Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch


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Children of the Corn II: Urban Harvest...

BBFC rating reduced to 15 for upcoming Arrow release

Link Here29th April 2021
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest is a 1995 USA horror thriller by James DR Hickox.
Starring Daniel Cerny, Ron Melendez and Jim Metzler. Melon Farmers link   BBFC link 2020  IMDb
The Theatrical version is MPAA R rated in the US. A low definition preview VHS has revealed that the Theatrical Version was cut in the US at some point. The cut material has so far not been found in a high enough definition for restoration to mainstream releases.

The Theatrical Version was cut by the BBFC for 18 rated VHS and 2000 DVD. These BBFC cuts have been waived since 2004 DVD. The BBFC rating was reduced to 15 in 2021.

The running time suggests that this latest submission by Arrow is the original Theatrical Version, but this is not yet confirmed.

Summary Notes

Two young Gatlin residents are orphaned after the younger brother kills their father. So, the terror of Gatlin goes urban when the two boys are placed in the custody of two foster parents. The younger brother (who by this point is established as the "evil one") bought some corn seeds along for the road and plants them in the courtyard of an abandoned warehouse, bring He Who Walks Behind the Rows to the city. He winds up possessing his high school peers, and soon his older brother feels called to stop him.

UK: Passed 15 uncut with a BBFC trigger warning for strong gore, violence, language, domestic abuse:
  • 2021 Arrow Film Distributors Ltd video



EU funds the development of online age verification...

Kids have to hand over personal data to anyone that asks to protect themselves from handing over personal data to anyone that asks

Link Here 28th April 2021
Full story: EU Internet Video Censorship...EU extends censorship to all video websites
A consortium of twelve of the Europe's leading academic institutions, NGOs and technology providers has been awarded EU funding to design, deliver and pilot a new Europe-wide system. This solution will allow service providers to verify the age of their users to protect them from harmful content, and will ensure that younger children have parental consent before they share personal data. The Age Verification Providers Association is a leading member of the team that will deliver this system.

euCONSENT is a European Commission project under the call:

Outline and trial an infrastructure dedicated to the implementation of child rights and protection mechanisms in the online domain based on the GDPR and other existing EU legislation relevant for the child within the online domain .

The objective of this project, initiated by the European Parliament, is to demonstrate an interoperable technical infrastructure dedicated to the implementation of child protection mechanisms (such as age verification) and parental consent mechanisms as required by relevant EU legislation (such as the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)).

The euCONSENT solution will be designed with help from children and young people and under the guidance of the continent's leading academic experts, NGOs and other key stakeholders in child rights and online safety. EU Kids Online, Eurochild and COFACE -- FAMILIES EUROPE, amongst others, will provide regular input to the work of the project team, which will be advised by a panel, chaired by John Carr, one of the world's leading campaigners on children's and young people's use of the internet and digital technologies.

The new system will then be used during a pilot phase by over 1,500 children, young people and parents from at least three EU Member States. Users' experience will be independently evaluated to provide convincing evidence for this solution to be adopted across the EU, with hundreds of Europe's kids already positioned as its most enthusiastic advocates to their peers, their parents and EU policymakers.



Offsite Article: Mental wellness issues...

Link Here28th April 2021
Fawlty Towers: The Germans continues to create waves, even after cuts

See article from




Australian age rating for movie lowered on appeal

Link Here27th April 2021
Full story: Movies Cut in Australia...Cut by the film censor, often for a lower rating

Ascendant is a 2021 Australia Sci-Fi mystery fantasy by Antaine Furlong (as Anthony Furlong)
Starring Charlotte Best, Jonny Pasvolsky and Susan Prior IMDb

A young environmentalist wakes, trapped, kidnapped in the elevator of a super high-rise building at the mercy of her tormentors

The original age rating from the Australian Censorship Board of MA15+ for strong themes and violence was reduced on appeal to M for mature fantasy themes, violence and blood detail. Note that MA 15+ would be likened to a 15A in UK terms whereas M would be likened to a PG-15 in US terms.

Australia's Classification Review Board explained:

In the Classification Review Board's opinion, Ascendant warrants an M classification because the themes and violence can be accommodated within context. The other classifiable elements can be accommodated at lower classifications.

It is the view of the Classification Review Board that the themes and violence within Ascendant were justified within the context of a fantasy narrative, and within this context they were of moderate impact.

It is for the above reasons, that the Classification Review Board has decided Ascendant warrants an M classification as the impact of its classifiable elements is no higher than moderate.



Offsite Article Saggy ethics at Channel 5...

Link Here27th April 2021
Channel 5 removes mean cosmetic surgery programme from catch up TV

See article from



Disco Elysium...

Games connections appeal against being banned by the Australian games censor

Link Here26th April 2021
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a 2021 role playing game by ZA/UM

The Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the computer game, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut was banned by the Classification Board on 18 March 2021. The Australian Censorship Board banned the game presumably because the core gameplay mechanics prominently include drugs and alcohol and which is a bit of a no-no for the country's censors.

The Classification Review Board will meet on Tuesday 11 May 2021 to consider the application.



Offsite Article: Unfunny BBC censorship...

Link Here26th April 2021
QI star Alan Davies accuses the BBC of encouraging comedians to self-censor to avoid a backlash and fears comics will shy away from voicing strong views

See article from



Offsite Article: Facebook v Apple...

Link Here26th April 2021
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Apple is set to require user permission before apps can use tracking ID used for snooping and advert targeting

See article from



Age old practicality problems...

