Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2022: June

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Dinosaur censors...

ASA bans Fuck Buddy comedy sketch trailer from playing before dinosaurs Youtube Video

Link Here30th June 2022

A pre-roll ad for a Comedy Central programme called East Mode with Nigel Ng featured a young man and his parents sitting together over tea. At the beginning of the ad, the mother said, Son, we're worried about you. The father then said, It's just you are nearly 30 years old now and you have never brought a girl home to meet us. Or a boy. No-one. The mother continued, So we've arranged something for you. The young man interrupted, I told you, I'm not into this whole arranged marriage thing. The mother replied, It's not that, that's such an antiquated tradition, so intrusive. The son asked, OK, so what have you arranged? The parents were shown taking each other's hands before the father said, We have arranged for you a f[bleep] buddy. The word fuck was partially censored. Both parents looked pleased and proud. The son looked shocked and said, A what? The mother said, Oh sorry, maybe you kids call it something else these days. You know, someone you have casual sex with, friend with benefits. The father continued, Cum chums, pound pals. They then interviewed a series of potential partners. The interview conversations included the claims d in the v action, penis to enjoy, if you do decide to try some pegging and I'm more into mutual masturbation these days.

The ad was seen before a YouTube video called 10 Most Powerful Prehistoric Animals that Ever Existed on the Facts Machine channel.

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the sexually explicit and profane language in the ad was offensive; and

  2. the ad was irresponsibly targeted, as it was shown before a programme that they believed would be of interest to children. Response

Paramount acknowledged that the ad was not suitable for children and said they had not intended it to be seen by children or served alongside content served to children. They said that their agency set its audience targeting to 18+. They said that the Facts Machine YouTube channel was not labelled as Made for kids and that this meant that adult content would not be completely restricted, and some ads suitable for adults might be shown, especially if the channel was viewed via a device logged into an adult user's account.

Paramount said that the ad was no longer running and that they had initiated a review of their compliance procedures relating to age-restrictions of programme content advertising and issues such as bleeping and adult content warnings.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ad was intended to be humorous and irreverent and that it reflected the content of the advertised show. We noted that the ad did not include any explicit visuals and that the humour in the ad was generated in part by the contrast between the polite, formal situation and the profane conversation. However, we considered the profane comedy and language and explicit sexual references were likely to cause serious offence to a general audience. Viewers who were not familiar with the advertised show and who had not been warned of the adult content of the ad were particularly likely to be offended.

We concluded that, in the context and media in which it had appeared, the ad was likely to cause serious offence.

2. Upheld

We noted that Facts Machine described itself as a channel where you will find videos about interesting stuff from various topics. We considered that, although it was not explicitly targeted at children, the channel showed content that was likely to appeal to children, such as short-form content about animals. In light of the ad's use of profane comedy and language and explicit sexual references, we considered that the ad should have been appropriately targeted to avoid the risk of children seeing it.

We noted the targeting exclusions and keywords placed by Paramount and we considered it reasonable for them to have expected that, by placing them, the ad would not have appeared around content of interest to children. However, those exclusions had proved insufficient to prevent the ad from being seen around videos on Facts Machine channel, before an animal video. Because the ad appeared before a video likely to appeal to children, we concluded that it had been inappropriately targeted.

We concluded that the ad had been irresponsibly targeted.

We told Paramount UK Partnership to take care to avoid causing serious or widespread offence in future and to ensure their ads were appropriately targeted and that ads that were unsuitable for viewing by children did not appear in media that was likely to appeal to children.



Throwing free speech to the wolves of the internet Goliaths and the easily offended...

The Christian Institute realises that religious voices will be readily silenced under the Online Censorship Bill

Link Here30th June 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Christian Institute has been reading a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and has realised that the Christians will be first against the wall when the UK government empowers US internet Goliaths partnering with the easily offended to control what people are allowed to say.

The Christian Institute explains:

A report titled An Unsafe Bill , published by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), outlines the Online Safety Bill's impact on free speech, privacy and innovation

The Bill gives strong incentives for social media companies and search engines to restrict content which is legal but harmful to adults and empowers Government ministers to decide what this covers.

The IEA warns this will give the Secretary of State for Culture and watchdog Ofcom unprecedented powers to define and limit speech, with limited parliamentary or judicial oversight.

The report highlights that because tech companies could be fined up to ten per cent of their annual global turnover if they fail to uphold their new duties, platforms may use automated tools in a precautionary and censorious manner.

The briefing also warns that the Bill's free speech protections appear wholly inadequate, with the risk that those claiming distress will request the removal of speech with which they disagree.

