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Censor Watch

2020: December

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Onsite Article: 2020...

Link Here31st December 2020
The year in BBFC cuts

See article from



Ofcom's new year resolution to solve all the world's ills...

Ofcom confirm a new broadcasting code that will ban Jews from hating Nazis, religions from hating gays, feminists from hating men, progressive commentators from Hating Trump, and the BBC from hating Brexiteers

Link Here 31st December 2020
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Ofcom have released a statement about new TV censorship arrangements following Brexit. Ofcom writes:

Ofcom is today confirming changes to our Broadcasting Code and Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising following consultation.  

The changes reflect new requirements on broadcasters under the revised  Audiovisual Media Services Regulation 2020 , and also take account of legislative changes following the end of the transition period for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. 

In brief, we are amending:

  • the definition of hate speech in Section Three (Crime, disorder, hatred and abuse) of the Broadcasting Code; 

  • Section Nine (Commercial references on TV) of the Broadcasting Code, to reflect new product placement provisions; and 

  • the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA), to reflect advertising provisions under the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

We are also making other minor and administrative updates to the Broadcasting Code.

Both the revised Broadcasting Code and the revised COSTA will take effect from 23:00, 31 December 2020, when the Brexit transition period ends.

In fact the definition of 'hate speech' is incredibly wide and seemingly covers many instances where 'hate' is currently totally acceptable, or even encouraged. Ofcom's definition is:

Meaning of "hate speech": all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, social origin, sex, gender, gender reassignment, nationality, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, colour, genetic features, language, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth or age.

Ofcom also details the legal aspects of the changes:

The UK statutory framework that shapes the regulation of UK television services is changing.

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into force on 1 November 2020. The AVMS Regulations implement the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) into UK law. They amend Section 319 of the Communications Act 2003, which sets the standards objectives that underpin Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.

From 1 January 2021, the AVMS Directive itself and the country of origin principle will no longer apply as they did to UK television services that broadcast into the EU. However, the content rules set by the AVMSD prior to that date will still apply. This means both the rules that already existed, and the ones on which we have been consulting to implement the AVMSD, will still apply, and our rules which implemented the AVMSD will be interpreted as they were before.

In addition, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT) framework will still apply and the legislation requires Ofcom to implement it. This means that services established in the UK and that broadcast to ECTT countries are required to comply with broadcast standards set out in the ECTT, which include those on the amount of advertising broadcasters can transmit and where this is scheduled.

On 24 November 2020, Ofcom published a consultation on proposals for amendments to the Broadcasting Code and COSTA resulting from the legislative changes. This statement sets out the amendments we are making in light of stakeholders' responses.



Global identity card...

A dystopian idea. You too could get 'cancelled' throughout the world at the touch of a button

Link Here31st December 2020
Tech entrepreneur Joseph Thompson has founded a start-up technology company AID:Tech which has created a digital app to act as a global identity card.

Apparently it is one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals that everyone has a control enabling legal identity, including birth registration, by 2030. This the prompted the World Bank to launch its Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative in 2014.

The latest data from the Bank shows there are just over 987 million people in the world who have no legal identity, down from 1.5 billion in 2016. The majority live in low-income countries where almost 45% of women and 28% of men lack a legal ID.

The blurb about Thomson's waves its arms about blockchain and makes the unlikely claim that the unlikely claim that the digital identity is accessible only to the person whose ID it holds. I can't imagine many country's authorities would be happy with a system that they cannot access.



Dancing Queen...

200 people complain to Ofcom about Channel 4's disrespectful deep fake Queen's Christmas speech

Link Here31st December 2020
Ofcom has received 214 complaints about Channel 4's deepfake Christmas broadcast. It depicted the British Queen dancing and joking about Megxit.

Computer trickery meant that 48-year-old actress Debra Stephenson, who delivered it, looked just like the 94-year-old monarch.

One viewer tweeted Ofcom asking: Can you please do something to stop this horrifically disrespectful, treasonous assault on the senses? Another fumed: I would rather go to the kitchen and hold my hands down on the hot plate for 10 minutes than watch this 'woke' rubbish.



Offsite Article: Following China's lead...

Link Here31st December 2020
covid restrictions appUK Government awards contracts for the development of covid restrictions apps

See article from



Britain's Got Talent for Whingeing...

Ofcom's top programmes as judged by the number of complainers wound up

Link Here27th December 2020
The Daily Star writes:

2020 has been a year like no other, with Ofcom receiving record complaints about some of the UK's biggest shows.

Throughout the year in telly, the British public took offence to everything from explosive interviews, to pre-watershed violence and scenes of puking.

Britain's Got Talent received more complaints from viewers than any rival show

Raking in major viewings as usual, the show made headlines on September 5 when dance troupe Diversity performed a routine to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Almost 28,000 people reportedly complained about very political dance routine. Ofcom did not agree with the wrong sort of complaints though.

Good Morning Britain also racked up a hefty number of Ofcom complaints throughout the year.

By October, the show had received 9,000 complaints from viewers, with Piers Morgan at the centre of a number of concerns. In particular, Piers' April interview with Conservative Health and Social Care Minister Helen Whately received over 3,200 calls, with the presenter being accused of bullying.

Morgan's interview with Health Secretary Matt Hancock also drew in hundreds of complaints, as did an appearance from MP Victoria Atkins. When Piers compared the PM, Boris Johnson, to Worzel Gummidge -- a scarecrow from a kids' TV series -- another 390 picked up their phones to vent.

This Morning presenters Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes hosted a segment titled Should chemists tell their customers they are fat?

Ofcom confirmed the show had received 3,496 complaints about the discussion about pharmacists.

Sky News received 840 complaints from viewers. In August, one Sky News report was met by fury after it filmed a live broadcast of migrants crossing the Channel by sea.

The broadcast was slammed by Labour MP Zarah Sultana, who said it reminded her of a grotesque reality TV show. We should ensure people don't drown crossing the Channel, not film them as if it were some grotesque reality TV show, she said.

Emmerdale chipped in with a remark made in the lockdown special which caused a backlash, when Jimmy King thanked the deadly virus for suspending his parenting duties.

Ofcom confirmed 75 disgruntled fans had got in touch to raise their concerns.



Offsite Article: Suppressing unPC Speech on Social Media Drives Users to New Platforms...

