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  Justifying the protests...

Polish government appointed TV censors fine TV company for covering protests against the government


Link Here 12th December 2017
tvn logoPoland's TV censors of the National Broadcasting Council have fined a private television channel, TVN, for its coverage of opposition demonstrations in Warsaw last year. The fine amounted to about £311,000.

The council's five board members were either appointed by the Law and Justice majority in parliament or by the president, himself a former member of Law and Justice.

The council claimed the station's prominent coverage had promoted illegal activities and encouraged behaviour that threatened security.

Opponents of Poland's right-wing government have pointed out that the council's decision amounted to censorship.

The demonstrations in December 2016 were sparked by the plans of the governing party Law and Justice to limit the number of journalists and television stations allowed to cover parliamentary proceedings. The proposals were largely dropped.

The censors ruled that the coverage by TVN's 24-hour news channel broke the law because it showed opposition politicians encouraging more people to show their disapproval of the government.

TVN is a US-owned broadcaster and is often critical of the right-wing government. The channel said in a statement that it disagreed with the decision and would appeal against the regulator's decision.

 

  Film censors required, must be good with scissors...

Cinemas to return to Saudi Arabia


Link Here 12th December 2017  full story: Cinema in Saudi...First steps to re-opening cinemas in Saudi
wadjdaCinemas are set to open in Saudi Arabia in March 2018 for the first time since they were banned in in the early 1980s, according to the Saudi minister of culture.

Cinemas existed in Saudi Arabia until they were banned in the early 1980s after a puritanical religious establishment gained control over social and educational affairs in the country. Today, the organized Islamist undercurrents that thrived in the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s no longer have quite so much influence in the country.

A multimillion-dollar DVD bootleg industry flourished as a result of the cinema ban. Saudis amassed large collections of pirated DVDs of the latest Hollywood blockbusters, circumventing both the ban and censorship. It's this revenue that the decision today also aims to recapture.

Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification, said Minister of Culture Awwad Alawwad. By developing the broader cultural sector, we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the kingdom's entertainment options

The Saudi cinema industry is still nascent but has been receiving more attention over recent years with breakthrough movies like Wadjdah and Barakah meets Barakah.   It's a beautiful day in Saudi Arabia! tweeted Haifaa al-Mansour the first female Saudi director of a feature film, the acclaimed Wadjda.

The announcement by the ministry of culture did not specify whether seating in cinemas would be gender-segregated as most public spaces are in Saudi Arabia or how heavily censored movies will be. Films are usually greatly censored with pixelation added to cover the chest and legs of actresses. Censorship rules are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Multiple malls currently being built had already received licenses to build multiplexes before today's announcement.

 

  Broken hearted...

Australian anti-porn campaigners in a failed relationship with the local bus company


Link Here 12th December 2017
toowoomba bus campaignA Queensland anti-pornography group has found itself in a wrangle with a local bus company after it refused to carry the group's outdoor advertising that came with the message porn destroys relationships.

The group, who calls itself A City Free From Porn, is based in Toowoomba and has been actively campaigning for pornography to be abolished in the town.

The group tried to have an ad (see a dummy version above) added to the back of local buses, however, the campaign has been rejected by the operators due to their understandable prohibition on adverts of a sexual and political nature.

 

  No wonder people have such a low opinion of politicians...

Disgraceful Westminster Council moves to destroy delivery driver jobs because it doesn't like mopeds flitting around


Link Here 12th December 2017
westminster council logoLondon's Westminster council is seeking to put people out of work because it claims that its streets are being clogged up by mopeds delivering for Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

The new policy by Westminster City Council will require restaurants that rely on apps for the bulk of their deliveries to apply for planning permission, with view to then refusing that planning permission.

Businesses have been warned that they could face formal enforcement action if they flout new rules that are set to come into force in spring 2018. Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for planning and public realm, spouted:

It is a popular, much-needed service but we can't allow the city to be swarmed with delivery drivers.

Westminster has already taken action against a Nando's branch in Westbourne Grove after receiving more than 25 complaints from residents, who said they were repeatedly disturbed by large groups of moped delivery drivers. Council bosses ordered the popular chicken restaurant to stop offering deliveries in a move that Westminster City Council said set a new precedent.

 

  You can't investigate that...

The Daily Mail reports on Labour amendments to the Data Protection Bill designed to restrict press investigations in the name of data protection, and of course to resurrect unjust press censorship ideas suggested by Leveson


Link Here 11th December 2017
house of lords red logoThe Daily Mail explains that criminals and corrupt politicians and businessmen could escape exposure under a new attempt to restrict Press freedom.

