youth, particularly girls, to participate in sports, the company is one of the most vocal corporate advocates for abortion in America. It also fully embraces the homosexual, bisexual and transgender political and social agenda in the workplace and beyond, and advocates for same-sex marriage, creating a PAC fund to donate $280,000 to the current effort in Oregon to redefine the institution away from the natural and traditional male-female paradigm. Nike does not use the word Christmas in its seasonal promotions.

Abercrombie & Fitch

While Abercrombie & Fitch is strongly committed to philanthropy, corporate responsibility, environmental stewardship and ethically sourced products, its highly sexualized focus on the cool and popular kids, branded around highly inappropriate, exploitative and homoerotic advertising, is shocking and offensive to many Faith Driven Consumers. A&F's full embrace of the political and social goals of the homosexual, bisexual and transgender movement, including same-sex marriage, also points to a corporate worldview that is at odds with the Bible. Finally, A&F does not use the word Christmas in its seasonal promotions.



Update: Unwarranted Website Blocking...

Reporters Without Borders asks Thailand to withdraw repressive new internet bill

Link Here16th December 2013
Full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime
Reporters Without Borders has asked the Thai Ministry of Communications and Internet Technology to change its approach to updating the Computer Crime Act of 2007.

The law already authorizes the government to arrest journalists and bloggers for political reasons. If a newly proposed amendment were adopted, the government would have even more latitude to muzzle the independent and opposition media. Reporters Without Borders said:

We support the five journalists association which have protested the bill. The bill -- in addition to eliminating a requirement for a judicial warrant to block a website -- would allow that action without approval from the Ministry of Communications and Internet Technology, thereby distancing the law even more from international standards.

The press freedom organization added, We request that the legislation be withdrawn in its entirety.

In a joint press release on 24 October, the Thai Journalists Association, the Thai Broadcasting Journalists Association, Online News Providers Association, Information Technology Reporters and Academic Specialists on Computer Law Group declared that the bill would threaten the very infrastructure of the internet and would make website operators, internet service providers and users responsible for content.



Update: A Selfish Cause...

Anti-porn campaigners initiate court case against StarSat's 3 porn channels

Link Here15th December 2013
Full story: Satellite Sex in Africa...MultiChoice consider adding porn channel

An organisation calling itself Cause for Justice has filed papers at the high court in Pretoria asking for a review of a decision by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to allow StarSat to offer three pornographic channels.

The organisation claims that in spite of overwhelming public opposition to the On Digital Media's application to broadcast the channels, the authority gave went ahead and gave it the nod anyway.

Cause for Justice says it has served the application on Icasa, On Digital Media, Icasa chairman Stephen Mncube , On Digital Media business rescue practitioner Peter van den Steen and communications minister Yunus Carrim. It claims Icasa's decision should be set aside because the authority took irrelevant considerations into account while ignoring relevant ones. It also argues that Icasa committed reviewable errors of law and did not follow a fair administrative process. In addition, the conclusions that Icasa reached were not rationally connected to the reasons given or to the information before it.



Update: Bitcoin Anyone?...

Credit card companies look seek new laws to let them ban payment services to porn sites

Link Here14th December 2013
Full story: VOD censorship in UK...Excessive age restrictions an adult internet video
Three of the biggest payment handling companies have backed calls to cut off funds to hard-core pornographic websites that allow children access.

Visa, MasterCard and PayPal have agreed to help to lobby the Government for laws that would allow them to refuse to process card payments to websites that do not have age restrictions, Peter Johnson, chief executive of the Authority for Television on Demand , said last night.

The VOD censor, ATVOD, has been arguing that the law would be a significant step in stopping children being able freely to access porn. However with the amount of porn already sloshing around the world then this seems an unlikely outcome. However it will crucify smaller companies to try make a living in an industry trying to compete with a free product.

Update: Pete Johnson speaks of legislation required to ban payments to websites

18th December 2013. See  article from

At the event: For Adults Only? -- protecting children from online porn conference, organised by ATVOD, there was much discussion of ways to censor the internet in the name of child protection. In particular there were further comments about blocking payment services to adult websites. Pete Johnson, ATVOD Chief Executive, said:

The overarching message of the conference was that we all need to continue finding ways to better protect children online. That is why ATVOD is working with Visa Europe, MasterCard, PayPal and others in the UK payments industry to design a process which would prevent payments being made to foreign websites which allow children in the UK to view hardcore pornography. The initiative requires statutory underpinning and we are therefore discussing with Government the options for bringing this about. In the meantime, ATVOD will continue to take robust action to ensure that UK websites keep hardcore porn out of reach of children.



Update: Light Censorship...

BT reveals its internet blocking system

Link Here14th December 2013
BT has announced that new customers of its broadband services will have anything vaguely adult blocked by default.

The ISP is the latest company to introduce adult blocking turned on by default, unless the customer chooses to change the controls when setting up their internet connection.

Known as BT Parental Controls offers three levels of censorship: strict, moderate and light, as well as the option to add and remove a website from the block list.

It is also possible to alter the filter at certain times of the day, for example it may go down to the light setting at the time the children go to bed.

The settings can be changed at any time, although the customers' credentials will be required. For extra security, BT will send the adult account holder an email informing them of the change.

Open Rights Group asks BT about its censorship system

See  article from

BT launched their new Parental Controls service , the latest ISP to roll out network level filters following the Government's push this summer.

We haven't gone through the answers in great detail yet. But from a first look, the main similarity with Sky's answers concerns how they will deal with reports of over-blocking. Both Sky and BT say that there will be a process for responding quickly to reports, which is a start. But there's little more than that and the devil will be in the detail. We need to be sure that site owners know who to approach, that they will speak to someone who understands the problem, and that the mistake will be fixed quickly.

Neither Sky nor BT really address the issue of liability, either. If a business finds its site blocked for, say, a week by mistake, are they able to take any action to remedy the possible damage? BT seem to suggest that they are not responsible at all for the categorisations, pointing at the (unnamed) third party that they are using for the service.

...Read the full article

And the systems are crap at deciding which sites to block anyway

14th December 2013. See  article from by Brooke Magnanti

The hidden cost of introducing porn filters

The deep irony is that porn filters are designed to protect children, but they may be keeping them from the sex education sites that actually protect them

...Read the full article



The Daily Mail Recommends...

The British Comedy Awards

Link Here14th December 2013
The Daily Mail writes:

Channel 4 is under fire today after viewers called for the disastrous British Comedy Awards to be scrapped because of persistent bad language and offensive jokes last night.

Ofcom has confirmed it has already received a number of complaints about swearing during the annual ceremony, which some have called the worst in its 23-year history.

Critics called the two-hour ceremony a drunken shambles with host Jonathan Ross called a disgrace because he was swearing through the whole programme .

Channel 4 said today the show is known for its raucous nature :

The British Comedy Awards is an established live event and is well known for its edgy humour. The programme was preceded with a warning that the humour was of an adult nature and contained very strong language.



Extract: The Best Job in the World...

The New Zealand chief film censor speaks of his work in a lengthy interview

Link Here14th December 2013

The head of the Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC), Andrew Jack has been in the job just over two years. Charged with trimming the naughty and nasty bits from films, books and computer games, he and his staff of 28 haven't been idle: since 2011 they've assessed more than 4000 items.

Most films have passed muster. On Jack's watch, only two cinematic releases have been banned: A Serbian Film which featured graphic depictions of rape, necrophilia and child abuse, and Human Centipede 2 , in which the central character tries to sew 12 people together.

Seemingly random items such as drink cans and clothing are also required to jump through the classification hoops, the most memorable being the so-called Invercargill Hoodie, a sweatshirt from British metal band, Cradle of Filth, which bears the phrase 'Jesus is a Cunt'.

About 15 per cent of videos and films - for both general release and film festivals - that enter New Zealand generally arrive at the censor's office if they carry an age restriction from either Australian or British censors or they are unclassified. They're screened at the office's eight viewing booths or, for mainstream releases, at early-morning private screenings at Wellington cinemas. There will be two of us in a 300-person cinema, Jack says.

The other 85 per cent - films with G, PG and M stickers - come to the office's attention only following a complaint. This is unusual, but not unheard of: in 2007, for example, the office was forced to take action after receiving a number of complaints about the animated film Happy Feet .

In Australia, it had a G rating but we received complaints that 7-year-olds were having nightmares because of a frightening scene featuring a sea lion. If we get enough complaints we'll reclassify the film. We watched it and didn't think it had been properly classified for a New Zealand audience so gave it a PG rating.

