Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2020: May

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Updated: A Twitter spat...

Donald Trump threatens social media with the removal of Section 230 protections

Link Here30th May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
A draft of the executive order announced by Donald Trump via Twitter in response to the platform's attempt to fact-check his tweets proposes a radical modification of Section 230, the so-called First Amendment of the Internet.  It asks the FCC to examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the firms forfeiting their protections under Section 230. The section says that social media and internet forums are not generally responsible for the content of posts by their users (at least until the companies become aware of illegal content).

The executive order also orders a review of alleged 'unfair or deceptive practices' by Facebook and Twitter and calls on the government to reconsider advertising on services judged to 'violate free speech principles.'

Section 230 has ensured the legal protection of platforms from liability for third-party content since the popularization of the internet in the mid-1990s.

Reuters described the executive order as an extraordinary attempt to intervene in the media that experts said was unlikely to survive legal scrutiny. However Section 230 protections have already been removed for content relating to sex work and constitutional rights didn't help fend off censorship included in the FOSTA Act.


Offsite: Let's go through Trump's terrible internet censorship order, line by line

30th May 2020. See article from



Political cleansing...

Donald Trumps election team tried to take down a cartoon mocking the president's bleach suggestion

Link Here29th May 2020

Donald Trumps re-election team has failed in attempt to censor Nick Anderson's cartoon mocking Trump's laughable suggestion that injecting disinfectant could protect against Covid-19.

The cartoon is a reference to the 1978 Jonestown massacre , where more than 900 people died after drinking cyanide-laced punch at the order of cult leader Jim Jones.

The Pulitzer-winning cartoonist put his cartoon The Trump Cult up for sale on the online retailer Redbubble this month. But Redbubble pulled Anderson's illustration from sale following a trademark infringement claim made by Trump's campaign organisation, Donald J Trump for President Inc .

Anderson said that he believed the copyright claim was made due to his depiction of Maga hats, and described the situation as absurd.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and other free speech organisations subsequently got involved, sending a group letter to Redbubble that accused Trump's campaign of having misused Redbubble's reporting mechanism and arguing that the work and those who publish it are protected by the first amendment.

Redbubble reinstated Anderson's cartoon this week citing the usual excuse that the censorship was all some ghastly mistake.



Commented: Fury, contempt, and anguish...

BBC responds to complaints about Emily Maitlis' anti-government bias on Newsnight

Link Here29th May 2020
Newsnight has taken an extraordinarily aggressive stance against the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. The majority of its reports are aimed at rubbishing government decisions.

Emily Maitlis opened the programme on 26th May:

Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it's shocked the government cannot.

The longer ministers and prime minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

He was the man, remember, who always got the public mood, he tagged the lazy label of "elite" on those who disagreed.

He should understand that public mood now. One of fury, contempt, and anguish.

He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools, and has allowed many more to assume they can now flout them.

The prime minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls, and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.

Tonight, we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a government minister, but that won't stop us asking the question.'

This kicked off a lively debate resulting an official response from the BBC:

Summary of complaint

We received complaints about the introduction to the programme.

Our response

The BBC must uphold the highest standards of due impartiality in its news output. We've reviewed the entirety of last night's Newsnight, including the opening section, and while we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme. As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality. Our staff have been reminded of the guidelines.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

29th May 2020. See article from

Ofcom has revealed that Emily Maitlis' Newsnight monologue about Dominic Cummings and the blind loyalty of his boss Boris Johnson has sparked 247 complaints. Ofcom has noted that the BBC will consider the complaints in the first instance and that Ofcom may investigate thereafter.

The BBC is claimed to have had ten times as many complaints from viewers than the UK's broadcasting regulator but is refusing to release any figures for up to a fortnight. The Guido Fawkes blog has claimed the corporation has received 18,158 complaints in 24 hours and the figure is still going up, although that number could also include complaints sent in by Ms Maitlis' supporters who have rushed to slam the bosses who censured her.

Offsite Comment: It was Emily Maitlis who broke the rules

29th May 2020. See article from by Tom Slater

It seems like the entire broadcast media have lost the plot.


Update: A few more complaints

30th May 2020. See article from

The BBC has received more than 40,000 complaints in only two days after comments by presenter Emily Maitlis sparked an impartiality row.

According to an insider, there have been just over 20,000 people who thought Miss Maitlis's introduction had not been impartial, while just under 20,000 were angry about the BBC's statement.

Some complaints have not been categorised yet. Regulator Ofcom said it had received 366 complaints about the issue.



Offsite Article: Ofcom needs to butt out of the Covid debate...

Link Here28th May 2020
The broadcast regulator is punishing channels for questioning public-health policy. By Andrew Tettenborn

See article from



Belfast stands alone against Chinese heavy artillery...

China pressured Belfast council to censor photo referencing iconic protest photo at Tiananmen Square

Link Here 27th May 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
A Chinese Consulate put pressure on Belfast Council to remove an image of Tiananmen Square from a public art exhibition.

A photo from the Double Take exhibition, by Zurich-based artists Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger, displayed images of Airfix like model kits recreating globally significant events. In this case depicting an iconic image of a lone protester in front of a convoy of military tanks in Beijing.

The photograph was not removed, although it is understood the exhibition was scheduled to end a short time after the matter was raised. A council spokesman said:

We received a complaint in June 2019 in relation to a photograph in the Double Take exhibition, part of the Belfast Photographic Festival, on the front lawns of Belfast City Hall. The photograph was not removed.

Amnesty International's Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said:

It is outrageous that the Chinese Consulate apparently sought to have the photograph, commemorating the brave students of 1989, removed from the grounds of Belfast City Hall. The state censorship of Beijing cannot be extended to Belfast.



Planet of the Humans...

YouTube censors documentary that questions the effectiveness of green policies and technologies

Link Here27th May 2020
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
Planet of the Humans is a 2019 USA documentary by Jeff Gibbs.
Featuring Catherine Andrews, David Blood and Michael Bloomberg. IMDb

Planet of the Humans (2019), a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day - that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road - selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement's answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It's too little, too late.

Planet of the Humans by Jeff Gibbs features a prominent producer's credit to Michael Moore, previously a darling of the progressive left. This time he has wound up the environmentalists with a film that suggests that many of the green policies and technologies espoused by climate change campaigners, don't stand up to scrutiny when considered in a more holistic framework of considering the full environmental footprint for raw materials extraction, manufacture, transport etc.

Anyway the climate change campaigners have been campaigning hard to get Planet of the Humans banned and now seem to have succeeded in getting it banned from YouTube citing a technicality of 4s of stock footage apparently included in the documentary without obtaining copyright clearance.

The four-second clip subject to the copyright right claim comes 37 minutes into the documentary, in a sequence titled How Solar Panels & Wind Turbines Are Made. The footage shows a mining operation for rare earth metals, which are used in wind turbine manufacture. Gibbs says he incorporated the footage under fair use, an exception to copyright law that allows news reporters, producers and documentary filmmakers limited access to copyrighted material to illustrate points.

Director Jeff Gibbs said in a statement:

This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to shutdown a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called green capitalists. There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film. This is just another attempt by the film's opponents to subvert the right to free speech.

Opponents of Planet of the Humans , who do not like its critique of the failures of the environmental movement, have worked for weeks to have the film taken down and to block us from appearing on TV and on livestream. Their efforts to subvert free speech have failed, with nearly eight and a half million people already viewing the film on YouTube. These Trumpian tactics are shameful, and their aim to stifle free speech and prevent people from grappling with the uncomfortable truths exposed in this film is deeply disturbing.

PEN America, which was founded in 1922 and fights for the free speech of artists in the U.S. and around the world, came out strongly and denounced the initial attempt to censor this film, and we hope all champions of free expression condemn this act of censorship.

We are working with YouTube to resolve this issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.



Cummings' blind spot: he couldn't see the harm in a little sightseeing...

Twitter blocks Dominic Cummings tweets from appearing in its trending list

Link Here 27th May 2020
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
For unknown reasons Twitter has taken it on itself to block tweets about the Dominic Cummings saga from appearing in its trending tweets list. Twitter nominally claims this is something to do with spam but this seems an unlikely explanation.

Twitter's censorship has been widely noted by Twitter users and they have tried to work around it. So trending topics over the past five days have instead included a variety of misspellings of his name, including #cummnings, #dominiccummigs and #sackcummimgs, as well as his first name on its own, the hashtag #sackdom, and the place names Durham, County Durham and Barnard Castle.

Bizarrely, the shortened hashtag #cumgate has also trended, since the first syllable is not included in Twitter's banned list, apparently in an attempt to avoid the Scunthorpe problem applying too broadly and so blocking words such as scum, cumbersome or cumulative.

Twitter declined to comment on the censorship. The company's opaque trending algorithms have regularly led to accusations of interference, as users conclude that the absence of a particular topic is a sign of malicious intent, but the answer is rarely as straightforward as it is in this case.



Ofcom fires some pepper pellets...

TV censor finds that Chinese propaganda news channel CGTN broadcast biased news about Hong Kong protests

Link Here27th May 2020
It seems strange that a TV censor should get involved in a very tense global situation with China vs the western world. One would have thought that this should be better handled by diplomats and the Foreign Office. Perhaps Ofcom have been working with the government behind the scenes.