Writing in The Times, its co-author Matthew Lesh called the Bill a recipe for automated over-removal of speech on an industrial scale, to ensure compliance and placate the most easily offended. He commented:

Is the government trying to out-compete Russia and China in online censorship?


An Unsafe Bill

29th June 2022. See full report [pdf] from

Here is the summery of the quoted report.

An Unsafe Bill: How the Online Safety Bill threaten s free speech , innovation and privacy

By Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy, Institute of Economic Affairs, and Victoria Hewson , Head of Regulatory Affairs , Institute of Economic Affairs


  • - The Online Safety Bill establishes a new regulatory regime for digital platforms intended to improve online safety.

  • - The Bill raises significant issues for freedom of expression, privacy and innovation.

  • - There is a lack of evidence to justify the legislation, with respect to both the alleged prevalence of what the Bill treats as ' harm ' and the link between the proposed measures and the desired objectives.

Freedom of expression

  • - The duties in the Bill, in respect of illegal content and legal content that is harmful to adults, combine d with the threat of large fines and criminal liability, risks platforms using automated tools in a precautionary and censorious manner .

  • - The Bill appears designed to discourage platforms from hosting speech that the Secretary of State considers to be harmf ul, even if that speech is legal. The Bill allows for the expansion of the category of ' legal but harmful ' content with limited parliamentary scrutiny .

  • - The Secretary of State and Ofcom will have unprecedented powers to define and limit speech, with limited parliamentary or judicial oversight.

  • - The introduction of age assurance requirements will force search engines and social media to withhold potentially harmful information by default, making it difficultforadults to access information without logging int o services, and entirely forbidding children from content even if it could be educationally valuable.

  • - Some small to mid - sized overseas platforms could block access for UK users to limit their regulatory costs and risks, thereby reducing British users ' acce ss to online content .

  • - Safeguards designed to protect free expression are comparatively weak and could backfire by requiring application in a ' consistent ' manner, leading to the removal of more content.


  • - The safety duties will lead platforms to profi le users and monitor their content and interactions including by using technologies mandated by Ofcom .

  • - The inclusion of private messaging in the duties risks undermining encryption .

  • - The child safety duties will infringe the privacy of adult users by requir ing them to verify their age, through an identity verification or age assurance process, to access content that is judged unsuitable for children.

  • - The user empowerment duties will further necessitate many users verifying their identities to platforms.


  • - The Bill imposes byzantine requirements on businesses of all sizes. Platforms face large regulatory costs and criminal liability for violations, which could discourage investment and research and development in the United Kingdom.

  • - The Bill ' s regulatory costs will be more burdensome for start - ups and small and medium - sized businesses, which lack the resources to invest in legal and regulatory compliance and automated systems, and therefore the Bill could entrench the market position of ' Big Tech ' companies.

  • - The likely result of the additional regulatory and cost burdens on digital businesses will be the slower and more cautious introduction of new innovative products or features , and fewer companies entering the sector. This will lead to less competition and less incentive to innovate, with resulting losses to consumer welfare



Handing over personal data to protect users from handing over personal data...

Californian state law makers propose age verification for all internet users.

Link Here 30th June 2022
Full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion
California state lawmakers are discussing proposed legislation to require age and identity verification for all internet users. The proposal is bassed upon the UK's Age Appropriate Design Code that requires websites likely to be accessed by under 18s to implement data protection according to age. Younger viewers will be restricted from handing over personal data. But of course the rub is that the websites needs to know the age of the reader to implement this.

The bill, AB2273, is known as The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act.

Critics of the legislation contend this requirement threatens the privacy of adults and the ability to use the internet anonymously. Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law professor commented:

The bill pretextually claims to protect children, but it will change the Internet for everyone. In order to determine who is a child, websites and apps will have to authenticate the age of ALL consumers before they can use the service. No one wants this.

The bill will put an end to casual web browsing, forcing companies to collect personal information they don't want to store and protect -- and that consumers don't want to provide -- in order to authenticate the age of visitors. And since age authentication generally requires identity details, that threatens the ability to use the internet anonymously.



Top Gun...

The original film is unexpectedly cut on UK 4K Blu-ray

Link Here26th June 2022
Top Gun is a 1986 US film by Tony Scott
Starring Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins and Kelly McGillis BBFC link 2020 IMDb

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Thanks to Jon who noted that his UK 4K Blu-ray version of the original Top Gun was in fact cut for a single use of strong language. With the word 'fuck' being replaced by 'shit' (see further details below). As best as I can work out so far, the cuts history seems to be as follows:

The film was cut in the US for an MPAA PG rating but was originally released uncut worldwide with a BBFC 15 rating in the UK.

The BBFC reduced this rating to 12 from 2004.