EFF argues against a Canadian impossible to comply with age verification for porn bill

Link Here24th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking

Canadian Senate Bill S-203 , AKA the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act, is another woefully misguided proposal aimed at regulating sexual content online. To say the least, this bill fails to understand how the internet functions and would be seriously damaging to online expression and privacy. It's bad in a variety of ways, but there are three specific problems that need to be laid out: 1) technical impracticality, 2) competition harms, and 3) privacy and security.

First, S-203 would make any person or company criminally liable for any time an underage user engages with sexual content through its service. The law applies even if the person or company believed the user to be an adult, unless the person or company implemented a prescribed age-verification method.

Second, the bill seemingly imposes this burden on a broad swath of the internet stack. S-203 would criminalize the acts of independent performers, artists, blogs, social media, message boards, email providers, and any other intermediary or service in the stack that is in some way for commercial purposes and makes available sexually explicit material on the Internet to a young person. The only meaningful defense against the financial penalties that a person or company could assert would be to verify the legal adult age of every user and then store that data.

The bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content

The sheer amount of technical infrastructure it would take for such a vast portion of the internet to implement a prescribed age-verification method would be costly and overwhelmingly complicated. It would also introduce many security concerns that weren't previously there. Even if every platform had server side storage with robust security posture, processing high level personally identifiable information (PII) on the client side would be a treasure trove for anyone with a bit of app exploitation skills. And then if this did create a market space for third-party proprietary solutions to take care of a secure age verification system, the financial burden would only advantage the largest players online. Not only that, it's ahistorical to assume that younger teenagers wouldn't figure out ways to hack past whatever age verification system is propped up.

Then there's the privacy angle. It's ludicrous to expect all adult users to provide private personal information every time they log onto an app that might contain sexual content. The implementation of verification schemes in contexts like this may vary on how far privacy intrusions go, but it generally plays out as a cat and mouse game that brings surveillance and security threats instead of responding to initial concerns. The more that a verification system fails, the more privacy-invasive measures are taken to avoid criminal liability.

Because of the problems of implementing age verification, the bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content instead of carrying the huge risk that an underage user will access it. But even a company that wanted to eliminate prohibited sexual content would face significant obstacles in doing so if they, like much of the internet, host user-generated content. It is difficult to detect and define the prohibited sexual content, and even more difficult when the bill recognizes that the law is not violated if such material has a legitimate purpose related to science, medicine, education or the arts. There is no automated tool that can make such distinctions; the inevitable result is that protected materials will be removed out of an abundance of caution. And history teaches us that the results are often sexist , misogynist , racist , LGBT-phobic, ableist , and so on. It is a feature, not a bug, that there is no one-size-fits-all way to neatly define what is and isn't sexual content.

Ultimately, Canadian Senate Bill S-203 is another in a long line of morally patronizing legislation that doesn't understand how the internet works. Even if there were a way to keep minors away from sexual content, there is no way without vast collateral damage. Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne, who introduced the bill, stated it makes no sense that the commercial porn platforms don't verify age. I think it's time to legislate. We gently recommend that next time her first thought be to consult with experts.



Updated: Coffin humour...

Sky censors Prince Philip joke from the US satirical show Last Week Toinight

Link Here24th April 2021
Sky censored last night's episode of the latest episode of LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER.

About 20 seconds was cut directly after the end of the opening credits, where (if you know if the show) John usually complains about still hosting the show from the White Void.

The bit that was cut was:

Hi, and welcome to the show, still taking place in this blank void. I've nicknamed it Prince Philip's Coffin, because it's a sad, little box containing a rapidly decomposing British man.

The episode is also not on Sky's catch-up service at the time of writing (11am on Tuesday 20th April) some 13 hours after originally broadcast.

Hugely disappointed that an allegedly bad taste joke on a topical news comedy show was cut by Sky, because it might cause offence... Or have we got to a stage where no jokes about the Royal Family are ever acceptable in our Republic?

Update: Last Week Too

22nd April 2021. Thanks to Graeme

As to the censorship of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver by Sky Comedy, they did the same thing the week before. It was a joke about the Queen and Philip being related I think.

They also cut the opening monologue by Bill Maher the last 2 weeks as well.

The uncut versions are on the Real Time Youtube channel.

Update: Sky responds

24th April 2021. Thanks to Jon

Sky Viewer Relations responded to Jon's questions about Sky's censorship:

Thank you for your email regarding season 8, episode 9, of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver which aired on Sky Comedy on 19/04/2021.

This episode, as with all content broadcast on our channels, was reviewed by our compliance team before it aired and an editorial decision was made to remove the joke you have referred to.

Comedy is of course highly subjective, and while we do appreciate your point of view, in this context we are comfortable with the editorial decision that was made. Nevertheless, we would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us. We always appreciate receiving feedback from our viewers.

Jon comments:

Their response is pathetic and very much like the kind of nonsense I'd expect to hear from the BBC.



Critical failures...

Twitter bans 50 tweets criticising the Indian government's covid crisis management

Link Here24th April 2021
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
Twitter has censored more than 50 tweets critical of the Indian government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and did so at the request of the Indian government.

The 52 banned tweets are detailed in a disclosure notice on the Lumen database . The censored accounts include a sitting member of India's Parliament, two filmmakers, an actor, and a West Bengal state minister.

