Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch


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Little Crumb...

Crummy little BBFC cuts for a PG rated VoD release

Link Here30th July 2021
Little Crumb is a 2020 Netherlands children's film by Diede in 't Veld
Starring Viggo Neijs, Sabijn Dunnewijk and Victor Löw BBFC link 2020 IMDb

BBFC censor cuts were required for a PG Rated VoD release in 2021

Summary Notes

Reunited with his parents, Little Crumb is having trouble getting used to his new luxurious lifestyle. When he is abducted by an old enemy, he has to use the best of his new and his old life to escape and save his parents.


BBFC cut
advised category cuts
run: 78m
pal: 75m
PGUK: Passed PG  for mild threat, violence after BBFC advised category cuts:
  • 2021 Kaleidoscope VoD

The BBFC commented:

Cuts for publication: The distributor chose to remove a use of moderate bad language in order to receive a PG classification. A 12 uncut was available to the distributor.




The latest long time PG rating to be uprated to 12

Link Here30th July 2021
Deathtrap is a 1982 US crime comedy mystery by Sidney Lumet
Starring Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyan Cannon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's play

Deathtrap was originally rated 'A' for cinema release in 1982, then PG rated fro 1986 VHS. But now Deathtrap is the latest in a long line of films that have been uprated to 12. It seems that 12 has become the new PG.


BBFC uncut
run: 116m
pal: 111m
12UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate violence, threat, sex references, sexual violence references:
  • 2021 Warner Bros Entertainment UK Ltd video

BBFC uncut
run: 115:51s
pal: 111:13s
PG 1980UK: Passed PG uncut with a BBFC trigger warning for moderate violence, infrequent discriminatory language, sex references:
  • 1986 Warner Home Video Ltd VHS
BBFC uncut
run: 115:46s
pal: 111:08s
A 1970UK: Passed A (PG) uncut:
  • 1982 cinema release



Advertising a lack of respect for privacy...

ASA disgracefully demands that advertisers snoop on people's browsing habits (with dubiously obtained, if any, consent) so as to avoid serving some adverts to children

Link Here28th July 2021
ASA is demanding that advertisers snoop on people's browsing habits so as to build up a profile of people, so as to determine their age and suitability for advertising for gambling, alcohol and frowned upon food products. ASA was particularly considering advertising on websites that appeal to all ages, and so the subject matter of the website is not enough context to determine the age of users.

And good luck to the snoopers if they think they can infer that Facebook and Twitter users are over 13s and that Pornhub users are all adults.

ASA explained:

We have published the findings of our latest proactive monitoring sweep, making world-leading use of Avatar technology to assess the distribution of ads for alcohol, gambling, and high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products in websites and YouTube channels attracting a mixed-age audience, predominantly composed of adults.

As a result of our findings, we are calling on advertisers to make better use of audience and media targeting tools to help minimise children's exposure to age-restricted ads in mixed-age sites.

The monitoring underpinning this project was focused on:

  • Mixed-age online media - consisting of non-logged in websites and YouTube channels, with adults comprising 75%-90% of the audience

  • Dynamically served ads for alcohol, gambling and HFSS products; the underlying technology used to serve these ads enables advertisers to target subsets of the sites' audience based on data known or inferred about them e.g. their age, location, online browsing interests etc.

We used Avatars for the purpose of identifying trends in how these ads are being delivered to adult, child and/or age-unknown audience groups. The Avatars are constructed to reflect the online browsing profile of these age groups, but their automated actions -- visiting 250 web pages on both desktop and mobile devices, twice a day -- are obviously not indicative of real world online behaviours.

This explains why our six uniquely age-categorised Avatars received 27,395 ads , published on 250 sites , over a three week monitoring period. These high figures clearly do not reflect real-world exposure levels to advertising, but the data does give us a good basis for assessing whether age-restricted ads are being targeted away from children in online media attracting a heavily weighted (75%+) adult audience.

We found that:

  • Gambling ads were served in broadly similar numbers to Child and Adult Avatars, with no significant skew towards the adult profiles. The Neutral Avatar (which has no browsing history to provide indicative age information) was served noticeably fewer Gambling ads in mixed-age media

  • HFSS ads were served in broadly similar numbers to Child and Adult Avatars, with no significant skew towards the adult profiles, and notably higher numbers of ads served to the Neutral Avatar

  • Alcohol ads were not served to any Avatars

Advertisers are not allowed to serve age-restricted ads in children's media (sites commissioned for children, or where children make up 25% or more of the audience), but these ads are allowed in mixed-age media attracting a heavily weighted (75%+) adult audience, so long as they stick to strict rules to ensure the creative content of the ads don't appeal to children or exploit their inexperience.

We, however, believes it is a legitimate regulatory objective to seek to minimise children's exposure to age-restricted ads generally and therefore wants to see advertisers of these products use available tools to more effectively target their ads away from children, even where the vast majority of an audience is over 18.



Ofcom's new Chief Internet Censor...

And one can guess on her political allegiance as she is currently a boss of NewsGuard, who famously labelled the Daily Mail website as 'failing to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability'

Link Here28th July 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Britain's state internet censor Ofcom has announced that Anna-Sophie Harling will be its principal internet censor dealing with censorship under the Government's upcoming Online Safety Bill.

Ofcom will be able to fine tech firms that fail to remove 'offending' content up to 10% of their global revenue.

Harling will be part of a team reporting into Mark Bunting, director of online policy.

Harling is currently managing director for Europe at NewsGuard, which audits online publishers for 'accuracy'. And one can guess on her political allegiance as NewsGuard famously labelled the Daily Mail website as 'failing to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability'.



Taking offence at German censorship...

Google has announced legal action against the German government for demanding that social media companies hand over person details of users accused of hate speech

Link Here28th July 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Google has announced that it was taking legal action over Germany's expanded hate-speech legislation which took effect in April this year.

In a blog post Google said that a new provision of Germany's Network Enforcement Act ('NetzDG') violates the right to privacy of its users. The provision requires social media platforms to share with law enforcement personal details of those sharing content suspected to be hateful.

Germany's NetzDG law came into effect in early 2018, making social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter responsible for monitoring and removing hate content from their platforms. It also required digital platforms to publish regular reports on their compliance.

In May 2021, the country's parliament passed legislation to include new provisions in the law to broaden its application, including sharing details of those judged to have shared hate-filled content with the Federal police, a move that was criticised as being heavy-handed by opposition parties and the European Commission, as well as by social media companies themselves.

Sabine Frank, YouTube's regional head of public policy, wrote in the blog post:

In our opinion, this massive interference with the rights of our users is not only in conflict with data protection, but also with the German constitution and European law.

Google believes that such massive sharing of users' personal data with law enforcement is only possible after a detailed examination by a court and a judicial confirmation.

