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Censor Watch


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The Catholic League recommends...

Paul Verhoeven's latest film, Benedetta


Link Here30th September 2021
Full story: Catholic League...Always ready for a good whinge
Benedetta is a 2021 France/Belgium/Netherlands historical romance by Paul Verhoeven
Starring Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling and Daphne Patakia IMDb

A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair.

When US Catholics got wind of the fact that provocative film director Paul Verhoeven's latest film, Benedetta , contains scenes in which a statue of the Virgin Mary is used as a dildo, Catholic reacted with outrage, and the Catholic League, headed by Bill Donohue, expressed horror over the glowing reviews the movie was garnering.

At the weekend the movie premiered at the 59th New York Film Festival, and those attending it had to run the gauntlet of noisy protesters who claimed the movie was blasphemous. It was reported that the protesters were repeatedly saying Hail Marys into megaphones.

 

 

Macron conspires to turn France into an authoritarian state...

As he sets up a commission targeting conspiracy theorists


Link Here 30th September 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection
French president Emmanuel Macron has been slammed after he set up a commission to fight conspiracy theories which critics have labelled the thought police. He said he believes conspiracy theories are a poison to French society. Members will include 15 academics, as well as journalists, teachers and lawyers.

Macron has asked them to produce a report on topics including how to prevent internet algorithms enslaving society, how advertisers exploit fake news and how to prevent foreign rival powers from spreading information.

Macron said in a TV interview that conspiracy theories are a key problem for France which is battling the perspective that all views are equal, that those of someone who is not a specialist but who has an opinion on the coronavirus are just as valid as those of a scientist.

But Francois-Bernard Huyghe, a political scientist at the Institute for International and Strategic Affairs in Paris, has slammed Mr Macron's new commission. He said:

I don't think that multiplying laws, censoring social media accounts or treating people as cretins is the solution. It provokes the opposite effect to the one desired and the feeling that something is being hidden.

 

 

Dangerous tech...

Germany investigates Xiaomi phones over Lithuanian claims that they have built in censorship features


Link Here30th September 2021
The Lithuanian government has recommended that its citizens throw away Chinese smartphones , singling out devices from Xiaomi Corp for their censorship capabilities.

Last week, a report by the Lithuanian defence ministry's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) alleged that Xiaomi's Mi 10T 5G smartphone, which is widely sold in Europe, has a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as Free Tibet, Long live Taiwan independence or democracy movement.

The function at the centre of that report is supposedly advertising management software, which is used to shield users from ontent including pornography, violence and hate speech. According to a Xiaomi spokesman, such censorship tools are common in the smartphone and internet industry worldwide.

 

 

Offsite Article: 18-rated anime on the rise...


Link Here30th September 2021
The BBFC gets more censorious about sexy anime

See article from highimpactclassification.wordpress.com

 

 

I Am Samuel...

Kenya's film censor bans gay documentary


Link Here25th September 2021
Full story: Film Censorship in Kenya...Ban happy KFCB particularly for gay themese
I Am Samuel is a 2020 Kenya / Canada / UK / USA documentary by Peter Murimi
Starring Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell and Sasha Knight BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Filmed verite style over five years, I Am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned the gay documentary I am Samuel claiming that it sought to propagate values that are in dissonance with our constitution, culture values and norms. KFCB boss Christopher Wambua declared the film to be blasphemous and added:

Worse still, the production is demeaning of Christianity as two gay men in the film purport to conduct a religious marriage invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Directed by a Kenyan filmmaker, I Am Samuel depicts a romantic relationship between two men living in Nairobi and promotes same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life.

 

 

Mental Illness at the BBFC...

The BBFC positions itself as a saviour of mentally ill teens via its recent introduction of trigger warnings for films.


Link Here23rd September 2021
  Nightmares in a Damaged Brain DVD
 ..."with content often acting as a bridge for teens to explore their own mental health.

A survey commissioned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has revealed the three biggest mental health concerns for teens are anxiety, stress and depression, with 64% of 13-18-year-olds saying they want appropriate warnings on all films and TV shows featuring this content.

The research, by YouGov, showed that anxiety (50%), stress (38%) and depression (34%) were the issues that most concerned young people, followed by body image issues (30%), suicide (20%) and self-harm (20%).

Nearly seven in 10 teens (68%) say that seeing positive portrayals of mental health conditions on-screen breaks down stigma, and half (48%) said that seeing these depictions helps them understand issues around mental health.

It's clear that seeing mental health issues on screen can act as a bridge to open up discussions, with three quarters (75%) saying that positive portrayals can act as a springboard to get help. In fact, teens said that a scene in a film or TV show has even prompted them to talk to their friends (41%) or parents (39%) about mental health.

64%)of teens say they think content warnings are important, with young people going on to say that they help them protect their own mental health (40%), make informed decisions about what to watch (51%) and protect their younger siblings (23%) and friends (38%).