A Twitter spokesperson told The Verge that the company may make certain tweets unable to be viewed by people within India if the tweets violate local law. Twitter says it notified account holders before it withheld content to make them aware that the action was taken in response to a legal request from the government of India.

Indian law restricts the publication of material that the government considers defamatory, or which could incite violence.

And in case you don't think that the Indian government deserves a little criticism:



Intimidatory pitching...

Pakistan's PM revives call for an international blasphemy law

Link Here24th April 2021
Full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN
Pakistan s prime minister Imran Khan has called on Muslim-majority countries to lobby Western governments to criminalise insulting the religious character Mohammed. He said in a televised address:

We need to explain why this hurts us, when in the name of freedom of speech they insult the honour of the prophet. When 50 Muslim countries will unite and say this, and say that if something like this happens in any country, then we will launch a trade boycott on them and not buy their goods, that will have an effect.

Khan argued that insulting Mohammed should be treated in the same way as questioning the Holocaust, which is a crime in some European countries.

The address seems to be part of a response to violent protests by the radical religious group Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) over protests against France over a row about French school children being taught about Mohammed cartoons that wound up the muslim world a few years ago.



Offsite Article: How the NSPCC rigged its report on the dangers of end-to-end encryption...

Link Here 24th April 2021
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
The disgraceful NSPCC is lobbying government to deny internet users their basic security against hackers, scammers, black mailers and thieves

See article from



Offsite Article: Identified as control freaks...

Link Here24th April 2021
Hollywood and the music industry groups are lobbying the EU to require identity verification for everyone who wants to buy internet domains, website hosting etc

See article from



Surely not!...

Facebook will allow users to select for themselves what type of news they like

Link Here22nd April 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'

Incorporating More Feedback Into News Feed Ranking

Our goal with News Feed is to arrange the posts from friends, Groups and Pages you follow to show you what matters most to you at the top of your feed. Our algorithm uses thousands of signals to rank posts for your News Feed with this goal in mind. This spring, we're expanding on our work to use direct feedback from people who use Facebook to understand the content people find most valuable. And we'll continue to incorporate this feedback into our News Feed ranking process.

Over the next few months, we'll test new ways to get more specific feedback from people about the posts they're seeing, and we'll use that feedback to make News Feed better. Here are some of the new approaches we're exploring:

Whether people find a post inspirational: People have told us they want to see more inspiring and uplifting content in News Feed because it motivates them and can be useful to them outside of Facebook. For example, a post featuring a quote about community can inspire someone to spend more time volunteering, or a photo of a national park can inspire someone to spend more time in nature. To this end, we're running a series of global tests that will survey people to understand which posts they find inspirational. We'll incorporate their responses as a signal in News Feed ranking, with the goal of showing people more inspirational posts closer to the top of their News Feed.

Gauging interest in certain topics: Even though your News Feed contains posts from the friends, Groups and Pages you've chosen to follow, we know sometimes even your closest friends and family share posts about topics that aren't really interesting to you, or that you don't want to see. To address this, we'll ask people whether they want to see more or fewer posts about a certain topic, such as Cooking, Sports or Politics, and based on their collective feedback, we'll aim to show people more content about the topics they're more interested in, and show them fewer posts about topics they don't want to see.

Better understanding content people want to see less of: Increasingly, we're hearing feedback from people that they're seeing too much content about politics and too many other kinds of posts and comments that detract from their News Feed experience. This is a sensitive area, so over the next few months, we'll work to better understand what kinds of content are linked with these negative experiences. For example, we'll look at posts with lots of angry reactions and ask people what kinds of posts they may want to see less of.

Making it easier to give feedback directly on a post: We've long given people the ability to hide a particular post they encounter in News Feed, and we'll soon test a new post design to make this option even more prominent. If you come across something that you find irrelevant, problematic or irritating, you can tap the X in the upper right corner of the post to hide it from your News Feed and see fewer posts like it in the future.

Overall, we hope to show people more content they want to see and find valuable, and less of what they don't. While engagement will continue to be one of many types of signals we use to rank posts in News Feed, we believe these additional insights can provide a more complete picture of the content people find valuable, and we'll share more as we learn from these tests.



If I Had Known...

Netflix refuses to bow to Turkish censorship and moves production to Spain

Link Here22nd April 2021
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Last year Turkey refused permission to film a locally adapted version of the Netflix series If Only. The licence was refused after discovering that one of the lead characters was gay.

Netflix decided not to write out the gay character and have now decided to film the series in Spain. The adaptation will now be titled Si lo hubiera sabido (If I Had Known), and will be scripted by Irma Correa with Yörenç acting as consultant.

Starring HBO series 30 coins actress Megan Montaner, If I Had Known will tell the story of Emma, who is entering her thirties with the feeling that life has become dull after 10 years of marriage. A supernatural twist allows her to inhabit her younger body and, ironically, rewrite the script.

Yörenç told Variety magazine:

Turkey's Ministry of Culture has the power to cancel a series depending on the image it gives of the country. Although it hadn't used this power before, it applied it to my series though it didn't give any explicit reason. But we know that it's because the series has a gay character. They hoped we'd change the screenplay, adapting to the moral norms they expected. But I, along with Netflix didn't agree to making any change to the original screenplay and we finally decided to cancel the series. But I really want now to focus on the project, which is very exciting. I want to forget the past.



Offsite Article: No FLoC...

Link Here22nd April 2021
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
Google's replacement for snooping on people's browsing history does not impress

See article from



Offsite Article: Using copyright tools for censorship...