For us, the protection of our users' data is a central concern. We have therefore decided to have the relevant obligations of the legislative package examined by the Cologne Administrative Court as part of a declaratory action.



Updated - Prison visitors banned: Phuket Prison Island Holidays...

Thailand has introduced covid quarantine where tourists have the freedom to roam about a holiday island... but they must wear a prison GPS bracelet to alert police should they try to escape

Link Here28th July 2021
Tourists are being invited to Thailand under a mandatory 14 day covid quarantine scheme, but with innovative idea that the whole of the island of Phuket will be declared as the quarantine zone.

Visitors to Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox scheme will be required to wear a wristband that will track their location at all times. Presumably the system is designed to alert the police of any attempt for the tourists to escape the confinement zone.

Note the term 'sandbox' is a computing term meaning an offline experimentation area where new designs can be tested before going live in the real world system.

The news regarding wristbands was confirmed as officials in Phuket this week began preparing the security protocols that will be put in place for all foreigners arriving on the island from July 1. Thai news site Manager reported on some of the security protocols that will be put in place, which include security checkpoints on the main road leading to the island screening everyone arriving or trying to leave.

The checkpoints will feature facial recognition cameras that will be able to detect any tourist who tries to leave Phuket before the 14 day mandatory quarantine period.

The conditions of entry into Thailand are extremely onerous and require that visitors are doubly vaccinated, pay for a series of 4 PCR covid, tests, book in with state approved quarantine hotels, buy covid health insurance, and apply to the local embassy for permission to travel to Thailand. And of course to take the risk of having their holiday totally written off in detention should they fail a covid test.

And by the way, all bars, discos, and gogos etc are currently closed due to a coronavirus lockdown.

Officials ludicrously said they expect approximately 129,000 foreigners to visit Phuket under the Sandbox scheme. The scheme is unlikely attract any tourists as at all, but may appeal to visitors who have business or family in Thailand who may prefer to spend their 2 weeks quarantine on the beach rather than locked up in a hotel room.

Update: Prisoner tracking centre opens

26th June 2021. See article from

A visitor tracking centre for the Phuket Sandbox has been set up on the resort island, with 70% of its equipment installation complete. Phuket will be the first province to 'welcome' fully vaccinated foreign visitors, with the whole resort island being defined as a quarantine zone, from July 1st.

The centre will be used, along with the Mor Prom and Mor Chana apps, to track the movements of foreign tourists on Phuket. Tourists will be required to install one of the apps upon arrival. If an infection is found, the information will be sent to health investigators so tourists can be incarcerated in state quarantine facilities, euphemistically called 'field hospitals'.

On the positive side there is no mention of the prison bracelet being part of the tracking arsenal.

Update: Prison rules

28th June 2021.

The Phuket snadbox scheme has now officially passed into Thai law as noted by its publication in the Royal Gazette.

However this latest round of bureaucracy has inevitably added a few restrictions and hassles.

Firstly visitors have to book the required 3 PCR tests on Phuket at 2800 Baht each prior to travel and present the receipt to the Thai embassy when applying for a certificate of entry. You will need a 4th test should you want to move on to the rest of Thailand after your 14 days of Phuket quarantine, and get paperwork to show the Phuket border guards.

Richard Barrow reports on conditions contained in the official description of the scheme:

Tourists must have an active tracking system on them at all times. They must go straight to hotel in a specially arranged car. Cannot leave hotel until first test results. Must report to handler at hotel every day. Cannot stay overnight elsewhere.


Update: So how did it go?

5th July 2021. See article from

In the first 4 days of the scheme, the island has welcomed 1,896 international arrivals, most of whom are foreign nationals. Below is the breakdown:
  • Th Day 1: 479 (303 foreign nationals, 176 Thais)
  • Fr Day 2: 544 (467 foreign nationals, 77 Thais)
  • Sa Day 3: 389 (319 foreign nationals, 70 Thais)
  • Su Day 4: 481 (327 foreign nationals, 154 Thais)
  • Mo Day 5: 141
  • Tu Day 6: 217
  • We Day 7: 286
  • Day 8: 125
  • Day 9: 762
  • Day 10: 630 (total 3917, average 392 per day)
  • Day 11: 651
  • Day 12: 210
  • Day 13: 396
  • Day 14: 299
  • Day 15: 237
  • Day 16: 871
  • Day 17: 881
  • Day 18: 915
  • Day 19: 242
  • Day 20: 362 (total 8981, average 449 per day)
  • Day 21: 377
  • Day 22: 172
  • Day 23: 679
  • Day 24: 640
  • Day 25: 736
  • Day 26: 221
  • Day 27: 225
  • Day 28: 364
  • Day 29: 204
  • Day 30: 681
  • Day 31: 771 (July total 14021, average 452 per day)

August total 12400, average 400 per day (Cumulative 26400)
Sept total 12300 average 410 per day (Cumulative 38700)

Meanwhile the similar, but even more restrictive Ko Samui Plus, scheme has attracted just 20 visitors in its first week, and a total of 113 visitors in the first 2 weeks.


Update: Prison breaks

6th July 2021. See article from

Two visitors Phuket onn the sandbox scheme have been returned to custody after attempting to escape.

One visitor who had not turned on tracking on his app was found not to have checked in at his hotel. Instead he went straight to find his wife and child at his house in Rawai.

He was soon brought back into the system and returned to his cell.

Another man, aged 83, was staying at a hotel in Thalang and went out without his phone or passport, just with his wallet. He was discovered at 4.30 am wandering near a department store in Wichit sub-district. Wichit police gave him food and drink before retuning him to his cell.

Governor Narong Wunden gave details at City Hall yesterday. The man in charge of the tracking from a firm called SIPA, Pracha Atsawatheera said the tourist who had gone to see his wife at his home had not turned on location finding on the app ever since he was in the airport. He stupidly turned it on when he got home to Rawai.


Update: On the positive side

8th July 2021. See article from

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has published an updated list of countries where travel is allowed from for entry into the Phuket Sandbox.

France and the UK remain on the list despite indications last weekend from the Thai Ministry of Health that they would be added to the prohibited list.


Update: Group punishment

10th July 2021. See article from
See video press interview with quarantined visitor from YouTube

Twelve tourists are now stuck in their cells in alternative local quarantine (ALQ) in Phuket after one person who arrived on the same flight to the island tested positive for COVID-19.

It is not entirely clear as to what level of contact with an infected person qualifies for being forced to stay locked up in a hotel room, but it surely increases the odds massively of having a holiday totally ruined, even for doubly vaccinated people with negative tests. In this latest example (See Youtube video) the visitor was seated on her flight in the row behind people who went on to test positive.

It is also becoming apparent that children are proving to be the weak link in the island quarantine system as they have not been vaccinated and so pose quite a risk to the holidays of people they come in contact with.


