Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2020: November

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Censorship chit chat...

The EU's anti-terrorist coordinator calls for the censorship of in-game chat

Link Here30th November 2020
Full story: Mass snooping in the EU...The EU calls for member states to implement internet snooping with response to police requests in 6 hours
The EU's anti-terrorist coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, is urging the censorship of internet game chat lest it could be used to propagate extremist ideologies and even prepare attacks.

The official commented ahead of a proposed Digital Services Act that aims to address US dominance of the internet and to propose censorship measures targeting speech that the EU does not like. De Kerchove commented:

I'm not saying that all the gaming sector is a problem. There are two billion people playing online, and that's all very well ...BUT... you have extreme-right groups in Germany that have come up with games where the aim is to shoot Arabs, or (George) Soros, or Mrs Merkel for her migration policy, etc.

That can be an alternative way to spread ideology, especially of the extreme right but not only them, a way to launder money -- there are currencies created in games that can be exchanged for legal tender

He also suggested the Digital Services Act include a provision forcing providers of encrypted communication to give police and prosecutors unencrypted versions of the messages sent on their services when ordered to do so by a judge.



Shared video censorship...

House of Lords approves adoption of the EU's internet video sharing censorship laws into post Brexit UK law

Link Here29th November 2020
The House of Lords approved a statutory instrument that adopts the EU's Audio Visual Media Services Directive into post-Brexit UK law. This law describes state censorship requirements for internet video sharing platforms.

The law change was debated on 27th November 2020 with the government introducing the law as follows:

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

My Lords, I am pleased to introduce this instrument, laid in both Houses on 15 October, which is being made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. These regulations remedy certain failures of retained EU law arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. This instrument seeks to maintain, but not expand, Ofcom's remit to regulate video-sharing platform services. This intervention is necessary to ensure the law remains operable beyond the end of the transition period.

The EU's audiovisual media services directive, known as the AVMS directive, governs the co-ordination of national legislation on audio-visual media services. The AVMS directive was initially implemented into UK law in 2010, primarily by way of amendments to UK broadcasting legislation. The directive was subsequently revised in 2018. The UK Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020, which transposed the revised AVMS directive, were made and laid in Parliament on 30 September. Those regulations came into force on 1 November and introduced, for the first time, rules for video-sharing platform services. The Government have appointed Ofcom as the regulator for these services. The new rules ensure that platforms falling within UK jurisdiction have appropriate systems and processes to protect the public, including minors, from illegal and harmful material.

There were three key requirements placed on video-sharing platforms under the regulations. These were: to take appropriate measures to protect minors under 18 from harmful content, to take appropriate measures to protect the general public from harmful and certain illegal content, and to introduce standards around advertising. I also draw the attention of the House to the report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee considering this instrument, and I thank its members for their work.

I will now address the committee's concerns regarding jurisdiction. The AVMS directive sets out technical rules governing when a platform falls within a country's jurisdiction. First, there must be a physical presence, or a group undertaking, of the platform in the country. Where there is a physical presence in more than one country, jurisdiction is decided on the basis of factors such as whether the platform is established in that country, whether the platform's main economic activity is centred in that country, and the hierarchy of group undertakings as set out by the directive.

Under the revised AVMS directive, each EU member state and the UK is responsible for regulating only the video-sharing platforms that fall within its jurisdiction. There will be only one country that has jurisdiction for each platform at any one time. However, if a platform has no physical presence in any country covered by the AVMS directive, then no country will have jurisdiction over it, even if the platform provides services in those countries.

Through this instrument, we are seeking to maintain the same position for Ofcom's remit beyond the end of the transition period. This position allows Ofcom to regulate video-sharing platforms established in the UK and additionally regulate platforms that have a physical presence in the UK but not in any other country covered by the AVMS directive. Although Ofcom's remit will not be extended to include platforms established elsewhere in the EU, we believe UK users will indirectly benefit from the EU's regulation of platforms under the AVMS directive. The regulation under this regime is systems regulation, not content regulation. We therefore expect that as platforms based outside of the UK will set up and invest in systems to comply with the AVMS regulations, it is probable that these same systems will also be introduced for their UK subsidiaries.

In the absence of this instrument, Ofcom would no longer be able to regulate any video-sharing platforms. This would result in an unacceptable regulatory gap and a lack of protection for UK users using these services. Our approach also mitigates the small risk that a video- sharing platform offering services to countries covered by the AVMS directive, but not the UK, would establish itself in the UK in order to circumvent EU law.

While we recognise that most children have a positive experience online, the reality is that the impact of harmful content and activity online can be particularly damaging for children. Over three-quarters of UK adults also express a deep concern about the internet. The UK is one of only three countries to have transposed the revised directive thus far, evidencing our commitment to protecting users online.

These regulations also pave the way for the upcoming online harms regulatory regime. Given that the online harms regulatory framework shares broadly the same objectives as the video-sharing platform regime, it is the Government's intention that the regulation of video-sharing platforms in the UK will be superseded by the online harms legislation, once the latter comes into force. Further details on the plans for online harms regulation will be set out in the full government response to the consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, which is due to be published later this year, with draft legislation ready in early 2021. With that, I beg to move.



Random censorship...

Australia's random rating generator bans 55 games and apps in 2020

Link Here29th November 2020
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
In July 2015, Australia game censors began to use a random rating generator that it refers to as the International Age Rating Coalition Classification Tool.

This is a low level automated tool that makes its decisions based on a few survey questions. It produces very shoddy results that for high profile games cause press embarrassment and lead to appeals where human censors can override the automated rating with something more sensible.

However for low profile games and apps the low quality ratings are allowed to stand presumably because it costs significant money to get them rectified. The net result is that there are plenty of games and apps that end up permanently banned. reports that about 1500 titles have been banned to date of which 55 have been banned since March 2020. See the full list of banned titles from



Seeking those to lock up in lock down...

Local councils sift through all their personal data to seek out covid dissenters and those in need of support

Link Here28th November 2020
Town halls are harvesting millions of highly personal details about residents using Covid software, the Daily Mail has revealed.

A private firm Xantura has signed lucrative deals with local authorities to garner the data which can be used to identify people in need of support or else predict who is likely to break lockdown.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a joint partner with Xantura in the scheme, said OneView aimed to build on Operation Shield, which identified 1.5million individuals at high risk of Covid.

The information is culled from council records and includes family debt levels, living arrangements, income, school absences and exclusions. It is fed into a profiling system called Covid OneView to create a risk analysis for households and individuals who are believed to be vulnerable.

Town halls say the aim is to help identify those most at risk from coronavirus. But a council presented slides at a video conference last month showing the information could be used to predict who might break isolation rules.

The Daily Mail investigation found that the information Covid OneView can gather included notes on: Unfaithful and unsafe sex, emotional health and wellbeing, sleep issues and dangerous pets Anger management issues and socially unacceptable behaviour Financial details, including debt, low income and tax arrears School attendance, low school commitment and free school meals

Jake Hurfurt of Big Brother Watch, a privacy campaigning group, said:

This underlines the shift toward mass surveillance and data harvesting that has been triggered by the pandemic. It's scandalous that councils are using huge amounts of personal information and experimental algorithms to assign people 'risk scores and predictions behind closed doors. People have a right to know how their data is used and how decisions are made about their lives.'





Offsite Article: A hate-filled war on press freedom...

Link Here28th November 2020
UK lawmakers are set on purging media outlets of dangerous ideas. By Andrew Tettenborn

See article from



Offsite Article: Choreographically challended...

Link Here28th November 2020
Copyright for Choreography: When is Copying a Dance a Copyright Violation?

See article from



Updated: Blood and bullshit...

Ubisoft censors the Japanese game release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Link Here27th November 2020
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the latest release in Ubisoft's longest-running franchise. It seems that not all versions of the game are equal to others. Japanese players say the game isn't what was promised, and further that it was censored egregiously compared to western versions of the game.