Link Here 27th December 2020
The more that big social media companies act like they can control what people say, the more competition they encourage.

See article from



The Prince...

Gay Chilean prison drama banned by Amazon Prime

Link Here24th December 2020

The Prince is a 2019 Chile/Argentina/Belgium gay prison drama by Sebastián Muñoz
Starring Juan Carlos Maldonado, Alfredo Castro and Gastón Pauls BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The film hasn't troubled film censors but it did offend Amazon Prime and so it was banned on that service.

Summary Notes

A '70s-set homoerotic prison drama based on a low-circulated pulp novel, tracking the sexual, often-violent and eventually murderous experiences of 20-something narcissist Jaime.


BBFC uncut
run: 96m
pal: 92m
18UK: Passed 18 uncut for sexual violence, strong sex, nudity, gory injury detail:
Amazon Prime UK: Banned from Amazon Prime in December 2020

See article from

The Prince has been banned from Amazon Prime UK after distributor Peccadillo Pictures was informed the movie contained offensive content that clashed with the streamer's guidelines.

Distributor, Peccadillo's MD Tom Abell said:

We have been trying to overturn their decision without avail and cannot understand why, when we have overwhelming support from all other platforms, they have taken this stance.We cannot deny that The Prince has some explosive and bold scenes but this is what makes it stand out and is such an enjoyable and admired film. It certainly contains nothing that hasn't been seen before in a prison drama and pales in comparison to scenes in many of Amazon's own productions. We are something of a loss to explain the situation.

Amazon seems happy enough to continue selling the BBFC 18 rated DVD though.



Kneeling in Church...

The BBC offends with preachy sermonising in the Vicar of Dibley

Link Here24th December 2020
The BBC has received 266 complaints about a scene in The Vicar Of Dibley , referencing the Black Lives Matter movement.

In last week's Christmas episode, Dawn French's character, Reverend Geraldine Granger, kneeled to Black Lives Matter and delivered a sermon preaching about racism.

The BBC said in a statement it was in keeping with the character and the theme of the show. French's character is shown being filmed by parishioner and farmer Owen Newitt as she tells the audience she has been preoccupied with the horror show of the death of George Floyd. In the scene, the vicar noted that Dibley, the fictional Oxfordshire village, is not the most diverse community, and encouraged its residents to get behind the anti-racism campaign.



Political censorship...

Ofcom fines Indian channel Republic TV for hate speech against Pakistan

Link Here24th December 2020
A right leaning Indian news channel known for its strong pro-government stance and firebrand host has been fined by the UK TV censor Ofcom for broadcasting hate speech about Pakistan .

Republic TV was fined £20,000 for airing a segment on its UK service, which conveyed the view that all Pakistani people are terrorists, including their scientists, doctors, their leaders, politicians [...] Even their sports people.

The primetime show Poochta Hai Bharat aired on 6 September 2019 on the Hindi-language version of the channel, Republic Bharat.

Republic TV is one of the most widely watched channels in India, with news anchor and founder Arnab Goswami hosting aggressive current affairs debates, which regularly air rightwing opinions while pointing and shouting at viewers down the camera.

Ofcom said it had received multiple complaints from viewers for the highly pejorative references to members of the Pakistani community (eg continually referring to them as 'filthy') on Goswami's show.

Ofcom summarised that the show failed to comply with UK broadcasting rules as it had spread, incited, promoted and justified such intolerance towards Pakistani people among viewers.



Censor vs censor...

Russian lawmakers progress bill to allow the government to censor social media should it censor Russian news providers

Link Here24th December 2020
Russian lawmakers have moved a step closer to allowing state censors to block Internet platforms like Facebook and YouTube if they are deemed to have censored content produced by Russians.

Russia's lower house of parliament, which passed draft legislation in a third reading, said in a media release that authorities can target platforms if they have been found to limit information based on nationality and language. The lower house State Duma added that Internet websites could also be sanctioned in the event of discrimination against the content of Russian media.

The legislation now needs to get approval from the upper house Federation Council before President Vladimir Putin signs it into law .



Wicked City...

1987 Japan anime horror previously cut but now released uncut on DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here21st December 2020
Wicked City is a 1987 Japan anime horror sci-fi by Yoshiaki Kawajiri.
With Gregory Snegoff, Mike Reynolds and Alexandra Kenworthy. YouTube icon BBFC link 2020 IMDb

There has been peace between the worlds of the mortals and the supernatural for centuries, but the balance is now being threatened. The Radical elements from the Supernatural world are crossing over into the mortal universe for the purpose of destroying the peace forever!

The film was cut by the BBFC for 18 rated VHS in 1993 and cinema release in 1994. The 1993 BBFC cuts were:

  • A panning shot of Jin having his hand on Maki's crotch is deleted
  • Close-up of Maki's crotch with Jin's hand on it, along with the subsequent shot of Maki's hair grabbing Jin, which is cut for continuity.
  • The demon creature forcing its tongue to Maki's mouth, and then doing the "old in-out".
  • The beginning of Maki's rape by the demons is short of a demon mauling on her breast, and the following brief rape shot.
  • The rest of Maki's rape is massively reduced and cut (over 20 seconds). This includes the demons mauling and her raping her.
  • Raping of Maki in the demon base has lost four close-ups - the demons squeezing her breasts, Maki getting raped from behind, a close of Maki's face, and of her chained hands.

The films has been re-released in 2020 as a double bill with Demon City Shinjuku and has been released uncut on DVD and Blu-ray. Anthony commented:

I can confirm, judging by the existing descriptions of what the BBFC cut, that this brand-new 2020 DVD and Blu-Ray release of Wicked City is uncut.

The running time stacks up with the uncut version too.

UK: BBFC details not yet published though for:
  • 2020 Manga Limited Edition [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon #ad
  • 2020 Manga Standard Edition [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • 2020 Manga [Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku] R2 DVD at UK Amazon



Online Harms in Pakistan...

Just like Ofcom, Pakistan's internet censor is being giving infinite powers to censor internet content

Link Here21st December 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has analysed the provisions of a new set of online content regulations that the Pakistani government decreed without any consultation with stakeholders, and which are clearly designed to impose draconian online censorship.

Published last month by the information ministry and entitled Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards), Rules 2020 , the new regulations replace an earlier set of rules that were suspended in February because of a civil society outcry .They have ended up going much further, granting disproportionate and discretionary powers to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the online content regulator, which is a direct government offshoot.

