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Commented: China would be proud...

Ofcom decides on overt political censorship of the words of Rishi Sunak being questioned on GB News


Link Here28th May 2024
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Ofcom wrote:

People's Forum: The Prime Minister
GB News, 12 February 2024, 20:00

Ofcom received 547 complaints about this live, hour-long current affairs programme which featured the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in a question-and-answer session with a studio audience about the Government's policies and performance, in the context of the forthcoming UK General Election.

We considered that this constituted a matter of major political controversy and a major matter relating to current public policy. When covering major matters, all Ofcom licensees must comply with the heightened special impartiality requirements in the Code. These rules require broadcasters to include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views within a programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes.

Ofcom had no issue with this programme's format in principle. Broadcasters have freedom to decide the editorial approach of their programmes as long as they comply with the Code. We took into account factors such as: the audience's questions to the Prime Minister; his responses; the Presenter's contribution; and whether due impartiality was preserved through clearly linked and timely programmes. In this case:

  • While some of the audience's questions provided some challenge to, and criticism of, the Government's policies and performance, audience members were not able to challenge the Prime Minister's responses and the Presenter did not do this to any meaningful extent.

  • The Prime Minister was able to set out some future policies that his Government planned to implement, if re-elected in the forthcoming UK General Election. Neither the audience or the Presenter challenged or otherwise referred to significant alternative views on these.

  • The Prime Minister criticised aspects of the Labour Party's policies and performance. While politicians are of course able to do this in programmes, licensees must ensure that due impartiality is preserved. Neither the Labour Party's views or positions on those issues, or any other significant views on those issues were included in the programme or given due weight.

  • The Licensee did not, and was not able to, include a reference in the programme to an agreed future programme in which an appropriately wide range of significant views on the major matter would be presented and given due weight.

We found that an appropriately wide range of significant viewpoints was not presented and given due weight in this case. As a result, Rishi Sunak had a mostly uncontested platform to promote the policies and performance of his Government in a period preceding a UK General Election.

GB News failed to preserve due impartiality, in breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Code. Our decision is that this breach was serious and repeated.

We will therefore consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction

 

Update: GB News to challege Ofcom's censorship in the courts

21st May 2024. See article from pressgazette.co.uk

A GB News spokesperson responded to the Ofcom censorship:

GB News has begun the formal legal process of challenging recent Ofcom decisions which go against journalists' and broadcasters' rights to make their own editorial judgements in line with the law and which also go against Ofcom's own rules.

Ofcom is obliged by law to uphold freedom of expression. Ofcom is also obliged to apply its rules fairly and lawfully. We believe that, for some time now, Ofcom has been operating in the exact opposite manner.

We cannot allow freedom of expression and media freedom to be trampled on in this way.

Freedom of the press is a civil right established by the British in the seventeenth century with the abolition of censorship and licensing of the printing press.

We refuse to stand by and allow this right to be threatened. As the People's Channel we champion this freedom; for our viewers, for our listeners, for everyone in the United Kingdom.

 

Ofsite Comment: Ofcom's contempt for GB News viewers

21st May 2024. See article from spiked-online.com by Andrew Tettenborn

How, you might ask, could a show featuring independently selected, non-aligned voters directly quizzing an embattled PM breach impartiality rules? The Ofcom ruling makes no sense, at least if you look at it from the perspective of the average, level-headed man or woman in the street. But then, the apparatchiks who run Ofcom are neither particularly level-headed nor remotely reflective of the average voter.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

Ofsite Comment: The real reason Ofcom has gone after GB News

27th May 2024. See article from spectator.co.uk by Toby Young

 

 

Upload moderation, the latest EU buzzword for messaging surveillance...

The latest EU proposal for governments to snoop on (once) private messaging


Link Here 26th May 2024
Full story: Mass snooping in the EU...The EU calls for member states to implement internet snooping with response to police requests in 6 hours
EU governments might soon implement messaging surveillance, euphemistically labelled as chat control, based on a new proposal by Belgium's Minister of the Interior. According to a leak obtained by Pirate Party MEP and shadow rapporteur Patrick Breyer , this could happen as early as June.

The proposal mandates that users of communication apps must agree to have all images and videos they send automatically scanned and potentially reported to the EU and police.

This agreement would be obtained through terms and conditions or pop-up messages. To facilitate this, secure end-to-end encrypted messenger services would need to implement monitoring backdoors, effectively causing a ban on private messaging. The Belgian proposal frames this as upload moderation, claiming it differs from client-side scanning. Users who refuse to consent would still be able to send text messages but would be barred from sharing images and videos.

The proposal first introduced on 8 May, has surprisingly gained support from several governments that were initially critical. It will be revisited on 24 May, and EU interior ministers are set to meet immediately following the European elections to potentially approve the legislation.

 

 

Know Your Creator...

Twitter introduces mandatory identity verification for paid creators


Link Here26th May 2024
Full story: Twitter Privacy...The sharing of user data for advertising purposes
X (Twitter) is now mandating the use of a government ID-based account verification system for users that earn revenue on the platform -- either for advertising or for paid subscriptions.

To implement this system, X has partnered with Au10tix, an Israeli company known for its identity verification solutions. #

The move raises profound questions about privacy and free speech, as X claims itself to be a free speech platform, and free speech and anonymity often go hand-in-hand.

X explains:

Starting today, all new creators must verify their ID to receive payouts. All existing creators must do so by July 1, 2024, the update to X's verification page now reads:

 

 

 

 

 

Offsite Article: False accusations...


Link Here26th May 2024
Full story: CCTV with facial recognition...Police introduce live facial recognition system
It could be you! Shops are using facial recognition cameras which make mistakes

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 

More self classification...

Australian government consults about possible changes to its media censorship scheme


Link Here19th May 2024
Full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

On 29 March 2023, the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, announced the government would undertake a two-stage process to reform the Scheme. The first stage of reforms will be implemented in full during 2024 and include:

  • introducing mandatory minimum classifications for gambling-like content in computer games

  • expanding options for industry to self-classify content using individuals who have been trained and accredited by government

  • extending the Classification Board's powers to quality assure self-classification decisions

  • expanding exemptions from classification for low-risk cultural content

  • removing the need for content that has been classified under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, or by the national broadcasters, and has not changed, to be re-classified for distribution in other formats.

The second stage of reforms will be more comprehensive in scope and will establish a framework for classification that is fit-for-purpose and will serve Australia into the future.

We want to hear your views on the following 3 key areas identified for consideration as part of the second stage of classification reforms:

  • clarifying the scope and purpose of the Scheme, including the types of content that should be classified

  • ensuring the classification guidelines continue to be aligned with, and responsive to, evolving community standards and expectations, and

  • establishing fit-for-purpose governance and regulatory arrangements for the Scheme, under a single national regulator responsible for media classification.



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