The cut US Version seems to have been used for worldwide 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray releases.


mpaa cut
run: 109m
pal: 105m

12 1980

UK: The cut US Version has been used for:
  • 2020 Paramount R0 4K Blu-ray/ R0 Blu-ray Combo

The 12 rated packaging still notes a single use of strong language that is not actually present

UK: Presumably it was the cut US Version that was passed 12 for:

  • 1989 cinema release

US: The film was cut in the US for an MPAA PG rating

Thanks to Jon. The US cuts were:

The cut scene occurs in the 4K UHD Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray versions during the second dogfight with Jester, at 59m 20s to 59m 22s, when Jester says:

Bingo! Maverick's dead! You're out of there kid!

To which Maverick responds:
Fuck (Shit, in the edited version)
BBFC uncut
run: 109m
pal: 105m
12A 1980

12 1980

15 cert

UK: Passed 12 uncut for one use of strong language and moderate sex and sex references:
  • 2013 Paramount  video
  • 2013 cinema release
UK: Passed 12 uncut for strong language, and moderate sex and sex references:
  • 2011 cinema release
  • 2004 Paramount video
UK: Passed 15 uncut:
  • 2000 Paramount  video
  • 1996 CIC VHS
  • 1987 CIC VHS
  • 1986 cinema release



Qualified speech...

Chinese internet censors announce that academic qualifications are required before being able to post about law, finance or medicine

Link Here26th June 2022
China's internet censors at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the State Administration of Radio and Television have said that qualifications will be required for posting online content that requires a higher professional level such as medicine or law.

Subjects who want to comment online about health or legal matters, for example, will need to have an appropriate qualification and will even be required to submit their qualifications to the streaming platform they use. The platform should then review the qualifications.

From the South China Morning Post:

The 18-point guideline, published by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Wednesday, requires influencers to have relevant qualifications to discuss some topics, such as law, finance, medicine and education, although authorities did not specify the qualifications needed.

The release also contained other rules for live streamers. They are not allowed to post content that distorts or weakens the CCP, like using deep fake technology on state and party leaders. Influencers are also prohibited from showing an extravagant lifestyle, excessive food wastage, sexually provocative or suggestive content, and a lot of luxury goods.



The age of ID...

Instagram introduces 2 new ways for age verification

Link Here23rd June 2022

Instagram is testing new options for people on Instagram to verify their age, starting with people based in the US. If someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, we'll require them to verify their age using one of three options: upload their ID, record a video selfie or ask mutual friends to verify their age. We're testing this so we can make sure teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group. We are also partnering with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification, to help ensure people's privacy.

In 2019, we began asking people to provide their age when signing up for Instagram. Since then, we've made this a requirement. Knowing people's age allows us to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens.

We require people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram. In some countries, our minimum age is higher. When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don't know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.

In addition to having someone upload their ID, we're testing two new ways to verify a person's age:

Video Selfie: You can choose to upload a video selfie to verify your age. If you choose this option, you'll see instructions on your screen to guide you. After you take a video selfie, we share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti's technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares that estimate with us. Meta and Yoti then delete the image. The technology cannot recognize your identity 203 just your age.

Social Vouching: This option allows you to ask mutual followers to confirm how old you are. The person vouching must be at least 18 years old, must not be vouching for anyone else at that time and will need to meet other safeguards we have in place. The three people you select to vouch for you will receive a request to confirm your age and will need to respond within three days.

You will still be able to upload your ID to verify your age with forms of identification like a driver's license or ID card. We will use your ID to confirm your age and help keep our community safe. Your ID will be stored securely on our servers and is deleted within 30 days.



Non-consensual censorship...

Nigeria bans all internet porn with an advance notice of just 24 hours

Link Here23rd June 2022
The government of Nigeria has ordered all open-access online platforms to remove, disable or block access to all pornographic content.

Although the introduction to the order, which was issued last week, specifically targets any non-consensual content, which displays partial or full nudity, sexual acts, deep fake or revenge porn, a less-prominent section expands the ban to all illegal material and orders platforms to inform users through the terms of service not to create, publish, promote, modify, transmit, store or share any content or information that is defamatory, libelous, pornographic, revenge porn, bullying, harassing, obscene, encouraging money laundering, exploiting a child, fraud, violence or inconsistent with Nigeria's laws and public order.

The order was made public last Tuesday, with all platforms available given only 24 hours to comply.

It is unclear what the reach and success of the measure has been in practice.



Offsite Article: As safe as houses...

Link Here21st June 2022
Perhaps it is more likely that one's digital life can be destroyed by one's own overly cautious security selection than by the hacker that one feared.