On national security grounds, the rules provide for the withdrawal or blocking of any content that excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the federal or provincial government or harms the reputation of any person holding public office.  It is equally concerning that the rules also provide for the censorship of any content regarded as indecent, immoral or harmful to the glory of Islam , without giving any precise definition of these extremely vague concepts. The interpretation is left to the PTA, which thereby acquires arbitrary and almost infinite powers.

The rules also empower the PTA to act as both plaintiff and judge. It is the PTA that decides, without reference to a court , whether content violates the criminal code and, worse still, it is the PTA that reexamines cases in the event of a challenge, and rules on any appeals.

Platforms are also legally obliged to hand over user data when asked, including data from private and encrypted communications. And platforms with more than 500,000 users are required to open an office in Pakistan, install servers there and register with the authorities.



Offsite Article: Hackers leak documents revealing China's coronavirus censorship...

Link Here 21st December 2020
The documents reveal that China's censorship on information about the outbreak began in early January, before coronavirus had even been decisively identified

See article from



Hating free speech...

Scotland's disgraceful 'hate crimes' bill to diminish free speech passes its first test in the Scottish Parliament

Link Here18th December 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
Scotland is proceeding with its disgraceful plans to pass a new blasphemy law.

Currently, the Hate Crime Bill looks likely to eventually pass, as it just secured a 91 to 29 vote in parliament during the first phase of the legislative procedure.

Some of the more troublesome points of the bill, the way it was originally drafted, include sanctioning possession of what's referred to as inflammatory media (memes, emails, images, and dark humor), as well as social media posts determined by the authorities to be problematic. At the same time, the legislation is vague enough to fail to objectively define what abuse in terms of speech means.

The phase one vote was preceded by a debate, when SNP member and Scotland's Injustice Secretary Humza Yousaf acknowledged there were concerns about the bill's chilling effect on free speech, but immediately went on to mention the chilling effect of hate (speech) crime perpetrated against sexual, ethnic and racial minorities and religious communities.




Games distributor COG caves to Chinese pressure and de-lists the game Devotion

Link Here18th December 2020
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Gaming store GOG changed its plans about listing horror game Devotion just a few hours after the game's developer announced it would be available on the platform. GOG tweeted:

After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.

Red Candle Games did not detail the messages received, but clearly these from China or Chinese website users demanding censorship of the game.

The game from Taiwanese Red Candle Games was first released on February 19, 2019. The game received critical acclaim, but contained a reference to the internet meme likening Chinese president Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. The game was removed from Steam after six days on release. Chinese users (or bots) retaliated against the meme by review bombing the game on Steam.



Offsite Article: Where can you speak your mind?...

Link Here18th December 2020
While social networks are strictly censoring right leaning contet, podcasting is giving it a largely unmoderated platform

See article from



Offsite Article: ePrivacy starts in the EU...

Link Here18th December 2020
Facebook and Instagram disable features in Europe

See article from



Unaccountably naff...

The BBFC claims that it has fixed bugs leading to old cuts and bans being censored from its website...BUT...old cuts and bans still seem to be missing

Link Here16th December 2020
The BBFC has tweeted

We pride ourselves on being an accountable and transparent regulator that people trust, and it was never our intention to withhold or hide cuts or rejected content.

We have always been clear publicly that the issue is a bug which we have been working hard to fix. This occurred because we have transferred more than 100 years worth of data from our old system to a new one. While the website is what most people see, we have also changed the system we use for classification - which we announced on 28 January 2020 and you can read about on our website.

While we anticipated bumps along the way - which is to be expected with any transformational project of this nature - we regret that issues have occurred around cuts. We are very proud to be an accountable and transparent regulator, and so getting this issue fixed has been a high priority for us. We are now confident that this has been fixed, and would like to stress, again, that if any record is still missing cuts information then this is entirely unintentional. Going forward, we will continue to update records manually if we discover that any information is missing.

At the BBFC, our focus is on helping children and families choose content well by providing them with the guidance they need to make informed decisions about what's right for them and what isn't. Our new website has been optimised for mobile, to make it easier than ever before for parents to find the trusted information they need and want. Research shows that demand for clear content labelling has never been higher, with 97% of people saying they benefit from age ratings being in place.

Trust in the BBFC remains at an all time high, with 83% of parents saying they trust our age ratings all or most of the time, and 92% of people agreeing with our decisions. We take the integrity and impartiality of our work very seriously and over more than a century, the BBFC has increasingly come to be recognised as the go-to guide that people can trust.

I tried looking up a few old banned and cut films but cuts and bans are still missing. A did spot cuts and bans information about Human Centipede 2 but this information did not include the basic cuts time, nor did it make clear which releases the described cuts apply to.



Appeal court judges grow some balls...

A court conviction for a misgendering insult overturned by appeals court

Link Here16th December 2020
It seems a fundamental character of political correctness that minor transgressions are subject to totally disproportionate and extreme penalties. A total loss of a livelihood and career is the standard punishment for a minor and often unintended infraction. And of course the rules are totally unfair and one sided. It is a commonplace insult to accuse a man/boy of being a girl and nobody would think that such an insult would deserve any more of a reprimand than a telling off. Yet the same 'misgendering' insult seems to qualify for being locked up by the police should the recipient be trans.

And such an insult has now been considered by an appeals court.

A British woman Kate Scottow has managed to lodge a successful appeal against a disgraceful court verdict that found her guilty of causing annoyance and anxiety to a transgender woman during an online Twitter exchange.

Scottow was accused by trans activist Stephanie Hayden for a 'misgenderig' insult that was termed as significant online abuse taking place on Twitter, and then in late 2018 arrested in her home and then being detained in a cell for seven hours before being questioned.

The appeals court overturned the guilty verdict but its legal explanation has been reserved until a later date.

Scottow announced the outcome of the appeals of Twitter, saying her record had been cleared of a conviction and that she is a free person now.



Unconscious bias...

The BBFC proposes to replace its appeal board by children's campaigners

Link Here15th December 2020
The BBFC writes in its latest bard meeting minutes: The Board heard a report:

on plans to reform the BBFC's Video Appeals Committee drawing on the membership of the Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing to create an appeals mechanism that remains independent of the BBFC and is much more efficient and fit for purpose than current arrangements.