78% 13-18-year-olds think the media industry has an important role to play in showing mental health issues responsibly.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

Films and TV shows have a very important role to play, with content often acting as a bridge for teens to explore their own mental health. That's why the BBFC's role is more important than ever. We're here to give teens what they tell us they want, and need - easy to understand age ratings and content warnings, that are based on extensive research into the feelings and reactions of UK audiences, and reflect what people really think - so they can navigate their own experiences, and start talking about them with their friends and younger siblings.

It's very clear that concerns around what harms young people have moved on significantly. In 2021, teens are concerned about mental health, and how this can impact young people emotionally. For teens' emotional wellbeing and development, clear content warnings need to be displayed on all films and TV shows, whether that's in the cinema, on Blu-ray and DVD or on streaming services. We are calling on all streaming services to follow in Netflix's footsteps and carry trusted, well-known BBFC ratings and ratings info on 100% of content.

Further research by the BBFC showed that 97% of people say they benefit from age ratings being in place. 91% of people - and 95% of teenagers - want consistent age ratings that they recognise from the cinema and DVD to apply to content accessed through streaming services.

Well the BBFC have clearly failed on the consistent age ratings front, film ratings are being frequently changed from the previous submission of the same film and BBFC ratings originating from Netflix seem almost random.

Offsite Comment: Keep trigger warnings out of the cinema

23rd September 2021. See article from spiked-online.com by Joanna Williams

Forget sex and violence, film censors now want to protect us from mental distress.

 

 

Scared of a little dissent...

China bans criticism of its move to ban 'sissy boys' from TV


Link Here23rd September 2021
Full story: TV Censorship in China...TV censors SARFT
Following a recent national edict requiring Chinese TV to be kept free from sissy boys, a sneering term for men with styles unbound by traditional conceptions of masculinity, the Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau ordered stations to exercise tighter control over their actors' aesthetics, and to foster mainstream values and positive energy in the capital's audiovisual spaces.

A subsequent episode of Weibo censorship suggested widespread dissent against this move to protect mainstream television aesthetics.

 

 

 

 

Oliver! Asking for more re-ratings...

Another batch of previously wrong ratings corrected by the BBFC


Link Here17th September 2021
Oliver! is a 1968 UK children's drama by Carol Reed
Starring Mark Lester, Ron Moody and Shani Wallis BBFC link 2020 IMDb
The long running BBFC U rating has been changed to PG.

It also seems that BBFC database errors mean that the BBFC is no longer supplying consumer advice for several titles including this one.

The Giant Claw is a 1957 US Sci-Fi horror thriller by Fred F. Sears
Starring Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday and Morris Ankrum BBFC link 2020 IMDb
The film was X rated in 1957, U rated in 1996 and PG rated in 2021.

Sense And Sensibility is a 1995 US/UK romance by Ang Lee
Starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and James Fleet BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film has just been uprated from U to PG.

 

 

Politically defined free speech...

How the Online Safety Bill lets politicians define free speech


Link Here17th September 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media

The Joint Pre-Legislative Scrutiny committee has opened its work into the draft Online Safety Bill. Over the course of their enquiry, one area they must cover -- perhaps as their highest priority -- is the potential for the Bill to be abused as a means of politicising free speech, and your ability to exercise it.

As it has been drafted, the Bill gives sweeping powers to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, and potentially to the Home Secretary, to make unilateral decisions, at any time they please, as to what forms of subjectively harmful content must be brought into the scope of the bill's content moderation requirements. Shockingly, it allows them to make those decisions for political reasons.

These risks come in Part 2, Chapter 5, Section 33 of the draft, which states (emphasis our own):

(1) The Secretary of State may direct OFCOM to modify a code of practice submitted under section 32(1) where the Secretary of State believes that modifications are required--
(a) to ensure that the code of practice reflects government policy , or
(b) in the case of a code of practice under section 29(1) or (2), for reasons of national security or public safety.(nb this refers to terrorism and csea content)
(2) A direction given under this section--
(a) may not require OFCOM to include in a code of practice provisiion about a particular step recommended to be taken by providers of regulated services, and
(b) must set out the Secretary of State's reasons for requiring modifications (except in a case where the Secretary of State considers that doing so would be against the interests of national security or against the interests of relations with the government of a country outside the United Kingdom).
(3) Where the Secretary of State gives a direction to OFCOM, OFCOM must, as soon as reasonably practicable--
(a) comply with the direction,
(b) submit to the Secretary of State the code of practice modified in accordance with the direction,
(c) submit to the Secretary of State a document containing-- (i) (except in a case mentioned in subsection (2)(b)) details of the direction, and (ii) details about how the code of practice has been revised in response to the direction, and
(d) inform the Secretary of State about modifications that OFCOM have made to the code of practice that are not in response to the direction (if there are any).
(4) The Secretary of State may give OFCOM one or more further directions requiring OFCOM to modify the code of practice for the reasons mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1), and subsections (2) and (3) apply again in relation to any such further direction.

