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25th November

 Updated" Three Fingered Salute...

Thai cinemas cancel showings of Mockingjay as its symbology chimes with those opposing military dictatorship
Link Here
Hunger Games Mockingjay Part DVD Managers at Bangkok's Lido and Scala cinemas have decided not to show the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 for fear of a political backlash.

The management of Apex group, which operates the theatres, told the Bangkok Post it had received a phone call asking for 200 tickets for the film's premiere on Thursday noon at Scala theatre, and that they be sent by mail. It found out later the tickets were being given out for free from a Facebook page.

The League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy posted on its Facebook that it would give 160 tickets for the movie premiere at Scala under its Raise Three Fingers, Bring Popcorn and Go to the Theatre campaign. It also asked its friends to comment on How does the Capitol resemble Bangkok? - the winning commentators would get 80 tickets for free. As of 6.46pm on Wednesday there were 241 comments to the post.

Apex said authorities had met with management to talk about the film but claimed its decision to drop the show had nothing to do with what happened to the military ruler Prayut Chan-o-cha in Khon Kaen.

His talk there was interrupted by five students. The five wore anti coup t-shirts and gave the general the three-finger salute from the Hunger Games series of movies before being whiskered away by police and soldiers to a military camp. A security official said they were detained at the camp for attitude adjustment.

Update: UN gives Thailand a 3 fingered salute

25th November 2014.  See  article from  bangkokpost.com

UN logo The United Nations has criticised the Thailand's military dictators for arresting students flashing the signature protest gesture from The Hunger Games while the film's makers have said they are concerned for the young activists.

Fallout from the detention of three students outside two Bangkok theatres continued with the military's 'Prime Minister' Prayut Chan-o-cha saying he felt unthreatened by The Hunger Games' three-fingered protest against totalitarian rule, but nonetheless warned people against using it. , Gen Prayut told reporters:

I don't know whether it is illegal or not but it could jeopardise their futures. I appreciate their courage but they should use their courage in the right ways.

His comments came as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Southeast Asia criticised the authorities for a recent spate of instances in which people were led away for questioning after making the salute that has become a symbol of defiance for anti-coup protesters. Local OHCHR representative Matilda Bogner told AFP:

This case is the latest illustration of a worrying pattern of human rights violations, which has the effect of suppressing critical and independent voices, l

The three students apprehended for flashing the three-finger salute were released without charges.

Meanwhile the military government announces indefinite martial law

Perhaps while the media are distracted by the Hunger Games story, the country's justice minister announced that martial law is here to stay. Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya told Reuters:

Martial law is necessary and we cannot lift it because the government and junta need it as the army's tool.  We are not saying that martial law will stay in place for 50 years, no this is not it, we just ask that it remain in place for now, indefinitely.

And meanwhile the lese majeste law is used to outlaw criticism

A military court in Thailand has sentenced a web editor to four and a half years in jail for publishing an article five years ago that it said insulted the nation's king.

Rungwong edited the Thai E-News website, which is now blocked by censors. The article, published in 2009, was written by Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a radical Thai intellectual and former university political scientist who fled to Britain that year.

Thailand's lese-majesty law is considered the harshest in the world, with the accused facing jail terms of three to 15 years if found guilty. And the definition of insult is drawn very widely. Suggesting changes to Thailand's political status quo can readily be considered a criticism of the state and hence an insult to the king's stewardship of Thailand.


25th November

 Update: I'm Dreaming of a Sleight Christmas...

Argentina continues whinge at number plate joke in the Top Gear Christmas Special
Link Here  full story: Top Gear...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
top gear argentina A few easily offended Argentines got wound up by a joke during the filming a Top Gear special.

Locals took offence at the H982 FKL number plate on a Porsche driven by Jeremy Clarkson, believing it was a reference to the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Argentina's ambassador to the UK, Alicia Castro, complained about the joke but the complaint was turned down by the BBC. Now she has resumed her torade against the joke by writing to the BBC Trust expressing discontent with how the number plate fiasco was handled. She claimed Clarkson's behaviour fell well below BBC's editorial values and standards and called for a fresh investigation.

In an interview with the Radio Times Richard Hammond said:

In society as a whole, we love to be offended and have a scapegoat. But at Top Gear we're the first to put our hands up and say we pitched it wrong. We have apologised. We're not in the business of genuinely upsetting or offending anyone. We're in the business of entertainment, and if it fails to entertain, it's wrong. If the public says we stepped over the line, then we have.


25th November

 Update: Parents TV Council Recommends...

Its annual Christmas list of best advertisers
Link Here  full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence

PTC logo The Parents Television Council has released its annual list of Best TV Advertisers , which catalogues companies based on the television content they chose to underwrite with their media dollars over the past year.  PTC President Tim Winter explained:

As we approach the Christmas and holiday shopping season, we present this list of 'Best and Worst TV Advertisers' so that consumers can vote with their wallet and reward those companies that have clearly demonstrated a commitment to responsible sponsorship practices. Our list also identifies those companies that have shown little or no regard for the explicit content that their media dollars helped to underwrite.

What people see on TV is influential. TV advertisers certainly know it to be true, otherwise they would not have spent $86 billion last year just on U.S. television. The sole purchase of spending each dollar was to convince Americans to buy their goods and services. The ability to influence children does not stop once the commercial break is over and the program begins.

We applaud those companies that are on our 'best' list, as they have shown a willingness to evaluate and adjust their ad buys in order to take into consideration the concerns of parents about the quality and content of programming that's accessible to children.