Anyway Ofcom has published a series of decisions against news reports from China's propaganda channel CGTN. Ofcom said that news reports broke thier rules with biased coverage of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Ofcom said it was minded to formally sanction CGTN, the English-language rolling news channel owned by the Chinese government, for a serious failure of compliance after it failed to represent anti-Beijing viewpoints as protests raged across Hong Kong in late 2019.

Ofcom noted that CGTN often focused on violence by protesters against police officers, while downplaying attacks by the authorities on the public. Its output also parroted the views of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong government without giving sufficient airtime to people with alternative views, while focusing on economic disruption to businesses rather than the reason they were being disrupted.

It remains to be seen how China will respond to the sanctions. In March, Beijing revoked the visas of many American journalists after Donald Trump restricted the activities of CGTN and other Chinese outlets in the US.

CGTN said viewers understood it was representing a different view and the channel was simply serving its purpose to inform our international audiences of the Chinese perspective, which is often alternative to the mainstream western media.



A post pandemic landscape...

The Last of Us Part 2 video game seemingly banned in UAE and Saudi Arabia

Link Here27th May 2020
The PlayStation adventure game, The Last of Us Part 2, seems to have been blocked from release in multiple Middle Eastern countries.

The game is due to launch globally on June 19, but currently does not appear among the listings for the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates versions of the PlayStation Store.

PlayStation Support is reported saying that any game that does not appear in a regional store has been banned by the competent authorities of the country.

No reason for the ban has been published, but the game features nudity, sexual content and LGBT themes, any of these would be enough for a ban in these middle east countries.



Live censorship...

New Zealand government introduces a bill to empower the country's chief censor to take emergency decisions to ban content pending a full consideration later

Link Here26th May 2020
The New Zealand government has introduced a Bill that proposes to empower the country's chief censor to make immediate decisions about 'objectionable' material that should be banned or blocked.

The objective of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill is to update the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 to allow for urgent prevention and mitigation of harms caused by objectionable publications.

The Bill is responding to the live streaming of mosque murders in Christchurch. It is primarily aimed at such live streaming but also applies to offline media.

Once legislated, the live-streaming of objectionable content will be a criminal offence. As any digital reproduction of a livestream is considered a recording, publications hosting a non-real-time video are already subject to existing provisions in the Act. The criminal offence of livestreaming objectionable content only applies to the individual or group livestreaming the content. The Bill notes it does not apply to the online content hosts that provide the online infrastructure or platform for the livestream.

Under the Bill, a chief censor will be given powers to make immediate interim classification assessments of any publication in situations where the sudden appearance and viral distribution of objectionable content is injurious to the public good. The interim decision will be in place for a maximum of 20 business days, allowing the chief censor to roll the classification back.

The Bill also authorises an Inspector of Publications to issue a take-down notice for objectionable online content. They will be issued to an online content host and will direct the removal of a specific link to make it no longer viewable in New Zealand. Failure to comply could see an online content host subject to civil pecuniary penalties.



A Tale of Two Committees...

Another excellent blog post analysing current thinking as the government defines internet censorship to be introduced in the Online Harms Bill. By Graham Smith

Link Here26th May 2020




Wizards of Waverly Place...

More silly censorship on Disney+

Link Here25th May 2020
Full story: Disney+ Censorship...Cuts for political correctness and sexiness
Wizards of Waverly Place is a 2007 - 2012 USA children's comedy fantasy TV series by Lev L Spiro.
Starring Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T Austin. IMDb

"Wizards of Waverly Place" focuses on the Russos. A typical family, which includes a mom, Theresa Russo; a dad, Jerry Russo; a son, Justin Russo; a daughter, Alex Russo; and another son, Max Russo. The kids and the family live normal lives but what their friends don't know is the kids are wizards in training and the dad was a former wizard!

The new Disney+ streaming service for children is continuing to be pulled up for censorship. The latest example is that the channel has been blurring out cleavage in Wizards of Waverly Place. There is nothing overly sexual about the scenes being blurred, just every day street clothes.

The TV series was made by Disney and the cleavage was considered perfectly OK about a decade ago. Maria Canals-Barrera's slight hint of cleavage is what offended Disney censors and required the fogging.

Disney has not responded to questions about the sorry episode.



A shot of bleach in the arm of social media...

Trump plans to set up a panel to counter social media bias in generally censoring right wing opinions

Link Here24th May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
President Trump plans to create a panel to examine cases of bias against conservatives and suppression of free speech on social media, reported The Wall Street Journal. Last week the president tweeted:

The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation. Stay tuned, and send names & events. Thank you Michelle!

It is not clear what department the panel would fall under or what authority it would have. However, the WSJ talked to sources that said the plans might lead to the creation of a commission that would work with agencies such as the Federal Communication Commission and the Federal Elections Commission.

In May 2019, the White House launched a tool that allowed people to share their experiences with political censorship but nothing really came of it. At a Social Media Summit held last July , several conservatives voiced concerns about censorship on social media and the shadow-banning of their content.



Offsite Article: A history of sex in video games...

Link Here24th May 2020
But there's not much sex in western games, only Japan seems interested in erotic gaming. By Rachel Kaser

See article from



Updated: Oh LaLa...

Netflix censors Back to the Future Part II

Link Here23rd May 2020
Back To the Future Part II is a 1989 USA comedy Sci-Fi adventure by Robert Zemeckis.
Starring Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson. BBFC link IMDb

Marty McFly has only just gotten back from the past, when he is once again picked up by Dr. Emmett Brown and sent through time to the future. Marty's job in the future is to pose as his own son to prevent him from being thrown in prison. Unfortunately, things get worse when the future changes the present.

Back To the Future Part II has never troubled either the BBFC or MPAA but Netflix has decided that the film needs to be censored for its recent addition to the company's film line up.

A scene has been censored where Marty McFly is seeking to retrieve the Grays Sports Almanac from the younger Biff Tannen in an effort to restore the timeline to its original state. Marty eventually gets hold of it but finds that it is just a cover that has been used to hide a copy of a men's magazine titled Oh LaLa .

Netfllix has cut about 5 seconds where the rather modest Oh LaLa cover is on screen.

The cut version leaves a rather untidy edit where the audience is left unaware as to why Marty reacts the way he does.

Update: Future updates

22nd May 2020.

It now seems that what happened is that the Netflix version of Back to the Future Part II was indeed cut. (Here is a video of the cut and uncut versions ).
But as is so often the case with intern et giants when they are caught out for ludicrous, incompetent or embarrassing censorship, they simply throw up their arms, claim that it was some sort of ghastly mistake, and reverse the censorship. So the uncut version was quietly restored to Netflix..

Update: Explanation

23rd May 2020. See article from :

Bob Gale, the writer of the Back to the Future trilogy, asked fans not to be too hard on Netflix, because the censorship came from the distributor Universal. He explained in an article from :

The fault lies with Universal, which somehow provided Netflix with an edited version of the movie. I found out about this about ten days ago through an eagle-eyed fanatic, and the studio rectified the error. The version available now is the original uncensored and unedited version. Apparently, this was a foreign version that neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I knew existed, made to broadcast in some country that had a problem with the cover of Oh La La magazine. I asked that the studio destroy this version. Netflix does not edit movies, they only broadcast the versions provided by the studios. Therefore, they are not guilty. You can direct your anger against Universal, but I think they will be much more careful in the future and with the future.



Offsite Article: EFF Petitions the Appeals Court:...

Link Here23rd May 2020
Reverse Legal Gotchas on Ordinary Internet Activities Using RSS. By Mitch Stoltz

See article from



Offsite Article: Disgraceful facial recognition firms are scrambling to see around face masks...

Link Here 23rd May 2020
Because of face coverings prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, companies are trying to ID people based on just their eyes and cheekbones.

See article from



An irresponsible judgement about GDPR or an accurate judgement based on an irresponsible law...

Court tells grandma that she should have registered as a data controller and produced a risk assessment document before posting a picture of her grandchildren on social media

Link Here22nd May 2020
The GDPR is a reprehensible and bureaucratic law that is impossible to fully comply with, and dictates an onerous process of risk assessments that are enforced by inspection and audits. It is not the sort of thing that you would wish on your grandmother. So the law makers built in an important exclusion such that the law does not apply to the processing of personal data by a natural person in the exercise of a purely personal or household activity.

But now a Dutch court has weighed in and decided that this important exclusion does not applying to posting family pictures on the likes of Twitter.

The court got involved in a family dispute between a grandmother who wanted to post pictures of her grand children on social against the wishes of the mother.

The court decided that the posting of pictures for public consumption on social media went beyond 'purely personal or household activity'. The details weren't fully worked out, but the court judgement suggested that they may have taken a different view had the pictures been posted to a more restricted audience, say to Facebook friends only. But saying that such nuance doesn't apply to Twitter where posts are by default public.

The outcome of the case was that the grandmother was therefore in the wrong and has been ordered to remove the pictures from her social media accounts.

But the horrible outcome of this court judgement is that anyone posting pictures of private individuals to Twitter must now register as a data controller, so requiring submission to the full bureaucratic nightmare that is the GDPR.



