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 Offsite Article: The UK will block online porn from April. Here's what we know...


Link Here 25th February 2018  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
wired logo Age verification of all pornographic content will be mandatory from April 2018. But there are still a lot of grey areas

See article from wired.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Free Speech and the Necessity of Discomfort...


Link Here 25th February 2018
new york times logo A lengthy but interesting speech revealing how US journalists feel a little besieged by declining revenue, the politically correct, and Donald Trump. By Bret Stephens

See article from nytimes.com

 

  Revisionist censorship...

Ofcom censor old derogatory word from the 1970s TV series, A Family at War


Link Here 24th February 2018

Family At War - Complete Series - uncut full length Box Set A Family At War
Talking Pictures TV, 19 November 2017, 20:15

Talking Pictures TV is an entertainment channel broadcasting classic films and archive programmes.

A Family At War was a British period drama series made between 1970 and 1972, about the experiences of a family from Liverpool during the Second World War. The episode Hazard was produced in 1971 and showed one of the main characters, Philip Ashton, serving in the British army in Egypt in 1942, focusing on his encounter with another soldier, Jack Hazard.

We received a complaint about offensive language in this episode, as follows:

  • in a scene set in an army mess in the Egypt desert, Hazard, a white British soldier, ordered some drinks and asked the barkeeper to get a waiter to bring the drinks over to where Hazard and Ashton were sitting by saying: “Send the wog over with them, will you?”. When the Egyptian waiter brought the drinks to Hazard and Ashton’s table, Hazard said to him, “And how’s the war going for you, Ahmed, you thieving old wog…you old thief…you thieving old sod?”;

  • in a scene set in Hazard and Ashton’s tent on their army base, Hazard asked Ashton to accompany him to the army bar by saying: “Let’s go down to the woggery, there’s bound to be a fair bit of skirt out of bounds… Or perhaps Ahmed could fix us up with a female wog? [laughs] I bet he rents out his kid sister”; and

  • in a later scene set in Hazard and Ashton’s tent Hazard said the following to Ashton: “You know what I think I’ll do on my next leave? I’ll pay a visit to the wog tattooist”.

Ofcom considered rule 2.3:

“In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…”.

Talking Pictures said that it believed the inclusion of the potentially offensive racist language in this episode was justified by the context. It explained that the creator of the series, John Finch, had intended it to challenge the 1970s audience's understanding of the Second World War by being honest to the realities of the war time period206 shocking as that may be, and broadcast within the constraints and conventions of the time.

Talking Pictures said that it had suspended any further broadcast of this episode. It also said that it had contracted a third-party expert to conduct a review of all content containing racial language to complement its existing compliance system

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

We first considered whether the language had the potential to cause offence. Ofcom's 2016 research on offensive language makes clear that the word wog is considered by audiences to be a derogatory term for black people and to be among the strongest language and highly unacceptable without strong contextualisation.

We considered that the word wog was used in a clearly derogatory way towards an Egyptian character Ahmed, both directly to Ahmed's face and later when he is not present. The Licensee argued that some of Hazard's offensive statements related to actual Second World War references, namely the term WOG [which] was originally 'Working on Government Service' before it became an ethnic and racial slur. We understand that the derivation of wog is contested, but irrespective of its origins, and as acknowledged by Talking Pictures, the term today is considered highly offensive.

We acknowledged that the Licensee's audience would have recognised that they were watching a programme made several decades ago when attitudes to language were different. However, we considered that the repeated use of highly offensive racist language without direct challenge carried a high risk of causing significant offence today.

It is Ofcom's view that the broadcast of this offensive language exceeded generally accepted standards, in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

Talking Pictures was previously found in breach of the Code for the broadcast of racially offensive language without sufficient contextual justification on 9 January 20173 and 8 January 20184 (for material broadcast on 24 August 2016 and 13 September 2017 respectively). Ofcom is requesting Talking Pictures to attend a meeting to discuss its

A little background about Talking Pictures

24th February 2018. See  article from express.co.uk

talking pictures tv logoTalking Pictures TV, a family-owned, father and daughter-run station with only three members of staff, launched on Freeview less than three years ago but it already has over two million viewers.