And from the last Annual Report here are the rather biased sounding current members of the Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing:

  • Reg Bailey
    Chair of The Board of Trustees at YMCA England & Wales

  • Margo Boye-Anawomah
    Childcare barrister & family judge

  • John Carr OBE
    Expert on child protection in relation to new media

  • Naomi Eisenstadt
    Independent Adviser on Poverty and Inequality (previously Senior Research Fellow, Department of Education, Oxford University)

  • Professor Charlie Lewis
    Professor of Family & Developmental Psychology, Lancaster University

  • Annie Mullins OBE
    Director of Europe Trust & Safety and Co-founder of the Institute of Digital Well-Being

  • The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy
    Dean of Christ Church, Oxford

  • Professor Ann Phoenix
    Co-Director of the Thomas Coram Research Unit

  • Honor Rhodes OBE
    Director of Strategic Development, [trans controversial] Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships

  • Louise Robinson
    Ex-headteacher, independent school 4-18; Registered Lead Inspector, educational consultant and appraiser



Harming the internet...

The Government outlines its final plans to introduce new and wide ranging internet censorship laws

Link Here15th December 2020

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden and Home Secretary Priti Patel have announced the government's final decisions on new internet censorships laws.

  • New rules to be introduced for nearly all tech firms that allow users to post their own content or interact

  • Firms failing to protect people face fines of up to ten per cent of turnover or the blocking of their sites and the government will reserve the power for senior managers to be held liable

  • Popular platforms to be held responsible for tackling both legal and illegal harms

  • All platforms will have a duty of care to protect children using their services

  • Laws will not affect articles and comments sections on news websites, and there will be additional measures to protect free speech

The full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation sets out how the proposed legal duty of care on online companies will work in practice and gives them new responsibilities towards their users. The safety of children is at the heart of the measures.

Social media sites, websites, apps and other services which host user-generated content or allow people to talk to others online will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and suicide content. The Government is also progressing work with the Law Commission on whether the promotion of self harm should be made illegal.

Tech platforms will need to do far more to protect children from being exposed to harmful content or activity such as grooming, bullying and pornography. This will help make sure future generations enjoy the full benefits of the internet with better protections in place to reduce the risk of harm.

The most popular social media sites, with the largest audiences and high-risk features, will need to go further by setting and enforcing clear terms and conditions which explicitly state how they will handle content which is legal but could cause significant physical or psychological harm to adults. This includes dangerous disinformation and misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, and will help bridge the gap between what companies say they do and what happens in practice.

Ofcom is now confirmed as the regulator with the power to fine companies failing in their duty of care up to £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover, whichever is higher. It will have the power to block non-compliant services from being accessed in the UK.

The legislation includes provisions to impose criminal sanctions on senior managers. The government will not hesitate to bring these powers into force should companies fail to take the new rules seriously - for example, if they do not respond fully, accurately and in a timely manner to information requests from Ofcom. This power would be introduced by Parliament via secondary legislation, and reserving the power to compel compliance follows similar approaches in other sectors such as financial services regulation.

The government plans to bring the laws forward in an Online Safety Bill next year and set the global standard for proportionate yet effective regulation. This will safeguard people's rights online and empower adult users to keep themselves safe while preventing companies arbitrarily removing content. It will defend freedom of expression and the invaluable role of a free press, while driving a new wave of digital growth by building trust in technology businesses.


The new regulations will apply to any company in the world hosting user-generated content online accessible by people in the UK or enabling them to privately or publicly interact with others online.

It includes social media, video sharing and instant messaging platforms, online forums, dating apps, commercial pornography websites, as well as online marketplaces, peer-to-peer services, consumer cloud storage sites and video games which allow online interaction. Search engines will also be subject to the new regulations.

The legislation will include safeguards for freedom of expression and pluralism online - protecting people's rights to participate in society and engage in robust debate.

Online journalism from news publishers' websites will be exempt, as will reader comments on such sites. Specific measures will be included in the legislation to make sure journalistic content is still protected when it is reshared on social media platforms.

Categorised approach

Companies will have different responsibilities for different categories of content and activity, under an approach focused on the sites, apps and platforms where the risk of harm is greatest.

All companies will need to take appropriate steps to address illegal content and activity such as terrorism and child sexual abuse. They will also be required to assess the likelihood of children accessing their services and, if so, provide additional protections for them. This could be, for example, by using tools that give age assurance to ensure children are not accessing platforms which are not suitable for them.

The government will make clear in the legislation the harmful content and activity that the regulations will cover and Ofcom will set out how companies can fulfil their duty of care in codes of practice.

A small group of companies with the largest online presences and high-risk features, likely to include Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter, will be in Category 1.

These companies will need to assess the risk of legal content or activity on their services with "a reasonably foreseeable risk of causing significant physical or psychological harm to adults". They will then need to make clear what type of "legal but harmful" content is acceptable on their platforms in their terms and conditions and enforce this transparently and consistently.

All companies will need mechanisms so people can easily report harmful content or activity while also being able to appeal the takedown of content. Category 1 companies will be required to publish transparency reports about the steps they are taking to tackle online harms.

Examples of Category 2 services are platforms which host dating services or pornography and private messaging apps. Less than three per cent of UK businesses will fall within the scope of the legislation and the vast majority of companies will be Category 2 services.


Financial harms will be excluded from this framework, including fraud and the sale of unsafe goods. This will mean the regulations are clear and manageable for businesses, focus action where there will be most impact, and avoid duplicating existing regulation.

Where appropriate, lower-risk services will be exempt from the duty of care to avoid putting disproportionate demands on businesses. This includes exemptions for retailers who only offer product and service reviews and software used internally by businesses. Email services will also be exempt.

Some types of advertising, including organic and influencer adverts that appear on social media platforms, will be in scope. Adverts placed on an in-scope service through a direct contract between an advertiser and an advertising service, such as Facebook or Google Ads, will be exempt because this is covered by existing regulation.

Private communications

The response will set out how the regulations will apply to communication channels and services where users expect a greater degree of privacy - for example online instant messaging services and closed social media groups which are still in scope.

Companies will need to consider the impact on user privacy and that they understand how company systems and processes affect people's privacy, but firms could, for example, be required to make services safer by design by limiting the ability for anonymous adults to contact children.

