Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2020: September

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Correct English...

The BBC demands that programme makers get permission from divisional directors before using racial slurs

Link Here30th September 2020
The BBC has issued staff new guidance on the use of racist language in the wake of the controversy provoked by the use of a racial slur in a news report.

Use of the strongest racist language, as defined by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, must be personally approved by the corporation's divisional directors. There must be exceptional editorial reasons to use the strongest racist terms, the updated guidance reads.

The new guidance says the use of racist language must be editorially justified, and signposted, to ensure it meets audience expectations, wherever it appears.

It says the editorial justification test would now carry a presumption that such language will not normally be used unless a judgement at divisional director level had ruled otherwise.



Naked intent...

BBFC adjudicates on adults only blocking for nudity on a naturist website

Link Here30th September 2020
The BBFC explains:

A mobile network operator contacted the BBFC for advice about the suitability of for people under 18, following a complaint from a member of the public that it had been placed behind adult filters despite containing no material that, in the complainant's opinion, would cause access to be restricted to adults only.

The BBFC adjudicated on the website on 20 July 2020. We noted that the site promotes a French naturist campsite holiday resort. The site features illustrative photographs of nude guests, including men, women, and children interacting with the resort's facilities. None of the nudity is sexualised and genital nudity is infrequent and discreetly shot throughout the website.

As such, we found no material that we would classify 18.



Building division...

The government states its position on claims about British history being considered as toxic

Link Here29th September 2020
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been writing to museums and libraries about policies in the face of claims of British history being now considered as toxic. Dowden explained the Government position::

History is ridden with moral complexity. Statues and other historical objects were created by generations with different perspectives and understandings of right and wrong. Some represent figures who have said or done things which we may find deeply offensive and would not defend today. But though we may now disagree with those who created them or who they represent, they play an important role in teaching us about our past, with all its faults.

It is for this reason that the Government does not support the removal of statues or other similar objects . Historic England, as the Government's adviser on the historic environment, have said that removing difficult and contentious parts of it risks harming our understanding of our collective past. Rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be. Our aim should be to use them to educate people about all aspects of Britain's complex past, both good and bad.

As set out in your Management Agreements, I would expect Arm's Length Bodies' approach to issues of contested heritage to be consistent with the Government's position. Further, as publicly funded bodies, you should not be taking actions motivated by

activism or politics. The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country. It is imperative that you continue to act impartially, in line with your publicly funded status, and not in a way that brings this into question. This is especially important as we enter a challenging Comprehensive Spending Review, in which all government spending will rightly be scrutinised.



Commented: The art of timing...

Philip Guston art exhibition postponed 4 years after references to Ku Klux Klan figures were considered untimely

Link Here28th September 2020
One of the most hotly anticipated blockbuster exhibitions on the art world's horizon has been pushed back after organizers raised concerns over images evoking racist violence in certain works. After its original planned summer opening was delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic, a high-profile Philip Guston retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has now been put on hold for four years.

A joint statement signed by directors of all four museums said the exhibition was being pushed until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston's work can be more clearly interpreted:

We recognize that the world we live in is very different from the one in which we first began to collaborate on this project five years ago. The racial justice movement that started in the U.S. and radiated to countries around the world, in addition to challenges of a global health crisis, have led us to pause.

Organizers raised concerns over painful imagery including the recurring Ku Klux Klan characters that appear in Guston's late-period works. Twenty-five such drawings and paintings featuring KKK imagery were to be included in one or more iterations of the show.


Update: Opposition

28th September 2020. See article from

The postponement has been met with opposition from Musa Mayer, the artist's daughter and head of the Guston Foundation. Mayer said in a statement:

Half a century ago, my father made a body of work that shocked the art world. Not only had he violated the canon of what a noted abstract artist should be painting at a time of particularly doctrinaire art criticism, but he dared to hold up a mirror to white America, exposing the banality of evil and the systemic racism we are still struggling to confront today.

They plan, they plot, they ride around in cars smoking cigars. We never see their acts of hatred. We never know what is in their minds. But it is clear that they are us. Our denial, our concealment. My father dared to unveil white culpability, our shared role in allowing the racist terror that he had witnessed since boyhood, when the Klan marched openly by the thousands in the streets of Los Angeles.

The art historian and curator Darby English told the New York Times that the decision to postpone the show was cowardly and patronizing, an insult to art and the public alike:

Guston's paintings were thoughtfully created in identification with history's victims, English said, adding that it should be part of one's attitude to see them as opportunities to think, to improve thinking, to sharpen perception, to talk to one another, and not to grimly proceed with one's head in the sand, avoiding difficult conversations because you think the timing is bad.



Offsite Article: New online harm legislation is a threat to free speech...

Link Here 28th September 2020
There is a problem online and it is causing real harm, but banning language rather than engaging in education sounds like a political fix rather than an actual solution. By Ruth Smeeth, former MP and CEO of Index on Censorship

See article from



Comments Aggressive surveillance in the name of coronavirus...

Online snooping on employees and school children working from home

Link Here27th September 2020

Working from home was the dream but is it turning into a nightmare?

Online surveillance comes in many forms. Some of it is as simple as 'checking in', Pagliari says, stamping your timecard in a digital sense. You might have to do your work over the cloud, and it knows when you've logged on, for instance. Tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams report when an employee is active, and failure to open apps first thing in the morning is often taken by managers as the same as being late for work.

Other workers have reported more intense supervision. One communications worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said that her employer had recently started to require all staff to join a videoconference every morning, with their webcams switched on. Employees were told the move was to reduce the number of meetings, but many feel as though its true purpose is to ensure that they stay at their desks all day.

David Heinemeier Hansson, a co-founder of the collaboration startup Basecamp, which provides a software platform for companies to coordinate their remote workers, says he regularly has to turn down requests from potential clients for new methods of spying on their employees.

See article from by John Naughton

University App Mandates Are The Wrong Call

As students, parents, and schools prepare the new school year, universities are considering ways to make returning to campus safer. Some are considering and even mandating that students install COVID-related technology on their personal devices, but this is the wrong call. Exposure notification apps , quarantine enforcement programs , and similar new technologies are untested and unproven, and mandating them risks exacerbating existing inequalities in access to technology and education. Schools must remove any such mandates from student agreements or commitments, and further should pledge not to mandate installation of any technology.

See article from



Offsite Article: In Defence Of Showgirls...

Link Here27th September 2020
Full story: MPAA NC-17...US adults only certificate is the kiss of box office death
Touching on the unviability of the MPA NC-17 rating and societal diktats on what films you 'should' or 'should not' watch.

See article from



Killing Whitey...

BBC responds to complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order

Link Here26th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
The BBC received complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order where a black comedian, Sophie Duker, jokingly supported the idea of 'killing whitey'.

In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement glosses over the complexities of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about black power in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.

Responding to the clip, Duker said white power is Trump Tower - a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.

She continued: But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don't really mean we want to kill whitey. Duker then quips to the panelists we do to roars of laughter.

The BBC has now responded on its website to the complaints, as always without explaining what the complaints were about. The BBC wrote:

We received complaints from people who felt comments made during the programme were offensive.

Our response

Frankie Boyle's New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.

Every week on the show Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different. The panellists' comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme's tone and style.

Sophie Duker is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle's New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.

Update: Another joke

28th September 2020. See article from

Frankie Boyle defended by BBC after Priti Patel joke sparks a few more complaints.

The comedian joked that the Home Secretary is the one woman in Britain who can orgasm by imagining a slow puncture at sea in reference to the refugee crisis



Offsite Article: Cancelling cancel culture...

Link Here26th September 2020
School pupils will be taught that cancel culture is a form of bullying and no platforming an attack on our freedoms

See article from




GreatFire offers a free browsing app for websites which evades any network blocking

Link Here25th September 2020
NGOs and other organizations with limited resources can now build their own Android apps designed to bypass censorship filters in China and beyond, thanks to rights group .

The China-focused anti-censorship group launched its new GreatFire AppMaker tool, allowing any organization that uses it to effectively unblock its content behind the Great Firewall and in other autocratic states.

GreatFire co-founder, Charlie Smith, told Infosecurity that the tool is based on the group's Collateral Freedom approach. This relies on hosting content on major cloud services like AWS that are too important for censors to block, whilst using encrypted domains so the censors can't selectively block URLs -- in effect meaning they'd have to take down AWS completely for all users inside the Middle Kingdom.

Organizations that want to build their own censorship-busting apps first need to visit the AppMaker website, choose a name for their app and specify the web page that the app will use to gather content from, as well as a file which will serve as the app icon.



Buffy on E4...

Comparing old DVD cuts with recent TV showings

Link Here24th September 2020
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER has recently been airing late at night on E4. A couple of episodes were cut for DVD release and so it is interesting to compare these with what is being shown by E4 in 2020.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3: Dead Man's Party is an episode of the action horror TV series  by James Whitmore Jr.
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon and Alyson Hannigan. BBFC link IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for 12 rated 2000 DVD. Uncut on US and UK TV.