In other words, a government minister will have the authority to direct an (allegedly) independent regulator to modify the rules of content moderation on topics which are entirely subjective, entirely legal, and entirely political, and to order that regulator to enforce those new rules.

Online services, whether the biggest platform or the smallest startup, in turn, will have no choice but to follow those rules, lest they face potential penalties, fines, and even service blocking.

You don't have to be a policy expert, or a lawyer, to see how these illiberal powers could be misused and abused. We've already provided an example of how this blatant politicisation of the boundaries of free speech could be used to silence public debate on legal topics which the government of the day finds unacceptable, for example, migration . You may have strong opinions on that topic yourself, and you have every right to do so. However, your own ability to discuss that topic is on the table here too.

And as political currents shift and parties trade power, we risk a never-ending war of attrition where the government of the day simply silences topics, opinions, and opposition voices it does not want you to hear.

The political powers over free speech contained in the draft Bill are a rare area where the consensus is universal. Other groups, even those who are strongly in favour of the Bill, are equally uncomfortable with the level of government control over an allegedly independent regulator that has been placed on the table. These voices also include groups outside the UK who are alarmed by the potential these powers have to lower the UK's international standing as a free and democratic nation which upholds the right to freedom of expression.

This chorus should not be ignored. The clauses allowing government to politicise the boundaries of legal free speech have no place in this Bill, or indeed, in any Bill. As the pre-legislative scrutiny committee draws its conclusions, and as the draft Bill approaches its final form, these clauses must be deleted and left in the bin where they belong.

 

 

The Thin Blue Line...

1990's police comedy is a little bit thinner after being cut for BBC iPlayer


Link Here14th September 2021
The Thin Blue Line is a 1995 UK crime comedy by Ben Elton
Starring Rowan Atkinson, Mina Anwar and James Dreyfus BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Various mishaps at a police station in an English town. The main character is the anachronistic, yet charming and funny Inspector Fowler.

There are no film censor issues with this film but showings on BBC's iPlayer were cut when it was made available for streaming in 2021

The episode Ism Ism Ism has two scenes missing possibly due to political correctness.
  • The first scene cut is where Melvyn Hayes' character (appearing very effeminate) meets Inspector Grim and Grim mentions he's married with kids just show he's not homosexual.
  • The second cut occurs right at the end, again with Melvyn Hayes' character being removed.
Other episodes  in the series feature racist language (within context) which is not cut. Also the BBC doesn't seem to have an issue with the camp Constable Goody character. So perhaps it is the notion that it is somehow preferable to be seen as straight that has had to be censored by the BBC.

 

 

Russia tries to block VPNs...

Internet censor targets NordVPN, ExpressVPN and IPVanish


Link Here14th September 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Earlier this month Russian internet censor Roscomnadzor said it would begin blocking VPN providers including NordVPN, ExpressVPN and IPVanish to prevent access to information the government wishes to censor. It now appears that multiple online services have been disrupted including BitTorrent and Twitch, with multiple parties pointing the finger towards Russia's blocking tools.

After making broad threats against a range of services in 2019, Russia made good on its warnings by blocking two providers, VyprVPN and OperaVPN. Then, earlier this month, Roscomnadzor said it would block several more including Nord VPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, Hola! VPN, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, and Speedify VPN.

In advance of blocking the providers listed above, Russia reached out to the banking sector to ensure that any blocking wouldn't hurt their activities. According to Roscomnadzor, it received responses from 64 industry organizations, 27 of which use the mentioned VPN connections to support 33 technological processes. More than 100 IP addresses were presented in order to exclude them from access restriction policies.

After the new blockades came into effect, multiple online services reported that they were suffering connectivity issues. According to a Kommersant report, these include the game World of Tanks, gaming streaming service Twitch, FlashScore (a service used to access football scores and results), and even BitTorrent transfers.

 

 

Updated: Unbanning the right...

Bill preventing political censorship by social media companies passes in the Texas House of Representatives


Link Here11th September 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
The Texas House has passed House Bill 20, which addresses social media censorship, by a vote of 77 to 49. The bill now awaits approval by the state's senate.

The proposed law would make it illegal for social media platforms with more than 50 million users to censor the content of Texans based on viewpoint or geographical location.

The bill defines censorship as any action taken to edit, alter, block, ban, delete, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, regulate, restrict, inhibit, inhibit the publication or reproduction of, or deny equal access or visibility to expression, to suspend a right to post, remove, or post an addendum to any content or material posted by a user, or to otherwise discriminate against expression.

Update: Signed into law

11th September 2021. See article from cbsnews.com

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill that aims to stop social media companies from banning users or nixing posts based solely on political opinions.

The new law requires social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users to disclose their content moderation policies and institute an appeals process. It would also require such social media companies to remove illegal content within 48 hours.

Under the state legislation, users may sue the platforms to get their accounts reinstated, and the Texas attorney general would be able to file suits on behalf of users.

Abbott said in a statement:

We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 into law to protect first amendment rights in the Lone Star State. Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely 204 but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.