At the same time, we urge those companies on our 'worst' list to re-evaluate their ad buys on TV shows that routinely feature graphic sex, violence, and profanity, and that have the potential to permanently lower standards for TV content across the board. It's time for companies to consider the impact on children and families that comes from their day-to-day business decision-making.

So congratulations to the advertisers that have most wound up the PTC:
CATEGORY Worst Advertisers
Fast Food Restaurants
  • Burger King
  • Yum! Brands: KFC, Taco Bell
  • Red Bull
Clothing Retail
  • Gap, Inc.: The Gap, Old Navy
General Retail
  • Target
Personal Items
  • Johnson & Johnson: Aveeno, Visine, Splenda, Listerine, Clean & Clear
  • Unilever: Dove, Axe, Lipton, Suave, Vaseline, Hellmann's
  • Mondelez International, Inc.: Trident, Wheat Thins, Sour Patch Kids, Tang, Ritz, Oreo, Nabisco
  • Kellogg's: PopTarts, Eggo,
  • Nestlé: Gerber, Coffee Mate, Friskies, Purina, Hot Pockets, Stouffer's
Computer Hardware/Software
  • Microsoft
Financial Services/Software
  • H&R Block


25th November

 Commented: Tesco Declines into Censorship...

Now tabloid newspaper covers will be censored
Link Here  full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun
tesco censorship values logo Supermarket Tesco will no longer show the front covers of tabloid newspapers to avoid children seeing sexualised pictures of young women .

After months of lobbying by campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, the largest supermarket chain in the UK said it would change the design of its news cube stands so newspapers will not be displayed vertically.

Tesco will now only show the names and logos of newspapers on the sides of the display stands. Customers will now have to walk right up to the display in order to see what's on the front of the newspapers. The policy will affect how all tabloid papers are displayed, from the red tops to mid-market titles like The Daily Mail and The Express.

Representatives from No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, which campaigns against sexual imagery met with Tesco at its head office in September to convey their ideas for censorship.

Tracey Clements, customer experience and insight director for Tesco, said:

We are first and foremost a family retailer and it's important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store. We've asked our customers what they think about the issue and we have spoken to campaigners. The change we're making will strike the right balance for everyone.

It seems that the word 'balance' has now adopted the new meaning of censorship being imposed and/or rights being taken away.

Update: Waitrose follows the leader

24th November 2014. See  article from  gloucestershireecho.co.uk

waitrose logo Waitrose followed has followed Tesco's lead in censoring newspaper covers, saying it had been working on it for some time and would be changing their newspaper fixtures to display covers out of children's eyelines.

Offsite Comment: Modern Mary Whitehouses Want to Censor Newspapers, Magazines, Clothes and even Mugs

25th November 2014.

breitbart logo Right wing US commentators have fun watching Tesco censoring newspaper covers:

See  article from  breitbart.com


25th November

 Updated: Searching for someone else to do the work...

Man goes to court to force Google to track down links to delete
Link Here  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Old Bailey The case of a UK businessman who wants Google to stop malicious web postings about him appearing in its search results is set to begin.

Daniel Hegglin says he has been wrongly called a murderer, a paedophile and a Ku Klux Klan sympathiser during a malicious online campaign against him. He wants Google to block the anonymous posts from its search engine results.

Google asked him to provide a list of web links to be removed, but High Court judges will rule if it should do more. He claims there are more than 3,600 websites containing abusive and untrue material about him, and says listing all the posts for Google to remove would be expensive, time consuming, and ineffective.

He says that although Google is not the originator of the abusive campaign, its search engines have allowed the abuse to become more widespread.

He is seeking a legal order to force Google to take steps to prevent the abusive posts being processed in searches in England and Wales.

Update: Settled

25th November 2014. See  article from  wiggin.co.uk  

The case was settled on the first day of trial.

Daniel Hegglin's barrister said in a statement:

The settlement includes significant efforts on Google's part to remove the abusive material from Google-hosted websites and from its search results. Mr Hegglin will now concentrate his energies on bringing the persons responsible for this campaign of harassment to justice .

And a statement for Google:

Google provides search services to millions of people and cannot be responsible for policing internet content. It will, however, continue to apply its procedures that have been developed to assist with the removal of content which breaches local applicable laws .


25th November

  Home Sharing...

Google refuses the MPAA's take down request for the like of the Pirate Bay's home page
Link Here
Google logo The MPAA recently asked Google to remove the homepages of dozens of sites that offer links to pirated content. Google, however, refused to take down most of the URLs, likely because the takedown notices are seen as too broad.

So far the MPAA has asked Google to remove only 19,288 links from search results. The most recent request is one worth highlighting though, as it shows a clear difference of opinion between Hollywood and Google.

Last week the MPAA sent a DMCA request listing 81 allegedly infringing pages, mostly torrent and streaming sites. Unlike most other copyright holders, the MPAA doesn't list the URLs where the pirated movies are linked from, but the site's homepages instead. This is a deliberate strategy, one that previously worked against KickassTorrents .

However, this time around Google was less receptive. Google took no action for 60 of the 81 submitted URLs. It's unclear why Google refused to take action, but it seems likely that the company views the MPAA's request as too broad. While the sites' homepages may indirectly link to pirated movies, for most this required more than one click from the homepage.


25th November

 Update: Regin: The super-snoopware the security industry has been silent about...

NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
NSA logo


24th November

 Update: Action violence didn't turn out so expendable...

