Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2013: January

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Advertising Film Censorship You Can Trust...

BBFC release advert promoting detailed film information known as BBFCinsight

Link Here31st January 2013

The BBFC is pleased to release a new animated advert to help promote BBFCinsight, the detailed information provided about every film rated by the BBFC. The advert explains why BBFCinsight is useful, where the public can find it and what sort of detail it contains.

BBFCinsight gives parents a clear idea of how and why films have been rated and what issues the films contain. It is displayed on the BBFC website and free BBFC Apps under the title and running time for each film. A short summary of BBFCinsight is also printed on DVD boxes and cinema posters.

The new BBFCinsight advert is rated U and is being featured before theatrical releases free of charge by Pearl and Dean and DCM during the remainder of January until the end of March. It will also be available online on the BBFC website.

David Austin, Assistant Director of the BBFC says:

We'd like to thank DCM and Pearl and Dean for placing the advert in front of thousands of cinema-goers and the Cinema Exhibitors' Association for their support on this and wider BBFC projects with cinemas across the UK. The advert shows how BBFCinsight can help parents make informed and safe viewing choices. BBFCinsight not only gives information about the age rating issues in a film, but also other details parents have told us they like to be aware of, themes of divorce or bereavement that may not impact on the age rating, but might upset some children.

The BBFCinsight advert, produced by Create advertising, follows closely the launch of a new BBFC website which allows users to search for BBFCinsight, watch trailers for new films and sign up to receive regular BBFC newsletters. The website also holds information and resources for parents, teachers and students including a regular BBFC podcast.



Worthy but Dull...

Podcast 10: BBFC gives a platform to Childnet International and FACT

Link Here31st January 2013

This episode features some good banter about the ever colourful film director Michael Winner who died recently.

But then it gives platforms to worthy and well spoken speakers from Childnet International and FACT about child internet safety and video piracy. Inevitably they end up just preaching the bleedin' obvious, and it's deadly dull. Perhaps the BBFC should have interviewed the Daily Mail editorial department on how to properly deal with these important issues.

A nice coda from Michael Winner though.



BBC Living in a Fear-Ridden Culture...

Compliance department cuts episode of Radio 4 drama, Stone

Link Here31st January 2013

The BBC is in the firing line after it ludicrously cut dialogue from drama written by playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti

Bhatti, whose 2004 play Behzti sparked riots and death threats and was cancelled by a Birmingham theatre over concerns about public safety, was commissioned by Radio 4 to write an episode of drama series Stone .

Bhatti's episode, called Heart of Darkness , features an investigation into the murder of a 16-year-old Asian girl, who it emerges is the victim of an honour killing .

Bhatti said she was told a week before the recording that the script was being altered by the BBC's compliance department. Radio 4 said a line was taken out because it could potentially misrepresent the attitude of the majority of British Muslims to honour killing. Bhatti explained:

At the end, a character says: 'There is so much pressure in our community, to look right and to behave right.'

The compliance department came back and said 'we don't want to suggest the entire Muslim community condones honour killings.'

It's an extraordinary and awful situation. They said the lines were offensive but they absolutely were not. We live in a fear-ridden culture.

The episode of the four-part series is due to air on Radio 4 in the Afternoon Drama slot on Friday.



Barely Legal Rules...

ASA whinges at advert for Hustler Club

Link Here31st January 2013

A regional press ad, for Larry Flynt's Hustler Club UK, a strip club in Croydon, appeared in the Sutton Guardian. It was headlined HALLOWEEN FETISH NIGHT and a price list was headed Our Barely Legal Prices ... . The ad also featured a large image of a woman wearing a cutaway black PVC top and with a chain and padlock draped over her body.

A complainant, who believed the ad was overtly sexual, challenged whether the ad was:

  1. likely to cause serious or widespread offence; and

  2. unsuitable for an untargeted medium, in particular because it could be seen by children.

Larry Flynt's Hustler Club (LFHC) said the ad had been checked very carefully prior to publication and they had ensured there was no nudity or cleavage shown. They said they had not received any other complaints about the ad and the outfit the woman was wearing was similar to fancy dress that might be seen at Halloween events. LFHC said the text Our Barely Legal Prices ... was a play on words; they did not believed that this, or the picture were likely to cause serious or widespread offence. They said the Sutton Guardian was not attractive to children. They were, however, willing to amend their advertising if necessary.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted the ad was for an adult entertainment venue and, as such, the image was relevant to the nature of the club being advertised. We considered, however, the combination of the woman's PVC garments, her exposed leg and the chain and padlock, along with the text FETISH NIGHT and Our Barely Legal Prices ... , which we considered was likely to be understood as a reference to the age of consent, meant the ad was overtly sexual. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, particularly in an untargeted medium.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Dashed Hopes after Spring...

Reporters Without Borders publish their annual press freedom index for 2013

Link Here31st January 2013

After the Arab springs and other protest movements that prompted many rises and falls in last year's index, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index marks a return to a more usual configuration. The ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments. This year's index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term.

The same three European countries that headed the index last year hold the top three positions again this year. For the third year running, Finland has distinguished itself as the country that most respects media freedom. It is followed by the Netherlands and Norway. Although many criteria are considered, ranging from legislation to violence against journalists, democratic countries occupy the top of the index while dictatorial countries occupy the last three positions. Again it is the same three as last year -- Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea .

For the second year running, the bottom three countries are immediately preceded by Syria (176th, 0), where a deadly information war is being waged, and Somalia (175th, -11), which has had a deadly year for journalists. Iran (174th, +1), China (173rd, +1), Vietnam (unchanged at 172nd), Cuba (171st, -4), Sudan (170th, 0) and Yemen (169th, +2) complete the list of the ten countries that respect media freedom least.

The high number of journalists and netizens killed in the course of their work in 2012 (the deadliest year ever registered by Reporters Without Borders in its annual roundup), naturally had a significant impact on the ranking of the countries where these murders took place, above all Somalia (175th, -11), Syria (176th, 0), Mexico (153rd, -4) and Pakistan (159th, -8).


Malawi (75th, +71) registered the biggest leap in the index, almost returning to the position it held before the excesses at the end of the Mutharika administration. Cote d'Ivoire (96th, +63), which is emerging from the post-electoral crisis between the supporters of Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, has also soared, attaining its best position since 2003. Burma (151st, +18) continued the ascent begun in last year's index. Previously, it had been in the bottom 15 every year since 2002 but now, thanks to the Burmese spring's unprecedented reforms, it has reached its best-ever position. Afghanistan (128th, +22) also registered a significant rise thanks to the fact that no journalists are in prison. It is nonetheless facing many challenges, especially with the withdrawal of foreign troops.


Mali (99th, -74) registered the biggest fall in the index as a result of all the turmoil in 2012. The military coup in Bamako on 22 March and the north's takeover by armed Islamists and Tuareg separatists exposed the media in the north to censorship and violence. Tanzania (70th, -36) sank more than 30 places because, in the space of four months, a journalist was killed while covering a demonstration and another was murdered.

Buffeted by social and economic protests, the Sultanate of Oman (141st) sank 24 places, the biggest fall in the Middle East and North Africa in 2012. Some 50 netizens and bloggers were prosecuted on lese majeste or cyber-crime charges in 2012. No fewer than 28 were convicted in December alone, in trials that trampled on defence rights.

Journalists in Israel (112th, -20) enjoy real freedom of expression despite the existence of military censorship but the country fell in the index because of the Israeli military's targeting of journalists in the Palestinian Territories. Regional models found wanting

Democracies that stall or go into reverse

The situation is unchanged for much of the European Union. Sixteen of its members are still in the top 30. But the European model is unravelling. The bad legislation seen in 2011 continued, especially in Italy (57th, +4), where defamation has yet to be decriminalized and state agencies make dangerous use of gag laws. Hungary (56th, -16) is still paying the price of its repressive legislative reforms, which had a major impact on the way journalists work. But Greece's dramatic fall (84th, -14) is even more disturbing. The social and professional environment for its journalists, who are exposed to public condemnation and violence from both extremist groups and the police, is disastrous.

Japan (53rd, -31) plummeted because of censorship of nuclear industry coverage and its failure to reform the kisha club system. This is an alarming fall for a country that usually has a good ranking. Argentina (54th, -7) fell amid growing tension between the government and certain privately-owned media about a new law regulating the broadcast media.

1 Finland 0 (1)
2 Netherlands +1 (3)
3 Norway -2 (1)
4 Luxembourg +2 (6)
5 Andorra -
6 Denmark +4 (10)
7 Liechtenstein -
8 New Zealand +5 (13)
9 Iceland -3 (6)
10 Sweden +2 (12)
11 Estonia -8 (3)
12 Austria -7 (5)
13 Jamaica +3 (16)
14 Switzerland -6 (8)
15 Ireland 0 (15)
16 Czech Republic -2 (14)
17 Germany -1 (16)
18 Costa Rica +1 (19)
19 Namibia +1 (20)
20 Canada -10 (10)
21 Belgium -1 (20)
22 Poland +2 (24)
23 Slovakia +2 (25)
24 Cyprus -8 (16)
25 Cape Verde -16 (9)
26 Australia +4 (30)
27 Uruguay +5 (32)
28 Portugal +5 (33)
29 United Kingdom -1 (28)
30 Ghana +11 (41)
31 Suriname -9 (22)
32 United States +15 (47)
33 Lithuania -3 (30)
34 OECS -9 (25)
35 Slovenia +1 (36)
36 Spain +3 (39)
37 France +1 (38)
38 El Salvador -1 (37)
39 Latvia +11 (50)
40 Botswana +2 (42)
41 Papua New Guinea -6 (35)
42 Romania +5 (47)
43 Niger -14 (29)
44 Trinidad and Tobago +6 (50)
45 Malta +13 (58)
46 Burkina Faso +22 (68)
47 Taiwan -2 (45)
48 Samoa +6 (54)
49 Haiti +3 (52)
50 South Korea -6 (44)
51 Comoros -6 (45)
52 South Africa -10 (42)
53 Japan -31 (22)
54 Argentina -7 (47)
55 Moldova -2 (53)
56 Hungary -16 (40)
57 Italy +4 (61)
58 Hong Kong -4 (54)
59 Senegal +16 (75)
60 Chile +20 (80)
61 Sierra Leone +2 (63)
62 Mauritius -8 (54)
63 Serbia +17 (80)
64 Croatia +4 (68)
65 Central African Republic -3 (62)
66 Tonga -3 (63)
67 Mauritania 0 (67)
68 Bosnia and Herzegovina -10 (58)
69 Guyana -11 (58)
70 Tanzania -36 (34)
71 Kenya +13 (84)
72 Zambia +14 (86)
73 Mozambique -7 (66)
74 Armenia +3 (77)
75 Malawi +71 (146)
76 Republic of the Congo +14 (90)
77 Kuwait +1 (78)
78 Nicaragua -6 (72)
79 Benin +12 (91)
80 Dominican Republic +15 (95)
81 Lesotho -18 (63)
82 Bhutan -12 (70)
83 Togo -4 (79)
84 Greece -14 (70)
85 Kosovo +1 (86)
86 Guinea 0 (86)
87 Bulgaria -7 (80)
88 Madagascar -4 (84)
89 Gabon +12 (101)
90 East Timor -4 (86)
91 Paraguay -11 (80)
92 Guinea-Bissau -17 (75)
93 Seychelles -20 (73)
94 Northern Cyprus +8 (102)
95 Guatemala +2 (97)
96 Ivory Coast +63 (159)
97 Liberia +13 (110)
98 Mongolia +2 (100)
99 Mali -74 (25)
100 Georgia +4 (104)
101 Lebanon -8 (93)
102 Albania -6 (96)
103 Maldives -30 (73)
104 Uganda +35 (139)
105 Peru +10 (115)
106 Kyrgyzstan +2 (108)
107 Fiji +10 (117)
108 Brazil -9 (99)
109 Bolivia -1 (108)
110 Qatar +4 (114)
111 Panama +2 (113)
112 Israel -20 (92)
113 Montenegro -6 (107)
114 United Arab Emirates -2 (112)
115 Nigeria +11 (126)
116 Republic of Macedonia -22 (94)
117 Venezuela 0 (117)
118 Nepal -12 (106)
119 Ecuador -15 (104)
120 Cameroon -23 (97)
121 Chad -18 (103)
122 Brunei +3 (125)
123 Tajikistan -1 (122)
124 South Sudan -13 (111)
125 Algeria -3 (122)
126 Ukraine -10 (116)
127 Honduras +8 (135)
128 Afghanistan +22 (150)
129 Colombia +14 (143)
130 Angola +2 (132)
131 Libya +23 (154)
132 Burundi -2 (130)
133 Zimbabwe -16 (117)
134 Jordan -6 (128)
135 Thailand +2 (137)
136 Morocco +2 (138)
137 Ethiopia -10 (127)
138 Tunisia -4 (134)
139 Indonesia +7 (146)
140 India -9 (131)
141 Oman -24 (117)
142 DR Congo +3 (145)
143 Cambodia -26 (117)
144 Bangladesh -15 (129)
145 Malaysia -23 (122)
146 Palestine +7 (153)
147 Philippines -7 (140)
148 Russia -6 (142)
149 Singapore -14 (135)
150 Iraq +2 (152)
151 Burma +18 (169)
152 Gambia -11 (141)
153 Mexico -4 (149)
154 Turkey -6 (148)
155 Swaziland -11 (144)
156 Azerbaijan +6 (162)
157 Belarus +11 (168)
158 Egypt +8 (166)
159 Pakistan -8 (151)
160 Kazakhstan -6 (154)
161 Rwanda -5 (156)
162 Sri Lanka +1 (163)
163 Saudi Arabia -5 (158)
164 Uzbekistan -7 (157)
165 Bahrain +8 (173)
166 Equatorial Guinea -5 (161)
167 Djibouti -8 (159)
168 Laos -3 (165)
169 Yemen +2 (171)
170 Sudan 0 (170)
171 Cuba -4 (167)
172 Vietnam 0 (172)
173 China +1 (174)
174 Iran +1 (175)
175 Somalia -11 (164)
176 Syria 0 (176)
177 Turkmenistan 0 (177)
178 North Korea 0 (178)
179 Eritrea 0 (179)



Update: Un-banned and Re-banned...