Link Here22nd April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Instagram has found a way to wind up Russia by blocking posts featuring the Russian national anthem

See article from



China launches app to report people with 'mistaken opinions'...

No doubt Britain will soon follow

Link Here 20th April 2021
China has launched a mobile app for citizens to report online comments against the ruling Communist Party and the country's history ahead of the party's upcoming 100th anniversary. China's Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) explained:

The new programme allows internet users to report those who spread mistaken opinions online in order to create a good public opinion atmosphere.

The offences that can be reported include distorting the party's history, or any comments against its leaders and policies, defaming national heroes and denying the excellence of advanced socialist culture.

We hope that most internet users will play an active role in supervising society and enthusiastically report harmful information.

The CAC notice did not explain what the punishment would be for people who are snitched up..



Updated: Religious nonsense...

Ofcom fines Loveworld religious TV channel for broadcasting nonsense theories about coronavirus

Link Here20th April 2021
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check
Ofcom has imposed a fine of £125,000 on Loveworld Limited after a programme broadcast on its religious service Loveworld Television Network featured inaccurate and supposedly potentially harmful claims about the Coronavirus without providing adequate protection for viewers. This was the second time in a year that the broadcaster rules on accuracy in news, and harm in its coverage of the Coronavirus.

Ofcom considered these breaches to be serious, repeated and reckless, warranting the imposition of a statutory sanction beyond the direction to broadcast a statement of our findings that Ofcom issued in its Decision published 15 January 2021.

Ofcom's investigation found that the 29-hour programme, Global Day of Prayer , included statements claiming that the pandemic is a planned event created by the deep state for nefarious purposes, and that the vaccine is a sinister means of administering nanochips to control and harm people. Some statements claimed that fraudulent testing had been carried out to deceive the public about the existence of the virus and the scale of the pandemic. Others linked the cause of Covid-19 to the roll out of 5G technology.

Ofcom was particularly concerned that this breach followed previous, similar breaches in 2020 during the investigation of which, Loveworld Limited gave Ofcom a number of assurances as to how it would improve its compliance procedures.

Update: Ofcom jabs don't work

20th April 2021.  See article from

Twice Ofcom has jabbed at Loveworld over silly coronavirus theories but clearly this hasn't worked as Ofcom have been offended again. Ofcom writes:

Ofcom has found Loveworld Limited in breach of broadcasting rules on its religious service, Loveworld for a third time. Ofcom found that during two episodes of a current affairs programme, Full Disclosure , presenters made a number of materially misleading and potentially harmful statements about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines, which were made without scientific or other credible basis, and which went without sufficient context or challenge. Ofcom's investigation has found these programmes breached Rules 2.1 and 2.2 of the Broadcasting Code .

It is legitimate for broadcasters to discuss and scrutinise the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic -- including the potential side effects of vaccinations -- and it is in the public interest to do so. But Loveworld's presentation of misleading claims without sufficient challenge or context risked potential serious harm to viewers, particularly at a time when people were likely to be seeking reliable information relating to the UK's vaccination programme.

This is the third time that harmful coronavirus-related content on Loveworld has broken Ofcom's rules. We recently imposed a £125,000 fine on the channel for a breach which also related to claims about the coronavirus pandemic. We have directed Loveworld to broadcast a summary of Ofcom's decision, and are now considering whether to impose any further sanctions.



Google in a bad place...

Australian court finds that Google's Android settings sneakery left location tracking turned on by default even when careful users thought they had turned it off

Link Here20th April 2021
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
An Australian Federal Court has found that Google misled consumers about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices between January 2017 and December 2018.

The complaint was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The Court ruled that when consumers created a new Google Account during the initial set-up process of their Android device, Google misrepresented that the Location History setting was the only Google Account setting that affected whether Google collected, kept or used personally identifiable data about their location. In fact, another Google Account setting titled Web & App Activity also enabled Google to collect, store and use personally identifiable location data when it was turned on, and that setting was turned on by default.

The Court also found that when consumers later accessed the Location History setting on their Android device during the same time period to turn that setting off, they were also misled because Google did not inform them that by leaving the Web & App Activity setting switched on, Google would continue to collect, store and use their personally identifiable location data.

The Court also found that Google's conduct was liable to mislead the public.

The ACCC is now seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, publications orders, and compliance orders. This will be determined at a later date. In addition to penalties, the ACCC is seeking an order for Google to publish a notice to Australian consumers to better explain Google's location data settings in the future.



Rocky IV...

MPA gives a PG-13 rating to a new Director's Cut

Link Here19th April 2021

Rocky IV is a 1985 USA sport drama by Sylvester Stallone.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire and Burt Young. IMDb

Director Sylvester Stallone produced a PG-13 rated Director's Cut in 2021, whereas the original was PG rated.

The Director's Cut has been rated PG-13 for violent sports action and brief strong language.


Summary Notes

Rocky Balboa accompanies his friend Apollo Creed to the ring in a boxing match against a Russian Boxer named Ivan Drago. Drago is too strong for Creed, and unfortunately kills him in his match. Balboa blames himself for Creed's death and is determined to defeat Drago in a boxing match. He gains the help of Creed's former manager, Duke and travels to U.S.S.R. to take on Drago.

United Artists Releasing



Brexit has its up sides...

Aggressive new EU terrorism internet censorship law will require onerous and expensive self censorship by all websites

Link Here18th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law

An upcoming European law pretexts fighting terrorism to silence the whole Internet

In September 2018, under French and German influence, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online .