Stallone says Expendables 4 will be R rated
Link Here  full story: Expendables...Tough guys and whimpy censorship
Expendables 3 Blu ray Sylvester Stallone Extended Expendables 1 and 2 established a hard edge to the Stallone's action series but the 3rd episode was toned down to PG-13 in search of a larger audience. This didn't turn out to be the case but this could also be down to audience fatigue often associated with multiple sequels.

Either way Stallone has said in an interview with CraveOnline that th enext film with return to being R rated.

Stallone was asked: Do you think future Expendables movies should be R-rated from the get go? He replied:

I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone's part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I'm quite certain it won't happen again.


24th November

 Update: Hopefully a new programme will document the results...

Mark Thomas sues the Met police for unlawful snooping
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
Mark Thomas Serious Organised Criminal TV presenter Mark Thomas and five other journalists are suing the Metropolitan police. They are claiming they were unlawfully snooped on by a little-known Scotland Yard unit dedicated to domestic extremism, and in particular that surveillance was unnecessary, disproportionate and not in accordance with the law .

The journalists discovered they had been the subject of surveillance after demanding to see their files under Data Protection laws. All were targets of the Yard's National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU).

Thomas, known for his leftist political comedy on the Channel 4's The Mark Thomas Comedy Product and the BBC's The Mary Whitehouse Experience , complained about a disturbing police spying network at the Yard. Thomas explained:

The fact that none of the journalists are suspected of criminality but all of them cover stories of police and corporate wrong doing hints at something more sinister The inclusion of journalists on the domestic extremist database seems to be a part of a disturbing police spying network, from the Stephen Lawrence family campaign to Hillsborough families.


24th November

  Coded Outrage...

PC lynch mob sets its sights on a Barbie book
Link Here
index Susan Marenco wrote a book titled Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. But it didn't go down well with the PC lynch mob. On day she woke up to 146 hate mails and a call from the US TV show, Good Morning America.

The mob attacked the book after The Daily Dot picked it up. Most of the review focused on supposed sexism sending the wrong message to young girls interested in technology. One excerpt from the book reads:

I'm only creating the design ideas, Barbie says, laughing. I'll need Steven's and Brian's help to turn it into a real game!

One 'Outraged' reader whinged:

I work as a software engineer, which is a male dominated field. It is exactly these stereotypes and portrayals of girls like the one in this book that are the driving force behind the lack of girls wanting to enter these lucrative technology fields,. This book is part of the problem. I hope Random House replaces this book with something more appropriate for children.

Marenco, who wrote the Barbie book for Mattel, protests that she's a feminist. She's also a technology professional. She told KidsTech News that she tries to be politically aware in her work.

As a writer, when I write, I think about this and I try to replace the professional white males with Asian females. I try and I'm conscious of this, because it's part of my political upbringing, she says. You have to have this on the forefront of your mind or you slip back into that mindset of the traditional Barbie.

Mattel, maker of all things Barbie, quickly pulled the book from sale on Amazon.


23rd November

 Update: Snooper's Charter Extended...

Government introduces new law to extend detailed logs of internet usage to mobile phones and tablets
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May Police are to get powers to force internet firms to hand over details linked to IP addresses in order to help them help snoop on people's internet use.

The anti-terrorism and security bill will oblige internet service providers (ISPs) to retain information linking IP (Internet Protocol) addresses to individual subscribers.

The home secretary, Theresa May, said the measure would boost national security, but again complained that Liberal Democrats were blocking further steps.

Loss of the capabilities on which we have always relied is the great danger we face, May said. The bill provides the opportunity to resolve the very real problems that exist around IP resolution and is a step in the right direction towards bridging the overall communications data capability gap.

However, the Lib Dems insisted that the communications data bill -- branded the snooper's charter -- was dead and buried . The party also stressed that the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, had been calling for the IP measures since spring 2013.

The technical details are either sparse or misleading, maybe deliberately. Home and mobile broadband users have obviously had their IP address recorded and logged for sometime along with logs of messages and websites visited. I believe that the bill is targeted at internet access on mobile phones where an IP address is shared by many users simultaneously without retaining detailed user records per IP message.

The Register obtained a slightly getter explanation from the Home Office:

Home Offie logo Every internet user is assigned an IP address to ensure communication service providers know which data should go to which customer and routes it accordingly. Addresses are sometimes assigned to a specific device, such as a broadband router located in a home or company. But they are usually shared between multiple users and allocated randomly by the provider's automated systems.

Many providers currently have no business reason for keeping a log of who has used each address. It is therefore not always possible for law enforcement agencies accessing the data to identify who was using an IP address at any particular time.

Such communications data is a vital tool in the investigation of terrorist and criminal activity, and significantly contributes to the conviction of child sex offenders.

The inability to link IP addresses to individuals poses serious challenges for law enforcement agencies. The proposed measures would reduce the risk of terrorism by improving the ability of the police and other agencies to identify terror suspects who may be communicating with each other via the internet.

It would also help to identify and prosecute organised criminals; cyber bullies and computer hackers; and protect vulnerable people. For example, it can be used to identify a child who has threatened over social media to commit suicide.

This legislation will not however address all the capability gaps that the Draft Communications Data Bill aimed to fill. These gaps will continue to have a serious impact on law enforcement and intelligence agencies. For example, the provisions will not enable the retention of weblogs -- a record of information relating to a communication between a user and the internet, including a record of websites that have been visited.


23rd November

  New Chief TV Censor...

Ofcom announces acting Chief Executive when Ed Richards leaves
Link Here

Ofcom logo The Board of Ofcom has announced that Steve Unger will step up as acting Chief Executive at the end of the year.