The Japanese release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla is censored in several significant ways. It removes or alters violent gameplay and animations related to severed limbs, torture involving inner organs, decapitated heads and female nudity, including nipples.

The game features a worldwide option to turn blood spurts during combat on and off. However, presumably because the game is already censored in Japan, the option then does very little.

Japanese buyers have also complained that the availability of the option implies that more violence is available than actually is, and so feel misled.

With the usual corporate bullshit, Ubisoft claimed that the removal of blood spurts was necessary for ratings purposes. But CERO, Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, said that that blood spurts comparable to previous Assassin's Creed releases in Japan were included when it did its rating.

Update: Patched

27th November 2020. See article from

Ubisoft is issuing a fix to Assassin's Creed Valhalla following the revelation that Japanese versions of the game had depictions of blood censored.

A Japanese Ubiblog post has now acknowledges the problematic censorship, stating that blood cannot be depicted in-game and that the development team is preparing a patch to solve the issue releasing sometime in December. Ubisoft goes on to apologize for the inconvenience to its customers.



Fucking censors...

The Austrian village of Fucking to change its name

Link Here27th November 2020
An Austrian village with the famous name of Fucking has had enough of the mockery and will change its name to Fugging, local leaders have announced.

The tiny village has become something of an attraction because of its name, with road signs regularly stolen. Annoyed locals tried to stop this from happening by encasing the bottom of the signs in concrete. Other hassles included naked couples romping in front of the signs in the name of a photo opportunity.

However local entrepreneurs were able to make a little cash by selling Fucking Christmas cards and more recently a Fucking beer.



Hating free speech...

Improvements to Scotland's disgraceful speech censorship bill

Link Here26th November 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill

The National Secular Society has welcomed a decision from Scotland's injustice secretary to strengthen a clause on free speech on religion in his government's proposed hate crime bill.

Humza Yousaf announced that the bill would be amended to provide greater protection to expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule and insult of religion. A conviction for stirring up hatred would require the prosecution to demonstrate that the accused had behaved in a manner which is threatening or abusive and intended to stir up hatred.

The bill will now make clear that people are free to express antipathy, ridicule, dislike of a religion or religions, or the absence of religious belief, or to insult religions, or the absence of religious belief -- if they do not do so in a way that is threatening or abusive and intended to stir up hatred.

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said:

This is a significant and welcome step from the justice secretary which will go a long way towards protecting free speech on religion in Scotland. But we continue to urge ministers to at least match the free speech protection offered in England and Wales's Racial and Religious Hatred Act. This bill's weaker provision will mean it still risks capturing speech which people find offensive -- and therefore subjectively abusive.



An EU copyright on stupidity...

As with so much EU internet law, the new Copyright Directive was designed by lobbyists, passed by fools, and will prove predictably nonsensical to implement. Germany is now grappling with this impossible predicament

Link Here26th November 2020
In view of the implementation deadline in summer 2021, it is becoming increasingly apparent what the transformation of the EU's disgraceful Copyright Directive in Germany could look like. The draft of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is now available and is - just like the Directive on which it is based - highly controversial, in particular in terms of the possible implementation of upload filters.

The directive requires platforms to censor copyrighted material as a user attempts to upload a post. It requires the platform to scan the post prior to publication and block it should it contain copyrighted material. However the directive also specifies some legally specified exemptions without the need for licensing, e.g. parodies or so-called pastiches, i.e. remixes, memes, GIFs, mashups, fan art, fan fiction, covers or sampling. But can the automated upload filters detect that copyright material in a post is a pastiche or not?

Lexoligy describes a German variation adding some metrics to this legally permitted fair use:

The draft German Act provides for a minor exception clause for non-commercial use in social media. According to this, reproductions for non-commercial purposes of a small scale will be allowed, even if they have not been licensed (e.g. up to 20 seconds of a film or sound track, 1,000 characters of a text or photographs with a data volume of up to 250 kB).

If the public reproduction of a content is not permitted, the service provider is obliged to immediately remove the corresponding content or block access to it upon notification of the rights holder. If the content is permitted the platform must pay the author an appropriate remuneration.

It seems that the envisaged censorship process is for the platform to block the content automatically and then give an opportunity for the user to justify why the content should not be blocked. But this process doesn't sound very viable for an average social media poster. And perhaps the only practical outcome is for all copyright material to be blocked from all user posts with just a few savvy 'influencers' able to work the system.



Warning: Porn can be harmful if viewed by Utah moralists...

PornHub and other tube websites add trigger warning about porn as required by Utah law

Link Here 26th November 2020
Some porn websites are beginning to comply with a nonsense new Utah law requiring warning labels be attached to adult-oriented materials.

At least three major tube sites, Pornhub, XTube and RedTube, have begun attaching the opt-in notification for visitors, which states that Utah believes pornographic materials can be harmful if viewed by minors.

This trigger warning is a response to Utah state law sponsored by Utah House Representative Brady Brammer earlier this year. The bill started life as intending to restrict porn in the state but was watered down until it ended up as a trivial warning requirement.



UK Free Speech Bill [2021]...

The Adam Smith Institute proposes a bill to restore free speech to the UK

Link Here25th November 2020
The Adam Smith Institute has published a report by Preston J Byrne that provides law changes that would restore speech to the UK.

The paper called out government shenanigans with freedom of expression and proposed for five concrete policy changes:

  • Removing the words "abusive" and "insulting" from the Public Order Act 1986.

  • Limiting the scope of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 to threatening language only.

  • Replacing the harassment component of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and the Malicious Communications Act with a harassment/cyberstalking statute similar to 18 U.S. Code § 2261A, with its higher thresholds for criminal conduct as a replacement.

  • Repealing the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

  • Enacting the UK Free Speech Act.

A follow up blog post details such a Free Speech Act:


An Act to secure the free and open flow of information and ideas for the people of the United Kingdom.


(1) The right of any person, and of the people, to freedom of speech shall not be violated by the state.

(2) Freedom of speech encompasses but is not limited to the right to engage in spoken or written expression of any idea pertaining to any matter of public interest, morality, philosophy, or politics, which is not a threat or direct incitement.

(3) "Direct incitement" means speech or writing which is directed towards inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

(4) Schedule 1, Part I, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 is hereby repealed.



Beyond Order...

Book burners working for Penguin Random House agitate to ban a new Jordan Peterson book

Link Here25th November 2020
Several Penguin Random House Canada employees confronted management about the company's decision to publish a new book by Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and about 70 more have filed anonymous complaints, according to four workers who spoke to VICE World News.

Penguin Random House is publishing Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson in March 2021. The book will be published by Portfolio in the US and Penguin Press in the UK.

Company executives defended the publishing decision in a staff meeting whilst woke employees called for the book to be banned. Eg a junior employee said:

He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he's an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I'm not proud to work for a company that publishes him

Another employee claimed people were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives. They said one co-worker discussed how Peterson had radicalized their father and another talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friend.

In an email statement, Penguin Random House Canada said it is open to its employees' feedback:

We announced yesterday that we will publish Jordan Peterson's new book Beyond Order this coming March. Immediately following the announcement, we held a forum and provided a space for our employees to express their views and offer feedback. Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support. We are open to hearing our employees' feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints



Offsite Article: Think twice about relying on Google to keep your photos safe...

Link Here 25th November 2020
Full story: Google Censorship...Google censors adult material froms its websites
Google Photos is working on feature that allows users to flag misleading shared albums

See article from



We report, you decide...

Fox News returns to the UK albeit via streaming app to avoid censorship by Ofcom

Link Here23rd November 2020
Fox News returns to UK on streaming app and won't be subject to Ofcom impartiality rules. The Fox News International app allows UK audience to stream the politically incorrect right leaning channel.