Offsite Article: 2 years since GDPR and no action against data exploitation by Ireland registered US internet giants...

Link Here22nd May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Ireland...Ireland considers the UK's lead in censoring porn and social media
Ireland's Data Protection Commission is under pressure to act, and act soon.

See article from



Hate Crime...

BBFC banned film set for a US VoD and DVD re-release

Link Here21st May 2020
Hate Crime is a 2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack.
Starring Jody Barton, Nicholas Clark and Greg Depetro. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

A Jewish family, that just arrived in a new neighborhood, are recording their youngest son's birthday celebrations on video when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed Neo-Nazi lunatics.

Hate Crime received the rare accolade of a BBFC ban for the film's DVD release in 2015. Now in 2020 the film is set for re-release (presumably only in the US).

The first two films from director James Cullen Bressack are getting the re-release treatment later this year on VOD and DVD: My Pure Joy and Hate Crime.



God's Own Country...

British gay drama cut for streaming by the US distributor but after the director's intervention the film is now uncut for rental on Amazon Prime

Link Here21st May 2020
God's Own Country is a 2017 UK gay romance by Francis Lee.
Starring Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu and Gemma Jones. BBFC link IMDb

Spring. Yorkshire. Isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

God's Own Country director Francis Lee has revealed his film was butchered by its American distributor, who censored several of the movie's gay sex scenes for a streaming release.

The censorship first came to light earlier this week, when Lee tweeted that fans should not stream the movie via Amazon Prime Video, due to edits made without his consent. He Tweeted:

Dear friends in USA, God's Own Country appears to have been censored on Amazon Prime. Until this is investigated please do not rent or buy on Amazon Prime. It is not the film I intended or made.

However the director later seems to have got the Amazon Prime version fixed and he tweeted the following day:

After investigation, God's Own Country was not censored by Amazon, but by the US distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films, who butchered the streaming version without consultation to get more 'revenue'.

The rental version of God's Own Country on @PrimeVideo is the correct version of my film. I would like to thank Amazon Prime for being supportive and I would caution any film maker of working with the aforementioned 'distributor'.

The film was banned in numerous Arab countries and China as a result of its LGBT+ themes, with only Secareanu's native Romania playing the film in Eastern Europe.



Legal Battleground...

In a censorship battle royale, Pakistan's high court has ordered the internet censors to decide if the PlayerUnknown's Battleground should be banned

Link Here21st May 2020
PlayerUnknown's Battleground is a 2017 South Korea Battle Royale by PUBG Corporation.

The game made the news in spring 2019 when it was banned in Nepal, Jordan, Iraq and parts of India. In Pakistan calls for a ban were directed to the courts and so the country is a little behind the curve.

A petition filed in the Lahore High Court stated that the players of the online game were facing psychological problems like lack of decision-making capabilities and social relations, as well as taking them aside from their academic activities and creating violent behaviour.

The court responded on 18thh May 2020 by rather passing the buck to Pakistan's internet censors. The court seems to have agreed with the petitioner that the game should be banned but has ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to take the final decision within 6 weeks.



Offsite Article: Untrustworthy censors...

Link Here21st May 2020
Google disgracefully censors a totally rational well reasoned academic who was just a little more optimistic about the petering out of coronavirus than the rest... and later reverses the unjustified censorship after social media uproar

See article from



Troublesome truths...

Russia attempts to get Google to censors coronavirus news that it does not like

Link Here20th May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
The Russian government has demanded that Google censor a news story that accuses the nation of artificially reducing the reported number of deaths from COVID-19. The news data, however, comes from government-run institutions and official records.

The nation's internet censor, the Roskomnadzor, is trying to remove a news item from the MBKh Media website for being considered disinformation. In fact the MBKh Media article was based on a piece published by the Financial Times, and that piece also is under scrutiny by Roskomnadzor.

The news in question states that the Russian government is trying to reduce the actual COVID-19 death toll by attributing the deaths to other diseases. According to the report, the death toll should be at least 70% higher, which means that the actual death toll would be close to 5,000. Moscow's Health Department confirmed that the reports are based on their data.

To block the news, the Roskomnadzor has turned to Google directly since MBKh Media has refused to delete the report.

Maybe the Russian censors should consider that its reputation for censoring embarrassing but true information means that the act of censorship ends up reinforcing the credibility of what's being censored. Maybe then attempts to censor say 5G theories may end up enforcing the conspiracy.



The UK's opening gambit in US trade negotiations is to stifle US social media giants...

The government seems a bit cagey about the timetable for introducing the internet censorship measures contained in ICO's Age Appropriate Design rules

Link Here19th May 2020
Full story: ICO Age Appropriate Design...ICO calls for age assurance for websites accessed by children
The Age Appropriate Design Code has been written by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to inform websites what they must do to keep ICO internet censors at bay with regards to the government's interpretations of GDPR provisions. Perhaps in the same way that the Crown Prosecution Service provides prosecution guidance as to how it interprets criminal law.

The Age Appropriate Design Code dictates how websites, and in particular social media, make sure that they are not exploiting children's personal data. Perhaps the most immediate effect is that social media will have to allow a level of usages that simply does not require children to hand over personal data. Requiring more extensive personal data, say in the way that Facebook does, requires users to provide 'age assurance' that they are old enough to take such decisions wisely.

However adult users may not be so willing to age verify, and may in fact also appreciate an option to use such websites without handing over data into the exploitative hands of social media companies.

So one suspects that US internet social media giants may not see Age Appropriate Design and the government's Online Harms model for internet censorship as commercially very desirable for their best interests. And one suspects that maybe US internet industry pushback may be something that is exerting pressure on UK negotiators seeking a free trade agreement with the US.

Pure conjecture of course, but the government does seem very cagey about its timetable for both the Age Appropriate Design Code and the Online Harms bill. Here is the latest parliamentary debate in the House of Lords very much on the subject of the government's timetable.

House of Lords Hansard: Age-appropriate Design Code, 18 May 2020

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara:

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to lay the regulation giving effect to the age- appropriate design code required under section 123 of the Data Protection Act 2018 before Parliament.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Barran) (Con)

The age-appropriate design code will play an important role in protecting children's personal data online. The Government notified the final draft of the age-appropriate design code to the European Commission as part of our obligations under the technical standards and regulations directive. The standstill period required under the directive has concluded. The Data Protection Act requires that the code is laid in Parliament as soon as is practicably possible.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara:

I am delighted to hear that, my Lords, although no date has been given. The Government have a bit of ground to make up here, so perhaps it will not be delayed too long. Does the Minister agree that the Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect storm for children and for young people's digital experience? More children are online for more time and are more reliant on digital technology. In light of that, more action needs to be taken. Can she give us some information about when the Government will publish their final response to the consultation on the online harms White Paper, for example, and a date for when we are likely to see the draft Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny?

Baroness Barran

I spent some time this morning with a group of young people, in part discussing their experience online. The noble Lord is right that the pandemic presents significant challenges, and they were clear that they wanted a safe space online as well as physical safe spaces. The Government share that aspiration. We expect to publish our response to the online harms consultation this autumn and to introduce the legislation this Session.

Lord Clement-Jones (LD)

My Lords, I was very disappointed to see in the final version of the code that the section dealing with age-appropriate application has been watered down to leave out reference to age-verification mechanisms. Is this because the age-verification provisions of the Digital Economy Act have been kicked into the long grass at the behest of the pornography industry so that we will not have officially sanctioned age-verification tools available any time soon?

Baroness Barran

There is no intention to water down the code. Its content is the responsibility of the Information Commissioner, who has engaged widely to develop the code, with a call for evidence and a full public consultation.

Lord Moynihan (Con)

My Lords, is my noble friend the Minister able to tell the House the results of the consultation process with the industry on possible ways to implement age verification online?

Baroness Barran

We believe that our online harms proposals will deliver a much higher level of protection for children, as is absolutely appropriate. We expect companies to use a proportionate range of tools, including age-assurance and age-verification technologies, to prevent children accessing inappropriate behaviour, whether that be via a website or social media.

The Earl of Erroll (CB)

May I too push the Government to use the design code to cover the content of publicly accessible parts of pornographic websites, since the Government are not implementing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act to protect children? Any online harms Act will be a long time in becoming effective, and such sites are highly attractive to young teenagers.

Baroness Barran

We agree absolutely about the importance of protecting young children online and that is why we are aiming to have the most ambitious online harms legislation in the world. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State and the Minister for Digital and Culture meet representatives of the industry regularly to urge them to improve their actions in this area.

Lord Holmes of Richmond (Con)

My Lords, does my noble friend agree that the code represents a negotiation vis-à-vis the tech companies and thus there is no reason for any delay in laying it before Parliament? Does she further agree that it should be laid before Parliament before 10 June to enable it to pass before the summer break? This would enable the Government to deliver on the claim that the UK is the safest place on the planet to be online. Share The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned: This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Baroness Barran

The negotiation is not just with the tech companies. We have ambitions to be not only a commercially attractive place for tech companies but a very safe place to be online, while ensuring that freedom of speech is upheld. The timing of the laying of the code is dependent on discussions with the House authorities. As my noble friend is aware, there is a backlog of work which needs to be processed because of the impact of Covid-19.