Meanwhile Muslims bomb cinemas in protest at being depicted as terrorists

Link Here31st January 2013
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

Vishwaroopam is a 2013 India crime action thriller by Kamal Hassan.
With Kamal Hassan, Pooja Kumar and Andrea Jeremiah. YouTube icon IMDb

Muslims protesting against Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam hurled petrol bombs at two theatres in Tamil Nadu where the movie was scheduled to be screened on Wednesday following the High Court staying the ban imposed by the State Government. There are no reports of injuries. Glass panes at the theatres were shattered.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan met with representatives of the Muslim community and later told newspersons that he had come to an amicable settlement over the dispute that rose from his using verses from the Quran in Vishwaroopam:

This film is not against Indian Muslims. It is in support of Indian Muslims. There seems to be some confusion over the use of Quranic verses and I am willing to edit out these references.

Meanwhile Madras High Court re-instates ban

The problems for Vishwaroopam increased after the Madras High Court Wednesday set aside the single judge's interim order that allowed screening of the film in the state. Hearing the appeal made by the Tamil Nadu government against the single judge's order, a two-member high court bench set aside the former's order.

The high court bench chaired by Justice Dharma Rao has nullified the revocation of the ban on the film by Justice K. Venkataraman Tuesday. Rao said:

The film stays banned as of now and it can't be screened across Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile the Vishwaroopam ban is unacceptable, says chief censor

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Leela Samson says that the ban on Vishwaroopam is unacceptable:

This is hounding of an artist, a man who is an icon of Tamil Nadu. We are sensitive to issues. The group objecting to 'Vishwaroopam' have the freedom not to view it. We will object to the language used by the lawyer representing the Tamil Nadu government against the censor board.

It is absolutely unacceptable. We have certified hundreds and thousands of films but only with 'Vishwaroopam', people find, it has not been done with due diligence? This is an infringement on freedom of expression.



A Whinger's Utopia...

Channel 4's Utopia receives a handful of complaints and a Daily Mail Twitter storm of 'outrage'

Link Here31st January 2013

According to the Daily Mail, the Channel 4 drama Utopia 'sparked outrage' after it depicted a mass shooting in a primary school.

The opening scene of the conspiracy thriller depicted a man walking into a classroom of children before firing several times. He also shoots a young boy cowering in the school hall, and a mother in the head in front of her young daughter at their home.

A graphic content warning was given before the third episode which was screened after the watershed, at 10pm.

Channel Four said it has so far received 28 complaints about the programme from an audience of about a million. Ofcom is believed to have received around 20 complaints. A Channel 4 spokesman said:

Channel 4 thought very carefully about continuing with the planned broadcast of Utopia.

The drama is in no way based on real events, and the scenes featuring violence are editorially justified within the context of the storyline.

All material has been carefully considered in accordance with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and we were satisfied that, appropriately scheduled in a late night slot at 10pm and preceded by clear on-air warnings about the graphic violence and very strong language, it could be broadcast as planned.

The Daily Mail also dragged up a few trivial tweets of people being 'shocked'.



United Sikhs Recommend...

Australians lads' mag, The Picture

Link Here31st January 2013

The religious group, United Sikhs, has been 'offended' by an article titled Turban Legend in Australian lads' mag, The Picture .

The article uses an image of a Nihang Sikh, a centuries-old warrior with hands clasped in prayer, as a back drop for a display of nude models. United Sikhs commented:

The entire magazine displays raunchy nudity and is replete with foul, irreverent and inappropriate language and the tone ridicules the dumalla (turban) and Nihang Sikhs.

United Sikhs is of the view that the publishers have breached both Federal and State criminal, civil and human rights laws. We are lodging a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

United Sikhs is activating its Legal Team to issue formal legal notices to the publishers, printers and distributors and to launch the necessary legal action under Federal, States/Territories laws including the Australian Human Rights Commission;

United Sikhs supports and advocates for the democratic right of all Australians to free speech... [BUT] ...Such a right comes tempered with responsibilities to fellow ethnic and culturally diverse Australians.

United Sikhs calls on all Australian MPs to stand up and publicly condemn irresponsible and morally offensive publications such as this article and to call on the publishers to exercise common decency, restraint and responsibility towards fellow ethnic and culturally diverse Australians.

United Sikhs calls on all Australian Governments to review, revise and refine legislation and processes in response to, and to curtail the conduct displayed in, publications such as this.



Offsite Article: Having a Laugh at ASA's PC Extremism...

Link Here31st January 2013
Dakota Fanning On Her Banned Marc Jacobs Ad: We Just Laughed About It

See article from



ASA takes a short break from PC extremism...

And dismisses whinges about a hard working mum in an ASDA Christmas advert

Link Here30th January 2013

A TV ad, video on demand (VOD) ad and an online video, seen on the marketer's own website and YouTube, for ASDA supermarkets:

  • a. The TV ad featured a mother carrying out various tasks in preparation for Christmas, such as buying a Christmas tree, writing Christmas cards, purchasing groceries, decorating the home, wrapping presents and cooking the Christmas dinner. The voice-over at the end of the ad stated, It doesn't just happen by magic. Behind every great Christmas, there's mum, and behind mum there's Asda.

  • b. The VOD ad, seen on ITV player, was identical in content to the TV ad.

  • c. The online video, on, was identical in content to the TV ad.

  • d. The online video, seen on the ASDA channel of YouTube, was identical in content to the TV ad. Issue

ASA received 620 compalints.

  1. The majority of thecomplainants objected that the ad was offensive and sexist, because it reinforced outdated stereotypes of men and women in the home.

  2. A number of complainants objected that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to single fathers or to men who played a primary domestic role.

  3. A number of complainants objected that the ad was offensive and distressing to children or families who had lost mothers.

Asda said the ad focused on the role of the mother at Christmas. They acknowledged the ad did not reflect universal experience, but said that extensive consumer research and feedback indicated that the majority of their customers identified with the ads representation of Christmas. They said they surveyed 1896 mothers who shopped at Asda and found that eight out of ten mother's said that they would be responsible for the food and present shopping, and wrapping the presents. They believed the ad reflected common experience; rather than outdated stereotypes.

Clearcast believed the ad portrayed a Christmas scene that would be understood by a large number of households. They pointed out that the father was shown helping the mother and said the ad celebrated the mother in a positive way. They also said the ad did not suggest that the scene was the model of how every family should be.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted Asda had carried out research to ascertain the experience of mothers at Christmas and discovered that of the 1896 mothers surveyed, 86% said that within their household they were mainly in charge of shopping for presents, 84% said they were mainly in charge of wrapping Christmas presents and 78% said they were mainly in charge of shopping for food for Christmas. We noted the ad focused on the mother's role in the Christmas preparations, however, we noted the father was also shown to assist in those preparations. We considered viewers were likely to understand the ad was not prescriptive of the experience of all at Christmas; rather it reflected Asda's view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of their customers. We therefore considered the ad was not likely to be seen as condoning or encouraging harmful discriminatory behaviour, or reinforcing negative stereotypes of men or women in general, and, for those reasons, considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged that single fathers and men with primary domestic responsibilities might find the presentation of the mother playing the central role in the Christmas preparations distasteful. However, we considered the ad was not prescriptive of the experience of all at Christmas and instead reflected Asda's view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of their customers. We also noted the ad showed the father assisting in the Christmas preparations. We therefore considered the ad was not likely to cause serious offence to single fathers or to men who played a primary domestic role and concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

3. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the theme of the ad might upset some viewers, including children, who had lost mothers. However, we did not consider the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or distress to those viewers. On that basis, we concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

ASA considered rules 4.1, 4.2 and 4.8 (Harm and offence).



Updated: Goodies and Baddies...

Malaysia joins Indian states in banning the Tamil spy thriller Vishwaroopam

Link Here30th January 2013
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

Vishwaroopam is a 2013 India crime action thriller by Kamal Hassan.
With Kamal Hassan, Pooja Kumar and Andrea Jeremiah. YouTube icon IMDb

Kamal Haasan's controversial film Vishwaroopam has been banned from local cinemas in Malaysia a day after its release following a directive from the Home Ministry, much to the disappointment ethnic Indians in Kuala Lumpur.

Film distribution company Lotus Fivestar AV's director R Ramalingam said the ministry told him to stop screening the movie on Friday. The film, which opened in Malaysia on Thursday, had played to full cinemas before being removed from the theatres.

Vishwaroopam has been passed by the Central Board of Film Censors but has been temporarily banned in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for two weeks amid allegations by the Muslim community that they have been depicted negatively in the movie. Haasan has taken the matter to the Madras High Court and a decision is pending.

The film is playing in the state of Kerala but cinema goers are having to brave muslim protests.

Sri Lanka has ordered a delay in the release in favour of a review by censors.

In the UK the film has been passed 12A for cinema release after 11s of category cuts. The BBFC commented:

Company chose to remove two moments of bloody violence in order to obtain a 12A rating. An uncut 15 rating was available.

VISHWAROOPAM is a thriller in the Hindi and Tamil languages about a woman unsuspectingly married to one of India's top secret agents. It is rated 12A for moderate violence.

There are a number of fast-paced fights and shoot-outs. Although there are some heavy blows and bullet impacts, little is shown in terms of injury detail, with the focus instead placed on the spectacular and generally unrealistic fight choreography. For example, in one scene the hero uses a Japanese sword to defeat his attackers, cutting off one of their hands. There is no detail of this but the hand is briefly seen flying through the air.

VISHWAROOPAM also contains infrequent mild bad language and mild sex references. There is also some sight of hard drugs, but this occurs within a clear anti drug context.

Presumably the baddies are muslim terrorists and hence the complaints about negative depictions from the muslim community.

Update: Unbanned by the Madras High Court

30th January 2013. See  article from

In a major relief to film makers, the Madras High Court has lifted the ban imposed on the movie Vishwaroopam by the Tamil Nadu government after it courted controversy over its supposedly anti-Muslim content.

The judgement paves the way for the screening of the movie however there are indications that the state government may prefer an appeal.

The court reviewed and accepted the film censorship procedures resulting in the UA certificate (PG) issued after 1:08s of censor cuts. The state's case seemed to be that the decision was taken by an examining committee rather than the full board.

The Tamil Nadu government had banned the screening of the film in the face of opposition by some Muslim outfits, who claimed that the movie portrayed their community in a negative light. It seems that this claim is due to the spy thriller baddies being fictional muslim terrorists.

Update: Meanwhile in Milton Keynes

30th January 2013. From

Angry Muslims staged a protest against a supposedly Islamophobic film outside Milton Keynes' Cineworld cinema.

The group were protesting the UK release of the controversial Indian film Vishwaroopam , which is currently showing in British cinemas. Campaigner Mustapha Zamaan felt the film fuelled negative views against Muslim people and should be banned from British cinemas. He said:

We know there's a number of American films against Muslims but it's a lot different in Indian culture, where they trust film actors like gods. This worship leads to films like this creating racial tension and that's why it's been banned in India. Ideally we want it pulled here too, but we might be a bit late.

We respect freedom of expression... BUT ...this film is hate speech that portrays Muslims negatively.

Update: Unbanned in Malaysia

21st February 2013. See  article from

The Malaysian Authorities on 19 February 2013 lifted the ban imposed on the screening of the Tamil movie Vishwaroopam , directed and produced by Kamal Haasan for public screening.

Earlier on 24 January 2013 the authorities approved the screening of the movie in Malaysia but following the directives released by the Home Ministry that the content of the movie portrayed Islam in a negative light, the approval was withdrawn.

The movie received a go-ahead in Malaysia after the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the National Censorship Board studied the movie from all aspects including religious and security fronts and gave a green signal to its screening.



Less Evil...

Director reveals that the Evil Dead remake has been cut to avoid a US NC-17 rating

Link Here29th January 2013

The director Fede Alvarez has revealed that his remake of Evil Dead received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA when it was first submitted for consideration.

The director noted that they indeed made some cuts to secure an R-rating, but I imagine we'll get to see the full unrated cut when the film hits Blu-ray and DVD.

Evil Dead opens on April 12th.

[Note an NC-17 rating is the same as the UK 18 rating. An R Rating would be something like a 17A in the UK].



Aimed at the Bin...

Pakistan film distributors decide that Zero Dark Thirty is better left unshown in cinemas

Link Here29th January 2013

Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty will not be shown in Pakistan's cinemas.

Distributors have decided not risk the wrath of the country's censors, its military and terrorist groups with a movie about the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Mohsin Yaseen, general manager for marketing at Cinepax, said derogatory references to Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies meant any distributor would face awkward questions. It's a touchy subject for a Pakistani audience, he said.