Fox News left the Sky News package three years ago after widespread unease about biased news reporting. Sky claimed that the departure was for commercial reasons due to the station's low audience figures in the UK.

Fox News will not be seeking a broadcasting licence this time around.

GB News, a channel chaired by Andrew Neil, offering a similar opinionated slant on current events, is set to launch next year, while Murdoch's News UK is preparing to unveil its own TV news service.



Under duress...

Ofcom warns Abu Dhabi TV that it will be considered for a fine for airing 'confession' extracted under duress from prison

Link Here23rd November 2020
Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has welcomed the decision of the UK's TV censor, Ofcom, condemning Abu Dhabi TV channel for broadcasting an interview that it claimed were confessions of Qatari citizen Hamad al-Hammadi during his arbitrary arrest and detention in Abu Dhabi prisons in 2013.

Ofcom said that the channel, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), which has a licence from Ofcom, broadcasted an interview on June 22, 2017 alleging they were confessions of a Qatari intelligence agent, who was discrediting the UAE. Ofcom said that broadcasting the interview against al-Hammadi's will, who was tortured and ill-treated in prison, was a severe breach of the principles of fairness and privacy set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Ofcom found that Mr Al-Hammadi was treated unjustly or unfairly in the programme as broadcast and that his privacy was unwarrantably infringed both in the obtaining of the footage of him and in its broadcast.

Ofcom also considers that the breaches of Rules 7.1 and 8.1 of the Code are serious and Ofcom is therefore putting the Licensee on notice that Ofcom intends to consider the breachesfor the imposition of a statutory sanction.



Offsite Article: Always in yer face...

Link Here23rd November 2020
Full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Facebook's Data-Tracking Tool Centra Might Collect More Information Than You Realize. By Sara Belcher

See article from



Updated: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...

The BBFC wish you a happy Christmas complete with Danny fucking Kaye

Link Here22nd November 2020
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 US comedy by Jeremiah S. Chechik.
With Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Juliette Lewis . YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

The 2020 cinema release has just been passed 12A uncut for infrequent strong language, moderate sex references

The film is uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated in the US but the film has a bit of a censorship history in the UK.

BBFC category cuts were required for early PG rated cinema and VHS releases as follows:

  • The dialogue: We're gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! lost the 'fucking' in favour of an overdubbed 'dancing'

It was later released uncut on UK Blu-ray in 2003 bearing a 12 rating, seemingly without being resubmitted to the BBFC.

In 2013 a commentary track based on the uncut version was passed 12 uncut for video. In 2014, the film itself was then passed 12 uncut for video.

This 12 rated uncut video version was not published in the BBFC's old database but appears in the BBFC's new dumbed down database.

As of 2020, all UK DVD releases still feature the cut UK version.



Offsite Article: Fitting round windows into square frames...

Link Here22nd November 2020
Full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
Microsoft tackles how to continue grabbing the personal data of Windows users whilst abiding by the EU's GDPR

See article from



Offsite Article: Oppressive CCTV...

Link Here21st November 2020
Video Analytics User Manuals Are a Guide to Dystopia. By Dave Maass and Matthew Guariglia

See article from




US social media companies threaten to leave Pakistan over a repressive new internet censorship law

Link Here20th November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
US internet companies Facebook, Google and Twitter and others have banded together and threatened to leave Pakistan after the country granted blanket censorship powers to censor content the government doesn't like.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan granted the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the power to remove and block digital content that pose harms, intimidates or excites disaffection toward the government or in other ways hurt the integrity, security, and defence of Pakistan.

Through a group called the Asia Internet Coalition Asia (AIC), the tech firms said that they were alarmed by the scope of Pakistan's new law. In addition to Facebook, Google, and Twitter, AIC represents Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, SAP, Expedia Group, Yahoo, Airbnb, Grab, Rakuten,, Line, and Cloudflare.

The draconian data localization requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet and shut Pakistan's digital economy off from the rest of the world.

Under the new law, tech companies that fail to remove or block the unlawful content from their platforms within 24 hours of notice from Pakistan authorities also face a fine of up to $3.14 million.



Offsite Article: Eating itself...

Link Here20th November 2020
Glen Greenwald observes the American Civil Liberties Union moving away from liberty and toward censorship

See article from



Maybe it's a good idea to leave your phone at home if you visit friends and family...

GCHQ has been analysing smart phone records to determine if people are breaking the lockdown

Link Here19th November 2020
It has emerged that analysts at UK's communication surveillance organisation, GCHQ, have been given access to mobile phone data to track the public's movements during the national lockdown.

GCHQ has embedded a team in a Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time intelligence about the state of coronavirus infections in the UK.

The intelligence analysts have also been examining Google and other internet data on employment, a key indicator of the job market. Also data has been used to analyse travel patterns and whether people self isolate after foreign travel.

It is claimed that such data is only been used in anonymised format, but no doubt it could theoretically be used for enforcement of the lockdown rules.



'Fake news' is in the eye of the beholder...

Russian threatens to block US social media for labelling Russian content as fake news

Link Here19th November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russian lawmakers have announced plans to block any internet services deemed to censor local media. The move seems targeted at US social media companies that have been blocking content from Russian internet sources.

The US internet internet companies have been labelling Russian content as fake news and propaganda. In particular the move came a day after state media regulator Roskomnadzor demanded YouTube remove restrictions supposedly placed on programmes produced by the prominent state TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyev.

The legislation would grant authorities conditional powers to block access to sites such as Youtube , Twitter and Facebook -- either fully or partially.

The bill seems almost certain to pass after attracting the public support of the Kremlin.




Is the UK cinema release cut or uncut?

Link Here18th November 2020

Possessor is a 2020 UK / Canada Sci-Fi horror thriller by Brandon Cronenberg.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

Possessor exists as a cut US R rated version and an uncut MPA Unrated Version titled Possessor Uncut. The producers were keen to differentiate between the two versions and the 'Uncut' tag is an official re-titling of the film.

A Running time of 103m suggest that it was the cut version that was passed 18 for UK cinema release. The home video version runs for 104m which matches with the Possessor Uncut version. This too was passed 18 by the BBFC. However all advance publicity trailers and posters seem to feature the Possessor Uncut artwork.

Maybe this means that viewers watch at the cinema on 27th November will get the cut version whilst viewers watch the simultaneous digital streaming release will get the uncut version. The DVD is set for release on 8th February 2021 at UK Amazon #ad

Let's hope all these releases are the uncut version as the director Brandon Cronenberg himself states that he prefers the Possessor Uncut version. See article from

Presented stateside by distributor Neon, Possessor Uncut -- titled so to distinguish it from an R-rated version that also will be available in some markets -- is the complete version as far as director Brandon Cronenberg is concerned, replete with the uninhibited moments of sex and violence, such as the transfixing erection glimpsed in a sequence memorably bathed in electric blue, that might otherwise have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Cronenberg commented:

Generally I prefer explicit violence, and I prefer violence that is viscerally disturbing to people. I find it more unsettling if violence is very sanitized. If you have a PG-13 movie where 100 people get killed and no one bleeds, to me that's doing a disservice by trivializing the violence. So I prefer people to have that visceral response, because you should.



You cheap lousy censor...

BBC Radio 1 will censor Fairytale of New York

Link Here18th November 2020
BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl this Christmas, seemingly because it thinks its audience of snowflakes will be easily offended by the lyrics.

Radio 1 said young listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality. It will instead play an edited version with different lyrics sung by MacColl. A BBC spokesman said:

We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience.

The new edited version changes two lines - one swapped for an alternative version in which MacColl sings You're cheap and you're haggard in place of You cheap lousy faggot.

In Radio 1's newly-edited version, another unspecified line, sung by Shane MacGowan in the second verse, has a word removed entirely.

But the 1987 original will still be played on Radio 2, while 6 Music DJs can choose between the two versions.