The fact that our decisions are robust and balanced is reflected in the small number of complaints we receive. Probably the most complaints we've ever had was last year for the film Ted . It was R13 at the movies and out of 500,000 Kiwis that went to see it only 20 complained to us. So that tells me we're in touch with the public attitude.

...Read the full article



Changeable Censorship Folk...

Australian censors lower the rating of Inside Llewyn Davis on appeal

Link Here14th December 2013
Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 USA/France music drama by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen.
With Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles -- some of them of his own making.

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Inside Llewyn Davis is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Frequent coarse language and mature themes .

The film was previously rated MA 15+ by the Classification Board for strong coarse language

Note the Australian M rating is an advisory 15, perhaps the Americans would call it PG-15. The MA15+ rating is a restricted rating that would be a 15A in UK terminology.

And for comparison, the BBFC   passed the cinema release 15 uncut for strong language, sex references and implied hard drug use

In the US it was Rated R for language including some sexual references.



Update: Free Weibo...

App that worked around Chinese internet censorship soon blocked by Apple

Link Here14th December 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship's Free Weibo, a tool that allows you to search and find censored tweets on China's popular microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, was temporarily made available in the Apple apps store in China after being previously blocked.

Charlie Smith, who along with Martin Johnson created Great Fire, a website that monitor's censorship in China explained that Great Fire had recently updated the app, which threw the Apple censors off for a short period of time. But only a day later, the app was blocked again.

The app is only blocked in the Chinese Apple store but it can be downloaded everywhere else. Furthermore, says Smith, those who were able to download Free Weibo before it was blocked are still able to use the app, problem-free.

Apple has censored a number of applications before, most recently a popular censorship circumvention tool called OpenDoor, usually pulling them quietly without much warning. With Open Door, the developers learned about the censorship only after users brought it to their attention.



Will a ban on popular imported films make people watch crap local films instead?...

Pakistan cinema owners get involved in a court action as they see a ban on Indian films will threaten the existence of their cinemas

Link Here 14th December 2013
The Lahore High Court has issued a notice to the Central Censor Board and Pakistan Electronic Media Association (PEMA) to appear December 16 on a petition by Pakistan Cinema Owners Association and distributors of films to become party in the case against exhibition of Indian movies.

Barrister Ali Zafar said that the case filed by a private TV show host against exhibition of Indian films was a misrepresentation of an order for stopping the Central Board of Censors from certifying smuggled films.

He said the revival of Pakistani films depended on the existence of cinemas and his clients had invested heavily in setting up state-of-the-art centres in Pakistan. He said the people of Pakistan were starved for entertainment and appreciated the revival of the cinema culture which also presented a soft image of Pakistan to the rest of the world. He said the existence of the cinema had revived a form of art and culture in Pakistan and the Pakistani film industry had seen a resurgence of quality films.

He said the petitioner had sought to ban all Indian films and the court's order could mean the death of cinemas in Pakistan. He added that the livelihood of thousands of people employed in the industry would be jeopardised.

Meanwhile, India's Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has criticised the Pakistani court's order to stop the screening of Indian content on TV channels, saying that films and serials were ideas that couldn't be stopped.

The ban on Indian films has been widely criticised since it was announced last week.



Update: Low Cost Court Action...

Spanish judge bans the 2013 Ryanair bikini calendar

Link Here13th December 2013
Full story: Ryanair Adverts...Ryanair wind up advert censors
A Spanish judge has belatedly banned adverts for the 2013 Ryanair calendar featuring female flight attendants in bikinis.

The judge claimed that the calendar, released each year by the low-cost airline in support of charitable causes, was sexist. Ryanair said it would appeal the decision.

Adverts for the calendar prompted an appeal by a gender extremist group, and this week a court in the southern city of Malaga ruled that the adverts treated the women as objects and were discriminatory, Spanish media reported.

The judge reportedly banned the airline from using the pictures and ordered it to publish the judgement at its own expense.

The calendar raised over 100,000 euros for a Polish charity, the TVN Foundation, to help sick children in Poland.



Update: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Sent to Me...

One Million Moms a Whining

Link Here 13th December 2013
Full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
The US moralist campaign group One Million Moms has had a whinge about the TV show Glee featuring a sexy shirtless male Santa. The group whines:

Unfortunately not all Christmas TV features are wholesome entertainment. Glee 's previously Never Aired Christmas episode should have stayed just that and remained unaired, considering it was complete with a bisexual Santa, transgender Virgin Mary and its fair share of drunkenness.

Other religions do not tolerate this behavior and as Christians we will not either. Why any producer or network feels mocking a sacred and religious holiday where Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ is acceptable is beyond me. GLEE should not and will not get a free pass to make a joke of Christmas.

Last week's episode went too far. The mockery of the Christmas story was blasphemous and an abomination. The show featured the transgender student, Unique, portraying the Virgin Mary in their high school's nativity scene and acts out giving birth to the baby Jesus. The doll representing Jesus wore a sequin diaper and was thrown from singer to singer while they sang Love Child, Never Meant to be. Baby Jesus is tossed around like a rag doll and shown no respect.

In another scene, a bisexual Sexy Santa, gets two female characters and the show's gay male character drunk before robbing them blind - all this after making out with and tying the male character up in bed. These same females in a previous scene are elves at the local mall and tell kids to ask for mobile devices they could download porn on while wearing skimpy elf costumes.

Glee is not a late-night program and is rated TV-14 DLSV. While it currently airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT on FOX, in February it will be moving to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT - well before many children's bedtimes



Shared Interests...

The US adult industry chips into the UK struggle against internet censorship

Link Here13th December 2013

The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), a not-for-profit organisation funded by the US online adult industry, and the Free Speech Coalition, the US adult entertainment trade association, came together today (12 December) to discuss the topic For Adults Only -- Protecting Children From Online Porn at The Authority of Television On Demand (ATVOD) conference.

The two invited organisations reinforced their common purpose to protect children online; however, called for a public education campaign as the only viable alternative to blanket censorship, such as ISP blocking, based on the findings of their report Protecting Children in the Digital Age .

The report is based on independent research and over 17 years combating the spread of child pornography, as well as learning from failed initiatives in the US. It calls for the UK government to re-think how they approach issues around children and internet pornography.

Free Speech Coalition CEO, Diane Duke, presented that:

The function of government is to provide its citizens with considered evidence based Public Policy; not to cooperate with moral panics and narrow pressure groups.

Duke was highlighting current reliance on non-scientific research, such as the Psychologies magazine survey conducted on a small sample of London school children and avoidance of academic research such as EU Kids Online from the London School of Economics.

The ASACP, who have won awards for initiatives such as the Restricted to Adults (RTA) label, participated in the US Congressional Internet Caucus, and think tanks on internet safety at institutions like Harvard stated:

Forced ISP blocking will not identify online sex offenders or victims of abuse, and won't prevent online sex offenders from accessing images or attempting grooming.

Spokesperson Vince Charlton, Director of European Outreach for ASACP added:

After almost 20 years in the industry, and painstaking adherence to the best academic research, we have found the most significant impact on behaviour and safety is parental involvement in children's' digital lives. This would be achieved with an extensive public education campaign.

Creating hysteria and setting up blocks at the ISP level will not only do little to protect children online, but also may pose additional threats because it will give parents a false sense of security.

The report offers the following recommendations on child safety: 1)The launch of a public educational campaign to provide factual information to UK citizens on how to keep our young people safe online 2)Partnering with adult content providers and gaming sites to ensure all sites use a filtering system that facilitates age-appropriate parental controls 3)Providing practical, evidence based, educational classes to parents covering topics from installing parental controls, to how to communicate with their children about online interactions

The report also highlights the failings of filtering technologies as a silver bullet solution to child protection online and raised serious concerns that ISP blocking could even prevent young people's access to advice and resources on serious issues like cyber-bullying, child luring, cyber-stalking, and what to do if you are a victim of sexual or physical abuse.



Well Maybe a Little Scary for Kids...

Advert censor bans outdoor advertising posters for the horror DVD, Smiley

Link Here12th December 2013

A poster promoting the DVD release of the horror film, Smiley , was seen in various locations in London. It featured a close-up image of a head with crudely stitched wounds in the place of facial features, forming a bleeding smiley face . Text stated SMILEY - OVER 30 MILLION TRAILER VIEWS - OUT ON DVD, BLU-RAY & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD 14TH OCTOBER .