The BBFC commissions a survey about people's thoughts on strong language in 12 and 15 rated films

Link Here19th May 2020
The BBFC has commissioned research into public attitudes towards certain types of bad language. The BBFC writes:

This will comprise qualitative and quantitative elements, examining attitudes across the UK towards both the rating of bad language and how these elements should be described in ratings info. In particular, the research will focus on: strong language [ie 'fuck'] at 12A/12; very strong language [ie 'cunt'] at 15; reclaimed uses of the 'n' word at the 12A/12 level, particularly in music videos; and implied bad language and word play, such as WTF.



Criticism buried...

Polish radio station censors song that is critical of the country's government

Link Here19th May 2020
Polish public radio has censored an anti-government song that topped the charts and was then removed from the station's website.

Kazik's Your Pain is Better than Mine is widely seen as criticising the head of Poland's ruling nationalist party.

The station director has claimed the chart was fixed, but MPs from the ruling party as well as the opposition have condemned the song's removal. ?

The song's theme is grieving and the lockdown of the nation's cemeteries during the coronavirus outbreak. Kazik Staszewski's song doesn't mention Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of Law and Justice, by name, but his target is pretty clear.

When cemeteries were closed, Kaczynski still visited the Warsaw grave of his mother and the graves of victims of a Russian air disaster in Smolensk in which his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, was killed. By Friday, Kazik's song had topped Poland's renowned chart on Radio Three, highlighting a sense of one law for ordinary Poles and another for the ruling party's leader.

Shortly after the chart show was broadcast, internet links and news about the veteran singer's hit were disabled on the website of Radio Three, known as Trojka.The chart is voted on by Trojka listeners and station boss Tomasz Kowalczewski insisted it had been manipulated: We already know for sure that this song did not win. It was manually moved to number one. In other words, it was fixed for sure, he claimed.



Offsite Article: It looks like the UK's data regulator has given up, blaming coronavirus...

Link Here 19th May 2020
Information Commissioner's Office has effectively downed tools as a result of the pandemic, raising concerns about outstanding cases and ongoing privacy issues

See article from



On the wrong wavelength...

Ofcom sanctions religious channel for 'potentially harmful' beliefs

Link Here18th May 2020
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Ofcom has today imposed a sanction on the licensee Loveworld Limited, which broadcasts the religious television channel Loveworld, after a news programme and a live sermon included potentially harmful claims about causes of, and treatments for, Covid-19.

Our investigation found that a report on Loveworld News included unsubstantiated claims that 5G was the cause of the pandemic, and that this was the subject of a global cover-up. Another report during the programme presented hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19, without acknowledging that its effectiveness and safety as a treatment was clinically unproven, or making clear that it has potentially serious side effects.

A sermon broadcast on Your Loveworld also included unsubstantiated claims linking the pandemic to 5G technology; as well as claims which cast serious doubt on the necessity for lockdown measures and the motives behind official health advice on Covid-19, including in relation to vaccination. These views were presented as facts without evidence or challenge.

Ofcom stresses that there is no prohibition on broadcasting controversial views which diverge from, or challenge, official authorities on public health information. However, given the unsubstantiated claims in both these programmes were not sufficiently put into context, they risked undermining viewers' trust in official health advice, with potentially serious consequences for public health.

Given these serious failings, we concluded that Loveworld Limited did not adequately protect viewers from the potentially harmful content in the news programme and the sermon, and the news reports were not duly accurate. We have directed Loveworld Limited to broadcast statements of our findings and are now considering whether to impose any further sanction.



Censorship on Demand...

Ofcom appoints a new TV censor with responsibility for Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement.

Link Here18th May 2020
Ofcom has announced that Alison Marsden has been appointed as Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement.

Alison will be leading the team with responsibility for setting and enforcing content standards for television, radio and on-demand services and Ofcom's broadcast licensing programme. She will also sit on Ofcom's Content Board, a committee of the main Ofcom Board, which has advisory responsibility for a wide range of content issues.

Alison joined Ofcom in 2007 as a broadcasting standards specialist. Since 2016 she has worked as Director of the Standards and Audience Protection team, responsible for setting and enforcing Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.

Before joining Ofcom, Alison worked in television production, firstly at the BBC producing and directing specialist factual and factual programmes, and later for various independent production companies.

Alison takes up her new roles with immediate effect.



Nag nag nag...

Twitch introduces a new PC censor and heath nanny

Link Here17th May 2020
Twitch has introduced a new PC censor in the following blog post:

Keeping our community safe and healthy is a top priority for Twitch. Today, we're excited to announce the formation of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council, which will support the growth of our community moving forward.

The Safety Advisory Council will inform and guide decisions made at Twitch by contributing their experience, expertise, and belief in Twitch's mission of empowering communities to create together. The Council will advise on a number of topics including:

  • Drafting new policies and policy updates
  • Developing products and features to improve safety and moderation
  • Promoting healthy streaming and work-life balance habits
  • Protecting the interests of marginalized groups
  • Identifying emerging trends that could impact the Twitch experience

This group is composed of online safety experts and Twitch creators who have a deep understanding of Twitch, its content, and its community. When developing this council we felt it was essential to include both experts who can provide an external perspective, as well as Twitch streamers who deeply understand creators' unique challenges and viewpoints. Each member of the council was carefully selected based on their familiarity with the Twitch community and their relevant personal and professional experiences.

We are excited to work with this talented group to make Twitch the best place to grow and foster a community. The creation of the Safety Advisory Council is just one way we are enhancing our approach to issues of trust and safety. We will continue to invest in tools, products, and policies that promote the safety and well-being of everyone on Twitch.



Combative petitions...

A 50,000 signature petition calls for the sacking of Piers Morgan for offending transgender activists

Link Here17th May 2020
50,000 people have signed a petition calling for the sacking of Piers Morgan from his job presenting ITV's Good Morning Britain.

This comes after thousands of complaints were filed to Ofcom over numerous combative interviews he has had with politicians amid the coronavirus crisis.

The petition ludicrously claims that Morgan is one of the country's most heinous public figures. In particular, the petition organiser takes issue with his reporting on transgender issues. The petitioners say:

Wake up to the reality of Morgan's behaviour. Hate crimes are on the rise, transphobia and discrimination over gender identity is becoming commonplace both upon social media and in the real world, and ITV continue to sit idly and let it play out in the name of entertainment.



Mounting hostility...

China threatens sanctions against US lawmakers who promote laws to sue China for losses incurred over coronavirus

Link Here17th May 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
China has reportedly threatened to sanction a Houston congressman, Dan Crenshaw, who has promoted legislation allow let U.S. citizens to China for costs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Crenshaw is one of at least four U.S. politicians identified by China for abusing litigation against China.

Now China's Global Times has reported that China is threatening that the four lawmakers should expect Chinese sanctions that will make them feel the pain,

The Global Times named Crenshaw and three other Republicans as targets: Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey. All have called for legislation allowing Americans to sue China over the outbreak. Two state attorneys general, also Republicans -- Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Lynn Fitch of Mississippi -- who have sued China to recover costs from the outbreak were also named.



Offsite Article: My fears about the 'new normal'...

Link Here17th May 2020
That new normal very often accepts, with a resigned fatalism, that a range of everyday, normal freedoms will need to be curtailed. By Claire Fox

See article from



Mentally challenged...

Facebook opens an AI challenge to help it to censor hateful messages hidden in memes

Link Here16th May 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook is seeking help in the censorship of hateful messages that have been encoded into meme. The company writes in a post:

In order for AI to become a more effective tool for detecting hate speech, it must be able to understand content the way people do: holistically. When viewing a meme, for example, we don't think about the words and photo independently of each other; we understand the combined meaning together. This is extremely challenging for machines, however, because it means they can't just analyze the text and the image separately. They must combine these different modalities and understand how the meaning changes when they are presented together. To catalyze research in this area, Facebook AI has created a data set to help build systems that better understand multimodal hate speech. Today, we are releasing this Hateful Memes data set to the broader research community and launching an associated competition, hosted by DrivenData with a $100,000 prize pool.

The challenges of harmful content affect the entire tech industry and society at large. As with our work on initiatives like the Deepfake Detection Challenge and the Reproducibility Challenge, Facebook AI believes the best solutions will come from open collaboration by experts across the AI community.

We continue to make progress in improving our AI systems to detect hate speech and other harmful content on our platforms, and we believe the Hateful Memes project will enable Facebook and others to do more to keep people safe.



Commented: Scotland hates free speech...

And so is enacting extreme legislation to silence the views of the people

Link Here15th May 2020
Scotland's government has joined the ranks of many others around the world who are actively working on constraining free speech by amending existing laws to make them even more oppressive than before.

The current law restricting 'hate crimes' is similar to that in England and Wales, covering threats, abuse, and insults.