Steve is currently Director of the Strategy, International, Technology and Economist Group at Ofcom. He will step up as interim Chief Executive when Ed Richards stands down at the end of December.

The process to appoint a permanent Chief Executive is under way and the Board of Ofcom will announce an appointment in the New Year.

Steve will take on the full responsibilities of Chief Executive and become Ofcom's Accountable Officer while the process for appointing a permanent successor to Ed Richards is under way.


23rd November

 Update: Parent's TV Council Recommends...

Sons of Anarchy. The most sexually explicit content the PTC has ever documented on basic cable.
Link Here  full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence
Sons Anarchy Season 7 DVD The Parents Television Council is denouncing the FX network for airing the most sexually explicit content the PTC has ever documented on basic cable. The November 11th episode of Sons of Anarchy opened with approximately two and one-half minutes of graphically depicted sex among several couples. The explicit content, of the type previously available only on a la carte premium networks or pay-per-view, aired as early as 9 pm in half of the country.

Media Post described this scene like this :

This sequence ... featured seven couples in the act of intense lovemaking. ... For the record, this sequence left nothing to the imagination. It was probably the rawest sex I have ever seen depicted on TV outside of HBO and Showtime -- and that's saying a lot.

PTC President Tim Winter spouted:

Last week's episode of 'Sons of Anarchy' opened with the most sexually explicit content we've ever seen on basic cable, content normally found on premium subscription networks like HBO or Showtime.


23rd November

 Offsite Article: Now we're all in danger of being caught up in the new culture wars, 24/7...

Link Here
strood white van man Everyone seems to have strong opinions about everything, and everywhere people want to take offence. One slip, or even a perfectly innocent remark, can mean public vilification. By Helen Lewis

See article from theguardian.com


23rd November

 Offsite Article: Detekt...

Link Here
detekt amnesty logo Amnesty International has released a program that can spot spying software used by governments to monitor activists and political opponents

See article from bbc.co.uk


22nd November

 Update: Less Consumer Rights Bill...

Elspeth Howe re-introduces her repressive clause to require onerous age verification for adult content on the internet
Link Here  full story: Online Safety Bill...Elspeth Howe proposes onerous website age verification
elspeth howe The Consumer Rights Bill is progressing through Parliament is currently at the report stage in the house of Lords. It will next be debated on 24th November.

Elspeth Howe has again proposed her clause requiring age verification for adult content. It has been kicked out several times in the past as the government recognises the need to work with the telecoms industry rather than impose onerous new laws (of course the government hasn't shown the same pragmatic approach to the adult internet industry).

The new clause was proposed by Baroness Elspeth Howe, Baroness King, Lord Cormack and Baroness Floella Benjamin. It is titled amendment 50D.

"Duty to provide an internet service that protects children from digital content

(1)     Internet service providers must provide to subscribers an internet access service which excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(2)     Where mobile telephone operators provide a telephone service to subscribers which includes an internet access service, they must ensure this service excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(3)     The conditions are--

(a)   the subscriber "opts-in" to subscribe to a service that includes adult content;

(b)   the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and

(c)   the provider of the service has an age verification policy which meets the standards set out by OFCOM in subsection (4) and which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over before a user is able to access adult content.

(4)     It shall be the duty of OFCOM, to set, and from time to time to review and revise, standards for the--

(a)   filtering of adult content in line with the standards set out in section 319 of the Communications Act 2003 (OFCOM's standards code);

(b)   age verification policies to be used under subsection (3) before a user is able to access adult content; and

(c)   filtering of content by age or subject category by providers of internet access services and mobile phone operators.

(5)     The standards set out by OFCOM under subsection (4) must be contained in one or more codes.

(6)     Before setting standards under subsection (5), OFCOM must publish, in such a manner as they think fit, a draft of the proposed code containing those standards.

(7)     After publishing the draft code and before setting the standards, OFCOM must consult relevant persons and organisations.

(8)     It shall be the duty of OFCOM to establish procedures for the handling and resolution of complaints in a timely manner about the observance of standards set under subsection (4), including complaints about incorrect filtering of content.

(9)     OFCOM may designate any body corporate to carry out its duties under this section in whole or in part.

(10)     OFCOM may not designate a body under subsection (9) unless, as respects that designation, they are satisfied that the body--

(a)   is a fit and proper body to be designated;

(b)   has consented to being designated;

(c)   has access to financial resources that are adequate to ensure the effective performance of its functions under this section; and

(d)   is sufficiently independent of providers of internet access services and mobile phone operators.

(11)     In this section, internet service providers and mobile telephone operators shall at all times be held harmless of any claims or proceedings, whether civil or criminal, providing that at the relevant time, the internet access provider or the mobile telephone operator--

(a)   was following the standards and code set out by OFCOM in subsection (4); and

(b)   acting in good faith.

(12)     For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in subsections (1) and (2) prevents providers of internet access services and mobile phone operators from providing additional levels of filtering content.

(13)     In this section--

"adult content" means an internet access service that contains harmful and offensive materials from which persons under the age of eighteen are protected;

"harmful and offensive materials" has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Communications Act 2003 (general duties of OFCOM);

"material from which persons under the age of eighteen are protected" means material specified in the OFCOM standards under section 319(2)(a) of the Communications Act 2003 (OFCOM's standards code);

"opts-in" means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes adult content."


22nd November

 Update: The Art of Outrage...