The duet is one of the most enduring Christmas pop songs, having returned to the UK top 20 every year since 2005. MacColl originally sang the censored line on Top of the Pops in 1992. The same wording was used by Ronan Keating and Moya Brennan in their 2000 cover version. When Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie performed the song in Radio 1's Live Lounge in 2017, she opted to call him a cheap lousy blagger.



Updated: Borat make wind up...

Sacha Baron Cohen is generating a little hype for Borat 2 with a controversial film poster

Link Here17th November 2020
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is a 2020 UK / USA comedy by Jason Woliner.
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova and Mike Pence. IMDb

Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.

The film poster for Borat 2 is generating a little hype in France over the sequel's official worldwide poster. The poster features a reclining Borat, naked save for a mankini fashioned from a coronavirus face mask. It seems that a few French Muslims have got themselves worked up over Borat's ring which is engraved with the Arabic word "Allah."

Social media posts seem to target the French authorities for provocation and insulting Islam .

However the authorities are responding in support of free speech. In response to requests by bus drivers to remove the Borat 2 poster from the side of buses, the Paris transport authority (RATP) has stated it would under no circumstances take this campaign off our network. RATP also denied social media claims alleging the Borat 2 poster led to stoning attacks on buses over Halloween weekend.

One area where the Borat 2 posters were removed from buses is the TICE network in the southern suburb of Ã?vry. The area has a large Muslim immigrant population. TICE management claimed the posters were not removed because of complaints but because the organization deemed the offbeat humour on display to be inappropriate for public transportation.

Update: Kazakh community calls for Borat sequel to be banned from awards consideration

18th November 2020. See article from

The Kazakh American Association wants Borat Subsequent Moviefilm banned from awards consideration.

The campaign group which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Kazakhstan's heritage and culture in the US - has hit out at Sacha Baron Cohen's sequel for an alleged racist portrayal, and called on the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America and BAFTAs to bar the comedy.

A letter, which is co-signed by the Hollywood Film Academy and Council on American-Islamic Relations, spouts:

The Kazakh community worldwide is underrepresented and inherently vulnerable. Our nation is still recovering from an oppressive colonial past, which is why we do not have substantial media representation.

Sacha Baron Cohen understands this fact and exploits Kazakhstan by hijacking our ethnic identity, whitewashing us by portraying us as Eastern Europeans, and inciting harassment toward Kazakh people worldwide.

Our people report countless cases of sexual and physical harassment as well as bullying due to the Borat franchise.



Updated: The Guardian recommends...

Parler, a free speech based social media app now favoured by the US right

Link Here17th November 2020
As social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook crack down more forcefully on comments that they do not like, conservative users are flocking to a new platform: Parler.

The social network, which resembles Twitter, takes its name from the French verb meaning to talk but is often pronounced like the English word parlor. And it's fast becoming the hottest new app on the right, with high-profile proponents like Senator Ted Cruz recruiting new users.

Parler's popularity has exploded amid mounting frustration over Twitter's anti-conservative bias. It shot to the top of Apple's trending apps list in the wake of the US election, with downloads soaring by 2,000% between 7 November and 9 November, from 172,000 a day to 428,700 a day. On 9 November alone the number of downloads surpassed 500,000.

A Parler user can post text or images, which other users can then comment on, give a vote of approval, or echo, which appears to be the Parler version of a retweet. Unlike Twitter, it appears to not offer a discover page or trending topics -- instead you have to seek out and search for the accounts you want to follow.

There are only two rules on Parler:

  1. no posting anything unlawful
  2. no spam.

Parler does not remove content based on politics or ideology, the company said in a statement, and is dedicated to free speech.

Update: And Rumble as a free speech replacement for YouTube

18th November 2020. See article from

Rumble, a video-sharing site similar to YouTube, has been attracting voices that are ditching YouTube because of censorship and has started to trend on the Google Play store.

Notable figures from the US who have shifted to Rumble include political commentators and comedy duo Diamond and Silk, Rep. Devin Nunes, Dinesh D'Souza, and John Solomon.

Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski told Buzzfeed:

We're the clean YouTube competitor, the place they can feel safe.  On the question of the latest influx of conservative figures, Pavlovski said the platform is not one-sided and is open to everybody.

Users have raised Rumble's unique visitors to 60 million in October, up from 45 million in September.



Updated: Copyright abuse...

RIAA Abuses DMCA to Take Down Popular Tool for Downloading Online Videos

Link Here17th November 2020

youtube-dl is a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub recently took down youtube-dl's code repository at the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America, potentially stopping many thousands of users, and other programs and services, that rely on it.

On its face, this might seem like an ordinary copyright takedown of the type that happens every day. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a copyright holder can ask a platform to take down an allegedly infringing post and the platform must comply. (The platform must also allow the alleged infringer to file a counter-notice, requiring the copyright holder to file a lawsuit if she wants the allegedly infringing work kept offline.) But there's a huge difference here with some frightening ramifications: youtube-dl doesn't infringe on any RIAA copyrights.

RIAA's argument relies on a different section of the DMCA, Section 1201. DMCA 1201 says that it's illegal to bypass a digital lock in order to access or modify a copyrighted work. Copyright holders have argued that it's a violation of DMCA 1201 to bypass DRM even if you're doing it for completely lawful purposes; for example, if you're downloading a video on YouTube for the purpose of using it in a way that's protected by fair use. (And thanks to the way that copyright law has been globalized via trade agreements, similar laws exist in many other jurisdictions too.) RIAA argues that since youtube-dl could be used to download music owned by RIAA-member labels, no one should be able to use the tool, even for completely lawful purposes.

This is an egregious abuse of the notice-and-takedown system, which is intended to resolve disputes over allegedly infringing material online. Again, youtube-dl doesn't use RIAA-member labels' music in any way. The makers of youtube-dl simply shared information with the public about how to perform a certain task204one with many completely lawful applications.

We've put together an explainer video on this takedown, and its implications for free speech online.

Please share this video with others who use YouTube and other video uploading services.

Update: Restored to GitHub

17th November 2020. See article from

GitHub has reinstated the youtube-dl open-source project, a Python library that lets users download the source audio and video files behind YouTube videos.

In a blog post today, GitHub said the library did not actually break Section 1201 of the DMCA, citing a letter it received from Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers , who decided to take up the youtube-dl project's case.

In the letter, the EFF team explained that Google does not have any technical measures in place to prevent the download of its videos -- all of which need to be made freely available to all kinds of apps, browsers, smart TVs, and more.

Hence, EFF lawyers argued that the library could never be taken down under Section 1201 of the DMCA since the library doesn't actually circumvent any sort of copyright protection system in the first place.



Speaking of violence...

Sky Crime has started to censor its shows

Link Here16th November 2020

Heads up. Sky Crime have started censoring it's shows! Really pointless too as it's not even graphic images but verbal descriptions of violence!

If people are so sensitive that they can't handle someone discussing a violent act, when on Earth would they be watching the programme in the first place?



Offsite Article: Reservoir Dogs, and how it was banned in the UK on video...

Link Here 16th November 2020
And bizarrely there is no trace of such an iconic and controversial film in the BBFC's shoddy new database

See article from



Is there a vaccine against the censorship disease?...

And can the authorities gain people's trust by taking away their cherished rights to speak freely?

Link Here15th November 2020
Senior Labour MPs have called on the government to step up censorship of the internet and to censor non-supportive comments about coronavirus vaccines.

The shadow culture secretary, Jo Stevens, and the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, have written to the government warning that our historic strength in vaccine uptake must not be taken for granted as the prospect of a treatment for the virus looms.

The Labour ministers are calling for financial and criminal penalties for social media companies that fail to censor posts promoting anti-vaccination content. The opposition ministers claim that anti-vaccination groups with almost 100,000 users can be found within seconds of logging on to Facebook.

Stevens claimed that the government has a pitiful track record on taking action against online platforms that are facilitating the spread of disinformation/



An EU Advent Calendar...