But based on what's described as a hard-line report from 2018, Scotland's upgraded Hate Crime and Public Order Bill proposed by parliament now looks to change that and introduce three new offences,

  • The first will enable for prosecution of doing anything, or communicating any material, which is threatening or abusive and is intended or likely to engender hatred based on age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender or intersex identity.
  • Secondly having material of this kind in one's possession meant to be in any way communicated to others will in itself now be a crime,
  • and thirdly, managers in organizations of any type not acting to prevent the new set of criminalized behaviours will be criminalized themselves.
The proposals' critics say it is anti-liberal and must not be allowed to pass, pointing out that the bill takes the focus away from punishing acts of hostility based on their gravity regardless of who they target, and instead introduces a tiered approach, depending on groups that are designated as considered more 'worthy' of the victimhood status.


Offsite Comment: Scotland's new hate speech law will be too censorious

7th May 2020. See article from

Offsite Comment: Scotland's chilling new blasphemy law censorious

12th May 2020. See article from

The new Hate Crime Bill proposed by the Scottish Government is a sweeping threat to freedom of speech and conscience. By Stephen Daisley

Offsite Comment: Hate speech: blasphemy for the 21st century

15th May 2020. See article from by Emma Webb

We must never give the state the power to criminalise speech.



Offsite Article: Evidence of reckless behaviour leading to infection and litigation is surely best deleted...

Link Here15th May 2020
Parliament's Human Rights Committee gives the Covid-19 app a hard time

See article from



Harmful censorship...

Ministers report on the timetable for the Online Harms internet censorship bill

Link Here14th May 2020
The DCMS minister for censorship, Caroline Dinenage and the Home Office minister in the House of Lords, Susan Williams were quizzed by Parliament's home affairs committee on the progress of the Online Harms Bill.

Caroline Dinenage in particular gave the impression that the massive scope of the bill includes several issues that have not yet been fully thought through. The government does not yet seem able to provide a finalised timetable.

Dinenage told the home affairs committee that she could not commit to introducing the new laws in Parliament in the current session. She said it was an aspiration or intention rather than a commitment as pledged by her predecessor.

She said the government's final consultation response outlining its plans would not be published until probably in the Autumn, more than 18 months after the White Paper in 2019 and more than two and a half years since the green paper.

Julian Knight, Conservative chair of the culture committee, said:

If you don't do it it 2021, then it would have to go through the whole process and it could be 2023 before it is on the statute book with implementation in 2024. Given we have been working on this through the last Parliament, that is not good enough.

The disinformation online about coronavirus underlines why we need this legislation. Unless we can get the architecture in place, we will see further instances of serious erosion of public trust and even damage to the fabric of society.

Dinenage disclosed that the new internet censor, probably Ofcom, would initially be paid for by the taxpayer before shifting all funding to the tech industry.



Censorship at a moment's notice...

France lawmakers pass an extreme censorship law that will result in even more of the internet being hosted and controlled by US internet giants

Link Here14th May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection
France has adopted a new censorship law forcing internet companies to take down content that that the government doesn't like at breakneck speed.

After months of debate, the lower house of Parliament adopted the legislation, which will require platforms such as Google, Twitter and Facebook to remove flagged hateful content within 24 hours and flagged terrorist propaganda within one hour. Failure to do so could result in fines of up to 1.25 million euro.

The new rules apply to all websites, whether large or small. But there are concerns that only internet giants such as Facebook and Google actually have the resources to remove content as quickly as required.

Digital rights group La Quadrature du Net said the requirement to take down content that the police considered terrorism in just one hour was impractical.

The worrying outcome maybe that small companies are forced to present their content via larger US companies that can offer the capability that content will be censored automatically on receiving a complaint. This will of course result in the likes of Google taking even more control of the internet.

The law, which echoes similar rules already in place in Germany, piles more pressure on Silicon Valley firms to police millions of daily posts in Europe's two most populous countries.

The censorship law targets search engines as well as social media companies, has been the source of plenty of controversy. Online digital rights groups, tech companies, opposition parties have all criticized the initiative, and the Senate has led an effort to water it down by deleting the systematic deadline for removing content.

Opponents argued in particular that the law would lead to lawful content being taken down and would hand too much power to the companies charged with making decisions on what content is considered obviously unlawful.

The European Commission has also voiced criticism , writing to the French government in November to ask for the legislation to be postponed. The EU executive argued that Paris should wait for its own planned rules on platforms, the Digital Services Act, to pass to set a common EU-wide standard on policing illegal content online.



Snoop on...

Senate bill to restrict snooping of people's browsing history fails by one vote

Link Here14th May 2020
Full story: US Internet Snooping Post Snowden...Internet snooping continues in the US
The US government continues to have the right to snoop on internet users' browsing histories, as well and also internet search histories. A bill that would have stripped the government of its right to conduct the searches with no warrant failed in the Senate.

The bipartisan bill, an amendment to a surveillance authority first established under the 2001 Patriot Act, was sponsored by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, and Montana Republican Steve Daines. But the amendment required 60 votes to move forward, and the final Senate vote was 59-37 in favor.



The Facebook Oversight Board...

Former Guardian editor appointed to Facebook's new censorship appeals board

Link Here14th May 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'

We know that social media can spread speech that is hateful, harmful and deceitful. In recent years, the question of what content should stay up or come down, and who should decide this, has become increasingly urgent for society. Every content decision made by Facebook impacts people and communities. All of them deserve to understand the rules that govern what they are sharing, how these rules are applied, and how they can appeal those decisions.

The Oversight Board represents a new model of content moderation for Facebook and Instagram and today we are proud to announce our initial members. The Board will take final and binding decisions on whether specific content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram

The Board will review whether content is consistent with Facebook and Instagram's policies and values, as well as a commitment to upholding freedom of expression within the framework of international norms of human rights. We will make decisions based on these principles, and the impact on users and society, without regard to Facebook's economic, political or reputational interests. Facebook must implement our decisions, unless implementation could violate the law.

The four Co-Chairs and 16 other Members announced today are drawn from around the world. They speak over 27 languages and represent diverse professional, cultural, political, and religious backgrounds and viewpoints. Over time we expect to grow the Board to around 40 Members. While we cannot claim to represent everyone, we are confident that our global composition will underpin, strengthen and guide our decision-making.

All Board Members are independent of Facebook and all other social media companies. In fact, many of us have been publicly critical of how the company has handled content issues in the past. Members contract directly with the Oversight Board, are not Facebook employees and cannot be removed by Facebook. Our financial independence is also guaranteed by the establishment of a $130 million trust fund that is completely independent of Facebook, which will fund our operations and cannot be revoked. All of this is designed to protect our independent judgment and enable us to make decisions free from influence or interference.

When we begin hearing cases later this year, users will be able to appeal to the Board in cases where Facebook has removed their content, but over the following months we will add the opportunity to review appeals from users who want Facebook to remove content.

Users who do not agree with the result of a content appeal to Facebook can refer their case to the Board by following guidelines that will accompany the response from Facebook. At this stage the Board will inform the user if their case will be reviewed.

The Board can also review content referred to it by Facebook. This could include many significant types of decisions, including content on Facebook or Instagram, on advertising, or Groups. The Board will also be able to make policy recommendations to Facebook based on our case decisions.

See first 20 members in blog post from

The list includes a British panel member, Alan Rusbridger, a former editor of The Guardian. Perhaps giving a hint of a 'progressive' leaning to proceedings.

Offsite Comment: Facebook's free-speech panel doesn't believe in free speech

14th May 2020. See article from

Alan Rusbridger, one-time cheerleader of press regulation, is among the members.



Offsite Article: Tracking a hidden menace...

Link Here13th May 2020
Leaked documents reveal that the NHS covid 19 app had, or has, aspirations to be a full-on location tracking app

See article from



You can't say that!...

Twitter will label coronavirus tweets if they are deemed to be misleading, disputed or unverified

Link Here12th May 2020

In serving the public conversation, our goal is to make it easy to find credible information on Twitter and to limit the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content. Starting today, we're introducing new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some Tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19.

During active conversations about disputed issues, it can be helpful to see additional context from trusted sources. Earlier this year , we introduced a new label for Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media. Similar labels will now appear on Tweets containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19. This will also apply to Tweets sent before today.

These labels will link to a Twitter-curated page or external trusted source containing additional information on the claims made within the Tweet.

While false or misleading content can take many different forms, we will take action based on three broad categories:

  • Misleading information -- statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities.

  • Disputed claims -- statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is contested or unknown.

  • Unverified claims -- information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.



You may want to avoid going to Phuket in Thailand...

A coronavirus check will include, facial recognition, providing personal information, a check against criminal records, a check on the car, and an app with location tracking to keep tabs on your whereabouts in Phuket

Link Here12th May 2020
Phuket is a holiday island in Thailand that is accessed by road via a single bridge to the mainland. In the name of coronavirus monitoring the Phuket authorities have introduced an horribly invasive computerised checkpoint on the bridge.

The check on people crossing the bridge will include a temperature check with a facial recognition detection system connected with the public health database. In the case detection of a traveller has contracted the Covid-19 virus, police will be alerted at the checkpoints along with National Emergency Notification Center staff.

But that is just the beginning of it. The Phuket Smart Check Point will also include scanning for suspect vehicles involved in crimes, and checking the traveller's criminal record.

The Check Point will also require travellers to register and supply personal information. This will be kept on record for subsequent crossings and will be used for unspecified analysis by the authorities, including for the suppression of crime.

The system comes with an app that can be used as a tracking device allowing authorities to see where your current location is in the province.