A fresh bid to restrict the rights of journalists and the media to inquire into crime and corruption involves attempts to change a data law that is going through Parliament.

One Labour amendment to the Data Protection Bill would mean that the Information Commissioner would have powers to decide whether codes of conduct under which journalists work should be recognised by the new law.

A second amendment would rewrite the new law so that the unjust censorship powers suggested in the second half of the Leveson inquiry into Press standards would go ahead.

Currently the proposed legislation provides an exemption for journalists who access and store personal information without consent when exposing wrongdoing. This means that individuals under investigation by journalists would not be able to interfere with their inquiries or block publication of stories that would bring to light wrongdoing.

However a series of attempts have been made to introduce changes to the Bill which would remove safeguards for freedom of expression, bind journalists and make their inquiries either difficult or impossible.

 

  Tip toeing around homophobia...

Russian ballet Nureyev premieres at the Bolshoi but only after cuts and a director on house arrest


Link Here 11th December 2017
hypeebOn Saturday, five months late, Russia's most controversial ballet in years opened at the Bolshoi.

Nureyev , which traces the life and Aids-related death of Soviet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, had been pulled just two days before its scheduled premiere in July. Insiders suggested the ballet's frank treatment of homosexuality -- and a reported intervention by the culture ministry -- lay behind the dramatic decision to cancel. The parallel investigation and August arrest of the ballet's director, Kirill Serebrennikov, added to those suspicions. Right up until the last moment, there were doubts that the premiere would ever happen.

The Cannes-winning director remains under house arrest, awaiting trial. He is unable to work, talk to the press or see his elderly, infirm parents. He was not allowed to play any direct role in the final preparations of the ballet. State investigators accuse him of embezzlement but it seems more likely that the arrest is more to do with Russian hatred of gay culture.

The ballet has also suffered a notable cut from the version originally planned. The original version of the production, seen in leaked rehearsal videos, included the projection of a famous picture from Avedon's photoshoot of Nureyev in full-frontal mod. Insiders reported that it was this detail that had proven to be the most controversial for authorities. By Saturday, the 10-second scene had been cut, rather undermining the theatre's narrative that politics had not played a role in the original cancellation.

 

  The Sunflower Award...

Katy Perry has been honoured by being banned from performing in China again


Link Here 10th December 2017  full story: Performers Censored in China...Quick to ban and censor star performers from the west
kety perry in sunflower dressUS singer Katy Perry has become the latest artist to be banned from China.

The indefinite ban is apparently due to her wearing a sunflower dress at her 2015 concert in Taiwan capital Taipei. The sunflower has become a symbol of the anti-China movement in Taiwan. At the same concert, the singer also draped a Taiwan flag on herself.

The singer wore the same dress when performing a little later in Shanghai and so has ended up on China's never again list.

 

 Offsite Article: Too much fun on Twitch...


Link Here 10th December 2017
twitch logo Miserable calls for Twitch to police sexual streaming'

See article from bbc.com

 

 Offiste Article: Having a laugh...

The disgraceful US internet censors of the FCC seem intent on handing over control of people's internet access to big business. And FCC boss Ajit Pai has been caught joking about it


Link Here 10th December 2017
ajit pai

 

 

  An army of censors but I bet terrorism will continue unabated...

Google to employ an army of 10,000 internet censors


Link Here 9th December 2017  full story: YouTube Censorship...YouTube censor videos by restricting their reach
YouTube logoGoogle is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000. The censors' primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees.

Human censors have already reviewed over 2 million videos since June. YouTube has already removed over 150,000 videos, 50 percent of which were removed within two hours of upload. The company is working to accelerate the rate of takedown through machine-learning from manual censorship.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki explained the move in an official blog post:

Human reviewers remain essential to both removing content and training machine learning systems because human judgment is critical to making contextualized decisions on content. Since June, our trust and safety teams have manually reviewed nearly 2 million videos for violent extremist content, helping train our machine-learning technology to identify similar videos in the future. We are also taking aggressive action on comments, launching new comment moderation tools and in some cases shutting down comments altogether. In the last few weeks we've used machine learning to help human reviewers find and terminate hundreds of accounts and shut down hundreds of thousands of comments. Our teams also work closely with NCMEC, the IWF, and other child safety organizations around the world to report predatory behavior and accounts to the correct law enforcement agencies.

We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.

At the same time, we are expanding the network of academics, industry groups and subject matter experts who we can learn from and support to help us better understand emerging issues.

We will use our cutting-edge machine learning more widely to allow us to quickly and efficiently remove content that violates our guidelines. In June we deployed this technology to flag violent extremist content for human review and we've seen tremendous progress.