Eight complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause fear or distress, and was therefore inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium.

Signature Entertainment Ltd said they were an independent film distribution company and the poster campaign for Smiley was only the second they had run. They stressed that they had not intended to cause any offence with their advertising and said they would be careful in future to avoid similar issues.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad had appeared on untargeted outdoor poster sites. Some complainants had said they themselves had found the image very disturbing, whilst others reported their children becoming very distressed and, in some cases, changing the routes they walked to avoid the poster site.

We considered that the image of a man with his facial features sewn into the shape of a bleeding smiley face was a very powerful one which carried violent and threatening undertones, and that unless carefully targeted to a particular audience it was likely to elicit a strong negative reaction in those who saw it. Because it had been displayed in an untargeted medium, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause undue fear or distress, and had therefore breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.2 (Harm and offence).



Still Struggling with Mein Kampf...

Germany reconsiders re-printing Hitler's book when copyright lapses in 2015

Link Here12th December 2013
Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is unpublished in Germany as its copyright is owned by the state of Bavaria which has decided not to allow its publication. However 70 years after Hitler's death, in late 2015, the copyright lapses and the book goes public domain.

Bavaria has now announced that it has scrapped its own plans to publish the book. The state had been planning to then publish a new edition with critical commentary from the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ). Bavarian science minister Ludwig Spaenle announced:

Many conversations with Holocaust victims and their families have shown us that any sort of reprint of the disgraceful writings would cause enormous pain.

Spaenle said in a statement on the state government website that Bavaria would continue to take legal action against anyone who tries to publish even excerpts of Mein Kampf . He said Bavaria would ask the new German government to help it find a solution to the looming expiration of the copyright.

The state had invested some 500,000 euros in preparing the academic reprint, officials from the IfZ were quoted as saying in German media reports. The institute would nevertheless continue working on the edition with critical commentary.



Comment: More Expensive Sexy Music DVDs...

DCMS publishes draft bill to remove classification exemptions for music, sport and religion DVDs that would be 12 rated or higher

Link Here12th December 2013
Full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill
The Department for Culture, Medi a and Sport has published a draft bill to remove the current blanket exemptions for music, sports, religious and educational videos.

Videos that would be U or PG rated will continue to be exempt but videos that would be rated 12 or higher now need to be censored by the BBFC before they can be legally sold in the UK.

The mechanism to predict whether videos require censorship is provided by a long list of content that would likely trigger at least a 12 rating. If none of the triggers apply then the video need not be submitted.

The changes will be applied via a Statutory Instrument meaning that it will not be debated in parliament.

The DCMS has invited public comments on the draft which are to be sent to by 31 January 2014.

The  new regulation amends Section 2 subsections (2) and (3) of the Video Recordings Act 1984:

Subsection (2) of the current Video Recordings Act reads

(2) A video work is not an exempted work for those purposes if, to any significant extent, it depicts--

  • (a) human sexual activity of acts of force or restraint associated with such activity;
  • (b) mutilation or torture of, or other acts of gross violence towards, humans or animals;
  • (c) human genital organs or human urinary or excretory functions;
  • (d) techniques likely to be useful in the commission of offences;

This will be replaced by

The Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014

(2) A video work is not an exempted work for those purposes if it does one or more of the following-

  • (a) it depicts or promotes violence or threats of violence;
  • (b) it depicts the immediate aftermath of violence on human or animal characters;
  • (c) it depicts an imitable dangerous activity without also depicting that the activity may endanger the welfare or health of a human or animal character;
  • (d) it promotes an imitable dangerous activity;
  • (e) it depicts or promotes activities involving illegal drugs or the misuse of drugs;
  • (f) it promotes the use of alcohol or tobacco;
  • (g) it depicts or promotes suicide or attempted suicide, or depicts the immediate aftermath of such an event;
  • (h) it depicts or promotes any act of scarification or mutilation of a person, or of self-harm, or depicts the immediate aftermath of such an act;
  • (i) it depicts techniques likely to be useful in the commission of offences or, through its depiction of criminal activity, promotes the commission of offences;
  • (j) it includes words or images intended or likely to convey a sexual message (ignoring words or images depicting any mild sexual behaviour);
  • (k) it depicts human sexual activity (ignoring any depictions of mild sexual activity);
  • (l) it depicts or promotes acts of force or restraint associated with human sexual activity;
  • (m) it depicts human genital organs or human urinary or excretory functions (unless the depiction is for a medical, scientific or educational purpose);
  • (n) it includes swearing (ignoring any mild bad language); or
  • (o) it includes words or images that are intended or likely (to any extent) to cause offence, whether on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation, or otherwise.

These Regulations do not apply in relation to any supply of a video work which was first placed on the market before [...] 2014

Offsite Comment: Exempt from Common Sense

12th December 2013. See  article from by David Flint

These new rules are vague enough to allow a whole bunch of the material that is causing the moralisers to have kittens to still pass as exempt . Let's look at the Miley Cyrus performances that have recently caused so much fuss, for instance. Would the video for Wrecking Ball need to be certified? Certainly not, because the nudity is suggestive, not graphic. Would her notorious performance with Robin Thicke really be considered to be more than mild sexual activity ? Again, surely not by any reasonable person.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: How come games aren't sexualised? Moralists must be well disappointed...

Link Here 12th December 2013
Why isn't there more sex in games? And why is it so badly handled when it is included? Games blogger Siobhan Keogh investigates.

See article from



Offsite Article: Insulting Free Speech...

Link Here12th December 2013
The Romanian government is reported to have reintroduced criminal sentences for libel and insult cases

See article from



Lantern Shaded...

China blocks Lantern, the US sponsored internet censorship circumvention

Link Here12th December 2013
Lantern is a network of people working together to defeat internet censorship around the world. Install and share Lantern, our new peer-to-peer censorship circumvention software, to give or get access to people in places where access is censored.

Unfortunately there has been a setback in China, lots of Chinese users of Lantern began posting to social media about how it was no longer working as a proxy web connection for them.

The Lantern team confirmed the problems saying that Lantern fallback servers have been blocked by the Great Firewall in China. The team stated that the network had been infiltrated by the censors. The team is hoping for a comeback after implementing countermeasures against infiltration.



ASA Block Proxy Adverts...

ASA whinges at advert for proxy used to unblock websites blocked by schools (in a US context meaning universities)

Link Here11th December 2013

 A mobile display ad for Hotspot Shield showed an image of Katy Perry and logos of YouTube, Skype, Facebook and hulu. Text stated Hotspot Shield - Access blocked sites at school - Get It Now [link]. Issue

A complainant challenged whether the ad was harmful and irresponsible, because it encouraged children to remove internet blocks while at school without the consent of their parents.

AnchorFree Inc t/a Hotspot Shield (Hotspot Shield) said the ad was targeted at university students and not children. They said it was never possible to guarantee that someone under 16 years of age would not see an ad, but that where they could target by age, they targeted people over 18. They said they otherwise targeted content or content categories that would be more likely to be frequented by adults. They said they never knowingly targeted children or content that was primarily consumed by them and that their aim was to upgrade users to a paid subscription, for which children would not have the credit cards or paypal accounts to pay.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ultimate aim of the ad was to encourage adult recipients to upgrade to a paid subscription, an option that would not be available to children directly because it required payment by credit card. Nevertheless, we considered Katy Perry was likely to appeal to children and that Hotspot Shield had not demonstrated that they had procedures in place which would prevent the ad being sent to them. If the ad was received by children, we considered it appeared to address them at school and encouraged them to remove blocks on internet sites that they would not normally be permitted to access. Because of that, we considered the ad was harmful and irresponsible and breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 5.1 (Children). Action



Update: Government Gagging for Repression...

Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement suggest that the government should rewrite its Lobbying Bill which will be used to censor campaigners in the year before a general election

Link Here11th December 2013
Full story: Election Censorship in the UK...Government proposes widespread censorship a year before election
The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement has published its action plan to protect democracy from the chilling effect of the Lobbying Bill which is seeking to censor campaigners on political issues.

The Commission warns that Part 2 of the Bill is so broadly drafted it would restrict campaigning in the whole year before an election. Parliamentary candidates only have to account for their spending in the few months before an election.

The report recommends that Ministers should urgently rewrite the Lobbying Bill to prevent significant damage to legitimate campaigning. It also sets out a twelve point action plan to ensure transparent and proportionate regulation in election periods. It warns urgent action is needed to improve a Bill that the Electoral Commission has described as unenforceable in parts and which legal advice has warned will have a chilling effect on campaigners.