The text was adopted in December 2018 by the EU Council and adopted (with some changes) by the EU Parliament in April 2019. After negotiations in trilogue (between the three institutions), this text is now back in the Parliament for a final vote .

This new regulation will force every actor of the Web's ecosystem (video or blog platforms, online media, small forums or large social networks) to block in under an hour any content reported as "terrorist" by the police (without a judge's prior authorisation), and therefore to be on call 24/7.

If some "exceptions" have been provided in the text, they are purely hypothetical and will not protect our freedoms in practice :

  • The one hour deadline is unrealistic and only big economic platforms will be capable of complying with such strict obligations. With the threat of heavy fines and because most of them will not be able to comply whithin the removal orders, it will force Web actors to censor proactively any potentially illegal content upstream, using automated tools of mass surveillance developed by Google and Facebook.

  • Such a power given to the police can easily lead to the censorship of political opponents and social movements.

  • The text allows an authority from any Member State to order removal in another Member State. Such cross-border removal orders are not only unrealistic but can only worsen the danger of mass political censorship.

The European Parliament must reject this text



Mastercard recommends...Bitcoin...

Payment card introduces onerous censorship requirements for working with adult content

Link Here18th April 2021
Mastercard has taken another step along the path to a dystopian world where moralists and US corporate monsters can dictate how people can spend their money. Mastercard explains:

Enhancing requirements for adult content, preventing anonymous content

This month, we are extending our existing Specialty Merchant Registration requirements. The banks that connect merchants to our network will need to certify that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all illegal content.

You might ask, "Why now?" In the past few years, the ability to upload content to the internet has become easier than ever. All someone needs is a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection.

Now, our requirements address the risks associated with this activity. And that starts with strong content control measures and clear, unambiguous and documented consent.

Other updated requirements include:

  • Documented age and identity verification for all people depicted and those uploading the content

  • Content review process prior to publication

  • Complaint resolution process that addresses illegal or nonconsensual content within seven business days

  • Appeals process allowing for any person depicted to request their content be removed



Cops call for space to breathe...

Police want to ban social media from publishing videos of cops behaving badly

Link Here18th April 2021
The leader of the Metropolitan Police Federation has called for the government and force leaders to tackle social media firms that enable footage of officers dealing with incidents to be shared.

Ken Marsh claimed it was time to end trial by social media:

It's time to step in. We want something done. Officers shouldn't be subjected to this while simply doing their job.

His intervention followed the Independent Office for Police Conduct's latest verdict on a complaint about a stop and search at the height of lockdown which was shared on social media. Their investigation followed incident in May last year when a driver was stopped in Tottenham by officers from the MPS Territorial Support Group (TSG).

The Independent Office for Police Conduct Regional Director Sal Naseem said:

We know that these types of incidents can have a detrimental impact on public confidence in policing, when there is only a partial picture available of what happened.



Offsite Article: After Cookies...

Link Here18th April 2021
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
The EFF explains how Ad Tech Wants to Use Your Email to Track You Everywhere. By Bennett Cyphers

See article from




ASA cry babies get all easily offended by an advert for a sexy Halloween outfit

Link Here16th April 2021

A paid-for Instagram post by @babyboofashion, an online clothing retailer, seen in October 2020, depicted various shots of women wearing lingerie and angel wings or animal ears. A voiceover stated, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total [bleeped out slut] and no other girls can say anything about it. The hard-core girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears. The video ended with a black screen with BABYBOO. BABYBOOFASHION.COM in white writing and a voiceover stating,

A complainant, who believed the ad was sexist, objectifying, and gave a harmful message to young women, challenged whether it was offensive and irresponsible.

Babyboo did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA was concerned by Babyboo's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code. We reminded Babyboo of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

The ad depicted various models wearing lingerie and animal ears or angel wings. We considered the bright lighting and clothes rails in the background of some of the shots suggested the models were in the Babyboo shop and modelling the clothes. Although the models were shown in lingerie, we considered that most of the poses were not overly sexualised. However, in contrast, one shot depicted two models in lingerie and angel wings, kneeling on a bed with their legs apart. Both models looked at the camera seductively, while one of them twirled her hair and the other model moved her hands along her thighs. We considered that the shots of the models on the bed were suggestive, the poses were unnecessarily sexualised and had the effect of objectifying the women.

The accompanying voiceover stated, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total [bleeped out] and no other girls can say anything about it. We understood that the bleep censor was to obscure the word slut, but considered that it would be obvious to viewers what the obscured word was. The voiceover further stated that, The hard-core girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears. We understood that the voiceover quote was taken from a film. However, we considered it was presented out of context and was likely to be taken at face value.

We considered viewers were likely to understand from the ad that women who dressed and presented themselves in a similar way to the models shown were sluts. The term slut was a negative stereotype of women and was commonly used to refer to women who had or were perceived to have many sexual partners, in a derogatory way that passed judgment on those behaviours. We considered that the use of that word in the context of the ad was likely to be seen as demeaning to women. Further to that, the models were depicted in an objectifying way, accompanied by a message that this type of look and behaviour was aspirational -- for example, the reference to hard-core girls alongside images of girls in animal ears and lingerie implied that taking the idea to its extreme was to be admired.

