Censor Watch

2018: December

2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
Jan   Feb   Mar   April   May   June   July   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec   Latest  


 

A Major lack of Perspective...

Recently unlocked government papers show that prime minister John Major wanted Britain to derogate the European Convention on Human Rights so as to be able to continue to ban Visions of Ecstasy


Link Here 31st December 2018
Newly-released government papers reveal that prime minister John Major considered abrogating from the European Convention on Human Rights if it ruled against Britain in a case involving the film Visions of Ecstasy being banned for blasphemy -- Visions of Ecstasy. Documents also revealed that Major was an admirer of Mary Whitehouse.

Nigel Wingrove's 18-minute film depicted Carmelite nun St Teresa's sexual fantasies about Jesus on the cross, and it was banned by the BBFC, making it the first and only film to be banned in the UK for blasphemy.

When film director Wingrove applied to challenge the ban at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), arguing it breached his freedom of expression, Major responded in a document dated August 1994 sent to senior government figures. Major wrote:

I must make it clear that I would not tolerate a position which required the Government or the BBFC to grant a certificate to this film or to others of a similar type.

This is a matter on which I feel sufficiently strongly to be prepared to consider a derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights if that were to be necessary in the final analysis. I must say I find the position in which we find ourselves wholly unacceptable.

In a reply, then Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd warned about doing anything likely to weaken the fabric of the convention, adding that:

We cannot, in practice, derogate from it except in cases of war or threats to the life of the nation.

Actually it turned out that the UK's blasphemy laws were backed by the ECHR when it threw out Wingate's challenge two years later.

Visions of Ecstacy was finally given an 18-rated certificate in 2012 after the common law offence of blasphemous libel was abolished in England and Wales in 2008.

 

 

Unbelievable!...

Rajan Zed whinges as Hindhu gods becoming characters in Marvel and DC comics


Link Here 31st December 2018
The perennial hindhu whinger Rajan Zed is urging top comics publishing companies--Marvel & DC Comics--not to trivialize highly revered Hindu gods and goddesses in their comics, claiming it to be highly inappropriate.

Various Hindu deities--Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Rama, Kali, Skanda, etc.--have reportedly made appearances as characters in Marvel and DC in the past.

Zed said in a statement that Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely or dragged around unnecessarily in comics for mercantile greed.

Zed urged Marvel, DC and other comics publishers to seriously look into this issue in future planning.

Zed stated that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more ...BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the adherents.

 

 

Better censored than blocked...

Chinese game censorship resumes after a 9 month break for reorganisation


Link Here 31st December 2018
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
China has ended a nine-month freeze on the release of video games implemented whist the country's censors were being reorganised. In March China decided to replace the government censors with a new organisation answering to the ruling Communist Party's propaganda department. It is widely feared that the new organisation will be even more censorial than the previous version..

The new censor has just passed its first batch of 80 titles, the majority of which are for mobile phones.

Chinese gaming executives told the newspaper they expect it'll take officials months to clear the more than 5,000 games that need approval -- and that censorship of the games would see a significant increase.

 

 

Offsite Article: Blacking up, White Christmas and #MeToo...


Link Here 31st December 2018
Do problematic scenes and outdated attitudes mean entertainment has an expiry date?

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Enter the Dragon...

Is the uncut release uncut?


Link Here 29th December 2018
Enter Dragon Special Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong/US martial arts film by Robert Clouse.
With Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Continually cut by the BBFC for all cinema and VHS releases. Uncut in the UK since 2001 DVD. Uncut and MPAA R rated in the US.

Philip writes:

Enter the Dragon was finally released uncut nearly 30 years after its initial release. However the print used for the uncut version may not be so.

It's been stated by various people on the internet that some of the violence was toned down between its cinema and video releases. One scene in particular is the fight between the characters of Roper (John Saxon) and Bolo (Bolo Yeung) near the end of the film. At the fight's climax Roper delivers a kick to the solar plexus or possibly balls of Bolo, the film then cuts to a reaction shot of Han (Shih Kien) and back to Bolo's head resting on Roper's foot. In between the Han reaction/Bolo's Death shot we audibly hear another blow being struck.

Rumours are that there was another shot of Roper delivering a blow to the back of Bolo's neck, possibly with the point of the elbow, which was maybe cut out due to it being a dangerous technique.

One final point of interest is that an unused scene from I believe Enter The Dragon of Lee (Bruce Lee) sitting at a desk writing ended up in a Bruceploitation film (Possibly Game Of Death II), though my memory's not what it was. Hope this info has been of some interest to you.

 

 

Freedom fighters?...

Manchester police tell restaurant owner told to take down Che Guevara flag


Link Here 29th December 2018
Geoff Oliver and wife Maria run El Cuba Libre restaurant in Hyde, Tameside, and were asked by police to take a Cuban flag with Che Guevera's face superimposed on it.

A Greater Manchester Police licensing officer visited the pub saying there had been a complaint about it.

Pub landlord Geoff Oliver said he was told to remove it from the window and was warned if he refused there could be consequences, with it potentially being recorded as a crime. He  described the incident as attempted political censorship and said the request was particularly offensive to his Cuban wife Maria.

The spin from the authorities is that a force licensing officer merely paid a visit on behalf of Tameside council to make him aware of the complaint and ask if he would consider taking it down. They insist he was not told he had to or threatened with an investigation.

 

 

Offsite Article: Mark (Sorry I'll Do Better Next Time) Zuckerberg's censorship book...


Link Here 29th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

See article from nytimes.com

 

 

Offsite Article: The Internet Became Less Free in 2018. Can We Fight Back?...


Link Here 29th December 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
How China Helped Make the Internet Less Free

See article from wired.com

 

 

Top 10...

Ofcom publishes its 2018 list of the TV programmes earning the most complaints


Link Here 26th December 2018
Celebrity Big Brother was the television programme that earned the most viewer complaints to TV censor Ofcom in 2018.

During 2018, Ofcom received almost 56,000 complaints about programmes from viewers and listeners. The 'top 10' most complained about television shows together prompted more than 47,000 audience complaints to Ofcom.

  • Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 attracted the most complaints in 2018 (27,602). The majority related to an allegation of physical abuse made by Roxanne Pallett against Ryan Thomas.
  • Loose Women on ITV attracted the second highest volume of complaints this year (8,002). The majority related to an interview with guest Kim Woodburn.
  • Sky News : 4,251 complaints (of which 3,462 noted the bias in the editing of Tommy Robinson in an interview (27 Sept); and 592 related to comments by Kay Burley's comparing Simon Weston's injuries to a woman wearing a burqa (7 Aug)).
  • Love Island : 4,192 complaints (of which 2,644 related to Dani Dyer's reaction when shown a video of boyfriend Jack reacting to his former partner entering Casa Amour (1 July); 632 raised concerns about the emotional wellbeing of contestant, Laura Anderson (10 July); and 540 related to perceived unfair editing of contestant, Samira Mighty (12 July)).
  • Coronation Street : 1,098 complaints (of which 214 related to the storyline involving the date-rape of David Platt and its aftermath (16,19 March); 211 related to Billy Mayhew taking drugs in a church (26 Feb); and 95 related to Pat Phelan's murder of Luke Britton (5 Jan)).
  • Emmerdale : 759 complaints (of which366 complaints related to an acid attack storyline (8 Feb); and 116 related to the murder of Gerry Roberts (17 May)).
  • Good Morning Britain : 548 complaints (of which 86 considered that Piers Morgan displayed bias in favour of President Trump during an interview with Ash Sarkar (12 July); and 74 related to Adil Ray's introduction of the show as "Good Morning Asian Britain" (13 August)).
  • This Morning : 402 complaints (of which 133 raised concerns that a guest who featured in a segment about breastfeeding was not sufficiently expert (12 Sept); and 30 related to a discussion about donor breastmilk which complainants considered did not support breastfeeding and promoted formula milk (12 Apr).
  • I'm a Celebrity...Get me Out of Here: 335: The majority of these complaints (180) related to the use of animals in Bushtucker trials.
  • The X Factor : 286 complaints (of which 104 related to Cheryl's routine (18 Nov); and95 related to sound issues affecting the performances of Danny Tetley and Anthony Russell (3 Nov)).

 

 

Suitable for Indonesians...

Indonesia unblocks Tumblr now the porn has been censored


Link Here 26th December 2018
Full story: Tumblr Censorship...Tumblr announces that it will ban all porn
Indonesia's Ministry of Communications and Information (Kominfo) has announced that the social media website Tumblr is once again accessible in Indonesia now that it's been censored.

Kominfo Spokesperson Ferdinandus Setu stated in a press release that the ministry lifted its restrictions on Tumblr after the site no longer allowed adult content on its platform since Dec 17.

The site had been blocked by Kominfo in March of this year due to the country's repressive anti-pornography laws.

 

 

Offsite Article: Let's make free speech the great cause of 2019...


Link Here 26th December 2018
From state bans to corporate censorship, free speech is in trouble. By Andrew Doyle

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Updated: Aquaman...

Dampeners for the UK cinema release as the film is cut for a 12A rating


Link Here 24th December 2018
Aquaman is a 2018 Australia / USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by James Wan.
Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman. BBFC link IMDb

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

The UK cinema release has been cut for a 12A rating. 2D and 3D versions were passed 12A for moderate violence, scenes of sustained threat after BBFC advised pre-cuts: advised pre-cuts:

The BBFC commented:
  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 15 but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by removing bloody detail. When the film was submitted for formal classification the bloody detail had been removed and the film was classified 12A.

Meanwhile in the US the film was rated MPAA PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

Update: Pools of blood

24th December 2018. Thanks to ThatFilmGuy

I went to go see Aquaman last week (in the UK) and aware of the cuts made in post production I watched an online copy of the US PG-13 version of the film to work out what was cut.

The scene in question occurs at 1 hour and 28 minutes into the film; in the US version Aquaman is stabbed in the shoulder by Black Manta following which a small red patch appears, in the UK version the small red patch was removed. After this Aquaman is slashed in the back following which a small blood spurt is seen again this blood spurt was removed digitally.

Also some foreign releases I saw this year were noticeably pre-cut by the distributor before being submitted to the BBFC (similarly to Bumblebee the BBFC marks these as uncut) these films in question being:

  • Baaghi 2 (which was pre-cut by around 1 or 2 minutes for violence and drug use) and
  • Maari 2 (which was pre-cut by around 3 minutes for violence)

I have compared these to the International releases online which include the aforementioned footage cut from the film in the UK. =

 

 

Sincere apologies in order...

Ofcom fines local radio station for hate speech directed at the Ahmadi community


Link Here 24th December 2018

Ofcom has imposed a £10,000 fine on Radio Ikhlas Limited for failing to provide adequate protection for listeners.

The service -- a community radio station which is targeted towards the Asian (primarily Pakistani) community and other smaller ethnic communities in the Normanton area of Derby -- broadcast hate speech and material containing abusive treatment of the Ahmadiyya community

Under the Broadcasting Code, licensees must not broadcast material which contains uncontextualised hate speech and abusive treatment of groups, religions or communities.

After an investigation, Ofcom concluded that the serious nature of the breaches of the Broadcasting Code warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions. These include a financial penalty and a direction to the broadcaster to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.

The fine of £10,000 will be paid by Radio Ikhlas Limited to HM Paymaster General.

The original Ofcom investigation found:

The presenter described Ahmadi people as: dangerous; liars; enemies of Islam, enemies of Pakistan, and enemies of our religion; hypocrites who frequently engage in propaganda to defame Muslims; and, people who have inflicted the greatest damage to Islam and to the believers of Islam. The presenter referred to the founder of the Ahmadi faith as being a liar and described the religious beliefs of Ahmadi people as very dangerous beliefs and filthy beliefs which shatter the true faith and promote untruths. He used the simile of filling a bottle of holy Zamzam water with alcohol to convey his view that the Ahmaddiyya community is a polluting influence on Islam. He also said that when the members of the community preach to others about their beliefs they rob them of their faith 206That is what they try to do. In the context of these criticisms, the presenter said: we will have to identify them with our ranks, Protect yourself from them and asked how can we tolerate one who uses the title Muslim, which represents Muslims?.

We considered these statements were expressions of hatred based on intolerance of the Ahmadiyya community's religious beliefs and their broadcast spread, encouraged and incited such hatred among listeners. Therefore, it is Ofcom's Decision that this was hate speech as defined by the Code.

 

 

Rajan Zed recommends...