The Commission's recommendations include:

  • Treating campaigners in the same way as political parties by excluding staff costs from spending limits
  • Reducing the period covered by the legislation to six months ahead of an election instead of a year
  • Dropping the proposed tightening of spending caps for campaigners
  • Doubling the current spending levels at which campaigners have to register with the Electoral Commission
  • Scrapping the proposed constituency spending limit which the regulator warned may be unenforceable



Update: Claims of a public health emergency situation...

Canadian MP introduces private members bill to require ISPs to block adult content by default

Link Here11th December 2013
As Britain enacts laws forcing Internet companies to block access to adult content unless customers opt in, a fledgling movement is under way to bring similar laws to Canada.

If we can get a man on the moon, certainly we can figure out a way to protect children from unwanted porn, said Winnipeg Conservative MP Joy Smith, who is formulating a private member's bill that would automatically block access to online pornography. Anyone wanting to access porn would have to contact their ISPs.

Smith hosted a recent meeting for parliamentarians and other stakeholders in Ottawa, with speakers including PC extremist Gail Dines who founded the Stop Porn Culture group, and Julia Beazley, policy analyst at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

They warned about the increasingly violent nature of modern pornography and its effects on young users, which Dines described in an interview as a public health emergency situation.



Offsite Article: No Facebook No Comment...

Link Here11th December 2013
The Huffington Post restricts comments to Facebook users using their Facebook real name

See article from



Extract: Censored by the BBC...

Pythons reveal that they were banned from using the word 'masturbation'

Link Here10th December 2013
From an interview with the Monty Python team:

Michael Palin says that everyone brought a different perspective to the writing. John and Graham were quite angry. Eric was very witty and funny and verbal, Terry and I were a little bit more surreal and whimsical, he says. There were no rules. You could put in what you wanted to. An important factor in its success, he says, was the artistic freedom they were allowed by the BBC. The thing about Python was our determination to control our own material. We weren't easy to dictate to.

In the third series, though, Palin says, the BBC started making some fairly ridiculous censorship decisions . A battle over one particular sketch saw all six Pythons in a heated argument with the head of comedy. We fought them for the right to say 'masturbation', he says.

Did they say it? It was cut out. We recorded it. It was the man in the Summarise Proust Competition whose hobbies were strangling animals, golf and masturbating. They just cut the word, so you had: My hobbies are strangling animals, golf... short pause, huge laugh... So what was so funny about golf?

...Read the full interview



Update: Britain Needs a Nelson Mandela...

To fight against PC extremists and to restore our freedom of speech

Link Here10th December 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
A man was subjected to eight hours of questioning by police and had his computer seized for three weeks just for making a few tasteless Nelson Mandela jokes on the internet.

Neil Phillips says he was also finger-printed and DNA-swabbed after officers received complaints about what he insists were harmless gags, eg:

My PC takes so long to shut down I've decided to call it Nelson Mandela.

He explained:

You can question the taste, but they're not hateful. I told the police they got plenty of likes . What happened to freedom of speech?

The disgraceful Liberal Democrat Councillor Tim Jones was so 'outraged' by the one-liners, aired at a time when Mandela was critically ill, that he made an official complaint. He claimed:

They are vile and deeply offensive, anti-Muslim, anti-disabled.

Staffordshire Police declined to go into detail about the nature of their over the top actions against Phillips. But a spokesman confirmed the arrest and said:

When he answered bail on September 30, he was informed that there would be no further action based on CPS decision of there being insufficient evidence to support a prosecution.



The Basic Democratic Right to Ridicule Politicians...

Australian PC extremist claims she is above ridicule and that political correctness trumps freedom of speech

Link Here10th December 2013
Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is suing Zoo magazine for supposed defamation after it superimposed her head on to the body of a lingerie-clad model

Hanson-Young is suing the magazine for defamation over the photo and article entitled Zoo's asylum seeker bikini plan , published in July 2012. The publication came a week after her emotional address in the Senate about Australia's humanitarian intake of asylum seekers. The magazine said it would house the next boatload of asylum seekers in the Zoo office if the Greens' immigration spokeswoman would agree to a tasteful bikini or lingerie photo shoot.

Hanson-Young says the article implied that being a sex object was the only thing she was good for, that she was not a serious politician, that she was a joke , and that her stance on asylum seekers had exposed her to ridicule.

A judge has now agreed that the defamation case can proceed. The judge noted the article associated with the complaint was satirical and is calculated to hold the plaintiff up to ridicule, but it is difficult to say precisely what it imputed concerning the senator . The matter will now be heard in a civil trial next year.



Update: A hell of a job to search for, track down, and get removed information that might be prejudicial...

Law Commission proposes new power to demand that bloggers, websites or internet companies temporarily take down or block archived information that could prejudice jurors

Link Here10th December 2013
Jurors should face up to two years in prison if they search the internet for information about cases beyond the facts revealed in court, the Law Commission has recommended.

Judges should also be given powers to remove jurors' mobile phones, and all internet-enabled devices must be confiscated during jury room deliberations, according to the commission's proposals for reforming contempt of court regulations.

The report suggests that the attorney general ought to take on responsibility for ordering the media to remove previously published stories from websites if they are deemed to jeopardise a fair trial.

The Law Commission believes its proposals on removing stories from websites will not require media organisations to monitor every trial in the country to ensure that archived stories, still available online, pose a risk to a fair trial.

By requiring the attorney general to make a formal approach to the media when it is feared there is a significant risk that previously published material could undermine justice, the commission intends that interventions will be rare.



Update: Too Far in Favor of the State...

US technology companies calls on Obama to scale back US mass snooping

Link Here10th December 2013

An open letter to Washington

Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,

We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer's revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual --- rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It's time for a change.

For our part, we are focused on keeping users' data secure --- deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.

We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. To see the full set of principles we support, visit


AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo



Update: A stand for democracy in a digital age...

500 writers sign open letter to the UN protesting mass state snooping

Link Here10th December 2013

A stand for democracy in a digital age

In recent months, the extent of mass surveillance has become common knowledge. With a few clicks of the mouse the state can access your mobile device, your email, your social networking and internet searches. It can follow your political leanings and activities and, in partnership with internet corporations, it collects and stores your data, and thus can predict your consumption and behaviour.

The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual. Human integrity extends beyond the physical body. In their thoughts and in their personal environments and communications, all humans have the right to remain unobserved and unmolested.

This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes.

A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.

  • Surveillance violates the private sphere and compromises freedom of thought and opinion.
  • Mass surveillance treats every citizen as a potential suspect. It overturns one of our historical triumphs, the presumption of innocence.
  • Surveillance makes the individual transparent, while the state and the corporation operate in secret. As we have seen, this power is being systemically abused.
  • Surveillance is theft. This data is not public property: it belongs to us. When it is used to predict our behaviour, we are robbed of something else: the principle of free will crucial to democratic liberty.

WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people to determine, as democratic citizens, to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed, and by whom; to obtain information on where their data is stored and how it is being used; to obtain the deletion of their data if it has been illegally collected and stored.


WE CALL ON ALL CITIZENS to stand up and defend these rights.

WE CALL ON THE UNITED NATIONS to acknowledge the central importance of protecting civil rights in the digital age, and to create an international bill of digital rights.

WE CALL ON GOVERNMENTS to sign and adhere to such a convention.

Signed by more than 500 writers from around the world including the following from the UK:

Akkas Al-Ali, Tariq Ali, David Almond, Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Priya Basil, John Berger, Jane Borodale, John Burnside, Louis de Bernières, Isobel Dixon, Joanne Harris, Kazuo Ishiguro, Pico Iyer, Stephen Kelman, Hari Kunzru, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell, Stella Newman, Henry Porter, Martin Rowson, Manda Scott, Will Self, Owen Sheers, Philip Sington, Tom Stoppard, Adam Thirwell, David Vann, Nigel Warbuton, Irvine Welsh, Jeanette Winterson, Rana Dasgupta, Anjali Joseph, Nikita Lalwani, Fadia Faqir, Hanif Kureishi, Lionel Shriver



Update: Sexy is Popular...

Miley Cyrus tops the lists of most watched music videos on Vevo

Link Here10th December 2013
Full story: Miley Cyrus...Gender extremists are aghast at sexy Miley
There are plenty of moralists, feminists and bullies that make the news whingeing about their pet peeves of sexy videos. But its good to see the other side of the coin and see how popular sexy music videos are with the public.

the list of top music videos most watched on Vevo for 2013 rather show that sexy is very popular indeed.