Right speak...

Ofcom mandates the use of self proclaimed pronouns for trans people and a radio presenter's resignation is accepted as an appropriate penalty for transgression

Link Here11th May 2020
Paul Ellery in the Morning
Sunshine Radio
16 September 2019, 07:45

Sunshine Radio is a local radio station serving Hereford and Monmouthshire with music, speech, local news and information.

Paul Ellery in the Morning is a daily light-entertainment programme that includes discussions of news of the day.

Ofcom received a complaint that a presenter talked in a mocking manner about singer Sam Smith coming out as non-binary. After playing a Sam Smith track during the programme, the presenter Paul Ellery said:

I can't get over this that he [Sam Smith] says he doesn't identify with being male or female, so in future we have to call him 'they'. And I heard somebody on -- I think it was on BBC News Channel over the weekend -- saying, the easiest way to find out, Sam, if you're male or female or they, is to take your clothes off -- there we go you're definitely a boy!.

We considered Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, and marriage and civil partnership). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Sunshine FM described the programme as a live, unscripted one man show and stated that there was no production team or backroom staff involved in its broadcast. In response to Ofcom's Preliminary View, which was to record a breach of Rule 2.3, the Licensee said that the presenter had resigned from Sunshine Radio.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

In this case, the comments made by the presenter about Sam Smith were brief, which may have limited the potential for offence to some extent. However, they did not form part of a serious or considered discussion about issues related to gender identity and, at no point were his comments challenged, scrutinised or otherwise contextualised. Furthermore, the tone of the presenter’s comments was mocking, dismissive and flippant towards Sam Smith's announcement that they were identifying as non-binary.

Noting that we only received one complaint from listeners about the presenter's comments, we considered that the above factors established the potential for the comments in question to cause offence.

Given the strength of the presenter's views on gender reassignment which had the potential to cause offence to listeners, and in particular, to members of the trans community, we considered that these comments were likely to have exceeded listeners' expectations of content on this local radio station. We therefore considered that there was insufficient context to justify the potentially offensive references to Sam Smith's gender.

We acknowledged the Licensee's position that the comments were not intended to offend listeners, and the presenter's acknowledgement that they were misjudged. However, regardless of the intent, in our view the comments had the potential to cause offence for the reasons set out above.

Ofcom was concerned by Sunshine FM's submission that other than the presenter, no other members of a production team or backroom staff were involved in the broadcast of the programme. We acknowledged the steps the Licensee has taken to improve compliance prior to the presenter's resignation, including the presenter undertaking compliance training and attending daily meetings to review content.

However, given all of the above, our Decision was that the content exceeded generally accepted standards, in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.



Commented: The BBFC touts for business...

Half of children and teens exposed to harmful online content while in lockdown

Link Here11th May 2020

New research by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has shown that children and teens are being exposed to harmful or upsetting content while in lockdown, often on a daily basis.

The research, carried out by YouGov, has revealed that in lockdown, nearly half (47%) of children and teens have seen content they'd rather avoid, leaving them feeling uncomfortable (29%), scared (23%) and confused (19%).

One in seven (13%) said they see harmful content daily while in lockdown, with 14 year olds exposed to the most. A quarter (24%) of 14 year olds say they see harmful content on a daily basis.

This comes as more than half (53%) parents say they haven't spoken to their children about their increased time online during lockdown, with a third (29%) saying they didn't think those chats would make a difference.

The BBFC is encouraging parents to talk to their children about what content they might be watching online during lockdown, as 60% of children say they have approached their parents to chat after seeing content that has upset or disturbed them while they've been online in lockdown.

Parents, and young people, can check out age ratings and ratings info to find out what content might contain on the BBFC website and app. The BBFC also has a wide range of educational resources to help parents homeschool their children during lockdown available on their website, and on their children's website cbbfc.

The research also shows that 82% of parents, and three quarters (73%) of children want to see trusted BBFC age ratings and ratings info displayed on user generated content platforms like YouTube, so they can avoid content that might upset or disturb them.

95% of parents said they want age ratings on user generated content platforms linked to parental filters. The BBFC is therefore calling on platforms to consider using BBFC age ratings for their content, and for uploaders of user generated content to age rate their content which could then be linked to parental filters.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

This research shows that during the lockdown parents can make a real difference to their children's risks online if they talk about how to avoid potentially distressing and inappropriate content. We're supporting parents to help their children to navigate the online world safely, and both our website and children's website cbbfc, contain a wealth of free educational resources including ones we have developed with the PHSE Association.

But platforms have a role to play as well. What a difference it would make, for example, if YouTube had well known, trusted BBFC age ratings created by those uploading or watching the video, that parents and young people recognise from the cinema, DVD and Blu-ray and Netflix, linked to filters. Now more than ever we need to work together to protect children online by giving them the information they need to choose content well.

This research supports the Government's recognition of the need to help families stay safe online, with guidance recently issued containing the four-point plan including: reviewing security and safety settings; checking facts and guarding against disinformation; being vigilant against fraud and scams; and managing the amount of time spent online.

Offsite Comment: The BBFC's Harmful Research

11th May 2020. See article from

The British Censor's new research is simply a questionnaire telling them what they wanted to hear.



Offsite Article: Press freedom in the time of Covid...

Link Here11th May 2020
Modern journalism ceased to try to report the facts. Instead it started to act almost as a teacher, standing by the reader's side, and guiding him or her towards the 'right' viewpoint. By Matthias Heitmann

See article from



Censors unlocked...

Japanese games censors to return to work after lockdown

Link Here10th May 2020
Full story: Games Censorship in Japan...Anime based games a little out of synch with the world

Japan's games censors of the Consumer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) are set to resume after having closed down last month to comply with Tokyo's lockdown. The board plans to resume business on May 7.

The censors did not work from home during the closed period, so it will be a relief to games producers and distributors as ratings are mandatory in Japan before a game can be sold.



Offsite Article: How the state came to criminalise ordinary life...

Link Here10th May 2020
No medical or other crisis should be reason for the executive to be given absolute power. By David Allen Green

See article from



'Journalism is missing the mood. We do not want or need blame'...

The whinging left cannot accept that anyone could possibly criticise their journalistic style, and so they assume that all the people retransmitting the widely held critical view must be bots

Link Here 9th May 2020

A tweet has been doing the rounds over recent weeks noting widespread criticism of many of the journalists reporting about the coronavirus pandemic on the main TV channels. The tweet reads:

Journalism is missing the 'mood' in this great country of ours - the United Kingdom. We do not want or need blame.

We do not want constant criticism of our government who are doing their very best in a very difficult and unprecedented global emergency.

A longer version of this message has been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter in recent weeks, including by high-profile public figures including Lord Alan Sugar.

Since then other high-profile figures, including several senior journalists and the football broadcaster Gary Lineker, have alleged that propaganda bots have been spreading this same message in order to drum up support for Boris Johnson's government.

But an article from analyses the bot claims and finds that in fact these are real people that are retransmitting the message that chimes with many.

But maybe the TV news folk didn't actually believe their own claims as they all suddenly stopped dogmatically banging on about a lack of PPE.

Read the full article from , it makes for a good debunking of the bot nonsense.



Crowds have been silenced so now players have to be silenced too...

A Premiership behind closed doors causes issues for Ofcom as players' strong language will no longer be lost in the noise

Link Here 9th May 2020
Premier League matches could be shown without pitch-side atmosphere after Project Restart, as broadcasters must find a way to block out players' swearing.

Games are set to be played behind closed doors but with no fans in stadium, pitch-side microphones, which add sounds of the ball being kicked and normally muffled instructions, would also broadcast footballers' foul-mouthed shouts.

OFCOM enforces pedantic censorship rules against the likes of Sky and BT Sports allowing obscenities in their coverage, forcing TV bosses to consider removing pitch-side microphones.



Pandemia: Virus Outbreak...

A bad case of censorship runs rife through Google Play and Amazon Store

Link Here9th May 2020
Pandemia: Virus Outbreak is a strategy game by PocketsOfEnergy which is set to be released on Steam

Swipe cards to face the deadly virus threat in this story driven strategy game. Step into the world in which you will face the decisions that world leaders make in the event of a deadly virus threat. Every decision have consequences.

The game was banned from from Google Play after one week due to alleged references to COIVD-19.

PocketsOfEnergy said in a statement:

We are very happy that Steam provides the platform for releasing the game and does not censor or ban our game for no reason like Google Play and Amazon Store did.

Let's keep the world of indie creators or corporations free of any censorship and pay respect for the work of others.



Offsite Article: We need to stop the spread of Big Tech censorship...

Link Here9th May 2020
Facebook and YouTube must not be the arbiters of truth on Covid -- or anything else. By Tom Slater

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Dream on...

UN Secretary General dreams of world peace

Link Here8th May 2020
The UN secretary-general António Guterres has said the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering, and appealed for an all-out effort to end hate speech globally.

He said anti-foreigner sentiment has surged online and on the streets, and highlighted the spread of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Covid-19-related anti-Muslim attacks.