Boom Shiva beer from France


Link Here 24th December 2018
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Perennial whinger Rajan Zedis urging the French Brasserie Des Sagnes microbrewery to apologize and withdraw its Boom Shiva (India Pale Ale) beer; calling it highly inappropriate.

Hindu spokesman Zed said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. He added that Lord Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed.

According to reports, beers produced by Brasserie Des Sagnes, said to be one of the oldest French artisanal breweries still operating, is also sold at various markets, stores, restaurants, etc., in France. Boom Shiva beer said to be brewed with five different hops is available online.

 

 

Offsite Article: Internet legal developments to look out for in 2019...


Link Here 24th December 2018
A bumper crop of pending litigation and legislative initiatives for the coming year (without even thinking about Brexit).

See article from cyberleagle.com

 

 

The Gandhi Murder...

Another film cut for a 12A rated cinema release


Link Here 22nd December 2018

The Gandhi Murder

The Gandhi Murder is a 2018 UK historical drama by Karim Traïdia and Pankaj Sehgal (co-director).
Starring Stephen Lang, Luke Pasqualino and Joseph K Bevilacqua. BBFC link IMDb

BBFC category cuts were required for a 12A rated cinema release in 2019.

Cut Small 12A Small UK: Passed 12A for moderate violence, bloody images, scene of torture after 1:19s of BBFC category cuts ( 117:20s ) :
  • 2019 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to remove bloody detail, during and in the aftermath of violence, in order to obtain a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available.
Summary Notes

Solar Eclipse is a conspiracy theory period movie based on true events, that led to the eventual assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The movie demonstrates a violent India, at the backdrop of a non-violent Gandhi, and hard-line fanatic mindsets beginning to grow roots in an India divided on the basis of religion. The feature is a story of three police officers in different parts of India, who, well aware of the intelligence that Gandhi's life in under threat, must take key decisions that would eventually either save the Mahatma, or the country.

 

 

The Last Warrior...

2018 Russia action fantasy drama by Rustam Mosafir just released on UK DVD with BBFC cuts for animal cruelty


Link Here 22nd December 2018
The Last Warrior is a 2018 Russia action fantasy drama by Rustam Mosafir.
Starring Aleksey Faddeev, Aleksandr Kuznetsov and Yuriy Tsurilo. BBFC link IMDb
 
Cut Small 18 Small UK: Passed 18 for strong violence, gore after 4s of compulsory BBFC cuts ( 101:20s ) :
The BBFC commented:
  • Cut required to remove sight of a horse being tripped and landing on its head and neck.

Summary Notes

These are times when one civilization is replacing another. A new era is about to begin in Central Eurasia. Scythians, the proud warriors, are all but gone. The few of their descendants have become ruthless mercenary assassins, the "waves of Ares." Lutobor, is a soldier with a difficult task at hand. He becomes involved in internecine conflicts and sets off on a perilous journey to save his family. His guide is a captive Scythian by the name of Weasel. Lutobor and Weasel are enemies. They pray to different gods but must embark on this journey together. They brave the wild steppes, moving toward the last haven of the Scythians, to what seems to be their inevitable demise.

 

 

A new process...

Vodafone ISP starts blocking pirate websites without waiting for a court order


Link Here 22nd December 2018
Full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

ISP Vodafone has begun blocking a pair of illicit streaming portals in unusual circumstances. Burning Series and Serial Stream were rendered inaccessible on Tuesday, but not as the result of a specific blocking injunction. The ISP says that following a decision by the Federal Court of Justice in the summer, it felt compelled to block the sites following a request from a copyright holder.

The fact that ISPs around the world are blocking pirate sites to prevent copyright infringement is nothing new. Aside from voluntary arrangements, such as the one currently playing out in Portugal, ISPs tend to wait for courts to hand down an injunction before blocking a site. In Germany, however, a new situation has raised its head.

On Tuesday, subscribers to Vodafone discovered that they could no longer access streaming portals Burning Series (BS.to) and Serial Stream (S.to). Rather than accessing the thousands of TV shows usually on offer, they were instead met by a blocking message presented by their ISP.

Both sites currently have messages on their main pages, explaining that Vodafone has chosen to block their platforms.

 

 

Offsite Article: Facial recognition makes suspects of us all...


Link Here 22nd December 2018
The police should drop this Orwellian technology. By George Harrison

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Petition: Anything you've said on social media will be noted and used against you...

New York State is considering legislation that demands gun licence applicants hand over social media and Google passwords so that these accounts can be checked for political correctness


Link Here 21st December 2018

A bill was recently introduced to the New York State Senate by Senator Kevin Parker and Brooklyn borough President, Eric Adams, that would require gun license applicants to hand over social media passwords, and 3 years of search history for review by the State. Regardless of how you feel about gun rights, this is a clear violation of privacy, and a request like this in any context is completely inappropriate, and totally unconstitutional. Background checks are one thing, but the process outlined in this bill goes way too far. This isn't about gun rights, this is about privacy rights.

The authorities intend to check that all licence applicants are totally politically correct. The relevant text of the bill reads:

In order to ascertain whether any social media account or search engine history of an applicant presents any good cause for the denial of a license, the investigating officer shall, after obtaining the applicant's consent pursuant to subdivision three of this section, and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications device necessary to review such applicant's social media accounts and search engine history, review an applicant's social media accounts for the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year and investigate an applicant's posts or searches related to:

  • (i) commonly known profane slurs or biased language used to describe the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person;

  • (ii) threatening the health or safety of another person;

  • (iii) an act of terrorism; or

  • (iv) any other issue deemed necessary by the investigating officer.

For the purposes of this subdivision, "social media accounts" shall only include facebook, snapchat, twitter and instagram, and "search engine" shall only include google, yahoo and bing.

Security experts have long warned that it's extremely dangerous to give your password to anyone, including your local police department. It not only exposes you to unreasonably intrusive analysis, but also exposes private details of everyone you have ever communicated with with online. If your friend wants to buy a gun does that mean the police should get to read every message you've ever sent them? The best thing we can do is reject these ideas right now to prevent bad privacy practices from become normalized.

It makes perfect sense to require background checks and other vetting before allowing someone to purchase a weapon, but setting any precedent that allows the government to demand social media passwords is extremely dangerous. If you care about privacy, and keeping a close eye on overreaching state power, please sign this petition and tell the NY State Senate that you oppose bill S9191.

Sign the petition from actionnetwork.org

 

 

Censorship, propaganda and diplomacy...

Ofcom decides that the Russia Today propaganda channel is liable for sanctions for one sided news reports...but surely it is the government that should decide on measures that may escalate global tensions


Link Here 21st December 2018

Ofcom writes:

Ofcom has today found that the RT news channel broke broadcasting rules by failing to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programmes over a six-week period.

Earlier this year, Ofcom launched a number of investigations into RT to determine whether certain programmes broadcast on the channel had complied with broadcasting rules requiring due impartiality.

Having examined the programmes and all available evidence, including written and oral representations made by RT, we have concluded that the following seven programmes, which aired between 17 March 2018 and 26 April, broke due impartiality rules:

  • Sputnik, RT, 17 March 2018, 19:30;

  • News, RT, 18 March 2018, 08:00;

  • Sputnik, RT, 7 April 2018, 19:30;

  • Crosstalk, RT, 13 April 2018, 20:30;

  • Crosstalk, RT, 16 April 2018, 20:30;

  • Crosstalk, RT, 20 April 2018, 08:30; and

  • News, RT, 26 April 2018, 08:00.

Three further programmes were found not in breach of our due impartiality rules.

Taken together, the seven breaches represent a serious failure of compliance with our broadcasting rules. We have told RT that we are minded to consider imposing a statutory sanction. The broadcaster now has an opportunity to make representations to us, which we will consider before proceeding further.

The Guardian explained a little more:

Two of the breaches related to Sputnik , a programme hosted by the former MP George Galloway, a regular presenter on the channel, who cast doubt on the link between the Salisbury poisonings and Russia.

Other breaches include incidents where presenters failed to challenge interviewees over contentious topics and instead appeared to agree with their guest, and programmes and reports about the conflict in Syria that took a resolutely pro-Russian viewpoint without representing alternative views.

Potential punishments include forcing RT to broadcast corrections, imposing financial fines or, applicable in extreme cases, the removal of a broadcasting licence, which would essentially force the channel off air in the UK. However, the latter course of action is considered unlikely given that any punishment has to be proportionate and previous impartiality breaches, even on this scale, have not resulted in channels being forced off air.

In its submissions to Ofcom, RT argued it did not breach the rules of due impartiality, in part because its viewers already expected to hear a pro-Russian viewpoint that challenged the predominant narrative of the UK government on issues such as the war in Syria and the Salisbury attacks.

It said any attempt to censor RT, which is one of three news channels available to Freeview viewers, was an affront to freedom of speech.

The BBC reported that the censorship of the channel may result in a diplomatic incident:

Russia's media censor will now check the output of BBC World News and BBC websites, in what the Kremlin calls a response to the UK TV censor Ofcom. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said many questions had arisen about the BBC's coverage of Russia.

He said the questions concerned BBC coverage of events in Russia and in Syria, where the Russian military is backing President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

On Facebook, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, said monitoring of the BBC by Roskomnadzor, the Russian state regulator, was long overdue. She accused the UK government of crude interference in the activities of Russian media (constant propaganda against the RT TV channel, attempts to discredit our journalists, etc). That interference, she said, leaves no other choice but a mirror response.

The BBC said that BBC News in Russia was fully compliant with the country's laws and regulations.

 

 

Commented: Stereotypically PC...

Advert censors publish new morality rule banning gender stereotyping that it does not like


Link Here 21st December 2018
Full story: PC censorship in the UK...ASA introduce politically correct censorship rules for adverts
Following a public consultation, CAP has announced that ads will no longer be able to depict what it claims are harmful gender stereotypes .

The new rule in the Advertising Codes, which will apply to broadcast and non-broadcast media (including online and social media), states:

[Advertisements] must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.

The new rule does not seek to ban gender stereotypes outright, but to identify specific harms that it decides should be prevented. 

CAP has published guidance to help advertisers stick to the new rule by providing examples of scenarios likely to be problematic in ads. For example:

  • An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
  • An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man's inability to change nappies; a woman's inability to park a car.
  • Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their romantic or social lives.
  • An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy's stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl's stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.
  • An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.
  • An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically 'female' roles or tasks.

The rule and guidance does not intend to prevent ads from featuring:

  • Glamorous, attractive, successful, aspirational or healthy people or lifestyles;
  • One gender only, including in ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender;
  • Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects.

The new rule will come into force on 14 June 2019 .

CAP will carry out a 12 month review after the new rule comes into force to make sure it's meeting its objective to prevent harmful gender stereotypes.

Offsite Comment: Advertisers do not control our minds

21st December 2018. See article from spiked-online.com

The proposed ban on gender stereotypes in ads shows how little regulators think of us.

 

 

A censorship agenda...

MPs nod through the BBFC internet porn censorship guidelines


Link Here 19th December 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
The House of Commons approved the upcoming internet porn censorship scheme to be implemented by the BBFC from about Easter 2019.

The debate was set for 3 sections to approve each of the 3 documents defining the BBFC censorship guidelines. Each was allotted 90 minutes for a detailed debate on how the BBFC would proceed. However following a Brexit debate the debate was curtailed to a single 90 minute session covering all 3 sections.

It didn't matter much as the debate consisted only of MPs with a feminist agenda saying how the scope of the censorship didn't go far enough. Even the government spokeswoman leading the debate didn't understand why the rules didn't go further in extending sites being censored to social media; and why the range of porn to be banned outright wasn't more extensive.

Hardly a word said was relevant to the topic of examining the BBFC guidelines.  Issues of practicality, privacy, the endangerment of porn viewers from fraud, outing and blackmail are clearly of no interest to MPs.

The MPs duly nodded their approval of the BBFC regime and so it will soon be announced when the censorship will commence.

The age verification service provider was quick to follow up with a press release extolling the virtues of its porn viewing card approach. Several newspapers obliging published articles using it, eg  See  Porn sites 'will all require proof of age from April 2019' -- here's how it'll work from metro.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: What have gays and homophobes got in common?...


Link Here 19th December 2018
They are both equally intolerant of those that transgress from their own moral code. Complaining about a lesbian character on Coronation Street not doing what lesbians should

See article from uk.news.yahoo.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Facebook's position on respect for people's privacy...


Link Here 19th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Turning Off Facebook Location Tracking Doesn't Stop It From Tracking Your Location

See article from gizmodo.com.au

 

 

Offsite Article: Cat, mouse and bot game...