See article from



Updated: The Lady of Heaven...

Film withdrawn from many cinemas after religious protests

Link Here17th June 2022
The Lady Of Heaven is a 2021 UK action drama by Eli King
Starring Ray Fearon, Denise Black and Christopher Sciueref BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The heart-wrenching journey of Lady Fatima, the daughter of the religious character Muhammad. Separated by 1400 years, an Iraqi child, in the midst of a war-torn country, learns the importance and power of patience. After losing his mother, the child finds himself in a new home, where a loving grandmother narrates the historical story of The Lady and how her suffering as the first victim of terror spun out of control into the 21st century.

Cineworld cinemas have cancelled all screenings of a film about the daughter of the religious character Muhammad after cinemas were picketed by Muslim activists.

Presumably fearing muslim violence, Cineworld said it took the decision to cancel all showings of The Lady of Heaven to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

Vue Cinemas have cancelled some screenings but still seems to be showing the film in London on the south east.

The issue is that the film provides a visual representation of Muhammad, albeit CGI created, rather than being played by an actor.

A video circulating online showed the manager of Sheffield Cineworld telling protesters that Sunday night's screening had been cancelled, to cries of Allahu Akbar (God is great).

A screening in Bolton was cancelled after 100 protesters turned up at the local Cineworld branch. The chair of the Bolton Council of Mosques had urged the cancellation of the screening, claiming the film was underpinned with a sectarian ideology and is blasphemous in nature to the Muslim community.

5Pillars, a Muslim news site, tweeted a photo of what it said was 200 Muslims protesting against the film outside Cineworld in Broad Street, Birmingham on Sunday.

More than 117,000 people have signed a petition to try to get the film banned from all UK cinemas but in fact the film has already been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC, the UK film censor. The film has also been rated R by the MPA for screenings in the US.

Claire Fox, who sits in the House of Lords,  tweeted that the decision to cancel the screening showed the creep of extra-parliamentary blasphemy law was now censoring film. She wrote:

Same 'I Find that Offensive' cancel culture arguments now being used far beyond campus activism. Disastrous for the arts, dangerous for free speech, a lesson to those who argue identity politics are no threat to democracy.

Malik Shlibak, executive producer of the film, told the Guardian cinemas should stand up and defend their right to show films that people want to see:

I think cinemas are crumbling to the pressure, and taking these decisions to quell the noise. The production company had received dozens of messages from people who were trying to book tickets to see the film but not being able to.

This is an artistic endeavour talking about and elaborating on history and religion, which always has a plethora of different takes and interpretations. That's normal and healthy. We welcome this and we welcome people to express themselves, whether they're for or against the film.

What we don't support, and what we vehemently stand against, is what they're trying to do, which is to censor others and dictate what we can and cannot watch in UK cinemas.They have no right to do so and it's something very dangerous. The general population really need to be aware of this and stand up to this, because it is infringing and putting in danger their freedom of speech.


Offsite comment: The shameful censorship of The Lady of Heaven

 See article from


Update: The BBFC responds to religious bullying in a statement

12th June 2022. See article from

We classify content in line with our published Classification Guidelines, which are the result of wide-scale consultations with thousands of people from across the UK, extensive research, and more than 100 years of experience. They are updated every four to five years to ensure that our standards continue to reflect the expectations and values of people across the country.

We classified The Lady Of Heaven 15 for strong bloody violence, gory images, and threat. We provide content advice -- which we call 'ratings info' -- on our website and app for every film we classify, so that audiences can decide for themselves whether a film will be suitable for them or their families. You can review the ratings info for The Lady Of Heaven here.

On occasion, we will consider some content unsuitable for classification, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. As an accountable and transparent organisation, this decision and the reasons for it will be communicated to the distributor and publicly. However, there is nothing in The Lady Of Heaven that exceeds our Classification Guidelines at 15 or deems it unsuitable for classification.

Filmmakers are free to explore historical or controversial themes and events within their films. The BBFC's role is to ensure the content is classified appropriately based on our guidelines, in order to protect children and other vulnerable groups from potential harm and to empower consumers to make informed viewing decisions.


Update: The Government is also unimpressed by religious bullying and sacks an organiser of the protests

12th June 2022. See article from

An imam has been dismissed as a government adviser after backing calls for The Lady of Heaven to be banned. Qari Asim was removed from his role as an Islamophobia consultant after his role in organising protests against the film. Asim was said to have advertised a protest in Leeds, with details of its timing and location.

Supporting the campaign to limit free expression precluded him from continuing, the government said. Asim, imam of the Makkah Masjid mosque in Leeds, was told his appointment as deputy chair of the government's Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group had to end in a letter from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. It said:

Your recent support for a campaign to limit free expression - a campaign which has itself encouraged communal tensions - means it is no longer appropriate for you to continue your work with government in roles designed to promote community harmony.