In Dead Man's Party, at around the 35m mark, Giles (played by Anthony Stewart Head) is in his car. He is trapped by marauding zombies and his car keys are outside on the road, dropped after a tussle with one of the zombies. So in order to flee, Giles hotwires his own car. The BBFC cut about 2s to remove the hotwiring moment (when Giles pulls-out the wires from underneath the glove box, and touches them together to start the car's engine).

The DVD removes this, but E4 are showing the uncut original broadcast version. I also believe a head-butt has been removed from the DVD edition, but this also remains in the E4 broadcast edition.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 6: Bargaining: Part 1  is an episode of the action horror TV series  by David Grossman.
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon and Emma Caulfield Ford. BBFC link IMDb

Pre-cut prior to be passed 12 without BBFC cuts for 12 rated 2003 DVD. Uncut in the US.  

In Bargaining - Part One, at around the 30m mark, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) is preparing a magic spell in a field, and a fawn walks onto screen. She grabs it, stabs it and bleeds it out. The UK DVD editions were pre-cut by Fox, who presumably felt it better that they cut the scene entirely, rather than have the BBFC potentially risk asking them to remove stuff.

On the DVD you see the fawn being grabbed, and Willow suddenly grabbing and thrusting a dagger that lies to her left (screen-right), but whilst you see the fawn struggle before dying, you don't see the actual mutilation of it. There is then a noticeable audible jump, and we see Willow conclude the spell, with blood all over her hands.

Now with E4, it's a hybrid version that is being broadcast. The scene is uncut, in that there are no audio jumps - as it was originally intended and broadcast, however, once Willow grabs the dagger and thrusts it, the image has been ever-so-slightly reframed, and zoomed-in, so you can see just moments of the fan thrashing about (its head pops into the bottom part of the screen a couple of times), but the not sight of the dagger actually killing it, nor it dying from the wound, and nor then the sight of the dead carcass. Then when the scene changes to Willow with blood on her hands, the framing is back to how it should be.

E4 vs Fox

Whilst these episodes have aired late at night, after 23:00, its interesting that they are leaving some moments uncut, but not others. I wonder if its E4 who have made the hybrid edit from Becoming - Part One or whether Fox has now decided the sight of a beloved character killing and mutilating a baby deer was just inappropriate and too distasteful, and have now -themselves - re-edited the offending killing, to soften what was a very shocking and brutal moment?

Aspect Ratios

The US DVD releases are uncut, and in 4:3. The UK, and Australian DVD releases, and the E4 versions, are all in 16:9 (1.78:1 ratio), as were the original UK BBC2 broadcasts, from back in the day. (BBC2 aired this episode uncut, well after 23:00 hours, if memory serves!)

Whether any new DVD or Blu-Ray releases would now be in 4:3 or 16:9, and feature the original uncut version, the hybrid E4 version, or an even more toned-down edition of this scene, I guess we'll never truly know. (Joss Whedon, the show's creator, wants the show to only be seen in 4:3, across all episodes. Europe and modern-TV channels, want the show in 16:9, so there's been a consistent battle between him, the fans and TV networks, over which version is the correct one, and there are lengthy debates online as to which is best and who is right.)

Also, despite Seasons 1, 2 and 3 all airing in 4:3, and Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7 in 16:9, which is how BBC2 aired them and which the UK and Australian DVD's replicate the US releases are all in 4:3. E4, however, have broadcast all episodes and all Seasons in 16:9 (and the first two Seasons especially, don't look very well-framed, as people's heads are tightly framed, tops of heads have been cut-off, and everything just looks awkward and zoomed-in).



Half baked complaints...

200 people whinge to Ofcom about a coronavirus joke on The Great British Bake Off

Link Here24th September 2020
The Great British Bake Off has returned for another run, but this time with comedian Matt Lucas.

But it seems that a Matt Lucas joke has prompted a few worthless complaints to TV censor Ofcom.

Ofcom has said that about 200 people complained about a light hearted sketch about Boris Johnson addressing a coronavirus press conference from behind a podium bearing the message: Stay Alert, Protect Cake, Save Loaves.

An spokesperson said: We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate. This is Ofcom speak for the complaints already being thrown down the garbage disposal plughole.



Government protests...

Thailand threatens legal action against social media companies in its quest to censor criticism of the country's political system

Link Here24th September 2020
Full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime
Thailand aggressively defends its political system that is based on nominal democracy, but in reality has a monarchy led elite that holds all of the power. In particular Thailand hands out extreme punishments for political comments that criticise the monarchy system. The country uses its lese majeste law that punish people for insulting the monarchy, but of course criticising the political system is deemed to be insulting of the king.

The system has worked effectively under the previous well respected king, but the current incumbent is not so revered. It would be a brave person that would dare to rise above the parapet in the face of a 30 year prison sentence, but a current wave of protests was initiated by school children, and it proved not so easy to start sending kids to jail for 30 years. Now the momentum has spread to university students, and the government is seeking to censor social media postings in support of the protest movement.

But Google, Facebook and co have not responded to government censorship demands, and now the Thai government is turning to law to try and get the US companies to comply.

Digital minister Puttipong Punnakanta announced the move at a news conference saying that unless the companies send their representatives to negotiate or request further information, police can bring criminal cases against them. Of course the companies have googled for lese majeste and realise that any company such representatives may be risking 30 years jail time.

The digital ministry filed complaints with cybercrime police after the two firms missed a 15-day deadline to comply with takedown orders. It appears that YouTube did indeed take down some videos but Puttipong says more takedown orders will be issued to Facebook, Twitter and Google.



Commented: Intent to censor...

Scottish Injustice Secretary agrees to remove the worst part of his disgraceful speech censorship bill

Link Here24th September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A disgraceful speech censorship bill will be tweaked to remove at least they very worst parts of the bill. Injustice Secretary Humza Yousaf admitted they would curb freedom of speech.

The SNP minister says that the censorship will only apply to those with intent to stir up hatred against any group.  Previously the hatred would be as perceived by the easily offended. A disaster in the modern world where people claim offence at the  most trivial hint of an insult. Think religious offence of so called micro-aggressions or unconscious bias etc.

Yousaf said:

There is a real risk that if the offences don't require intent to stir up hatred, there could be a perception and indeed uncertainty that the operation of this aspect of the offences may be used to prosecute what are entirely legitimate acts of expression.

This in itself might lead to an element of self-censorship. This is not the aim of the legislation.

The Hate Crime Bill also adds new characteristics to the law, such as age and sex, but it was claimed the plans will curb civil liberties, criminalise comedy and even target religious books.

Yousaf  said that he is still pushing ahead with the bill. He confirmed the government will amend the Bill at the next stage of scrutiny, when MSPs start going through the plans line by line.

Opposition Tory MSPs said they want to see even bigger changes before the laws can be passed with support at Holyrood. Jamie Gillies, spokesman for the Free to Disagree Campaign against the stirring up plans, said:

There's still too low a threshold for offending, the wording is hopelessly vague, free speech provisions are inadequate, there is no 'dwelling defence', and people outside Scotland could be caught.

Withdrawing the 'stirring up' offences wholesale is the only way to resolve these complex issues and ensure that other, vital civil liberties are upheld. The fact that the government hasn't done this means opposition to the bill will continue for months to come. It's a missed opportunity.

Offsite Comment: Plan to amend Scottish hate crime bill isn't enough

24th September 2020. See article from

The National Secular Society has welcomed news that Scotland's current hate crime bill will be amended, but warned that offences within the bill remain a menace to free and open debate.



Offsite Article: Censorship is the greatest online harm...

Link Here24th September 2020
The UK government is planning a shocking clampdown on free speech online. By Radomir Tylecote

See article from



And Then There Were None...

France is the last country to change the controversial title of an Agatha Christie novel

Link Here23rd September 2020
The great-grandson of the British novelist Agatha Christie, James Pritchard, has belatedly decided to change the French title of the book 'Ten Little Niggers'. An initiative taken many years ago in the English speaking world. Since the 1980s the book has been titled 'And Then There Were None'.

Now the book, which was originally published in 1939, has just been retitled in France from 'Dix petits nègres' to 'Ils étaient dix'  (They Were Ten).

Pritchard commented:

This story is based on a popular nursery rhyme that is not signed by Agatha Christie. I'm pretty sure the original title was never used in the US. In the UK it was changed in the 1980s and today we change it everywhere.

Agatha Christie was above all there to entertain and she would not have liked the idea of someone being hurt by one of her turns of phrase (...) If only one person felt this, it would already be too much! We must no longer use terms that could hurt: this is the behavior to adopt in 2020. "

In addition to the title an island in the book, called the Île du Nègre is also changing its name. The word "negro" appears 74 times in the text and all of these have been revised.



Catty censors...

Iranian stage play censored over the presence of a cat on stage

Link Here23rd September 2020
The presence of a cat in a play staged in Tehran by the prominent Iranian director Mohammad Rahmanian has unleashed the country's censorship authorities to ban the production.