 

 

No support...

Malaysia's film censors ban bra adverts from TV


Link Here11th September 2021
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
Malaysia's Film Censorship Board (LPF) had sent a notice to two local TV stations instructing them that undergarments should not be shown regardless of it being worn by a model or a mannequin. The reason given was that any indecent visual displays, including advertising 'undergarments' will still offend the community.

A letter from the censors said:

The home ministry is of the view that the aforementioned content advertising innerwear is inappropriate to be shown for general viewing... and all broadcasts similar like this should be discontinued immediately.

Anna Har, co-founder of the Freedom Film Network, said the decision was unfortunate and yet another example of needless censorship in Malaysia. She said:

Since when are undergarments such an offensive item? They've been sold in pasar malams and supermarkets for years, this isn't pornography we're talking about.

 

 

Shrivelled nuts in North Carolina...

US drinks censors ludicrously ban abstract cartoon beer label for nudity


Link Here11th September 2021
Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewery is suing the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission for ludicrously rejecting its seasonal winter beer label depicting a naked cartoon claiming it's in bad taste.

The Freezin' Season Winter Ale features artwork designed by famed British illustrator Ralph Steadman of a stylized person standing naked by a campfire. The ABC Commission ruled that Flying Dog Brewery could not use the label under state laws that forbid undignified, immodest marketing.

In a federal lawsuit, the brewery accused the alcohol board of infringing on its constitutional right to free speech.

Jim Caruso, CEO of Flying Dog, said the lawsuit is about defending the First Amendment against petty bureaucrats who want to censor whatever they personally dislike.

The label has been approved in every other state within its 24-state distribution network, according to Flying Dog Brewery.

 

 

Offsite Article: Dishing out cuts...


Link Here11th September 2021
ITV cuts to Goldeneye

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 

Now we are all well trained to tick boxes without reading the consequences...

UK Government seeks an easier commercial environment to exploit data, but at least seeks to reduce silly cookie consent nonsense


Link Here 9th September 2021

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is set for an overhaul to drive greater innovation and growth in the UK's data sector and better protect the public from major data threats, under planned reforms announced by the Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.

One year on from the publication of the National Data Strategy, the government has today launched a wide-ranging consultation on proposed changes to the UK's data landscape. As part of this, a new governance model is planned for the ICO, including an independent board and chief executive to mirror the governance structures of other regulators such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Ofcom.

This follows the selection of John Edwards as the government's preferred candidate as the new Information Commissioner, who is currently serving as the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner.

Now that we have left the EU, the government wants to create a pro-growth and trusted data regime that unleashes data's power across the economy and society, for the benefit of British citizens and British businesses.

The reforms outlined in this consultation will:

  • Cement our position as a science superpower, simplifying data use by researchers and developers of AI and other cutting edge technologies.

  • Build on the unprecedented and life-saving use of data to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Secure the UK's status as a global hub for the free and responsible flow of personal data - complementing our ambitious agenda for new trade deals and data partnerships with some of the world's fastest growing economies.

  • Reinforce the responsibility of businesses to keep personal information safe, while empowering them to grow and innovate.

  • Ensure that the ICO remains a world-leading regulator, enabling people to use data responsibly to achieve economic and social goals.

 

 

Chinese censorship tanks crush those lying in their path...

Hong Kong police arrest those running a museum about the Tiananmen Square protests


Link Here 9th September 2021
Full story: Human Rights in China...Chinese round up the usual suspects

A museum commemorating the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has been raided by Hong Kong police.

Four members of the group that ran the museum, the Hong Kong Alliance, were detained.

The museum was already closed down by officials in June.

The national security unit had earlier requested that the group, The Hong Kong Alliance hand over information, reportedly including personal details of all members since the group's founding and financial records. The alliance members responded in a letter explaining their refusal to co-operate. The next morning, police officers arrested members of the alliance's standing committee at their homes or offices.

 

 

Robocop...

Singapore launches dystopian robots to police bad behavior


Link Here9th September 2021
Singapore is testing the use of patrol robots as the new addition to its mass surveillance infrastructure and the pair of machines, named "Xavier," will have the task of making sure the country's residents behave themselves in public spaces.

Singapore's Home Team Science and Technology Agency announced a 3 week trial of the technology before it is handed over to the local police. The intent is to use the robots as supplementary workforce to help out Singapore's public officers.

The "Xaviers" are fitted with cameras and networked with a command and control center, and report back on people's "bad behavior" in real time.

And what qualifies for bad social behavior in Singapore right now is falling afoul of COVID restrictions, but also things like parking your bike where you're not supposed to, or smoking in public areas.

There is also a re-educational element, as the robots will show messages instructing humans on what the expected, "proper" social behavior should be.

 

 

Security with as many holes as Swiss cheese...

Supposedly secure ProtonMail service snoops on French climate activist on orders from a Swiss court


Link Here9th September 2021
Encrypted-email company ProtonMail sells itself on its privacy features, promising to let uses take control of their personal data.