  • Since June we have removed over 150,000 videos for violent extremism.

  • Machine learning is helping our human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos than they were previously.

  • Today, 98 percent of the videos we remove for violent extremism are flagged by our machine-learning algorithms.

  • Our advances in machine learning let us now take down nearly 70 percent of violent extremist content within eight hours of upload and nearly half of it in two hours and we continue to accelerate that speed.

  • Since we started using machine learning to flag violent and extremist content in June, the technology has reviewed and flagged content that would have taken 180,000 people working 40 hours a week to assess.

 

 Offsite Article: Now Stop Funding Hate wants to ruin Christmas...


Link Here 9th December 2017
Spiked logo These snobby censors want to punish both tabloids and their readers. By Naomi Firsht

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Threatening legislation...

European Commission weighs in with threats of legislation to force social media companies to censor jihadist content


Link Here 8th December 2017
european commission logoThe European Commission has joined the list of organisations calling on the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more to remove extremist content - or face further legislation.

EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned the real battlefield is against 21st century terrorism. He said most of the recent terrorist attackers had never travelled to Syria or Iraq. But most of them had been influenced, groomed and recruited to terrorism on the internet.

Avramopoulos said he believed it was feasible to reduce the time it takes to remove content to a few hours. There is a lot of room for improvement, for this cooperation to produce even better results.

Avramopoulos also said he thought it was worthwhile to harness artificial intelligence to complete the task. You now.. like Facebook censoring Robin Redbreast Christmas cards because the word 'breast' appeared in filenames.

The Commission said it would make a decision by May next year on whether additional measures -- including legislation -- are required in order to better address the problem of illegal content on the internet.

 

  More censorship...

After a nasty court case, feminists call for a ban of unrealistic porn with a rape theme


Link Here 8th December 2017
Old BaileyCharlie Pearce has been convicted of attempted murder. He was obsessed with sexually violent images when he raped and bludgeoned his victim on his 17th birthday, leaving her for dead.

Feminists have used the case to call for an extension to Britain's porn censorship laws about violent porn in particular, and of course, for a wider ban of porn. Sarah Green, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said:

This case is extremely disturbing and the age of the offender should alarm us all. The evidence about his searches for online porn before the attack tell us that we urgently need public discussion about the contents of contemporary online pornography, its accessibility and what is known about the way it influences those who use it.

It is currently a criminal offence in England and Wales to possess pornographic material which is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene and explicitly and realistically depicts life threatening and serious injury.

However pornographic material that is obviously scripted and not realistic is legal. Feminists claim the vast majority of images depicting rape are therefore lawful to possess.

 

  Modern rules disallow vintage comedy...

TV adverts refused for stand up comedian's DVD due to his smoking


Link Here 8th December 2017
The Little Waster DVD Footage of Sunderland comedy hero Bobby Thompson has been deemed unsuitable for TV adverts because he smokes too much on stage.

His DVD The Little Waster was recorded in 1982. Distributors wanted to advertise it on TV this Christmas, but were told that the Woodbine hanging constantly in his hand would break the advertising code.

And some of the jokes he cracked were deemed too offensive to modern ears, so had to be avoided too.

Clearcast, which works with TV advertisers to make sure their commercials comply with ASA guidelines said:

We were recently asked to approve an ad for a Bobby Thompson DVD. We were unable to approve the ad at this stage because it showed an excessive amount of cigarette smoke and [the rules] state, "Advertisements must not promote smoking or the use of tobacco products".

 

  Maybe YouTube and Facebook would have to shutdown in Australia...

Big media companies persuade Australian Government to exclude YouTube and Facebook from internet safe harbour protection


Link Here 8th December 2017
australian government logoBack in March, Australia shelved plans to extend its copyright safe harbor provisions to services such as Google and Facebook. Now, following consultations with the entertainment industries, the government has revealed it will indeed exclude such platforms from safe harbour provisions.

Services such as Google, Facebook and YouTube now face massive legal uncertainty as they themselves can be held responsible for copyright infringing posts by users. The logical result would be that the companies will have to check every post before upload. The vast quantity of posts to check would make this an economically unviable option.

Proposed amendments to the Copyright Act earlier this year would've seen enhanced safe harbor protections for such platforms but they were withdrawn at the eleventh hour due to lobbying by media companies. Such companies accuse platforms like YouTube of exploiting safe harbor provisions in the US and Europe, which forces copyright holders into an expensive battle to have infringing content taken down.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has confirmed the exclusions, so now it is up to Google and Facebook to consider how they can operate under this law.