The EU is pushing for an agreement by Christmas for a new rapid internet take down law applying to terrorist content

Link Here15th November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
EU ministers are discussing a new censorship law this year obliging internet firms to remove what is deemed to be extremist propaganda within an hour of it being reported.

The EU has been discussing such a regulation for more than a year, but the recent terror attacks in France and Austria have given it new urgency.

Interior ministers said the text must be agreed soon with the EU Commission and European Parliament.

Both German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson called for an agreement by Christmas on the new regulation on terrorist content online (TCO).



Classified as outdated...

Ontario lawmakers debate a bill to further diminish the role of state film censors

Link Here14th November 2020
Lawmakers from the Canadian province of Ontario are debating a bill to put an end to provincial film censorship.

Presumably the move is intended to save money as the bill is titled: Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020. This includes Schedule 12: Film Content Information Act, 2020.

In fact local film censorship has already being largely wound down, The Ontario Film Review Board ceased operation as of October 1, 2019, with responsibility for film classification being transferred from the Ontario Film Authority. This body largely adopted provincial film classifications from the British Columbia Film Classification Office.

Now is seems that formal state age ratings will be no longer required, assuming that content information is provided by the distributor. The role of film censors will then be restricted to investigating complaints. Adult films will still require ratings in Ontario but it seems these will be provided by a national film censorship scheme.

Parliamentary information about the bill reads:

Schedule 12 Film Content Information Act, 2020

The Schedule enacts the Film Content Information Act, 2020 and repeals the Film Classification Act, 2005.

The new Film Content Information Act, 2020 regulates the exhibition of films, selling or renting physical copies of video games and selling, renting or otherwise making available physical copies of adult sex films.

Part I of the Act sets out the application and interpretation provisions.

Part II of the Act provides for the appointment of a Director and Deputy Directors for the purposes of the Act.

Part III of the Act provides that films cannot be exhibited for a person's direct gain unless information respecting the film and its contents is displayed to the public. This requirement does not apply in certain circumstances, such as exhibition of a film under the sponsorship of a public library or public art gallery.

Adult sex films cannot be exhibited, and physical copies cannot be sold, rented or otherwise made available, unless the film has been reviewed and approved by an entity that is authorized to approve adult sex films under the laws of a province of Canada. In addition, they cannot be exhibited to persons under the age of 18. Physical copies cannot be sold, rented or otherwise made available to persons under the age of 18.

The sale or rental of physical copies of video games is restricted based on the rating assigned to the video game by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Physical copies of unrated video games may not be rented or sold to persons under the age of 18.

Part IV of the Act provides a procedure for the appointment of investigators and the investigation of offences under the Act. Things that are seized by the investigator may be forfeited to the Crown in certain circumstances. A procedure for applying to the Director for the return of the seized thing is set out.

Part V of the Act sets out offences, penalties and evidentiary provisions for proceedings under the Act.

Part VI of the Act provides regulation-making powers to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. These powers include the ability to modify the age restrictions that apply to the sale or rental of physical copies of video games.

Part VII sets out transitional provisions. The Ontario Film Review Board is dissolved. Licences that were issued under the Film Classification Act, 2005 are no longer needed under this new Act and expire.

Part VIII provides for the repeal of the Film Classification Act, 2005 and the revocation of the regulation made under that Act. It also makes several consequential amendments.



Sikhs complain against mass censorship by Facebook...

Presumably banned just because of a simplistic keyword scan finding the word 'genocide' in a hashtag

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

Open Letter to Facebook on Sikh Censorship

On November 3rd 2020, during #SikhGenocide awareness week, Facebook mass censored Sikh posts across the world.

The censorship largely focused on posts related to the Sikh struggle for Khalistan, but also impacted posts on Sikh history, activism against sexual grooming that targets Sikhs, and posts relating to Kirtan (Sikh devotional singing). This mass censorship targeted a large number of accounts from individuals to Sikh organisations and Gurdwareh, with posts being deleted as far back as 2010.

This was the second time this year that Sikh social media posts were censored en masse, following the blocking of the hashtag #Sikh on Instagram in June this year, also during a period of Sikh genocide remembrance.

From analysis of posts targeted for removal a clear pattern is visible which shows most posts were targeted based on use of the following key words: Khalistan, Sukhdev Singh Babbar, Gurbachan Singh Manochal, Avtar Singh Brahma, Jagraj Singh Toofan, and Jujaroo Jathebandia (Sikh military units) such as the Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Liberation Force, and the Khalistan Commando Force.

From the simultaneous, widespread, and targeted removal of content it is clear that this recent wave of censorship has come from the Indian state which has long opposed any form of revolutionary Sikh self-expression centred on Sikh sovereignty, adopting policies of genocide to violently annihilate any Sikh resistance. Khalistan, as a term and as a movement, has been demonised in Indian public discourse to the extent that in India Khalistan has become synonymous with terrorism. This image is the product of decades of fascist Indian rhetoric and propaganda that has been used to justify the state's torture, enforced disappearances, mass rapes, arbitrary detention and genocide of Sikhs.

The November 3rd wave of censorship coincided with the Indian foreign minister's arrival in the UK, which was preceded by news coverage in Indian media that highlighted the Indian State's suppressive laws targeting online speech. Under Article 69A of the Information Technology Act, Indian agencies have been empowered to monitor, intercept, and decrypt any information generated, received transmitted or stored in any computer. This law has been used to stifle dissent and block online content that challenges the sovereignty and integrity of India. These new laws are a modern rendering of the oppressive colonial era logic that makes sedition and political dissent a crime.

India today maintains that Sikhs are the aggressors and that only a small minority of Sikhs demand Khalistan. Yet Indian laws, and the public discourse that was used to justify them, targets all Sikhs and expressions of Sikhi itself.

The censorship carried out by Facebook is an attack on Sikh memory and Sikh being. It is an attack on Sikh struggle in the past, present, and future.

The signatories to this letter stand in solidarity against any censorship targeting the Sikh community and urge Facebook to become part of the conversation -- specifically on Khalistan -- that is being censored. We expect immediate response detailing steps towards addressing this censorship.

We urge Sikhs and allies reading this letter to share it widely and connect with the Sikh grassroots to build solidarity that exists outside frameworks of censorship.

Signed: World Sikh Parliament, Sikh Federation UK, Guru Nanak Darbar Gravesend, Saving Punjab, Federation of Sikh Orgs, Kaurs Legal, National Sikh Youth Federation, Sikh Assembly, Everythings 13, Sikh Doctors Association, Sikhs For Justice, Lions MMA, Sikh 2 Inspire, Khalistan Center, Babbar Akali Lehar, Sikh Relief, Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara, Khalsa Jatha Central Gurdwara, United Sikhs, Khalsa Akhara Gym Derby, Khalsa Foundation, Khalsa Akhara Boxing Coventry, Shere Punjab, Singh Sabha Committee Coventry, SHARE Charity, Calgary Sikhs, Birmingham Sikh Council of Gurdwaras, Naujawani, Khalistan Activist Federation, Kent Sikh Organisation.



Offsite Article: Has the BBFC been scammed by cowboy database builders?...

Link Here 14th November 2020
The BBFC dismantles its own database. By High Impact Classification

See article from



Offsite Article: The Tate is insulting its audience...

Link Here14th November 2020
The decision to postpone a Philip Guston exhibition was an act of cowardice. By Candice Holdsworth

See article from



Ticking countdown paused...

US Dept of Commerce halts the US ban on downloading the TikTok app

Link Here13th November 2020
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
The US Commerce Department has halted a ban on TikTok that was due to come into effect on Thursday night. The order would have prevented the app from being downloaded in the US.

The Commerce Department delayed the ban pending further legal developments, citing a Philadelphia court ruling from September where three prominent TikTokers had argued the app should be allowed to operate in America.