But it had been legally obliged to collect data from an account said to be linked to a climate activist arrested by French police.

ProtonMail's website previously claimed encrypted emails cannot be shared with third parties. And as well as offering end-to-end encryption, it did not, by default, keep any IP [Internet Protocol] logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account.

ProtonMail has now removed the claim from the front page of its website, which it said it would update to clarify its obligations in cases of criminal prosecution. Its privacy policy now says: If you are breaking Swiss law, ProtonMail can be legally compelled to log your IP address as part of a Swiss criminal investigation.

The company also publishes reports of the requests for information it receives. And last year, it received more than 3,500 requests for assistance from Swiss authorities.

The company said it stood with activists and suggested those seeking anonymity also use The Onion Router (Tor) network, which hides users IP addresses under several layers of security.

 

 

Censorship is a mugs game...

The advert censor is wound up by jokey coffee mugs with rude words


Link Here7th September 2021

A paid-for display ad for Banter King, an online novelty goods retailer, seen on 27 April 2021 in the Sky Sports app, featured images of several mugs, three of which stated COCK HUNGRY WHORE, MY SON IS A CUNT HE GETS IT FROM HIS FATHER and LIVE LAUGH TOSSER.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was:

  1. likely to cause serious or widespread offence; and

  2. irresponsibly targeted. Response

Banter Group Ltd told us that they had not intended to cause offence. They said that they would be stricter on how and where they placed ads in the future, and had also disabled any products with potentially offensive aspects from appearing on their ads.

Sky told us that it was not an ad they would normally allow on their platform, and that it had not been shown because of a proactive scheduling decision. They explained that they had tried to ensure the Sky Sports app only carried suitable advertising by utilising a strong block list and having rules in place across their ad server and third-party vendors, which were designed to prevent unsuitable or offensive ads from appearing. They also told us that they carried out weekly manual checks on ads on their platforms, and removed inappropriate content when they became aware of it.

However, they explained that despite those controls occasionally content that did not meet their standards could get through their filters, which had happened in this case. They explained that could occur where ads came through under masked URLs, bypassing their blocks, or where the ads were based on a user's cookies, cache, or their search history.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The Code required marketers to avoid causing serious or widespread offence, and to ensure that ads were appropriately targeted. We acknowledged Banter Groups assurance that they had taken steps to prevent products with the potential to cause offence from appearing in ads in the future.

However, consumer research by the ASA and others showed the use of the words such as cunt was so likely to offend, that they should not be used at all in marketing communications even if they were relevant to the product, unless very carefully targeted to an audience that was unlikely to be offended by them.

We further considered that the words cock and whore were strong swear words that were also likely to cause serious offence to a general audience.

The Sky Sports app was rated as having content suitable for all ages, and we considered it was likely to appeal to a broad audience. The advertiser provided no information on how they targeted their advertising, or if they used interest-based criteria when doing so.

We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and had not been responsibly targeted.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Banter Group Ltd to take care to avoid causing serious or widespread offence in future and to ensure their ads were appropriately targeted.

 

 

Perhaps High Court judges should be held responsible for all the shit that unviable judgements cause...

Australian court finds that companies liable for reader posts on their social media pages as if the company itself were the publisher


Link Here7th September 2021

A publisher can be held responsible for defamatory comments readers leave on its Facebook pages, the Australian High Court has ruled, in a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for social media users throughout Australia.

This decision may mean anyone who runs a social media page can theoretically be sued over disparaging comments posted by readers or random group members -- even if you aren't aware of the comment.

In other words, if you post content on your social media page and encourage or invite comments -- and people post defamatory comments there -- you're legally the publisher of those comments and can be sued, thanks to today's ruling.

The case focused on Facebook but the implications are not Facebook-specific. It can apply equally to Twitter, Instagram, and other social media too -- or websites (such as The Conversation) that have comments sections.

Facebook and Instagram page administrators can turn off comments altogether, and Twitter allows you to restrict comments so only certain people can post to it.

The ruling may inspire many social media account managers to make greater use of these features and tightly restrict comments -- or, where possible, switch them off completely.

 

 

Offsite Article: Government GitHub...


Link Here7th September 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
How the draft Online Safety Bill would affect the development of Free/open source software. By Neil Brown

See article from decoded.legal

 

 

Malcolm X...

Another bizarre BBFC rating from the Netflix Random Rating Generator


Link Here5th September 2021
Malcolm X is a 1992 US/Japan historical biography by Spike Lee
Starring Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett and Delroy Lindo BBFC link 2020  IMDb
There are no censorship issues with this release beyond noting that the BBFC thinks the film is 15 rated whilst Netflix bizarrely think it's an 18.