  1. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
  2. We Can't Stop by Miley Cyrus
  3. Scream and Shout by william ft. Britney Spears
  4. Diamonds by Rihanna
  5. Roar by Katy Perry
  6. Just Give Me a Reason by P!nk ft. Nate Ruess
  7. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke ft. T.I., Pharrell
  8. Stay by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko
  9. La La La by Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith
  10. Kiss You by One Direction



Offsite Article: It makes you wonder how they can do their job...

Link Here10th December 2013
Birmingham Council blocks emails which include the word commie, but fascist and Nazi are fine

See article from



Offsite Article: Radio prank expands Australia's TV censor's remit...

Link Here10th December 2013
A radio prank that lead to tragic consequences may end up expanding Australia's broadcast authority's powers. By Helen Clark

See article from



No Longer Funny...

BBFC Trust puts an end to a whinge about a Jesus joke featuring in Michael Grade and the World's Oldest Joke

Link Here9th December 2013

Michael Grade and the World's Oldest Joke
BBC Four, 6 March 2013

A complainant appealed to the BBC Trust on 6 July 2013 as he was not satisfied with the decision of the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) not to uphold his complaint regarding a joke which he considered offensive and totally unacceptable in any context.

He said he had written several letters about his concerns and all the responses he had received failed to intelligently and honestly address the crux of the matter .

The material complained of is as follows:

Jesus is on the gates of heaven and suddenly he sees an old man and he says to the old man 'what are you doing here?' and the old man says 'I'm here to find my son' and Jesus says 'tell me more' and he says 'he was a special boy' and Jesus says 'tell me more' and he says 'well he had holes in his hands and holes in his feet' and Jesus goes 'father!' and the old man goes 'Pinocchio!'

The complainant stated that the BBC would not dare to make any sort of joke against other faiths, such as Judaism and Islam.

The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee Decision

The Committee noted that the BBC was able to include challenging material if it was justified. The Committee agreed with the response of the ECU's Complaints Director that:

...given the editorial purpose of the programme, it was inevitable that it would include material that would offend some viewers for different reasons. It could not have told the story it did, or explored some of the themes it did, without risking giving offence to some...

The Committee regretted the offence that had been felt by this complainant but considered that the Complaints Director had been correct to say that this material was justified by the editorial purpose of the programme and that it would have fallen comfortably within the reasonable expectation of the programme audience .

The Committee noted the complainant's belief that the BBC would not broadcast a vaguely similar piece of programme content which had the potential to cause offence to Muslims or Jews rather than Christians . The Trustees did not consider this assumption was a relevant consideration in deciding whether his complaint that the programme breached offence standards had a reasonable prospect of success.

The Committee agreed that the BBC had given reasoned and reasonable responses to the complaints, as had the Trust Unit, and that there was no reasonable prospect of success for this appeal.

The Committee therefore decided that this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.



Update: The Pied Piper of Kremlin...

The Magic Flute is declared adults only as Russia is led into ever more censorship in the name of 'child protection'

Link Here9th December 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Schoolchildren in the city of Krasnodar will not be able to watch a puppet theater performance of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute this year. Censors at the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service put an 18+ label on the show. The reason: In the opera, one of the heroines wants to kill herself.

Age restrictions on access to information, including Internet sites, have been in place for more than a year in the country. But until now they had not been applied to classical works of literature and art. Soon this might change. On Dec. 4, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service presented a project called The Concept of Informational Security for Children. Among its stipulations is a ban that would keep minors from watching on the Internet classical works of art that include images of the nude body in any form, and anything that might be considered erotic.

Censorship would also extend to works of literature in which the characters use alcohol and drugs or commit crimes, or in works where there are statements destructive to the social institution of the family.

A more radical proposal in the project forbids the depiction or description of mishaps, accidents or catastrophes in television and radio news shows before 9 p.m. If this becomes law, daytime news shows will revert to the Soviet standard of all day, all good news.

The State Duma is considering a draft law that would allow more sites to be blocked without a court order. This would be applied to Internet sites calling for mass unrest or participation in mass events conducted in violation of the established order. In normal language, this means that announcements of unsanctioned opposition rallies on social networks would be blocked.



Censors Hustled...

Australian film censors lower the rating for American Hustle after an appeal

Link Here8th December 2013
American Hustle is a 2013 USA crime drama by David O Russell.
With Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner Sydney Prosser is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film American Hustle is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Frequent coarse language .

American Hustle was previously classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice Strong coarse language by the Classification Board on 2 December 2013.

Note the Australian M rating is an advisory 15, perhaps the Americans would call it PG-15. The MA15+ rating is a restricted rating like the UK 15 rating.

And for comparison, the BBFC   passed the cinema release 15 uncut for strong language.

In the US it was Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence.



Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, and that's Final...

BBC ends appeal process for complaint about song alluding to Margaret Thatcher

Link Here8th December 2013
A complainant wrote to the BBC Trust following the decision of the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) not to uphold his complaint regarding the BBC's decision not to playDing, Dong, the Witch is Dead in its entirety on The Official Chart Show with Jameela Jamil on 14 April 2013, despite it reaching the position of number 2 in the music charts that week.

The BBC had explained its decision at the time by noting that the song had risen in the charts following the death of Margaret Thatcher on 8 April and concluding that, exceptionally , the song would not be played in full out of respect for Baroness Thatcher's family.

The complainant considered that the decision to play only an excerpt of the song when other songs in the charts were played in full was a breach of the requirement for impartiality as set out in the BBC's Royal Charter and Agreement.

In his appeal, the complainant made the following points:

  • The decision to play a truncated version of the song when the other songs in the charts were played in their entirety was a breach of the guidelines on Impartiality as that one track was singled out for different treatment.
  • The purpose of The Official Chart Show was to play the top 40 singles; it was a programme of record and its integrity had been compromised by the decision not to play the song in full.
  • The song was not political, did not contain a political message and did not refer to any individual, there was therefore no need to refer to any political campaign that related to Lady Thatcher.
  • Given that the song did not refer to any individual then it could have been played in its entirety without causing any offence.
  • Had the song been played in full, without an accompanying commentary, there would have been no merit to the argument that it might have been seen as promoting: "any rejoicing in Lady Thatcher's death" and therefore, no argument that its broadcast might cause offence.
  • The decision not to play the song in its entirety raised issues both of impartiality and also of censorship.

The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee Decision

The Committee agreed that the song had become linked with a campaign in the wake of Lady Thatcher's death to display opposition to her premiership and that it did have the capacity to cause offence because it had been widely publicised as being a way of giving voice to anti-Thatcher feelings. The Committee noted too that in making their decision about whether to play the song in The Official Chart Show, the programme makers had sought to balance the Guideline requirements for Impartiality with the requirements relating to Harm and Offence in the week following Lady Thatcher's death and had been mindful of causing distress to her grieving family.

The Committee was mindful that the circumstances The Official Chart Show found itself in on this occasion were difficult and that complaints were likely to be received whatever decision the BBC took with regard to playing Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead in these circumstances. The Committee considered that, aside from whether or not people had bought the song in order to express anti-Thatcher political sentiments, which listeners may or may not agree with, the song in question was clearly a celebration of a death. Although it was not linked to any real person when written, the Committee believed that the song had clearly and unarguably gained its association with Lady Thatcher in the run up to the chart show in question.

The Committee agreed that it was therefore legitimate for the BBC to have given weight to the possibility of offence caused by the broadcast of a perceived celebration of the death of a specific and very recently deceased person. The Committee was satisfied that in setting out the political background to the high chart position of this song, the programme had sought to meet the requirements of due impartiality while mitigating the risk of gratuitous offence.

The Committee therefore decided that this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.



The Age of Easy Offence...

More PC nonsense claiming that Lily Allen's song 'fuck you' causes widespread offence

Link Here8th December 2013

A promotional e-mail, from Spotify, an online music service, included the text Have you heard this song by Lily Allen? Give it a try. Fuck You .

The complainant challenged whether the use of a swear word in the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment Upheld

The ASA noted the expletive used in the ad reflected the title of a song, which we understood was recommended to users, for example, based on a user having listened to songs of a similar genre, rather than of a similar title. While we considered Spotify users would understand the use of Fuck You to be the title of a song, we considered recipients of e-mails from a general online music service would not expect them to include swearing. We considered the use of Fuck was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients of such e-mails and therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

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

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Spotify to ensure their future advertising contained nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.