Its unashamedly nostalgic diet of mainly old black-andwhite films, documentary shorts and TV series of yesteryear has proved a huge hit with the public and - we are informed - the Queen.

Alas not everyone is happy about the great service to film and vintage TV buffs that the channel is providing. Media regulator Ofcom has summoned Talking Pictures TV managing director Sarah Cronin-Stanley and her father Noel to a meeting to discuss compliance issues after the channel was found in breach of rules regarding the broadcasting of offensive language.  Sarah commented:

There are some films that are too horrible to show. But our view of context is different to Ofcom's. The word used in A Family At War is one that quite rightly we don't use today but it was one the character - who wasn't very likeable - would have used at the time in which the drama was set, which is why we didn't censor it. He was in Egypt during the war and was talking to squaddies.

The Express writer commented:

It's also worth bearing in mind that A Family At War was hugely popular when first shown on ITV in the 1970s.

The Ofcom intervention raises serious issues about censorship and attempts to rewrite history. The fact is that terms we regard as offensive today were used by people every day in the past.

Ofcom can't censor British TV history - surely we are meant to learn from the past

Daily Mail logo24th February 2018. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

And of course a few colourful comments from the Daily Mail. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Funny old world...

Comedy gig to poke fun at feminists is cancelled after complaints by feminists


Link Here 24th February 2018
we are funny project logo A planned comedy gig about whether feminism was stifling free speech has been cancelled after criticsim from feminists.

Alfie Noakes, promoter of the We Are Funny Project, had invited comedians to play the gig after writing a provocative article for Chortle questioning if radical feminism had gone too far.

But after a flurry of furious messages were posted in response online, the planned venue, Farr's School of Dancing in East London, asked him to pull the gig. Noakes responded:

I'm very sorry to report that the posting, and dog-whistle call to attack all involved in the show, specifically the venue, was so concerning to our hosts that they asked me to pull the show.

He specifically blamed comedian Kate Smurthwaite for the decision, after she called on the venue to stop hosting this kind of bigotry He further called her a hypocrite as she has often spoken about free speech, and had first-hand experience of censorship after being no-platformed for her own controversial views by Goldsmiths College in London.

Although Farrs has pulled the plug on the feminism show, it will continue to host We Are Funny comedy nights, including a forthcoming season of Edinburgh previews. Noakes is now looking for a new venue for his feminism show.

 

  Cheating people of their right to free speech...

Bangladesh tried and failed to shutdown Facebook to prevent cheating in school exams


Link Here 24th February 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Bangladesh...Internet censors to track down supposed blasphemy

Facebook logoNow is the season of school final exams in Bangladesh and the government is trying hard to cope with the issue of exam questions leaking online.

Leaking exam questions have become a regular phenomenon in public examinations like Junior School Certificate (JSC), Senior School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC), medical college and university admission tests, and state-owned bank recruitment exams over the last several years in Bangladesh.

Mostly using Facebook and WhatsApp, people sell exam questions ahead of the nationwide examinations. A few hours before the exam, the questions are often given away for free. The offenders in most of these cases have not been identified. These leaks have cast a shadow over the quality of exams and the process of assessing students.

In January, the Education Minister hinted that Facebook would be shut down during the exams to prevent these leaks.

On February 11, 2018, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission instructed all internet service providers in Bangladesh to shut off mobile internet and reduce broadband speeds to 25 kbps from 8:00am-10:30am on exam days throughout the remainder of February.

But on February 12, 2018 morning, within an hour from the start of the internet shutdown, the government backtracked and ordered ISPs to ensure uninterrupted internet service. It took some hours for the ISPs to implement the new order and things were normal again. The authorities have instead imposed a mobile phone ban near the exam halls.

Netizens criticized the move, using sarcasm and satire to express their dissatisfaction and protest the rash and whimsical decision.

For now, with demand for exam questions increasing, the leaks continue. How the government will choose to combat the problem, short of an internet shutdown, remains to be seen.

 

 Commented: Don't say can't...

Coming of age movie Lady Bird cut for an M rated Australian cinema release


Link Here 24th February 2018
Poster Lady Bird 2017 Greta Gerwig Lady Bird is a 2017 USA comedy by Greta Gerwig.
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Odeya Rush and Kathryn Newton. BBFC link IMDb

The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.