Yaseen said his company had recently bought the rights to distribute an Indian film, Tere Bin Laden, which poked fun at the al-Qaeda leader. Pakistan's censors insisted on so many cuts, he said, it was not possible to show the film at all.

He said : When Zero Dark Thirty came out, we thought it best just to keep away from it. He added that other film distributors were in broad agreement.

The film is available on pirated DVDs and has proved a hit with audiences.



But then all the world's nutters will then want the banks to enforce their pet prohibitions...

Self important ATVOD think that banks should enforce an UK ban on payments to international porn websites

Link Here28th January 2013

The Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) has written to Culture Secretary Maria Miller proposing that banks should withhold payment processing to international porn sites that don't implement its ludicrously impractical age verification requirements.

ATVOD urged the Government to target banks and payment processors which facilitate the provision to UK consumers of hardcore pornography without age verification.

It claims that blocking payments, estimated to total about Ł 180million a year from British customers, would be a significant step towards child internet safety.

Under the proposal, banks and other payment processors would receive a blacklist of all companies making pornography available without extreme age verification. The banks would then be responsible for ensuring that no British customer could make a payment to any of those companies.

Peter Johnson, of ATVOD, also claimed that overseas companies are potentially in breach of the Obscene Publications Act. He admitted that the most popular porn sites often offer free hardcore pornographic images and video clips. He added:

Banks will deploy lots of arguments as to why they shouldn't be the gatekeepers for this. 'But following the money and making it difficult for these sites to earn it would be a powerful step towards reducing children's exposure to hardcore pornography.

The Government's Mary Whitehouse, Claire Perry welcomed the proposal. She said:

Recruiting the financial services into the attempt to try and make websites more responsible is a very, very good idea. There is a collective responsibility here.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the report will be considered carefully as part of a recent communications review.



Shooting Themselves in the Foot...

Live Fox News coverage from a helicopter sees man shoot himself at the end of a car chase (thankfully in long shot)

Link Here28th January 2013

Studio B with Shepard Smith
Fox News Channel, 28 September 2012, 20:30

Fox News Channel is a news channel originating in the USA, broadcast on the Sky digital satellite platform and licensed by Ofcom in the UK. Studio B with Shepard Smith is a daily news and analysis programme hosted by Shepard Smith. The programme features breaking news and live coverage.

Ofcom received a complaint from a viewer objecting to a live segment in this programme in which a car chase was being followed and filmed from a helicopter. The car turned off a main road, the driver abandoned his vehicle on a dirt track, and was then shown in footage (filmed live in long shot from the helicopter but clearly distinguishable) committing suicide by shooting himself in the head with a handgun. The complainant said it was not appropriate to show this content on television, especially pre-watershed when he was watching with his children.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.3 states that: Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

  • Rule 2.3 sets out that: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.

Fox News confirmed that when the vehicle stopped the studio had implemented a five-second delay in broadcasting the live material, as stated by Shepard Smith in his broadcast apology. When it became apparent to the production team that the driver was holding a firearm, the Licensee said that the order was given to stop broadcasting the material being filmed from the helicopter and switch to a shot of Shepard Smith in the studio. The fact that the switch was not made in time was the result of human error. In the week following the incident, Fox News said it had instituted a channel-wide five-second delay drill to review how the system works and when it should be used.

The Licensee also pointed out that, in addition to the broadcast apology made by Shepard Smith, a further public apology was made by the Executive Vice-President of Fox News Michael Clemente.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rules 1.3 and 2.3

The programme was broadcast before the watershed and outside of school hours at 20:30 on a Friday in the UK. While Fox News, as a rolling news channel, is unlikely to attract many child viewers, Ofcom notes that children were nevertheless available to view. The broadcast of this material at this time was clearly not in line with the likely expectations of the audience for this channel, and in particular those of parents. For these reasons, the Licensee failed to protect children from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling. The material was therefore in breach of Rule 1.3.

The broadcast of images showing the moment of death requires exceptional contextual and editorial justification, as set out in previous findings1 . Ofcom does not believe that there was such exceptional contextual and editorial justification in this instance. Rule 2.3 was therefore breached.

Licensees are reminded that when broadcasting live, if there is a reasonably foreseeable chance that something might be broadcast that would raise issues under the Code, they should be able to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable measures both before and during the broadcast to ensure compliance with the Code.

Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 2.3



Updated: Grown Up Version...

Children's version of adult version of children's fairytale dropped

Link Here28th January 2013

Hansel & Gretel - Witch Hunters [3d]  is a 2013 Germany/USA action fantasy horror by Tommy Wirkola.
With Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Peter Stormare. IMDb

The film will be released to US theatres today. But this fairytale is not a bedtime story for kids. In fact, it's gone from a PG-13 rating to R.

Paramount Pictures announced a ratings change this week. Hansel & Gretel is now rated R. It had previously been listed as PG-13 on several websites.

Writer Adam Chitwood on the Collider website stated that two versions of the film had previously been made to test how much violence to include:

The discrepancies between the cuts may have been a result of the studio trying to see if audiences prefer a more graphic version of the fairy tale over a tame cut.

Stuart Klawans with the Nation described the film as bodies being pierced, stabbed, shredded, beheaded and splattered like gore-filled water balloons.

Update: Director speaks of deleted scene

28th January 2013. See article from

Collider: Was there ever talk of making it PG-13?

Tommy Wirkola: No -- thank god. I was afraid. I actually made sure they could never cut it to PG-13.

Collider: I mean the film that exists now is fairly violent -- Was it more violent than this and how so?

Tommy Wirkola: It was.

Collider: Like Dead Snow-level of violence?

Tommy Wirkola: Never that extreme. But there was a scene where [Hansel and Gretel] burst into a house and there's a witch. She puts up her hands and they tell her to step aside. She steps aside and behind her is a tiny little baby hanging from a rope that's she's about to eat. [Hansel and Gretel] end up saving it -- but people were shocked. Again -- I'm not stupid. I see that's too much. So it's about



Unbanned after Cuts?...

Film producers appeal against the Indian film censor's ban of Sadda Haq

Link Here28th January 2013
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

Sadda Haq is a Punjabi movie that was banned by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

It was reviewed by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) on January 16, 2013.

As per information shared by producer Kuljinder Sidhu: FCAT has recommended few changes and they will review the film again on January 30th .

Update: Unban confirmed

1st February 2013. From

Sadda Haq , a much-awaited Punjabi film dealing with the days of terrorism in Punjab, will witness a worldwide release in theatres on April 5 as the censor board has lifted its ban on the movie. The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) of the censor board gave the green signal to the film after four-month-long deliberations with the film production team and legal luminaries, the film's producer-cum-writer Kuljinder Singh Sidhu said at a press conference:

FCAT chairman Lalit Basin, in the presence of various members of the review committee, notified the censor board through a written notice that the film is based on facts and gives a good social message, so there is nothing objectionable in it.

The Mumbai censor board had imposed a ban on the film, which was submitted to the board for its release on October 20, 2012. The ban was imposed without any particular reason being cited, Sidhu said. On November 14, 2012, the film producer appealed to the review committee of the board, but the panel also banned the film, mentioning in its report that it presented a wrong picture of the police and the government of that time. Sidhu acted on the comment saying:

We have finally got the certification after minor changes dealing with the role of the police during that period.



Too Juicy for Daytime TV...

Ofcom whinges at innuendo in daytime trailer for Keith Lemon's Celebrity Juice

Link Here27th January 2013

Celebrity Juice (Trailer)
ITV2 and ITV4, 6 October 2012 to 18 October 2012, various times pre-watershed

Celebrity Juice is a comedy panel game show broadcast post-watershed on ITV2. Keith Lemon (Leigh Francis), the presenter, is a comic character, with a bleached blonde mullet haircut and a ginger moustache. He hosts a panel of celebrity guests who answer questions and compete in challenges, which often involve laddish humour and sexual innuendo. The television presenter Holly Willoughby is a regular team captain.

Ofcom received a number of complaints about a trailer for this programme being broadcast at various times pre-watershed on ITV2 and ITV4. The complaints all related to a brief shot in the trailer featuring the rapper, Example (Elliot John Gleave).

The trailer lasted a total of approximately 30 seconds. The trailer was accompanied by a voice-over, interspersed with snatches of speech, and by the soundtrack of the song Sex Machine :

Voice-Over: With his bronze body, silver tongue

Keith Lemon: You sexy bint!

Voice-Over: and golden 'tache, he's the fittest man on telly.

Holly Willoughby: You know what I'm saying?

Voice-Over: He's got the moves, the style, and the balls, to go where no host has gone before. So lie back, grab the juiciest lemon in the bunch, and prepare to get...

Keith Lemon: Intimate.

The trailer also featured a succession of brief clips from the programme, including Keith Lemon: preparing to run a race; with amateurish on-screen graphics altering his haircut; lifting his shirt to reveal a six pack drawn on his stomach ; miming wiping himself with shredded paper; wearing leopard-skin-print shoes; urinating in a bush; gyrating to music; kissing the head of male guest; with a woman lying prostrate on the ground; and with a man, both stripped to the waist, flexing their pectoral muscles.

There was also one shot featuring Example with Keith Lemon, which lasted only about one second. Example was shown wearing around his waist and over his clothes a pink object which, in Ofcom's view, appeared to resemble a strap-on dildo, which Example thrust towards Keith Lemon

Ofcom considered:

Rule 1.3 Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

ITV argued that it had taken the nature of the programme, its style of humour and its target audience into account when editing and scheduling the trailer: Given its nature, promotions for it that are broadcast before the watershed are therefore carefully edited and scheduled. Every promotion for the programme is given a time restriction, and usually they are not shown during or adjacent to children's programmes. This particular programme was given that same restriction, but otherwise it was considered the content was essentially silly and slapstick, and sufficiently acceptable for pre-watershed broadcast.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 1.3

Ofcom first considered whether the brief shot of the object which, in our view, appeared to resemble a strap-on dildo, which was shown on numerous occasions pre-watershed, was unsuitable for child viewers.

ITV acknowledged that the trailer showed Example wearing a phallic object attached to a strap around his waist, which it said was clearly a large inflated balloon intended to provoke mildly bawdy humour . Ofcom disagreed. In our opinion, Example wore a strap around his waist from which protruded at the front a pink object which resembled an erect penis. To a number of viewers this could, in the brief shot shown, in Ofcom's opinion, have reasonably resembled a sex toy. The clip showed Example and Keith Lemon in mid-shot so that the phallic object was unmistakable, and a sexual context was clearly suggested by Example thrusting his pelvis forward. This shot included in the trailer was therefore unsuitable for children.

Breach of Rule 1.3



Extract: Impressionable Minds...

BBFC archive reveals how the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie got saddled with an X certificate

Link Here26th January 2013

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was classified X by the BBFC in January 1969.

Twentieth Century Fox asked the Board to reconsider in order to allow a wider audience to appreciate the film, believing that an X certificate implied that a film was more extreme or adult than they considered their production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to be.

BBFC Director John Trevelyan explains to Fox, in a letter published here, that the X certificate will remain due to the potential for the eponymous teacher to influence young girls, and that in a sense our decision is a compliment to the film and to [Maggie Smith's] performance .



But Does Being Easily Offended Engender Respect?...

Ikea Thailand apologises over advert featuring ladyboy

Link Here26th January 2013

IKEA Thailand has apologized to Thai Transgender Alliance for the unintended offense caused by an advert featuring a transgender person.

The advert, shown on Bangkok's BTS Skytrain system and YouTube, features a transgender woman who is so shocked by a sale item she speaks in a masculine voice, causing the man she is with to later run away.

Thai Transgender Alliance said in a letter of complaint to IKEA:

The transgender content of the advertisement is negative and stereotypical in nature.

IKEA Thailand marketing manager Gannrapee Chatchaidamrong responded:

I would like to apologize for the unintended offense may caused and we will be more careful in the future.

We run many "spoof advertisements" where the friendly humor is intended to be an essential component. This was the intention in our campaign, where we also featured a number of different people from a spectrum of Thai society "forgetting themselves" when they are so surprised at the value of the prices in our sale.



Updated: Makes you doubt the health claims made by such ridiculous people...

Casualty storyline stubbed out by Welsh PC pedants

Link Here 26th January 2013

A storyline in TV drama Casualty had to be dropped because of Wales' anti-smoking laws, says the BBC.

BBC Wales gave evidence in the Welsh assembly as it backed a law amendment to allow smoking to be filmed on set. AMs will vote on the issue in the spring.

Smoking in enclosed spaces was banned across the UK in 2007 but in England there is exemption which permits smoking for drama recordings. The Welsh government wants to exempt film productions from the ban, in line with England's.

But anti-smoking groups ludicrously claim it would prompt calls from other industries to be exempt.

Clare Hudson, head of BBC Cymru Wales Productions, said there were plans for Casualty to include a cautionary moral tale about a smoker causing a fire in a hotel. But AMs were told the legislation made filming the scenes too difficult to contemplate within the production budget and schedule, and a strong storyline which would have highlighted one of the hazards of smoking had to be changed to something else .

Update: Smoking out the truth

26th January 2013. See  article from

The BBC has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn over claims that it had to axe a storyline in Casualty about the dangers of smoking because of Wales's stringent anti-smoking laws.

The BBC has now offered its sincere apologies after admitting that the plot did not have to be changed after all. The BBC said in a statement issued on Thursday:

In the session, reference was made to an occasion where a proposed Casualty storyline had to be dropped due to complications around filming a lit cigarette

It has since been drawn to our attention by the Casualty production team that they found an alternative way of shooting the relevant scene.