Given the severity of the threat on these services, the legislation will enable Ofcom to require companies to use technology to monitor, identify and remove tightly defined categories of illegal material relating to child sexual exploitation and abuse. Recognising the potential impact on user privacy, the government will ensure this is only used as a last resort where alternative measures are not working. It will be subject to stringent legal safeguards to protect user rights.



Updated: Spelling test...

The BBFC decides to spell the word 'nigger' with asterisks in its content reports and whether to update strong language policy in general

Link Here13th December 2020
The BBFC spoke of a change in spelling policy when responding to a question asking why the BBFC spells the words 'fuck' and 'cunt' with asterisks but not the word 'nigger'.

The BBFC responded:

We recently updated our policy around this term and going forward any mention [of the word 'nigger'] in our ratings info will be asterisked. We are working on doing the same for historical uses across our website and are conducting further research on language.

Update: 'Fuck' too

13th December 2020. See BBFC boardmeeting minutes [pdf] from

The BBFC further expanded details of a review of strong language in a board meeting:

An update on language research, which is currently underway.

The study will assess the UK public's attitude towards strong language ('f**k', motherf**ker') and very strong language ('c**t') in film and TV content. This includes varying forms of bleeped, mouthed, implied or elided strong and very strong language, and how we should define this in ratings info.

The research will consider the different contexts in which language may appear, and whether public acceptance towards the volume of strong or very strong language at 12(A) and 15, respectively, has changed.

The use of acronyms indicating strong language (e.g. 'WTF') at the junior categories is also being explored. As is the classification of peer-to-peer/reclaimed use of the 'n-word, including how to define this in ratings info.

Where required, BBFC internal policies will be updated to reflect the findings of this research.



Harming the internet...

The Government to unveil plans for its new internet censorship law this week

Link Here13th December 2020

The Times is reporting that the government will announce plans for its upcoming Online Harms internet censorship law on Tuesday.

Ministers will announce plans for a statutory duty of care, which will be enforced by Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator. Companies that fail to meet the duty could face multimillion-pound fines or be blocked from operating in Britain.

However, the legislation will also include measures to protect freedom of speech after concerns were raised in Downing Street that the powers could prompt social media companies to take posts down unnecessarily.

It also seems that the bill will be titles Online Safety rather than Online Harms.



Recommending The Ripper...

Campaigners speak out against Yorkshire Ripper documentary on Netflix

Link Here13th December 2020

Families of Yorkshire Ripper's victims have spoken out against a Netflix documentary about the mass murderer. Sutcliffe's victims' families say the term 'Ripper' is traumatising for them to hear

They wrote a letter to Netflix saying the new title is insulting to our families. Netflix had changed the name of the documentary from Once Upon A Time In Yorkshire to The Ripper .

In a letter written to the company, two of Sutcliffe's victims Marcella Claxton, Mo Lea and relatives of seven of Sutcliffe's victims and survivors signed a letter to the company saying:

'The moniker "the Yorkshire Ripper" has traumatised us and our families for the past four decades.

It glorifies the brutal violence of Peter Sutcliffe, and grants him a celebrity status that he does not deserve.

Please remember that the word "ripper" relates to ripping flesh and the repeated use of this phrase is irresponsible, insensitive and insulting to our families and our mothers and grandmothers' legacies,'.



Harming the internet...

Ofcom consults about its plans to tool up for its new roles as the UK internet censor

Link Here11th December 2020
Ofcom has opened a consultation on its plan to get ready for its likely role as the UK internet censor under the Governments Online Harms legislation. Ofcom writes

We have today published our plan of work for 2021/22. This consultation sets out our goals for the next financial year, and how we plan to achieve them.

We are consulting on this plan of work to encourage discussion with companies, governments and the public.

As part of the Plan of Work publication, we are also holding some virtual events to invite feedback on our proposed plan. These free events are open to everyone, and offer an opportunity to comment and ask questions.

The consultation ends on 5th February 2021.

The Key areas referencing internet censorship are:

Preparing to regulate online harms

3.26 The UK Government has given Ofcom new duties as the regulator for UK -established video - sharing platforms (VSPs) through the transposition of the European -wide Audiovisual Media Services Directive. VSPs are a type of online video service where users can upload and share vide os with members of the public, such as You Tube and TikTok. Ofcom will not be responsible for regulating all VSPs as our duties only apply to services established in the UK and as such , we anticipate that a relatively small number of services fall within our jurisdiction. Under the new regulations, which came into force on 1 November 2020, VSPs must have appropriate measures in place to protect children from potentially harmful content and all users from criminal content and incitement to hatred and violence. VSPs will also need to make sure certain advertising standards are met.

3.27 As well as appointing Ofcom as the regulator of UK- established VSPs the Government has announced that it is minded to appoint Ofcom as the future regulator responsible for protecting users from harmful online content. With this in mind we are undertaking the following work :

  • Video-sharing platforms regulation . We have issued a short guide to the new requirements. 22 On 19 November 2020 we issued draft scope and jurisdiction guidance for consultation to help providers self -assess whether they need to notify to Ofcom as a VSP under the statutory rules from April 2021. 23 We will also consult in early 2021 on further guidance on the risk of harms and appropriate measures as well as proposals for a co-regulatory relationship with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with regards to VSP advertising. We intend to issue final versions of the guidance in summer 2021.

  • Preparing for the online harms regime. The UK Government has set out that it intends to put in place a regime to keep people safe online. In February 2020 it published an initial response to the 2019 White Paper24 setting out how it intends to develop the regime which stated that it was minded to appoint Ofcom as the future regulator of online harms. If confirmed, these proposed new responsibilities would constitute a significant expansion to our remit, and preparing for them would be a major area of focus in 2021/22. We will continue to provide technical advice to the UK Government on its policy development process, and we will engage with Parliament as it considers legislative proposals.

3.29 We will continue work to deepen our understanding of online harms through a range of work:

  • Our Making Sense of Media programme. This programme will continue to provide insights on the needs, behaviours and attitudes of people online. Our other initiatives to research online markets and technologies will further our understanding of how online harms can be mitigated

  • Stepping up our collaboration with other regulators. As discussed in the Developing strong partnerships section, we will continue our joint work through the Digital Regulators Cooperation Forum and strengthen our collaboration with regulators around the world who are also considering online harms.