Offsite Comment: The Sandbox Guarantee: taking the what ifs out of travelling to Thailand

10th July 2021. See article from

The 'Sandbox Guarantee', or a similar style of guarantee for incoming passengers, is an important step if the Thai government is honest about restarting the country's vital tourism economy.


Update: Think of the Children

12th July 2021. See article from

Popular Thailand blogger, Richard Barrow, tweeted an alert at the start of the Phuket Sandbox warning families of the potential risk when booking a Phuket holiday under the sandbox rules.

The small print was a mite too small for most of us to read or grasp, but a week after the first international flight arrived, 1 July, the risks made prominent headlines. Two young children (eight and nine) failed their second round of testing. Health workers whisked them off to the designated Covid-19 hospital for treatment.

Their parents headed in a different direction, leaving their comfortable hotel of choice for a mandatory 14-day quarantine in an Alternative Local Quarantine hotel. It's the unthinkable outcome, the worst-case scenario, and it should make families think twice about travelling to the Phuket Sandbox or any other destination under strict Covid-19 measures.

 Update: Prison visitors banned

28th July 2021. See article from

If you are thinking of saying meeting your Thai partner for a couple of weeks holiday in Phuket, them maybe you'd like to think again.

The Phuket governor has ordered the entire island sealed off, with travellers from other provinces not allowed to enter Phuket starting from Aug 3.

A provincial order, signed by Governor Narong Woonciew, outlined the stiffer travel restrictions in Phuket. People from outside the province are prohibited from travelling to Phuket with the exception of those transporting essential goods, students, and emergency medical services. Those exempt are still required to be fully vaccinated and have proof to show at the entry checkpoint.

Meanwhile, Department of Disease Control (DDC) director-general Kajornsak Kaewjaras said the department will monitor the Covid-19 situation in Phuket for another two weeks to decide whether to keep the Phuket Sandbox scheme.



Offsite Article: Another Ofcom power grab...

Link Here28th July 2021

See article from



Age Appropriate Censorship...

Facebook and Instagram announces far reaching changes ready for the start of the UK's Age Appropriate Design code

Link Here27th July 2021
Full story: ICO Age Appropriate Design...ICO calls for age assurance for websites accessed by children
The data protection censors at the Information Commissioner's Office have got into the internet censorship game with a new regime that starts on the 2nd September 2021. It's Age Appropriate Design code very much requires an age gated internet in the name of data protection for children, The code itself is not law but ICO claims that is an interpretation of the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law and so carries legal weight.

The code requires that websites hand over their personal data to anyone that asks to verify that they are of sufficient age to hand over their personal data. All in the name of preventing children from handing over their personal data.

And the most immediate impact is that social media websites need to ensure that their users are over the age of 13 before the internet companies can make hay with their personal data.

And in preparation for the new rules Facebook and Instagram have posted substantial blogs laying out new polices on age verification.

Facebook summarised:

Facebook and Instagram weren't designed for people under the age of 13, so we're creating new ways to stop those who are underage from signing up.

We're developing AI to find and remove underaged accounts, and new solutions to verify people's ages.

We're also building new experiences designed specifically for those under 13.

See full article from

Instagram added:

Creating an experience on Instagram that's safe and private for young people, but also fun comes with competing challenges. We want them to easily make new friends and keep up with their family, but we don't want them to deal with unwanted DMs or comments from strangers. We think private accounts are the right choice for young people, but we recognize some young creators might want to have public accounts to build a following.

We want to strike the right balance of giving young people all the things they love about Instagram while also keeping them safe. That's why we're announcing changes we'll make today, including:

  • Defaulting young people into private accounts.

  • Making it harder for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people.

  • Limiting the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads.

See full article from



Offsite Article: Endangering the people in the name of protecting the people...

Link Here 27th July 2021
Full story: Internet Encryption...Encryption, essential for security but givernments don't see it that way
Europol and a New York DA call for an end to internet users' safety as enabled by encrypted communications

See article from



The Haunted Hotel...

The latest cinema film suffering cuts for category

Link Here25th July 2021

The Haunted Hotel is a 2021 UK comedy drama horror romance by Jean Campbell Hogg, (segment Watching), Joshua Carver, (segment Forty Years), Adam Collier, (segment Room 27)
Starring Hugh Fraser, Reece Ritchie and Rob Jarvis BBFC link 2020 IMDb

BBFC category cuts were required for a 12A rated cinema release in 2021.

Summary Notes

Eight tales of ghostly encounters through the decades, manifesting amid the ruins of a once grand English hotel.


BBFC cut
advised category cuts
run: 95m
pal: 91m
12AUK: Passed 12A uncut with a BBFC trigger warning for moderate horror, violence, bloody images, sexual threat, suicide references:
  • 2021 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

The distributor requested cuts to achieve their preferred category. Images of strong injury detail were removed in order to achieve a 12A. An uncut 18 classification was available.

BBFC uncut
run: 95m
pal: 91m
18UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong injury detail:
  • 2021 cinema release, not released in favour of a cut 12A version



Harming free speech...

The Law Commission proposes law to censor internet speech that is claimed to be 'harmful'

Link Here21st July 2021
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

The Law Commission has published recommendations to address the harms arising from online abuse . The recommendations include a coherent set of communications offences to more effectively target harmful communications while increasing protection for freedom of expression.

More than 70% of UK adults have a social media profile and internet users spend over four hours online each day on average. Whilst the online world offers important opportunities to share ideas and engage with one another, it has also increased the scope for abuse and harm. A report by the Alan Turing institute estimates that approximately one third of people in the UK been exposed to online abuse.

The recommendations, which have been laid in Parliament, would reform the "communications offences" found in section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 ("MCA 1988") and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 ("CA 2003"). These offences do not provide consistent protection from harm and in some instances disproportionately interfere with freedom of expression.

The reforms would address the harms arising from online abuse by modernising the existing communications offences, ensuring that the law is clearer and that it effectively targets serious harm and criminality. The recommendations aim to do this in a proportionate way in order to protect freedom of expression. They also seek to "future-proof" the law in this area as much as possible by not confining the offences to any particular mode or type of communication.

The need for reform

The laws that govern online abusive behaviour are not working as well as they should. The existing offences are ineffective at criminalising genuinely harmful behaviour and in some instances disproportionately interfere with freedom of expression.

Reliance on vague terms like "grossly offensive" and "indecent" sets the threshold for criminality too low and potentially criminalises some forms of free expression that ought to be protected. For example, consensual sexting between adults could be "indecent", but is not worthy of criminalisation.

Other behaviours such as taking part in pile-on harassment, which can be genuinely harmful and distressing are not adequately criminalised. Additionally, the law does not effectively deal with behaviours such as cyberflashing and encouraging serious self-harm.

The result is that the law as it currently stands over-criminalises in some situations and under-criminalises in others. This is what the Commission's recommendations aim to correct.