To be clear, no change was made to the plot of that episode. The evidence presented was given in good faith based on information we now know to be incorrect.



Blow Up Film Censors...

Keep inflating and deflating the rating for the comedy classic Airplane!

Link Here25th January 2013

Airplane! is a 1980 USA comedy by Jim Abrahams and David Zucker and Jerry Zucker
With Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty and Leslie Nielsen. YouTube icon IMDb

The film has just been passed 12A for moderate sex references and drug use for an upcoming cinema release.

Previously it was A and PG rated for its 1980 cinema release and for VHS video releases.

Then the 2001 DVD release was inflated to 15 albeit due to a commentary track

Now it has been deflated back down to 12A.

Perhaps the BBFC can't make up their minds what to do about pervy pilot Peter Graves. Eg when he asks a young lad if he has 'ever seen a grown man naked?'.



The Possession...

Released in its Unrated Version on UK Blu-ray and DVD

Link Here25th January 2013
The Possession is a 2012 US horror thriller by Ole Bornedal.
With Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Original Version/Uncut Version was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2013 Lions Gate RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 21st January 2013
  • UK 2013 Lions Gate R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 21st January 2013

There is also a US release but this seems to be the cut Theatrical version

See  review from : "A classy old school spooker"

Censorship History

The Original Version was uncut and R Rated in the US but was not released in cinemas. The distributors appealed the R Rating but the rating stood. It was then cut for a PG-13.

See pictorial cuts details from . About 1:39s of cuts were made to 28 scenes to tone down the not particularly violent original. One use of the word 'fuck' was also deleted.

The same cut Theatrical Version was released in UK cinemas with a 15 rating.

However the UK home video release features the uncut R Rated version, whereas US DVD and Blu-ray viewers have to put up with the cut version.

Promotional Material

Based on a true story, The Possession is the terrifying story of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil.

Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.



Update: #HandThemOverOrElse...

French court orders Twitter to identify posters to hashtag threads of insults to jews

Link Here25th January 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

A French court has ordered Twitter to hand over the identities of users posting to allegedly anti-semetic Twitter hashtags or threads.

In a test case which will have widespread implications for the millions who tweet every day, the Tribunal de Grande Instance ruled it unacceptable for people to post hateful material anonymously.

This was despite lawyers for the hugely popular micro-blogging site refusing to assist detectives.

Jewish students brought the case, claiming Twitter had a moral duty to name and shame hateful posters. In October, the student bodies asked Twitter to remove a number of messages which appeared under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew), with examples including: #agoodjew is a dead Jew. The hashtag became the third most popular in France, with thousands attacking the religion.

Alexandre Neri, Twitter's French barrister, had told the court that Twitter data is collected and stored in the United States , namely in San Francisco, where the site is based. Ms Neri said that Twitter was accordingly subject to US law , adding: Should I submit myself to the law of a different country to where I work? I don't know. Ms Neri suggested that only an American judge could decide whether a US company should hand over data to the French authorities.



Ice Blocks...

Iceland proposes 'unfeasible' censorship of internet porn

Link Here25th January 2013

Ţröstur Jónasson at the Association of Digital Freedom in Iceland has branded Minister of Interior Ögmundur Jónasson's proposal to block the distribution of online pornography unfeasible.

The minister has set up a working group to look into how the police could block pornographic content.

According to Ţröstur, ensuring that internet services block pornography would require that all content goes through a filter. Ţröstur argues that this means that ultimately someone will have the role of deciding what is ok and what is not..

Ögmundur has claimed that restricting access to pornography online is somehow not censorship, and has said that the issue must be discussed:

If we cannot discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime, then that is not good.

A current law banning the import, publication and distribution of pornography in Iceland was written before the advent of online pornography.

Update: A few more details about the proposed censorship

13th February 2013. See  article from

Minister for censorship Ogmundur Jonasson has set up working parties to find ways to block online images and videos being accessed by young people through computers, games consoles and smartphones.

Methods under consideration include blocking porn IP addresses and making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards to access x-rated sites.

Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to the Interior Minister, said the agreement among education experts, law enforcers and other bodies that action must be taken means she is optimistic the proposals will become law, despite a general election in April. She says: 'There is a strong consensus building in Iceland.



Piling on the Negatives...

Irish advert censor adds being vulnerable, marginalised, stereotyped, and easily offended to the list of negatives in a broadband advert

Link Here25th January 2013

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) has upheld complaints from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland that a TV advertisement for Meteor mobile broadband depicted transgender people negatively by promoting stereotypes and encouraging a good laugh .

The ad features several ways that people try to get free WiFi internet access. One features a man dancing with what looks like a woman in a bar while surfing the internet over her shoulder. When the woman is revealed to be a man in drag a slogan appears saying: Don't dance for it .

The ASAI upheld two complaints of its code. The first states that advertisements should not cause offence on several grounds including sexual orientation. The second states that such groups should not be subject to ridicule or offensive humour . The ASAI explained:

A range of complainants considered that the bar scene portrayed transgender people in a very negative manner. References were made to the fact that the man dressed as a woman was made to appear desperate and lecherous.

A number of complainants referred to the fact that the transgender community were particularly vulnerable and marginalised. Other complainants suggested that this style of advertising encouraged violence towards members of the transgender community.

The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the responses from the advertiser. They also considered the number of complaints received.

The Committee accepted that the transgender community were vulnerable as suggested by a number of complainants. They noted that there was a long tradition of men dressing as women for example, in pantomime and that it would not be appropriate to prohibit the depiction of men dressed as women in all circumstances. They considered, however, that great care should always be taken in depicting or referring to vulnerable groups who were subject to stereotyping.

They noted in this case that the advertisement had associated the statement Don't dance for it with the scenes portrayed in the bar. They considered that this implied an element of desperation in an individual visiting such a bar and that it would be unacceptable for a man seeking broadband cover to dance with the man dressed as a woman.

A separate complaint was also upheld against broadband provider PermaNet over an advert that depicted a man climbing up to a roof to obtain a proper broadband signal. When the signal becomes clear his perfect mate turns out to be a man wearing a white frilly dress, red lipstick and a blonde wig.



Comments: Major Outrage...

Goose-stepping BBC censors cut Fawlty Towers

Link Here25th January 2013

BBC 2 showed the Germans episode of Fawlty Towers last Sunday evening

The BBC cut dialogue from a scene involving Basil Fawlty and the major, played by actor Ballard Berkeley.

The conversation moves from Basil's wife Sybil to women in general. The major tells Fawlty about the time he took a woman to see India play cricket at the Oval. He then says:

The strange thing was, throughout the morning she kept referring to the Indians as niggers. "No, no, no," I said, "the niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs".

But this time around the major's words were edited out by the BBC.

Some fans took to the BBC's Points Of View message board to say they despaired at the unnecessary editing. One wrote:

You can't airbrush history away and I doubt if anyone but the terminally thin-skinned could be offended by the major, a character we're clearly supposed to laugh at rather than with.

Another posted:

The point is that the major is a racist old bigot, incongruous with modern society -- even in the Seventies. The audience isn't supposed to agree with him, they're supposed to laugh at him. The whole episode is about xenophobia in various forms -- it's social satire. I instinctively dislike the airbrushing of history.

A BBC spokesman spewed:

We are very proud of Fawlty Towers and its contribution to British television comedy... BUT ...public attitudes have changed significantly since it was made and it was decided to make some minor changes, with the consent of John Cleese's management, to allow the episode to transmit to a family audience at 7.30pm on BBC2.'

Comment: Littlejohn, The BBC, Comedy Censorship and Total Hypocrisy at the Daily Mail

25th January 2013. See article from

Comment: Australian press proves just as PC worthless as the BBC

25th January 2013. See  BBC rewrites TV history with Fawlty Towers censorship from

The Australian press has a justified knock at the BBC's vandalism of Fawlty Towers... but somehow can't even conjure up the backbone to actually print what was censored!



Diary: Recommended by Christian Concern...

The Last Temptation of Christ continues to 'outrage', this time at Wells Cathedral on 25th January

Link Here25th January 2013
As part of the Bath Film Festival 2014, Wells Cathedral is hosting a screening of Martin Scorsese's controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ on Saturday 25 January.

The film caused outrage when it was released in 1988 because some hold that it is a blasphemous interpretation of Jesus' life on earth, depicting, among other things, His marriage to Mary Magdelene and raising a family with her.

The Cathedral is standing by its decision to show the film despite nutter pressure to get it banned.

Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said:

The planned screening at Wells Cathedral will spread a wholly false message and obscure the New Testament history of the life and purpose of Jesus Christ from his birth to his death on the cross.

In an age when many people may have the sketchiest knowledge of the Gospel and history of Jesus Christ, the screening of this blasphemous film which challenges the perfection of the life of Jesus, by introducing an offensive dream sequence, will spread misunderstanding of the tenets of the Christian faith and give the impression that the church endorses such false teaching.

We have received calls and correspondence from concerned churchgoers, not only in the Somerset area, and the Western Daily Press has reported that some worshippers have described the film as 'appalling' for introducing the 'theme of debauchery'. It is difficult to understand how screening such a film in a hallowed cathedral serves the Kingdom of God. For that reason we have urged our supporters to make their views known to the Dean, who is principally responsible for the administration of the Cathedral.



Offsite Article: Iran creates fake blogs in smear campaign against journalists in exile...

Link Here 25th January 2013
BBC Persian staff victims of online identity theft designed to discredit them, with family in Iran facing harassment as well

See article from



Offsite Article: What is the Government's online child protection policy?...

Link Here 25th January 2013
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Is the Daily Mail in charge of child protection policy making?

See article from



Dear God No!...

Cut UK DVD release of film tagged as total insanity

Link Here24th January 2013
Dear God No! is a 2011 USA horror by James Bickert.
With Jett Bryant, Madeline Brumby and Paul McComiskey. YouTube icon IMDb

The Original Version was passed 18 for strong sexualised violence, threat, nudity and gory images after 1:34s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Bounty/Monster Pictures [Original + Grindhouse] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 21st January 2013

The BBFC vaguely commented:

  • Cuts were required to reduce the focus on a scene of sexual violence.

Now the Grindhouse Cut has been passed 18 with the same consumer advice after 1:37s of BBFC cuts.

The BBFC added a further cut to the vague cuts mentioned for the original version:

  • Cuts were required to reduce the focus on a scene of sexual violence. A further cut was also required to remove explicit sight of penetration during the scene of sexual violence.

The Grindhouse Cut is basically just the addition of CGI scratches and tears to the film. The BBFC cuts suggest that there is however more sex in sex scenes.

Uncut in the US

In the US: The Original Version is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Unfortunately there's no sign of the Grindhouse Cut on the US release

See  review from : "Utterly incompetent on every level"
See  review from : "Shot like a 1970s grindhouse flick complete with horrendous scenes of gratuitous violence"
See  review from : "We're made of stern stuff here at Starburst but Dear God No! just goes too far".

Summary Review: Total Insanity

A gang of outlaw bikers pull a home invasion on a disgraced Anthropologist hiding a secret locked in his cabin basement.

Dear God No flaunts its tasteless, violent, psychotic, bizarre excesses in the face of modern politically correct cinema. We get the repeated dead nun crotch punting, multiple decapitations, lesbian incest rape, Nazis, tampon shots, children being murdered, coke-line swastikas, and anything else you can imagine.

If depraved weirdness and blood-soaked mayhem is your thing, prepare to experience cinematic nirvana.



Update: The World's Largest Data Mining Company?...

User data requests to Google at an all time high

Link Here24th January 2013
Full story: Google Transparency Reports...Google reveals the scale of copyright claims

Data from Google shows the number of requests for user information from law enforcement agencies are at an all time high.

The search giant said it had received 21,389 applications from government officers and the courts over the last six months of 2012. That is 17% up on the same period the previous year. The number of requests has risen over every half-year cycle since Google started publishing details three years ago.

Google said it handed over at least some data in 66% of the most recent cases.

The US made more requests than any other country with 8,438 submissions. Google complied fully or partially with 88% of these. By contrast all of Turkey's 149 requests and Hungary's 95 applications were rejected outright.

The UK made 1,458 requests - a very slight rise on the same period in 2011. 70% of them resulted in some information being provided.



Update: Silenced Voice...

Thai magazine editor gets 10 years in jail for lese majeste after calling for the repeal of the same law

Link Here24th January 2013
Full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

A magazine editor sentenced to ten years in prison for publishing two negative articles about Thailand's monarchy. Somyot Pruksakasemsuk published the articles in Voice of Taksin .

The verdict came despite repeated calls by rights groups to free Somyot, who has been jailed since 2011. They condemned his imprisonment as the latest affront to freedom of expression in the Southeast Asian country.

The articles were published under a pseudonym in Somyot's now-defunct Voice of Taksin magazine, which he launched in 2009 to compile political news and anti-establishment articles from writers and contributors.

Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, explained that the case appears to be more about Somyot's strong support for amending the lese majeste law than about any harm incurred by the monarchy. Although the articles were published in 2010, Somyot was not arrested until the following year, five days after launching a petition drive to revoke Article 112 of the nation's criminal code. The author of the articles has never been charged with any crimes and is reported to be living in Cambodia.

Judges found both articles included content that criticised the royal family and argued that Somyot, as a veteran editor, was aware of that. The court handed down two five-year jail terms - one for each story.

Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said:

The harsh sentence sends the wrong signals on freedom of expression in Thailand. The court's decision is the latest indication of a disturbing trend in which lese majesty charges are used for political purposes. People exercising freedom of expression should not be punished in the first place.