Censorship campaigners call for Exhibit B be to be banned in Paris
Link Here  full story: Exhbit B...Brett Bailey's art winds up the easily offended
exhibit b brett bailey Protesters in Paris are now calling for the banning of an art show featuring black actors in cages that mimic the human zoos of the 19th century. It has already been scrapped in London due to a political correctness outcry.

The white South African artist Brett Bailey says his Exhibit B , which mimics the late 19th- and early 20th-century phenomenon of the human zoo , is meant to raise awareness of the racism of Europe's colonial past.

It is due to open in the French capital later this month, but it is now raising heckles among censorship campaigners such as those behind a French petition to have it stopped and who see it as an exhibition composed of degrading representations of black people. A petition that has been signed by 14,000 people.

France's black campaign group CRAN claimed it was not calling for the exhibition to be stopped ...BUT... said that while:

It might be well-intentioned it reinforces stereotypes. It shows black people as passive and as victims, CRAN president Louis-Georges Tin told The Local. It never shows the struggle by black people for their own emancipation.

The two state-funded centres where the show is to take place, the Centquatre and the Theatre Gerard Philippe, vowed in an open letter this week that the show would go ahead and that they would not cave in to protesters who had not even seen the exhibition.


22nd November

 Update: Movie Spoilers...

India ends experiment with nagging pop-up warning during movie scenes showing alcohol
Link Here  full story: Smoking and Drinking in Films...India wound up by smoking in the movies and TV
happy new year Pop-up warnings against alcohol consumption during a movie drinking scene might have started and ended with Happy New Year .

India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had asked for the health warning to be shown in every drinking scene before clearing the film for universal viewing.

Following sharp criticism of the move from within the film industry, board chairperson Leela Samson wrote to all the eight regional offices this month not to ask for such insertions in future releases, sources in the board said.

A senior board official who requested anonymity said: Our official stand is that this warning will not be applicable to future releases.

Filmmakers, already unhappy with the mandatory health warnings against tobacco, slammed the alcohol warning. These warnings are absurd and regressive, said Kalpana Lajmi, who directed Rudaali and Daman . Such warnings are distractions for viewers as cinema is a moving story and not a frozen frame.


21st November

  Siding with Offencemongers...

Advert censor bans humourous GiffGaff advert for alluding to sex
Link Here

giffgaff out for a run video A tweet on the GiffGaff mobile phone company Twitter feed, which could be accessed by an embedded feed on their own website, stated The situations in our new videos are, well, awkward. #NSFW [LINK] #alltheboss . Beneath this, a video was embedded in a player and a still, showing a topless man wearing earphones and looking into a room, was displayed. Underneath the video player text stated Out for a run - At home with your parents you're not the boss ... Dean returns hot and sweaty from a run and gets an eye full. At home with your parents you're not the boss and there was a link to where the video was hosted on an external site.

In the first two seconds of the video on-screen text in the bottom-left corner stated WARNING: You cannot unsee this . The video showed the interior of a house and a man entering wearing earphones and dressed in a damp T-shirt, which he removed. He pushed open a door, revealing a couple having sex in a laundry room. The video cut back to the man's reaction, and then again to the couple, before showing the man walking away looking dazed. The video then cut to a blank screen, on which text stated At home with your parents you're not the boss ... At giffgaff we're all the boss . During the video panting sounds could be heard, which continued over the blank screen section. Issue

The complainant, who considered that the content was sexually graphic, objected that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Giffgaff Ltd stated that it was not their intention to cause offence. They said the ad was intended to show in a humorous way that, although some of their customers may not feel like the boss while living at home with their parents, with the Giffgaff network they could be the boss because they are able to have a say in how it's run. They stated that the style of the ad was humorous and playful, and that there was no nudity. They also stated that there was a warning at the start of the video that stated Warning: You cannot unsee this, which served to alert viewers to the fact that it may not be to their taste. Giffgaff said that, according to YouTube statistics, the ad had been viewed 37,530 times at the point of providing their response and that the receipt of only one complaint indicated that the offence caused was not widespread or serious.

Twitter did not provide a comment on the content of the ad, but stated that it was an ordinary tweet posted by the advertiser rather than a paid-for tweet promoted by the site.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted that the ad did not feature nudity. However, we considered that the characters were clearly having sex, that viewers would be likely to understand this to be the case, and that despite the lack of nudity the situation depicted was of a strongly sexual nature that would be likely to cause offence in an untargeted medium. Although we acknowledged Giffgaff's assertion that the ad was intended to be playful and humorous, we considered that a light-hearted tone was insufficient to mitigate the potential for offence due to the sexual nature of the content. We noted that the ad was available to view to all visitors to Giffgaff's Twitter feed, the general content of which appeared to be of a mild nature that would have general appeal to consumers, and would play whether or not they were signed in to Twitter or the site hosting the video itself. We therefore considered that the ad was untargeted. We acknowledged that a warning message was displayed at the beginning of the video, but noted that it was initially obscured by the video's control panel, was discreetly positioned and was only present briefly. We also considered that the phrase WARNING: You cannot unsee this was unlikely to indicate to viewers the nature of the scene that was to follow and, therefore, was inadequate to alert viewers to the content of the video. Moreover, we considered that the untargeted nature of the medium meant that a disclaimer was not sufficient to prevent the ad from being seen by viewers who would be offended by the content. Because the video featured strongly sexual content in an untargeted medium we concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Giffgaff Ltd to ensure that future ads in untargeted media did not contain strongly sexual content.


21st November

 Commented: On the Pull Pulled...