He was told his actions were a clear effort to restrict artistic expression and that the campaign had led to street protests which have fomented religious hatred. The government said that on Monday Asim had posted on Facebook:

We have been working with many brothers and Imams across the country to liaise with the cinemas. Some Imams have taken a view to protest and others are in dialogue with the cinemas trying to resolve the situation.

The letter continued:

Resolving the situation, as you made clear, meant cancelling screenings. You wrote that in some places we have been successful and those cinemas will no longer be showing the movie.

We were disappointed to see that you failed to condemn some of the protests complicit in these behaviours.


Offiste Comment: Film bans are less about offence, more community leaders showing who's boss

10th June 2022. See article from by Kenan Malik

Debates about the giving of offence are rarely about offence. They are mostly about gatekeeping: that is, debates over who has the right to police communities and determine what can be said about a community and by a community.

The Lady of Heaven has already had a five-week run in the US without protest. In Britain, however, the film was seen as an opportunity for certain leaders and organisations to flex their muscles. Much of the campaign for its banning has been organised by the Muslim news website 5Pillars, its editor Roshan Muhammed Salih describing the film as shocking and disgusting and as pure, unadulterated, sectarian filth. Salih has long been a propagandist for both the Iranian regime (he was head of news for Press TV, Tehran's English language broadcast service) and the Taliban.

See full article from by Kenan Malik


Update: Muslim Action Forum calls on the BBFC to ban the Lady of Heaven

17th June 2022. See article. From

The Muslim Action Forum is a collective campaign group. It has called on muslims to boycott cinema chains that have shown The Lady of Heaven and has witten a letter to the BBFC calling for a ban of the film. The letter to the BBFC reads:

Dear Sir,

We write to you regarding the film Lady of Heaven directed by Eli King, that was released in Britain on 3rd June 2022 in Vue Cinemas, Cineworld and Showcase. It has been written by Yasir Al-Habib who is a prominent, extreme Shi'a cleric denounced by Muslims of all denominations including Shia. He was imprisoned in Kuwait for his hate speech, and also deported out of Iran -- denounced by them as a mad man and an illiterate fool.

The film is blasphemous, historically inaccurate, and blatantly anti-Muslim, designed to cause outrage and hatred between communities, especially between Shias and Sunnis. It has been a financial flop in the USA and in the UK as audiences have realised that it is nothing but a cheap money-making exercise at the expense of others. This is akin to showing a sectarian film about the issues in Northern Ireland where the leaders of one side are depicted as inherently evil along with their families. On this occasion the beliefs of over two billion Muslims have been deeply offended. Showcase Cinemas. Editorial credit: Amani A /

The Public Order Act 1986, quoted in your guidelines, makes it illegal to show abusive and insulting images designed to stir up racial or religious hatred. This film has been designed to create just that result. We already know after the Satanic Verses and Charlie Hebdo experiences, that it is deeply offensive to the two billion Muslims in this world to depict the image of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is respected and revered by each and every one of us. The film offends us as it not only depicts our beloved Prophet but also portrays members of his blessed household. Whilst these noble people dedicated their whole lives in helping the sick and needy, the film depicts some of them as evil and as terrorists.

This film has been withdrawn from most cinemas after Muslims demonstrated their opposition to it and were prepared to continue to peacefully demonstrate until the film was withdrawn. We are now calling upon British Muslims to boycott all the guilty cinema chains.

The BBFC should not have given licence in the first instance, and we request to review your decision in regards this film. We are happy to assist you in any way possible in this regard, if required.

Shoaib Malik
National Co-ordinator
On behalf of Muslim Action Forum



An insult to free speech in Japan...

Japan's parliament passes law to criminalise online insults

Link Here17th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Japan...Japan considers internet censorship
Japan has passed a law criminalizing online insults. Breaking the law will result in up to one year in jail or a fine.

As reported by the Japan Times, the law was passed this week and its enforcement will begin this summer. It was passed as a knee jerk response to a public outcry after professional wrestler Hana Kimura committed suicide in 2020 after being insulted online.

Before this latest law update insults were still an offense with a punishment of a maximum of 30 days in jail and a 10,000 (approximately $75) fine.

The new online insults legislation carries a maximum of one year in jail or a 300,000 (approximately $2,870) fine.



Offsite Article: Firefox rolls out Total Cookie Protection by default to all users worldwide...

Link Here 17th June 2022
Total Cookie Protection is Firefox's strongest privacy protection to date, confining cookies to the site where they were created, thus preventing tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site.