The European Union said:

The verdict seriously undermines the right to freedom of expression and press freedom and affects Thailand's image as a free and democratic society.

Somyot said he would appeal the verdict but would not seek a royal pardon.



I Love Dick!...

Australian food company owner has fun with TV censors over dick jokes in teatime advert

Link Here24th January 2013

Entrepreneur and former Australian of the Year Dick Smith is furious his television advertisement for his all-Aussie food company filmed for Australia Day has been deemed too offensive for prime time television by the Advertising Standards Board because of its Dick jokes and innuendo.

The tongue-in-cheek advertisement, which plays on the famous monikor of the company, is saturated with Dick jokes and innuendo.

It opens with Smith saying that Kekovich's use of jingoistic patriotism to sell his products was as wrong as a dead dingo's donger and features a cast of characters, from farmers to boat people, promoting their love of Dick .

Smith had booked $100,000 of ad space during the 6pm news bulletins to broadcast the ad on Australia Day. To air during this time advertisements need a G rating, but the Advertising Standards Board gave the one-minute spot a PG rating.Smith has told Fairfax Media he is talking to lawyers about what can be done:

The ad is harmless fun. Yes, it does have a couple of 'Dick' jokes, big deal, Mr Smith said.

I think it's harmless, it's good fun and these people should reverse their decision and on Australia Day let me run the damn thing. They're talking about beeping it out and I said, 'No'.

The ad is not politically correct. See, everything has to be politically correct these days.



Recommended by Nigerian TV Censors...

The NBC kindly publishes a detailed list of music videos that they consider worthy of a ban

Link Here24th January 2013

The Nigerian Broadcast Commission (NBC) has placed a TV ban on a new set of music videos.

The videos have been banned for different reasons and they are expected to be taken off local television stations. NBC is not able to censor what airs on cable channels like MTV Base, Soundcity, Trace and Channel O, as well as internet platforms like Youtube and Vimeo.

In a release by the NBC, the videos classified as not to be broadcast in whole or in part , were banned for different reasons. The videos include and the reasons are as follows:

1. Tillaman ft. Vector- Koma Roll (contains erotic and suggestive dance steps)

2. Wande Coal- Go Low (scenes of nudity in the video)

3. D'Prince - Take Banana (contains erotic, vulgar words and suggestive dance styles)

4. Flavour- Shake (vulgar and suggestive dance steps)

5. Goldie- Ski Bobo (featuring a minor with suggestive and immoral dance steps)

6. Chuddy K- Brazilian Hair (features children and ladies with suggestive and erotic dance steps)

7. Timaya- Shake your Bum bum erotic and suggestive dance steps with vulgar lyrics.

8. Psquare- Alingo (erotic scenes at the end of the musical videos)



Offsite Article: Under Morsi, criminal defamation suits soar in Egypt...

Link Here24th January 2013
A few months after the revolution, criminal defamation made its way into the new constitution. Article 31 states: Insulting or showing contempt toward any human being is prohibited.

See article from




Sergio Corbucci's original gets a timely UK Blu-ray release

Link Here23rd January 2013
Django is a 1966 Italy/Spain western by Sergio Corbucci.
With Franco Nero, José Bódalo and Loredana Nusciak. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2013 Argent R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 21st January 2013

Censorship History

UK: The BBFC banned the 1969 cinema release.

UK: The film was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for the 1993 Arthouse VHS.

UK: The film was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for the 2004 Argent DVD.

Summary Review: Best non-Leone spaghetti Western

Don't listen to any claims made made for Bullet For A General, Django is without a doubt the best non-Leone spaghetti Western of all time. Corbucci's direction is more controlled here than anywhere else--less zooms, less jarring close-ups, and neater editing. And Django has to be one of the first action heroes to fire a heavy machine gun from the hip (without even pulling the trigger, no less!).

But make no mistake. This is Italian exploitation--love it or hate it. An ear is cut off, prostitutes fight in the mud, and our hero's hands are crushed in gory detail that would make One-Eyed Jacks mumble in disgust.

Promotional Material

Banned from Britain until the 90s, Sergio Corbucci s seminal western stars Franco Nero (Die Hard 2) as Django, the mysterious lone gunfighter who arrives in a bleak mud-drenched town - dragging a coffin behind him. Caught in the middle of a violent feud between two gangs of sadistic bandits, Django will need to fight for his life armed with his devastating revolving machine gun.....


  • Exclusive in-depth presentation by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Cox in the style of his epoch-making Moviedrome BBC series.
  • Exclusive interview with star Franco Nero
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Argent Trailer Park.



Update: More Serious Issues...

Ofcom put Takbeer TV on notice of sanctions for repeated abuse of the Ahmadi community

Link Here23rd January 2013
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Global Khatm-E-Nabuwat Movement
Takbeer TV, 9 June 2012, 22:00
Takbeer TV, 3 July 2012, 22:00

Takbeer TV broadcasts religious and general entertainment content mainly in Urdu, directed towards the Sunni Muslim community, and is available on the Sky satellite platform.

Ofcom received a complaint about the following two programmes:

  • Global Khatm-E-Nabuwat Movement which was a two and a quarter hour phone-in programme, where a four-person panel answered telephone callers' questions on issues of Islamic theology. The complainant considered that the programme encouraged callers to make derogatory and extreme statements about the Ahmadi community
  • Khatm-E-Nabuwat which was a two hour programme that showed the proceedings of a symposium on Islamic themes held in Luton. The complainant considered that the programme contained statements that were derogatory about the founder of the Ahmadi movement, Mirza Ghulum Ahmad, and members of the Ahmadi community more generally.


Caller: These Qadianis, you want to bring them to Islam, the disease [of not being a true believer in Islam] has gone deeper into them and you are treating their sickness; Allah will reward you for this. These are naĂŻve people; they do not know what Mirza Ghulam Qadiani was.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 4.1: Broadcasters must exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes.
  • Rule 4.2: The religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination must not be subject to abusive treatment.

Ofcom Decision; Breach of Rules 4.1 and 4.2

We considered that the broadcaster did not exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of these two religious programmes. The programmes were, therefore, in breach of Rule 4.1 of the Code.

We considered that both the programmes subjected members of the Ahmadi community and their beliefs to abusive treatment and therefore were in breach of Rule 4.2 of the Code.

In recording the breaches of Rule 4.2 in this Finding, we noted that this case followed earlier breaches of Rule 4.2 recorded on 18 June 2011 against the Licensee. These earlier breaches concerned five editions of the programme Tafheem Al Masyal, broadcast between October 2010 and March 2011, which also contained a number of derogatory and abusive references to the religious views and beliefs of the Ahmadi community.

We are greatly concerned that Takbeer TV has broadcast further programmes including content that constituted abusive treatment of the Ahmadi community, despite specific assurances given directly to Ofcom by the Licensee that it had improved its compliance processes to address Ofcom's concerns.

In light of these previous assurances and Code breaches, Ofcom regards the current breaches of Rules 4.1 and 4.2 of the Code as serious.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.



Overtly Stereotypical Whinges...

ASA dismisses complaints about Marks and Spencers lingerie adverts

Link Here23rd January 2013

Three digital outdoor ads, for women's underwear, featured moving images of the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a bedroom. Each ad began with a close-up image of a flower and on-screen text which stated A NEW COLLECTION DESIGNED BY Rosie; Only at YOUR M&S and then showed her modelling underwear. At the end of each ad was a black screen with text stating Rosie for Autograph Only at YOUR M&S :

a. The first ad showed her in a green bra and knickers. She was looking behind the camera with her body facing left. She rotated her body to the front, dropped her shoulders back, looked down and then back up.

b. The second ad showed her wearing a purple bra and knickers. She was looking behind the camera with her body facing left. She rotated her body to the front, ran her hand under her hair and put her hands on the back of her hips.

c. The third ad showed her wearing a flowered pattern bra and knickers. She began in profile looking left, then rotated to the front and continued turning to show her back and buttocks. Issue

Seven complainants, who believed the ads were overtly sexual, explicit, degrading to women and reinforced sexual stereotypes of women, challenged whether the ads were offensive and unsuitable for public display where they could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted the complainants' concerns about the ads. However, we also considered that it was acceptable for advertisers of lingerie to show their products modelled in ads, provided they did so responsibly. We also considered that, because the ads were for lingerie, consumers were less likely to regard the partial nudity shown as gratuitous.

In relation to ads (a) and (b) we noted that Rosie Huntington-Whitely was wearing underwear and standing in a bedroom, however, she appeared to be alone and we considered that her changes in pose were likely to be seen as simply modelling the garments. We therefore did not consider that there was anything in these ads that implied sexual activity, nor did her pose or behaviour draw attention to particular parts of her body in a way that was sexually suggestive.

We considered that the presentation of ad (c) was similar to (a) and (b), however, we noted that Rosie Huntington-Whitely rotated all the way round to show her buttocks. Although we considered that pose was marginally more suggestive, we considered that it was unlikely to be regarded by most members of the public as anything more than mildly sexual in nature.

Although we considered that some members of the public would find the nudity in the ads distasteful, we did not consider that the ads were likely to cause serious or widespread offence, or that they were unsuitable for public display where they could be seen by children. We noted that M&S had applied a placement restriction such that the ads would not appear near schools and considered this was more than sufficient.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.



A mind-set that I would expect to find in Iran, not the West...

Reprehensible EU report calls for each nation to appoint press censors that have the power to ban journalists

Link Here 23rd January 2013

A high level EU panel, that includes Latvia's former president and a former German justice minister, was ordered by Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president, last year to report on media freedom and pluralism . It has concluded that it is time to introduce new rules to censor the press. The report concluded:

All EU countries should have independent media councils,

Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status.

The national media councils should follow a set of European-wide standards and be monitored by the Commission to ensure that they comply with European values.

As well as setting up state regulators with draconian powers, the panel also recommended that the European Commission be placed in overall control in order to ensure that the new press censors do not breach EU laws.

Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, attacked the report for making:

An extraordinary, and deeply disturbing proposal.

Having EU officials overseeing our free press - and monitoring newspapers to ensure they comply with European values - would be quite simply intolerable.

This is the sort of mind-set that I would expect to find in Iran, not the West.



Obscured by Clouds...

Chinese film censors cut 40 minutes from Cloud Atlas

Link Here23rd January 2013

Movie censors in China have slashed 40 minutes from Tom Hanks and Halle Berry's epic Cloud Atlas .

The film opened with a 130-minute running time, cut down from 169-minute version that was released worldwide. The film is R Rated in the US (which would be 17A in the UK).

A report in the Shanghai-based Dongfang Daily said expository sequences and passionate love scenes were cut from the film, while gory sequences depicting a character being shot in the head or another having his throat slit remained.

The Hollywood Reporter speculates that a romantic relationship between budding composer Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw) and his Cambridge schoolmate Rufus Sixsmith (James D'Arcy) is highly likely to have been dropped from the Chinese version of the film. Same-sex romances remain a taboo for Chinese censors.

In another scene, set in a 22nd century Korean city called Neo-Seoul, a human-replicant waitress is shown having sex with her foreman. This was probably censored too.



Pakistan Recommends...

Video games Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Link Here23rd January 2013

Pakistani shopkeepers are boycotting two new video games which they say portray the country as a failed state, riddled with terrorism and where security forces are in league with al-Qaeda.

Both Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Call of Duty: Black Ops II are first-person shooter games, where players take on the persona of an American special forces agent and feature ultra realistic graphics.

Saleem Memon, president of the All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Casette Traders and Manufacturers Association, said he had written to members ordering them not to stock the controversial games after receiving dozens of complaints. He said:

The problem is that there are things that are against Pakistan and they have included criticism of our army.

They show the country in a very poor light.

These games show a misleading idea of what is happening in the city. You don't get the CIA all the way through Grand Theft Auto.

Although shops in all of Pakistan's major cities have been told of the boycott, the game was still available in shops. One shopkeeper said:

These sorts of games are my most popular. The nationalists and the religious ones don't like them but I'm not going to stop selling them.



Offsite Article: Internet freedom in India...Open to debate...

Link Here23rd January 2013
In the aftermath of an Index on Censorship debate New Delhi, Kirsty Hughes says India's web users are standing at a crossroads

See article from



The Bloody Judge...

Clothed version of noted Christopher Lee historical drama

Link Here22nd January 2013
The Bloody Judge is a 1970 Liechtenstein/Italy/Spain/West Germany horror by Jesus Franco.
With Christopher Lee, Maria Schell and Leo Genn. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Fully Restored European Version is uncut but there's no sign of a BBFC database entry yet for:

  • UK 2013 MediumRare R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 21st January 2013

See  review from : "A curious mixture of Witchfinder General and historical epic"
See  review from : "Christopher Lee is on brilliant form here as the real life judge"

Censorship Issues

Previously released in a cut format.

UK: The cut English Dubbed Export Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2000 Cinema Club R2 DVD
  • UK 1999 Salvation R2 DVD

See version details from . This is a cut version with nudity replaced by clothed scenes and violence missing or obscured.

Promotional Material

Jesus Franco directs this European horror flick based around the real life excesses of witch hunter Judge George Jeffreys. Jeffreys' (Christopher Lee) sadistic practices include the torture in his dungeons of suspected witchcraft practitioners.



Obituary: Michael Winner...

And to this day, Death Wish 2 still bears the proud scars of battle with the BBFC

Link Here22nd January 2013

British film maker Michael Winner has died from liver disease at the age of 77.

His wonderful career started in Britain with a varied assortment of generally light hearted films, often starring Oliver Reed.