Link Here 19th December 2018
Full story: Tumblr Censorship...Tumblr announces that it will ban all porn
Tumblr Bloggers Trying To Fool The Censor Bots With These Tricks

See article from valuewalk.com

 

 

Updated: 12A transformed to PG...

BumbleBee is the latest cinema film to be cut for category in the UK and Australia


Link Here 18th December 2018
Bumblebee is a 2018 USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Travis Knight.
Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Justin Theroux and Angela Bassett. BBFC link IMDb

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

The film was originally passed 12A uncut for moderate fantasy violence for UK cinema release.

However the distributors preferred a cut PG version and the film was resubmitted shorn by about 6 secnds. The BBFC duly passed the film PG for moderate fantasy violence, mild sex references, injury detail, language.

In the US the film was Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence.

Update: Australia too

16th December 2018. See article from refused-classification.com

With echoes of the UK situation the Australian distributors of BumbleBee submitted the film uncut to the film censor and received an uncut M rating for moderate impact violence, mild impact themes, language Very mild drug use, sex. The M rating is an advisory 15 that would be labelled PG-15 in the US. It is the usual rating for films rated PG-13 in the US and 12A in the UK.

Like Britain the distributors preferred a local PG and resubmitted a cut version, presumably the same as the cut UK PG rated version . However it didn't cut any ice with the censor and was again M rated.

The distributors are now appealing the decision with the Review Board hoping to achieve the desired PG.

Update: Australia now PG rated too

18th December 2018. See article from classification.gov.au

The distributors were successful in their appeal for a PG rating for the pre-cut version. The review board wrote in a statement:

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Bumblebee is classified PG with the consumer advice Mild science fiction violence, mild themes, some scenes may scare young children.

 

 

America's low self esteem...

LA school authority to destroy artwork over a vague similarity to the Rising Sun flag of Imperial Japan


Link Here 18th December 2018
Beau Stanton's mural of Ava Gardner adorns the Robert F. Kennedy Community School in LA's Koreatown. The mural is an homage to the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub which stood nearby, and depicts the Old Hollywood film star in profile, palm trees and moorish architecture overlaid on her face. Behind her head, alternating rays of blue and orange in a sunburst pattern.

Last month, the Wilshire Community Coalition sent a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District requesting that the mural be censored. The group ludicrously claimed that the pattern was too similar to the Rising Sun Flag of Imperial Japan, a symbol loaded with pain and trauma for the Korean-American community that they likened it to the Swastika of German Nazism. The group wrote:

This work is extremely offensive and threatening to many survivors, descendants and community stakeholders who stand in absolute opposition of the Japanese Imperialism, Racism, ethnic hatred and crimes against humanity committed by the military aggression during the World War II

 
  Let's hope these easily offended Koreans never  going shopping in the UK

In response to their request, the LAUSD agreed to paint over the mural during winter break.

Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight issued a scathing rebuke to the decision calling it deplorable. An innocent artist is being smeared as a promoter of hate speech, Knight wrote, his work unfairly attacked for something it is not. He went on to detail the ways in which the mural differed from the Rising Sun Flag, from the number of rays -- 44 vs 32 -- to the colors used, and the myriad sources in which similar motifs can be found. Deceptive claims have been weaponized to shut down free speech, he concluded. The school mural is not the scandal; LAUSD's imminent censorship is.

 

 

Extract: What's Sony playing at?...

Sony and Valve cancel announcements about game censorship


Link Here 16th December 2018

There were supposed to be two big announcements this week regarding censorship. The first announcement was supposed to come from Valve regarding the recent ban-spree of anime games on Steam. That announcement has been postponed until further notice.

The second big announcement was relating to Sony's U.K., division that was supposed to address the current censorship policies for the PS4 that was handed down by Sony Interactive Entertainment of America's office. Well, that announcement has been delayed because the meeting for that announcement has been delayed.

...Read the full article from oneangrygamer.net

 

 

Offsite Article: Google won't pay the link tax anyway...


Link Here 16th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe
As usual the EU's cunning plan to try to make Google fund newspapers will end up suffocating European small businesses whilst making US internet giants even more powerful

See article from politico.eu

 

 

Offsite Article: Encrypted Messaging App Signal Won't Comply With Australia's New Backdoor Bill...


Link Here 16th December 2018
And the corollary is that all encryption apps which continue to operate in Australia have backdoors and so are unsafe to use

See article from motherboard.vice.com

 

 

BBFC age verification we don't trust...

The upcoming porn censorship regime has been approved by the Lords


Link Here 14th December 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust

On Tuesday the House of Lords approved the BBFC's scheme to implement internet porn censorship in the UK. Approval will now be sought from the House of Commons.

The debate in the Lords mentioned a few issues in passing but they seemed to be avoiding taking about some of the horrors of the scheme.

The Digital Economy Act defining the law behind the scheme offers no legal requirement for age verification providers to restrict how they can use porn viewers data. Lords mentioned that it is protected under the GDPR rules but these rules still let companies do whatever they like with data, just with the proviso that they ask for consent. But of course the consent is pretty mandatory to sign up for age verification, and some of the biggest internet companies in the world have set the precedent they can explain wide ranging usage of the data claiming it will be used say to improve customer experience.

Even if the lords didn't push very hard, people at the DCMS or BBFC have been considering this deficiency, and have come up with the idea that data use should be voluntarily restricted according to a kite mark scheme. Age verification schemes will have their privacy protections audited by some independent group and if they pass they can display a gold star. Porn viewers are then expected to trust age verification schemes with a gold star. But unfortunately it sounds a little like the sort of process that decided that cladding was safe for high rise blocks of flats.

The lords were much more concerned about the age verification requirements for social media and search engines, notably Twitter and Google Images. Clearly age verification schemes required for checking that users are 13 or 18 will be very different from an 18 only check, and will be technically very different. So the Government explained that these wider issues will be addressed in a new censorship white paper to be published in 2019.

The lords were also a bit perturbed that the definition of banned material wasn't wide enough for their own preferences. Under the current scheme the BBFC will be expected to ban totally any websites with child porn or extreme porn. The lords wondered why this wasn't extended to cartoon porn and beyond R18 porn, presumably thinking of fisting, golden showers and the like. However in reality if the definition of bannable porn was extended, then every major porn website in the word would have to be banned by the BBFC. And anyway the government is changing its censorship rules such that fisting and golden showers are, or will soon be, allowable at R18 anyway.

The debate revealed that the banks and payment providers have already agreed to ban payments to websites banned by the BBFC. The government also confirmed its intention to get the scheme up and running by April. Saying that, it would seem a little unfair for the website's 3 month implementation period to be set running before their age verification options are accredited with their gold stars. Otherwise some websites would waste time and money implementing schemes that may later be declared unacceptable.

Next a motion to approve draft legislation over the UK's age-verification regulations will be debated in the House of Commons. Stephen Winyard, AVSecure s chief marketing officer, told XBIZ:

We are particularly pleased that the prime minister is set to approve the draft guidance for the age-verification law on Monday. From this, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will issue the effective start date and that will be around Easter.

But maybe the prime minister has a few more urgent issues on her mind at the moment.

 

 

4 million Europeans petition the EU to abandon its disastrous new copyright law...

This will deprive European creators of their livelihood in favour of mostly American corporations. And yet these corporations are complaining that the law does not go far enough


Link Here 14th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

4,000,000 Europeans have signed a petition opposing Article 13 of the new Copyright in the Single Market Directive. They oppose it for two main reasons: because it will inevitably lead to the creation of algorithmic copyright filters that only US Big Tech companies can afford (making the field less competitive and thus harder for working artists to negotiate better deals in) and because these filters will censor enormous quantities of legitimate material, thanks to inevitable algorithmic errors and abuse.

On Monday, a delegation from the signatories officially presented the Trilogue negotiators with the names of 4,000,000+ Europeans who oppose Article 13. These 4,000,000 are in esteemed company: Article 13 is also opposed by the father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, and the creator of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee and more than 70 of the Internet's top technical experts, not to mention Europe's largest sports leagues and film studios. Burgeoning movements opposing the measure have sprung up in Italy and Poland.

But no matter how much damage the EU proposed law will do to European businesses and creators, it does not go far enough for the large corporates. This leaves a tricky negation for the EU power brokers of the EU Commission and EU Council of Ministers. The law is widely opposed by European people but now the US corporates are whingeing that they don't like a few concessions made to get get the bill through the European Parliament. They want the full horror of censorship machines resurrected. The EFF reports on a delay to proceedings:

This week EU negotiators in Strasbourg struggled to craft the final language of the Copyright in the Single Digital Market Directive, in their last possible meeting for 2019. They failed, thanks in large part to the Directive's two most controversial clauses: Article 11, which requires paid licenses for linking to news stories while including more than a word or two; and Article 13, which will lead to the creation of error-prone copyright censorship algorithms that will block users from posting anything that has been identified as a copyrighted work -- even if that posting is lawful. This means that the Directive will not be completed, as was expected, under Austria's presidency of the European Union. The negotiations between the European Parliament, representatives of the member states, and the European Commission (called "trilogues") will continue under the Romanian presidency, in late January.

The controversy over Article 13 and Article 11 has not diminished since millions of Europeans voiced their opposition to the proposals and their effect on the Internet earlier this year. Even supporters and notional beneficiaries have now grown critical of the proposals. An open letter signed by major rightsholder groups, including movie companies and sports leagues, asks the EU to exempt their products from Article 13 altogether , and suggest it should only apply to the music industry's works. Meanwhile, the music industry wrote their own open letter, saying that he latest proposed text on Article 13 won't solve their problems. These rightsholders join the world's most eminent computer scientists, including the inventors of the Internet and the Web, who denounced the whole approach and warned of the irreparable harm it will do to free expression and the hope of a fair, open Internet.

The collective opposition is unsurprising. Months of closed-door negotiations and corporate lobbying have actually made the proposals worse : even less coherent, and more riddled with irreconcilable contradictions. The way that the system apportions liability (with stiff penalties for allowing a user to post something that infringes copyright, and no consequences for censoring legitimate materials) leads inexorably to filters . And as recent experiences with Tumblr's attempt to filter adult material have shown, algorithms are simply not very good at figuring out when a user has broken a rule, let alone a rule as technical and fact-intensive as copyright.

What is worse, the Directive will only reinforce the power of US Big Tech companies by inhibiting the emergence of European competitors. That's because only the biggest tech companies have the millions of euros it will cost to deploy the filters Article 13 requires. Proponents of Article 13 stress that the dominance of platforms like Google and Facebook leaves them with insufficient bargaining leverage and say this leads to a systematic undervaluing of their products. But Article 13 will actually reduce that leverage even further by preventing the emergence of alternative platforms.

Compromises suggested by the negotiators to limit the damage are proving unlikely to help. Prior to the Trilogue, Article 13 was imposed on all online platforms save those businesses with less than 10 million euros in annual turnover. Some parties, realising that this will limit the EU tech sector, have suggested changing the figure, but doubling that figure to 20 million doesn't help. If you own a European tech company that you hope will compete with Google someday, you will have to do something Google never had to face: the day you make the leap from 20 million euros in annual turnover to 20,000,001 euros, you will have to find hundreds of millions of euros to implement an Article 13 copyright filter.

Others have proposed a "notice-and-staydown" system to reassure rightsholders that they will not have to invest their own resources in maintaining the copyright filters. But creating this model for copyright complaints extinguishes any hope of moderating the harms Article 13 will do to small European companies. Earlier drafts of Article 13 spoke of case-by-case assessments for mid-sized platforms, which would exempt them from implementing filters if they were judged to be engaged in good faith attempts to limit infringement. But notice-and-staydown (the idea that once a platform has been notified of a user's copyright violation, it must prevent every other user from making such a violation, ever) necessarily requires filters. Others in the negotiation are now arguing that microenterprises should have to pay the burden, and are pressing for even these small and mid-sized business exemptions to be deleted from the text.

With European internet users, small business people, legal experts, technical experts, human rights and free speech experts all opposed to these proposals, we had hoped that they would be struck from the Trilogue's final draft. Now, they are blocking the passage of other important copyright reforms. Even Article 13 and 11's original advocates are realising how much they depend on a working Internet, and a remuneration system that might have a chance of working.

Still, the lobbying will continue over the holiday break. Some of the world's biggest entertainment and Internet companies will be throwing their weight around the EU to find a "compromise" that will keep no-one happy, and will exclude the needs and rights of individual Internet users, and European innovators.

Read more about the Directive, and contact your MEPs and national governments at Save Your Internet .

 

 

Offsite Article: Writers silenced by surveillance...