Politically incorrect comedian, Dapper Laughs, finds himself pursed by a PC lynch mob
Link Here
dapper laughs ITV has dropped a politically incorrect internet star who has been described as the new Jim Davidson . When ITV commissioned the recently finished six-part series Dapper Laughs: On the Pull for its youth-orientated ITV2 channel, it was presented as another example of a successful video-blogger or vlogger crossing into mainstream media. Dapper Laughs features Daniel O'Reilly walking British streets making quips to strange women about his penis and using his catchphrase proper moist .

The Daily Mirror published video footage of the comedian making bad taste jokes about rape in his live stand-up routine. The outburst, at a sell-out show at London's Scala in October, appears to have been a riposte to a piece on The Huffington Post by Lee Kern, who described the TV show as:

A woeful, misogynistic celebration of banter-based cretinism that is sadly having a renaissance among the confused, the intellectually frightened and the simpleton.

In his stand-up act, O'Reilly told the audience:

I filmed six episodes, half an hour each. If it was a guide to rape, I would have done one five-minute episode, come on and go 'Oi Oi, I'm Dapper Laughs, go down the shops, get some rope, bit of duct tape, rape the bitch, well done, see you later'.

O'Reilly tried to capitalise on his TV success by recording a Christmas album titled Proper Moist. The album includes songs called A Walk To The Pub...With A Tramp and Leaving The Pub...With A Tramp , in which he wonders if a woman's top was low cut or just ripped and asks your place or mine? This particular joke seems to have become the focus of the 'outrage'.

He later apologised for the sexist humour aimed at homeless women He offered to donate some of the proceeds to the charity Shelter who support homeless people. But Shelter says it won't take money from a comedian who is deeply offensive about homeless people .

As the fracas continued,  44 comedians signed an open letter condemning him for his entirely sexist and degrading brand of laddish comedy. Meanwhile about 70,000 people signed a petition for his television show to be cancelled for its misogynistic views, all under the guise of harmless comedy .

A result of the 'outrage', ITV unsurprisingly decided to drop Dapper Laughs. An ITV spokesman said that in the light of comments made by Dapper Laughs outside of the TV show the broadcaster would not be commissioning a further series from the comedian:

We have given careful thought to the recent criticism of the character Dapper Laughs, which has focused on his activities outside of the ITV2 programme, [for which the] content was carefully considered and complied. We have taken the decision that we will not be considering this show for a second series.

The fun continued via BBC's Newsnight

See article from telegraph.co.uk

bbc newsnight logo The BBC is now facing questions over why it invited Dapper Laughs onto its flagship current affairs show Newsnight .

O'Reilly was invited on the BBC's flagship current affairs show for an interview which allowed him to declare Dapper Laughs is gone . The bad press and everything that's happened - it's wrecked my life to a certain extent, he said.

Newsnight's editor Ian Katz has been contacted directly by critics on Twitter, but insisted he believed giving the comedian a platform was the most effective way of dealing with the arguments .

Outraged viewers, writing online, have now accused the BBC of chasing ratings, giving the comedian an unnecessary platform, and scraping the barrel of its new editorial standards.

And Finally

Thanks to Dan who comments:

How ironic that liberals are now pushing the same mantra that TV corrupts that Mary Whitehouse did 40 years ago.

Update: Ofcom to have its say

17th November 2014. See article from independent.co.uk

Ofcom has launched an investigation into ITV2 show Dapper Laughs: On The Pull after receiving 99 complaints about its attitude to women.

Ofcom is currently investigating whether the repeated use of sexual references in this comedy series met generally accepted standards, a spokesperson for the TV censor said after 99 complaints were logged.

Spiked logo Offsite Comment: Death to Dapper : behold the new intolerance

The terrifying censoriousness of the campaign against Dapper Laughs.

17th November 2014. See  article from  spiked-online.com by Brendan O'Neill

Offsite Comment: Dapper Laughs goes Pear Shape

21st November 2014. See article from pearshapedcomedy.com . Thanks to Anthony

pear shaped logo And so Dapper Laughs is gone. But questions remain. What, ask the various voices on twitter, was the difference between Dapper Laughs and Keith Lemmon? What was the difference between Dapper's rape joke and Jimmy Carr's rape joke?

...Read the full article


21st November

  Worthy of a Bad Review...

Hotel compounds bad service with a smallprint fraud of charging guests for a bad review
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smallprint A couple have been unfairly charged £100 by a Blackpool hotel they described as a rotten stinking hovel on travel review website TripAdvisor. Tony and Jan Jenkinson posted the negative comments after being unimpressed with the one night they spent at the Broadway Hotel.

The couple, from Whitehaven, later found £100 charged to their credit card. The hotel said its policy was to charge for bad reviews.

Trading Standards from Cumbria County Council are investigating. Officials believe the hotel may have breached unfair trading practice regulations.

When the couple queried the surcharge, the hotel's manager said they had a no bad review policy in their terms and conditions. The policy stated in the smallprint: Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.

The couple then contacted the council's Trading Standards team to complain about their treatment and have also sought a refund via their credit card company.


21st November

 Offsite Article: Banning Everything...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
india government logo Detailed notes from Indian government meeting about implementing massive internet censorship

See article from medianama.com


20th November

 Updated: Ever more strident demands from the politically correct...

Lynne Featherstone puts her right to not be offended above fundamental human rights
Link Here

Lynne Featherstone The Illiberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone, a Home Office minister, has demanded a ban on controversial US pick-up artist Julien Blanc from entering Britain. She siad she was lobbying Home Secretary Theresa May to refuse the self-styled dating coach a visa.