He moved across to the US where his films took a harder edge, most notably with the Death Wish series with Charles Bronson.

These got him into all sorts of censorship tussles with the UK censor, James Ferman. The ongoing tussle was noted in a lecture by Ferman when he recalled the particularly heavy cutting inflicted on Death Wish 2. Referring to 3:42s of cuts to two gang rapes, Ferman quipped:

I cut three minutes 42 seconds of that stuff, a record I think. Winner was furious.

Thereafter Winner was something of a champion against censorship. He regularly took part in TV discussions, arguing the case against censorship.


Shoot to Kill (1960) Some Like It Cool (1961) Old Mac (1961) Out of the Shadow (1961) Play it Cool (1962) The Cool Mikado (1962) West 11 (1963) The System (1964) You Must Be Joking! (1965) The Jokers (1967) I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967) Hannibal Brooks (1969) The Games (1970)

Lawman (1971) The Nightcomers (1972) Chato's Land (1972) The Mechanic (1972) Scorpio (1973) The Stone Killer (1973) Death Wish (1974) Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) The Sentinel (1977) The Big Sleep (1978) Firepower (1979) Death Wish II (1982) The Wicked Lady (1983) Scream for Help (1984) Death Wish 3 (1985) A Chorus of Disapproval (1988) Appointment With Death (1988) Bullseye! (1990) Dirty Weekend (1993) Parting Shots (1999) Burke & Hare (2010)



Offsite Article: The BBFC have stepped in to protect us, not a rape or act of sadistic violence too soon...

Link Here22nd January 2013
Academic welcomes the new Tom, Dick and Harry rules on sexual violence that have just come into force at the BBFC

See article from



Update: Serious Issues...

Ofcom considers sanctions against Sangat TV for panel discussion where participants congratulated knife attackers

Link Here22nd January 2013
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Programme about the attack on Lieutenant-General Brar
Sangat TV, 1 October 2012, 19:40

Sangat TV broadcasts religious and general entertainment content in English and Punjabi, primarily directed towards the Sikh community in the UK, and is available on the Sky digital satellite platform.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to a discussion programme on Sangat TV, stating that the programme was congratulating the attackers of Lieutenant-General Brar.

The discussion programme concerned an attack that had taken place on 30 September 2012 on Lieutenant-General Brar. It was reported that whilst on a visit to London Lieutenant-General Brar and his wife had been attacked in a central London street by four men. Despite suffering knife injuries, Lieutenant-General Brar survived the attack.

Lieutenant-General Brar had been the commander of the Indian armed forces who led Operation Bluestar, the Indian Army's controversial military operation against the Golden Temple at Amritsar in June 1984. The Golden Temple is highly revered as a sacred site by the Sikh community, and Operation Bluestar was aimed at removing a number of Sikhs, who were arguing for an independent Sikh homeland, and who were occupying the Golden Temple at that time. It is reported that, according to the Indian Government, 400 people died in the operation, including 87 Indian soldiers. However, these figures are disputed as being too low by some members of the Sikh community.

Ofcom noted that this half-hour programme consisted of eight panellists, including a presenter, discussing issues surrounding the attack. It was broadcast the day after the attack on Lieutenant-General Brar. Eg:

If they [who assaulted Lieutenant-General Brar] were Sikhs, I congratulate them.

Ofcom considered that these statements raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 3.1 of the Code, which states that:

Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.

Following the broadcast of this programme, Sangat TV said that:

We realise that the comments of this programme were in non-compliance [with the Code] and we were unable to control the live broadcast. This was a highly exceptional situation, and when considered in isolation or out of context may make it look inappropriate.

Ofcom Decision

Ofcom found the programme to have breached Rule 3.1 of the Code. The breach of Rule 3.1 in this case is a serious contravention of the Code. Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach of the Code for the imposition of a statutory sanction.



Comment: An insidious threat to our children's minds?...

The Daily Mail in cahoots with Mary Whitehouse of the 2010's, Claire Perry

Link Here22nd January 2013

Even their own readers think they are hypocritical...

So Mrs Perry wants to crack down on lags mags eh? Perhaps she should take a look at the Mail's own website which often features semi naked celebrities from lads mags shoots. the full editorial .



Comment: Julie Burchill and The Observer...

When is censorship not censorship?

Link Here22nd January 2013

Re an article in the Observer:

The readers' editor on why the paper was wrong to publish slurs against trans people

It actually makes me sympathise with the ridiculous Julie Burchill!

Note particularly the editor's remarks that Protestations about censorship had nothing to do with it. It's difficult to imagine a more egregious example of censorship than removing an article from the paper's online archive, as if it had never been.

How far would the Observer take its desire not to offend? Elsewhere in the same issue, the paper has a column which slags off trade unionists as stupid for opposing co-determination (See article: Davos man thrives while the rest of us pay for his excesses ). I should think that the number of people who might be offended by a purported newspaper of the left calling people stupid because they perceive accepting places on the board as class collaboration is rather larger than that offended by Burchill in the article.



A Tweenie Bit Offensive...

BBC grovels to the easily offended over a Tweenie Jimmy Savile

Link Here21st January 2013


We received complaints from viewers who felt it was inappropriate to feature a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile.

The BBC's response

On 20 January 2013, CBeebies broadcast a repeat of an episode of the Tweenies, originally made in 2001, featuring a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile. This programme will not be repeated and we are very sorry for any offence caused. We have spoken to the team to ensure this mistake cannot be repeated.

Update: 216 Complaints

22nd January 2013. See  article from

The BBC has received 216 complaints about an episode of The Tweenies, in which a character appeared dressed as disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile.

The programme, which was filmed in 2001, was shown on CBeebies before 09:00 GMT on Sunday.

In the scene, the character Max appeared in a blonde wig, wearing Savile's trademark tracksuits and using his accent and catchphrases.

A spokesperson for the BBC said the majority of the complaints were made immediately after the programme was broadcast.



Update: 'Censoring films doesn't make sense...UNLESS'...

Indian scissor happy film censors want to pretend they are not

Link Here21st January 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in India...CBFC: Film censors and their cuts

In the light of continuing tension between India and Pakistan, the Indian Censor Board has sought to distance itself from neighbour Pakistan's film board. It wants a new name, Indian Board for Film Certification .

Both Indian and Pakistani film censor boards are currently known as the CBFC, Central Board of Film Certification in India and Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan. This creates a lot of confusion on international platforms especially at film festivals, said Leela Samson, chairperson of the Indian film board.

The CBFC also wants to hide its work as a censor board by spinning the illusion that it is a classification board. Samson claimed:

In today's day and time, censoring films doesn't make sense ...UNLESS... there are some gross violations such as a constitutional violation or something that hurts communal or religious sentiments [or nudity or sex or vulgarity or indecency or obscenity etc...], we will not recommend the use of scissors. Instead, we will only certify the films as adult or ones that should be viewed with care.

Alongside this the board points out that using English language certificates is not a good idea. Samsom said:

It is a tragedy that... we continue to use English letters to denote whether a film is adult or fit for universal viewing... Most film goers don't even know what 'A' or 'U' stands for.

The CBFC wants certification to be denoted in regional languages apart from using conspicuous pictorial signs or illustrations to inform a viewer if a film has scenes of extreme violence or sex and if it is suitable for children.

Besides the board has asked the government to create more categories of certification.  In particular a new category for children between the ages of 10 and 15 years is one such idea being considered.



Propaganda Trolls...

Vietnam admits to employing bloggers to support the Communist Party line

Link Here21st January 2013

Vietnamese propaganda chiefs have admitted deploying people to subvert online discussions and post comments supporting the Communist Party's policies. The party has also confirmed that it operates a network of nearly 1,000 public opinion shapers .

The tactic is similar to China's model of internet moderators who aim to control news and manipulate opinion.

Hanoi Propaganda and Education Department head Ho Quang Loi said that the authorities had hired hundreds of so-called internet polemists in the fight against online hostile forces . Loi revealed that his organisation is running at least 400 online accounts and 20 microblogs.

The propaganda bloggers take part in online discussions, where they fiercely attack anybody who they see as critical of the regime.

The authorities also employ a force of 900 public opinion shapers who help talk up government policies and promote the party line across the country. It is not clear whether these operatives, and the bloggers, are on official payrolls.



Holding Internet Companies Responsible...

Thailand's repressive internet law holds back digital enterprise

Link Here21st January 2013

Thailand's Computer Crime Act (CCA) has become a hindrance not only to free expression but also to business innovation and entrepreneurship, say academics and computer experts.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has been closely monitoring the way the CCA is being applied, particularly in conjunction with lese majeste laws. A Bangkok-based UN official said:

It's not only the issue of freedom of expression that is undermined or compromised by the two laws, but the problematic application and their ambiguous, if not vague, procedures have already led people to self-censorship and/or to jail.

The application of the CCA, enacted in 2007 by the Surayud Chulanont government following the 2006 coup, has also scared off businesses, according to Ann Lavin, director of public policy and government relations with Google:

The point is that foreign investors will not invest here because the law says the intermediary (such as a webmaster) is liable.

She said Article 15 of the CCA had cost Thailand a business fortune:

Only 1% of the web content is in Thai, there should definitely be more, but people are afraid of the laws so they don't want to create websites.

Article 15 stipulates that any service provider who intentionally supports or consents to commission of an offence under Article 14 in the computer system under his control shall receive the same punishment as prescribed in Article 14 (the same as the offender).



Offsite Article: Apple: Want to criticize religion? Write a book, don't make a game...

Link Here 20th January 2013
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone
Censorship guidelines explain why Apple bans game set in Syrian conflict

See article from



Offsite Article: The first media law in the history of Turkmenistan...

Link Here20th January 2013
In principle, it proclaims freedom of expression and bans censorship but it has so far done nothing to narrow the gulf between the official discourse and the reality of one of the world's most closed and repressive countries.

See article from



Top Gear and BBFC Food Elude the Grasping ATVOD...

Not only is it bad law that applies expensive and heavy handed state censorship to internet VOD, the rules are impossibly vague as to who it applies to

Link Here19th January 2013

Decisions uphold ATVOD determination that Business Channel was subject to regulation as an on-demand programme service, but rule that two BBC Worldwide YouTube channels were outside scope of VOD regulation

An appeal by Greystone Media Ltd against an ATVOD determination in April 2011 that its web- based video on demand service The Business Channel was an on-demand programme service and therefore subject to regulation by ATVOD has today not been upheld by Ofcom.

However, two further appeals against ATVOD determinations in May 2011 that BBC Worldwide was providing on-demand programme services on its YouTube channels BBC Food and BBC Top Gear have today been upheld.

In order to fall victim to censorship overseen by ATVOD, a service must satisfy a number of statutory criteria, as set out in section 368A of the Communications Act 2003. One of these is that the principal purpose of the service is the provision of programmes the form and content of which are comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services.

To a significant extent, the outcome of all three appeals turned on whether the relevant on demand videos were comparable to television programmes.

Commenting on the decisions, ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

The question of whether video content is 'comparable' to programmes normally included in television broadcasts is far from straightforward. We will now consider the appeal decisions carefully and analyse the implications for future decisions as to whether a particular service is, or is not, subject to regulations designed to protect consumers.



Updated: Slavish Outrage...

Django Unchained action figures cause a little 'outrage'

Link Here19th January 2013

Action figures depicting characters from Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained are sparking a little 'outrage' in the US.

The National Entertainment Collectibles Association partnered with the Weinstein Company to release eight-inch tall figurines for sale on Amazon. However there is no sign of them on Amazon at the moment, so presumably they have been pulled.

Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, told AP that the collectible line of movie merchandise is a slap in the face of our ancestors and is hoping for their removal from the market. He feels the plastic personifications of the characters in the film trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced.

As the racial debate over Django Unchained continues, the movie is raking in big bucks at the box office. With over $108 million accumulated domestically, Tarantino's latest is on pace to become his biggest success yet at the box office.

Update: 'Outrage' adds to collectability

19th January 2013. See  article from
See example being offered at US Amazon for $699.99

The Weinstein Company, the production company behind Django Unchained has backed down in the face of the film's most unexpected controversy.

The nutter group, Project Islamic Hope, had asked for the movie's action figures be banned claiming that the dolls trivialize the atrocities of slavery. The group's leader Naji Ali said:

I actually enjoyed the movie, but we cannot support this type of commercialization.

The LA Times reports that Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network joined the clamour and called for supporters to boycott the collectible figures.

The Weinstein Company has responded by withdrawing the figures:

In light of the reaction to the Django Unchained action figures, we are removing them from distribution. We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone.

Of course the ban has resulted in the figures becoming even more collectible and the prices on Amazon have rocketed to several hundred dollars.



Update: A Dangerous Fantasy...

Make believe 'terrorist' jailed for 5 years for posting terrorist material

Link Here19th January 2013
Full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

A total fantasist who posted gruesome videos on Facebook of al-Qaeda beheading captives has been jailed for five years. Craig Slee pleaded guilty to four offences under the 2006 Terrorism Act and also admitted possession of can of CS gas.

On sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, Judge Anthony Russell QC said:

It beggars belief that anyone can have an interest in such material which reveals a shocking and barbaric depravity and complete absence of any degree of humanity.

Slee also put online links to a communique by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), claiming those from the west were Crusaders and encouraging terrorism.