Link Here 14th December 2018
Self-censorship in the age of big data. By Nik Williams

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

 

Offsite Article: The rise of academic mobs...


Link Here 14th December 2018
Dr Noah Carl is the latest victim of a disturbing censorious trend. By Joanna Williams

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Ringing alarm bells...


Link Here 14th December 2018
Amazon submits patent application for a doorbell that has a camera and facial recognition system

See article from aclu.org

 

 

Updated: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...

BBFC animal cruelty cuts required for a 2018 cinema release


Link Here 13th December 2018
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 USA crime western biography by George Roy Hill.
Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katharine Ross. BBFC link IMDb

Butch and Sundance are the two leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. Butch is all ideas, Sundance is all action and skill. The west is becoming civilized, and when Butch and Sundance rob a train once too often, a special posse begins trailing them no matter where they run. Over rocks, through towns, across rivers, the group is always just behind them. When they finally escape through sheer luck, Butch has another idea, "Let's go to Bolivia". Based on the exploits of the historical characters.

Uncut for 1969 cinema release and VHS releases but animal cruelty cuts were required by the BBFC for 2018 cinema release.

The BBFC commented:
  • Cut required to remove a scene of deliberate animal cruelty staged for the film (an animal being tripped using wires in a dangerous fashion).

Update: Director's Oops

13th December 2018. Thanks to Barton

The horse trip was simply not spotted until 2001 when a documentary was submitted to the BBFC in which the director admitted he used trip wires to achieve a particular fall. The BBFC told Fox they wouldn't be able to pass it uncut again. Indeed the UK Blu-ray is also cut, although Fox pre-cut it.

There's no record of a resubmission of a pre-cut version in the BBFC database at around the time of the 2013 Blu-ray release, so perhaps someone was looking the other way at the time.

 

 

Once Upon a Time Deadpool was R rated...

But now the producers are testing out a PG-13 rating that hasn't sat well with UK, Australian and New Zealand censors


Link Here 13th December 2018
Full story: Deadpool and Deadpool 2...Superhero films with a little bit more adult appeal
Disney, the producers of Deadpool 2 are testing out a move to PG-13 for a projected series of films. The company has produced a festive version called Once Upon a Deadpool which has been cut for a PG-13 rating in the US.

The cuts were insufficient for the BBFC to lower its rating and the film was given a 15 rating.

In Australia the festive release achieved an M rating which is an advisory label recommending the film as suitable for 15 year olds.

As is the default case, the Australian rating is automatically accepted for New Zealand release with the film censor able to step in  to consider a New Zealand rating if it is felt necessary. And after the film had released, the New Zealand chief censor did indeed step in and replaced the Australian rating with a New Zealand R13. This is a straight 13 age restriction require all cinema goers to be 13 or over.

Chief censor David Shanks said he had decided to call the film in because of the disparity between the Australian and American assessments and Britain where it was slapped with a 15 classification.

Aware of the popularity of Deadpool 2 and significant interest in this new version from young Kiwis, particularly since it includes the now 16-year-old Dennison in a prominent role), Shanks and the rest of the censorship office included three members of its Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) in the special screening. The panel is made up of a dozen 16-to-20 year olds. Shanks said:

They confirmed many of our impressions, which was that, while significantly toned-down in terms of graphic gore, sexual innuendo and language, this film was still fundamentally a Deadpool film -- which meant that it features wall-to-wall death and violence and dark, adult-oriented humour.

They thought, on balance, an R13 classification would reflect the fact that this film has had some of the graphic content in the original Deadpool 2 toned down -- but the result is really still for teens and above.

Will Deadpool Movies Remain PG-13 Moving Forward?

13th December 2018 See article from movieweb.com by Trevor Norkey

Yes concludes the commentator, producers Disney would be much happier if they could drop the R rating.

Meanwhile the Once Upon a Deadpool poster has offended mormons

13th December 2018  See  article from patheos.com

Some Mormons are 'outraged' by a poster for Once Upon a Deadpool, because Deadpool looks too much like the religious character Jesus.

A petition with about 30,000 signatures insists that the poster is a doctored version that plays fast and loose with a sacred image of The Second Coming:

In the original painting Jesus Christ is at the center surrounded by angels. In the poster Deadpool replaces Jesus Christ.

Deadpool is positioned exactly as Jesus Christ was and is wearing a white robe. It is unknown if the picture was used to intentionally mock the Church of Jesus Christ, but it is clear it was copied from the original picture. This is a form a religious discrimination.

We ask that the picture be not used or posted in any manner. That they find another poster to represent their movie.

 

 

Does hiding information work?...

Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council complained about the BBC and Sky identifying the Strasbourg attacker as muslim. But in reality avoiding any mention of the affiliation would speak just as loudly of the same conclusion


Link Here 13th December 2018

Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain has complained about the Strasbourg terrorist being identified as muslim in news reports by the BBC and Sky News. These organisations had repeated the police statement about the use of the phrase Allahu Akbar during the attack. Versi tweeted:

Disappointing to see BBC and Sky News lead with Allahu Akbar in their headline on the awful shooting in #Strasbourg vs. ITV and Al Jazeera who are being far more responsible.

This matters and it's wrong.

But surely news reports should indicate relevant affiliations of attackers when there is common, observable and possibly causal relationship underpinning the attack.

It is interesting to speculate whether there is any realistic way to hide a muslim connection to an attacker. It is clearly not PC for news organisation to mention the connection unless forced to do so. On occasions that European attacks are down to other reasons, say the far right, then the news organisations will happily shout about the affiliation and rightfully condemn it. So when news reports are clearly avoiding mentioning an affiliation at all, then readers or viewers can readily infer that an attacker is likely to be muslim.

 

 

Offsite Article: Why is Amazon Prime Video in India Self-censoring The Marvelous Mrs Maisel?...


Link Here 13th December 2018
Internet TV and the unnecessary censorship of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

See article from news18.com

 

 

How do you make snowflakes laugh?...

You can't, but their safe space censorship rules surely make them a laughing stock at London's School of African and Oriental Studies


Link Here 12th December 2018

Comedian Konstantin Kisin had offered to perform for free in a Unicef on Campus charity event at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London. However he turned down the gig after being asked to sign a 'behavioural agreement' that banned a long list of PC topics that weren't allowed to be laughed at.

The full list of topics listed by the organisers were racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism. The contract said: It does not mean that these topics cannot be discussed. But it must be done in a respectful and non-abusive way.

Konstantin told Radio 1 Newsbeat the experience reflects a growing trend of free speech becoming stifled on university campuses across the UK. He shared the behavioural agreement form online and tweeted:

I just received an invitation to perform *comedy* at a university...The title of this contract nearly made me puke.

I just think it reflects an attitude among a group of people, people at university particularly, where it seems that they have become places of indoctrination rather than learning.

Students are being taught to prevent offence rather than to seek truth and pursue experiences.

Universities used to be all about that, but now it seems they're places where students are being taught to be woke.

Konstantin pointed out that it is dangerous to work with hypersensitive PC groups:

I didn't turn down this gig because I'm some racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist comedian. I turned down this gig because if you sign a contract like that, you're exposing yourself to someone's bad interpretation.

If someone writes a contract like that, the chances are that they will be hypersensitive, vigilant and trying to catch you out. I'm just not interested in that.

After their censorship was found out, organisers, Unicef on Campus, apologised

 

 

A Fortnite on...

China seems to have banned Fortnite and PUBG as unethical


Link Here 12th December 2018
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
Earlier this month, the Chinese government moved forward with its new Online Ethics Review Committee, a government censor that exists solely to review online games and determine whether or not they are acceptable according to Chinese government ethics.

The creation of the new censor was in response to government concerns that Chinese citizens were playing online games that weren't being directly regulated by China. The censor was tasked with considering twenty online games in its first round of reviews.

As a result two major video games, Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds , have been banned from in China altogether. Both games were big fixtures of the online multiplayer communities in China, but may not be permitted to return since they have not been designated as needing corrective action but rather appear to have been banned outright.

According to online reports , those reviews have found both Fortnite and PUBG to be in direct violation of the new online ethical rules. According to reports, these two titles were both banned for their gratuitous depictions of blood and gore.

Other titles, like League of Legends , Overwatch , and Diablo were noted as needing corrective action but are not actually banned as of yet.

 

 

The wrong type of culture...

A new mayor of Amsterdam decides she would like to banish the red light area


Link Here 12th December 2018
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
Amsterdam's historic Red Light district could soon be broken up to make way for more 'cultural' attractions, the city's first female mayor has said.

Femke Halsema claimed the Wallen district is full of vulnerable foreign women being booed by hordes of drunken tourists as she vowed to reform it.

Her plans would not get rid of prostitution and sex shops altogether, but would spread them out across the city rather than concentrating them in one area. She told Bloomberg :

We would like tourists to see the cultural value.

We need to think about what kind of tourists we want to attract, and we shouldn't have any illusion that the number of tourists in the city will go down.  It will keep on rising.

 

 

Extract: A bum rap...

Russia shows signs of not wanting to alienate youth by censoring their music


Link Here 11th December 2018

Dmitry Kuznetsov, better-known by his stage name Husky, was a minor star on Russia's flourishing hip hop scene until police arrested him last month for staging an impromptu concert from the roof of a parked car.

A brief brush with the law has boosted the rapper's profile and turned his I'll Sing My Music single into a national battle cry against arts censorship.

Husky is by no means the only artist feeling the heat as Russia cracks down on alternative music. But the public outcry about his case has highlighted the risks the Kremlin faces as it moves to exert control over Russian youth's favourite form of musical entertainment.

Husky had leapt on to the roof of a car to perform in the southern city of Krasnodar on November 21st after a local club, citing concern about Russian anti-extremist laws, abruptly cancelled a gig he had planned. The following day he was sentenced to 12 days in police detention on twin charges of petty hooliganism and refusing to take a drink and drugs test. Government censorship

In a surprise development Husky was released a few hours before his next performance having served less than half of his sentence. Navalny, who attended the Moscow concert with his family, said the authorities had let the rapper out not just because they are scared but because they know they are in the wrong.

...Read the full article from irishtimes.com

 

 

BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust...

The government's age verification scheme which leaves people's sensitive sexual preferences unprotected by law is to be presented for approval by the House of Lords


Link Here 10th December 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
The following four motions are expected to be debated together in the House of Lords on 11th December 2018:

Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018

Lord Ashton of Hyde to move that the draft Regulations laid before the House on 10 October be approved. Special attention drawn to the instrument by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, 38th Report, 4th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (Sub-Committee B)

Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements

Lord Ashton of Hyde to move that the draft Guidance laid before the House on 25 October be approved. Special attention drawn to the instrument by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, 39th Report, 4th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (Sub-Committee B)

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara to move that this House regrets that the draft Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018 and the draft Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements do not bring into force section 19 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, which would have given the regulator powers to impose a financial penalty on persons who have not complied with their instructions to require that they have in place an age verification system which is fit for purpose and effectively managed so as to ensure that commercial pornographic material online will not normally be accessible by persons under the age of 18.

Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers

Lord Ashton of Hyde to move that the draft Guidance laid before the House on 25 October be approved. Special attention drawn to the instrument by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, 39th Report, 4th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (Sub-Committee B)

The DCMS and BBFC age verification scheme has been widely panned as fundamentally the law provides no requirement to actually protect people's identity data that can be coupled with their sexual preferences and sexuality. The scheme only offers voluntary suggestions that age verification services and websites should protect their user's privacy. But one only has to look to Google, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to see how worthless mere advice is. GDPR is often quoted but that only requires that user consent is obtained. One will have to simply to the consent to the 'improved user experience' tick box to watch the porn, and thereafter the companies can do what the fuck they like with the data.

See criticism of the scheme:

Security expert provides a detailed break down of the privacy and security failures of the age verification scheme

Parliamentary scrutiny committee condemns BBFC Age Verification Guidelines

Parliamentary scrutiny committee condemns as 'defective' a DCMS Statutory Instrument excusing Twitter and Google images from age verification.

 

 

Gloves off...

GCHQ will work around encrypted communications by the mass hacking of people's devices


Link Here 10th December 2018
Full story: Snooper's Charter Plus...2015 Cameron government expands the Snooper's Charter
The UK's intelligence agencies are to significantly increase their use of large-scale data hacking after claiming that more targeted operations are being rendered obsolete by technology.

The move will see an expansion in what is known as the bulk equipment interference (EI) regime -- the process by which GCHQ can target entire communication networks overseas in a bid to identify individuals who pose a threat to national security. [Note that the idea this is somehow only targeted at foreigners is misleading. Five countries cooperate so that they can mutually target each others users to work round limits on snooping on one's own country].