Blanc has offended over his £ 2,000-a-head seminars in which he is said to teach men sexually abusive and racist methods to attract women. He is said to encourage men to treat women with disrespect and contempt, including video footage of him apparently grabbing women by the throat. Other recommended pick-up methods include threatening to commit suicide, injuring pets and isolating women from friends. It would be interesting to hear a more measured review of his material rather than rely on Daily Mail reporting designed to invoke 'outrage'.

Featherstone said:

I am extremely concerned by the sexist and utterly abhorrent statements Julien Blanc has made about women. If he was allowed to perform in the UK I have no doubt that cases of sexual harassment and intimidation would increase. Mr Blanc disturbingly encourages men to treat women with disrespect and contempt Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone has lobbied Home Secretary Theresa May to refuse the self-styled dating coach a visa

Free speech is obviously hugely important ...BUT... with free speech comes responsibility. It is not appropriate to talk about choking girls under any circumstances.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Blanc should be barred from coming to the UK on the grounds that his promotion of violence against women is not conducive to the public good . She said:

It is important that respect for the laws on sexual assault and violence are upheld and that we send a clear message from Britain about zero tolerance of violence against women and girls.

More than 110,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Blanc to be refused entry to the UK after he was forced to cut short a visit to Australia following widespread protests.

Update: The whole point of freedom of speech is to not let bullies and lynch mobs prevail. So its sad to see our senior politicians head up the baying for blood

20th November 2014.  See  article from  independent.co.uk

Home Offie logo Controversial pick-up artist Julien Blanc has been denied a visa to enter the UK after a sustained campaign to prevent him from touring in Britain, it has been reported.

Blanc, who calls himself the international leader in dating advice , was forced to swiftly exit Australia after his visa was withdrawn amid claims his dating seminars teach abusive techniques.

An online petition calling on the Home Secretary Theresa May to deny the US citizen a visa to enter Britain gained more than 150,000 signatures. And indeed Blanc has now been barred from entering the UK by the Home Office.


20th November

  Oft Offended Opportunists...

US TV censor isn't supporting the call for a ban of the word 'Redskins' referring to the Washington DC football
Link Here
washington redskins logo Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai said in a speech at an awards event that he disagrees with recent efforts to ban broadcasters from using the word Redskins when referring to the Washington, D.C. NFL team. He said:

If the FCC took these steps, we would be squelching public debate about an issue of public concern. We would be standing in the way of media outlets reporting the news. And we would be prohibiting speech simply because we disagree with the viewpoint that is being expressed.

Pai went on to say public officials shouldn't sound an uncertain trumpet when oft-offended opportunists urge us to undermine the First Amendment. He said he thinks the FCC should heed the words of Voltaire:

I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it, adding. Anyone who takes seriously the Constitution--scholar or layman--knows the petition is meritless. The FCC should dismiss it tout suite, as Voltaire might have said.


19th November

  Feminism has become toxic...

The Guardian's Julie Bindel notes that baying PC lynch mob has been attracting some justifiably negative press lately
Link Here
scientist shirt The PC lynch mob vs Matt Taylor's shirt...

Julie Bindel comments:

The scientist of Rosetta mission fame, Matt Taylor, is arguably better known at the moment for a shirt he wore, depicting scantily clad women than his extraordinary scientific breakthrough. After a massive kerfuffle, led by feminists, Taylor broke down in tears at a briefing recently and said: I made a big mistake and I offended many people, and I am very sorry about this.

Many would hail this as a feminist victory: a big-name scientist apologising on TV and being reduced to tears for his apparent sexism. We must have come a long way to wield so much influence. But there's another way of seeing it. As less of a victory, more of a sign of a shift in feminist tactics. Instead of attacking the root cause of women's inequality, we've moved towards the vilification of individuals.


The current climate of McCarthyism within some segments of feminism and the left is so ingrained and toxic that there are active attempts to outlaw some views because they cause offence. Petitions against individuals appear to be a recent substitute for political action towards the root causes of misogyny and other social ills. Petitions have taken over politics.


The ban this sick filth approach is starting to look more like censorship than progressive politics. Political protest and heated debate has been replaced with a witch-hunt mentality.


Moral superiority and call out culture has trumped political activism. Feminists have a proud history of taking state institutions and corporations to task. It would seem this is being lost in a sea of vitriol. We built this movement on a desire and willingness to question and challenge old assumptions and truisms. We are in danger of becoming autocrats who would rather organise a pile-on than try to change systems. The life blood of feminism is in danger of becoming bile.

For once she is spot on. Something also noted by other commentators

Comment: Matt Taylor's sexist shirt and the day political correctness officially went mad

See  article from  telegraph.co.uk by Tim Stanley

Imagine if these PC fetishists had been around on Twitter when we landed on the moon: One small step for man? And one giant leap backwards for women. #sexistpigs.

Comment: ShirtGate Fascism Cloaked as Liberalism

See  article from  sexandcensorship.org

If Taylor had been paying more attention to politics over the past decade, he'd have witnessed the final stages in the collapse of the progressive left, and its replacement with a new set of intolerant, dogmatic, anti-sex, pro-censorship attitudes. But he clearly had more important things to worry about, so he'd missed the rise of a clique of online bullies using feminist language to achieve a very non-feminist goal: the suppression of the idea that women can be sexual beings if they so choose.


18th November

  Paddington Bear and his Mild Sex References...

The Daily Mail, the book's author and SaferMedia all whinge at the BBFC for its consumer advice for the movie, Paddington
Link Here
paddinton Paddington is a 2014 UK / France family comedy by Paul King.
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

The BBFC Just passed the film PG uncut for cinema release with the consumer advice:

dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language.