  • Understanding VSPs . The introduction of regulation to UK-established VSPs will provide a solid foundation to inform and develop the broader future online harms regulatory framework. This interim regime is more limited in terms of the number of regulated companies and will cover a narrower range of harms compared to the online harms white paper proposals. However, should Ofcom be confirmed as the regulator, through our work on VSPs we will develop on-the-job experience working with newly regulated online services, developing the evidence base of online harm, and building our internal skills and expertise.



Expensive cookies...

Google and Amazon heavily fined for the lack of silly cookie consent banners

Link Here11th December 2020
France's data protection censor, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés or CNIL, has fined Google and Amazon a total of 135 million euro between them for violating the country's data protection laws. Google was fined a total of 100 million euro, while Amazon was fined 35 million euro.

The companies were fined for the lack of user consent for cookies placed of their French websites. Although both have since updated their websites to require a user's consent before placing cookies, CNIL criticized their cookie information banners for not providing enough information, or for making it clear enough that visitors can turn down these cookies. The regulator gave both a deadline of three months to fix the outstanding issues.

A spokesperson from Amazon said the company disagreed with CNIL's decision. Google said it stands by its efforts to provide information about tracking and control to users.



A Digital Observatory...

Spain sets up an internet censorship system in the name of monitoring 'fake news'

Link Here11th December 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Spain...Age verification debated in Parliament
More details have emerged on the censorship apparatus operated by Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE)-Podemos government. A new cyber-monitoring tool, known as ELISA, has been rolled out across the country, which will scour the internet for supposed instances of disinformation and report them to Spain's central government for further action.

ELISA began by monitoring only a few dozen web pages. However, its surveillance operation has now expanded to around 350 sites. It has been described as a Digital Observatory, designed to facilitate the monitoring of open sources, as well as the profiling of media and social networks.

To avoid any judicial oversight, ELISA will supposedly only monitor open source data, rather than private communications. It will nonetheless mine vast quantities of information on online sources, social media usage, news platforms and other internet content.

ELISA's development and implementation is the latest in a series of internet-monitoring and censorship measures recently made public in Spain.  Revelations about the CCN's ELISA tool come hot on the heels of a new protocol, the Procedure for Intervention against Disinformation. It allows the state to monitor and suppress internet content, under the pretext of combatting fake news and disinformation.

This gives the Spanish government full decision-making power to determine what is or is not fake news, and makes legal provision for constant state surveillance of social media platforms and the media more broadly to detect disinformation and formulate a political response.



An end to denying banking services to the morally incorrect...

US financial regulator proposes a new rule to end the policing of morality by denying banking services

Link Here 8th December 2020
US moralist institutions, including the government, have found that a great way to censor people is to control their financial access.

The best example is Operation Chokepoint , a Department of Justice (DOJ) effort that put pressure on the banking system to cut off financial access for politically disfavored industries, such as sex work or porn production.

Under the Obama administration, regulators such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued threatening letters to financial institutions that processed payments for industries such as payday lenders, gun and ammunition firms, and cryptocurrency companies. The message was clear: cut back on business with these industries, or else. Banks got the hint, and affected firms found it harder and harder to find banking partners.

Bullying banks into doing the government's dirty work was a quick and easy way to get the job done. Even better: it was an extralegal method to get rid of businesses the feds didn't like too much anyway. But of course, if something works, then why not extend it to ever more pet peeves.

For example, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed his Department of Financial Services to issue Operation Chokepoint-style warning letters to financial institutions which provided services to the National Rifle Association. Climate change activists have turned similar tactics towards banks who process payments for oil and gas companies .

But help may now be coming from some unexpected quarters: the OCC, which less than a decade ago had led the charge with Operation Chokepoint. Under the leadership of acting director Brian Brooks, the OCC has proposed a rule change that would make government-supported financial suppression much harder legally.

The Dodd-Frank Act was a sweeping financial reform that, among many other things , authorized the OCC to ensure that nationally chartered banks provide fair access to financial services, and fair treatment of customers. The intention was that minority customers be evaluated for creditworthiness on her or her own individual merits rather than the attributes of their broader group. In other words, a creditworthy individual shouldn't be punished because they belong to some group that is considered high risk in the aggregate.

The OCC would like to apply this thinking to industries through the proposed Fair Access to Financial Services rule. The largest banks in the country--those with more than $100 billion in assets--would be prohibited from red-lining politically disfavored industries just as they are prohibited from red-lining politically oppressed populations. Rather, a gun manufacturer or pornography company or payday lender must be evaluated on the terms of their individual creditworthiness.

The rule does not require that all large banks must do business with all, say, fossil fuel companies, just like banks are not required to extend credit to every single member of a protected class who applies for a loan. Rather, it is a nondiscrimination requirement. Large banks will not be allowed to cut off financial access for disfavored industries just because the government or some other powerful group leans on them to do so.

See more details in article from



Taking the knee to the gods of PC...

Chinese cinema goers take offence at 'Chi-knees' joke in Monster Hunters

Link Here8th December 2020
Monster Hunter is a 2020 China / Germany / Japan / USA action fantasy by Paul WS Anderson.
Starring Milla Jovovich, Meagan Good and Ron Perlman. IMDb

When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom.

Soon after opening the Hollywood film Monster Hunter has been withdrawn from Chinese cinemas over reports of cinema goers taking offence at a throwaway joke.

The film is a video game inspired action film by Paul W.S. Anderson. This low-brow genre seems to play better in Asia than in the west, so this is a serious problem for the producers

Monster Hunter enjoyed midnight screenings in the small hours of Friday local time, and officially debuted in Chinese cinemas on Friday, Dec. 4, ahead of its planned Dec. 25 U.S. release. It grossed $5.19 million on day one, good enough for third place in box office charts, and then the trouble emerged.

In one scene, a white male character and an Asian character played by rapper MC Jin are driving together at high speed. What? says the former. Look at my knees! shouts Jin. What kind of knees are these? asks his companion. Chi-nese! jokes Jin, punning on the word's last syllable.

Chinese viewers were apparently incensed after the exchange was interpreted as a reference to an old, racist schoolyard rhyme insulting Asians. Chi-nese, Jap-a-nese, dir-ty knees, look at these.

To localize the joke, subtitle 'translators' made the dialogue a reference to a Chinese colloquialism about how men must have dignity and not kneel down easily. Men have gold under their knees, and only kneel to the heavens and their mother, the saying goes in rough translation, implying that any time a man kneels, it should be an occasion precious as gold.