The six-episode play, Love in Days of Corona [virus] , starring Mahtab Nasirpour, Sima Tirandaz, and Behnoosh Tabataba'ei, was blocked after three nights due to censorship issues.

In a statement read to the audience at the beginning of the fourth night of the show, Rahmanian announced:

By the 'will' and demand of the Supervisory Council of the Dramatic Arts Center and the Director-General of the Dramatic Arts department, a part of the six-episode play, the 'Lady and the Cute Cat,' starring Behnoush Tabataba'ei, is facing supervisory issues, and eliminated.

Love in Days of Corona[virus] inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera premiered in the courtyard of Vahdat Hall on Thursday, September 17.



Google wants to add your official ID to its surveillance database...

YouTube announces that it will require hard ID from EU viewers wanting to watch 18 rated videos

Link Here 22nd September 2020
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
Google has announced that it now going to use its AI technology to detect YouTube videos that it would like to see as restricted to adults. In addition it announced that it would be requiring hard ID to verify that EU based users are over 18. (Surely Google should be the last company on the planet where users would be willing to send there ID to). Google writes:

Today, our Trust & Safety team applies age-restrictions when, in the course of reviewing content, they encounter a video that isn't appropriate for viewers under 18. Going forward, we will build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions. Uploaders can appeal the decision if they believe it was incorrectly applied. For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, we expect these automated age-restrictions to have little to no impact on revenue, as most of these videos also violate our advertiser-friendly guidelines and therefore have limited or no ads.

To make sure the experience is consistent, viewers attempting to access age-restricted videos on most third-party websites will be redirected to YouTube where they must sign-in and be over 18 to view it. This will help ensure that, no matter where a video is discovered, it will only be viewable by the appropriate audience.

Because our use of technology will result in more videos being age-restricted, our policy team took this opportunity to revisit where we draw the line for age-restricted content. After consulting with experts and comparing ourselves against other global content rating frameworks, only minor adjustments were necessary. Our policy pages have been updated to reflect these changes. All the changes outlined above will roll out over the coming months.

Expanding Age-verification in Europe

In line with upcoming regulations, like the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), we will also be introducing a new age verification step over the next few months. As part of this process some European users may be asked to provide additional proof of age when attempting to watch mature content. If our systems are unable to establish that a viewer is above the age of 18, we will request that they provide a valid ID or credit card to verify their age. We've built our age-verification process in keeping with Google's Privacy and Security Principles.

We understand that many are turning to YouTube at this time to find content that is both educational and entertaining. We will continue to update our products and our policies with features that make sure when they do, they find content that is age-appropriate.




Another religious broadcaster fined for inciting violence

Link Here21st September 2020
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check
Ofcom explained its fine for Panjab Radio:

Panjab Radio is a faith and cultural radio station for the UK Asian community, broadcasting in Punjabi.

On 24 August 2018 at 22:00 Panjab Radio broadcast the Shamsher Singh Rai Programme, an occasional show on the station, with around four editions per month. The programme focused on Punjabi poetry and featured live calls from listeners expressing their feelings through poetry.

During this programme, the presenter advocated, justified and supported violent retributive action against those he considered to have shown disrespect towards Sikh places of worship. He did this without challenge or other sufficient contextual justification.

In accordance with Ofcom's Procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in breaches of broadcast licences, Ofcom considered whether the Code breaches were serious, deliberate, repeated or reckless so as to warrant the imposition of a sanction on Panjab Radio.

Having considered the representations made to us, Ofcom has decided to impose a financial penalty of £30,000 and to direct the Licensee to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.



The Social Dilemma...

New Zealand film censor addresses a Netflix documentary that includes extracts from a film banned by the censor

Link Here20th September 2020
Full story: Film censorship in New Zealand...At the Office of Film and Literature Classification
David Shanks, the New Zealand Chief Censor, writes:

There's a new documentary out on Netflix which is trending on social media and making headlines around the world.

Social Dilemma looks at how social media companies are exploiting human psychology and using surveillance and data mining to keep people addicted, all to make a huge profit. It explores impacts like the declining mental health of populations, the rise of fake news and conspiracies, and giving terrorists a platform to promote hate and livestream their crimes.

It was the part about livestreaming that brought it to my attention. We received a complaint from a member of the public last week -- just after the documentary was released -- saying that it contains excerpts from the Christchurch terrorist's video which he livestreamed on Facebook on 15 March 2019.

I had banned that same video in New Zealand days after the attacks. I classified it as an unlawful (objectionable) publication in New Zealand for its promotion of terrorism and extreme violence.

So was it illegal for Netflix to stream this documentary in New Zealand?

The answer is no. As we detailed in guidance we issued at the time , classification of the livestream video in its entirety doesn't mean that every excerpt from the livestream is unlawful, although we had urged media to demonstrate extreme care in the treatment of this material.

The clips that are used in Social Dilemma support the documentary's narrative, yet it's important to remember that they show a real-life atrocity in New Zealand, that happened only last year, and they show real people. The timing couldn't be worse. Survivors and relatives of those who were subject to the attacks have only recently worked through the sentencing process.

I watched the documentary, and I was deeply concerned about this.

I asked Netflix to change their age rating for this documentary from 7+ to 13+ and to add a warning for Violence, including brief images from the Christchurch terror attacks, suicide references and content that may disturb. I also offered other options - to put up a warning screen at the start of the documentary or remove the footage of the attacks altogether but those options weren't taken up.

Netflix has since updated their rating and warning, which I appreciate.

The good news is that this type of situation is less likely to come up in the future. A recent law change means that from late next year, Netflix and other streaming services will be required by law to display New Zealand age ratings and content warnings on all films, shows and documentaries.

If you plan to watch Social Dilemma, I recommend that you watch with care and consider those around you that may be triggered by the content.



Offsite Article: Ex-UK cyber chief warns of Chinese data grab...

Link Here20th September 2020
Full story: TikTok Snooping...Chinese App comes under fire for snooping on users
Ciaran Martin on Huawei, TikTok and the real danger facing Europe.

See article from



EFF Urges Senate to Stop EARN IT Act...

Bill curtails Section 230 which will lead to state regulation of online adult content, as well as other censorship

Link Here19th September 2020

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the 30-year-old advocacy group that has been a pioneer in defending digital civil liberties, sent a letter this week to the United States Senate, opposing the controversial EARN IT Act -- which the EFF says will result in online censorship that will disproportionately impact marginalized communities, will jeopardize access to encrypted services, and will place at risk the prosecutions of the very abusers the law is meant to catch.

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, or EARN IT, is designed to roll back protections for online platforms under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Section 230 is widely considered the First Amendment of the Internet. As AVN reported last month, the law is not only the backbone of open online communications, but for adult content online as well.

Efforts to roll back Section 230 protection will have a significant adverse impact on the adult entertainment industry if passed, First Amendment attorney Lawrence Walters told AVN in August. Any change to Section 230 could result in restrictive content moderation rules or elimination of the platforms themselves.

Platforms would be required to earn the protections currently afforded by Section 230 by following a set of vaguely defined best practices to prevent illegal activities, specifically sex trafficking and Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM), if EARN IT passes.

Under EARN IT, states will be free to impose any liability standard they please on platforms, including holding platforms liable for CSAM they did not actually know was present on their services, EFF warned in its letter to the Senate. Nothing in the bill would prevent a state from passing a law in the future holding a provider criminally responsible under a 'reckless' or 'negligence' standard.

In other words, under EARN IT, state governments could punish online platforms for almost anything that could be broadly interpreted as CSAM or Sex trafficking, even bringing criminal charges against site operators. The dangers for the adult industry are clear if states are allowed to define a wide range of sexual content as promoting sex trafficking.

But sex worker advocacy groups have also warned that the EARN IT law could lead to increased surveillance of workers in the sex industry. EFF also addresses the surveillance threat in its letter to the Senate.

End-to-end encryption ensures the privacy and security of sensitive communications such that only the sender and receiver can view them, the group wrote. But the EARN IT Act threatens to undermine and disincentivize providers from providing strong encryption.

The EFF compares EARN IT to a previous sex trafficking law, FOSTA/SESTA, which is the only law so far passed that actually curtails Section 230 protections, in cases when sites are deemed to promote online sex trafficking. But that law had the opposite effect from its stated intention.

Instead, it has forced sex workers, whether voluntarily engaging in sex work or forced into sex trafficking against their wills, offline and into harm's way, EFF wrote. It has also chilled their online expression generally, including the sharing of health and safety information, and speech wholly unrelated to sex work.

In the letter, EFF urges the Senate not to fast track the EARN IT bill -- and to vote it down if or when it finally comes before the entire Senate. The bill passed through the Judiciary Commitee in July.



Strictly virtue signalling...

BBC responds to complaints about same sex dancers on Strictly Come Dancing

Link Here19th September 2020

Strictly Come Dancing
BBC One, September 2020

We've received complaints from some viewers about a same-sex pairing on the programme.

Our response

Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.



Time is ticking away for TikTok...