Update: The Age of Easy Offence...

120 hours of community service for inane Facebook comments about April Jones murder

Link Here8th December 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
An internet user who used Facebook posts to mock the search for murdered schoolgirl April Jones has been branded absolutely appalling by a judge.

Gordon Mullen was condemned by Scots Sheriff Iona McDonald for his remarks on Facebook two days after the five-year-old went missing near her home in Machynlleth in October 2012.

He made a series of posts in a three-way conversation:

His first post said: Hopefully the search for the missing girl doesn't go on like the Madeleine McCann saga and she just turns up dead.

Mullen then made a comment regarding Jimmy Savile, adding LMAO (laughing my arse off).

He also made a remark involving April Jones and Austrian sex criminal Josef Fritzel.

Mullen admitted breaching the Communications Act after his earlier arrest for failing to appear in court. Mullen was given 120 hours unpaid work.



Offsite Article: Cuts and Slashes...

Link Here7th December 2013 publishes detailed comparison between the Theatrical and Extended versions of The Wolverine

See article from



Family Secrets...

Egyptian film cut by the censor just because it addresses homosexuality

Link Here7th December 2013
Creators of the first film to come out of Egypt which directly tackles gay issues have been told they must delete a large chunk of scenes, despite that the film contains no sexually explicit content.

The censors demanded that thirteen scenes be cut from Family Secrets directed by Hany Fawzy.

The director said deleting such a high volume of scenes would remove vital segments of the plot, and damage it artistically. One of the scenes sees the gay protagonist come out to his sister, and in another he accuses his father of being responsible for his sexual orientation .

The censorship comes after the head of the censor board Ahmed Awad, told the AFP last month that the film would not be censored just because it addresses homosexuality ... [BUT] ...

Update: Gay film without the gay

12th January 2013. See  Egyptian debut director Hany Fawzy fears for film on homosexuality from

When Hany Fawzy finished editing Family Secrets , he thought he had made one of the first Egyptian films to focus primarily on homosexuality. Then Egypt s censors watched it. After 13 requested changes, Fawzy fears their edits will turn the protagonist's love affair with another man into a romance-free friendship.

His relationship will seem like a heterosexual relationship, said Fawzy, a seasoned screenwriter making his directorial debut with Family Secrets. It'll mess up the film. You won't be able to understand the psychological dilemma of the character, or his relationship with others.

Family Secrets tells the story of Marwan, a young man who visits five psychiatrists in an attempt to cure himself of what society has led him to consider a disease. Those who come out to their families in Egypt are often encouraged by their parents to do the same.

According to Fawzy, there are no sexually explicit scenes in the film but censors want to cut 13 details, including shots of Marwan resting his head on another man's shoulder in a cinema, and a crucial conversation about homosexuality between the pair in bed. They are also uncomfortable with a scene where a psychiatrist asks him if he wants to sleep with one of his male colleagues.

Rare though the film is, its plot has nevertheless also angered many gay Egyptians, who expect it to imply that homosexuality is something to be ashamed of. From what I have read, it deals with homosexuality in the way that everyone does -- that it's a disease, and that we are not pleased with ourselves, that we want a cure, said Ramy Youssef, known as the first Egyptian to come out on Twitter . This isn't something that can be presented as a disease, said Mahmoud, an activist concerned with gender issues. It's what concerns me most -- that this false psychiatry, the idea of converting people from gay to straight, which has been copied from the west, is recognised as therapy.



Updated: Legislation without Thought...

2nd Reading in the House of Lords for Elspeth's Howe's ludicrous bill to demand British websites implement onerous ATVOD style age verification before granting access to any 'adult' content, even MelonFarmers

Link Here7th December 2013
Full story: Online Safety Bill...Elspeth Howe proposes onerous website age verification
Last year Elspeth Howe sponsored a private members bill that more or less mandated ISP porn blocking software along the lines of that currently being introduced. However it had a nasty twist that all pornographic images be restricted to users opting in to porn access from their ISPs and that allowable porn sites had to implement onerous ATVOD style age verification systems such as demanding a credit card (debit cards are unacceptable) payment prior to any access to porn.

This year Howe has reintroduced her bill with an even nastier kick in the teeth. She want all adult content, not just porn, to be restricted to sites that impose ATVOD style age verification.

The Bill receives its 2nd read in the House of Lord today. The relevant section of the bill reads:

1 Duty to provide a service that excludes adult content

(1) Internet service providers must provide to subscribers an internet access service which excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection 3
have been fulfilled.

(2) Where mobile telephone network operators provide a telephone service to subscribers, which includes an internet access service, they must ensure this service excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection 3 have
been fulfilled.

(3) The conditions are--

(a) the subscriber "opts-in" to subscribe to a service that includes adult content;

(b) the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and

(c) the provider of the service has an age verification policy which meets the standards set out by OFCOM and which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over.

Update: Passed 2nd Reading

7th December 2013. See  Hansard from

The bill passed 2nd Reading after 3 hours of censorial politicians patting each other on the back for this ludicrously worded proposal. Nobody was interesting in actually thinking through the consequences of the proposal. A fine example of how crap law is generated.



Update: Insults will no longer be a public order offence from 1st February 2014...

Unless of course they 'annoy' someone

Link Here 7th December 2013
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship
A free speech reform backed by The National Secular Society will come into effect on 1 February next year.

From that date the word insulting will be removed from Section 5 of the Public Order Act -- a provision that permitted the police to arrest people because someone else thought their words or behaviour insulting . This resulted in people being arrested for preaching against homosexuality in the street and, in one case, for calling a policeman's horse gay . Others had been arrested for calling Scientology a cult and for saying woof to a dog.

The NSS worked together with the Christian Institute and others to campaign against the insulting provision and after a hard-fought effort, the Government agreed to the reform.

Despite Government resistance, the House of Lords overwhelmingly supported reforming Section 5 in December last year, voting 150 to 54 in favour of an amendment to remove the word insulting . In January the Government gave way and agreed to the move, which will now come into place following guidance for police forces on the change.



Censor Cut...

New Zealand advert censors bans ad for Grand Theft Auto

Link Here7th December 2013
A Grand Theft Auto advert that showed a character pointing out a 'cut here' tattoo on his neck could promote violent behaviour according to New Zealand's advert censor.

The ad was placed on two New Zealand news websites. Three people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), describing it as offensive, aggressive and intimidating and saying it should be kept to websites restricted to adults.

The complainants said the advertisement was distasteful and sends a message to viewers that stealing cars and cutting throats are synonymous .

The ASA complaints board upheld the complaints, saying the tattoo on the character's neck was likely to be interpreted as a reference to decapitation. The board said:

While in cartoon form, such imagery still leant support to unacceptable violent behaviour.

The ASA ruled that the advertisement should be removed from the websites



No Freedom to Create in Alberta...

State government bans people and the press from commenting on strikes

Link Here7th December 2013
With the passage of the Alberta's government's astonishing new labour laws, it will be hard to see any point to public sector unions at all.

But another piece of legislation, Bill 45, is in many ways even more radical in the context of Canada's public sector labour relations.

As before, most Alberta public employees won't be permitted to strike. But from now on, they won't even be able to talk about a strike or any disruptive labour action that could be seen as leading to a strike.

Along with prohibitions against specific actions such as calling a strike vote, Bill 45 contains an exceptionally vague ban on an act or threat to act that could reasonably be perceived as preparation for an employees' strike.



Self Censorship over Government Censorship...

Newspapers sign up for the industry regulator, IPSO

Link Here6th December 2013

More than 90% of national newspapers and most regional publishers have signed up to the industry's successor to the Press Complaints Commission.

The architects of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, the rival to the government-backed regulator underpinned by royal charter, held a meeting on Thursday morning to secure the signatures of the vast majority of UK newspaper and magazine publishers.

Paul Vickers, Trinity Mirror s group legal director and chairman of the industry implementation group overseeing the creation of Ispo, said that new body would be up and running by 1 May:

The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with publishers representing more than 90% of the national press and the vast majority of the regional press, along with major magazine publishers, signing.



Update: You Couldn't Make It Up...

Ireland set to appoint 5 temporary book censors to handle a whinge about politician's novel that has got absolutely no chance of being censored

Link Here6th December 2013
Full story: Book Censorship in Ireland...Minister for censorship investigated by how own censor board
Irish arts minister Jimmy Deenihan is somehow 'being forced' to appoint five book censors to deal with a complaint about Alan Shatter' s racy novel, Laura .