While there was nothing inherently wrong with dressing in the way shown in the ad, or having multiple sexual partners, we considered that linking those things with the denigrating term slut, and implying women should aspire to being objectified, was problematic. Overall, we considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and included a gender stereotype in a way that was likely to cause harm. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.

The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Babyboo Fashion Pty Ltd to ensure their advertising was socially responsible and did not cause serious or widespread offence by objectifying women. We also told Babyboo Fashion Pty Ltd to ensure they did not present gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm in their future advertising.




Miserable moralists from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood complain about Facebook's idea of an Instagram for kids

Link Here16th April 2021
A moralist campaign group called the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood wants Facebook to scrap its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children.

A letter from the group, signed by 99 individuals and groups including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Global Action Plan and Kidscape, claims that the image-obsessed platform is dangerous for children's health and privacy.

In the letter, the signatories point out that those under the age of 13 already on Instagram are unlikely to abandon it for a new site that seems babyish. The real target of Instagram for kids will be much younger children. Josh Golin, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood executive director, said:

Instagram's business model relies on extensive data collection, maximising time on devices, promoting a culture of over-sharing and idolising influencers, as well as a relentless focus on often altered physical appearance. It is certainly not appropriate for seven-year olds.

Plans for an Instagram for under-13s have been mooted in recent weeks. Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it would be managed by parents. It is a response to state censors who want under 13's to be banned from social media. Facbeook explained:

Kids are already online, and want to connect with their family and friends, have fun, and learn. We want to help them do that in a safe and age-appropriate way, and find practical solutions to the ongoing industry problem of kids lying about their age to access apps.

We're working on new age verification methods to keep under-13s off Instagram, and have just started exploring an Instagram experience for kids that is age-appropriate and managed by parents.

We agree that any experience we develop must prioritise their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it. We also won't show ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13.



Integrity and control...

Facebook's Oversight Board widens out who is allowed to complain about FAcebook censorship

Link Here16th April 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook's Oversight Board has announced that it is widening out the rules about who can appeal about Facebook censorship.

Since March, decisions by the company's Oversight Board regarding another user's content could only be appealed if the user was in Germany, where antitrust and privacy laws are significantly stricter than in the US. But from October on, users who wanted someone else's content removed were unable to reach the Oversight Board, as the content in question was not their own.

However, going forward, users may appeal in an effort to save posts written by others from being taken down. Facebook constantly attempts to reassure users that the Oversight Board is different from Facebook at a corporate level and is not accountable to CEO Mark Zuckerberg's company to deliver the corporate-desired response. Indeed, it has already handed down seven rulings so far, involving hate speech, misinformation, and nudity.

Facebook's vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, praised the initial rollout of the Oversight Board in May and expressed hope that the latest development would take the site even higher. In the post, he reassured readers the feature would be usable within the coming weeks .

The Oversight Board has had the capacity to reinstate removed content since October 2020, when the Oversight Board went live. At that point, though, only an involved user could submit it for review. The individual trying to get the content restored has to answer several questions regarding Facebook's takedown policies and how they feel Facebook has run afoul of them.



Deserving of insult...

Canadian politician introduces legislation to ban politicians being insulted online

Link Here12th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
A Canadian politician has proposed the banning of 'hurtful' language against politicians online. The provision is going to be included in the upcoming internet censorship bill, to be discussed in parliament in the next few weeks.

Steven Guilbeault, a 'Liberal' member of parliament has oftenn been the subject of controversy for favoring internet censorship. He said in a recent podcast:

We have seen too many examples of public officials retreating from public service due to the hateful online content targeted towards themselves.

If the bill passes social media companies will have to remove posts containing hurtful words targeted at Canadian politicians. The provision is a danger to free speech not only in Canada but also the rest of the world as other governments will surely try to get away with similar censorship laws.



Bleeping censors...

Intel is planning a system for sensitive gamers to block triggering language

Link Here12th April 2021
Intel is planning to enable gamers to filter strong language and 'hate speech' from their video game experience by creating an AI censor program called Bleep.

The company is working with Spirit AI to create a 'safe space' for sensitive souls.

Bleep allows gamers to adjust a sliding scale that bocks problematic speech including xenophobia and racism, ableism, misogyny, and name-calling. The system includes an on-off switch for the N-word.

Intel plans to launch the tool later in 2021.



The art of repression...

Russian feminist and artist in court for artwork about feminism and gay rights

Link Here12th April 2021
Full story: Art Censorship in Russia...Art exhibitions winds up the nutters
A Russian court is conducting a trial of a feminist activist and artist ludicrously charged with disseminating pornography after she shared drawings with a blob of pubic hair.

Yulia Tsvetkova is on charges related to her group on the popular social network VKontakte where colorful, stylized drawings of vaginas were posted. Tsvetkova is not allowed to give details of accusations against her.

Her drawings also depict gay themes that go against repressive Russians laws against what it considers as gay propaganda.

Tsvetkova ran a children's theater and was a vocal advocate of feminism and LGBT rights. She founded an online group, called Vagina Monologues, encouraging followers to fight stigma and taboo surrounding the female body, and posted other people's art in it.

Many public figures have spoken out in her support. Activists across Russia protested her prosecution, artists dedicated performances to her, and an online petition demanding that the charged be dropped gathered over 250,000 signatures.



Offsite Article: YouTube boss calls for global coalitions to censor content that's legal but harmful...

Link Here12th April 2021
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
A push at the World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Summit for corporate internet giants to set the global censorship standards for legal content

See article from



Unappealing film censorship...