Recommendations in detail: The harm-based offence

The Commission is recommending a new offence based on likely psychological harm. This will shift the focus away from the content of a communication (and whether it is indecent or grossly offensive) toward its potentially significant harmful effects. The recommended new harm-based offence would criminalise behaviour if:

  • The defendant sends or posts a communication that is likely to cause harm to a likely audience

  • in sending or posting the communication, the defendant intends to cause harm to a likely audience

  • the defendant sends or posts the communication without reasonable excuse .

Within the offence, harm refers to serious distress. This threshold is one well-known to the criminal law, including in offences in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Reasonable excuse would include whether the communication was or was meant as a contribution to a matter of public interest. Media articles would be exempt from the offence.

This new offence could also capture pile-on harassment -- when a number of different individuals send harassing communications to a victim. The fact that the offence is context-specific means it could be applied where a person deliberately joins a pile-on intending to cause harm.

Recommendations in detail: new offences

To complement the harm-based offence, the Law Commission has made recommendations to ensure the law is clearer and protects against a variety of abusive online behaviour.

  • Cyberflashing: The Sexual Offences Act 2003 should be amended to include the sending of images or video recordings of genitals, for example, "dick pics" sent via AirDrop.

    • To recognise the violation of a victim's sexual autonomy without their consent, the offence would require either that the defendant intends to cause alarm, distress or humiliation, or if the defendant is acting for a sexual purpose, the defendant is reckless as to whether the victim is caused alarm, distress or humiliation.

  • Encouragement or glorification of serious self-harm: An offence to target intentional encouragement or assistance of self-harm at a high threshold (equivalent to grievous bodily harm).

    • The change would ensure that the offence targets the most serious encouragement or assistance of self-harm without unduly criminalising vulnerable people.

  • Sending flashing images with intent to induce a seizure : A specific offence for sending flashing images to people with epilepsy with the intention of inducing seizures.

  • Knowingly false communications : A defendant would be liable if they knowingly send or post a communication that they know to be false and they intend to cause non-trivial emotional, psychological, or physical harm to the likely audience, without a reasonable excuse.

    • This would raise the threshold for the offence currently in the Communications Act 2003, from knowingly causing "annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety" to causing harm.

  • Threatening communications : We recommend a specific offence targeting communications that contain threats of serious harm.

    • It would be an offence where the defendant intends the victim to fear the threat will be carried out or the defendant is reckless as to whether the victim fears that the threat will be carried out.

    • The offence defines "serious harm" as including serious injury (equivalent to grievous bodily harm in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861), rape and serious financial harm.

The reforms, if enacted, involve a shift away from prohibited categories of communication (eg "grossly offensive") to focus on the harmful consequences of particular communications. Our aim is to ensure harmful communications are appropriately addressed while providing robust protection for freedom of expression.



Updated - Lords comment: Censored comments...

Comments about the UK Government's new Internet Censorship Bill

Link Here21st July 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media

Offsite Comment: The Online Safety Bill won’t solve online abuse

 2nd July 2021. See article by Heather Burns

The Online Safety Bill contains threats to freedom of expression, privacy, and commerce which will do nothing to solve online abuse, deal with social media platforms, or make the web a better place to be.


Update: House of Lords Committee considers that social media companies are not the best 'arbiters of truth'

21st July 2021. See article from , See report from

A house of Lords committee has warned that the government's plans for new online censorship laws will diminish freedom of speech by making Facebook and Google the arbiters of truth.

The influential Lords Communications and Digital Committee cautioned that legitimate debate is at risk of being stifled by the way major platforms filter out misinformation. Committee chairman Lord Gilbert said:

The benefits of freedom of expression online mustn't be curtailed by companies such as Facebook and Google, too often guided their commercial and political interests than the rights and wellbeing of their users.

The report said:

We are concerned that platforms approaches to misinformation have stifled legitimate debate, including between experts.

Platforms should not seek to be arbiters of truth. Posts should only be removed in exceptional circumstances.

The peers said the government should switch to enforcing existing laws more robustly, and criminalising any serious harms that are not already illegal.



The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It...

Comments on the BBFC cuts

Link Here19th July 2021
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is a 2021 USA horror mystery thriller by Michael Chaves
Starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Julian Hilliard BBFC link 2020 IMDb
Uncut and MPA R rated in the US. This was initially rated 18 uncut, by the BBFC but the distributors preferred a cut 15 rated version for 2021 cinema release. Both versions are available for UK home video release. The film is rated 16 uncut  by IFCO for Irish cinema release.
UK: The UK edit was passed 15 for strong threat, horror, violence after BBFC category cuts:
  • 2021 Warner Bros video
  • 2021 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

The distributor chose to reduce bloody injury detail in a suicide scene in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

Of course the BBFC is referring to vertical wrist slitting which is disallowed at 15.

See the uncut scene in video from . Ben comments:

I've seen the uncut footage and 18 is absurdly harsh.  It's demonic possession and *technically* self-harm, but not an attempted suicide at all as the BBFC called it. You see glass and blood on the man's wrist but no clear sign of process and injury



3 Ninjas...

An extensive BBFC cuts list just added for PG rated 1993 VHS release

Link Here19th July 2021
3 Ninjas is a 1992 USA family action comedy by Jon Turteltaub.
Starring Victor Wong, Michael Treanor and Max Elliott Slade. Melon Farmers link  BBFC link 2020  IMDb
Cut in the US for a PG rating. Released uncut as an International Version. Cut in the UK for a PG rated cinema release in 1993 and further cut for the follow up PG rated VHS.

A total of 1:44s of cuts (some substitution) were required for the VHS as described in the BBFC cuts list:

  • At start In opening titles, remove the dotting of the letter i twice with metal throwing stars.
  • At 2 mins After old man is pulled up hill, remove sequence of boy twirling chainsticks while old man throws apples at him and later sight of boy throwing stars at dart board.
  • At 3 mins After old man falls to ground, remove sight of boy in tree throwing stars.
  • At 18 mins After old man's line .... between victory and defeat, remove demonstration pinpointing vulnerable parts of the body (throat, groin, etc), resuming on old man telling them to practise for an hour.
  • At 47 mins After boy is tossed onto bed, remove sight of him kicking head of man in red cap.
  • At 48 mins After man in red cap is pulled through bannisters, remove all further sight of boy climbing up and tying him to bannister rail.
  • At 62½ mins Remove all sight of ninjas using chainsticks as follows:
    (1) After ninja wields sword, remove both sights of 3 ninjas with one of them twirling chainsticks.
    (2) After ninjas reel back after being struck by drum, remove sequence of making and displaying chainsticks, resuming on small boy in orange jacket laughing.
    (3) After ninja rushes towards camera, remove high angle shot of boys brandishing and using chainsticks and following shot of boy in blue shirt using them, resuming on ninja with raised sword threatening boy.
    (4) After this shot, remove part of following shot in which boy hits ninja with chainsticks and kicks him on head, resuming as he faces second ninja.
    (5) After ninja crashes into wire netting, remove two shots of boy in blue fighting with chainsticks.
  • At 65 mins Reduce fight between two ninjas and boy in white trousers by cutting away after he kicks them to ground and removing later punches to head, resuming on boy in orange.
  • At 66½ mins After ninja falls from wall, remove front of shot with punch to head by boy in green.
  • At 68 mins When small boy in orange punches large oriental in throat, trim end of punch so it looks as if he only punches him in jaw, and then, after boy in khaki kicks large oriental on head for first time and lights appear on doll, remove kicks to crotch and head, resuming on second large close-up of doll's face.
  • At 74 mins After shot of boy in green/blue jacket, remove sight of old man kicking man in red, resuming on long shot before punch to chin.