The positions are unpaid but members can qualify for limited travel and subsistence expenses for meeting to decide on the complaint about the novel.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Deenihan signalled that the Censorship of Publications Board is still facing the axe.

A government spokesman said it would be inappropriate to abolish the board at this time when a complaint still had to be dealt with.

The Censorship of Publications Board has not banned any works since 2003 and has had no board members in place for the past two years.



A severe blow to investigative reporting...

Kenya passes repressive anti-press legislation

Link Here6th December 2013

Kenya's National Assembly has passed contentious anti-press legislation, the Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Act and the Media Council Act, which will effectively silence critical reporting through a new government-controlled regulator and the threat of hefty fines.

CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes said:

These media laws will force journalists and news outlets to self-censor to survive. They are a severe blow to investigative reporting in Kenya. The laws also set a dangerous precedent for other East African countries which take their cue from Kenya, traditionally a regional leader in the industry.

The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Act and the Media Council Act will enable a new government-controlled regulatory board to fine journalists up to 500,000 Kenyan shillings (US$5,500) and media companies up to 20 million shillings (US$230,000) if the board finds them in breach of a government-dictated code of conduct, to be penned by legislators.



Not Funny...

Sri Lanka's stage censor bans satirical play

Link Here6th December 2013
The censor board has banned the latest edition of the popular political satire Pusswedilla from being staged in Sri Lanka.

The Director of Pusswedilla, Feroz Kamardeen, told the Colombo Gazette that the censor board had refused permission for the stage play on the premise that it supposedly criticizes the Commonwealth summit.

Kamardeen said that Pusswedilla Part 4.1 The Comon Welthings Summit was start on November 30. However two days earlier the censor board had informed Kamardeen that the play had been banned. he said:

Pusswedilla will be back. We will not back down. In keeping with the finest traditions of democracy we will continue to make fun of our political masters on both sides of the political divide. We will continue to exercise our freedoms of speech and expression that is guaranteed to us in our constitution.



Rated PG-13 for crude mating calls, stoned crows and a few tits...

A Birder's Guide to Everything is downrated from R to PG-13 on appeal

Link Here 5th December 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 MPAA's Classification and Ratings Appeal Board has overturned the R rating given to the film A Birder's Guide to Everything for some language and crude references.

The film is now rated PG-13 for language, sex and drug references, and partial brief nudity.



Update: An internet fit for 13 year olds...

Sky Broadband launches its website blocking system

Link Here5th December 2013
Sky has launched its network-level mature content blocking system.

Called Sky Broadband Shield, the blocking system is available to new and existing Sky customers from today, and will block content if they fall into one of ten categories, including porn, self-harm and suicide. Sky isn't categorising that content itself and is instead working with Symantec.

Customers will have the option of three blocking levels - PG, 13, and 18. The adults-only setting won't block content, but, according to Sky, will provide some defence against phishing attempts and malware.

Users can switch off filtering entirely through their My Sky settings, and parents can also tailor the block list by adding or removing specific sites, as well as switching on or off each of the ten categories.

Since it's a network-level filter, it will implement the same blocking definitions for all devices using that connection.

Any new customers signing up to Sky from today will see a page asking them to approve their blocking settings; the settings for 13-year-olds and up will be pre-ticked.



Update: Crap Orange Website Blocking System...

Orange 'Safeguard' blocks all websites classified as a blog

Link Here5th December 2013
  All of the country's mobile operators implement website blocking systems in the name of child protection. They are turned on by default, and only get removed by a minority of people, and are largely unregulated.

The most important thing to know about these mobile website blockers, though, is this: they are terrible at their job.

Over the years, many websites have found themselves the victim of a phenomenon known as overblocking , where the filters seem to arbitrarily censor them from millions of subscribers.  This may sound like a storm in a teacup (who doesn't want to look out for kids?) but for many website owners, being hit by an overblock can be more than just irritating: it can be potentially threatening to your business.

Over the last month or so, I've been documenting the process we've been going through after we discovered that Orange was overblocking GigaOM and preventing mobile readers from accessing our site . We did manage to get the block lifted , but what became even more frustrating than the overblock itself was trying to understand why it had happened.

But now, it turns out, we may have an actual answer --- and it's proof positive of the totally ludicrous, crude nature of the filtering that goes on. Here's the bottom line: Orange's child protection filter, Safeguard, simply prevents people from reading anything that looks like a blog.

The company sent me an official statement explaining their position (my emphasis):

We would urge websites who feel they have been incorrectly categorised, or those who would like to register a complaint, to use the feedback tool provided on the Orange Safeguard landing page users are presented with when a site is blocked. We will aim to investigate and rectify any problems as quickly as possible. GigaOM was blocked by our third party monitoring system as it was categorised incorrectly as a blog,

So, essentially, Safeguard divides the web into categories of content. Some of it is OK: things like news services or big, well-known websites. Meanwhile, pretty much any site that's categorized as containing user-generated content gets filtered by default --- and that includes blogs, forums, chat sites and many more. That's it.



Update: Contempt of Small Print...

Dominic Grieve to publish guidelines for tweeters about sub-judicy

Link Here5th December 2013

Future advisory notes from the Attorney General will be published to help prevent social media users from committing a contempt of court placeholder

Advisory notes from the Attorney General will be published on the website and twitter from today to help prevent social media users from committing a contempt of court, Dominic Grieve QC MP has announced.

The advisories, which have previously only been issued to print and broadcast media outlets on a not for publication basis, are designed to make sure that a fair trial takes place and warn people that comment on a particular case needs to comply with the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

The change in policy is designed to help inform the public about the legal pitfalls of commenting in a way which could be seen as prejudicial to a court case or those involved.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP said:

Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook mean that individuals can now reach thousands of people with a single tweet or post. This is an exciting prospect, but it can pose certain challenges to the criminal justice system.

In days gone by, it was only the mainstream media that had the opportunity to bring information relating to a court case to such a large group of people that it could put a court case at risk. That is no longer the case, and is why I have decided to publish the advisories that I have previously only issued to the media.

This is not about telling people what they can or cannot talk about on social media; quite the opposite in fact ...BUT... it's designed to help facilitate commentary in a lawful way. I hope that by making this information available to the public at large, we can help stop people from inadvertently breaking the law, and make sure that cases are tried on the evidence, not what people have found online.

This change also brings more openness to Government's dealings with the media so that both sides can be accountable to the public for what they do and say.

The advisories will be published on the Attorney General's Office (AGO) section of the website and also through the AGO's twitter feed, @AGO_UK



The Times They Are A-Changin'...

French authorities investigate Bob Dylan who is accused of 'offending' Croats

Link Here5th December 2013
US singer and song writer Bob Dylan has been placed under judicial investigation in France for offending Croats.

It follows a legal complaint lodged by a Croat association in France over a 2012 interview Dylan gave to Rolling Stone magazine.

In the interview he compared the relationship between Jews and Nazis to that of Serbs and Croats. He is reported to have said:

Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that.

If you got a slave master or [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.

After the interview was published, the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) filed a complaint. Being placed under judicial investigation means that authorities are taking the complaint seriously but that it won't necessarily go further, the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris says.



Updated: A police team is homing in on bad taste jokers...

But the tweeters aren't worried, it's the Flying Squad!

Link Here5th December 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
A spate of supposedly 'offensive' Twitter remarks on the Glasgow helicopter tragedy has sparked a public 'outcry' as it emerged a teenager was arrested for posting sectarian and racist comments about the disaster.

Police Scotland confirmed that a 16-year-old had been detained for posting 'sickening' jibes in the wake of the Clutha pub catastrophe. The teenager was arrested on Sunday and held in custody in connection with remarks made on a social networking site following Friday's tragedy, police said.

Update: Katie Hopkins under fire for throwaway joke

5th December 2013. See  article from . Thanks to Phantom

Katie hopkins has built a career on brash utterances and saying what everyone else is thinking . But now, more than 44,000 easily offended people have signed a petition calling for former Apprentice contestant to be banned from any future TV appearances.

The former reality TV star turned professional contrarian and HuffPost blogger issued an apology after cracking a joke on Twitter about life expectancy in Scotland following the fatal helicopter crash on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow. She had joked on Twitter:

Life expectancy in Scotland is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement.

She later apologised:

My tweet on Scotland was directly related to this article: . I aologise to those I offended. It was poor timing.