The Indian government has decided to disband the film censorship appeals board

Link Here10th April 2021
India's film makers are discussing a decision by the Indian government's to abolish the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

The FCAT was set up in 1983 by India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to hear appeals by filmmakers aggrieved by the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

With its headquarters in the capital, New Delhi, the FCAT was headed by a chairperson and had four other members, including a secretary appointed by the Indian government.

In its order earlier this week, the government said the high court and not the FCAT will now hear the appeals by filmmakers who do not agree with the CBFC's suggestions or certificates for their films.

The move has made Indian filmmakers, mainly in Mumbai-based Bollywood, angry and anxious. Alankrita Shrivastava, director of feminist film Lipstick Under My Burkha , told Al Jazeera the abolition of FCAT will make filmmakers like her more vulnerable. The director said:

If there is a disagreement with the decision of the censor board, filmmakers will have to go directly to the high court. This may cause long delays, meaning a greater financial burden on filmmakers. It is a setback for artistic freedom.



Propaganda victory...

Chinese propaganda channel CGTN works round Ofcom's ban and will now again be available across Europe

Link Here10th April 2021
China's state propaganda channel CGTN could soon be back on British TV screens, as French authorities have agreed to regulate, so overriding a decision by the UK TV censor Ofcom to ban the channel.

Ofcom decided to pull CGTN off air in February after finding it unacceptable that the channel is editorially controlled by the Chinese Communist party.

France does not have rules that prohibit state-controlled broadcasters from airing in the country.

But now that the channel is officially regulated by another Council of Europe country, then Ofcom is bound by treaty to accept that CGTN can now broadcast to Britain.

The treaty between members of the Council of Europe, a 47-member organisation that is separate from the EU and therefore not affected by Brexit, mandates that an international broadcaster can beam into the territories of signatories as long as it falls under the jurisdiction of one member.

Saying that, it is not yet clear whether Sky will be including the channel in its package. However Sky currently carries the channel on its networks in Italy and Germany.



A gold star for Texas...

Texas Senate passes a bill requiring social media companies to fully explain their censorship decisions and allow a legal route for appeals

Link Here10th April 2021
The Texas Senate has passed a measure that would prohibit large social media companies like Facebook and Twitter from censoring political and religious viewpoints of Texas citizens. The bill now awaits a vote in the Texas House.

Senate Bill 12 was introduced by State Senator Bryan Hughes. Titled Relating to the censorship of users' expressions by an interactive computer service , the bill would not only prohibit censorship, but would require social media companies to disclose their moderation policies, publish reports about any blocked content, and create a legal route for people to appeal any censoring or deplatforming decisions.

Senator Hughes announced the passage on Twitter:

I think we all have to acknowledge that social media companies are the new town square and a small group of people in San Francisco can't dictate free speech for the rest of us.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the bill if it passes the House. Abbott gave his hearty approval of the bill from the beginning, appearing alongside Senator Hughes at a press conference in March to announce the legislation.



Recommending Six Days in Fallujah...

US muslim campaign group seeks to get video game banned

Link Here10th April 2021
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group is calling for the censorship of Highwire Games' Six Days in Fallujah.

CAIR has called on Sony's Playstation, Microsoft's Xbox, and Valve's Steam not to host the upcoming game.The group claims that the game promotes Islamophobia and normalizes violence against Muslims. In a statement, CAIR said:

The gaming industry must stop dehumanising Muslims. Video games like Six Days in Fallujah only serve to glorify violence that took the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, justify the Iraq war, and reinforce anti-Muslim sentiment at a time when anti-Muslim bigotry continues to threaten human life.

We call on Microsoft, Sony and Valve to ban their platforms from hosting Six Days in Fallujah.

The game is based on the 2004 Second Battle of Fallujah during the Iraq War. The battle resulted in an unknown number of civilian deaths, and more than 100 US and UK troops. Six Days in Fallujah was first announced in 2009 but at the time, its publisher, Konami, dropped it due to widespread calls for censorship.



Italy ends censorship of films on moral and religious grounds...

Filmmakers will instead self classify their own movies with age ratings

Link Here 7th April 2021

Born in 1914 at the dawn of cinema, Italy's censorship law felled some cinematic giants including Last Tango in Paris , but is now set to be awarded a 'rejected' rating, as unsuitable for a modern audience.

Film censorship has been abolished, announced culture minister Dario Franceschini in a statement:

The system of controls and interventions that still allow the state to intervene in the freedom of artists has been definitively ended.

As a result, it will now no longer be possible to block the release of a new film or demand edits for moral or religious reasons.

Filmmakers will instead classify their own movies with an age rating. Their decisions will be audited by a new commission made up of 49 members chosen from the film industry, but will be experts in education and animal rights.

According to a survey by Cinecensura , an online exhibition promoted by the culture ministry, 274 Italian films, 130 American movies and 321 from other countries have been banned in Italy since 1944. More than 10,000 were cut in some way, including works by directors such as Federico Fellini. However the last major case of censorship was in 1998 with the blasphemous and grotesque Toto Who Lived Twice , which was strongly criticised by Catholics.



Meanwhile the BBFC extends its remit and appoints itself as the high priest of religious morality...

The BBFC decides that nonsensical christian websites should be banned to under 18s for silly religious conspiracies about gays, jews and coronavirus

Link Here7th April 2021
The BBFC arbitrates on contested decisions on decisions that mobile phone companies make on blocking websites to customers who have not verified themselves as over 18.