See article from



Lightyears behind...

Many muslim countries won't be screening the new children's cartoon Lightyear

Link Here15th June 2022
Lightyear is a 2022 US children's cartoon drama by Angus MacLane
Starring Chris Evans, (voice), Keke Palmer, (voice), Dale Soules and (voice) BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond.

There are no censorship issues with this release in the west but the film has been banned in many muslim countries.

In particular the film won't be in theaters in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The issue is the presence of a gay kiss and openly LGBTQ characters in the film.

The film was originally passed by the United Arab Emirates film censors, but the film's licence was revoked after complaints on social media.

Lightyear has not been officially banned in Saudi Arabia but will not be screening due to the assumption that it would be banned were it to be submitted.



The Lady of Heaven......

Banned in Morocco

Link Here12th June 2022
The Lady Of Heaven is a 2021 UK action drama by Eli King
Starring Ray Fearon, Denise Black and Christopher Sciueref BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The heart-wrenching journey of Lady Fatima, the daughter of the religious character Muhammad. Separated by 1400 years, an Iraqi child, in the midst of a war-torn country, learns the importance and power of patience. After losing his mother, the child finds himself in a new home, where a loving grandmother narrates the historical story of The Lady and how her suffering as the first victim of terror spun out of control into the 21st century.

Moroccan film censors have banned the British film Lady of Heaven, after it was condemned by the country's religious council.

The Supreme Ulema Council said the movie was a flagrant falsification of the established facts of Islam. The council accused the film of loathsome partiality and accused the filmmakers of seeking fame and sensationalism and hurting the feelings of Muslims and stirring up religious sensitivities.

The BBC's Religion Editor, Aleem Maqbool, says the criticism centres on the the way the Shia Muslim film-maker and cleric, Yasser Al-Habib, has portrayed prominent revered figures in early Sunni Islam, implying that there are comparisons between their actions with those of the Islamic State group in Iraq.

There have been protests against the film in the UK. Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq have also denounced it.



Causing unnecessary distress to viewers...

Aggressive vegan advert banned by ASA

Link Here8th June 2022

A TV ad for Vegan Friendly UK, a campaign group, seen in March 2022, showed two women and one man sat around a table eating.

The first woman said, [A]nd plastic straws are ruining the oceans. Poor fish don't stand a chance. A close-up of the woman's mouth whilst eating fish was shown, followed by three clips of fish in quick succession, before showing the woman's mouth again. The first clip showed a large number of live fish out of water on a conveyor belt, the second clip showed a close-up of a fish head which was still gasping for air, and the final clip showed headless fish being filleted on a chopping board that had streaks of blood and fish guts on it.

The man then said, There's countries that still have bullfighting, to which the first woman replied, And wet markets. A close-up of his meal was then shown, followed by a close-up of him eating it. The man replied, They just don't care about animals like we do babe, followed by three clips in quick succession. The first clip showed a live piglet, alongside a pig with its eyes closed. The second clip then showed pork meat being chopped with a cleaver, followed by blood splashing onto a takeaway box.

The second woman then said, Let's not even mention human rights issues. A close-up of the man eating with his mouth open was shown, and quickly followed by a close-up of a burger, with thick red sauce spilling out. The first woman replied, Can we all just treat living beings the same please, to which the second woman said That's real equality. A close-up of the woman eating the burger was shown, followed by a clip of a cow's face which appeared to have tears coming from its red eye, alongside a moo-ing sound.

Close-ups of all three adults eating loudly with their mouths open were shown in quick succession, and the second woman had red sauce smeared on her face. Interchanging clips of animals followed by the humans' eyes were then shown. The first animal clip showed a piglet's eyes, alongside a squealing noise. The second animal clip was a fish out of water with its gills moving. The third animal clip showed the eye of a pig, accompanied by squealing, and the fourth showed the eye of a chicken, accompanied by squawking. The face of a live cow was then shown, which was then quickly followed by a cow's skinned head, with its eyes and teeth still present, lying on its side. As they continued to eat, text stated no animal was harmed, consumed, or purchased to make this advert, followed by the text MAKE THE CONNECTION.

The ASA received 63 complaints:

1. Some complainants challenged whether the ad contained graphic imagery and gratuitous violence towards animals, which caused unnecessary distress to viewers;

2. Some complainants also challenged whether the ad was scheduled appropriately, because it was broadcast when children could be watching; and

3. Some complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive because it vilified meat eaters.

Vegan Friendly believed that the ad did not cause distress, but said that if offence was caused by the ad, it was justifiable because billions of animals were killed in the meat industry.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. & 2. Upheld

The BCAP Code stated that ads must not distress the audience without justifiable reason. The Code also stated that relevant timing restrictions must be applied to ads that might harm or distress children of particular ages, or that are otherwise unsuitable for them. We acknowledged that the ad was given a scheduling restriction which prevented it from being transmitted in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal to children under 16.