Thorny issues...

Southend Council censors artwork titled An English Garden that references the early development of atom bombs

Link Here17th July 2021
An artwork featuring three garden benches surround a rose garden has been banned by Southend Council due to it referencing the locally based development of early atom bombs which were then sent to Australia for testing. Promotional Material for the Estuary 2021 Festival explains:

An English Garden is the Estuary 2021 Festival iteration of How to Make a Bomb , the durational gardening project by artist Gabriella Hirst. The project is centred on the propagation and redistribution of a nearly-extinct species of garden rose which was created and registered under the name Rosa floribunda ‘Atom Bomb’ in 1953.

The How to Make a Bomb project aims to provoke questions about the relationship between of nationalism, gardening, and nuclear colonialism. The garden is a reminder that the red rose of England and the English garden is entangled with a violent past of gardening the world, which has continued into a dangerous present.

The artwork is installed just upriver from Foulness Island at Gunners Park, Shoeburyness, which is former MOD land and is now a nature reserve under the care of Essex Wildlife Trust.

An English Garden's formal layout and beds echo the floorplans of Foulness's nuclear heritage architecture, and the aerial maps of the Australian contaminated test sites.

The artwork has now been taken away and placed in storage thanks to Sourthend councillors' objection to the wording of a plaque in the installation that detailed the fact that nuclear weapons were assembled at Foulness (a matter of record) before being shipped to Australia, where they were detonated. The most vocal of the offended councillors, James Moyies, has said he objected to the artist's view that by increasing its nuclear armament by 40%, the UK government was directing considerable resources towards industries of violence instead of those of care, and by the suggestion that Britain had a historical and ongoing identity as a colonial nuclear state.

The councillors emailed the local arts charity Metal, which commissioned the work jointly with the artists' charity the Old Waterworks, claiming that it constituted a:

direct far leftwing attack on our History, our People and our Democratically Elected Government.



Obituary: Kurt Westergaard...

Cartoonist who created one of the most censored images ever, the Mohammed bomb turban cartoon, dies aged 86

Link Here17th July 2021
Full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world
Kurt Westergaard was a Danish cartoonist famous for creating the controversial cartoon of a terrorist, although not the Islamic religious character Muhammad as it is often claimed, wearing a bomb in his turban.

This cartoon was the most contentious of the 12 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, which met with strong reactions from Muslims worldwide who condemned the act, including Western countries.

After the drawing of the cartoon, Westergaard received numerous death threats and was a target of assassination attempts. As a result, he was under constant police protection.

In his later years, Westergaard had to live with a bodyguard at secret addresses.

Speaking to Reuters news agency in 2008, Westergaard said he had no regrets about his drawing. He said the cartoon had generated important discussion about the place of Islam in Western countries with secular values:

I would do it the same way (again) because I think that this cartoon crisis in a way is a catalyst which is intensifying the adaptation of Islam. We are discussing the two cultures, the two religions as never before and that is important.



Extract: The Pegasus Project...

The Guardian publishes an extensive report on worldwide internet snooping by the Israeli company NSO

Link Here17th July 2021
Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak.

The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO's hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.

Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.

The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

See full article from



Thin shaming...

ASA bans Motel Rocks fashion advert over thin model

Link Here15th July 2021

Two paid-for Facebook posts by the clothing retailer Motel Rocks:

a. The first post, seen on 9 April 2021, featured a female model wearing a pink dress getting out of a car. The post included the caption Shop our 'Rose Flock Pale Pink' print on site now.

b. The second post, seen in May 2021, featured a model wearing a halter neck dress. The post included the caption Shop our weekly drops of the hottest Spring pieces on site now.

Five complainants, who believed the models appeared to be unhealthily thin in ads (a) and (b), challenged whether the ads were irresponsible.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

Both ads showed a still image, which when clicked played a video. The ASA understood the complainants had raised concerns about the way the models appeared in the still images and we therefore assessed those images only.

We considered that the model's legs in ad (a) looked very thin, with her thighs appearing to be the same width as her lower leg, and out of proportion with the rest of her body. That impression was exaggerated by the ad's lighting, the angle of the image and the position of the model getting out of the car. We concluded that ad (a) made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was therefore irresponsible.We considered the cut of the neckline of the dress in ad (b) placed emphasis on the model's left arm and shoulders. We considered the position of the model's arm made her arm and shoulders appear very thin, with the model's bones in those areas appearing prominently. We also considered the angle of the model's left arm made her upper arm appear noticeable thinner than her elbow joint. Therefore, we also concluded that ad (b) made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was irresponsible.

The ads must not appear again in their current form.



Creating confusion...

Indonesian tourism minister seeks to ban Fortnite over user created content which includes a religious site

Link Here15th July 2021
The Minister for Indonesian Tourism and 'Creative' Economy Sandiaga Uno has announced plans to ban Fortnite in the country after the discovery of a user-created map that allegedly allows for players to destroy a building resembling the Kaaba, a sacred site for Muslims.

Epic Games made a statement on the Fortnite Middle East Facebook page clarifying that the map was in fact created by a community member in creative mode and the building cannot be destroyed on the map. We would like to emphasize that our team respects all religions and works closely with our game content makers to provide a safe gaming experience for all our players.

Prior to the statement by Epic, Sandiaga said that he heard the structure could be destroyed on the map and players would be awarded weapons and advancement through the level for destroying it.

The national police of Indonesia are working to track down the creator of the map.



Age of censorship...

European age verification consortium starts meetings

Link Here15th July 2021
euConsent is a consortium of twelve pro-censorship academic institutions, campaigners and technology providers championing internet age verification in the name of child protection. The consortium is being funded by the EU Commission to design, deliver and pilot a new Europe-wide system age/iD verification system and to ensure that younger children have parental consent before they share personal data.

The consortium doesn't seem to have much interest in keeping adults safe from their ID and porn viewing data being used by scammers, spammers, thieves, commercial exploiters and of course state authorities.