A letter from the security minister, Ben Wallace, to the head of the intelligence and security committee, Dominic Grieve, quietly filed in the House of Commons library last week, states:

Following a review of current operational and technical realities, GCHQ have ... determined that it will be necessary to conduct a higher proportion of ongoing overseas focused operational activity using the bulk EI regime than was originally envisaged.

 

 

Pots claim copyright on calling kettles black...

Copyright lobbyists whinge about Julia Reda's campaign methods


Link Here 10th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

As the controversy over the EU's Article 13 censorship machines continue, Twitter appears to be the communications weapon of choice for parties on both sides.

As one of the main opponents of Article 13 and in particular its requirement for upload filtering, Julia Reda MEP has been a frequent target for proponents. Accused of being a YouTube/Google shill (despite speaking out loudly against YouTube's maneuvering), Reda has endured a lot of criticism. As an MEP, she's probably used to that.

However, a recent response to one of her tweets from music giant IFPI opens up a somewhat ironic can of worms that deserves a closer look.

Since kids will be affected by Article 13, largely due to their obsessiveness with YouTube, Reda recently suggested that they should lobby their parents to read up on the legislation. In tandem with pop-ups from YouTube advising users to oppose Article 13, that seemed to irritate some supporters of the proposed law.

As the response from IFPI's official account shows, Reda's advice went down like a lead balloon with the music group, a key defender of Article 13. The IFPI tweeted:.

Shame on you: Do you really approve of minors being manipulated by big tech companies to deliver their commercial agenda?

It's pretty ironic that IFPI has called out Reda for informing kids about copyright law to further the aims of big tech companies. As we all know, the music and movie industries have been happily doing exactly the same to further their own aims for at least ten years and probably more.

Digging through the TF archives, there are way too many articles detailing how big media has directly targeted kids with their message over the last decade. Back in 2009, for example, a former anti-piracy consultant for EMI lectured kids as young as five on anti-piracy issues.

 

 

Board content updated...

Ofcom appoints a new TV censor


Link Here 10th December 2018

Ofcom has appointed Stephen Nuttall to its Content Board.

Ofcom's Content Board is a committee of the main Ofcom Board. It has advisory responsibility for a wide range of content issues, including the regulation of television, radio and video-on-demand quality and standards.

Stephen Nuttall has more than thirty years' experience working as a senior executive and a consultant in the sports, media and digital industries. Stephen's previous positions include Senior Director at YouTube EMEA and Group Commercial Director at Sky.

 

 

The Chinese Connection...

Ubisoft tries a new tack to explain why it will be censoring Rainbow Six Siege


Link Here 9th December 2018
Video game developer Ubisoft recently made the censorship news by deciding that their Rainbow Six Siege , a shooter in an environmental setting, will be unified into a single worldwide version. This meant that the game would have to be heavily censored to the standards of the lowest common denominator, China.

This caused a little bit of stink amongst fans, so Ubisoft announced a U turn for the China friendly censorship policy.

Now it seems that Unbsoft is still keen on a heavily censored version that can be played in China, but this time the company is changing tack on its reasoning. Ubisoft are now reporting that parents and consumer groups are complaining that the game has too many references to sex, many violent scenes, and allusions to gambling . It adds that parents say these issues are troubling in a game intended for teenagers.

'After listening to criticism', the company decided to make some changes to the game. It will remove some of the sexual references and violent content, and make the loot boxes easier to come by. Ubisoft is hoping the changes will be enough to satisfy the critics and make the customers happy as well. (Especially those in China).

 

 

Expelled from Steam...

Games combining indeterminate age characters, sex, and a high school setting have been banned from Steam


Link Here 9th December 2018
Full story: Adult games on Steam...Steam changes policy and allows adults only gaming
Online games distributor Steam recently relaxed is previous prohibitions on adult gaming but it still draws the line at games it considers illegal.

Now, according to some developers, Valve, the company behind Steam, is going after games that feature themes of child exploitation, which it seems to define, at least in part, as games with sex scenes or nudity where the characters are in high school.

Over the past few weeks, the company has removed the store pages of several visual novels, including cross-dressing yaoi romance Cross Love , catholic school adult visual novel Hello Goodbye , a story about the love between siblings Imolicious , and cat girl game MaoMao Discovery Team . The developers of these games all claim to have received similar emails stating that their games could not be released on Steam.

There are a common threads that link the games in question: 1) Cross Love, Hello Goodbye, and Imolicious feature school settings, and 2) all four of the aforementioned games contain adult elements and centre around anime-styled characters who appear young -- in some cases uncomfortably so.

 

 

Rajan Zed recommends...

Govinda beer from Cheshire Brewhouse


Link Here 9th December 2018
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Perennial whinger Rajan Zed writes:

Upset Hindus are urging Congleton (Cheshire, England) based microbrewery Cheshire Brewhouse to apologize and re-name and re-label its two Govinda beers carrying sacred Hindu symbol Om; calling it highly inappropriate.

Rajan Zed said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Moreover, linking Lord Krishna with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.

In Hinduism, Om, the mystical syllable containing the universe, is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

Single bottle of these objectionable beers, Govinda Organic Plumage Archer (ABV 6.4%) and Govinda 'Chevallier' Edition (ABV 6.8%), both Heritage India Pale Ales, is priced at £5 each. This awards-winning artisan craft brewery, established in 2012, whose tagline is Craft Beer From Cheshire That's Far From Plain; besides a taproom, also sells beer online. It claims to use animal-free process and Shane Swindells is the Head Brewer.

 

 

Unlike Britain, Israel seeks to protect the privacy of porn viwers...

Israel passes laws implementing selectable options for ISPs to block adults sites


Link Here 8th December 2018
A bill that would force ISPs in Israel to censor pornographic sites by default has been amended after heavy criticism from lawmakers over privacy concerns.

AN earlier version of the bill that was unanimously approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in late Octoberr but now a new version of the legislation has been passed which was sponsored by Likud MK Miki Zohar and Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli. The differences seem subtle and are whether customers opt in or opt out of network level website blocking.

Customers will have to confirm their preferences for website blocking  every 3 months but may change their settings at  any time.

The bill will incentivize internet companies to actively market existing website blocking software to families. ISPs will receive NIS 0.50 ($0.13 cents) for every subscriber who opts to block adult sites.

In a refreshing divergence from UK internet censorship, ISPs will be legally required to delete all data related to their users' surfing habits, to prevent creating de facto -- and easily leaked -- black lists of pornography consumers.

In comparison, internet companies are allowed to use or sell UK customer data for any purpose they so desire as long as customers tick a consent box with some woolly text about improving the customer's experience.

Update: Netanyahu voices privacy concerns

10th December 2018. See  article from sputniknews.com
See also  Netanyahu against anti-porn bill, rejects online regulation from al-monitor.com

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved to halt the adoption of a new law aimed at curbing pornographic content on the Internet and possibly keeping tabs on people who watch porn. Netanyahu inquired:

We don't want our children to be exposed to harmful content, but my concern is about inserting regulation into a space in which there is no government regulation. Who will decide which content is permitted and which is forbidden? Who will decide the interpretations?

 

 

Updated: The House that Jack Built...

MPAA rules mean that the US online release will now be the cut version


Link Here 8th December 2018
Full story: The House that Jack Built...Lars Von Trier causes film censors problems again
The House That Jack Built is a 2018 Denmark / France / Germany / Sweden horror thriller by Lars von Trier.
Starring Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman. BBFC link IMDb
Lars von Trier's upcoming drama follows the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) over a span of 12 years and introduces the murders that define Jack s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork.

US film censors, the MPAA, don't like having two versions running at the same time. This lead to the censure for the film distributors of Lars von Trier's The House that Jack Built for a one day advance screening of the uncut version prior to the general release which features a cut R rated version.

As a result of the MPAA censure, the censorship will now extended to the US online release of the movie. The film's distributor IFC Films originally planned to release von Trier's unrated director's cut on-demand on December 14, while releasing an R-rated version in theaters on the same day. But the MPAA said that IFC's original plan--which would have allowed viewers to digitally rent the R-rated cut and offered the uncut version for digital purchase--was "in violation of the ratings system's rules".

The MPAA went further and threatened sanctions, excluding IFC from the ratings process for up to 90 days. (Most major exhibition chains will not show a film without an MPAA rating.) As a result, IFC has scrapped plans to release the director's cut next week.

According to an IFC publicist, it has tentatively rescheduled the online release of the Director's Cut for June. The R-rated cut, some four minutes shorter, will be released in theaters and for digital rental.

Meanwhile British distributors Curzon Artificial Eye have confirmed to Blu-ray.com that their upcoming Blu-ray release of The House That Jack Built will feature the longer original version of it that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Currently, the Blu-ray release is scheduled on March 4. The distributors have also confirmed that they will not be releasing the R-rated version of the film on any home video format.

Update: Uncut at UK cinemas and on DVD/Bu-ray

7th December 2018.

Artificial Eye didn't mention the cinema release in the above statement, but thanks to Peter who reports that the Curzon cinema has confirmed that the UK cinema release will feature the Director's Cut.

Update: Kiss and make up

8th December 2018. See article [pdf] from filmratings.com

Joint Statement from CARA and IFC Films on The House That Jack Built

The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) and IFC Films have reached a mutually agreed upon resolution to address CARA's concerns associated with The House That Jack Built, Director's Cut (unrated) and The House That Jack Built (rated R). IFC Films acknowledges that there was confusion in the marketplace about the rating and has committed to working with CARA to avoid any confusion going forward.

CARA's ultimate goal is to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents by providing them with accurate, useful information about the level of content in films -- and appreciates IFC Films' cooperation to ensure the proper use of the ratings.

 

 

Commented: Stay just good friends...

Or else Facebook will censor your advances, no matter how subtle


Link Here 8th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook has added a new category of censorship, sexual solicitation. It added the update on 15thh October but no one really noticed until recently.

The company has quietly updated its content-moderation policies to censor implicit requests for sex.The expanded policy specifically bans sexual slang, hints of sexual roles, positions or fetish scenarios, and erotic art when mentioned with a sex act. Vague, but suggestive statements such as looking for a good time tonight when soliciting sex are also no longer allowed.

The new policy reads:

15. Sexual Solicitation Policy

Do not post:

Content that attempts to coordinate or recruit for adult sexual activities including but not limited to:

    Filmed sexual activities Pornographic activities, strip club shows, live sex performances, erotic dances Sexual, erotic, or tantric massages

Content that engages in explicit sexual solicitation by, including but not limited to the following, offering or asking for:

    Sex or sexual partners Sex chat or conversations Nude images

Content that engages in implicit sexual solicitation, which can be identified by offering or asking to engage in a sexual act and/or acts identified by other suggestive elements such as any of the following:

    Vague suggestive statements, such as "looking for a good time tonight" Sexualized slang Using sexual hints such as mentioning sexual roles, sex positions, fetish scenarios, sexual preference/sexual partner preference, state of arousal, act of sexual intercourse or activity (sexual penetration or self-pleasuring), commonly sexualized areas of the body such as the breasts, groin, or buttocks, state of hygiene of genitalia or buttocks Content (hand drawn, digital, or real-world art) that may depict explicit sexual activity or suggestively posed person(s).

Content that offers or asks for other adult activities such as:

    Commercial pornography Partners who share fetish or sexual interests

Sexually explicit language that adds details and goes beyond mere naming or mentioning of:

    A state of sexual arousal (wetness or erection) An act of sexual intercourse (sexual penetration, self-pleasuring or exercising fetish scenarios)

Comment: Facebook's Sexual Solicitation Policy is a Honeypot for Trolls

8th December 2018. See  article from eff.org by Elliot Harmon

Facebook just quietly adopted a policy that could push thousands of innocent people off of the platform. The new " sexual solicitation " rules forbid pornography and other explicit sexual content (which was already functionally banned under a different statute ), but they don't stop there: they also ban "implicit sexual solicitation" , including the use of sexual slang, the solicitation of nude images, discussion of "sexual partner preference," and even expressing interest in sex . That's not an exaggeration: the new policy bars "vague suggestive statements, such as 'looking for a good time tonight.'" It wouldn't be a stretch to think that asking " Netflix and chill? " could run afoul of this policy.

The new rules come with a baffling justification, seemingly blurring the line between sexual exploitation and plain old doing it:

[P]eople use Facebook to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We recognize the importance of and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.