One such decision shows that the BBFC are imposing their woke morality on such decisions. A notable case is the website is Christian Voice. This group has long features on Melon Farmers for being a pretty standard christian group with a pet peeve about gay people, considered something of a biblical abomination, citing a famous verse from the Bible in the book Leviticus.

The BBFC writes about two christian websites:

Christian Voice -

The BBFC viewed the website on 29 March 2021. The URL leads to the UK-based campaign group which advocates for legal and political reform through a literal interpretation of the Bible. Numerous articles on the site make negative generalisations about particular groups of people (for example, transgender people) which could be interpreted as having the potential to encourage discriminatory and harmful views.

As a result, we would classify the site at least 18.

The Good News About God -

The BBFC viewed the website on 15 January 2021. We noted that the site presents as a religious blog discussing faith and health. Numerous articles on the site make negative generalisations about particular groups of people (for example, Jewish people) which could be interpreted as having the potential to encourage discriminatory and harmful views.

As such, we did not consider the website to be suitable for people under the age of 18 and would classify it at least 18.

The BBFC have also pronounced that two rather political websites that are very critical of islam and judaism should also be banned to under 18s:

The Religion of Peace -

The BBFC viewed the website on 17 February 2021. We noted that the site presents as a current affairs website discussing news concerning Muslims and Islam. Numerous articles on the site make negative generalisations about particular groups of people (for example, Muslims) which could be interpreted as having the potential to encourage discriminatory and harmful views.

 As such, we did not consider the website to be suitable for people under the age of 18 and would classify it at least 18.

Jihad Watch -

The BBFC viewed the website on 17 February 2021. We noted that the site presents as a current affairs website discussing news concerning Muslims and Islam. Numerous articles on the site make negative generalisations about particular groups of people (for example, Muslims) which could be interpreted as having the potential to encourage discriminatory and harmful views.

As such, we did not consider the website to be suitable for people under the age of 18 and would classify it at least 18.

Heritage and Destiny -

The BBFC viewed the website on 22 March 2021. The URL leads to a political site with articles and reviews expressing an ethno-nationalist perspective. During our sampling of the site we noted uncritical examples of Holocaust scepticism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, all of which could be interpreted as encouraging harmful attitudes towards particular groups (for example, Jewish people).

As such we would classify this site at least 18.



US libraries release their annual list of most complained about books...

Complaints about divisive racism oust the usual complaints about gay propaganda for children

Link Here 7th April 2021
Previous editions of the American Library Association list have been dominated by complaints about books attempting to normalise gay or transgender relationships to children. This year marks a dramatic change and now most books have received complaints about racism issues and about divisive racial politics.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020. Of the 273 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  • George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting "the values of our community"

  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author's public statements, and because of claims that the book contains "selective storytelling incidents" and does not encompass racism against all people

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be "too much of a sensitive matter right now"

  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel's inclusion of rape and profanity

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
    Reasons: Challenged for "divisive language" and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a "white savior" character, and its perception of the Black experience

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message



Updated: Tweet that!...

Twitter has to decide whether to bow to Russian internet censors

Link Here7th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russian internet censors have issued three fines to Twitter totaling 8.9 million rubles (about $117,000) for the website's refusal to remove content that encouraged people to join unauthorized protests.

Twitter has 60 days to pay.

Russian authorities last month made content on Twitter slower to load, accusing the service of failing to take down posts related to drug use, pornography and other banned topics. On March 16, Russia's internet censor threatened to fully block the service within a month if it doesn't delete flagged content.

Update: TikTok too

7th April 2021. See article from

A Russian court has fined the video sharing platform TikTok for failing to remove content that allegedly incited minors to participate in unsanctioned protests in Moscow, reports the Russian state news agency TASS.

The 2.5-million ruble ($32,375) fine was handed down by a magistrate on charges of violating the procedure for restricting access to information that is prohibited under Russian law.

In late January, representatives of the social networks TikTok, Facebook, Telegram, and VKontakte were summoned to Russia's federal censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, over content calling for participation in the demonstrations in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny that took place across Russia on January 23. Roskomnadzor initially reported that the social networks were actively removing this content. However, the censorship agency later announced that not all of the prohibited information had been blocked, and as such, the social networkers were facing fines ranging from 800,000 to four million rubles ($10,360 to $51,800).



Offsite Article: Thought crimes against political correctness vs real crimes against real people...

Link Here 7th April 2021
Government can't tackle online harm without cracking down on online scams by Jeff Smith MP

See article from



Offsite Article: Sadiq is turning London into a nanny state...

Link Here7th April 2021
Full story: Transport for London Censors...Advert censorship
Now the patronising mayor wants to ban gambling ads. By Jon Bryan

See article from



Offsite Article: Endgame for end-to-end encryption...

Link Here4th April 2021
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
Wired has reported that the Home Office is actively exploring legal and technical mechanisms to compel Facebook and WhatsApp to break end-to-end encrypted messaging

See article from



Offsite Article: You and the Algorithm: It Takes Two to Tango...

Link Here2nd April 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Nick Clegg of Facebook writes about news feed algorithms, trust and giving back more control to users

See article from



Offsite Article: Most Browser Tracking Protection Doesn't Actually Stop Tracking by Default...

Link Here 2nd April 2021
Full story: Behavioural Advertising...Serving adverts according to internet snooping
Duck Duck Go posts an informative and detailed write up of how browsers snoop on your internet browsing

See article from

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