In September, TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance announced a deal with Walmart and Oracle to shift TikTok's US assets into a new entity called TikTok Global.

Donald Trump tentatively supported the deal. However on Tuesday TikTok said it had had no feedback from the US government in two months. Both Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have repeatedly said that the data of US users could be passed on to the Chinese government,



Warning: politically biased restrictions...

Twitter analyses the effects of its restrictions introduced in the run up to the US elections

Link Here13th November 2020
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs

Twitter wrote on its blog:

In the months leading up to Election Day, we announced a set of policy , enforcement and product changes to add context, encourage thoughtful consideration, and reduce the potential for misleading information to spread on Twitter.

Here's what we've learned about the impact of those changes so far, and how we plan to adapt based on those findings:

Labels, warnings, and prebunks

Below are some key statistics about the labels, warnings, and additional restrictions we applied to Tweets that included potentially misleading information about the US Election from October 27 to November 11:

  • Approximately 300,000 Tweets have been labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy for content that was disputed and potentially misleading. These represent 0.2% of all US election-related Tweets sent during this time period.

  • 456 of those Tweets were also covered by a warning message and had engagement features limited (Tweets could be Quote Tweeted but not Retweeted, replied to or liked).

  • Approximately 74% of the people who viewed those Tweets saw them after we applied a label or warning message.

  • We saw an estimated 29% decrease in Quote Tweets of these labeled Tweets due in part to a prompt that warned people prior to sharing.

We also got ahead of potentially misleading information by showing everyone on Twitter in the US a series of pre-bunk prompts . These prompts, which were seen 389 million times, appeared in people's home timelines and in Search, and reminded people that election results were likely to be delayed, and that voting by mail is safe and legitimate.

Product changes

In the weeks leading up to and during election week, we implemented significant product changes intended to increase context and encourage more thoughtful consideration before Tweets are amplified. Starting today, we are reverting some of these changes and providing more detail on the impact they had.

Encouraging Quote Tweets

We encouraged people to add their own commentary when amplifying content by prompting Quote Tweets instead of Retweets. This change introduced some friction, and gave people an extra moment to consider why and what they were adding to the conversation. Since making this change, we observed a 23% decrease in Retweets and a 26% increase in Quote Tweets, but on a net basis the overall number of Retweets and Quote Tweets combined decreased by 20%. In short, this change slowed the spread of misleading information by virtue of an overall reduction in the amount of sharing on the service. We are taking more time to study and fully understand the impact of this change and are leaving it in-place for now.

Removing Tweet recommendations in Home Timeline & Notifications

We stopped providing "liked by" and "followed by" Tweet recommendations from accounts you don't follow in the Home Timeline and through notifications. While we had initially hoped that this would help reduce the potential for misleading information to spread on our service, we did not observe a statistically significant difference in misinformation prevalence as a result of this change (nor any meaningful reduction in abuse reports). Instead, we found that pausing these recommendations prevented many people from discovering new conversations and accounts to follow. As of today, we are reverting this change.

Our goal is to eventually replace these "liked by" and "followed by" recommendations with ones that are based on the Topics you follow or Topics we think you might like. We believe this will provide you greater control to tell us what you are and aren't interested in, which will make our recommendations more relevant to you. Also, we don't believe the "Like" button provides sufficient, thoughtful consideration prior to amplifying Tweets.

Required context before showing Trends in "For You"

We only showed Trends in "For You" that had added context, meaning our team added a description, representative Tweet, or article to help people more quickly gain an informed understanding of high volume public conversation.

While we saw a significant reduction in reports (on Trends, and Tweets within Trends result pages) as a result of this change, we also recognized that it placed a significant limitation on the number and breadth of Trends that we could show people, making "For You" less relevant for many people's interests.

Moving forward, we'll continue to prioritize reviewing and adding context to as many Trends as possible, but won't make this a requirement before a Trend can appear in "For You." Our goal is to help people see what's happening, while ensuring that potentially misleading trends are presented with context.



Seeking world domination...

Austria adds to the long list of countries that think Facebook should censor worldwide posts according to local sensitivities

Link Here13th November 2020
The Austrian Supreme Court has decided that any censorship demands it places on Facebook must be implemented globally.

The ruling signifies defeat for Facebook in its final appeal in a case that has been running for years. Eva Glawischnig is former Austrian politician who didn't like it when some random Facebook user described her as a traitor and corrupt. She apparently decided it would be easier to censor those accusations than challenge them and has been trying to force Facebook to remove the posts ever since.

A year ago, the EU Court of Justice ruled in her favour, adding that anything that even comes close hurting the claimants feelings should be censored too. This created the absurd situation of making the global Facebook platform beholden to the whims of every country in which it operates.

Facebook took the matter to the Austrian Supreme Court, has just published its ruling. A summary, as reported by Der Standard, is that Facebook must now censor those posts globally or face the legal consequences in Austria and possibly the whole EU. comments:

The precedent this sets is chilling. Not only is it absurd for one country to be able to dictate what is visible in all others, but the ruling effectively says it's no longer permissible to accuse politicians of corruption. Are you still allowed to accuse other people of corruption? Does this protection only apply to people who can afford to litigate for years? What else can Austria now compel Facebook and other internet companies to do?



Contradictory morality...

Feminists censor statue of feminist founder Mary

Link Here13th November 2020
London's new Mary Wollstonecraft statue was designed by British artist Maggi Hambling and has proved a little controversial. The statue doesn't actually depict Wollstonecraft, rather it offers a nude, seemingly cisgender woman that personifies a spirit left in Wollstonecraft's wake , as the Guardian paraphrases Hambling.

It's been widely panned by feminists online and generally considered an objectification of women rather than a celebration of them.

The extremist campaign group Object Now has led the campaign against the statue but the group is not universally popular with campaigners as Object Now is both sex worker exclusionary and transgender exclusionary.

After anonymous protesters defaced the Wollstonecraft statue with black tape and a surgical mask, Object Now showed up and placed a t-shirt over the shirt reading woman, noun, adult human female. The phrase is a common dog-whistle for those wound up by transgender issues. Object Now tweeted:

We OBJECT to this nasty naked stereotypical statue. An Adult Human Female was chilly this morning among the cool wokebro luvvies of Newington Green who urged us to love our bodies.



A bitter pill...

The government consults on banning all advertising for food that tastes good enforced by onerous new censorship and red tape requirements that will strangle British companies whilst advantaging US corporate giants

Link Here12th November 2020
Full story: UK Government food censorship...Resticting advertising for junk (pretty much all) food
The UK Government writes:

We want your views on our proposal for a total online advertising restriction for HFSS (high in fat, salt or suger) products to reduce the amount of HFSS advertising children are exposed to online.

This consultation closes at

Consultation description

We're asking questions on:

  • what types of advertising will be restricted

  • who will be liable for compliance

  • enforcement of the restrictions

In 2019 the government consulted on restricting advertising of HFSS for TV and online . It asked for views on whether to extend current advertising restrictions on broadcast TV and online media, including consulting on watershed restrictions. In July 2020 the government confirmed its intention to introduce a 9pm watershed on TV .

This new consultation goes further and looks at how a total HFSS advertising restriction could be implemented online. It should be read with the 2019 consultation.



Diddling catholics...

US Catholic League complains about Family Guy jokes

Link Here11th November 2020
Full story: Family Guy...TV programme found not so family friendly
US religious campaigners of the Catholic League have complained about the latest episode of Family Guy. The 8th November episode launched a few barbs at the catholic church in an episode about a Christening.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue has written to Family Guy producers, Walt Disney, to complain about the jokes poking fun at the church. He asked:

  • Why are so many in Hollywood bent on disparaging our Judeo-Christian heritage?
  • Why do they single out Catholics?
  • Why can't they treat us the way they treat Muslims and gays?
  • Why is Fox muddying the name of Walt Disney?