Lady Bird is one of the best reviewed films of the year but Australian audiences will be seeing a cut version of the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age movie.

As reported by Media Censorship in Australia, the first time the film's distributor, Universal Pictures, submitted Lady Bird for classification, it received an MA15+ rating, meaning teenagers under the age of 15 would not be able to see the film without a guardian. A cut version was subsequently submitted by Universal and given the far less restrictive M rating (a PG-15 in US terminology).

The cuts were to delete a brief sight of a guy's dick in a Playgirl magazine. Also a use of the word 'cunt' was replaced by 'cooze' (a slightly less strong vulgar term for a woman's genitals. But it can also be used like 'slag').

Update: Understandable decision

24th February 2018. From Ben via twitter

Having watched it today they were definitely right to cut it. I don't say that often. It's extremely tame for a 15 - those two censored scenes along with the f**k count are the only reasons why ("very strong language, brief strong nudity") and aren't important at all.

 

 Offsite Article: Why the world's biggest porn company is backing the UK's new age law...


Link Here 24th February 2018  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
mindgeek ageid logo And why the adult industry is worried. By Lux Alptraum

See article from theverge.com

 

  The hare is off and running, 2 months left to download enough porn to last a lifetime...

The government has now officially appointed the BBFC as its internet porn censor


Link Here 23rd February 2018  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
bbfc appointed The DCMS has published a letter dated 21st February 2018 that officially appoints the BBFC as its internet porn censor. It euphemistically describes the role as an age verification regulator.

Presumably a few press releases will follow and now the BBFC can at least be expected to comment on how the censorship will be implemented..

The enforcement has previously being noted as starting around late April or early May but this does not seem to give sufficient time for the required software to be implemented by websites.

 

  Damn! Nonsensical censorship at the Brit Awards...

A nonsensical decision to hire a musician whose message was rendered nonsensical by the nonsensical muting of terms that nobody would have understood anyway


Link Here 23rd February 2018  full story: Brit Awards...Sttrong language and alcohol at Brit Awards
DAMN. Brit Awards viewers were left baffled after parts of rap star Kendrick Lamar's performance were muted by ITV.

What's the point in having Kendrick Lamar perform on #BRITS if you're going to mute him every other word? tweeted JP, voicing the discontent of many.

Many assumed that Lamar's songs Feel and New Freezer were muted due to bad language. But it seems the main issues were references to drugs and oral sex. Some muted sections featured mentions of bad dope and cocaine white.

The US rapper himself actually changed the most overt bad language in his lyrics - but fell foul of the censor's button for the drug words and oblique slang references to oral sex.

Lamar's performance at the Brit Awards in London was broadcast on ITV on Wednesday almost an hour past the 9pm watershed. Yet the decision was made to mute the audio 10 times during his performance .

Asked about the decision to mute parts of the songs, ITV said the ceremony was broadcast to a wide audience. A spokeswoman said:

We have always used a short time delay and audio muting to deal with language viewers may consider unsuitable.

Lamar's performance also included a man taking a baseball bat to the windshield of an expensive-looking sports car.

On Thursday morning, TV censor Ofcom said it had received 74 complaints from viewers about Lamar's segment - some of whom feared this might incite criminal behaviour and property damage, and some complaining about implied bad language.

BBC music reporter Mark Savage described the car stunt as the evening's biggest metaphor failure, explaining:

His intention was to make a statement about the emptiness of status symbols and the trappings of fame. But, with most viewers unable to hear his lyrics, it came off as 'I'm so rich I can afford to smash up this very expensive car live on TV.'

 

  Super Censorman...

Black Panther has been cut for cinema release in India over reference to a monkey god named Hanuman


Link Here 23rd February 2018
Poster Black Panther 2018 Ryan Coogler Black Panther is a 2018 USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Ryan Coogler.
Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o. BBFC link IMDb

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

In India the film was pre-cut for a CBFC U/A rating (children allowed if accompanied) for 2018 cinema release

At the domestic screening of the film, fans were quite enraged that the word 'Hanuman' was muted from the film. The Jabari tribe in the film, that enters the first death challenge, worships an ape god called Hanuman sharing a name with an Indian monkey god as per the comic books. But this reference was omitted from the screening.