Pro-censorship campaigner and chair of the consortium John Carr has now announced that the group has had its first meeting. He noted:

An Advisory Board has been established and I agreed to be its Chair. The Board comprises representatives of a wide range of stakeholders: European regulatory authorities, children's rights organizations, tech companies and politicians. We held our inaugural meeting last Friday.

[notice no mention of porn viewers or adult internet users].

The Board will hold the project team accountable, helping them as they establish the standards. The Board's collective and individual insights will contribute to a system that is workable with existing technology and facilitates the creation and implementation of effective regulations. Any new technologies which may emerge will know what they must be able to do if they are to be recognised as an acceptable tool.



Charged if you do, fined if you don't...

Google opts out of displaying paid for snippets to French newspapers only to be fined for 'market abuse' in not being fair to those newspapers

Link Here12th July 2021
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe
The EU red tape generation machine has become so entangle that most of the EU's latest internet laws are simply impossible to comply with.

The latest example is that search engines are nominally forced to negotiate with newspapers to agree a charge to pay for links to newspaper websites. However it now appears that French law means that newspapers can ask ask any price they like and the French authorities will fine search engines that don't agree the price.

Google has been hit with a euro 500m (£427m) fine by France's competition authority for failing to negotiate in good faith with news organisations over the use of their content.

In 2019, France became the first EU country to transpose the EU's disgraceful new Digital Copyright Directive into law. The law governed so-called neighbouring rights which are designed to compensate publishers and news agencies for the use of their material.

As a result, Google decided it would not show content from EU publishers in France, on services like search and news, unless publishers agreed to let them do so free of charge.

News organisations felt this was an abuse of Google's market power, and two organisations representing press publishers and Agence France-Presse (AFP) complained to the competition authority.

Google told the BBC: We are very disappointed with this decision - we have acted in good faith throughout the entire process.

The new ruling means that within the next two months Google must come up with proposals explaining how it will recompense companies for the use of their news. Should this fail to happen the company could face additional fines of euro 900,000 per day.



Thailand bans free speech on trains...

Any speech in fact, its a covid restriction

Link Here12th July 2021
Thailand's Department of Rail Transport (DRT) has requested that passengers no longer talk on trains in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As well as wearing face masks and making sure they socially distance, passengers should not talk to one another or on the telephone, the DRT chief Kittiphan Panchan said.

Passengers are also required to use hand sanitizer at the start and end of their journey and check in using the Thai Chana smartphone app.

The new measures concerning rail travel will be in place until at least July 25.



Claiming that face analysis would provide a way of proving age without handing over identity...

But would you trust money seeking age verification companies not to use facial identification to record who is watching porn anyway

Link Here10th July 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Our Big Brother government is seeking ways for all websites users to be identified and tracked in the name of child protection. But for all the up and coming legislation that demands age verification, there aren't actually any methods yet that satisfy both strict age verification and protect people's personal data from hackers, thieves, scammers, spammers, money grabbing age verification companies, the government, and the provably data abusing social media companies.

The Observer has reported on a face scanning scheme whereby the age verification company claims not to look up your identity via facial recognition and instead just trying and count the wrinkles on your photo.

See article from .

Security expert Alec Muffet has also posted some interesting and relevant background provided to the Observer that somehow did not make the cut.

See article from



The EU 'earmarks' its copyright on bad law...

The EU publishes guidance on its impossible to implement copyright directive requiring both automatic blocking of copyrighted material for bad reasons whilst allowing it for good reasons

Link Here10th July 2021
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe
A while ago the EU passed a copyright directive demanding that internet businesses, websites and social media automatically block the upload of unauthorised copyrighted material whilst simultaneously demanding that this should not impinge on the free speech use of material in terms of memes or comment.

Of course the subtlety of distinguishing between differing usages is way beyond the AI capabilities of most EU businesses and so is more or less impossible to implement. Now EU states are getting confused on how to implement the directive in their national law.

And even though June 7 was the initial deadline for member-countries to implement it, it is far from being settled from the point of view of the harm it can cause to free online expression in the bloc.

The tortuous EU legislative process reached a milestone on June 4, when the European Commission revealed guidelines to its 27 members on how to implement Article 17, while protecting online users rights. And while the document , that is not legally binding, states that filtering should only apply to what are clear-cut cases of illegal content, it also ushers in what advocates see as a massive loophole.

It refers to giving rights holders the ability to 'earmark' content, which could end up in platforms censoring it, including in cases of fair use. Content that according to the European Commission may be earmarked as economically viable is a new term in the realm of copyright enforcement, and there are fears that it may be little more than a synonym for censorship.

Some EU member states have not given up on their legal challenge to the Directive, with Poland going to the Court of Justice of the European Union and naming the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union as defendants in a case seeking to establish if Article 17 is aligned with the bloc's Charter of Fundamental Rights. Poland is seeking partial, or full annulment of the article. The ruling is expected on July 15.



Offsite Article: WhatsApp boss describes attacks on encryption as Orwellian...

Link Here 10th July 2021
Will Cathcart likens governments' stance to insisting a 1984 telescreen be installed in every living room

See article from



Good Morning Whingers!...

Ofcom reveals its top programmes of the year

Link Here8th July 2021
The UK TV censor Ofcom has revealed an increase in the number of complaints that it receives about UK TV programmes. It received 142,660 complaints between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, a 410% rise on the previous 12 months' total of 34,545.

Piers Morgan's comments on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Oprah Winfrey TV interview on Good Morning Britain in March drew a record 54,453 complaints. Morgan accounts for three more of the 10 most-complained about TV broadcasts.

Ofcom's 10 most-complained about single transmission programmes were:
  • Good Morning Britain : 8 March 2021 -Comments by Piers Morgan about the Duchess of Sussex's reference to feeling suicidal - 54,453.
  • Britain's Got Talent : 5 September 2020 - Objections to performance by Diversity on 5 September referencing political campaigns by Black Lives Matter (BLM) - 25,017.
  • I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! - Welfare of animals used in trials on the show - 11,516.
  • Britain's Got Talent : 19 September 2020 - Alesha Dixon wearing a necklace with the initials "BLM" being offensive and not suitable for a non-political show - 2,565.
  • Britain's Got Talent : 10 September 2020 - Objections to Nabil Abdulrashid's performance on the grounds of finding it offensive - 2,253.
  • Good Morning Britain - 15 April 2020 - Objections to Piers Morgan's manner of interviewing Helen Whateley MP - 2,017.
  • Good Morning Britain - 22 April 2020 - Objections to Piers Morgan's manner of interviewing Helen Whateley MP - 1,334.
  • Britain's Got Talent - 3 October 2020 - Objections to Nabil Abdulrashid's performance on the grounds of finding it offensive, and Amanda Holden's dress was too revealing, unsuitable for a family audience - 1,189.
  • Good Morning Britain - 28 April 2020 - Perceived bias / bullying from Piers Morgan when interviewing Victoria Atkin, MP - 1,178.
  • Good Morning Britain - 26 November 2020 - Disputed Rishi Sunak's claims that he had met with excluded UK leaders - 1,068.