In the US the film is rated PG-13 for a scene of violence, and for drugs and some language

Summary Notes

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Versions

BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 201:41s
pal: 193:37s
18

15 1980

MPAA PG-13

UK: Passed 18 uncut with a BBFC trigger warning for violence, discrimination theme:
  • 2021 Netflix video
UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong violence, language and drug use:
  • 2012 Warner Home Video Ltd video
UK: Passed 15 uncut:
  • 2001 Pathe Distribution Ltd video
  • 1993 Guild Home VHS
  • 1993 cinema release

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for a scene of violence, and for drugs and some language

 

 

Netflix to continue using BBFC age rating symbols...

The BBFC decides to stick with the Netflix Random Rating Generator after a successful trial period.


Link Here5th September 2021

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Netflix have moved into the next phase of their partnership, which will see Netflix carry BBFC age ratings and ratings information on its service for years to come.

The new agreement follows a successful pilot phase, during which the innovative partnership - a first for the UK - between the streaming service and the regulator resulted in Netflix achieving 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings and content advice ('ratings info').

The conclusion of the pilot phase and the move to a long-term partnership has been welcomed by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, and by children's charities.

Netflix applies BBFC Classification Guidelines standards to films and television shows, which the BBFC has set based on large-scale public opinion research and auditing ratings to ensure consistency. Netflix's entire catalogue of original and acquired content now carries a BBFC age rating and a line of ratings information so that families can choose shows safe in the knowledge that everything they press play on is rated to trusted, BBFC standards which reflect UK expectations. This builds on Netflix's wide range of parental controls including PIN-protected profiles, maturity filters, profile locks and viewing history, helping parents make the right viewing choices for their families.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

Parents have been very clear that they want and expect online content to carry the same age rating it would carry offline, in the cinema or on DVD. Crucially for child protection, BBFC ratings guarantee that age classifications reflect UK parental and child expectations on issues such as sexual violence and drug use. Our innovative partnership with Netflix has proven that it is possible for streaming services to carry trusted BBFC age ratings on 100% of their content and will make a significant contribution to parents' peace of mind and children's wellbeing for years to come. We are calling on all other streaming services operating in the UK to follow Netflix's excellent example and work with us to give parents what they need.

Jessica Stansfield, Director of Ratings at Netflix, said:

Our members are our number one priority. We're committed to delivering an experience that doesn't just meet, but exceeds their expectations, which is why we are proud to be the first and only streaming service to voluntarily carry BBFC age ratings on 100% of our catalogue, while our updated parental controls provide the tools parents need to make the right viewing choices for their family.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said:

We want parents and young people to be able to make informed choices about what content is appropriate for them to watch. The BBFC's age ratings are well trusted and widely recognised, which is why I am pleased that this long-term agreement will see their ratings continue to be used across Netflix's content for years to come.

 

 

Roy Chubby Brown cancelled in Sheffield...

By moralists whose belief system is based upon censorship, bullying and intolerance


Link Here5th September 2021
A campaign has been growing in support of comic Roy Chubby Brown performing following the news that a planned gig in Sheffield has been cancelled.

Following complaints from a number of people, Sheffield City Trust decided to censor Roy Chubby Brown's show and remove it from the City Hall's programme of upcoming events.

A statement from Chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, Andrew Snelling, said:

We have decided to remove the rescheduled show by comedian Roy Chubby Brown at Sheffield City Hall on January 29, 2022.

We don't believe this show reflects Sheffield City Trust values, particularly our ambition that our leisure, culture and entertainment venues are inclusive for all in Sheffield.

Roy Chubby Brown responded on Facebook:

Hi all, you may have heard by now that the Sheffield city trust/council have banned me from appearing at the City Hall Sheffield in January 2022 due to the nature of my show, so I just wanted to put my view on the record -- At first I had a sense of anger and disbelief, but on reflection I now feel just disappointment and sadness with the decision and the way things are going generally.

I have been performing at the City Hall annually for the last 30+ years and have always had great nights there and a wonderful working relationship with the management and staff at the City Hall, and my fans have always come along and supported me in their thousands through the years.

Now in these strange times of snowflakes and political correctness it has been decided that I am no longer welcome.

Why Now! is my question, WHY NOW! is my show unsuitable after 30 years at the City Hall??

Nothing has changed, the show is performed behind closed doors, and it clearly states on all advertising that IF EASILY OFFENDED! PLEASE STAY AWAY!We don't allow children in! It is strictly 18+ and people who come to the show know exactly what they are coming for206. A GOOD LAUGH! it's an act with one sole purpose, and that is to put a smile on people's faces, certainly not to offend, which I'm sure all will agree is much needed in these present times. I understand the content of my show isn't to everyone's taste, and hand on heart I totally respect that, so as the posters and advertising clearly states.. IF EASILY OFFENDED, PLEASE STAY AWAY!

That quite simply means don't buy a ticket to see me if the show is not for you! It's not difficult! I dont buy tickets for things which aren't my cup of tea, but I certainly don't demonstrate to get them cancelled, and spoil things for people who do want to see it! You have a choice!! But the show obviously does appeal to thousands of people or I wouldn't have had to put pen to paper to write this.. as Chubby Brown wouldn't exist if no one came to see him, and I've been going for 50 years..??!!!