While many felt that this was CBFC's doing, our sources have told us that it is not CBFC who muted the word Hanuman but it's the distributors of the movie in India who decided to do this.

 

  There is no compromise, only absolute tolerance from both sides will work...

ASA impossibly asked to get involved in a religious dispute where a belief is a core truth to one side and heresy to the other


Link Here 23rd February 2018
contended islam ukUK Muslims have reportedly launched a campaign to have Ahmadiyya billboards removed from sites in London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Mainstream, Muslims say that  the billboard incites hatred, it is deeply offensive and hurtful to millions of British citizens, but for the Ahmadiyya it is a core belief.

The ASA confirmed that it has received 33 complaints so far about the adverts. A spokesman said people have claimed the billboards are:

Misleading because they believe it is not consistent with the teachings of the Koran. Due to the perceived misrepresentation of Muslim beliefs, complainants also consider the ad offensive on this basis.

On the other hand the Ahmadiyya community believes that the Messiah promised in the Koran has already come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

The ASA says it is assessing the complaints and will make a ruling this week as to whether there are grounds for further investigation. But of course it cannot possibly investigate as an outcome either way would be totally untenable under human rights law upholding the freedom of religion. Even a neutral ruling saying that the poster does not cause issue with ASA rules would likely to be interpreted as support for one side or the other.

 

  Immoral censorship...

Turkey is set to extend internet TV censorship to the likes of Netflix and YouTube, and also to personal social media accounts


Link Here 23rd February 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
rtuk logoThe Committee to Protect Journalists rather optimistically calls on Turkish authorities to scrap the article of a draft bill that would expand internet censorship in Turkey.

The Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission has now passed article 73 of the bill, which would require online broadcasters, including YouTube and Netflix Turkey, to be licensed and regulated by the federal TV and radio censor RTÜK, according to news reports. Article 73 would also extend RTÜK's authority to personal social media accounts.

Parliament still needs to approve the bill's remaining articles before it schedules a vote on the bill but it has more than enough votes to pass and become law,

Government Minister Ahmet Arslan, who oversees internet censorship, has claimed that:

Censorship does not exist in Turkey ...[BUT]... Only broadcast material that goes "against national security [and the] moral order of the country" would be blocked if the bill becomes law.

 

 Offsite Article: Politically correct censorship is damaging fiction...


Link Here 23rd February 2018
Big Brother I've plenty of recent experience of using non-white characters in my novels, only to have them singled out and scrutinised for thought crime. By Lionel Shriver

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Don't be a Can't...

Irn Bru winds up a few can'ts into complaining to ASA about a humorous TV advert


Link Here 22nd February 2018  full story: Irn Bru Adverts...Humourosuly offending the easily offended

dont be a cant video AG Barr have issued an apology after an Irn Bru advert sparked a few complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad aired on STV after 7pm on Friday. The ASA confirmed they had received 9 complaints with the majority deeming the advert to be offensive and in poor taste.

The 'Don't be a cunt' campaign depicts a man meeting his girlfriends family for the first time and when asked by her father about when he is going to marry his daughter he replies he can't right now and asked to leave but is told by his girlfriend that they can't to which he replies Don't be a can't

An AG Barr spokeswoman said:

Our advertising always plays up Irn-Bru's cheeky sense of humour and our latest campaign is no different. It's never our intention to offend so we're sorry if our new advert hit the wrong note with a few people. But we hope most fans will enjoy this spin on positive thinking in the spirit it is intended.

 

  Florida declares that porn is harmful whilst guns are not...

They're wrong, even a school kid could tell you that


Link Here 22nd February 2018  full story: Newtown School Killings...Gun lobby vs violent media
Florida state sealFlorida's House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday declaring pornography a public health risk. The resolution called for education, research, and policy changes to protect Florida citizens -- especially teenagers.

The bill's sponsor, Ross Spano, said that research has found a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, unhealthy brain development and cognitive function, and deviant, problematic or dangerous sexual behavior.