The ASA noted that some of the imagery used in the ad was graphic in nature. Whilst some of the images were not inherently graphic or violent, we considered that some of the clips shown were likely to cause distress within the context of the ad; in particular, the clip of the cow which appeared to be crying, and the several clips that showed fish struggling to breathe. We also considered that the image of the skinned cow's head shown at the end of ad was particularly graphic and, in itself, likely to cause distress to both younger and adult audiences.

We considered the way in which the ad was shot had an impact upon the distress likely to have been felt by the audience. We noted that the quick succession of clips shown throughout the ad, and the juxtaposition between the adults eating and the animal imagery, would heighten the distress felt by viewers. We also considered that the camera angle was used to focus on the distress of the animals shown in the ad, for example by focusing on the gills moving in the several clips of the fish or the eye of the crying cow. In addition, we considered that the splash of blood that jumped from one clip and landed on the takeaway box in the following clip, deviated from what would be expected in normal food preparation, and as such we considered its inclusion to be gratuitous. We therefore considered that the way that the ad had been shot and edited contributed to the visceral nature of the ad.

We noted that both Clearcast and Vegan Friendly UK understood that the imagery shown in the ad was akin to what viewers could expect to see in cookery programmes or on the high street when walking past a butcher's shop or fishmonger's shop. We acknowledged that some clips which showed meat or fish being prepared for consumption, such as the fish being filleted, would not be out of place out on food programmes or when purchasing meat or fish. However, we considered that several of the clips shown, such as the clips which depicted animals in distress or the skinned cow's head, would likely not be seen in these places. In addition, visiting a butcher or watching a cookery programme was an active choice which came with different expectations to those of TV ads.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause distress to both younger and adult audiences and therefore was not suitable for broadcast on TV regardless of scheduling restrictions.

3. Not upheld

We acknowledged that some viewers might believe that the adults were portrayed as hypocritical in their discussion of social and environmental issues in the ad, and might see the ad as portraying the characters in a negative light. We also acknowledged that some may have found the close-up shots of the adults eating unpleasant. However, we considered that the shots were both exaggerated for effect and we considered viewers would generally accept that the ad was trying to highlight how people's actions might not necessarily align with their beliefs.

We considered that the ad would be seen in the context of Vegan Friendly's wider aim to increase peoples' consumption of plant-based food by imploring them to think about the relationship between meat and animals being killed, rather than explicitly vilifying meat eaters. We considered that was reinforced by the tagline make the connection at the end of the ad.

We also noted that the adults were not shown killing or harming the animals, and neither was derogatory nor insulting language used towards them for choosing to eat meat.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was likely to be seen as distasteful by some viewers, but not likely to cause widespread offence by vilifying meat eaters.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Vegan Friendly UK to avoid using imagery which was likely to cause distress to both younger and adult audiences.



Shooting from the hip...

New York Governer wants to sort out gun crime by censoring social media

Link Here8th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has reacted to a recent mass shooting in Buffalo by signing as many as ten new laws, including one that concerns social media.

Hochul said that New York will require social media companies to report hateful content:

In the state of New York, we're now requiring social media networks to monitor and report hateful conduct on their platforms, Hochul announced.

According to the governor, the state will set up a task force whose focus will be violent extremism and social media, and this body will also investigate the role of social media in promoting domestic terror.



Cannibal Holocaust...

BBFC reaffirm animal cruelty cuts

Link Here5th June 2022
Full story: Cannibal Holocaust...Re-release of notable video nasty
Cannibal Holocaust is a 1979 Italian adventure by Ruggero Deodato.
With Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi and Perry Pirkanen. Melon Farmers link  BBFC link 2020  IMDb
Famously banned in the UK as a Video Nasty in 1983. Unbanned for the heavily cut 2001 DVD. The cuts were reduced to animal violence only for 2011 DVD. Deodato produced a new edit in 2011 to more tidily remove the animal violence. Uncut in the US and Italy
The BBFC have reconfirmed its animal cruelty cuts to Cannibal Holocaust commenting:

This work required a compulsory cut to a scene of animal cruelty.

The film had been submitted by 88 Films.

Presumably these are the same cuts as the previous submission in 2011 when the BBFC cut a 15s scene of a coatimundi being killed.

Note that all the old cuts for violence were waived for that 2011 submission.