US authorities require that TikTok should no longer be available for download from this weekend

Link Here18th September 2020
Full story: TikTok Snooping...Chinese App comes under fire for snooping on users
Computer security investigators have long held that the TikTok app is a Trojan horse in that it offers a popular platform for sharing short videos whilst aggressively snooping on its users. For instance it was recently found to be grabbing passwords for other applications as they pass through the paste buffer from password managers to apps.

President Trump's administration had set a deadline that the Chinese app be sold to a US company that can sort out the security issues.

TikTok's owners ByteDance have indeed done a deal to partner with the US company Oracle. However the deal does not allow Oracle to get to see or control the app's software and to address US security concerns,

So the US has announced that beginning Sunday, it will be illegal to host or transfer internet traffic associated with WeChat and TikTok. The Trump administration is currently weighing a proposal involving ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent, and Oracle, designed to resolve the administration's national security concerns related to TikTok; the deadline for a deal is Nov. 12.



Rocky II uprated to 12A by the BBFC...

Perhaps as inevitable as a last gasp comeback to win a great victory against all the odds

Link Here18th September 2020

Rocky 2 is a 1979 USA sport drama by Sylvester Stallone.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire and Burt Young. BBFC link IMDb

Rocky Balboa is enjoying life. He has a lovely wife, Adrian, had a successful fight with Apollo Creed and is able to enjoy the money he earned from the fight and a new endorsement deal. Unfortunately, Rocky becomes embarrassed when failing to complete an advert and ends up working in a meat packing company. He believes that he will no longer have a career as a boxer. Apollo wants to rematch with Rocky to prove all his critics wrong that he can beat Rocky. Can Rocky once again have a successful fight?

Rocky was originally 'A' rated by the BBFC for 1979 cinema release and PG rated for home video until 2001.

Now it has just been uprated to 12A uncut for moderate violence for 2020 cinema release.

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Extract: Why is the government pushing unprecedented online censorship?...

Official plans are an authoritarian threat to our freedom of speech, and would prove a nasty surprise to most internet users. By Radomir Tylecote

Link Here 18th September 2020

The UK Government's 'Online Harms' plans will lead to sweeping online censorship unprecedented in a democracy. Some of the harms the plans describe are vague, like unacceptable content and disinformation. The new regulations will prohibit material that may directly or indirectly cause harm even if it is not necessarily illegal.

In other words, the regulator will be empowered to censor lawful content, a huge infringement on our freedoms. The White Paper singled out offensive material, as if giving offense is a harm the public need protection from by the state. In fact, the White Paper does not properly define harm or hate speech, but empowers a future regulator to do so. Failure to define harm means the definition may be outsourced to the most vocal activists who see in the new regulator a chance to ban opinions they don't like.

The government claims its proposals are inspired by Germany's 2017 NetzDG law. But Human Rights Watch has said the law turns private companies into overzealous censors and called on Germany to scrap it. NetzDG's other fans include President Lukashenko of Belarus, who cited it to justify a 2017 clampdown on dissent. Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party cited NetzDG as the model for its internet law. So did Venezuela. Chillingly, the plans bear a striking similarity to some of Beijing's internet censorship policies. The Cyberspace Administration of China censors rumours because they cause social harms.



Offsite Article: New World Order: The battle of the snowflakes...

Link Here18th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
This right-wing outrage culture is not helping the fight against wokeness. By Tom Slate

See article from



Don't mention the pandemic!...

Nintendo Switch censors covid keywords from in-game messaging

Link Here17th September 2020

While many are staying at home and escaping into virtual worlds, it's natural to discuss what's going on in the physical world. But Nintendo is shutting down those conversations with its latest Switch system update (Sep. 14, 2020) by adding new terms like COVID, coronavirus and ACAB to its censorship list for usernames, in-game messages, and search terms for in-game custom designs (but not the designs themselves).

While we understand the urge to prevent abuse and misinformation about COVID-19, censoring certain strings of characters is a blunderbuss approach unlikely to substantially improve the conversation. As an initial matter, it is easily circumvented: while our testing, shown above, confirmed that Nintendo censored coronavirus, COVID and ACAB, but does not restrict substitutes like c0vid or a.c.a.b., nor corona and virus, when written individually.

More importantly, it's a bad idea, because these terms can be part of important conversations about politics or public health. Video games are not just for gaming and escapism, but are part of the fabric of our lives as a platform for political speech and expression. As the world went into pandemic lockdown, Hong Kong democracy activists took to Nintendo's hit Animal Crossing to keep their pro-democracy protest going online (and Animal Crossing was banned in China shortly after). Just as many Black Lives Matter protests took to the streets, other protesters voiced their support in-game. Earlier this month, the Biden campaign introduced Animal Crossing yard signs which other players can download and place in front of their in-game home. EFF is part of this too204you can show your support for EFF with in-game hoodies and hats.

Nevertheless, Nintendo seems uncomfortable with political speech on its platform. The Japanese Terms of Use prohibit in-game political advocacy (eijitekina shuchou), which led to a candidate for Japan's Prime Minister canceling an in-game campaign event. But it has not expanded this blanket ban to the Terms for Nintendo of America or Nintendo of Europe.

Nintendo has the right to host the platform as it sees fit. But just because they can do this, doesn't mean they should. Nintendo needs to also recognize that it has provided a platform for political and social expression, and allow people to use words that are part of important conversations about our world, whether about the pandemic, protests against police violence, or democracy in Hong Kong.



Updated: Britain's got no talent for speaking openly about sensitive issues...

24,500 people complain to Ofcom about a Black Lives Matter dance performance on Britain's Got Talent

Link Here 17th September 2020
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing
Britain's Got Talent has been the subject of 10,267 viewer complaints from furious viewers over an act on the show. This is the second highest tally of complaints in the last ten years.

Ashley Banjo led the Diversity dance troupe in a Black Lives Matter routine. The performance, which saw Jordan's brother Ashley lying on the floor with a white police officer kneeling on him , referenced the death of George Floyd in the US. There were also backing dancers performing dressed in riot gear and the group took the knee during the performance.

Ashley reported that he had received a barrage of abuse over the performance. He tweeted:

So much to say... But I'll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support - Thank you. For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance - Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all. 

The Sun seemed a little reluctant to describe what the complaints were about but summarised that they were insisting that a political statement had no place on the talent show.

Update: More complaints

16th September 2020. See article from

TV censor Ofcom has confirmed the number of complaints for Britain's Got Talent have continue to rise over the weekend and now stand at 23,308.

 An ITV spokesman responded to the complaints:

Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT.

Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.

Update: Ofcom dismisses the complaints

17th September 2020. See report [pdf] from

Ofcom received approximately 24,500 complaints about this performance on Britain's Got Talent.

We also received a number of messages of support and praise for the performance. In summary, the complaints about the performance raised a range of concerns, including that it:

  • was unsuitable for a family audience due to themes of violence and racism;
  • encouraged societal division and was racist towards White people;
  • negatively portrayed White police officers, including in a depiction of the death of George Floyd, and encouraged violence against the police; and,
  • expressed support for the political organisation Black Lives Matter.
Ofcom has assessed this programme against the relevant rules in the Broadcasting Code. Our assessment is that this programme did not raise any issues which warranted investigation. In our view, Diversity's performance was an artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme.

Given the significant publicity surrounding this case and the high volume of complaints received, we have decided to publish our reasons for this assessment.



Miserable copyright...

TuneIn worldwide free radio app blocks UK internet users from listening in to foreign channels

Link Here16th September 2020
In 2019, the High Court of England and Wales ruled that by offering an index of non UK-based or unlicensed radio stations to UK residents, radio aggregator service TuneIn breached copyright.

In response the service has now geo-blocked thousands of stations leaving UK customers without their favorite sounds. Unless they use a VPN, then it's business as usual.

TuneIn is one of the most prominent providers of radio content in the world. Available for free or on a premium basis, its site and associated app provide access to more than 100,000 stations and podcasts. Unless you happen to live in the UK, which is now dramatically underserved by the company. Sued by Labels in the UK For Mass Copyright Infringement

In 2017, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group sued the US-based radio index in the High Court of England and Wales, alleging that the provision of links to stations unlicensed in the UK represented a breach of copyright.

One of the most interesting aspects of the case is that TuneIn is marketed as an audio guide service, which means that it indexes stations that are already freely available on the web and curates them so that listeners can more easily find them.

When stations are more easily found, more people listen to them, which means that TuneIn arguably boosts the market overall. Nevertheless, the labels claimed this was illegal and detrimental to the music industry in the UK on licensing grounds.

In response to the apparent decimation of its offering, TuneIn took to Twitter to address the complaints:

Due to a court ruling in the United Kingdom, we will be restricting international stations to prohibit their availability in the UK, with limited exceptions. We apologize for the inconvenience, the company wrote.

See further details in article from



What's in a name?...

Censoring an oblique reference to trans recognition

Link Here15th September 2020
An advertising poster reading I love JK Rowling at Edinburgh's railway station was censored for being too political and supposedly offensive.