In other words, discussion of sexual exploitation is allowed, but discussion of consensual, adult sex is taboo. That's a classic censorship model: speech about sexuality being permitted only when sex is presented as dangerous and shameful. It's especially concerning since healthy, non-obscene discussion about sex--even about enjoying or wanting to have sex--has been a component of online communities for as long as the Internet has existed, and has for almost as long been the target of governmental censorship efforts .

Until now, Facebook has been a particularly important place for groups who aren't well represented in mass media to discuss their sexual identities and practices. At very least, users should get the final say about whether they want to see such speech in their timelines.

Overly Restrictive Rules Attract Trolls

Is Facebook now a sex-free zone ? Should we be afraid of meeting potential partners on the platform or even disclosing our sexual orientations ?

Maybe not. For many users, life on Facebook might continue as it always has. But therein lies the problem: the new rules put a substantial portion of Facebook users in danger of violation. Fundamentally, that's not how platform moderation policies should work--with such broadly sweeping rules, online trolls can take advantage of reporting mechanisms to punish groups they don't like.

Combined with opaque and one-sided flagging and reporting systems , overly restrictive rules can incentivize abuse from bullies and other bad actors. It's not just individual trolls either: state actors have systematically abused Facebook's flagging process to censor political enemies. With these new rules, organizing that type of attack just became a lot easier. A few reports can drag a user into Facebook's labyrinthine enforcement regime , which can result in having a group page deactivated or even being banned from Facebook entirely. This process gives the user no meaningful opportunity to appeal a bad decision .

Given the rules' focus on sexual interests and activities, it's easy to imagine who would be the easiest targets: sex workers (including those who work lawfully), members of the LGBTQ community, and others who congregate online to discuss issues relating to sex. What makes the policy so dangerous to those communities is that it forbids the very things they gather online to discuss.

Even before the recent changes at Facebook and Tumblr , we'd seen trolls exploit similar policies to target the LGBTQ community and censor sexual health resources . Entire harassment campaigns have organized to use payment processors' reporting systems to cut off sex workers' income . When online platforms adopt moderation policies and reporting processes, it's essential that they consider how those policies and systems might be weaponized against marginalized groups.

A recent Verge article quotes a Facebook representative as saying that people sharing sensitive information in private Facebook groups will be safe , since Facebook relies on reports from users. If there are no tattle-tales in your group, the reasoning goes, then you can speak freely without fear of punishment. But that assurance rings rather hollow: in today's world of online bullying and brigading, there's no question of if your private group will be infiltrated by the trolls ; it's when .

Did SESTA/FOSTA Inspire Facebook's Policy Change?

The rule change comes a few months after Congress passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA/FOSTA), and it's hard not to wonder if the policy is the direct result of the new Internet censorship laws.

SESTA/FOSTA opened online platforms to new criminal and civil liability at the state and federal levels for their users' activities. While ostensibly targeted at online sex trafficking, SESTA/FOSTA also made it a crime for a platform to "promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person." The law effectively blurred the distinction between adult, consensual sex work and sex trafficking. The bill's supporters argued that forcing platforms to clamp down on all sex work was the only way to curb trafficking--nevermind the growing chorus of trafficking experts arguing the very opposite .

As SESTA/FOSTA was debated in Congress, we repeatedly pointed out that online platforms would have little choice but to over-censor : the fear of liability would force them not just to stop at sex trafficking or even sex work, but to take much more restrictive approaches to sex and sexuality in general, even in the absence of any commercial transaction. In EFF's ongoing legal challenge to SESTA/FOSTA , we argue that the law unconstitutionally silences lawful speech online.

While we don't know if the Facebook policy change came as a response to SESTA/FOSTA, it is a perfect example of what we feared would happen: platforms would decide that the only way to avoid liability is to ban a vast range of discussions of sex.

Wrongheaded as it is, the new rule should come as no surprise. After all, Facebook endorsed SESTA/FOSTA . Regardless of whether one caused the other or not, both reflect the same vision of how the Internet should work--a place where certain topics simply cannot be discussed. Like SESTA/FOSTA, Facebook's rule change might have been made to fight online sexual exploitation. But like SESTA/FOSTA, it will do nothing but push innocent people offline.

 

 

Misleading and aggressive practice...

Italian authorities have fined Facebook for their abuse of people's personal data


Link Here 8th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Facebook has been fined ?10m (£8.9m) by Italian authorities for misleading users over its data practices.

The two fines issued by Italy's competition watchdog are some of the largest levied against the social media company for data misuse.

The Italian regulator found that Facebook had breached the country's consumer code by:

  • Misleading users in the sign-up process about the extent to which the data they provide would be used for commercial purposes.
  • Emphasising only the free nature of the service, without informing users of the "profitable ends that underlie the provision of the social network", and so encouraging them to make a decision of a commercial nature that they would not have taken if they were in full possession of the facts.
  • Forcing an "aggressive practice" on registered users by transmitting their data from Facebook to third parties, and vice versa, for commercial purposes.

The company was specifically criticised for the default setting of the Facebook Platform services, which in the words of the regulator, prepares the transmission of user data to individual websites/apps without express consent from users. Although users can disable the platform, the regulator found that its opt-out nature did not provide a fully free choice.

The authority has also directed Facebook to publish an apology to users on its website and on its app.

 

 

Offsite Article: The internet war on sex is here...


Link Here 8th December 2018
No sex please, we're beholden to our advertisers. By Violet Blue

See article from engadget.com

 

 

Nobody expects the Cuban Inquisition...

A new decree gives Cuban government Inspectors the power to close down any exhibition or performances that are considered a violation of the socialist revolutionary values of the country


Link Here 7th December 2018
 
  
Supervisory inspectors
 

Cuba has passed a new law that gives the government Inspectorate the power to close down any exhibition or performances that are considered a violation of the socialist revolutionary values of the country.

The law, known as decree 349, published in July, allows so-called 'Supervisory inspectors' to censor cultural events ranging from art exhibitions to concerts, and to immediately close any of them if they saw it as denigrating the value of the country. They also have the right to confiscate a license for business of any restaurant or bar host an 'undesirable' event.

The decree  applies to obscene speech, vulgarity, sexism, excessive use of force and more.

Despite the claim that the authorities are trying to reduce the degree of resentment in society, cultural representatives still cal the law fascist.

 

 

Updated: Tumbling ethics...

Tumblr is banning all adult images of sex and nudity from 17th December 2018


Link Here 7th December 2018
Full story: Tumblr Censorship...Tumblr announces that it will ban all porn
Image hosting service Tumblr is banning all adult images of sex and nudity from 17th December 2018. This seems to have been sparked by the app being banned from Apple Store after a child porn image was detected being hosted by Tumblr. Tumblr explained the censorship process in a blog post:

Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are. You can read more about what kinds of content are not allowed on Tumblr in our Community Guidelines. If you spot a post that you don't think belongs on Tumblr, period, you can report it: From the dashboard or in search results, tap or click the share menu (paper airplane) at the bottom of the post, and hit Report.

Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content204including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations204that depicts sex acts.

Examples of exceptions that are still permitted are exposed female-presenting nipples in connection with breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments, and health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery. Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations, are also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr.

Any images identified as adult will be set as unviewable by anyone except the poster. There will be an appeals process to contest decisions held to be incorrect.

Inevitably Tumblr algorithms are not exactly accurate when it comes to detecting sex and nudity. The Guardian noted that ballet dancers, superheroes and a picture of Christ have all fallen foul of Tumblr's new pornography ban, after the images were flagged up as explicit content by the blogging site's artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

The actor and Tumblr user Wil Wheaton posted one example:

An image search for beautiful men kissing, which was flagged as explicit within 30 seconds of me posting it.

These images are not explicit. These pictures show two adults, engaging in consensual kissing. That's it. It isn't violent, it isn't pornographic. It's literally just two adult humans sharing a kiss.

Other users chronicled flagged posts, including historical images of (clothed) women of colour, a photoset of the actor Sebastian Stan wearing a selection of suits with no socks on, an oil painting of Christ wearing a loincloth, a still of ballet dancers and a drawing of Wonder Woman carrying fellow superhero Harley Quinn. None of the images violate Tumblr's stated policy.

Update: Petition

5th December 2018. See petition from change.org

Tumblr, after years of being a space for nsfw artists to reach a community of like-minded individuals to enjoy their work, has decided to close their metaphorical doors to adult content.

Solution Stop it. Let people post porn, it's 90% of the reason anybody is on the site in the first place. Or, if you really want a non-18+ tumblr, start a new one with that specific goal in mind. Don't rip down what people have spent years working on.

...sign the petition from change.org

At the time of writing 368,000 people had signed.

Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

6th December 2018. See  article from avn.com

The Free Speech coalition [representing the US adult trade] released the following statement regarding the recent announcement about censorship at Tumblr:

The social media platform Tumblr has announced that on December 17, it will effectively ban all adult content. Tumblr follows the lead of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms, who over the past few years have meticulously scrubbed their corners of the internet of adult content, sex, and sexuality, in the name of brand protection and child protection.

While some in the adult industry may cheer the end of Tumblr as a never-ending source of free content, specifically pirated content, it is concerning that of the major social media platforms, only Twitter and Reddit remain in any way tolerant of adult workers -- and there are doubts as to how much longer that will last.

As legitimate platforms ban or censor adult content -- having initially benefited from traffic that adult content brought them -- illegitimate platforms for distribution take their place. The closure of Tumblr only means more piracy, more dispersal of community, and more suffering for adult producers and performers.

Free Speech Coalition was founded to fight government censorship -- set raids and FBI entrapment, bank seizures and jail terms. The internet gave us freedom from much that had plagued us, particularly local ordinances and overzealous prosecutors. But now, when corporate censors suspend your account, the only choice is to abandon the platform 203 there is no opportunity for arbitration or appeal.

When companies like Google and Facebook (and subsidiaries like YouTube and Instagram) control over 70% of all web traffic, adult companies are denied a market as effectively as a state-level sex toy ban. And when sites like Tumblr and Twitter can close an account with millions of followers without warning, the effect is the same on a business -- particularly a small, performer-run one -- as an FBI seizure.

As social media companies become more powerful, we must demand recourse, but we also must look beyond our industry and continue to build alliances -- with women, with LGBTQ groups, with sex workers and sex educators, with artists -- who implicitly understand the devastating effect of this new form of censorship.

These communities have seen the devastation wreaked when platforms use purges of adult content as a sledgehammer, broadly banning sexual health information, vibrant communities based around non-normative genders and sexualities, resources for sex workers, and political and cultural commentary that engages with such topics.

The loss of these platforms isn't just about business, it's about the loss of vital communities and education -- and organizing. We use these platforms not only to grow our reach, but to communicate with one another, to rally, to drive awareness of issues of sex and sexuality. They have become a central source of power. And today, we're one step closer to losing that as well.

Offsite Comment: Filters don't work

6th December 2018. See  article from eff.org

Dear Tumblr: Banning Adult Content Won't Make Your Site Better But It Will Harm Sex-Positive Communities

Offsite Article: Alternatives

7th December 2018. See  article from wired.com

Wired has penned an article considering alternatives for Tumblr users wanting to find an alternative for adult content.

The initial suggestions are PillowFort.io and Dreamwidth on Twitter.

See  article from wired.com

 

 

Offsite Article: It was good while it lasted...


Link Here 7th December 2018
Full story: MPAA NC-17...US adults only certificate is the kiss of box office death
A Brief History of the US X Rating. By Jason Bailey

See article from vulture.com

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 88...


Link Here 7th December 2018
A discussion with Victoria and Albert Museum curator Keith Lodwick about the Censored! Stage, Screen, Society at 50, exhibition

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Kremlin concert bans and censorship vs Russian youth...


Link Here 7th December 2018
Young Russians have learned to think for themselves. That is very scary for the government

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 

A copyrighted internet...

Poland stands up to the EU to champion the livelihoods of thosands of Europeans against the disgraceful EU that wants to grant large, mostly American companies, dictatorial copyright control of the internet


Link Here 6th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

In 2011, Europeans rose up over ACTA , the misleadingly named "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement," which created broad surveillance and censorship regimes for the internet. They were successful in large part thanks to the Polish activists who thronged the streets to reject the plan, which had been hatched and exported by the US Trade Representative.

Now, Europe is in on the verge of an ever farther-reaching scheme to censor and surveil the internet: the new Copyright Directive, which limits who can link to (and criticise) the news and sets up crowdsourced databases of blacklisted content that anyone can add anything to, and which cannot thereafter be published online.