The vote followed an earlier session in which Florida legislators declined to hold hearings on a bill banning high-capacity magazines and assault rifles such as the one used last week by suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Meanwhile in  Kentucky politicians have returned to the 1990s tactic of blaming video games for violence. Kentucky governor Matt Bevin started the show a couple of days after the shooting, and on Wednesday, Rhode Island state representative Bobby Nardolillo took it a step further.

Nardolillo proposed legislation that would put a 10% tax on video games with an ESRB rating of Mature or higher, Rolling Stone reported . That tax revenue would be used to fund counseling, mental health programs and other conflict resolution activities in schools, according to the press release on Nardolillo's Facebook page. Both Nardolillo and Bevin have high ratings from the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

But I'm not sure that blaming porn and video games is a good direction for the gun lobby. Surely if they consider that video games and porn causes the mental health issues that lead to killing sprees, then surely they should recognise that there are people that should not be trusted with guns. And as video games and porn are so ubiquitous then the only safe policy is that nobody should be trusted with guns. QED

 

  The Image of Spain...

Artwork highlighting political prisoners in Spain is censored


Link Here 22nd February 2018
24 political prisonersMadrid's International Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO) has pulled a photo exhibition called Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain amid controversy because it includes images of Catalan politicians that are currently in jail.

The decision to remove the exhibition within hours of the art fair opening to the press has been attributed to censorship. The exhibition space is government funded so sensitivities have to be observed.

The polemic exhibit contained 24 black and white portraits by Spanish conceptual artist Santiago Sierra, displayed in the stand assigned to the Helga de Alvear gallery.

Gallery organisers were asked to remove the exhibit on Wednesday just hours after a press preview ahead of the art fair opening to the public.

 

  Insulting words...

Spanish rapper jailed for a song insulting royalty and alluding to ETA terrorism


Link Here 22nd February 2018
Fuego y Rabia The Spanish Supreme Court has upheld a decision to jail a rapper for three and a half years for a song deemed to have glorified terrorism and insulted the crown, sparking a debate about freedom of expression in the country.

The court rejected arguments by little-known rapper Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, stage name Valtonyc, that his songs were protected by freedom of expression laws, when ratifying a sentence handed down last February.

Among the lyrics deemed criminal were: Let them be as frightened as a police officer in the Basque Country, a reference to violence against police officers in the region by the now-disarmed Basque separatist group ETA.

Valtonyc went on to fantasize about the king having a rendez-vous at the village square, with a noose around his neck. In another track Valtonyc referenced a Spanish politician and aristocrat involved in a corruption scandal about forcing her to see how her son lives among rats.

 

  Insulting words...

An Australian campaign will respond to the use of the word 'retard' in tweets with a video of somebody explaining how hurt they are by the word


Link Here 22nd February 2018
moron watch The Australian 9 News programme is asking whether the word 'retard' should be banned.

It was once an acceptable American word describe someone with a mental disability, but it has now become a word more generally used as an insult. However it seems to very much the word that triggers the most passionate criticism.

Now, a new social media campaign is aimed at curbing the use of the word. Every time you type 'retard' on Twitter, a video will pop up of a person with a disability explaining why it upsets them.

The campaign, firmly backed by Western Australia Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson. He said:

I think many people will watch these videos, realise what they're saying offends people, and change their ways.

He added that it's not so much about censorship, and more about encouraging people to be mindful of how the words they use might affect people.

But in reality there is a tokenism to such efforts. What ever is defined as a polite term soon becomes open to use as an insult and so it becomes a never ending cycle. A token ban doesn't help much when there is such a rich vein of replacement terms. And even if impolite terms are frowned up, the English language is rich enough to compose equally devastating insults even using nominally polite terms.

 

 Offsite Article: The dangerous trend for automating censorship, and circumventing laws...


Link Here 22nd February 2018
openmedia logo Deals between companies and governments to automate acceptable content online are too common. By Ruth Coustick-Deal

See article from openmedia.org

 

 Offsite Article: Astroturfing...


Link Here 22nd February 2018
bell logo Bell Canada caught encouraging its employees to write into a consultation supporting the introduction of internet censorship as if they were 'concerned citizens'

See article from huffingtonpost.ca

 

  Aldi's Kevin the Carrot banned...