The court heard, Slee created a false identity and set up a Facebook page - using the alter-ego Hashim X Shakur. Slee claimed to be a Muslim and provided personal information about himself, the majority of which was false. He also engaged in Facebook chat with other people and kept up his pretence of his alter-ego, claiming he had been on trips to Jalalabad, had suffered shrapnel injuries and implied he was a member of the Taliban, said police. However, the court heard Slee has no connection to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist network or organisation.

Det Ch Supt Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said:

It is clear that Slee was a total fantasist.He had no links whatsoever to any terrorist organisations, was not a radical convert and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest he engaged in any attack planning.

While Slee may not have been planning any sort of attack, he could easily have influenced someone else with the propaganda he was uploading.



Sexy Horse Play?...

Burger advert banned in New Zealand.

Link Here19th January 2013

Burger chain Carl's Jr has been stopped from airing an American advertisement after it was ruled to be using sex to sell an unrelated product.

The commercial for the Memphis BBQ Burger shows two women in bikini tops and short shorts grilling meat on an outside barbecue and then entwining their arms before eating burgers, as two open-mouthed men take pictures with a mobile phone.

It has aired in the US and Mexico but the Commercial Approvals Bureau (CAB), which must approve ads before they screen locally, said it used sex in an exploitative and degrading manner to sell an unrelated product.

National Council of Women vice-president Rae Duff spouted the advertisement was overtly sexual and its stereotyping of women led to an unhealthy focus on body image.



Revealing Political Correctness...

ASA whinges at advert for business cards

Link Here19th January 2013

A magazine ad for Polar Design, a print and design company, included a photograph of a woman's breasts with text stating Need business cards? . One breast was partially covered by a Polar Design business card with a man's fingers poised as if to peel the business card away from the page. The other breast was covered by a glued on business card, which, when peeled away, revealed text stating Don't wait until your last business card Order Now! 014 xxxx .

A reader, who believed the ad was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

Scottish Provincial Press (SPP), publishers of Executive magazine, said they recognised that the ad was on the more liberal side of the taste spectrum, but did not believe that it would cause offence to their readers. Before publishing the ad, they sought the opinion of their local Chamber of Commerce who, after consulting their female members of staff, concluded that whilst some people might find the ad distasteful, it was unlikely to cause offence. SPP also asked their own female staff who, although some found it distasteful, did not find it offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured an image of a woman's breasts and, although the image was not sexually explicit, it had sexual connotations with an implicit invitation to remove the business card to reveal her nipple. We also noted the image bore no relevance to the advertised services, and considered it was therefore likely to be seen as sexist and to demean women by using their physical features for no other reason than to draw attention to the ad.

Although we acknowledged the steps taken by SPP before publishing the ad, we nonetheless concluded that it was likely to cause serious offence to some readers of the magazine.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Offsite Article: Banged up for banging on?...

Link Here19th January 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
The arrest of an EDL leader for ranting against Islam on Facebook should worry anyone interested in freedom.

See article from



Appeasing the Baddies...

Skyfall cut for its Chinese release

Link Here18th January 2013

The new Bond film will be released in China but with key scenes removed and alternative translations written into the subtitles to appease the country's film censors.

Sam Mendes' Skyfall Chinese release has been hampered by the inclusion of politically and culturally controversial narrative events which take place in Shanghai and Macau.

The cut version omits a scene set in Shanghai where a French hitman (Ola Rapace) shoots a Chinese security guard. References to prostitution and corruption in China have either been edited out or obscured in the subtitle translations.

In particular the backstory to villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) who was tortured by the Chinese government after working for MI6 in Hong Kong has had all references to China removed.

The scene where Daniel Craig's Bond and the character Severine (Berenice Marlohe) are at a Macau casino and he enquires if her tattoo is the mark of an infamous prostitution ring remains intact but the subtitles have been changed to refer to a gang.



Update: Probably Just the Negligently Low Quality of its Algorithm...

3's mobile phone website blocking system now reported to be blocking political satire

Link Here 18th January 2013
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Pride's Purge is a Web site described by its creator Tom Pride as an irreverent look at UK politics . As he recently discovered, it's also blocked by 3UK's child protection filter. He contacted the company on Twitter, pointing out that Pride's Purge was not a porn site or anything similar, and this is what it replied:

We don't just block adult websites, websites with mature content may also be censored.

So it now seems that there is a category of material called mature content that is distinct from adult content , and that is also blocked by child protection filters, at least on 3UK's network. Worryingly, political satire seems to be regarded as an example of mature content , and therefore unsuitable for children under 18. In fact, the censorship is even worse, as Pride explains:

it's not blocked for just the under-18s. It's blocked for anyone who hasn't proven to [3UK] they are over 18 -- and that means you will have to give your full identity to 3UK before they allow you to enter this site.

Which means 3UK now officially regard political satire as porn -- and are censoring it in exactly the same way.

It's about time these companies were sued, either for loss of earning through their negligence, or else for abusing the right to free speech.



Update: Political Prisoner...

Prominent Thai political leader jailed for comments about the monarchy

Link Here18th January 2013
Full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

A prominent member of Thailand's red-shirt political movement has been jailed for two years for comments relating to the monarchy in a 2010 speech.

Activist and comedian Yossawaris Chuklom, who uses the stage name Jeng Dokchik, made the speech at a rally in Bangkok during political protests.

People found guilty under Thailand's strict lese majeste laws can face up to 15 years in prison.

Critics of the law say it has been used to suppress free speech. For example, calling for the abolition of the monarchy is considered an insult to the royal family.

A lawyer for Yossawaris said he had originally been sentenced to three years but that the judge reduced it to two because he had given useful evidence. He added that his client intended to appeal against the verdict, and would apply for bail.



Searching for Staff Safety...

Google is careful about where it locates servers and offices so that it can refuse censorship requests without being fearful for its staff

Link Here18th January 2013
Full story: Google Transparency Reports...Google reveals the scale of copyright claims

Google will decline requests for user information from totalitarian governments in Africa that seek to crack down on online communication. Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters in Nairobi:

We get these requests all the time. It is different in countries where we have servers and staff because they can be arrested and harassed. We are careful where we open offices and put our servers.



Lab Report...

The Citizen Lab find that the internet bad boy countries are united by the use of Blue Coat censorship software

Link Here18th January 2013

The Citizen Lab Internet research group, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, used computer servers to scan for the distinctive signature of gear made by Blue Coat Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif.

It determined that Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates employed a Blue Coat system that could be used for digital censorship.

The group also determined that Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela used equipment that could be used for surveillance and tracking.

The authors said they wanted to alert the public that there was a growing amount of surveillance and content-filtering technology distributed throughout the Internet. The technology is not restricted from export by the State Department, except to countries that are on embargo lists, like Syria, Iran and North Korea. The group noted:

Our findings support the need for national and international scrutiny of the country Blue Coat implementations we have identified, and a closer look at the global proliferation of dual-use information and communications technology. We hope Blue Coat will take this as an opportunity to explain their due diligence process to ensure that their devices are not used in ways that violate human rights.



Pink with Rage...

Nutter object complains about Nicki Mianj concert poster

Link Here17th January 2013

A poster promoting a Nicki Minaj concert was seen on the platform of a metro station in Newcastle.

It featured an image of Nicki Minaj from the bust up, with her arms in the air, leaning against a wall. She appeared to be naked but was moderately covered in body paint. Her breasts were partially exposed. Text stated Nicki Minaj...Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour 2012 .

One complainant challenged whether the ad was:

  1. irresponsible because it featured nudity and was therefore unsuitable for display in an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children; and

  2. offensive because it objectified women.

1. Live Nation stated that the ad did not feature nudity. Instead they explained that the ad featured an image of Nicki Minaj wearing a nude bikini, which had been cropped to show only her head, shoulders and half of her bikini top. They provided a copy of the original image before it had been cropped, which they said established that the image did not expose Minaj's breasts.

2. Live Nation stated that the ad did not in any way present women as objects. They said they considered objectification as an attitude that regarded a person as an object for use, with little or no regard for a person's personality. In contrast, they said Minaj's persona was central to the image and the ad. They explained that the photograph had been taken during the photo shoot for Minaj's Reloaded Tour in which she was painted in a multitude of colours. They therefore considered that the photo shoot and the depiction of Minaj were in keeping with the image Minaj had created of herself; as a woman known for her fondness of bright colours and bold prints.

Further, they asserted that because the image was so stylised, it was not offensive or demeaning to women. They again argued that as it did not include any nudity, no allusions to sex and no innuendos, it could not be regarded as offensive or as objectifying women.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not Upheld

1. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the original full length image clearly showed that Minaj had been wearing nude underwear when she posed for the photo. We considered, however, that the way the image had been cropped gave the impression that Minaj was topless, or that a large portion of her breasts were exposed, because it was not clear from the image that she was wearing a bra. We noted that the pose Minaj had adopted in the image, with her hands above her head, gave greater prominence to her breasts. We considered, however, that despite her pose, and the fact that most consumers would believe that her breasts were partially exposed, the image was only mildly sexual in nature. We therefore considered that it was not unsuitable to be shown on a poster site that could be seen by children.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

As set out in point one, we considered that the image was only mildly sexual in nature. Similarly, we did not consider that the image or the ad as a whole was sexually suggestive and we therefore considered that the ad was not degrading to women and did not objectify them. Whilst we acknowledged that the ad might be distasteful to some, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.



Offsite Article: Educated in Moral Harm...

Link Here17th January 2013
Lucy Brett, Head of Education at the BBFC, interviewed by GeekChocolate

See article from



Update: Game Winning Strategy...

US government wisely decides that gun control should be the focus of efforts to prevent further shooting rampages

Link Here17th January 2013
Full story: US Mass Shootings...Gun lobby vs violent media

For the past month, the US focus on gun control laws has been unprecedented.

Vice President Joe Biden was assigned the task of meeting with various powers that be to discuss what can be done to reform our gun laws. One of those entities was a conglomerate of representatives from the video game industry. What Mr. Biden took away from those meetings, however, may or may not surprise you.

After reviewing the Vice President's findings, United States President Barack Obama signed a twenty-three point executive order for Congress to act upon and address the issue. Nowhere in the order does it propose any changes which need to be made to video games in this country. Just sensible measures like banning assault weaponry.


However the games industry has not got off entirely unscathed. President Barack Obama called on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct a study on whether there is a correlation between gun violence and violent video games and other forms of media.

Video Game Labelling Bill

GamePolitics has also learned that a new video game labeling bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Representative Jim Matheson has introduced bill HR 287, which would require ratings label on video games and prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.



Updated: Shooting Itself in the Foot...

The US gun lobby takes a break from blaming video games to launch its own shooting game

Link Here17th January 2013
Full story: US Mass Shootings...Gun lobby vs violent media

After a particularly vitriolic attack on the media industry for violent games and films, the US National Rifle Association has launched its own shooting game for the iPhone and iPad.

The game, which simulates a shooting practice, has been approved for children from 4 years old.

NRA: Practice Range , billed as the NRA's new mobile nerve center, says it strikes the right balance of gaming and education and delivers a one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources .

The player can practise shooting at targets, including some in the shape of coffins, and has a choice of nine firearms. Some of the guns can be upgraded for $0.99 each. The game is available in the UK.

There have been calls for gun law reform after 26 children and teachers died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. US Vice-President Joe Biden is expected to make recommendations on gun control to the White House on Tuesday. Last week Biden met with video game makers to discuss gun violence in popular media.

President Barack Obama has also announced that he will lay out his plans for tackling gun violence later this week.

Update: Shooting up the Ratings

17th January 2013. See  article from

When the NRA-branded iOS app NRA: Practice Range launched earlier this week it carried a rating of ages 4+.

Well it looks like Apple has reviewed the rating (no doubt after the game gained national attention by the mainstream media and some harsh criticism from several high profile politicians) and deemed that it was just too low.

The game now carries a rating of ages 12+, meaning that your young children are no longer able to play the app for free. Apple's ratings descriptor for the game says that it contains Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence. That descriptor is debatable given that the realistic simulation only contains target shooting.



Two Mothers One Father...

Utah nutters whinge at films showing at the Sundance Film Festival

Link Here17th January 2013

A Utah group claims that the Sundance Film Festival's lineup features 'obscene' movies and is therefore at odds with Utah's culture of family values, and wants the state to pull its financial backing.

The Sutherland Institute claims the state shouldn't back a festival that features films about porn stars and women having affairs with one another's adult sons. This is referring to a pair of mainstream Hollywood movies, the R Rated Lovelace and the not yet rated Two Mothers starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright.

Derek Monson, Sutherland Institute's director of public policy spewed:

There are a lot of people here that find that kind of thing objectionable. We are a family friendly state and we endeavor to be so because we value the benefits that strong families bring to society.

Utah state officials stand by the backing, saying the money is an investment in a festival that brings major economic impact and international exposure to the state.

Utah expects to spend $300,000 supporting the festival again this year, but the University of Utah estimated that last year's festival brought $80.3 million in economic impact for the state.



Obituary: Nagisa Oshima...

Now in the Realm of the Senses having died aged 80

Link Here16th January 2013

Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, best known for directing In The Realm of the Senses , has died at the age of 80.

The 1976 film, also known by its Japanese title, Ai No Corrida , featured unsimulated sex between the actors.

Oshima also directed singer David Bowie in the WWII prison-camp drama Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.

His most controversial project reflected his lifelong criticism of censorship. In The Realm of the Senses, a film based on a true story of obsession in 1930s Japan, was incredibly explicit for the time, with the two protagonists engaging in increasingly intense, graphic and bizarre sexual practices. In the final scenes, the male protagonist has his genitals severed by his lover, a prostitute-turned-hotel worker.