The Poles aren't having any of it: a broad coalition of Poles from the left and the right have come together to oppose the new Directive, dubbing it "ACTA2," which should give you an idea of how they feel about the matter.

There are now enough national governments opposed to the Directive to constitute a "blocking minority" that could stop it dead. Alas, the opposition is divided on whether to reform the offending parts of the Directive, or eliminate them outright (this division is why the Directive squeaked through the last vote, in September), and unless they can work together, the Directive still may proceed.

A massive coalition of 15,000 Polish creators whose videos, photos and text are enjoyed by over 20,000,000 Poles have signed an open letter supporting the idea of a strong, creator-focused copyright and rejecting the new Copyright Directive as a direct path to censoring filters that will deprive them of their livelihoods.

The coalition points out that online media is critical to the lives of everyday Poles for purposes that have nothing to do with the entertainment industry: education, the continuation of Polish culture, and connections to the global Polish diaspora.

Polish civil society and its ruling political party are united in opposing ACTA2; Polish President Andrzej Duda vowed to oppose it.

Early next month, the Polish Internet Governance Forum will host a roundtable on the question; they have invited proponents of the Directive to attend and publicly debate the issue.

 

 

Updated: #MeToo Hijacked...

Radio station bans song over modern misinterpretation of old lyrics


Link Here 6th December 2018
A local radio station has stopped playing the popular seasonal song, Baby It's Cold Outside after it says listeners claimed the song had predatory undertones amid the #MeToo movement.

WDOK Christmas 102 pulled the song written in the 1940's featuring a woman singing that she has to leave a man's house as he tries to convince her to stay. The song is more about the girl being reluctant to stay for fear of what the neighbours or her family may say rather than anything non consensual. Societal norms were different when the song was written. An unmarried woman staying at a man's house was scandalous, even if she wanted to.

The song has also being performed with the guy being the reluctant one.

In the song, the female using sings the part: I really can't stay, to which the man responds, but baby, it's cold outside. Other lyrics include the woman singing s ay, what's in this drink? and I simply must go. .. the answer is no.

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO Sondra Miller said the organization supports the ban:.

While some might view the song and its lyrics as a playful, coy back-and-forth from another time, Miller said it may have a different meaning to a rape survivor.

The station said it posted a poll about the song on its web site and claimed a clear majority of respondents supported the decision to remove the song from the station's lineup. But other polls suggest the opposite result.

baby, it's cold outside

I really can't stay (but baby, it's cold outside)
I've got to go away (but baby, it's cold outside)
This evening has been (been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice (i'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (beautiful what's your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I'd better scurry (beautiful please don't hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (baby, it's bad out there)
Say what's in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (i'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I'm gonna say that I tried (what's the sense in hurtin' my pride?)
I really can't stay (oh baby don't hold out)
But baby, it's cold outside
I simply must go (but baby, it's cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it's cold outside)
Your welcome has been(how lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)
My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)
My maiden aunts mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)
I've gotta get home(but baby, you'd freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat(it's up to your knees out there)
You've really been grand (i thrill when you touch my hand)
But don't you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)
There's bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pnuemonia and died)
I really can't stay (get over that old out)
Baby, it's cold
Baby, it's cold outside

Update: Censored on Christmas FM

6th December 2018. See  article from irishtimes.com

The Irish season radio station, Christmas FM, has said it has removed the song from its playlist as it doesn't resonate well with listeners.

However over the past few days many radio stations have been persuaded to drop its ban of the song due to listener feedback. The debate about the song's meaning has also thrown up some new interpretations.

An ex-English teacher posting on Tumblr (@bigbutterandeggman) argues that yes, by applying today's worldview to the song, it does sound like a rape anthem but the song makes sense in the context of a society in which women are expected to reject men's advances whether they actually want to or not. The woman is perfectly sober and about to have awesome consensual sex and use the drink (offered to her in the song) as plausible deniability because she's living in a society where women aren't supposed to have sexual agency .. It's not a song about rape, it's a song about a woman finding a way to exercise sexual agency in a patriarchal society designed to stop her doing so.

 

 

Censsorship hub...

Uganda blocks 27 internet porn websites


Link Here 6th December 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in Uganda...Banning VPNs and taxing social media
ISPs in Uganda have blocked 27 pornography websites after a directive was issued by the Uganda Communications Commission.

Pornhub, Xvideos, and Youporn were among the top 100 most visited websites.

The Daily Monitor reports that at least 25 of the 27 banned websites cannot be accessed on mobile phones. However, users of Virtual Private Networks can access the banned sites.

Chairperson of the Pornography Control Committee Annette Kezaabu told the Monitor there is a drop in the number of people accessing pornography after they blocked the prominent porn sites. She said:

We have a team that is compiling a list of other porn sites that will be blocked

We anticipate that some people will open up new sites but this is a continuous process.

 

 

Offsite article: Passport to repression...


Link Here 6th December 2018
The Daily Mail reports on large scale data harvesting of your data and notes that Paypal have been passing on passport photos used for account verification to Microsoft for their facial recognition database

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Getting a taste of its own medicine as parliament publishes Facebook's private data...

Parliament publishes a set of enlightening emails about Facebook's pursuit of revenue and how it allows people's data to be used by app developers


Link Here 5th December 2018
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy

Parliament's fake news inquiry has published a cache of seized Facebook documents including internal emails sent between Mark Zuckerberg and the social network's staff. The emails were obtained from the chief of a software firm that is suing the tech giant. About 250 pages have been published, some of which are marked highly confidential.

Facebook had objected to their release.

Damian Collins MP, the chair of the parliamentary committee involved, highlighted several key issues in an introductory note. He wrote that:

  • Facebook allowed some companies to maintain "full access" to users' friends data even after announcing changes to its platform in 2014/2015 to limit what developers' could see. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted," Mr Collins wrote
  • Facebook had been aware that an update to its Android app that let it collect records of users' calls and texts would be controversial. "To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard as possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features," Mr Collins wrote
  • Facebook used data provided by the Israeli analytics firm Onavo to determine which other mobile apps were being downloaded and used by the public. It then used this knowledge to decide which apps to acquire or otherwise treat as a threat
  • there was evidence that Facebook's refusal to share data with some apps caused them to fail
  • there had been much discussion of the financial value of providing access to friends' data

In response, Facebook has said that the documents had been presented in a very misleading manner and required additional context.

See Mark Zuckerberg's response on Facebook

Offsite Analysis: New Documents Show That Facebook Has Never Deserved Your Trust

7th December 2018. See  article from eff.org by Bennett Cyphers and Gennie Gebhart

 

 

Money talks and Microsoft snoops...

Mastercard and Microsoft get together to pool their data on you in the name of identity verification


Link Here 5th December 2018
Mastercard and Microsoft are collaborating in an identity management system that promises to remember users' identity verification and passwords between sites and services.

Mastercard highlights four particular areas of use: financial services, commerce, government services, and digital services (eg social media, music streaming services and rideshare apps). This means the system would let users manage their data across both websites and real-world services.

However, the inclusion of government services is an eyebrow-raising one. Microsoft and Mastercard's system could link personal information including taxes, voting status and criminal record, with consumer services like social media accounts, online shopping history and bank accounts.

As well as the stifling level of tailored advertising you'd receive if the system knew everything you did, this sets the dangerous precedent for every byte of users' information to be stored under one roof -- perfect for an opportunistic hacker or businessman. Mastercard mention it is working closely with players like Microsoft, showing that many businesses have access to the data.

Neither Microsoft nor Mastercard have slated a release date for the system, only promising additional details on these efforts will be shared in the coming months.

 

 

Another One Bites the Dust...

Malaysian censors cuts to Bohemian Rhapsody


Link Here 5th December 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 UK / USA music biography by Bryan Singer.
Starring Rami Malek, Joseph Mazzello and Mike Myers. BBFC link IMDb

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound.

Initial reports from those who had seen Bohemian Rhapsody in theatres indicated the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) had cut up to 24 minutes of footage from the Freddie Mercury biopic, as homosexuality is banned under the country's sodomy laws.

However in reality the cuts totalled about 3 minutes. Censor board chairman Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz said that seven cuts involved muting 'bad words', while the four gay scenes involved cuts to men kissing each other, men rubbing each other, and a group of men in dresses partying in a mansion.

It's easy to see why audiences believed something more substantial was missing from the film. The Malaysian cut leaves major narrative holes in the film. Key scenes no longer make sense.

The most noticeable changes to Bohemian Rhapsody involve censoring intimacy between its queer male characters. The physical aspects of Freddie Mercury's relationship to Paul Prenter (Allen Leech) -- his personal manager and the film's antagonist -- are gone entirely. A meet-cute with future partner Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker) is virtually incomprehensible.

As Zamberi told the Malay Mail, censors took the further step of removing a line in the credits mentioning that Mercury and Hutton lived a happy life until the iconic singer's 1991 death. It showed that they were in a gay relationship, the censor explained.

A line in which Mercury (Rami Malek) comes out to then-fiancee Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) is removed from the film. I think I'm bisexual, he says. Austin insists he's gay, which is also cut.

While preparing for Queen's legendary performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert, the singer tells his bandmates that he's HIV-positive. I've got it, Mercury says. Got what? a group member asks. AIDS, he responds. The censors cut everything after I've got it.

 

 

Silencing European internet users...

Reddit explains to European users that it won't be able to operate effectively under forthcoming EU copyright law


Link Here 5th December 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

Defending equal access to the free and open internet is core to Reddit's ideals, and something that redditors have told us time and again they hold dear too, from the SOPA/PIPA battle to the fight for Net Neutrality. This is why even though we are an American company with a user base primarily in the United States, we've nevertheless spent a lot of time this year warning about how an overbroad EU Copyright Directive could restrict Europeans' equal access to the open Internet--and to Reddit.

Despite these warnings, it seems that EU lawmakers still don't fully appreciate the law's potential impact, especially on small and medium-sized companies like Reddit. So we're stepping things up to draw attention to the problem. Users in the EU will notice that when they access Reddit via desktop, they are greeted by a modal informing them about the Copyright Directive and referring them to detailed resources on proposed fixes .

The problem with the Directive lies in Articles 11 (link licensing fees) and 13 (copyright filter requirements), which set sweeping, vague requirements that create enormous liability for platforms like ours. These requirements eliminate the previous safe harbors that allowed us the leeway to give users the benefit of the doubt when they shared content. But under the new Directive, activity that is core to Reddit, like sharing links to news articles, or the use of existing content for creative new purposes (r/photoshopbattles, anyone?) would suddenly become questionable under the law, and it is not clear right now that there are feasible mitigating actions that we could take while preserving core site functionality. Even worse, smaller but similar attempts in various countries in Europe in the past have shown that such efforts have actually harmed publishers and creators .

Accordingly, we hope that today's action will drive the point home that there are grave problems with Articles 11 and 13, and that the current trilogue negotiations will choose to remove both entirely. Barring that, however, we have a number of suggestions for ways to improve both proposals. Engine and the Copia Institute have compiled them here at https://dontwreckthe.net/ . We hope you will read them and consider calling your Member of European Parliament ( look yours up here ). We also hope that EU lawmakers will listen to those who use and understand the internet the most, and reconsider these problematic articles. Protecting rights holders need not come at the cost of silencing European internet users.

 

 

Offsite Article: And who better to the job?...


Link Here 5th December 2018
Full story: Film censorship in New Zealand...At the Office of Film and Literature Classification
New Zealand film censor, with a keen eye on upcoming UK cesorship, publishes a report on porn viewing by the young and inevitably finds that they want porn to be censored

See article [pdf] from classificationoffice.govt.nz

 

 

Offsite Article: The price of censorship...


Link Here 4th December 2018
The BBFC increase charges by inflation - 1% so that a 90 minute films costs 934 GBP for a cinema rating and 757 for video

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Defective Age Verification Law...

Parliamentary scrutiny committee condemns as 'defective' a DCMS Statutory Instrument excusing Twitter and Google images from age verification. Presumably one of the reasons for the delayed introduction


Link Here 3rd December 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
There's a joint committee to scrutinise laws passed in parliament via Statutory Instruments. These are laws that are not generally presented to parliament for discussion, and are passed by default unless challenged.

The committee has now taken issue with a DCMS law to excuse the likes of social media and search engines from requiring age verification for any porn images that may get published on the internet. The committee reports from a session on 21st November 2018 that the law was defective and 'makes an unexpected use of the enabling power'. Presumably this means that the DCMS has gone beyond the scope of what can be passed without full parliamentary scrutiny.