Love Roy

A petition in support of Brown has gathered about 29,000 signatures.

 

 

e-infancy...

Children's campaigners take legal action to force French ISPs to block major porn sites


Link Here4th September 2021
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
Two French campaign groups are suing the main ISPs in France, demanding the total block of several adult sites that they consider too accessible to minors.

The groups suing top French ISPs SFR, Orange, Bouygues Télécom, Free, Colt Technologies Services and Outre mer Télécomare are called e-Enfance (e-Infancy) and La Voix de l'Enfant (The Voice of the Child).

The ISPs were asked to appear next Thursday, September 9 in front of the Paris Judicial Court.

The lawsuit is proof that the French anti-porn groups intend to restrict access to adult content in that European market. Earlier this year, supporters of France's controversial age-verification law had claimed that they knew it was impractical and considered the passage of the measure as "symbolic."

ISP Orange told Le Figaro that they will "abide by the decision of the court and would shut down these sites speedily if that's what we are asked to do. But in the absence of a judicial decision, we apply the rules of net neutrality and freedom of expression"

 

 

Blocking democracy...

Russian internet censors ban 6 VPNs in an attempt to silence the opposition in the run up to elections


Link Here4th September 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russia's internet censor Roskomnadzor has blocked six providers of virtual private networks (VPNs), which people can use to circumvent government website blocking.

The targeted VPN providers, include the widely used Nord VPN and Express VPN.

The move, announced on September 3, comes as Russian authorities tighten control of the Internet, blocking access to dozens of websites ahead of parliamentary elections this month.

The Russian censor justified the new restrictions by saying that VPNs allow access to blocked content created conditions for illegal activities, including those related to the distribution of drugs, child pornography, extremism, and suicidal tendencies.

 

 

Compliance apps...

South Australia chooses to enforce home covid quarantine with an app using facial recognition and geolocation


Link Here4th September 2021
Australia has got itself in a bit of a mess over covid. Australians enjoyed a relatively covid free life via strict border controls with a few local lockdowns to deal with leaks. Now the delta variant has leapt over these hurdles leaving slowly vaccinating Australians with a big problem.

The Australian Government has chosen to adopt some very harsh control measures that wouldn't be out of place in China. Reports suggest that the state of South Australia has gone full Mao.

Geolocation and facial recognition of citizens are both used as a way this state wants to make sure everyone is compliant with its policies. It has introduced an app called Home Quarantine SA , and has ordered all SA residents to download it.

The app ensures citizens comply with quarantine orders by contacting people at random and asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes. Citizens then share their location with the government or provide 'live face check-ins' to confirm they are at their 'registered quarantine address', media reports described the way the app is presented in app stores.

Enforcement seems to be based on national policy whereby transgressors can be sent to Covid camps (quarantine hotels) or fined up to a 1,000 Australian Dollars.

 

 

Offsite Article: The bikini line...


Link Here4th September 2021
Videos reveal the TV censorship of anime in Indonesia and South Korea

See article from cbr.com

 

 

Recognising a bad image...

Apple announces a delay on implementing image snooping software


Link Here2nd September 2021
Full story: Apple Privacy...Apple scans users' images for sexual content and child abuse
Apple has announced on its website that it will delay it implementation of device software that snoops on users' images nominally in the name of child protection, but could used be for anything that authorities demand. Apple said:

Update as of September 3, 2021: Previously we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them and to help limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.

 

 

Comment: A push for age verification...

A pithy summary abut the current parliamentary clamour for age verification for porn and social media


Link Here2nd September 2021
Full story: Online Safety Bill Draft...UK Government legislates to censor social media
 
Ben Greenstone comments on a recent article in the Times commenting on a cross party cartel of powerful parliamentarians all calling for more obtrusive age verification:

The Chairs of both the Draft Online Safety Bill Joint Committee and the DCMS Select Committee, alongside the Shadow DCMS Secretary of State and the Children's Commissioner, are all calling for tougher age verification measures online.

It blows my mind that the piece does not make more of the fact that DCMS tried to introduce age verification for *actual online pornography* and failed because it was too hard. 18 year olds can have a credit card which can be used as a proxy measure... what do 13 year olds have?

This is classic just fix it from people who don't seem to have spent any time actually thinking about what fixing it would look like and what it would require. It's bad news for online service providers, but great news if you are planning to set up an age verification business.

 

 

Offsite Article: Britannia still rules the waves...


Link Here2nd September 2021
Britain tamed Big Tech and nobody noticed. The Age Appropriate Design Code has caused huge global changes. Not that tech platforms want to admit it

See article from wired.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Naked Fury...


Link Here2nd September 2021
The Moral Panic Over Naked Attraction's Cheeky Advertising

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

The Guns of Navarone, another American intelligence failure...