More infantile censorship from ASA


Link Here 21st February 2018

aldi kevin the carrot video A TV ad for Aldi featured a computer-generated image of a carrot that stated, I see dead parsnips. The voice-over then stated, Kevin was feeling a little bit tense. He thought there were spirits. He had a sixth sense. As it turned out his instincts were right. There were a few spirits that cold Christmas night. Award winning bottles for raising a toast and one frightened carrot had just seen a ghost. The ending of the ad showed Kevin the carrot being frightened by another character dressed-up as a ghost with a white blanket over them. Throughout the ad were scenes showing various bottles of spirits.

One complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was likely to have strong appeal to people under 18 years of age.

Aldi Stores Ltd stated whilst Kevin the Carrot (Kevin) was intended to be humorous, it was not designed to have specific appeal to under-18s. Aldi believed much of the humour in the situations in which Kevin had been placed since his first appearance in 2016 was of a nature that would be more appealing to adults than to children.

Aldi stated because the ad was promoting alcohol, it was scheduled in accordance with the BCAP Code and therefore was not aired adjacent to programmes likely to appeal to under-18s.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted the ad was subject to a broadcast restriction which meant it was not transmitted during or adjacent to children's programmes, which included all programmes commissioned for, directed at or likely to appeal to under-18 audiences. The BCAP Code required alcohol ads must not be likely to appeal strongly to people under 18 years of age, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture or showing adolescent or juvenile behaviour.

We considered that Kevin the Carrot appeared to be childlike and had a high-pitched voice, similar to that of a young child. Furthermore, we understood Kevin was sold as a soft toy during the Christmas period and was popular amongst under 18-year-olds, particularly young children. We therefore considered that Kevin was likely to have strong appeal to audiences under the age of 18.

We also considered the Christmas theme of the ad contributed to the likelihood of Kevin having strong appeal to under-18s. We noted that choir music was played in the background whilst the voice-over told a short and simple narrative poem. Although the content of the dialogue and poem, which made use of a pun on spirits, was not typical content for children, we considered the tone was reminiscent of a children's story, therefore it was likely to resonate with and strongly appeal to younger children. Furthermore, we considered the ending of the ad showing Kevin being frightened by another character dressed-up as a ghost would be particularly funny for younger children and consequently, contributed to the overall effect of the ad having strong appeal to under-18s.

Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to appeal strongly to people under-18 and given that it was promoting alcohol, we concluded was irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Aldi that their future ads for alcohol must not be likely to appeal strongly to people under-18 years of age.

 

  Golden Oldies...

US judge strikes down law banning IMDb from publishing the age of movie stars


Link Here 21st February 2018
imdb logoA Californian law that prevented the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) from publishing the age of movie stars has been declared unconstitutional, and so the law is struck down on First Amendment grounds. A federal judge declared it not only to be unconstitutional, but also a bad solution to the wrong problem.

The law went into effect in 2017 after being signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown. The goal was to mitigate age discrimination in a youth-obsessed Hollywood by requiring IMDb to remove age-related information upon the request of a subscriber.

The judge explained:

Even if California had shown that the law was passed after targeted efforts to eliminate discrimination in the entertainment industry had failed, the law is not narrowly tailored. For one, the law is underinclusive, in that it bans only one kind of speaker from disseminating age-related information, leaving all other sources of that information untouched. Even looking just at IMDb.com, the law requires IMDb to take down some age-related information -- that of the members of its subscription service who request its removal -- but not the age-related information of those who don't subscribe to IMDbPro, or who don't ask IMDb.com to take their information down.

The judge adds that the law is also overinclusive:

For instance, it requires IMDb not to publish the age-related information of all those who request that their information not be published, not just of those protected by existing age discrimination laws, states the opinion (read below). If the state is concerned about discriminatory conduct affecting those not covered by current laws, namely those under 40, it certainly has a more direct means of addressing those concerns than imposing restrictions on IMDb's speech.

Californian officials said the state will be appealing this ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

  Pulses set racing in Romania...