Guterres called on the media, especially social media, to remove racist, misogynist and other harmful content, on civil society to strengthen their outreach to vulnerable people, and on religious figures to serve as models of mutual respect. He added somewhat hopefully:

And I ask everyone, everywhere, to stand up against hate, treat each other with dignity and take every opportunity to spread kindness.



In these recessionary times maybe it is not a good idea to deprive websites of their income...

The Data censor ICO has suspended its action against adtech citing coronavirus effects

Link Here8th May 2020
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has announced:

The ICO recently set out its regulatory approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we spoke about reassessing our priorities and resources.

Taking this into account we have made the decision to pause our investigation into real time bidding and the Adtech industry.

It is not our intention to put undue pressure on any industry at this time but our concerns about Adtech remain and we aim to restart our work in the coming months, when the time is right.



Smart move...

Google's Side Walk Labs ends its plans for a surveillance based smart city development in Toronto

Link Here8th May 2020
Google's sister company Side Walk Labs has abandoned its smart city development in Toronto citing the effects of coronavirus on the property market.

Chief executive Dan Doctoroff explained in a blog post:

It is with great personal sadness and disappointment that I share that Sidewalk Labs will no longer pursue the Quayside project.

For the last two-and-a-half years, we have been passionate about making Quayside happen -- indeed, we have invested time, people, and resources in Toronto, including opening a 30-person office on the waterfront. But as unprecedented economic uncertainty has set in around the world and in the Toronto real estate market, it has become too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan we had developed together with Waterfront Toronto to build a truly inclusive, sustainable community. And so, after a great deal of deliberation, we concluded that it no longer made sense to proceed with the Quayside project, and let Waterfront Toronto know yesterday.



Offsite Article: Nasty buggers vs nasty bugs...

Link Here8th May 2020
Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus

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Offsite Article: EU Drives EU internet companies into deeper recession...

Link Here 7th May 2020
Rhe EU doubles down on its impossible to comply with and unreasonable cookie consent law

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Getting the hump...

155 people whinge about a jokey Lynx advert during Britain's Got Talent

Link Here6th May 2020
Full story: Lynx Adverts...Nutters wound up by a liitle innuendo from Lynx

ITV's Britain's Got Talent earned 155 complaints to the advert censor, ASA, over a Lynx advert that features a dry humping squirrel.

During Saturday's May 2 show the broadcaster aired an ad for Lynx Africa featuring a jokey coda of CGI squirrel humping a can of the bodyspray. It was aired 15 minute before the watershed.

A spokesperson for the Advertising Standards Authority told Metro:

We [had] 155 complaints about the Lynx TV ad featuring a squirrel behaving amorously with a deodorant can. The general nature of the complaints is that the ad is offensive, is inappropriately scheduled and is unsuitable for children.

No decision has been made on whether there are grounds for an investigation.



Distanced from humanity...

Miserable Romanian Orthodox Church claims blasphemy in an art tribute to healthcare staff featuring a coronavirus halo

Link Here6th May 2020
Romania's Miserable Orthodox Church has accused a series of outdoor posters depicting nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the new coronavirus outbreak as saints of being blasphemous

The posters created by Romanian illustrator Wanda Hutira are part of a Thank you doctors campaign.

The city hall of capital Bucharest said it would ask advertising firms to remove the posters.

Church spokesman Vasile Banescu said the posters were a visual mistreatment of Christian iconography and added:

It is a campaign to promote a dystopian vision over the situation induced by the pandemic.



Oxford: how censorship breeds ignorance...

How can students challenge prejudice if they refuse to engage with it?

Link Here6th May 2020
Full story: University Censorship...Universities vs Free Speech
 Oxford University has has rejected the Academic Hate Speech motion that was passed by Oxford SU student council.

The Academic Hate Speech Motion passed 28 votes to 11, with 10 abstentions. The motion proposes to create an SU Policy, titled Protection of Transgender, Non-binary, Disabled, Working-class, and Women Students from Hatred in University Contexts . The motion mandates the SU to condemn hateful material from being included in mandatory teaching, and to lobby for trigger warnings on readings lists and for lectures, tutorials, and examinations with content deemed prejudicial. It attracted no written debate.

The motion says that Any legal framework which does not criminalise speech that discriminates on transphobic, ableist, or misogynistic grounds is deficient, and should not be the starting point for university policy.

Oxford University responded with the statement:

Statement on the Importance of Free Speech

Free speech is the lifeblood of a university. It enables the pursuit of knowledge. It helps us approach truth. It allows students, teachers and researchers to become better acquainted with the variety of beliefs, theories and opinions in the world. Recognising the vital importance of free expression for the life of the mind, a university may make rules concerning the conduct of debate but should never prevent speech that is lawful.

Inevitably, this will mean that members of the University are confronted with views that some find unsettling, extreme or offensive. The University must therefore foster freedom of expression within a framework of robust civility. Not all theories deserve equal respect. A university values expertise and intellectual achievement as well as openness.

But, within the bounds set by law, all voices or views which any member of our community considers relevant should be given the chance of a hearing. Wherever possible, they should also be exposed to evidence, questioning and argument. As an integral part of this commitment to freedom of expression, we will take steps to ensure that all such exchanges happen peacefully.

With appropriate regulation of the time, place and manner of events, neither speakers nor listeners should have any reasonable grounds to feel intimidated or censored. It is this understanding of the central importance and specific roles of free speech in a university that will underlie the detailed procedures of the University of Oxford.



An Imran Khan beamer is hit for six...

US internet giants threaten total boycott of Pakistan over its extreme internet censorship law just enacted

Link Here5th May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
Earlier this month, the government of Pakistan enacted some of the most authoritarian and restrictive online censorship laws outside Communist China. The laws seems to be based on European and UK laws to hold the internet companies responsible for whatever users post.

Although the likes of Google and Facebook usually bow down to local law, this new law was a step too far. Google, Twitter, and Facebook have surprised many by taking a stand against the Pakistani government's censorship plans and threatening to pull out of the country if the plans aren't changed. And remarkably, it seems to be working.

Pakistan's new law is misleadingly titled the Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020. It gives the country's censors the power to shut down a huge range of online content. It would require tech companies to remove this content within 24 hours of it being posted.

Tech companies would also be duty-bound to stop post of various types of content from becoming accessible to Pakistani users in real-time and appears to make them responsible for the content of posts put up by users.

Tech companies would also be required to store user data on local servers and open headquarters in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

The main internet companies have now got together under the banner of the Asia Internet Coalition and have written a frank and critical letter to  Prime Minister, Imran Khan. It explains that if the law isn't changed all the companies will withdraw from the Pakistani market altogether.

In response Pakistani officials have duly committed to review the regulations this week and have said they will now conduct a comprehensive and broad consultation process with all relevant segments of civil society and technology companies.

Perhaps the cooperative stand taken by the internet giants may be something for the UK to consider in its own plans for a repressive new 'online harms censorship law. It would seem entirely reasonable for the companies to take a stand against being held responsible for all the world's ills.



Prime cuts...

Amazon Prime streams a heavily cut version of Vikings Season 6

Link Here5th May 2020
  The Express reports that viewers are fuming that they are being served up a cut version of Season 6 of the epic History Channel series, Vikings.

The version being screened internationally on Amazon Prime in a censored version. Episodes in season 6 have been shorn of nudity as the show's later seasons chronicles the illicit affairs of Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok and his queen, Lagertha.

One newcomer to the series recently found out about the major discrepancies between the censored streaming versions of the show and the uncut, extended Blu-Ray editions. On Amazon Prime, most episodes have been cut short and some more adult moments of sex and gore were trimmed for the premiere broadcast.

In the very first episode, which runs two minutes longer in the uncut version, an attempted rape scene is cut short, and a brief dream sequence involving a mutilated corpse was trimmed.

It seems that uncut version have been exclusive to rather expensive Blu-ray releases.



Hateful religious TV...

Ofcom fines former broadcasters of Peace TV Urdu and Peace TV for hate speech

Link Here5th May 2020
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check
Ofcom has fined the former licence holders of Peace TV Urdu £200,000 and Peace TV £100,000 for breaking our broadcasting rules.

Peace TV Urdu and Peace TV were international satellite television channels which broadcast religious programmes from an Islamic perspective.

Our investigations found that programmes broadcast on Peace TV Urdu and Peace TV contained hate speech and highly offensive content, which in one instance was likely to incite crime.

We concluded that the content represented serious failures of compliance with our broadcasting rules, which warranted fines. The former licence holders, Club TV and Lord Production, must now pay £200,000 and £100,000 respectively to HM Paymaster General.

After further breaches, Ofcom moved to suspend Peace TV Urdu's licence in November 2019, and both licences were surrendered.



Sexy Honey Birdette advert cleared...

The Australian advert censor is not so easily offended as the UK counterpart

Link Here4th May 2020

This Instagram advertisement features a black and white image of a woman from behind. She is standing with her hands on her hips and is wearing a garter belt. Her buttocks are exposed. The caption with the image states, The ultimate bondage babe, KUKURO, selling fast online

A sample of comments which the complainant/s made regarding this advertisement included the following:

This is a sexualised, sexually objectifying image of a woman to sell a product. The woman's face is not shown, just a sexualised representation of her body. Her body and sexual appeal are therefore treated as representing her whole self and defining her worth. I object to this image because images that sexualise and objectify women, and determine a woman's value based on her sexual appeal and physical attractiveness.