Network Rail confirmed that the digital advertisement had been taken down because it breached its policy by promoting a political viewpoint. A Newtwork Rail source told the Times:

While the words were harmless, their context -- an acrimonious argument on social media between the author and her critics who accuse her of transphobia -- was likely to cause offence.

The poster had been bought by  a campaigner against reform of gender recognition laws.

Now the debate has moved onto Canada where a larger billboard version of the same poster has been taken down citing similar concerns about unwanted political controversy.

IN the meantime JK Rowlings has made an eloquent appeal for calm. She blogged:

I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I've outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection.

All I'm asking -- all I want -- is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.



Offsite Article: Best to banish kids from the grown up internet...

Link Here15th September 2020
Full story: ICO Age Appropriate Design...ICO calls for age assurance for websites accessed by children
A good summary of some of the unexpected consequences of internet censorship that will arise from ICO's Age Appropriate Design Code.

See article from



Surveillance backdoors...

The European Commission decides that EU privacy regulations will not apply to the surveillance of internet users when this is aimed at preventing child abuse

Link Here14th September 2020
The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on a temporary derogation from certain provisions of the ePrivacy Directive as regards the use of technologies by number-independent interpersonal communications providers for the processing of personal data and other data for the purpose of combatting child sexual abuse online .

A growing number of online services providers have been using specific technological tools on a voluntary basis to detect child sex abuse online in their networks. The law-enforcement agencies all across the EU and globally have been confronted with an unprecedented spike in reports of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, which go beyond their capacity to address the volumes now circulating, as they focus their efforts on imagery depicting the youngest and most vulnerable victim. Online services providers have therefore been instrumental in the fight against child sexual abuse online.

MEP David Lega commented:

I welcome this legislative proposal that allows online services providers to keep making use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, as a step forward in the right direction to fight against child sexual abuse online. The cooperation with the private sector is essential if we want to succeed in eradicating child sexual abuse online, identifying the perpetrators and the victims. It is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that online services providers are held responsible and prescribe a legal obligation for them to make use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, therefore enabling them to ensure that their platforms are not used for illegal activities.



Offsite Article: Embedded repression...

Link Here14th September 2020
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe
In advance of an EU court decision, the Advocate General gives his opinion that hot linking to another websites content requires copyright holder permission. By Andy Maxwell

See article from



Class action...

Privacy campaigner takes Google to court claiming illegal use of children's data

Link Here13th September 2020
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
Privacy campaigner Duncan McCann has filed a legal case accusing YouTube of selling the data of children using their service to advertisers in contravention of EU and UK law The case was lodged with the UK High Court in July and is the first of its kind in Europe.

It is understood that Google will strongly dispute the claim. One of its arguments is that the main YouTube platform is not intended for those under 13, who should be using the YouTube Kids app, which incorporates more safeguards.

Google is also expected to point to a series of changes that it introduced last year to improve notification to parents, limit data collection and restrict personalised adverts.

The case seeks compensation of £500 payable to those whose data was breached. But crucially it would set a precedent, potentially making YouTube liable for payouts to the estimated five million children in Britain who use the site as well as their parents or guardians.

McCann said:

It cannot be right that Google can take children's private data without explicit permission and then sell it to advertisers to target children. I believe it is only through legal action and damages that these companies will change their behaviour, and it is only through a class action that we can fight these companies on an equal basis.

The case, which focuses on children who have watched YouTube since May 2018 when the Data Protection Act became law, is backed by digital privacy campaigners Foxglove, and the global law firm Hausfeld. The case is not expected to come to court before next autumn and has been underwritten by Vannin Capital, a company which will take a cut of any compensation that remains unclaimed. The action will also depend on the outcome of another data and privacy case against Google which does not cover children.



Hating censorship...

Bid to ban man hating book in France inevitably leads to increased sales

Link Here12th September 2020
Sales of a French feminist book entitled I Hate Men have gone through the roof after a government official tried to have the work banned for inciting gender hatred.

Pauline Harmange's essay Moi les hommes, je les déteste explores whether women have good reason to hate men, arguing that this type of anger could actually be a joyful and liberating path, if it is allowed to be expressed.

While the work was expected to generate modest sales of a few hundred copies, its first three print runs were quickly snapped up after an adviser to France's gender equality ministry threatened the small publishing house Monstrograph with legal action if it didn't remove the offending material from shelves.

Presumably in response to the publicity, the ministry has now distanced itself from the matter, saying that the adviser was speaking in a personal capacity.

The book's publisher responded:

This book is not at all an incitement to hatred ... The title is provocative, but the subject matter is measured. It's an invitation not to force oneself to date or deal with men. At no time does the author incite violence.



Insulting law...

The Law Commission is consulting on changing the much abused 'malicious communications' law that is used to prosecute internet insults

Link Here11th September 2020
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

Reform of the law is needed to protect victims from harmful online behaviour including abusive messages, cyber-flashing, pile-on harassment, and the malicious sharing of information known to be false. The Law Commission is consulting on proposals to improve the protection afforded to victims by the criminal law, while at the same time provide better safeguards for freedom of expression.

In our Consultation Paper launched on 11 September 2020, we make a number of proposals for reform to ensure that the law is clearer and effectively targets serious harm and criminality arising from online abuse. This is balanced with the need to better protect the right to freedom of expression.

The proposals include:

  • A new offence to replace the communications offences (the Malicious Communications Act 1988 (MCA 1988) and the Communications Act 2003 (CA 2003)), to criminalise behaviour where a communication would likely cause harm.

    • This would cover emails, social media posts and WhatsApp messages, in addition to pile-on harassment (when a number of different individuals send harassing communications to a victim).

    • This would include communication sent over private networks such as Bluetooth or a local intranet, which are not currently covered under the CA 2003.

    • The proposals include introduction of the requirement of proof of likely harm. Currently, neither proof of likely harm nor proof of actual harm are required under the existing communications offences.

  • Cyber-flashing -- the unsolicited sending of images or video recordings of one's genitals -- should be included as a sexual offence under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This would ensure that additional protections for victims are available.

  • Raising the threshold for false communications so that it would only be an offence if the defendant knows the post is false, they are intending to cause non-trivial emotional, psychological, or physical harm, and if they have no excuse.

The consultation period will run until 18 December 2020.



Concentrating minds...

Chinese censors order that local media remains silent about the western backlash to Mulan's Xinjiang connections

Link Here11th September 2020
Mulan is a 2020 USA / Canada / Hong Kong children's action adventure by Niki Caro.
Starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen and Li Gong. IMDb

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

China is very much looking forward to the wide distribution of the new live action Disney film Mulan. But is not so keen on letting Chinese people know that the rest of the world is talking about the films links to the repression of muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Partly shot in Xinjiang, Mulan's credits included thanks to the authorities there, which prompted calls overseas for a boycott of the movie.

Now Chinese censors have told local media outlets not to carry any news stories about the western backlash to the movie.



Let go of filters!...

The EFF reports on what it has learnt about how the EU will implement its new internet censorship law in the name of copyright

Link Here11th September 2020
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

During the Article 17 (formerly #Article13) discussions about the availability of copyright-protected works online, we fought hand-in-hand with European civil society to avoid all communications being subjected to interception and arbitrary censorship by automated upload filters. However, by turning tech companies and online services operators into copyright police, the final version of the EU Copyright Directive failed to live up to the expectations of millions of affected users who fought for an Internet in which their speech is not automatically scanned, filtered, weighed, and measured.

EU "Directives" are not automatically applicable. EU member states must "transpose" the directives into national law. The Copyright Directive includes some safeguards to prevent the restriction of fundamental free expression rights, ultimately requiring national governments to balance the rights of users and copyright holders alike. At the EU level, the Commission has launched a Stakeholder Dialogue to support the drafting of guidelines for the application of Article 17, which must be implemented in national laws by June 7, 2021. EFF and other digital rights organizations have a seat at the table, alongside rightsholders from the music and film industries and representatives of big tech companies like Google and Facebook.

During the stakeholder meetings, we made a strong case for preserving users' rights to free speech, making suggestions for averting a race among service providers to over-block user content. We also asked the EU Commission to share the draft guidelines with rights organizations and the public, and allow both to comment on and suggest improvements to ensure that they comply with European Union civil and human rights requirements.

The Commission has partly complied with EFF and its partners' request for transparency and participation. The Commission launched a targeted consultation addressed to members of the EU Stakeholder Group on Article 17. Our response focuses on mitigating the dangerous consequences of the Article 17 experiment by focusing on user rights, specifically free speech, and by limiting the use of automated filtering, which is notoriously inaccurate.