Offsite Article: If PG-13 Is the Moneymaker...

Link Here5th December 2013
Why Is Hollywood Cranking Out So Many R-Rated Movies?

See article from



Offsite Article: Co-Traveler...

Link Here5th December 2013
NSA gathering 5bn cell phone records daily, Snowden documents show

See article from



I want to see it, feel it, hold it, put it in my mouth...

VIP e-cigarette advert inflames the easily offended

Link Here4th December 2013
A few viewers have tweeted a few whinges about the screening of a supposedly offensive e-cigarette advert during I'm A Celebrity .

The advert alludes to oral sex with a series of suggestive phrases in the commercial screened a little after the watershed.

In the commercial, a woman talking straight to the camera says:

I want you to get it out. I want to see it, feel it, hold it, put it in my mouth. I want to see how great it tastes.

Of course the punch line is that she is actually referring to an electronic cigarette.

A few viewers branded the advert disgraceful and unfunny while others said that it glamourised smoking.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) confirmed they were investigating the advert for VIP Electronic Cigarettes. A spokesman said:'

The ASA has received a significant number of complaints about two TV ads for VIP electronic cigarettes.

Complainants object that the language used in the ads is overly sexual and offensive while others object that the ad sexualises and glamorises e-cigarettes and/or smoking.

We have now launched a formal investigation into these ads.

Update: Whinge Count

15th December 2013. See  article from

Apparently 147 people have now complained about the advert.



Update: A police team is homing in on bad taste jokers...

But the tweeters aren't worried, it's the Flying Squad!

Link Here4th December 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
A spate of supposedly 'offensive' Twitter remarks on the Glasgow helicopter tragedy has sparked a public 'outcry' as it emerged a teenager was arrested for posting sectarian and racist comments about the disaster.

Police Scotland confirmed that a 16-year-old had been detained for posting 'sickening' jibes in the wake of the Clutha pub catastrophe. The teenager was arrested on Sunday and held in custody in connection with remarks made on a social networking site following Friday's tragedy, police said.



I'll Name that Tune in 1...

German authorities create a phone app to rapidly identify banned neo-Nazi songs

Link Here4th December 2013

Police in Germany have developed a smartphone app that helps them to identify right-wing extremist music from just a short clip.

The app, which has been dubbed a Nazi Shazam , in reference to the popular music-identification app, allows German authorities to recognise neo-Nazi music at far-right rallies in just seconds through its audio fingerprints . Ministers are set to meet this week to discuss implementation of the new piece of software.

According to Der Spiegel, the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors has collated a list of 79 pieces of music it considers to have racist lyrics or that promotes neo-Nazi ideology.



Update: Blasphemy is Dead Long Live Blasphemy...

Dutch upper house votes to end blasphemy but also to replace it with something similar

Link Here4th December 2013
Full story: Blasphemy in the Netherlands...Netherlands considersl blasphemy laws
Blasphemy will be removed from the Dutch statute books following a majority vote in the upper house of parliament on Tuesday.

However, a second motion was voted through which allows for another law to be found which can be adjusted to protect people from serious insult to their religion.

Last week, the coalition partners Labour and Liberal VVD said they had doubts about plans to scrap the blasphemy law. During last week's debate in the upper house of parliament, Labour senator Nico Schrijver questioned whether scrapping the blasphemy laws would offer minorities sufficient protection against their religious sensibilities being hurt.

Blasphemy has been on the statute books since 1932.



Jason Returns Again...

New Friday the 13th film announced

Link Here3rd December 2013

The seemingly indestructible psychopath Jason Voorhees is back for another 13th Friday the 13th movie. A date of Friday 13th March 2015 has been set for the release. The news follows a deal where Warner Brothers relinquished the franchise to Paramount.

Horror journalist Ryan Turek tweeted last month that the film's producers were fielding story treatments from a found footage angle.

Jason's last outing was in 2009 when Michael Bay-produced Friday the 13th , which became the second-most successful film in the franchise.



Update: Supporting the Guardian's publications about state surveillance...

Open letter to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. By Index on Censorship

Link Here 3rd December 2013

Dear Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP,

Index on Censorship is writing to you ahead of Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger's appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee's hearing on counter terrorism.

We believe that the Guardian's publication of details of GCHQ's digital surveillance techniques has been very much in the public interest.

Mass data retention and monitoring is a hugely important issue. As more and more of our lives are lived online, it is only right that British people should know how and why the security services gather and monitor digital information. We should be able to debate whether the security services are acting legitimately, legally and proportionately, or are going beyond what is suitable and proper in any democratic, rights-based society. The Guardian's revelations should be the beginning of a public debate on how this work is done, and with what oversights.

We are concerned that rather than a debate being opened up, the focus has instead been on criticising the Guardian's work, with even the Prime Minister threatening to take action against the newspaper if it did not take ?social responsibility?. Index on Censorship maintains that the Guardian has shown great social responsibility in investigating, reporting and publishing the details of this story, having maintained open communication with security services and the DA Notice committee.

The Guardian has also lived up to the responsibility of a free press to reveal facts and issues of interest to the public. A British newspaper should be able to report on these issues without fear of retribution. But comments made by politicians and the security services made have led many round the world to question Britain's commitment to press freedom. For example, the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists rightly pointed out that: ?Governments around the world look to the UK 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.?

Finally, Index on Censorship is troubled by the use of counter-terror measures to detain David Miranda, the partner of former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. We believe the use of terror legislation to obtain journalistic materials, without court oversight, is a threat to free expression and to anyone involved in journalism. As part of a coalition of newspapers, journalists? organisations and campaigners which submitted an intervention to the judicial review of Mr Miranda's detention at Heathrow airport, we are concerned that using Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 against people engaged in journalistic activities runs a real risk of conflating journalism--particularly journalism investigating the intelligence services--with terrorism.

Yours sincerely

Kirsty Hughes, Chief Executive

Index on Censorship



Update: Saudi Religious Police Recommend...

the Sci-Fi novel H W J N by Ibraheem Abbas and Yasser Bahjatt

Link Here3rd December 2013
Full story: Religious Police in Saudi...A law unto themselves
A top selling Saudi Arabian science fiction novel has been removed from book shops across the country.

The religious police have raided several bookshops selling the novel H W J N by Ibraheem Abbas and Yasser Bahjatt, demanding it'd be taken off the shelves. The book is a fantasy, sci-fi romance about a genie who falls in love with a human, and is a best-seller in Saudi Arabia.

It seems that authorities have accused the book of blasphemy, devil-worshiping, referencing jinn [genies] and leading teenage girls to experiment with Ouija boards .



The Art of Intimidation...

Gay art exhibition closes after threats from right wing moralists in Hyderabad

Link Here3rd December 2013
The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) Monday condemned what it called moral policing by the right-wing brigade of Hyderabad, which exerted pressure on an art gallery to cancel gay artist Balbir Krishan's exhibition.

The exhibition, on the theme of nudity and homosexuality, was displayed at the Muse Gallery in Hyderabad and enjoyed a smooth preview Saturday.

However, exhibition curator Kaali Sudheer received a call late night from someone claiming to be a right-wing activist who demanded that the exhibition end.

The gallery complied with the demand as the people making the threats had strong political connections .

An official statement from SAHMAT said:

The work was up on their (gallery's) website and social media, and it is clear there was nothing pornographic or obscene in the works which were male nudes. The gallery was fully aware of the work and had invited the artist to exhibit and the opening was well attended.

It is because the artist is gay that the moral police of the right has swung into action. Their threats and intimidation are in fact against the law, and the gallery should have complained to the police.



Sticking Their Noses Into Other People's Business...

Catholics have a whinge at traditional statuettes featuring defecating celebrities

Link Here3rd December 2013
  The northeastern region of Catalonia has a tradition of producing caganer statuettes, which depict bare-bottomed celebrities defecating.

The ceramic figurines have been sold in Catalonia since the 18th century to be placed in Christmas nativity scenes for good luck.

But some Roman Catholics were outraged by one of this year's subjects: the Virgin of Montserrat, a black statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ. Believed to date back at least to the Middle Ages, the Madonna stands in the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, near Barcelona.  The abbey's prior, Ignassi Fossas, wrote in a letter:

Using the image of the Virgin of Montserrat for this grotesque figurine seems to us a sign of insensitivity and lack of respect to many people who could feel their beliefs are hurt.

A Roman Catholic association, e-Cristianos , said it planned to sue the manufacturer for attacking the respect and dignity of religious symbols.

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