But a little earlier, the consumer advice had read

dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, mild bad language.

The BBFC changed the wording of its guidance after the Daily Mail ran a story about the PG rating for the film. It seems that the Paddington author Michael Bond was totally amazed at the term mild sex references used by the BBFC. Bond told the Daily Mail:

I'd be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can't imagine what the sex references are. It doesn't enter into it with the books, certainly.'

After an approach from the film's distributor the BBFC altered the term mild sex references to innuendo . The distributor also asked for clarity to the frequency of mild bad language, and the BBFC duly obliged by adding the descriptor, infrequent.

The film's director Paul King said he had expected the BBFC to issue a PG rating:

I'm not surprised about that but I don't think it's a PG for sexiness. That I would find very odd, he said.

The Daily Mail also a dragged up a trivial sound bite from  Pippa Smith, of the SaferMedia campaign. She said:

There should be absolutely nothing threatening, sexual or dangerous about Paddington. If there is, it should be cut.

For a full description of what the BBFC are alluding to here is the BBFC Insight. (which still uses the heading 'sex')

BBFC logo Imitable Behaviour

There are infrequent scenes of dangerous behaviour, including Paddington hiding from a villain inside a refrigerator and riding on a skateboard while holding on to a bus, as well as a brief scene of a boy strapping fireworks to his shoes.


There are occasional sequences of mild threat when Paddington is chased by the villain who threatens to kill and stuff him, as well as a brief sequence in which Paddington lies unconscious on a table while a taxidermist prepares their tools nearby. There is also a short scene in a jungle when Paddington and his family run for shelter during an earthquake with trees falling around them.


There is some mild innuendo, including a comic sequence in which a man disguised as a woman is flirted with by another man.


There is a single mumbled use of bloody .


18th November

  A Question for Sweden...

Would a gender equality rating for a computer game ironically mean that it was a game for girls?
Link Here
g rating logo Future video games produced in Sweden could be labelled according to whether or not they promote gender equality, as part of a new project by gaming industry trade organisation Dataspelsbranchen.

The association has been given a 272,000 kronor ($36,672) grant by Sweden's government-funded innovation agency, Vinnova.

Inspired by the Bechdel test, which looks at whether fictional films or books feature at least two women talking about a topic other than men, Dataspelsbranchen will work with several game developers to analyse how Swedish video games portray female characters and gender issues.

Speaking to The Local, project manager Anton Albiin said it was unclear at this stage if all games produced in Sweden would be given a label, or if companies developing games that promoted equality would be given some kind of certification to use for their own marketing purposes. But he said he understood that either strategy would be a world first:

I do not know of any other project in the world asking this question and of course we want Sweden to be a beacon in this area.


18th November

  SAVE Our Liberty...

US civil liberties groups oppose a proposed law against adult adverts that will result in massive censorship of general internet advertising and also user generated content
Link Here

US Senate A coalition of civil liberties, publishing, and online commerce groups are asking Congress to oppose a piece of anti-speech, anti-sex work legislation known as as the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act.

The bill is supposedly aimed at thwarting human trafficking but in reality would create harsh new criminal liabilities for websites and publishers, allow federal agents to censor online ads, make it harder for adult sex workers of all sorts to safely connect with customers, drive traffickers further underground, and potentially expose anyone advertising online to new privacy infringements.

In a November 12 letter to the U.S. Senate, nine organizations--including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Internet Commerce Coalition , the Electronic Frontier Foundation , the Association of Alternative News Media, and the National Coalition Against Censorship--wrote to convey strong opposition to the SAVE Act.

The SAVE Act would do several things:

  1. create extensive record-keeping requirements for any website, online services, and print publication that hosts adult advertisements,
  2. require anyone posting an adult ad to submit photo identification,
  3. enable the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ban certain euphemisms or code words from online advertising entirely, and
  4. make websites that host user-generated ads criminally liable should any of those ads wind up promoting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a minor. Under the law, the operator of a website such as Craigslist that hosts thousands of new user-uploaded ads daily could could face up to 10 years prison if any one of these is eventually linked to child sex trafficking.

The act would mean that websites and services hosting user-generated content could be held criminally liable even if they do not have actual knowledge that an ad for illegal activity appears on their sites.

Consequently, virtually any user-generated content host--like Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Amazon or various online dating sites--will have every incentive to prohibit content that falls under the bill's broad definition of adult advertisements, which includes communications that are wholly or only partially devoted to proposing lawful commercial exchange for lawful services--in other words, speech that is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment. At best, user-generated content sites will default to taking down content that is flagged as an adult advertisement as soon as a complaint is lodged, regardless of whether the content appears to be related to child trafficking or state child exploitation crimes, or even fits the bill's definition of adult advertisement at all.

In addition, any website, online service, or print publication that hosts any content falling under the bill's definition as an adult advertisement would be required to obtain photo identification from anyone posting the content.

Rather than risk inadvertantly hosting an illegal ad without having obtained the proper identification, many sites would simply start requiring a government-issued photo ID in order to post all ads.

And perhaps most egregiously of all, the SAVE Act would empower the DOJ to ban the use of certain words in all online advertising. If the agency determined that something was a potential euphemism or code word for trafficking, web operators, publishers, and digital ad networks would be forced to censor ads containing these words or phrases.


18th November

 Offsite Article: Killing the Vibe of Brick Lane...

Link Here
closed bar The police and local councils are destroying London's nightlife. By Neil Davenport

See article from spiked-online.com