Our main recommendations are:

  • Produce a non-exhaustive list of service providers that are excluded from the obligations under the Directive. Service providers not listed might not fall under the Directive's rules, and would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis;

  • Ensure that the platforms' obligation to show best efforts to obtain rightsholders' authorization and ensure infringing content is not available is a mere due diligence duty and must be interpreted in light of the principles of proportionality and user rights exceptions;

  • Recommend that Member States not mandate the use of technology or impose any specific technological solutions on service providers in order to demonstrate "best efforts";

  • Establish a requirement to avoid general user (content) monitoring. Spell out that the implementation of Art 17 should never lead to the adoption of upload filters and hence general monitoring of user content;

  • State that the mere fact that content recognition technology is used by some companies does not mean that it must be used to comply with Art 17. Quite the opposite is true: automated technologies to detect and remove content based on rightsholders' information may not be in line with the balance sought by Article 17.

  • Safeguard the diversity of platforms and not put disproportionate burden on smaller companies, which play an important role in the EU tech ecosystem;

  • Establish that content recognition technology cannot assess whether the uploaded content is infringing or covered by a legitimate use. Filter technology may serve as assistants, but can never replace a (legal) review by a qualified human;

  • Filter-technology can also not assess whether user content is likely infringing copyright;

  • If you believe that filters work, prove it. The Guidance should contain a recommendation to create and maintain test suites if member states decide to establish copyright filters. These suites should evaluate the filters' ability to correctly identify both infringing materials and non-infringing uses. Filters should not be approved for use unless they can meet this challenge;

  • Complaint and redress procedures are not enough. Fundamental rights must be protected from the start and not only after content has been taken down;

  • The Guidance should address the very problematic relationship between the use of automated filter technologies and privacy rights, in particular the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing under the GDPR.



Updated: Less Cuties...

Turkey's TV censor says it will block the movie Cuties from showing on the local Netflix service

Link Here10th September 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties ( Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. BBFC link IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

The Turkish government has said it will order Netflix to block local access to the movie Cuties. The country's TV censor claims the film contains images of child exploitation. Turkey's Family Ministry had previously said the film may cause children to be open to negligence and abuse, and negatively impact their psychosocial development.

Cuties is due to launch in the country on September 9. The movie was at the center of a furor last month when Netflix launched the film's international poster, which was widely criticized for sexualizing children. Netflix quickly apologized and removed the offending artwork, but not before the film was lynched on social media.

Update: BBFC rated

10th September 2020.

The Netflix UK release has been BBFC 15 rated uncut for rude humour, threat, dangerous behaviour, bullying, violence.

Update: New Zealand rating

20th September 2020. See article from

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification recommended Netflix make Cuties 16+ with a warning note: Violence, sexual references, bullying and offensive language.


Update: Questions in the Egyptian House

24th September 2020. See article from

Egyptian member of parliament John Talaat submitted Sept. 5 a parliamentary question to Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem in regard to the role of the Censorship of Works of Art (CACWA) in the content broadcast on Netflix.

Some of these works carry transgressions and abuses that the Egyptian society does not accept, and the censorship standards must be strictly applied to any artwork that is allowed to be broadcast in Egypt, Talaat said in a Sept. 5 statement.

In an Aug. 25 article in Al-Masry Al-Youm , journalist Suleiman Joudeh called on the Ministry of Culture and official bodies to review the works broadcast on Netflix .

Netflix's works have sparked controversy time and again, the latest of which was the film Cuties that topped Egypt's Google search list on Sept. 13, after it arrived at the platform and was criticized for depicting children in a sexual and inappropriate way.



Offsite Article: Censorship in Sudan...

Link Here10th September 2020
Moderating harmful content online in Sudan: Policies and measures. By Mohamed Suliman

See article from



Dating banned...

Pakistan bans major dating apps including Tinder and Grindr

Link Here9th September 2020
Pakistan authorities have blocked Tinder, Grindr and three other dating apps for not adhering to local laws, its latest move to curb online platforms deemed to be disseminating immoral content.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said it has sent notices to the management of the five apps, keeping in view the negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming. PTA said the notices issued to Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi sought the removal of dating services and moderation of live streaming content in accordance with local laws.

Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower shows Tinder has been downloaded more than 440,000 times in Pakistan within the last 12 months. Grindr, Tagged and SayHi had each been downloaded about 300,000 times and Skout 100,000 times in that same period.



Offsite Article: A new version...

Link Here8th September 2020
The BBFC is just about to launch a new website




Scratch scratched...

China bans website of coding language for kids

Link Here8th September 2020
According to, a site that monitors internet censorship in China, internet users in China cannot access Scratch's website anymore.

Scratch programming language was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. There are around 60 million kids who use Scratch's interactive programming features to learn how to make games, animated stories, and more. A total of 5.65% or 3 million Scratch users reside in China.

The censorship seems re lated to a Chinese news report about the projects on Scratch on August 21. It claimed that the platform harbored a great deal of humiliating, fake, and libelous content about China, that included placing Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan in a dropdown list of independent countries.

The report says that any service distributing information in China has to comply with the local regulations. It also suggested that Scratch's website and user forum had been banned in the country.

It is unclear whether the ban is temporary or a permanent one. In any case, if the ban is proven permanent then China will probably whip up a home-baked alternative.



Extract: Stop deleting our comedy shows -- what we watch shouldn't be heavily restricted...

TV is now a battleground for society's culture wars. The new director of the BBC might axe left-wing comedy, but humour exposes what defines, unites and divides us

Link Here 8th September 2020

Only a few months ago, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, producers at major channels and streaming services quickly made moves to clear their catalogues of anything that could be perceived as racist. In this rush, the most iconic episode of Fawlty Towers was removed. It later reappeared with a warning at the start.

At Index on Censorship, as part of a report in the upcoming autumn issue, we did a tally of just how many shows had been taken off air. The result? Dozens. And some of the biggest as well. On the BBC, Little Britain was taken down in its entirety. The same fate befell Bo' Selecta! from All4. Other has-beens include episodes from 30 Rock and Scrubs .

...Read the full article from



Live action protest reaction...

Asian activists call for a boycott of Disney's Mulan over star's support for China in the Hong Kong democracy dispute

Link Here7th September 2020
Mulan is a 2020 USA / Canada / Hong Kong children's action adventure by Niki Caro.
Starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen and Li Gong. IMDb

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

Disney's Mulan is facing calls for a boycott in some Asian countries. Liu Yifei, the live-action film's star, first angered fans last year with comments supporting Hong Kong's police, who have been accused of violence towards pro-democracy protesters.

Now Thai and Taiwanese activists are also telling people not to see Mulan.

During a period of unrest Chinese-born actress Liu Yifei - who's an American citizen - shared a post from the government-run Beijing newspaper People's Daily on Weibo saying:

I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong.




Rajan Zed whinges abut a ballet production

Link Here7th September 2020
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed has called on Houston Ballet to cancel the ballet La Bayadère.

Zed said in a statement saying that Houston Ballet, nation's fifth largest ballet company which claimed to be an "anti-racist organization", should not be in the business of callously promoting appropriation of traditions, elements and concepts of "others"; and ridiculing entire communities.

Zed said that this deeply problematic ballet was just a blatant belittling of a rich civilization and exhibited 19th-century orientalist attitudes. He urged non-profit Houston Ballet to apologize for such an inappropriate selection.

Zed also urged Houston Ballet Trustees Chair S. Shawn Stephens, Executive Director James Nelson and Artistic Director Stanton Welch to re-evaluate its systems and procedures so that such an inappropriate stuff did not slip through in the future. In addition, all Houston Ballet employees should be sent for cultural sensitivity training.



Sharing censorship...

Ofcom is consulting on updated EU censorship arrangements for video sharing platforms that are stupid enough to be based in the UK

Link Here6th September 2020
Ofcom commissioned research has identified (but not named) 2 adult video sharing sharing platforms that are based in the UK. It will be interesting to see how age verification requirements will effect these UK services trying to compete with the rest of world with no such requirements (for the moment).

Ofcom writes:

We are seeking evidence and information related to the new requirements that will apply to video-sharing platforms.

Video-sharing platforms (VSPs) are a type of online video service where users can upload and share videos. VSPs allow users to engage with a wide range of content and social features and are particularly popular among young people. 90% of adults and 98% of children aged 8-15 who use the internet have used a VSP in the past year.

Ofcom will be given new powers this autumn to regulate UK-established VSPs. This will include a duty to ensure that VSPs have in place appropriate measures to protect young people from potentially harmful content and all users from illegal content and incitement to hatred and violence. Services will also need to ensure standards around advertising are met.

This call for evidence sets out the background and legislative context to forthcoming VSP regulation in the UK and an overview of the VSP regulatory framework. It also sets out Ofcom's approach to VSP regulation based around some core principles: protection and assurance; freedom of expression; adaptability; transparency; enforcement; independence; and proportionality.



The British Wokecasting Corporation...

BBC adjudication about the anti-government rant by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight

Link Here6th September 2020
The BBC has published it consideration of complaints about an anti-government rant by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight. The BBC writes:

Newsnight, BBC Two, 26 May 2020 03 September 2020


A number of viewers complained that the opening section of the programme showed bias against the Government, and/or its Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings and that the programme was inaccurate to state that Mr Cummings had broken the rules on lockdown. The ECU considered the complaint in the light of the BBC's editorial standards of impartiality and accuracy.