It wasn't long before cinemas received an urgent notice to cancel all upcoming screenings and issue refunds for shows already sold. The distributors promised some rapid scissorwork to remove the joke.

But that didn't seem to be enough to solve the issue and the movie screening remains suspended for the moment.



Banned Books...

A museum of forbidden literature in Estonia

Link Here8th December 2020
A museum of forbidden literature has opened in the Old Town of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The aim of the museum is to present banned, burned or censored books to the general public from different parts of the world.

The museum explained in a statement:

In the museum, books from different parts of the world will be exhibited to tell their stories and discuss issues related to the free expression of ideas.

The aim is to conduct initial research on the history of censorship in Estonia, focussing on the period of Soviet occupation. In the museum, visitors can read books, touch them, read them and buy most of them.

Books are categorised by country -- forbidden sections can be found from the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, but also from the US. There is also a section of books that have been burned for various reasons throughout history.

The museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.



Offsite Article: The Vital Need For Online Anonymity...

Link Here8th December 2020
By Kath Rella, (a pseudonym)

See article from



Offsite Article: Streaming Platforms: Age Ratings...

Link Here8th December 2020
The House of Lords discusses how streaming services use age ratings

See article from



Modern censorship...

Tate Britain has seemingly 'cancelled' an important Whistler artwork decorating the walls of its restaurant

Link Here7th December 2020
Tate Britain is expected to permanently close its restaurant because of a controversy over an historic artwork created nearly a century ago.

Rex Whistler's mural The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats , which was painted specifically for the restaurant in 1927, has recently been criticised because of its politically incorrect portrayal of non-Europeans.

Moya Greene, until last month a Tate trustee and chair of its 'Ethics' Committee, reported back to the gallery's board. She told fellow trustees that committee members were unequivocal in their view that the imagery of the work is offensive. In addition, they claim the offence is compounded by the use of the room as a restaurant.

Tate trustees were also advised that the Rex Whistler mural is an important work of art in the care of trustees and that it should not be altered or removed. Although not a formally accessioned work, it forms part of a Grade I-listed interior.

Following the committee's advice, it seems almost certain that the restaurant will never reopen. It was closed in March because of Covid-19, but did not reopen with the gallery displays last week.

The mural includes two small figures of bound black children who are probably enslaved and also depicts caricatured Chinese people.

A Tate spokesman said:

We are taking this time to consult internally and externally on the future of the room and the mural, and we will keep the public informed of future plans. The external consultation is expected to be launched early in the new year.



Immature algorithms...

Be very careful when specify an age to Twitter lest you lose your account

Link Here7th December 2020
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
The Twitter account for Adland, the world's largest and oldest archive of adverts has been cancelled after more than 13 years on the platform.

Despite being verified and having an active account on Twitter for over a decade, when Adland's CEO Dabitch attempted to add an age to the account, it was instantly locked.

Twitter requires accounts to add their age when they attempt to follow other accounts that post about certain topics such as alcohol. In this instance, Dabitch was told that she needed to add the age of the Adland account after she attempted to follow an account for a social media marketer of spirits.

Upon opening the dropdown menu for years, 1996 was arbitrarily or accidentally selected, and the account was instantly blocked by twitter.

Presumably, Twitter's automated systems determined that the birth year of 1996 meant that the Adland account, which was created in 2007, had been started by a user that was 11 years old. Since Twitter requires its users to be at least 13 years old, it then seems to have instantly and automatically locked the account based on this presumption.

While Dabitch believes Adland's Twitter account will ultimately be restored, she summarized the situation by highlighting the perils of relying on Big Tech platforms that can instantly suspend your account, even if you're a verified user that has been using them for over a decade.



Offsite Article: An age ratings database you can't trust...

Link Here7th December 2020
The BBFC: Sinisterly Censoring Their Own History? By Scott Bates, quoting the Melon Farmers

See article from



Prejudiced censorship...

Facebook is working on a divisive system to censor comments according to a pecking order of political 'correctness'

Link Here6th December 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook is to start policing anti-Black hate speech more aggressively than anti-White comments.

The Wadhington Post is reporting that the the company is overhauling its algorithms that detect hate speech and deprioritizing hateful comments against whites, men and Americans.

Internal documents reveal that Facebook's WoW Project is in its early stages and involves re-engineering automated moderation systems to get better at detecting and automatically deleting hateful language that is considered the 'worst of the worst'. The 'worst of the worst' includes slurs directed at Blacks, Muslims, people of more than one race, the LGBTQ community and Jews, according to the documents. The Wahington POst adds:

In the first phase of the project, which was announced internally to a small group in October, engineers said they had changed the company's systems to deprioritize policing contemptuous comments about Whites, men and Americans. Facebook still considers such attacks to be hate speech, and users can still report it to the company. However, the company's technology now treats them as low-sensitivity -- or less likely to be harmful -- so that they are no longer automatically deleted by the company's algorithms. That means roughly 10,000 fewer posts are now being deleted each day, according to the documents.



Offsite Article: The Scottish Government has made the Hate Crime Bill controversial...

Link Here 6th December 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
Controversial is probably not an adjective that governments wish to have associated with legislation they are trying to pass, but it is certainly an appropriate description of the Scottish Government's Hate Crime Bill.

See article from



Sensitive comments...

YouTube announces that it will step up the censorship of viewer comments specifically for the black community

Link Here4th December 2020
Full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
YouTube has announced that it will increase the censorship of comments specifically for the black community. YouTube writes in a block post:

We're committed to supporting the diverse creator communities on YouTube and their continued success. As our CEO, Susan Wojcicki, wrote in June, we're examining how our policies and products are working for everyone -- and specifically for the Black community -- and working to close any gaps.

We know that comments play a key role in helping creators connect with their community, but issues with the quality of comments is also one of the most consistent pieces of feedback we receive from creators. We have been focused on improving comments with the goal of driving healthier conversations on YouTube. Over the last few years, we launched new features to help creators engage with their community and shape the tone of conversations on their channels.

We've heard from creators that while these changes helped them better manage comments and connect with their audience, there's more we can do to prevent them from seeing hurtful comments in the first place. To address that, we'll be testing a new filter in YouTube Studio for potentially inappropriate and hurtful comments that have been automatically held for review, so that creators don't ever need to read them if they don't want to.