Sunday afternoon TV staple uprated to a BBFC 15 rating, albeit generated by the Netflix random rating generator


Link Here 1st September 2021
The Guns Of Navarone is a 1961 UK/US action adventure drama by J. Lee Thompson
Starring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Passed U after BBFC cuts for 1961 cinema release. The same cuts persisted in 1986 and 1990 on PG rated VHS but have been waived since a 1994 restoration. Netflix uprated the rating to 15 in 2021.

Summary Notes

A team of allied saboteurs are assigned an impossible mission: infiltrate an impregnable Nazi-held island and destroy the two enormous long-range field guns that prevent the rescue of 2,000 ...

Versions

uncut
uncut
run: 156:24s
pal: 150:09s
15

PG cert

 

UK: Passed 15 uncut for violence:
  • 2021 Netflix video

UK: A restored version with the original use of the word 'bloody' was passed PG uncut:

BBFC cut
cut
cut:  
run: 156:00s
pal: 149:46s
sub: 157:45s
PG cert

old cert U

UK: The cut cinema version was passed PG without further BBFC cuts for:
  • 1990 VCI VHS
  • 1986 RCA Columbia VHS
UK: Passed U after BBFC cuts for:
  • 1961 cinema release

From IMDB:

  • Barnsby's uses of the word 'bloody' overdubbed with 'ruddy

But this is not the only example amongst the latest ratings.

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay is a 2008 US comedy adventure by Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Starring John Cho, Kal Penn and Neil Patrick Harris BBFC link 2020 IMDb
There are no UK censorship issues with this release beyond noting that the BBFC rated the film 18, whilst Netflix opted for 15.

Summary Notes

After being mistaken for terrorists and thrown into Guantánamo Bay, stoners Harold and Kumar escape and return to the U.S., where they proceed to flee across the country with federal agents ...

Versions

BBFC uncut

mpaa cut
cut 

cut:  
run: 100:22s
pal: 96:21s
15

18

MPAA R

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 15 uncut for crude humour, language, sexual images, drug misuse:
  • 2021 Netflix video

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 for strong sex references, nudity and drug use without BBFC cuts:

  • 2008 Entertainment in Video video
  • 2008 cinema release

US: The Theatrical Version was rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and drug use

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run is a 2020 South Korea / USA children's cartoon comedy by Tim Hill.
Starring Keanu Reeves and Awkwafina and Clancy Brown. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release beyond noticing that the film was rated PG by the BBFC but U by Netflix

Summary Notes

Set before the events of the television series, SpongeBob goes on a trip to Kamp Koral and meets some new friends. However, when his pet snail Gary gets kidnapped by Poseidon and taken to the Lost City of Atlantic City, he and his new best friend Patrick must go on a rescue mission to save him from the dastardly plan of Poseidon before it is too late. The movie will also reveal the first time our beloved characters (as kids) met at Camp...a magical moment that brings meaning to the power of true friendship.

Versions

BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 92m
pal: 88m
PGUK: Passed PG uncut for mild bad language, scary scenes:
  • 2021 Paramount Pictures International Limited video

BBFC uncut
run: 92:00s
pal: 88:19s
UUK: Passed U uncut for rude humour, language, threat, dangerous behaviour, bullying, violence:
  • 2020 Netflix video

 

 

It is a widely held view that Harry and Meghan are publicity seeking bullshitters...

But Piers Morgan giving voice to these views caused a furore that had to be arbitrated by the high priests of 'right think' at Ofcom


Link Here1st September 2021

Good Morning Britain
ITV, 8 March 2021, 06:00

Good Morning Britain (GMB) is a weekday morning news and discussion programme broadcast on ITV.

Most of the broadcast on 8 March 2021 was dedicated to discussing an interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex which had been broadcast overnight in the USA. The Interview was due to air in the UK that evening and clips of it had been made publicly available ahead of the full broadcast.

Ofcom received more than 50,000 complaints about the Programme; the majority of which said that comments about mental health and suicide made by one of the lead presenters, Piers Morgan, were both harmful to the audience and highly offensive and that discussions on issues relating to race and racism in the Programme were highly offensive to some viewers.

Ofcom Decision

Overall, Ofcom considered that there is a high public interest value in broadcasting open and frank discussions about race and racism, as long as they comply with the Code. As set out above, we also considered that the Interview between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey contained serious allegations and it was legitimate for this Programme to discuss and scrutinise those claims. While we acknowledged that Mr Morgan's questions about the nature of racism had the potential to be highly offensive to some viewers, the conversations about race and racism in this Programme provided open debate on the issues raised by the Interview. We also considered that the Programme allowed for an important discussion to be had on the nature and impact of racism. ITV had clearly anticipated that racial issues would be discussed at length as part of the coverage of the Interview and had taken steps to ensure context could be provided during the discussions. Despite strong opinions expressed during the Programme, in Ofcom's view any potential offence was justified by the context and the comments and discussions about race and racism were not in breach of of the Code.

Not in Breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 in relation to the discussion on mental health and suicide.
Not in Breach of Rule 2.3 in relation to the debate about race and racism.


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