This edition of Newsnight was broadcast at the height of the controversy over a journey taken by Mr Cummings with his family to Durham, and a subsequent trip to the nearby town of Barnard Castle. It sought to examine in detail the available evidence and assess the political fall-out from the decision by the Prime Minister to defend his Chief Advisor. The opening remarks, by the presenter Emily Maitlis, set the scene.

At the beginning of the programme:

Tonight, the public can see that Dominic Cummings broke the rules, so why is the Government tying itself in knots to defend him?

Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it's shocked the Government cannot. The longer ministers and the PM tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to the scandal is likely to be. He was the man, you may remember, who always got the public mood who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now; one of fury, contempt and anguish. He made those who struggle to keep to the rules feel like fools and has allowed many more to assume that they can flout them. The Prime Minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, and dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it. Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a Government minister but that won't stop us asking the questions.

Section 4 of the Editorial Guidelines demand due, rather than absolute impartiality, defined as adequate and appropriate to the output, taking account of the subject and nature of the content . Presenters may not give their opinion on controversial subjects but are allowed to offer their professional judgements, provided they are rooted in evidence. It is against this guideline that the complaints have been assessed.

Some complainants have also argued that it was inaccurate to state Mr Cummings had broken the rules. To the extent that Ms Maitlis offered this as a statement of fact it would potentially engage Section 3 of the guidelines on accuracy. However in the ECU's view, given the question of accuracy is in this case inextricably intertwined with that of impartiality, the latter is the pre-eminent test against which this broadcast must be judged.

In the ECU's view there was clear evidence at the time to support the assertion that many, though not all, voters felt anger at Mr Cummings' behaviour. The story had run prominently in the media for several days, and a petition calling on him to resign had gathered a large number of signatures - reaching one million shortly after the Newsnight broadcast. A number of Conservative MPs had also expressed disquiet, and the unhappy mood on the backbenchers was reflected in a later contribution from the programme's Political Editor Nick Watt. To that extent Emily Maitlis's opening remarks in relation to the public and political mood of the country were rooted in evidence and a legitimate professional, rather than personal, opinion. The ECU also took into account the fact that a programme like Newsnight is designed to provoke debate and discussion. Viewers expect presenters to ask difficult and challenging questions on their behalf and there is more latitude to play devil's advocate under such circumstances than in a conventional news bulletin.

BBC News say that the remarks were intended to explain the questions Newsnight planned to raise about Mr Cummings' trips. In the ECU's view however they went beyond an attempt to set out the programme agenda. The definitive and at times critical nature of the language -- asserting without qualification that Mr Cummings broke the rules, that the country could see that , and that the Prime Minister was guilty of blind loyalty in refusing to sack him, placed the presenter closer to one side of the debate over his behaviour. At the time of broadcast a statement from Durham Police had yet to be published and arguments over Mr Cummings' behaviour were largely based on varying interpretation of rules which lacked an agreed arbiter, and concerned laws yet to be tested in the Courts. In the ECU's view the opening remarks did not sufficiently acknowledge such uncertainties.

BBC News has conceded that the introduction did not meet the required standards on accuracy or impartiality. In earlier responses it accepted that more should have been done to explain the purpose of the piece, and that the script risked giving the perception that the BBC was taking sides and voicing an opinion on a controversial matter. Whilst some complainants believe BBC News should have gone further, in the ECU's view this is sufficient to judge the editorial matter resolved. This means that although a breach of standards has been identified, no further action is required.

Some complainants also expressed concern at the managerial response to the breach of standards. However the ECU's remit does not extend to judging whether disciplinary action against individual members of staff is warranted or what it should consist of, as that is a matter for BBC News and not the complaints process.

Complaint resolved



Unauthorised cuts...

Film censorship rather assumes that censors are more morally upstanding than the rest of us, but this wasn't the case in Lagos, Nigeria

Link Here6th September 2020
The Nigerian state of Lagos has its own film censorship board has suspended the chief censor for making claiming a non-existent 5% tax on digital platforms including Netflix and Iroko TV.

Executive Secretary of the State Film and Video Censors Board, Bamidele Balogun's suspension was handed down by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. In a statement, the government denied levying the tax explaining that the Executive Security acted alone without its authorization. The statement reads:

It reads in part: There is no levy on audio and visual contents of all physical and digital platforms in Lagos State. The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun, is said to have announced a five percent levy.

The government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media. The Executive Secretary, who was not authorised to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative enquiry.



Improvements peeled back...

Apple delays privacy changes designed to restrict advertiser tracking people's web history

Link Here5th September 2020
Apple has delayed the implementation of new privacy measures designed to stop apps and websites tracking people online without their consent. The proposed policy means that apps will have to ask a user's permission to access the ad-tracking ID on an iPhone or iPad. This permission will be set to off be default.

In addition, apps will have to declare what data they collect and how they track people in Apple's App Store. Another new security feature will highlight when an app accesses information on the user's clipboard. (TikTok for instance has been caught continually scanning the paste buffer, even when in background and hence being able to capture other apps' passwords held in password managers).

The measures were due to arrive in the latest iOS 14 update in the autumn. But Apple said the changes were being delayed until the start of 2021 to give app developers and websites more time to adapt their services.

Facebook has warned that Apple's privacy plan could make one of its advertising tools so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.



Hating free speech...

Nicola Sturgeon acknowledges significant criticism of her disgraceful 'hate crime' censorship bill

Link Here4th September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
Nicola Sturgeon has suggested disgraceful censorship proposals could be overhauled to listen to concerns that new laws will diminish freedom of speech.

The plans have faced criticism from a range of voices over worries that freedom of speech will be eroded. The Scottish parliament's justice committee received almost 2,000 submissions in response to a consultation on the bill. The committee's convener has described this response as unprecedented.

Even the police criticised the plans. The Scottish Police Federation has said ministers have grossly underestimated policing costs associated with the bill.

Sturgeon said in a speech to the Scottish Parliament:

I want to give an assurance that we will listen carefully. Freedom of speech and expression is fundamental in any democracy.

There's really good reasons why we need to make sure we've got laws in this country that are capable of tackling hate crime because it is pernicious and horrible and we should have zero tolerance to it.

We've got to do that in a way that respects and protects people's legitimate freedom of speech and expression. As with so many really important things we do in society, these are not always straight forward things -- they involve striking balances and they involve getting into the real detail of how we get this right.

We're at the start of a legislative process. I think the right thing to do is to listen to concerns, to go through the committee scrutiny process and if there are amendments we need to make to reassure people who have legitimate concerns, we certainly give an undertaking to do that.

We hear these concerns and we want to navigate a way through this bill that does what we want to do around hate crime but doesn't leave people thinking the legitimate right to freedom of speech is being compromised.



Offsite Article: Facebook's purge of left-wing radicals...

Link Here4th September 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Having abandoned free speech, the left is in no position to defend itself from censorship. By Fraser Myers

See article from



Self restraint...

Betting and gaming trade association announces further age restrictions on the placement of internet advertising

Link Here3rd September 2020
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is the trade association for betting and gaming, representing betting shops, online gaming businesses and casinos. The association has announced that it will be restricting internet advertising to websites that can prove that they are targeting over 18s or else are targeting over 25s (without so much proof required). The association announced:

Tough new measures aimed at further preventing under-18s from seeing gambling adverts online have been unveiled by the Betting and Gaming Council.

The standards body, which represents the regulated betting industry excluding the National Lottery, unveiled the crackdown as it published the Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.

In future, BGC members must ensure that all sponsored or paid for social media adverts must be targeted at consumers aged 25 and over unless the website can prove its adverts can be precisely targeted at over 18s.

The new code also includes a requirement that gambling ads appearing on search engines must make clear that they are for those aged 18 and over. In addition, the adverts themselves must also include safer gambling messages.

YouTube users will also have to use age-verified accounts before they can view gambling ads, guaranteeing that they cannot be seen by under-18s. And BGC members will have to post frequent responsible gambling messages on their Twitter accounts.

The new code, which will come into force on 1 October, is the latest example of the BGC's determination to drive up standards within the betting and gaming industry.

Other measures include the whistle to whistle ban on TV gambling adverts, a requirement for 20% of all TV and radio ads to be safer gambling messaging, cooling off periods on gaming machines, encouraging deposit limits, new ID and age verification checks and massively increasing funding for research, education and treatment.




India bans118 Chinese apps

Link Here3rd September 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government has banned 118 mobile apps including PUBG Mobile.

This is the third wave of the ban after the government previously banned Chinese apps like TikTok and others in the first two waves that were announced in June and July respectively.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said: view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 118 mobile apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.

The friction between India and China over border disputes is coupled with the realisation that many Chinese apps are snooping on Indian users and relaying sensitive user data back to base.