 

 Offsite Article: FSK film censors...


Link Here 8th December 2017
fsk 18 large An overview of film censorship in Germany

See article from translate.google.com

 

 Offsite Article: Modern rules vs old traditions...


Link Here 8th December 2017
zwartepieten Dutch schools grapple with Black Pete. For some students, celebrations speak to a lack of sensitivity on issues of race and diversity.

See article from politico.eu

 

 Updated: Injustice in Lebanon and Palestine...

Justice League has been banned by Lebanon as Wonder Woman is unwelcome in the country


Link Here 7th December 2017
Justice League DVD Justice League is a 2017 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Zack Snyder.
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa. IMDb
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his new found ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of met humans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes; Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash, it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Last year, Lebanon banned the Wonder Woman movie because its star, Gal Gadot, had served in the Israeli forces under the country’s national service. Gadot's two years of service coincided with the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, one of many wars and conflicts the bitter rivals have been involved in over the decades.

With Justice League , also starring Gal Gadot in the same role, opening in local cinemas on Thursday, activists want the government to do the same. Activist Pierre Abi Saab has accused the promoters of the film of ignoring Lebanese laws that he said outlaw all forms of normalisation of ties with Israel.

It has now been reported that this campaign has been successful and that, yes, Justice League has been officially banned in Lebanon.

Update: Ramallah

7th December 2017 See  article from jpost.com

Palestine Cinema Tower, Palestinians' largest film distributor, banned the film Justice League in Ramallah for violating censorship rules.

The decisions was made after local protest was sparked by a viral campaign built all in Arabic focusing on Israeli actress Gal Gadot's nationality and role as Wonder Woman.

It is not yet clear whether the ban will extend to other cities in Palestine.

 

  Sh! Don't tell the Tories, they'd use it as another weapon to bash the unemployed...

Iranian government dreams up an internet censorship scheme with personalised website blocking according to age and occupation


Link Here 7th December 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Iraq...Draconian penalties for the usual computer offences
Iran flagIran's telecommunications minister says that his ministry wants to customize Internet blocking based on user's occupation, age, and other factors.

The attorney general's office has conditionally agreed with this plan, Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi announced on December 4.

Without providing any details, he said his ministry had reviewed suggestions made by the attorney general and prepared appropriate technical responses. He expressed hope that the office would give its final approval for the implementation of the plan.

Despite the regime's extenisve efforts to censor the Internet, Iranian users currently get around the restrictions by using anti-filtering programs or virtual private networks.

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 76...


Link Here 7th December 2017
Breaking Bad: The Final Seasons DVD Breaking Bad. The BBFC discuss the classification of TV programmes extensively featuring drug use

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article A score settler's charter...


Link Here 7th December 2017
police nottinghamshire logo Nottingham Police in conjunction with feminist extremists propose making perceived sexism an aggravating factor for consideration in court punishments, without even running it past parliament

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  The 15:17 to Paris...

Warner Brothers appeal to the MPAA for a PG-13 rating for their latest Clint Eastwood film


Link Here 6th December 2017
15 17 to parisThe 15:17 To Paris is a 2018 USA drama by Clint Eastwood.
Starring Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer and Jaleel White. IMDb

American soldiers discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train.

The Warner Bros film was submitted to the MPAA in December 2017 and was rated R for a sequence of violence and bloody images. The distributors are now appealing to the CARA Appeals Board, presumably seeking a PG-13 rating.

 

  Triggering a petition...

A Balthus painting being shown at New York's Met survives an online petition calling for it to be taken down or captioned


Link Here 6th December 2017

metropolitan museum logoThe Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has decided not to take down a Balthus painting of a young girl, Thérèse Dreaming (1938), that an online petition calls sexually suggestive.

The work depicts Balthus's favoured model and neighbour, Thérèse Blanchard, who was 12 or 13 years old at the time, reclining with her underwear visible. The artist had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls, and it can be strongly argued that this painting romanticises the sexualisation of a child, writes the New York resident Mia Merrill, who started the petition on the website Care2 on 30 November. It has since gathered more than 8,600 supporters.

Merrill says that she is not calling for the work to be censored, destroyed or never seen again but either removed from display or shown with a caption that acknowledges the controversy over Balthus's reputation.

The museum's chief communications officer, Kenneth Weine, told the New York Times that:

Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.

 

  Game of Ayodhya...

Another Indian film becomes the focus for religious violence


Link Here 6th December 2017
games of ayodhyaBack in 1992, Hindu fanatics numbering 150,000 demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya because the site was considered by some to be Ram Janmabhoomi, the actual birthplace of the god Rama. The demolition resulted in several months of intercommunal rioting between India's Hindu and Muslim communities, causing the death of at least 2,000 people.