Christian Orthodox group protests at cinemas showing gay themed films


Link Here 20th February 2018
Poster 120 Battements Par Minute 2017 Robin Campillo 120 Beats Per Minute (120 battements par minute) is a 2017 France drama by Robin Campillo.
Starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois and Adèle Haenel. IMDb

Early 1990s. With AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, Act up-Paris activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who throws his last bits of strength into the struggle.

Soldiers: A Story from Ferentari (Soldatii. Poveste din Ferentari) is a 2017 Romania / Serbia / Belgium drama by Ivana Mladenovic.
Starring Dan Bursuc, Sorin Cocis and Cezar Grumazescu. IMDb

Adi, a shy and introverted anthropologist, who got recently dumped by his girlfriend, moves to Ferentari, the poorest and most notorious neighborhood of Bucharest. He wants to write a study on manele music, the 'pop music' of the Roma community. Adi meets Alberto, a Roma ex-convict and a bear of a man, who promises Adi to help him. Soon enough, the unlikely pair begins a playful romance in which Adi feeds Alberto with improbable plans of escaping poverty, while Alberto feeds Adi with phrases of love.

Poster Soldatii Poveste Din Ferentari 2017 Ivana Mladenovic Religious protesters in Romania have disrupted the screenings of two movies featuring gay themes, saying they violate traditional values.

In response, a new screening of the Cannes award-winning movie 120 Beats Per Minute is going to be held Tuesday in Bucharest.

The dispute illustrates Romania's divided views about homosexuality, which remains a difficult topic in a state where more than 85% of its people belong to Christian Orthodox churches. Homosexuality was only decriminalized when Romania prepared to join the EU in 2002.

Protesters calling themselves Christian Orthodox burst into a movie theatre on Feb. 4 during a screening of 120 Beats Per Minute. Protesters objected to the film being shown at the Romanian Peasant Museum because the Romanian peasant is a Christian Orthodox. They sang the national anthem and religious songs while others held religious icons and banners saying: Romania isn't Sodom and Hey Soros, leave them kids alone , referring to Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros.

Days later, protesters disrupted another movie featuring a relationship with a Romanian man and an ex-convict from the nation's Roma, or Gypsy, minority titled Soldiers: A Story from Ferentari. Protesters played Gypsy rock music to drown out the movie. Police were called in to break up the protest.

Filmmaker Cristian Mungiu, the distributor of 120 Beats Per Minute in Romania, has urged the culture minister and Bucharest mayor to publicly support the movie but so far they have remained silent. It will be re-screened Tuesday at the same museum.

 

 Offsite Article: Inside the UK Age Verification Law...


Link Here 20th February 2018  full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
avn logo What the new regulations mean for your US business

See article from avn.com

 

  Wounded by censors...

A south African film with a gay theme has been effectively banned from mainstream cinema release by the film censor by unfairly classifying it as pornography


Link Here 19th February 2018
Poster Inxeba 2017 John Trengove Inxeba (The Wound) is a 2017 South Africa / Germany / Netherlands / France romance by John Trengove.
Starring Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay. IMDb

Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, Xolani's entire existence begins to unravel.

Inxeba (The Wound) is a film centred around an African custom of adulthood initiation via a circumcision ritual. It contains two simulated sex scenes and has a gay storyline.

South African film censors at Film and Publication Board (FPB} originally awarded a straightforward 16 LS rating for language and sex.

The gay theme wound up local conservatives of the Gauteng branch of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) and cultural organisation the Man and Boy Foundation and an appeal against the rating was lodged.

The result of the appeal was that the rating was upgraded to an X18 rating which is generally reserved for explicit hardcore pornography. Similarly to the UK, the movie can then only be screened at licensed porn cinemas, and it is effectively banned from mainstream cinemas.

Clearly the producers of Inxeba are not well pleased and along with  leading South African film industry players say the fight over the movie being reclassified as pornographic by the FPB is far from over. They have vowed to take the matter to court. They accuse the FPB of censorship, homophobia and of not following its own governing act or classification guidelines by overturning the controversial, award-winning gay Xhosa initiation movie's original 16 LS ratin.

Update: Fake consultation?

23rd February 2018. See  article from heraldlive.co.za

The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has insisted the revision of its classification guidelines for films is not linked to controversial movie Inxeba.