Taiwan cheers Top Gun: Maverick for defying Chinese censors

Link Here5th June 2022
In 2019, an early trailer for Top Gun: Maverick showed Tom Cruise's character in the same bomber jacket he wore in the original film. But two of its flag patches -- representing Japan and Taiwan -- appeared to have been replaced by other emblems.

The move was criticized at the time as an act of self-censorship to please China's censors. Beijing tries to bully other countries into not recognising Taiwan as an independent country with its own flag.

On the film's release last month, both flags had been restored. At an advance screening in Taipei, the audience broke out in cheers and applause at the sight of the Taiwanese flag on the big screen.

Taiwanese moviegoers said they were heartened by the flag's appearance.

Commentators  say the inclusion of the Taiwanese flag in Top Gun: Maverick may suggest a shift in Hollywood away from its culture of deference to China's red lines.

And of course Top Gun: Maverick is not expected to be released in mainland China. The Chinese media giant Tencent had said in 2019 that it was investing in the Top Gun sequel; it later pulled out over concerns that its support for a film with strong pro-U.S. military themes would anger officials in the ruling Communist Party.



A war against truth...

Russian internet censors take action against Tor and VPNs

Link Here5th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Authorities in Russia have confirmed a that a new crackdown to prevent citizens from accessing VPN services is underway. Internet censor Roscomnadzor says that measures are being taken to limit access to VPN services that violate Russian law, ie providing access to content previously deemed illegal by the government.

Just like the UK, Russia introduced its internet censorship law claiming it to be a measure to ensure the safety of its citizens online. The Extremist Websites Blocking Law created a national blacklist for ISPs to block access to banned websites.

Over the last decade Russia has introduced more laws to expand its blocking powers to encompass pirate streaming sites and torrent portals, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any news sites that stray from the Kremlin's definition of factual reporting.

In response, citizens got accustomed to unblocking unlicensed media sites using their VPN and Tor skills to get an unrestricted view of the world. Russia responded by placing strict rules on VPN servers in Russia and then via the VPN Law, outlawing internet tools that enable access to illegal information.

Russia has been using its anti-VPN legislation to remove hundreds of thousands of VPN-related links from Google and since the invasion of Ukraine, has stepped up the pace . Tor is also in the middle of a blocking drama and now faces a court battle .

Over the past few days, Russian VPN users reported fresh issues when trying to access well-known providers such as NordVPN, which does not even have servers in Russia. Problems were also experienced when accessing Switzerland-based Proton VPN, peer-to-peer censorship circumvention tool Lantern, Windscribe, and related services including VPN creation tool Outline .

In a statement to local media, telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor reiterated that website unblocking tools are illegal and measures are being taken to limit access to them.



Vue Cinemas recommend...

Rob Savage's Dashcom banned from Vue on grounds of being offensive

Link Here2nd June 2022
Dashcam is a 2021 UK/US horror by Rob Savage
Starring Annie Hardy, Amar Chadha-Patel and Angela Enahoro BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Two friends embark on a horror-fueled road trip and livestream the most terrifying night of their lives.

A new horror film is apparently considered so offensive that Vue cinemas have cancelled all scheduled screenings.

Those who had purchased tickets to see Dashcam, the new found-footage horror from director Rob Savage, were surprised when they realised screenings would no longer take place. This was brought to the attention of Savage himself, who shared an email from a Vue employee received by one customer.

Apparently @vuecinemas have canceled our screenings of DASHCAM because the movie is too offensive! If that doesn't make you want to watch this film, what will?

In the email, Vue told the customer:

Thank you for your question regarding Dashcam . I have received feedack from our staffing screen and they have decided we won't be showing Dashcam at any of our venues due to the contents of the movie, which may offend our audiences.

We at Vue believe in diversity and any movie which may offend audiences, we may decide to no longer show at the last second without notice. I'm sorry this is not the outcome you were looking for.

Vue later made an unconvincing attempt to row back on offensiveness being the reason for the ban and cited commercial reasons instead.

The BBFC rating information reveals more about offensive aspects of the film. The BBFC explains:

The protagonist expresses homophobic attitudes, including the use of discriminatory terms ('fag' and faggot'). Other discriminatory language includes 'retard, libtards and mongoloid.

A scene involves focus on human excrement after a woman soils herself in the backseat of a car.



Offsite Article: Canada's Online Censorship Bill...

Link Here2nd June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Canada's broadcasting censor confirms proposed online censorship bill will apply to user-generated internet content

See article from



Offsite Article: More online censorship...

Link Here2nd June 2022
The British Government turns its attentions to making app stores 'safer'

See article from



Offsite Article: Disgraceful...

Link Here2nd June 2022
Vodafone plans ISP level user tracking for targeted ads

See article from

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