Ofcom noted however:

In many of the cases above, we did not find the issues warranted an investigation.



Building a miserable world...

Microsoft requires that Minecraft players are aged 19+ in South Korea

Link Here8th July 2021
While Minecraft is generally considered a child-friendly game throughout the worl, a law in South Korea has resulted in the game being blocked to all players under the age of 19.

As reported by, Microsoft recently informed South Korean players that they would need an Xbox Live account to continue playing Minecraft, with local restrictions requiring that such accounts are only made available by Microsoft to over 19s.

The age restriction is due to a controversial South Korean shutdown law, which prohibits children from playing games between midnight and 6 AM. The law has been in place since 2011. While some game providers have implemented technical solutions to prevent minors from playing their games between these hours, Microsoft instead chose to restrict all Xbox Live accounts for people under the age of 19. Until now, users have been able to sidestep that restriction by logging into Minecraft with a Mojang account instead.

The Minecraft restrictions have caused South Korean users to start a petition against the law, reading: Korea's game market is at the risk of being the world's only place where Minecraft is labeled as an adult game. The petition had over 67,000 signatures as of July 6.



Discs in decline...

Sainsbury's has decided to stop selling DVDs and CDs

Link Here8th July 2021
Sainsbury's supermarket says it has decided to stop selling CDs and DVDs as streaming services take their toll on sales of the products.

A spokesperson said Sainsbury's customers increasingly went for music and films online instead of buying the shiny silver discs. The firm said sales were being phased out, although it would continue to sell vinyl records in some stores.

The CD has proved exceptionally successful for nearly 40 years and remains a format of choice for many music fans who value sound quality, convenience and collectability, said a BPI spokesperson, adding:

Although demand has been following a long-term trend as consumers increasingly transition to streaming, resilient demand is likely to continue for many years, enhanced by special editions and other collectible releases.

If some retailers now see the format as less of a priority, this will create a further opportunity for others, such as independent shops and specialist chains such as HMV, to cater to the continuing demand.



Commented: Censorship on Demand...

The Government is considering extending the TV censorship regime to Video on Demand services like Netflix and Apple TV

Link Here8th July 2021

As part of an ongoing strategic review of the UK public service broadcasting system, the government will review the ownership model and remit of Channel 4 and consider tightening regulation of video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

With a fast-evolving media landscape, increasing competition and changing audience habits posing imminent challenges, moving Channel 4 into private ownership and changing its remit could help secure its future as a successful and sustainable public service broadcaster.

The government will also consult on whether the regulation of video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime need strengthening so they are subject to similar rules as traditional "linear" broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Sky.

It will consider whether new rules are needed to protect viewers of video-on-demand services - such as changes to age ratings and addressing impartiality and accuracy rules for documentaries and news content - alongside measures to level the playing field so public service broadcasters can compete with international rivals.

This will help ensure the country has a diverse, free and pluralistic broadcasting landscape with high standards.

The reviews will come ahead of a broadcasting white paper due in the autumn. The white paper would consider the future of the country's broadcasting landscape with the ultimate aim of making sure it serves listeners and viewers on all platforms and across the UK.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Technology has transformed broadcasting but the rules protecting viewers and helping our traditional channels compete are from an analogue age.

The time has come to look at how we can unleash the potential of our public service broadcasters while also making sure viewers and listeners consuming content on new formats are served by a fair and well-functioning system.

So we'll now be looking at how we can help make sure Channel 4 keeps its place at the heart of British broadcasting and level the playing field between broadcasters and video-on-demand services.

Video-on-demand services

Video-on-demand services available in the UK are not regulated to the same level as "linear" television channels and some services such as Netflix and Apple TV+ are not regulated in the UK at all.

Only content on the BBC iPlayer is subject to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code, which includes enhanced protections to audiences from harmful or offensive material and rules on accuracy and impartiality.

Existing audience protections on UK-regulated video-on-demand services are primarily focused on children and rules preventing content which incites hatred. Some services have introduced their own voluntary procedures - such as Netflix's voluntary age ratings partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

The current landscape makes for an inconsistent, ad-hoc and potentially harmful gap in regulation between video-on-demand services alongside a potential competitive disadvantage between UK broadcasters and their internationally-funded online counterparts.

It is also almost twenty years since the UK broadcast sector's regulatory framework was introduced in the Communications Act 2003, which was designed before the arrival of online companies such as Apple+, Amazon Prime and Netflix in their current form.

The government will also take forward existing commitments to legislate to strengthen public service broadcasters' "prominence" online so that their video-on-demand content can easily be found and accessed on smart TVs and other platforms and devices.


Update: Now the censors are coming for Netflix

8th July 2021. See article from

The government wants Ofcom to regulate streaming services. This is bad news for free expression.



Toppling cherished pillars of civilisation such as free speech...

Labour MP calls for statue protection law to be extended to become a blasphemy law protecting religious characters from criticism and mockery

Link Here 6th July 2021
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
Debated in the House of Commons on Monday 5 July 2021

Labour MP Naz Shah said in a Parliamentary debate:

Yes, people can go out and debate, discuss, disagree and even respectfully and vehemently oppose any historical figure, but when they defame or vandalise in a mob-like fashion statues of people like Winston Churchill who mean so much to millions of Britons who hold his efforts during the second world war so close to their hearts, that does threaten the cohesive nature of our nation. We cannot pretend that a western liberal democracy like Britain does not consider feelings when it comes to such situations while at the same time today passing a law through Parliament giving such importance to protecting statues based upon commemorative feelings.

As a Muslim, for me and millions of Muslims across this country and a quarter of the world's population who are Muslim too, with each day and each breath there is not a single thing in the world that we commemorate and honour more than our beloved Prophet, Mohammed, peace be upon him. But when bigots and racists defame, slander or abuse our Prophet, peace be upon him, just like some people do the likes of Churchill, the emotional harm caused upon our hearts is unbearable, because for 2 billion Muslims, he is the leader we commemorate in our hearts and honour in our lives, and he forms the basis of our identity and our very existence. In fact, the noted playwright George Bernard Shaw said about the Prophet, peace be upon him:

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state206laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionised the worlds of human thought and behaviour for all times to come.

To those who say it is just a cartoon, I will not say, It's only a statue, because I understand the strength of British feeling when it comes to our history, our culture and our identity. It is not just a cartoon and they are not just statues. They represent, symbolise and mean so much more to us as human beings.