Draft S.I.: Reported for defective drafting and for unexpected use of powers Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018

7.1 The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these draft Regulations on the grounds that they are defectively drafted and make an unexpected use of the enabling power.

7.2 Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 ("the 2017 Act") contains provisions designed to prevent persons under the age of 18 from accessing internet sites which contain pornographic material. An age-verification regulator 1 is given a number of powers to enforce the requirements of Part 3, including the power to impose substantial fines. 2

7.3 Section 14(1) is the key requirement. It provides:

"A person contravenes [Part 3 of the Act] if the person makes pornographic material available on the internet to persons in the United Kingdom on a commercial basis other than in a way that secures that, at any given time, the material is not normally accessible by persons under the age of 18".

7.4 The term "commercial basis" is not defined in the Act itself. Instead, section 14(2) confers a power on the Secretary of State to specify in regulations the circumstances in which, for the purposes of Part 3, pornographic material is or is not to be regarded as made available on a commercial basis. These draft regulations would be made in exercise of that power. Regulation 2 provides:

"(1) Pornographic material is to be regarded as made available on the internet to persons in the United Kingdom on a commercial basis for the purposes of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 if either paragraph (2) or (3) are met.

(2) This paragraph applies if access to that pornographic material is available only upon payment.

(3) This paragraph applies (subject to paragraph (4)) if the pornographic material is made available free of charge and the person who makes it available receives (or reasonably expects to receive) a payment, reward or other benefit in connection with making it available on the internet.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), paragraph (3) does not apply in a case where it is reasonable for the age-verification regulator to assume that pornographic material makes up less than one-third of the content of the material made available on or via the internet site or other means (such as an application program) of accessing the internet by means of which the pornographic material is made available.

(5) Paragraph (4) does not apply if the internet site or other means (such as an application program) of accessing the internet (by means of which the pornographic material is made available) is marketed as an internet site or other means of accessing the internet by means of which pornographic material is made available to persons in the United Kingdom."

7.5 The Committee finds these provisions difficult to understand, whether as a matter of simple English or as legal propositions. Paragraphs (4) and (5) are particularly obscure.

7.6 As far as the Committee can gather from the Explanatory Memorandum, the policy intention is that a person will be regarded as making pornographic material available on the internet on a commercial basis if:

(A) a charge is made for access to the material; OR

(B) the internet site is accessible free of charge, but the person expects to receive a payment or other commercial benefit, for example through advertising carried on the site.

7.7 There is, however, an exception to (B): in cases in which no access charge is made, the person will NOT be regarded as making the pornographic material available on a commercial basis if the material makes up less than one-third of the content on the internet site--even if the person expects to receive a payment or other commercial benefit from the site. But that exception does not apply in a case where the person markets it as a pornographic site, or markets an "app" as a means of accessing pornography on the site.

7.8 As the Committee was doubtful whether regulation 2 as drafted is effective to achieve the intended result, it asked the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport a number of questions. These were designed to elicit information about the regulation's meaning and effect.

7.9 The Committee is disappointed with the Department's memorandum in response, printed at Appendix 7: it fails to address adequately the issues raised by the Committee.

7.10 The Committee's first question asked the Department to explain why paragraph (1) of regulation 2 refers to whether either paragraph (2) or (3) "are met" 3 rather than "applies". The Committee raised this point because paragraphs (2) and (3) each begin with "This paragraph applies if ...". There is therefore a mismatch between paragraph (1) and the subsequent paragraphs, which could make the regulation difficult to interpret. It would be appropriate to conclude paragraph (1) with "is met" only if paragraphs (2) and (3) began with "The condition in this paragraph is met if ...". The Department's memorandum does not explain this discrepancy. The Committee accordingly reports regulation 2(1) for defective drafting.

7.11 The first part of the Committee's second question sought to probe the intended effect of the words in paragraph (4) of regulation 2 italicised above, and how the Department considers that effect is achieved.

7.12 While the Department's memorandum sets out the policy reasons for setting the one-third threshold, it offers little enlightenment on whether paragraph (4) is effective to achieve the policy aims. Nor does it deal properly with the second part of the Committee's question, which sought clarification of the concept of "one-third of ... material ... on ... [a] means .... of accessing the internet ...".

7.13 The Committee is puzzled by the references in regulation 2(4) to the means of accessing the internet. Section 14(2) of the 2017 Act confers a power on the Secretary of State to specify in regulations circumstances in which pornographic material is or is not to be regarded as made available on the internet on a commercial basis. The means by which the material is accessed (for example, via an application program on a smart phone) appears to be irrelevant to the question of whether it is made available on the internet on a commercial basis. The Committee remains baffled by the concept of "one-third of ... material ... on [a] means ... of accessing the internet".

7.14 More generally, regulation 2(4) fails to specify how the one-third threshold is to be measured and what exactly it applies to. Will the regulator be required to measure one-third of the pictures or one-third of the words on a particular internet site or both together? And will a single webpage on the site count towards the total if less than one-third of the page's content is pornographic--for example, a sexually explicit picture occupying 32% of the page, with the remaining 68% made up of an article about fishing? The Committee worries that the lack of clarity in regulation 2(4) may afford the promoter of a pornographic website opportunities to circumvent Part 3 of the 2017 Act.

7.15 The Committee is particularly concerned that a promoter may make pornographic material available on one or more internet sites containing multiple pages, more than two-thirds of which are non-pornographic. For every 10 pages of pornography, there could be 21 pages about (for example) gardening or football. Provided the sites are not actively marketed as pornographic, they would not be regarded as made available on a commercial basis. This means that Part 3 of the Act would not apply, and the promoter would be free to make profits through advertising carried on the sites, while taking no steps at all to ensure that they were inaccessible to persons under 18.

7.16 The Committee anticipates that the shortcomings described above are likely to cause significant difficulty in the application and interpretation of regulation 2(4). The Committee also doubts whether Parliament contemplated, when enacting Part 3 of the 2017 Act, that the power conferred by section 14(2) would be exercised in the way provided for in regulation 2(4). The Committee therefore reports regulation 2(4) for defective drafting and on the ground that it appears to make an unexpected use of the enabling power.

 

 

A few translated words...

Sony exec speaks about the company's new found enthusiasm for video game censorship


Link Here 3rd December 2018
Sony president Atsushi Morita has made the first official comments about his company's new found enthusiasm for video game censorship. Posted on Japanese website Ebitsu.net, but without official translation, he purportedly told attendees at a Japan Studio event that expression restrictions [have been] adjusted to the global standards. He apparently concluded:

Considering the balance between freedom of expression and safety to children, I think that it is a difficult problem.

One video game series thats been affected by Sony's censorship  is Senran Kagura . The producer of the latest game, Kenichiro Takaki commented that the next title in the series is going to take time as it deals with these new regulations. He said:

We have to make games in a way that they aren't misunderstood. Certain things are harder than they've ever been before. Given that, I think [the game] is going to take some time.

 

 

Which bright spark thought of that?...

Winnie the Pooh is replaced by a light cloud in the Chinese release of the game Kingdom Hearts 3


Link Here 3rd December 2018
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
Kingdom Hearts 3 is an upcoming video game that features Winnie the Pooh.

Now China's president Xi Jinping has taken offence at his gait and pot belly being likened to Pooh bear so Chinese censors have to spend hours ensuring that images of the bear are airbrushed out of Chinese life.

A Chinese website sharing images of the upcoming game revealed the game's interesting form of censorship. The iconic Winnie the Pooh is censored out with a gigantic white light.

Kingdom Hearts 3 launches January 29th, 2019.

 

 

Cat calls...

Chichester Council censors street art


Link Here 2nd December 2018
The King of Cats mural by street artist Joachim has been censored by Chichester District Council after residents whinged that the painting was 'inappropriate' and attracting antisocial behaviour.

The black-and-white cat, which stood about 18-foot-high, was painted by the Belgian street artist in October 2017.

62 residents signed a petition calling for the King of Cats to be removed. One complainant said the nightmarish cat had attracted additional graffiti within two days, while another described the artwork as vandalism, according to a list of complaints published in Chichester Observer, which were submitted to the council in October and November 2017. The petition letter claimed that the cat has drug connotations in its design.

Following the mural's removal, Joachim was inundated with messages of support from the Chichester community, asking him to come back to their city, according to Graffiti Street.  So Joachim went back to the same spot and painted another black-and-white mural -- The Watchdog.

 

 

Worrying about religious dicks in heads...

US chain store Nordstrom removes a penis shape Shiva vase from sale after a complaint from Rajan Zed


Link Here 2nd December 2018
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
 

Memphis Pink Shiva Vase
by Ettore Sottsass 1970s
 

Seattle headquartered luxury department stores chain Nordstrom withdrew an erect penis shaped vase named after Hindu deity Shiva within less than five hours of Hindu protest, claiming it to be highly inappropriate.

Erik Nordstrom, Co-President of Nordstrom, responded to the perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed who complained about the vase. Nordstrom wrote:

We certainly do not want to carry merchandise that offends anyone, especially for religious reasons. Please know that the vase has been removed from our website. I hope you will accept my apologies for any disappointment we have caused you or others.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Nordstrom for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought associating Lord Shiva with such a product was highly insensitive.

Rajan Zed suggested that Nordstrom and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.

Zed had said that Lord Shiva and Shivalinga were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not used as a vase for holding cut flowers, which might end up as a decoration in toilet/bathroom/etc. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

 

 

Complete control...

Chinese rules requiring internet companies to record all users online activity have commenced


Link Here 1st December 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Chinese internet companies have started keeping detailed records of their users' personal information and online activity. The new rules from China's internet censor went into effect Friday.

The new requirements apply to any company that provides online services which can influence public opinion or mobilize the public to engage in specific activities, according to a notice posted on the Cyber Administration of China's website.

Citing the need to safeguard national security and social order, the Chinese internet censor said companies must be able to verify users' identities and keep records of key information such as call logs, chat logs, times of activity and network addresses.

Officals will carry out inspections of companies' operations to ensure compliance. But the Cyber Administration didn't make clear under what circumstances the companies might be required to hand over logs to authorities.

 

 

Morality in Media recommends...

Baby on Netflix


Link Here 1st December 2018
Full story: Morality in Media...Misreable campaigners for censorship
Morality in Media (now calling themselves the National Center on Sexual Exploitation) writes:

This Friday, Netflix will begin streaming a new show, Baby .

Based loosely on the account of the Baby Squillo scandal, the show portrays a group of teenagers entering into prostitution as a glamorized coming-of-age story. Under international and U.S. federal law, anyone engaged in commercial sex who is under 18 years old is by definition a sex trafficking victim. In the real-life scandal that Baby is based on, the mother of one of the teenagers was arrested for sex trafficking.

In January, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, along with 55 other survivors of sex trafficking and/or subject matter experts, social service providers, and advocates for the abolition of sexual exploitation sent a letter to Netflix executives to express their deep concern regarding Netflix's forthcoming Italian drama, Baby, which normalizes child sexual abuse and the sex trafficking of minors as prostitution.

Despite being at ground zero of the #MeToo movement, Netflix appears to have gone completely tone-deaf on the realities of sexual exploitation, said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Despite the outcry from survivors of sex trafficking, subject matter experts, and social service providers, Netflix promotes sex trafficking by insisting on streaming Baby. Clearly, Netflix is prioritizing profits over victims of abuse.

Erik Barmack, VP of International Originals at Netflix, has previously described the new show as edgy.

There is absolutely nothing edgy about the sexual exploitation of minors. This show glamorizes sexual abuse and trivializes the experience of countless underage women and men who have suffered through sex trafficking.

 

 

Offsite Article: WeChatTheyListen app...


Link Here 1st December 2018
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
GCHQ pushes for the ability to silently join and snoop on encrypted messaging conversations

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 

Getting the consent of the people...

Isle of Man Government consults on update to its sexual offences law


Link Here 1st January 1970
The Isle of Man's Department of Home Affairs is consulting on a draft Sexual Offences and Obscene Publications Bill 2018 (the Bill). The purpose of the Bill is to modernise and consolidate the legislation and address important matters such as:

updating the definition of consent to ensure that it provides appropriate and clear protection for victims reviewing sentences for offences addressing image-based abuse modernising the legislation relating to pornography and obscene publications and the pardoning and removal of criminal records relating to historic consensual homosexual offences

The bill seems to echo mostly what is already in law around the UK.

 

2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
Jan   Feb   Mar   April   May   June   July   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec   Latest  

Censor Watch logo
censorwatch.co.uk
 

Top

Home

Links
 

Censorship News Latest

Daily BBFC Ratings

Melon Farmers