This comes as the FPB has launched a countrywide roadshow to get input from the public on how the content-classification and censorship authority rates films.

But the Right2Know campaign has slammed the decision, saying the review process had been haphazardly organised as a response to the outcry over the reclassification of Inxeba.

 

  Freedom in the World 2018: Democracy in Crisis...

Freedom House publishes its annual survey


Link Here 19th February 2018
freedom house logoFreedom House has published its annual survey of freedom around the word. Its key findings are somewhat grim:
  • Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 as its basic tenets--including guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law--came under attack around the world.
  • Seventy-one countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties, with only 35 registering gains. This marked the 12th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.
  • The United States retreated from its traditional role as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy amid an accelerating decline in American political rights and civil liberties.
  • Over the period since the 12-year global slide began in 2006, 113 countries have seen a net decline, and only 62 have experienced a net improvement.

See full report from freedomhouse.org

 

  View from the Oxfam lynch mob...

Catherine Bennett spewing about the Nordic model - again!


Link Here 19th February 2018

guardian whinge after oxfam Have a look - if you can tolerate it - at Catherine Bennett's latest outpouring of whorephobic, misandric bile in the Observer. The silly moo completely denies agency to sex workers.

It's as if Max Mosley's friend with the Ph.D. continuing as professional submissive - presumably as a rational choice because it yields more dosh for shorter hours than organic chemistry - passes over her head.

What is a purportedly liberal newspaper doing employing this squalid authoritarian?

See  Catherine Bennett's article: If paying for sex is wrong in Haiti, why do we still tolerate it in the UK. From theguardian.com

 

  Images of compromise...

Google tweaks its Image Search at the behest of Getty Images


Link Here 18th February 2018
google images logoGoogle has tweaked its Google's image search to make it slightly more difficult to view images in full size before downloading them. Google has also added a more prominent copyright warning.

Google acted as part of a peace deal with photo library Getty Images.  In 2017, Getty Images complained to the European Commission, accusing Google of anti-competitive practices.

Google said it had removed some features from image search, including the view image button. Images can still be viewed in full size from the right click menu, at least on my Windows version of Firefox. Google also removed the search by image button, which was an easy way of finding larger copies of photographs. Perhaps the tweaks are more about restricting the finding of high resolution version of image rather than worrying about standard sized images.

Getty Images is a photo library that sells the work of photographers and illustrators to businesses, newspapers and broadcasters. It complained that Google's image search made it easy for people to find Getty Images pictures and take them, without the appropriate permission or licence.

In a statement, Getty Images said:

We are pleased to announce that after working cooperatively with Google over the past months, our concerns are being recognised and we have withdrawn our complaint.

 

  The pits of world censorship...

Turkish TV company fined for unbeeped strong language on its internet player


Link Here 18th February 2018
cukurTurkey's TV censor RT3cK has set a new precedent by issuing a fine to a channel that included strong language language on its website that was beeped out when broadcast on TV.

The fine came when Show TV posted a clip of a sweary character from the hit mafia TV show Çukur (The Pit)  without the usual heavy censorship on its website.

A draft law that would enable RT3cK to regulate online video content is in the works, but the body appears to have begun regardless.

 

 Offsite Article: Germany edges toward Chinese-style rating of citizens...


Link Here 18th February 2018
schufa logo China is experimenting with a dystopian social credit system which grades every citizen based on their behavior. Germany is sleepwalking in the same direction. By Heike Jahberg

See article from global.handelsblatt.com

 

 Offsite Article: Out and out overblocking...


Link Here 18th February 2018  full story: Crap Internet Blocking...Cheapo automated filters are not up to the job
gay star news logo Sky UK block gay-teen support website deemed pornographic by its algorithms

See article from gaystarnews.com

 

 Offsite Article: Body positive art seen in a negative light...


Link Here 18th February 2018
minnesota body positive PC confusion in Minnesota

See article from citypages.com

 

 Offsite Article: Morality of a lynch mob...


Link Here 18th February 2018
oxfam logo Compare the lack of interest shown by media, politicians and assorted celebrities to the cholera epidemic causing thousands of deaths in Haiti, with the hysterical outrage expressed about Oxfam officials consorting with prostitutes

See article from independent.co.uk

 

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