In conclusion, while this law would now protect civil order and emotional harm when it comes to secular and political figures such as Oliver Cromwell and Churchill and does not necessarily put other figures that many people in modern Britain hold close to their hearts, such as Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, Moses, Ram, Buddha, Guru Nanak and many others, it does show that we recognise that there is such a thing as emotional harm. Finally, we must ask ourselves: when striking the careful balance to protect such emotional harms, can there and should there be a hierarchy of sentiments?



Working from home...

The BBFC publishes its annual report covering 2020

Link Here5th July 2021

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has published its Annual Report for 2020, outlining how the media regulator shifted its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time in the organisation's 100 year history, Compliance Officers watched cinema releases remotely, with the help of the BBFC's state-of-the-art cloud based submission and classification platform, Horizon.

The BBFC classified 4,033 video submissions, 2,310 submissions for online distribution, and its innovative partnership with Netflix hit a significant milestone, with the streaming service achieving 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings and ratings info on their UK platform.

The most common age rating for online and physical media submissions was 15, with the BBFC classifying 2,548 pieces of content with the age rating.

For the movie industry, the BBFC classified 619 theatrical films in 2020 for cinemas to play in between lockdowns.

This included the re-classification of a number of older films, as cinemas shifted their focus towards bringing family friendly classics back onto the big screen while new blockbusters faced delays. In fact, one in 23 films classified by the BBFC in 2020 was a resubmission.

The Annual Report discusses the reclassification of films such as The Karate Kid which was reclassified 12A, previously 15, and Rocky and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which the BBFC reclassified 12A up from PG. The report also outlines the reclassification of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, which the organisation reclassified PG, previously a U.

The most popular age rating on the big screen remains 15, with the BBFC rating over a third (224) of films for UK cinema goers with the classification.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

Last year was one of the toughest years that the film and TV industry has ever seen. But, even with the challenges we have all faced, we are proud to have continued our work providing straightforward advice that helps families decide what to watch with confidence, both in the cinema and at home.

Despite lockdown, people's appetite for film and episodic content has only continued to grow. We are delighted that cinemas are now opening again, production studios are back filming, and more families can once again share a special big screen experience together. The pandemic has also underlined the importance of our work in the online space - with more people watching content on streaming services than ever before, it is vital that families are provided with trusted advice, age ratings and tools that we know they need to choose content well.

The organisation also pivoted their outreach work to focus on reaching families who were watching more content at home for entertainment and educational purposes. For the first time, the organisation published a series of home learning resources, designed specifically for parents faced with educating their children from home. This initiative was supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and children's charities.



Tweet that!...

Indian child protection commission calls for India to ban Twitter until it removes adult content

Link Here5th July 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
India's National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is moving forward with proceedings to ban the access of children to Twitter in the country until the platform completely removes all pornographic material.

NDTV reports that on May 29, a letter was issued to the secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology to initiate a ban on the access of children on Twitter on an immediate basis till the time Twitter makes its platform safe for children by ensuring complete removal of child sexual abuse material and pornographic material and reporting of cybercrime cases to the authorities in India.

It is unclear how NCPCR intends to effect age verification for the 1.3 billion Indians, mostly adults, that would be affected by a potential block.

According to NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo, Twitter was found to have given false and misleading responses during the enquiry conducted by NCPCR for the presence of pornographic material, an offense under the POCSO Act. The POCSO Act is a 2012 law to provide for the protection of children from the offenses of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.



Updated: Amityville Horror 4, 6 and 7...

The BBFC reduces the rating of 3 films in the series from 18 to 15

Link Here2nd July 2021
  Amityville 4 The Evil Escapes is a 1989 USA horror by Sandor Stern
Starring Patty Duke, Jane Wyatt and Fredric Lehne BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The demonic force lurking in Amityville for over 300 years escapes to a remote California mansion. It encounters a struggling family living together by uncertain means. The beast manipulates a little girl by manifesting itself in the form of her dead father. Soon it will be able to possess her completely... is it too late for a young priest to defeat the demon and end the curse?

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong supernatural threat, bloody images, violence:
  • 2021 Screenbound Pictures Ltd video
Amityville 1992 - It's About Time is a 1992 USA horror by Tony Randel
Starring Stephen Macht, Shawn Weatherly and Megan Ward BBFC link 2020 IMDb

An architect brings home a mysterious old clock, not knowing that it's haunted by the demonic presence of the Amityville house. Soon, the clock begins to alter time and space and starts to possess members of the household.

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong gore, violence, threat, language, sexual threat, sex:
  • 2021 Screenbound Pictures Ltd video

Amityville: A New Generation is a 1993 USA horror by John Murlowski
Starring Ross Partridge, Julia Nickson and Lala Sloatman BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Photographer Keyes is given an old mirror from an homeless person he photographs on the street, takes it home and gives it a friend. He doesn't know yet that people see horrible things happen to themselves in the mirror and later these things come true. Are these really suicides or is there a demonic force behind the mirror?

UK: Passed 15 uncut with a BBFC trigger warning for strong violence, threat, sex, nudity, domestic abuse, self-harm, suicide:
  • 2021 Screenbound Pictures Ltd video

All 3 films have had previous 18 ratings reduced by the BBFC to the current 15 ratings.



Biased views...

Florida judge temporarily blocks law preventing social media companies from cancelling right leaning views

Link Here2nd July 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
Florida's social media censoring bill has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. The judge ruled that the law was an overreach, saying it compels providers to host speech that violates their standards.

The law would have let the state fine social media platforms, if they censor or ban politicians or political candidates, and gives regular users the ability to sue a platform if they are removed without explanation.

The law would have gone into effect July 1.

Supporters of the law, including Representative John Snyder, said it was an effort to keep big tech companies from picking and choosing who gets a voice on their platforms. If the law is scrapped, Snyder said he would support trying again to get a similar law on the books in future sessions.



Dangerous Thailand...

Thai authorities propose a £11,400 fine for internet users who post a picture of an alcoholic drink

Link Here2nd July 2021
Thailand's The Standard news website has reported that it could soon be possible to be fined 500,000 baht (£11,400) just for posting a picture of a glass of beer or wine. And 60-80% of that fine could go into the pocket of the police or authority that brought the prosecution.

Up to now private individuals can be fined 50,000 baht (£1150) for promoting or advertising alcohol. Now a draft amendment from the authorities is proposing this is increased to half a million baht.

Commercial entities are liable to larger fines, currently at 500,000 baht, but the proposals would see this rise to a full one million baht.

There is also a proposal to stop a kind of loophole that allows big firms to promote their products by referring to soda rather than beer. Eg the beer maker Singha advertises its bottled water brand with a logo that is also used for its beer.

In future just using the soda/water logo could be illegal and subject to the alcohol fines by association.

The new proposals are currently on public consultation until 9th July, although it is a little offputting that ID cards are required from those wishing to comment.

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