Donohue detailed the segment of the episode he found offensive:

Meg (The Daughter): Where's the priest?

Lois (The Mother): Oh, the Church ran out of priests months ago because of all the diddling. Now they just have a rabbi fill in.

The scene then cuts to a rabbi at a baptismal font where he makes this comment while doing the baptism.

Rabbi: Welcome to the Christening. Now, before the child goes in the water, has it been at least 20 minutes since she ate?

Joe (Father of Girl being baptised): Yes, rabbi.

Rabbi: Let's dunk this kid like a doughnut. I hereby Christen this child in the name of Jesus Christ, who was killed by we-don't-know-who, it's not important. The last thing we want to do is point fingers.

After the Baptism, the rabbi makes a joke about the Eucharist.

Rabbi: Congratulations, sweetie, you're a Christian. From now on, every Sunday you get to eat a hard cookie and pretend it's a guy.



EU is endangering journalists...

The Committee to Protect Journalists expresses concern about an proposal to ban secure encrypted messaging

Link Here10th November 2020
Full story: Internet Encryption in the EU...Encryption is legal for the moment but the authorites are seeking to end this

The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern after the Council of the European Union proposed a draft resolution last week calling for national authorities across the EU to have access to encrypted messages as part of criminal investigations into terrorism and organized crime. Journalists rely on encryption to evade surveillance and protect their sources, CPJ has found .

End-to-end encryption prevents authorities, company employees, and hackers from viewing the content of private digital messages, but the resolution proposes unspecified technical solutions to undermine those protections, according to rights groups European Digital Rights and Access Now. The groups said the resolution was drafted without input from privacy experts or journalists.

EU institutions must immediately retract all plans to undermine encryption, which is vital to press freedom and the free flow of information, said Tom Gibson, EU Representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists. Encryption offers essential protection for journalists who routinely communicate and share files electronically. If journalists cannot communicate safely with colleagues and sources, they cannot protect the anonymity of their sources.

The resolution was proposed by Germany, which holds the current presidency of the Council of the European Union, and could serve as a basis for further negotiations with other EU institutions in 2021.



Updated: Likes vs 'should' likes...

TikTok to explain their 'algorithms' to a UK a parliamentary committee

Link Here10th November 2020
Full story: TikTok Censorship...Chinese ownership adds to the usual social media censorship
The upcoming social media website Tiktok will allow UK politicians to review its algorithm, after MPs challenged the firm over censorship concerns and ties to the Chinese government.

Tiktok's UK director of government relations and public policy Elizabeth Kanter said members of the Business Select Committee were welcome to visit its transparency centre, to review its algorithm and the way it moderates content.

Of course the very  idea of algorithms has evolved into some sort of assumption that they are a sinister means of corrupting the weak minds of social media users. In reality they are probably closer to something simple like:

Give 'em more of what they like and don't bother wasting their time with 'worthy' content that they 'should' like, because they'll only skim over it anyway.

Kanter claimed that the app no longer moderates content based on political sensitivities or affiliation. She said:

We do not censor content, I would encourage you to open the app and search for Tiananmen square, search for Uygher, search for Tibet -- you will find that content on Tik Tok.

Kanter reiterated the company's claim that it would not share any data with its Chinese parent company Bytedance or with the Chinese authorities.

TikTok has also announced that it is upping its censorship of political content. In a blog post, the app said it was expanding its policy to take into account coded language and symbols used to spread hateful ideologies:

Tiktok already removes content related to neo-Nazism and white supremacy, but will now also ban similar ideologies such as white nationalism, white genocide theory, Identitarianism and male supremacy.

Update: And on the subject of the repression of Uyghur muslims

10th November 2020. See article from

A TikTok executive admitted to UK lawmakers that the platform censors anti-Chinese content. The statement was made during a hearing held by the UK's Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee. Elizabeth Kanter, TikTok's Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, made the damning comments.

The UK hearing was held to determine whether businesses in the UK are exploiting forced labor in those Xinjiang camps. Kanter initially told the committee that TikTok does not censor content . But when pressed about those previous incidents of censorship on the platform, Kanter admitted something different. She said those videos were removed in the early days of TikTok when content was governed by different guidelines. She said:

The people who wrote the content guidelines took a decision to not allow conflict on the platform, and so there were some incidents where content was not allowed on the platform, specifically with regard to the Uyghur situation.

Kanter later backtracked on her comments claiming that she had misspoken.



Offsite Article: Peeling onions...

Link Here10th November 2020
A detailed discussion about how malignant governments block Tor

See article from



In the spotlight...

Horror films cited in murder trial

Link Here9th November 2020
It's been a while but horror films have featured in a murder trial that has led to the conviction of 2 men who murdered Julia Rawson. The BBC writes:

A man obsessed with horror films has been convicted along with his boyfriend of murdering and dismembering a woman in their flat.

Jurors heard the man had a fascination with decapitation and horror films and had been addicted to fantasies about the sexualised killing of women. His victim would have seen swords and spiders mounted on the walls of the Tipton flat, reptiles kept in tanks, and gory face masks of horror film characters, Freddy Krueger and Chucky dolls.



Group think censorship...

Facebook announces a new censorship process to put public and private groups on probation

Link Here8th November 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook has developed a new censorship process requiring administrators of public and private groups to manually pre-censor posts to the group prior to publication.

Facebook will restrict any groups-- both public and private ones-- with multiple posts violating its censorship rules. Moderators for the groups will have to approve any posts manually for 60 days, and there's no appeal available for groups on probationary status.

Facebook spokesperson Leonard Lam said in a statement emailed to The Verge:

We are temporarily requiring admins and moderators of some political and social groups in the US to approve all posts, if their group has a number of Community Standards violations from members, a measure we're taking in order to protect people during this unprecedented time.

Admins will be notified of their group's status and told when the restrictions will be lifted. During the probationary period, Facebook will keep tabs on how the moderators of restricted groups deal with posts; if they continue to allow posts that break its rules, Facebook may shut down the groups entirely.



Offsite Article: Tell tale signs of snooping...

Link Here8th November 2020
Proctoring exam monitoring software company abuses DMCA to shutdown student who exposed invasive software tracking

See article from



Who'd take a job as the fall guy anyway?...

Turkey fines Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for failing to comply with new censorship laws

Link Here7th November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
The Government of Turkey has fined Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 10 million lira ($1.2 million) each for not complying with a new social media censorship law that took effect last month. The law places penalties on any refusal by social media companies to take down posts that the government deems offensive.

According to the law, social media sites with more than one million Turkish daily users must appoint a fall guy accountable to Turkish courts, abide by governmental orders to remove offensive content within 48 hours, and store user data inside Turkey.

Beginning with fines, the law gives the government the ability to increase penalties up to the cutting of sites' bandwidth by 90%, essentially blocking access to the social media platform altogether.

It will be interesting to see if Turkey is willing to block social media, surely local businesses would not be very impressed by such a move.



Possessor censor...

Brandon Croneberg's Possessor is cut for an MPA R rating but there is also an Uncut version

Link Here6th November 2020
Possessor is a 2020 UK / Canada Sci-Fi horror thriller by Brandon Cronenberg.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. IMDb

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

The US release of Possessor was cut for an MPA R rating. However the uncut version will be released on video with the variant title Possessor Uncut. This version is MPA Unrated. It seems likely that Possessor Uncut will be used for international releases. The UK rating has yet to be published by the BBFC.

The LA Times explains that director Brandon Cronenberg prefers the Uncut version:

Presented stateside by distributor Neon, Possessor Uncut -- titled so to distinguish it from an R-rated version that also will be available in some markets -- is the complete version as far as Cronenberg is concerned, replete with the uninhibited moments of sex and violence, such as the transfixing erection glimpsed in a sequence memorably bathed in electric blue, that might otherwise have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Cronenberg commented:

Generally I prefer explicit violence, and I prefer violence that is viscerally disturbing to people. I find it more unsettling if violence is very sanitized. If you have a PG-13 movie where 100 people get killed and no one bleeds, to me that's doing a disservice by trivializing the violence. So I prefer people to have that visceral response, because you should.