To encourage respectful conversations on YouTube, we're launching a new feature that will warn users when their comment may be offensive to others, giving them the option to reflect before posting.

In addition, we've also invested in technology that helps our systems better detect and remove hateful comments by taking into account the topic of the video and the context of a comment.

These efforts are making an impact. Since early 2019, we've increased the number of daily hate speech comment removals by 46x. And in the last quarter, of the more than 1.8 million channels we terminated for violating our policies, more than 54,000 terminations were for hate speech. This is the most hate speech terminations in a single quarter and 3x more than the previous high from Q2 2019 when we updated our hate speech policy.



Parents TV Council recommends...

Euphoria on HBO

Link Here4th December 2020
US moralist campaigners, Parents TV Council writes:

The Parents Television Council is warning parents about the return of the second season of HBO's Euphoria on December 6, 2020.

Featuring a former Disney star, Euphoria is set in high school and focuses on a teenaged girl's drug addiction and efforts to hide her drug use from her mother. In the six hours of Euphoria s first season, there were nearly 400 uses of the "f-word;" male frontal nudity; close-ups of male genitals; female frontal nudity; depictions of statutory rape, depictions of illicit drug use, graphic violence, and extreme (and even illegal) sexual behavior.

PTC President Tim Winter said:

Parents beware! Euphoria is saturated with shockingly explicit content depicting high school-aged children that is intended to shock and offend your values. Don't just take our word for it. Euphoria's creator boasted: There are going to be parents who are going to be totally fucking freaked out, ahead of the show's first season. He was right, as the program was filled with female and male frontal nudity, illicit drug use, and the harshest profanity. We anticipate the second season will be just as explicit and potentially as harmful to teens and preteens

With Euphoria, HBO is knowingly and deliberately marketing harmful content to impressionable teens and preteens with programming that centers on school-aged characters. For HBO to release a series like this -- that graphically portrays drug abuse as way for teens to escape reality -- is reckless and grossly irresponsible.




Speak of hardcore free speech at the alt-right Twitter alternative

Link Here3rd December 2020
Full story: Parler Censporship...An alt-right version of Twitter
Parler is an alt-right version of Twitter that launched in 2020 with a free speech ethos. Parler's CEO spoke of high ideals at the tiime:

We're a community town square, an open town square, with no censorship... If you can say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler.

Maybe easier said than done though, it wasn't long before the wrong type of free speech somehow required censorship. Parler started deleting accounts of left-wing members and then it banned pornography (which Twitter allows). Eventually, it became more censorious than Twitter, with the exception of allowing the kind alt-right speech that is generally banned on mainstream social media.

However is seems that Parler has recognised the seeming hypocrisy and steered back towards free speech. It revised its terms of service to allow things that Twitter already allows, including pornography. As you might expect, Parler is now a bastion of right leaning speech and ads for hardcore pornography websites.

The Washington Post's reviewed Parler under its revised rules and found that searches for sexually explicit terms surfaced extensive troves of graphic content, including videos of sex acts that began playing automatically without any label or warning. Terms such as #porn, #naked and #sex each had hundreds or thousands of posts on Parler, many of them graphic. Some pornographic images and videos had been viewed tens of thousands of times on the platform.

Sounds promising!



The Digital Services Act...

The EU Commission president introduces the next round of internet censorship law

Link Here2nd December 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has introduced a new swathe of internet regulation. She said the commission would be rewriting the rulebook for our digital market with stricter rules for online content, from selling unsafe products to posting 'hate speech'.

Von der Leyen told the online Web Summit:

No-one expects all digital platforms to check all the user content that they host. This would be a threat to everyone's freedom to speak their mind. ...But... if illegal content is notified by the competent national authorities, it must be taken down. More pressure

The Digital Services Act will replace the EU's 2000 e-commerce directive. Due to come into force on Wednesday, 2 December, it has now been delayed until next week.

Likely to put more pressure on social-media platforms to take down and block unlawful content more quickly, the new rules will almost certainly be contested by companies such as Google and Facebook, which now face far stricter censorship both in Europe and the US, following claims about the the supposed spread of 'fake news' and 'hate speech'.



Commented: Netflix are using BBFC approved ratings for all films and TV series...

Let's hope that the BBFC provides Netflix with a better database of ratings than the one on the BBFC website

Link Here 2nd December 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes

Netflix is the first streaming service in the UK to carry a BBFC age rating on all TV seasons and feature films on the service, helping families choose content with confidence.

The innovative partnership between a streaming service and the regulator, an industry first, has now reached the joint goal of 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings on the platform. This milestone has been welcomed by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture.

Netflix applies BBFC Guidelines standards to content, with the BBFC setting those standards and auditing ratings to ensure consistency. Netflix have now populated their entire catalogue of original and acquired content with BBFC age ratings, giving families in the UK trusted age rating guidance and advice.

Families can now choose content safe in the knowledge that everything they press play on is rated to trusted, high BBFC standards. Netflix's parental controls are also powered by BBFC data. Netflix has also improved its parental controls based on BBFC data and member feedback. Parents can now:

  • pin protect individual profiles to prevent kids using them;

  • tailor their kids Netflix experience by filtering out titles that are not appropriate for their age based on BBFC ratings;

  • remove individual series or films by title. When this filter is used, the blocked title(s) won't show up anywhere in that profile.

  • easily review each profile's setting using the "Profile and Parental Controls" hub within account settings;

  • see what their kids have been watching within the profile created for them; and

  • turn off auto play of episodes in kids profiles.

Comment: Old cuts on Netflix

2nd December 2020. Thanks to Tim

It is an interesting article about Netflix using BBFC ratings, particularly as they have previously shown films without BBFC ratings and with compulsory BBFC cuts reinstated. For example they showed The Mountain Men (1980) including the compulsory horse fall cuts and Walking Tall (1973) with the BBFC video cuts for violence reinstated even though the BBFC have never waived those for DVD.

Presumably Netflix can now override BBFC ratings and award their own. Perhaps there is an agreement to consult with the BBFC over the more controversial cuts.

It would be interesting to note if Netflix are expected to follow the BBFC's pedantic rules on horse trips and the like. Nominally UK law requirements only apply to cinema films and could legally be quietly forgotten about for online video.

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