The incident inspired Indian movie director Sunil Singh, above, to make a movie called Games of Ayodhya , due for release on December 8 -- and zealots now want him dead.

His home in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, was vandalised by right-wing Hindu activists on Sunday and Yogesh Varshney, city president of Hindu Jagran Manch in Aligarh said that they would not allow the movie, which narrates a love story between a Hindu man and a Muslim woman in Ayodhya at the time of Babri Masjid demolition, to be released in the city. He said:

Today we have blackened the wall of Singh's house. If he doesn't back down, we will kill him.

One activist announced a bounty for chopping the arms of the director whilst another has gone a step ahead and offered a reward to anyone who beheads the director.

The movie was originally banned by the film censors of the CBFC, but was later cleared by the Film Cerification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

 

  New content...

Ofcom appoints 2 new TV censors to its content board


Link Here 5th December 2017
Ofcom logoOfcom has appointed Monisha Shah and Jonathan Baker to its Content Board.

Ofcom's Content Board is a committee of the main Ofcom Board. It has delegated, advisory responsibility for a wide range of content issues, including the censorship of television, radio and video-on-demand quality and standards.

Monisha and Jonathan join Ofcom's Content Board on three-year terms, serving until 30 September 2020.

Monisha Shah

Monisha is an experienced arts and media executive, who has held prominent roles on a number of high-profile commercial and public-sector Boards.

She is the current Chair of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance; a Non-Executive Director of Imagen, a media management technology company; and an Independent Board Director of the publishing company Next Mediaworks.

Monisha is a current Trustee of the ArtFund and served as Trustee of Tate from July 2007 203 2015. She was also Tate's liaison Trustee on the Board of the National Gallery, and has served on the Boards of the Foundling Museum and ArtUK. Monisha worked at BBC Worldwide for 10 years before stepping down in 2010.

Jonathan Baker

Jonathan brings over 40 years' journalism experience, and is currently the founding Professor of Journalism at the University of Essex.

He began his career as a reporter at the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, before joining the BBC, where he held several roles in radio and TV news. He was Editor of the Nine O'Clock News bulletin when it moved to its current Ten O'Clock slot, where it received multiple BAFTA and Royal Television Society Awards under his editorship.

Jonathan also spent five years as BBC World News Editor, later becoming Deputy Head of the wider Newsgathering department. He was also appointed Head of the College of Journalism, with responsibility for training 8,000 BBC journalists.

 

  No Sun reading riff raff please...

Pizza Hut apologises to PC Guardian readers for placing adverts in the Sun


Link Here 5th December 2017

pizza hut logoPizza Hut has apologised for running a promotion with The Sun on Sunday, just two weeks after Paperchase was criticised for doing the same with the Daily Mail.

The controversy erupted after Pizza Hut flagged a promotion it was running with The Sun on Sunday, which offered a free pizza to every consumer.

The PC lynch mob on Twitter responded they would switch their patronage to other businesses. One Twitter user said:

I'm never going to set foot in your business again. No....not if you have to stoop so low as deal with that rag!!! said another. I will no longer patronise Pizza Hut given that they work with The Sun, was a popular sentiment, as was: Never ever buying a pizza from here ever again now. Another complainant Howard Cover claimed Pizza Hut was finished in Liverpool.

Less than five hours after first posting details about the promotion, Pizza Hut said in a statement:

We apologise for any offence caused as a result of this partnership. The aim of this offer was simply to give our customers the chance to enjoy a free pizza to share with their family and friends.

There's no sign yet of an apology to Sun readers for Pizza Hut pandering to the politically correct sneering at Sun readers by the liberal left.

 

  Like Titanic without the sinking...

French TV ludicrously screens Fifty Shades of Grey without the 15 minutes of sex


Link Here 5th December 2017  full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
Fifty Shades of Grey: The Unseen Edition DVD It's been compared to removing Harry Potter's wand, or watching Titanic and not seeing the boat sink.

French broadcaster TF1 has angered viewers who tuned into a Sunday night screening of the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey by removing 15-minutes of sex scenes from it. The channel said it made the cuts in order for it to screen at 9pm.

However, some viewers thought it should have been shown in full after 10.30pm, while others thought it was tame compared to some French programming and pointed out it was only restricted to those under-12 when it was released in French cinemas.

The bizarre censorship decision may have been something to do with a recent whinge by President Macron'that French teens were being exposed to too much sex, too early.

 

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