Rightly guided censors...

Ofcom fines Islam Channel for religious hate speech

Link Here6th November 2020
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Islam Channel is an English language satellite television channel broadcast in 136 countries worldwide, including the UK. Its output includes religious instruction programmes, current affairs, documentaries and entertainment programmes, all from an Islamic perspective.

On 11 November 2018 at 23:0 0 Islam Channel broadcast an episode of The Rightly Guided Khalifas , religious education series on the history of the Qur'an, detailing its origins, its written compilation and the measures used to preserve its original wording.

A segment of the programme ascribed a perpetually negative characteristic to Jewish people; namely corrupting Holy Books and seeking the destruction of Islam in both ancient and more recent times. It conflated Israel and Jewish people, characterising Jewish people as tyrannical and having an evil mind . The programme also used further negative and stereotypical terms to describe Jewish people.

In Ofcom's Decision published on 7 October 2019 in issue 388 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom's Executive found that this programme contained uncontextualised hate speech4 and breached Rules 2.3, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Code.

Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to...discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...race, religion or belief....

Rule 3.2: Material which contains hate speech must not be included in television...programmes...except where it is justified by the context.

Rule 3.3: Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in where it is justified by the context....

Ofcom put the Licensee on notice that it considered these breaches to be serious, and that it would consider them for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

Ofcom's Decision is to impose a financial penalty of £20,000, to direct the Licensee to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom and not to repeat the programme without edits to remove content in breach of the Code.



The Medium...

The latest game to be banned by the Australian Censorship Board

Link Here4th November 2020
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
The Medium is a 2020 Poland single player psychological horror from Bloober Team

The game has been banned by the Australian Censorship Board for reasons unknown. Neither the censors nor the developers have specified any particular reasons for the ban.

The censor's database notes that the film was rated as Refused Classification (banned) in July 2020. The database also notes that the game was submitted under the automated random rating generator process known as IARC. This has a long history of ludicrous ratings that eventually get overturned by human censors.

The game's developers, Bloober Team has made a name for themselves thanks to the line of horror video game titles but it looks like The Medium will be their largest project launch to date. It is claimed that due to computing requirements, it will only run on the latest consoles, notably Xbox Series X.

It is reported that Bloober Team are making cuts to secure a presumably R18+ rating.



Commented: A disgraceful disregard of free speech...

Scottish MSPs point out that a new blasphemy bill will apply to speech in people's private homes

Link Here2nd November 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
The disgraceful new Scottish hate crime and blasphemy bill will criminalise free speech in people's own homes, MSPs have been told.

MSPs questioned Scottish 'Justice' Secretary Humza Yousaf over the censorship legislation during an evidence session before the Holyrood Justice Committee. The new proposed legislation will introduce a stirring-up of hate offence on characteristics including religion, and sexual orientation.

However critics note that the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill, which centres around plans for a new offence of stirring up hatred, will stifle freedom of expression.

BBC Scotland, Catholic bishops, the Humanist Society of Scotland, and the Scottish Police Federation are amongst those to have raised concerns, along with Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson and writer Val McDermid.

Because of this, Yousaf was forced to moderate the legislation and marginally change the controversial stirring up offences section which has been condemned by opponents. It now means stirring up offences would be limited to intent relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and variations in sex characteristics and therefore prosecutions could only be brought in this respect.

Liam Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative Justice Spokesman, added: The Hate Crime Bill was a mess when the SNP first brought it to parliament and it still contains serious issues that need to be fixed. He said:

Tinkering around the margins will not fix the most controversial bill in Scottish Parliament history.

This latest admission from the justice secretary confirms what so many respondents to the consultation have warned 203 that as drafted, this Bill means free speech could be criminalised within the home with friends you've invited over for a dinner party, and that Mr Yousaf is perfectly comfortable with that.

The SNP need to be clear with the Scottish public about exactly what they intend this Hate Crime Bill to do.

They can't keep trying to force through dangerous attacks on freedom of speech.

Update: Stronger free speech protection needed over hate crime bill urges the National Secular Society

31st October 2020. See article from

The National Secular Society has urged the Scottish government to ensure freedom of expression is adequately protected after ministers hinted at possible concessions in a bill on hate crime.

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans met with government representatives on Thursday and urged them to reconsider plans to criminalise stirring up hatred on various grounds, including religion.

Mr Evans warned that the vague and highly subjective wording in the bill risked chilling free speech and sending the message that the law was there to protect people from being offended.

Part of the bill, which is currently making its way through the Scottish parliament, would criminalise behaviour deemed threatening or abusive and intended to stir up hatred.

As part of its case the NSS argued that protections for free speech in the relevant section of the bill should be at least as strong as their equivalents in England and Wales.

Offsite Comment: Scotland is leading the way to totalitarianism

2nd November 2020. See article from by Rod Dreher

 A bill brought forth by the SNP aims to police what citizens say at home



Epic confusion...

Cinemas were confused over the BBFC rating for a special screening of John Carpenter's Halloween. Perhaps this was down to the BBFC's garbled new database

Link Here1st November 2020
Halloween is a 1978 USA horror by John Carpenter.
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film was always uncut in the UK and surprisingly 18 rated until a 15 rated cinema release in 2018. In fact video versions are still 18 rated.

Now it appears that cinemas are still a bit confused about the film's rating. Andy explains about a censorial travesty of epic proportions!

This being Halloween I was planning on taking my [15 year old] daughter to see the 1978 classic at the local cinema for it's one night retrospective performance. Two weeks ago I purchased tickets, advertised quite rightly as a certificate 15, and both my daughter and I were looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen.

Two days ago I was double checking timings and the cinema had upped the certificate to an 18! I did a double take, checked the BBFC website case study, rang the cinema and spent a good 30 minutes trying to explain why the film is now rated 15 for the cinema... to no avail. The lady was very helpful, even going to the regional booking centre before coming back to me and telling me the film is definitely an 18, so I had no choice but to cancel our tickets.

I checked the website - Parkway Cinemas - and in Cleethorpes, Beverly and Louth the film is playing with an 18 certificate. In Barnsley it is playing with the standard 15. As it is in all other local cinemas.

How is it possible for to get so confused about a BBFC rating? It did cross my mind that perhaps the cinema was somehow showing on old pre-digital print, but that seems unlikely.

Of course the other possibility is that the cinema looked up the film on the new garbled BBFC database, only to find that it is nowhere to be found. Readers are welcome to try, but I couldn't see it, (until I bizarrely followed up the title Halloween - Additional Scenes From Tv Version ).



Land of the free to propose censorship...

US lawmakers are queuing up to propose internet censorship laws

Link Here1st November 2020
US Representative Greg Steube has just introduced yet another legislative proposal aimed at internet censorship via ending Section 230 protections, and his CASE-IT Act has the distinction of attempting to define adult content in explicit and broad terms.

This adds to a long list of censorship proposals:

  • The House version of the EARN IT Act, introduced by Representative Sylvia Garcia and notorious anti-sex work crusader Ann Wagner, one of the intellectual authors of FOSTA-SESTA
  • The "Don't Push My Buttons" Act, introduced by Senator John Kennedy
  • The "See Something Say Something" Act, introduced by Senators Joe Manchin and John Cornyn
  • A highly unusual "draft legislation recommendation" by William Barr's Department of Justice
  • The "Online Content Policy Modernization" Act (S.4632) introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham
  • The "Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity" Act, introduced by Senators Roger Wicker, Graham and Marsha Blackburn
  • The PACT Act, introduced by Senators John Thune and Brian Schatz
  • Trump's unprecedented "Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship"
  • The EARN IT Act, introduced by Graham

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