The banned apps are:

1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
2. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
6. Cut Cut -- Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
7. Baidu
8. Baidu Express Edition
9. FaceU - Inspire your Beauty
10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
11. CamCard - Business Card Reader
12. CamCard Business
13. CamCard for Salesforce
14. CamOCR
15. InNote
16. VooV Meeting - Tencent Video Conferencing
17. Super Clean - Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
18. WeChat reading
19. Government WeChat
20. Small Q brush
21. Tencent Weiyun
22. Pitu
23. WeChat Work
24. Cyber Hunter
25. Cyber Hunter Lite
26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
27. Super Mecha Champions
28. LifeAfter
29. Dawn of Isles
30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
31. Chess Rush
32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
36. Dank Tanks
37. Warpath
38. Game of Sultans
39. Gallery Vault - Hide Pictures And Videos
40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
43. AppLock
44. AppLock Lite
45. Dual Space - Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
46. ZAKZAK Pro - Live chat & video chat online
47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
48. Music - Mp3 Player
49. Music Player - Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
51. Cleaner - Phone Booster
52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
53. Video Player All Format for Android
54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
55. Photo Gallery & Album
56. Music Player - Bass Booster - Free Download
57. HD Camera - Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
59. Music Player - MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
60. Gallery HD
61. Web Browser - Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
62. Web Browser - Secure Explorer
63. Music player - Audio Player
64. Video Player - All Format HD Video Player
65. Lamour Love All Over The World
66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
67. MV Master - Make Your Status Video & Community
68. MV Master - Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
73. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
74. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
75. Z Camera - Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
76. GO SMS Pro - Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
78. Ulike - Define your selfie in trendy style
79. Tantan - Date For Real
80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
81. Kitty Live - Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
83. Alipay
84. AlipayHK
85. Mobile Taobao
86. Youku
87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
88. Sina News
89. Netease News
90. Penguin FM
91. Murderous Pursuits
92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
94. HUYA LIVE -- Game Live Stream
95. Little Q Album
96. Fighting Landlords - Free and happy Fighting Landlords
97. Hi Meitu
98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
99. VPN for TikTok
100. VPN for TikTok
101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
103. iPick
104. Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
105. Parallel Space Lite - Dual App
106. "Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
108. AFK Arena
109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
111. Mafia City Yotta Games
112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
117. Soul Hunters
118. Rules of Survival



Updated: Warning: this product contains nuts...

Distributors of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure add ludicrous PC caption about outdated stereotypes

Link Here3rd September 2020
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 USA comedy Sci-Fi romance by Stephen Herek.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and George Carlin. BBFC link IMDb

Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter), are in danger of flunking school most heinously if they fail their history exam, and if they do they'll have to break up their totally bodacious band, WYLD STALLYNS. No way!

Mark writes:

I've just bought the new Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure DVD and can report that there is a caption added to the film warning viewers of outdated stereotypes that some people may find offensive.

Basically, we can expect to see it more on DVD's and Blu Ray's, now.

The distributors are Studiocanal. And no doubt their virtue signalling will prove more divisive than curative of social ills.

warning contains nuts 

Update: Flash trigger

3rd September 2020. Thanks to Ben

Flash Gordon had the same warning which seems... extra unnecessary because it was already had a BBFC warning for discriminatory stereotypes. I don't see a problem with these warnings if it means the film itself is uncut.

The trigger warning seems related to the presumption that the Emperor Ming character is poking fun at the Chinese. The warning reads:

flash gordon warning caption



Adieu liberte...

France will fine people for insulting local politicians

Link Here2nd September 2020
Full story: Free Speech in France...'Liberte' lost in ,modern times
Any insult targeted at a French mayor will now be considered an offence that carries a maximum penalty of community service or a 7,500 euro fine.

Frances minister of 'justice' Eric Dupond-Moretti announced the decision claiming that an insult to a mayor is an insult to France. He promised that from now on there will be a systematic, immediate and proportionate answer to any aggression.



Updated: The British Wokecasting Corporation...

Tim Davie takes over at the BBC and promises to rein in its political bias

Link Here2nd September 2020
Tim Davie officially takes over from previous BBC Director-General Tony Hall today.

Davie thinks comedy broadcast by the BBC is perceived as targeting the Conservative party more often than it does the left. He strangely omits to mention a similar bias in the BBC's anti-government news shows, notably Emily Maitlis and Newsnight.

The corporation's new director-general is due to outline the issue in his first speech on Thursday. Advance news releases  say the BBC will commit to producing material that is more inclusive of beliefs across the political spectrum.

Davie hopes this will help restore trust and confidence in the public broadcaster as it faces questions over the future of its publicly-funded model.

Sources have said no firm decisions have been made on how the BBC will tackle perceptions of left-wing bias, though they did say some shows would be axed, hopefully this includes Newsnight. In addition, comedy panel shows will be expected to include guests with a broader range of views.

Update: Hope but little glory

2nd September 2020. See article from

The BBC has reversed its PC decision not to have Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory sung at The Last Night of the Proms. References to slaves were the reason for the ban, but the BBC spouted some unlikely bollox about coronavirus and singing.

The U-turn follows fierce criticism from the prime minister, the British people and much of the press. The original ban had prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene:

I cannot believe... that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land of Hope And Glory or Rule Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of The Last Night of The Proms.

I think it's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness.

I do think this country is going through an orgy of national embarrassment about some of the things that other people around the world love most about us. People love our traditions and our history with all its imperfections. It's crazy for us to go around trying to censor it. It's absolutely absurd and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the UK and our history.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Confident forward-looking nations don't erase their history, they add to it.

Now a select group of singers will now perform the songs after all.

The BBC's change of heart seems related to a change of boss with the incoming Tim Davie promising to be less woke than the outgoing Tony Hall.



Scotland's proposed hate law will disgracefully put an end to free speech...

...But...maybe it will at least put a stop to religious groups spouting hatred about gays and other religions

Link Here 1st September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A disgraceful censorship law proposed by Scotland's Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has been widely condemned by a wide range of religious and secular organisations. But Atheist Scotland says it could be useful to prevent faith leaders from expressing vitriol against a variety of groups including trans people and homosexuals.

Atheist Scotland's convenor, Ian Stewart, said in a letter to a local newspaper that group planned to monitor scripture, sermons in places of worship and social media accounts and report any hatred to Police Scotland for criminal investigation.

The Christian Institute, which opposes the legislation, warned preachers noting that it could expose church ministers to the risk of prosecution at the instigation of anti-religious zealots.

The law would make stirring up hatred against certain groups a criminal offence, even if a person making the remarks had not intended to do so or made them in private. Those found guilty would face up to seven years in jail.



Election notices...

Facebook announces that it will censor content to protect itself against being prosecuted under local laws

Link Here1st September 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook has announced changes to its Terms of Service that will allow it to remove content or restrict access if the company thinks it is necessary to avoid legal or regulatory impact.

Facebook users have started receiving notifications regarding a change to its Terms of Service which state:

Effective October 1, 2020, section 3.2 of our Terms of Service will be updated to include: We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.

It is not clear whether this action is in response to particular laws or perhaps this references creeping censorship being implemented worldwide. Of course it could be a pretext to continuing to impose biased political censorship in the run up to the US presidential election.



Price war...

Facebook says that if Australia forces social media to share news stories then Facebook will ban its users from sharing news articles

Link Here1st September 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook explains in a blog post:

Australia is drafting a new regulation that misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will do damage to the very news organisations the government is trying to protect. When crafting this new legislation, the commission overseeing the process ignored important facts, most critically the relationship between the news media and social media and which one benefits most from the other.

Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram. This is not our first choice -- it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia's news and media sector.

We share the Australian Government's goal of supporting struggling news organisations, particularly local newspapers, and have engaged extensively with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that has led the effort. But its solution is counterproductive to that goal. The proposed law is unprecedented in its reach and seeks to regulate every aspect of how tech companies do business with news publishers. Most perplexing, it would force Facebook to pay news organisations for content that the publishers voluntarily place on our platforms and at a price that ignores the financial value we bring publishers.

The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true. News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us. Still, we recognize that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy, which is why we offer free tools and training to help media companies reach an audience many times larger than they have previously.

News organisations in Australia and elsewhere choose to post news on Facebook for this precise reason, and they encourage readers to share news across social platforms to increase readership of their stories. This in turn allows them to sell more subscriptions and advertising. Over the first five months of 2020 we sent 2.3 billion clicks from Facebook's News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge -- additional traffic worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers.

We already invest millions of dollars in Australian news businesses and, during discussions over this legislation, we offered to invest millions more. We had also hoped to bring Facebook News to Australia, a feature on our platform exclusively for news, where we pay publishers for their content. S ince it launched last year in the US, publishers we partner with have seen the benefit of additional traffic and new audiences.

But these proposals were overlooked. Instead, we are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits. Unfortunately, no business can operate that way.

Facebook products and services in Australia that allow family and friends to connect will not be impacted by this decision. O ur global commitment to quality news around the world will not change either. And we will continue to work with governments and regulators who rightly hold our feet to the fire. But successful regulation, like the best journalism, will be grounded in and built on facts. In this instance, it is not.

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