The Panel noted the complainant's concern that the advertisement sexualises and objectifies the woman pictured. The Panel viewed the advertisement and noted the advertiser did not respond.

The Panel considered whether the advertisement was in breach of Section 2.2 of the Code. Section 2.2 of the Code states:

Advertising or marketing communications should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative or degrading of any individual or group of people.

The Panel noted the complainant's concern that the advertisement sexually objectifies women by depicting a woman without showing her face, and that therefore her body and sexual appeal are treated as defining her worth.

The Panel first considered whether the advertisement used sexual appeal. The Panel considered the woman is depicted from behind wearing only a g-string and suspenders. The Panel considered that the advertisement did depict sexual appeal.

The Panel then considered whether the advertisement used sexual appeal in a manner that was exploitative of an individual or group of people. The Panel considered that it was clear from the advertisement that the product for sale was the lingerie, not the woman, and that the woman was not depicted as an object or commodity. The Panel noted that the woman's entire body is depicted and that the Wonder Woman pose is a position of power. The Panel considered that the advertisement is promoting the brand Honey Birdette as well as the lingerie, and that the depiction of the woman and the focus on her body is relevant to a brand which makes products for the female body and promotes the empowerment of women.

The Panel considered that the depiction of the woman without her face shown was not an attempt to suggest that she is an object or available for purchase, but rather was a creative choice relating to the theme and style of the photograph. The Panel considered that some members of the community may consider the depiction of a woman without her face shown, focusing instead on the lingerie being promoted, to be suggesting her worth is related to her body only. However the Panel considered that most members of the community would not have this interpretation of the advertisement, rather that is is portraying a lingerie product in a sexualised manner. Overall the Panel considered that the advertisement did not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative of the woman.

The Panel then considered whether the advertisement used sexual appeal in a manner that was degrading of an individual or group of people. The Panel considered that the woman is depicted in a powerful pose, and is standing with her shoulders back and head held high. The Panel noted that the image was sexualised with the depiction of the woman also showing her buttocks and between her legs from behind. However the Panel considered that the depiction of a woman wearing sexualised lingerie in this promotion for that style of lingerie was not a depiction which lowered the woman in character or quality. Overall the Panel considered that the advertisement did not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is degrading of the woman.

The Panel determined that the advertisement did not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is



Offsite Article: The British Censor's Chainsaw Massacres...

Link Here4th May 2020
How the dictatorial British film censor James Ferman became an obsessive buzz kill in the 1980. By David Flint

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Offsite Article: Coronavirus will turn your office into a surveillance state...

Link Here 4th May 2020
From movement sensors to thermal testing, surveillance tech is booming as companies look to get people back to work. By Caren Chesler

See article from



Download the app or else we won't open the pubs!...

Australia is struggling to get people to download its covid surveillance app

Link Here3rd May 2020
Both the state and commercial sector have a disgraceful record of respecting people's data privacy. From the state's viewpoint, surveillance data is way too valuable, for law enforcement, censorship and societal control, to allow people to have any avenue for privacy. Meanwhile commercial companies, notably Facebook, Google, credit reference agencies, and more or less any website that wants to earn a bit more money from advertising, have all abused people's data mercilessly. And then of course there are also the hackers, scammers and identity thieves that prey on any data they can steal.

And every one of these snoopers has been continually claiming that they can be trusted with your data. It doesn't matter how often their lies are found out, they continue to make the same claims.

It is little wonder then that a significant number of people are a little unwilling to sign up for Big Brother surveillance, however well intentioned, the state, and its commercial partners, simply can't be trusted.

Something that perhaps politicians are starting to realise in Australia. The government as been aggressively pushing its covid tracking app for a week or so, but has got nowhere near the required take up.

Australia's COVIDSafe app was launched on Sunday April 26. About a million people downloaded it within the first day, but that trailed off with only a tenth of that installing it by the end of the week. The current tally is that about 4 million people downloaded the app, out of a population of about 26 million.

The Federal Government has warned that millions more Australians need to download the app and has threatened that if they don't, then the lockdown won't be eased.

In fact opposition to the app has appeared even from the Australian panel of experts working to fight the pandemic.One of Australia's top advisers to the World Health Health Organisation refuses to download the app. University of NSW professor Mary-Louise McLaws said until she knew more about where the data it collected was stored and secured, she couldn't install it. In particular  she is concerned the personal data could be accessed through Amazon's servers under U.S. law.

The government has resorted to all but declaring the 40% threshold is necessary for pubs to open and life to go back to normal. Critics slammed this rhetoric as emotional blackmail, noting that it is hardly likely to win people over.

Of course one of the possible outcomes is that the authorities could go down the Chinese route and make the app more or less mandatory.



Fake claims...

The piss poor journalists of ITN, who do no nothing but belittle the achievements of the government in fighting coronavirus, think they deserve a kite mark for 'quality journalism'

Link Here3rd May 2020
Full story: Fake news in the UK...Government sets up fake news unit

ITN, the maker of news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, is calling for a digital kitemarking system online to distinguish between supposedly quality journalism and fake content, with internet companies facing penalties if they publish inaccurate information.

In a submission to a House of Lords inquiry into the future of journalism, seen by the Observer , ITN says internet companies should face the same penalties as broadcasters and other 'quality' news providers from regulatory bodies, such as Ofcom, if they let misinformation slip through the net.

ITN also calls on parliament to draw up a code of conduct for news suppliers and digital platforms to help prevent the dissemination of fake news. If agreement with the big digital companies on a voluntary code cannot be reached, it says, it should be made mandatory and negotiations time-limited so the big tech companies cannot drag their feet.

The Lords inquiry is looking into how the production and consumption of journalism is changing, how journalists can be supported and how the profession can become more trusted by the public.



Updated: A mainstream media conspiracy theory...

Facebook and Google believe that David Icke nonsense about 5G and coronavirus is somehow undermining civilisation as we know it

Link Here2nd May 2020
Conspiracy theorist David Icke has had his main Facebook page shutdown by Facebook.

Icke, a former sports commentator, is a vocal backer of the conspiracy theory that 5G technology spreads coronavirus.

Politicians and campaigners are calling on internet giants to stop their platforms being used to amplify Icke's thoughts on covid and 5G.

Update: YouTube too

2nd May 2020. See article from

YouTube has deleted David Icke's official channel from its platform. Google said it acted after repeatedly warning Icke that he had violated its censorship rules by posting misleading information about the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Google will still allow videos posted by others that feature Icke to remain live, so long as their content does not break its rules.

Icke's  channel had more than 900,000 subscribers at the time it was removed. One suspects that these social media bans will probably add weight to the conspiracy in that these companies are going to such great lengths to censor the story because Icke is getting too close to the truth.



Maverick lawmaker...

US Senator Tom Cruz announces bill to defund Hollywood film makers that Kowtow to Chinese censorship pressure

Link Here1st May 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
US Senator Ted Cruz will introduce legislation cutting off Defense Department assistance for US movie studios that permit China to censor their content,

Cruz said the bill, called the Stopping Censorship, Restoring Integrity, Protecting Talkies Act, (SCRIPT), would bar Hollywood studios from doing business with the Pentagon if they accommodate Chinese censors. He said:

For too long, Hollywood has been complicit in China's censorship and propaganda in the name of bigger profits. The SCRIPT Act will serve as a wakeup call by forcing Hollywood studios to choose between the assistance they need from the American government and the dollars they want from China.

It is common for major Hollywood films to work with the Pentagon in order use Defense Department assets such as jets, tanks or naval bases. Cruz's legislation would prohibit the DoD from providing access to such assets to US studios that censor films for screening in the Communist nation.

A cited example of Chinese censorship was the removal of a Taiwan flag from Tom Cruise's flying jacket in the film Top Gun.

The senator's office said he would introduce the bill when the Senate is next in session.



Designated Dictator...

Turkey bans an episode of Designated Survivor on Netflix

Link Here1st May 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
Designated Survivor Episode 2.7: Family Ties is a USA action mystery thriller by Milan Cheylov.
Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone and Paulo Costanzo. IMDb

Leading into a NATO summit in DC, the team learns that Turkish president Fatih Turan, who Tom does not much like, wants to raise significantly the leases on strategic air fields in Turkey, they believing to build up a war chest for an upcoming election. If Tom doesn't agree, Turan may hand the leases over to the Russians which would give them the upper hand in the Middle East.

Netflix has removed an episode of political thriller series Designated Survivor in Turkey following a demand from the country's censor board. Netflix said in a statement:

Following a demand from the Turkish regulator, we have removed one episode of Designated Survivor from Netflix in Turkey only, to comply with local law.

The episode remains on the service in all other territories.

Season 2 episode 7 is title Family Ties and depicts a fictitious Turkish president, played by Troy Caylak, as its antagonist. Kiefer Sutherland leads the show as U.S. president Tom Kirkman.



Offsite Article: Watching what you watch...

Link Here1st May 2020
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Dual SIM 64GB 4GB RAM White@UK VERSION@Warning Over Chinese Mobile Giant Xiaomi Recording Millions Of People's Web And Phone Use

See article from

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