The film fell foul of censors in Germany, the UK and the US - where it was seized by customs officials ahead of a planned screening at the New York Film Festival. The film wasn't passed uncut in the UK until 2011. However, the sticking point wasn't the explicit sex, it was a scene with a young boy having his penis yanked in a non-sexual way.

Oshima's companion film, the more restrained Empire of Passion , won him the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978.



A Far Cry from Offensive...

ASA dismiss worthless whinge about Far Cry 3 poster

Link Here16th January 2013

A poster for the video game Far Cry 3 featured a man sitting in a tropical environment dressed in combat uniform, holding a gun in each hand. In the background, two people were shown hanging upside down from a tree. Text stated FARCRY3 ... PLAY AT THE EUROGAMER expo ... OUT 30.11.2012 .

A complainant challenged whether the poster was offensive, irresponsible and likely to cause fear or distress to those who saw it, including children.

Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA noted that the poster was intended to target audiences attending the Eurogamer Expo but considered that a poster displayed in the London Underground would be seen by the public generally and should therefore contain nothing that was likely to offend or distress them. We understood that CAP Copy Advice and CBS Outdoor had advised against the use of other images produced as part of the same campaign, which showed the main character pointing his gun towards a person buried up to their neck in front of him, but had considered that the version the complainant saw was likely to be acceptable for public display.

We noted that the poster prominently featured the title of the game, its release date and that it could be played at the Eurogamer event. We acknowledged that the men hanging from the tree appeared to be lifeless and that, whether alive or dead, their vulnerability when contrasted with the determined, menacing demeanour of the main character alluded to violence. We also noted that, although the main character had a gun in each hand, they were not being pointed towards another character, or towards the audience.

We considered that the image would be understood as reflecting the content of the game. Although we recognised that some adults would find violent video games offensive by nature, we considered that the image used in the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. Furthermore, we considered that the absence of graphic violence meant that the image was unlikely to cause fear or distress to adults or children.

Because we considered that the poster was unlikely to cause offence, fear or distress to those who saw it, we considered that its display in an untargeted medium was not irresponsible.

We investigated the poster under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and Offence), but did not find it in breach.



Update: Politically Correct Censorship Trending in France...

French minister still angling for censorship control over Twitter

Link Here16th January 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

After the anti-Semitic hashtag UnBonJuif (a good Jew) made its way into the trending topics of Twitter in France last October, the Association of Jewish Students in France (UEJF) began legal action against the site.

The UEJF also called for Twitter to implement a censorship system for users to report illegal content or hate speech. So far, this has been to no avail, as the US-headquartered Twitter is claiming to be bound only by US rather than local laws, which would permit such hashtags under the First Amendment.

Speaking on French TV show Medias, le magazine last week, France's minister for the digital economy Fleur Pellerin acknowledged that multinational companies like Twitter, being somehow deterritorialised , raise new challenges . Pellerin added she would like to talk directly with Twitter in order to work out a more co-operative approach to censorship. She said she would in particular like to see Twitter filtering its trending topics list.

In the meantime, the case is still with the Paris courts and the next court date will be 24 January, when a judge will rule on the case.



Why can't we read the Scientology book Going Clear in the UK?...

Because of Britain's anti freedom of speech libel rules

Link Here 16th January 2013
Full story: Scientology Censors...Scientogists quick to litigate against critics

Just the title of Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief tells you more than many books on the subject. Going Clear is a veritable book of revelations on L Ron Hubbard's sci-fi religion, exhaustively detailing its history, its methods and the depth of its weirdness.

Or so we're told. While Going Clear goes on sale in the US and the rest of Europe this week, you can't buy it in Britain. Not because it threatens national security, or features royal breasts, but because of our uniquely obliging libel laws.

Unlike in other countries, under English and Welsh law the burden of proof in defamation cases rests exclusively on the defendant, which means that if someone sues you, it's up to you to prove that it's true. If that someone is, say, a pharmaceutical company, or a church that believes in space people, then you're in for a long, expensive time in court, even if you win (legal costs here are up to 140 times higher than international norms). Hence Transworld's decision not to publish. The legal advice was that Going Clear's content was not robust enough for the UK market, they say.



Update: Emergency Censorship...

India's film censor doesn't want viewers to hear Salman Rushidie's comment that Indira Gandhi wanted to be treated as a goddess

Link Here16th January 2013

India's film censors at the Central Film Classification Board (CBFC) have ordered a Salman Rushdie comment about Indira Gandhi from the movie, Midnight's Children to be cut.

A source from the Midnight's Children team explained:

As in Salman Rushdie's novel there are scathing references to Mrs Gandhi's policies during the dreaded Emergency in the film.

The Censor Board was divided over the the content related to Mrs Gandhi. Finally, however, they left most of the references to the excesses during the Emergency intact as part of chronicled historical fact.

However Salman Rushdie's voice over has been asked to be changed. At one point in the 'Emergency' section of the film Saman Rushdie's voice over says, 'Indira Gandhi wanted to be treated as a goddess'.

The line has been asked to be deleted by the Censor Board. The censors told Deepa that the line expresses just a random opinion and has no basis in historical fact.



Update: Games Blamed for Driving Players Barmy...

Missouri lawmaker proposes tax on violent video games to fund mental health programs

Link Here16th January 2013

A Republican lawmaker from Missouri bucked has called for a sales tax on violent video games in response to the recent school shooting.

Representative Diane Franklin said a proposed 1% sales tax would help pay for mental health programs and law enforcement measures aimed at preventing mass shootings. The tax would be levied on video games rated teen, mature and adult-only by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

Franklin explained that: History shows there is a mental health component to these shootings. She added that she hopes her bill will start a discussion on the relationship between violent games and mental illness.

Update: Withdrawn

4th June 2013. See  article from

It turns out that the bill was quietly withdrawn by Franklin in March, without comment. At least that's what it says about the bill here . Perhaps some of her colleagues dissuaded her from moving forward, or perhaps she realized that it wasn't a very good idea to begin with. Either way, the citizens of the great state of Missouri can be happy in knowing that they won't be paying any extra taxes on their entertainment.



Nutter Baiting Zombie Bait...

Armless fun over a collector's edition of the video game Dead Island Riptide

Link Here16th January 2013

Following a nutter storm, game publisher Deep Silver has apologized for the humorously tasteless zombie torso statue that they planned to include in a Zombie Bait collector's edition for the video game Dead Island Riptide.

Deep Silver posted the apology on Twitter:

We deeply apologize for any offense caused by the Dead Island Riptide Zombie Bait Edition , the collector's edition announced for Europe and Australia. Like many gaming companies, Deep Silver has many offices in different countries, which is why sometimes different versions of Collector's Editions come into being for North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

For the limited run of the Zombie Bait Edition for Europe and Australia, a decision was made to include a gruesome statue of a zombie torso, which was cut up like many of our fans had done to the undead enemies in the original Dead Island.

We sincerely regret this choice. We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver's entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.



Update: A Good Day for Free Speech...

Insults set to be freed from prosecutions under the Public Order Act

Link Here15th January 2013
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

The crime of insulting someone through words or behaviour, which once led to the arrest of a student for asking a police officer whether his horse was gay, is to be dropped.

Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act currently means that threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour might be deemed a criminal offence.

It has been rightfully criticised by free-speech campaigners, and in December the House of Lords voted by 150 to 54, a majority of 96, to remove the word insulting. The move was championed in the upper chamber by former West Midlands chief constable Lord Dear.

Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed to MPs that the government would not seek to overturn a Lords amendment scrapping the ban contained in Britain's often abused catch-all laws of the Public Order Act. May told MPs:

I respect the review taken by their Lordships. They had concerns which I know are shared by some in this House that Section 5 encroaches upon freedom of expression.

On the other hand, the view expressed by many in the police is that Section 5 including the word insulting is a valuable tool in helping them keep the peace and maintain public order.

Now there's always a careful balance to be struck between protecting our proud tradition of free speech and taking action against those who cause widespread offence with their actions.

She said the government had previously supported the retention of the word insulting to prevent people swearing at police officers, protesters burning poppies, or similar scenarios . The DPP Kier Starmer's statement that he agrees: that the word 'insulting' could safely be removed without the risk of undermining the ability of the CPS to bring prosecutions. May said that in the light of Starmer's comments, ministers were not minded to challenge the Lords amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill.

Of course Labour are not the slightest impressed bit impressed by Britain allowing a little more freedom, and warned that it could remove protections for minority groups. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper pressed the government to produce an assessment of the impact of Section 5 of the Public Order Act on different groups, particularly on minority groups . S he shamefully spouted:

Many people have said that the existing Section 5 has formed some sort of protection. It is important to make sure we can protect freedom of speech ...BUT... it is also very important to make sure we can protect vulnerable groups from unfair discrimination.

Simon Calvert, campaign director for the Reform Section 5 group, said:

This is a victory for free speech.

People of all shades of opinion have suffered at the hands of Section 5. By accepting the Lords amendment to reform it, the government has managed to please the widest possible cross-section of society. They have done the right thing and we congratulate them.



Exporting Internet Repression...

Chinese chat app caught out censoring messages of international users

Link Here15th January 2013

A Chinese web giant Tencent has been caught red-handed applying Chinese style internet censorship to users outside of the country.

Tencent's WeChat is one of China's rare social media apps that has gained popularity overseas. The company boasts nearly 300 million users in 100 countries and regions.

Tech blogs Tech in Asia and The Next Web both reported receiving messages saying their chat entries contained restricted words .

The Next Web tried to write the words Falun Gong , a group banned in China, and Tech in Asia attempted to send Southern Weekend , the name of a newspaper in the south of the country that is at the moment the subject of a controversy surrounding censorship. The blogs said their entries were blocked.

Tencent ludicrously claimed that the censorship was just a glitch but the explanation was widely considered to be untruthful bollox.

Tom Rafferty of the Economist Intelligence Unit told the BBC:

The latest incident... is representative of the 'growing pains' that China's internet and social media companies are likely to experience as they expand globally.

The servers of such companies are typically based in China, which means the traffic they process will always potentially be vulnerable to monitoring.

It goes against the grain of domestic censorship regulations, which show no clear signs of being loosened.

Domestic users, many of whom already baulk at the level of censorship imposed on them, would react unfavourably if Tencent were to offer unfiltered content to overseas users.



ASA Over React...

Whingeing at IT trade exhibition flyer

Link Here15th January 2013

A Flyer for an IT consultancy, which was distributed at a trade exhibition, was headlined Visit REACT at IP Expo 2012 . The ad featured an image of a woman's bare legs from the thighs down. She was shown bending over with her hands on her knees. Her underwear had been pulled down to below her knees.

A complaint objected that the ad was offensive and demeaning to women.

REACT Innovative Solutions (REACT) stated that the reason for using the image of the legs was to stand out from the hundreds of other similar stands selling technology and to help attendees remember them. They said the event was attended by adults only and that the ad was in no way intended to demean women. They said they had shown the ad to women in their company prior to attending the Expo and that none of them had found it offensive.

Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the leaflet was handed out to attendees at an Internet Protocol Expo. We understood that such Expos were attended by both men ad woman who worked within the Internet technology business sector. We considered the image of the woman's legs with her pants around her knees was presented in such a way that suggested she was naked and that her pose could be interpreted as being sexually suggestive. Furthermore, the image was unrelated to the product being sold and no link was presented in the ad between the text and the image. We concluded that use of the image in the ad was gratuitous and degrading to women and was likely to cause serious offence to some attendees of the Expo.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Offsite Article: Don't Blame Violence on Tarantino Movies...

Link Here15th January 2013
Instead of going for the easy target of the movie business, the government should take practical steps to identify and assist people who are suffering from mental illness and who are at risk of committing unprovoked acts of violence.

See article from



Comment: Psyched Up and Let Down...

The new season of Psych lasts 2 minutes before the censors step in

Link Here14th January 2013

You wait months for the new season of Psych to reach the UK, on Sunday at 7pm, and then by 7:02pm, Universal Channel has already muted out some word spoken by an 11-year-old character.

This is far from Game Of Thrones - what could be said in Psych that needs a mute?



100 Years of Proud Scissorship...

Britain's BBFC celebrated its centenary with a season of films now uncut, but India's CBFC will celebrate with a festival of film cuts

Link Here14th January 2013

To celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is contemplating a festival in Mumbai to showcase censored movie scenes.

As Indian cinema completes 100 years in 2013, the CBFC wants to host a three-day festival showcasing all the cuts they've made to Indian films. The idea, proposed during a recent meeting, was welcomed with gusto. We hear that discussions are being held to make the festival a reality soon.

The festival will show how the process of certifying a film has undergone a metamorphosis in the past six decades. For instance, in the 40s, a kissing scene could get cleared without any hassle, but in the 50s, when guidelines changed, censoring became more repressive, and it has not got much better since.



Limp Censorship...

South Korean capital city sets up bus advert censorship

Link Here14th January 2013

Seoul's Metropolitan Government has decided to prohibit buses from carrying advertisements with what it decides is socially undesirable content, extravagant or obscene.

In addition to an existing ban on alcoholic products, it is especially targeting ads for plastic surgery or treatment for erectile dysfunction, ads with sexy  pictures or phrases, and those that are either politically or religiously sensitive.

Under new regulations, bus operators will have to pay 1.2% of their total advertising revenue for each day that they are found to be in violation of the censorship rules.



Offsite Article: A Ludicrous Claim of Illegal Tackle...

Link Here14th January 2013
Thankfully HM Customs have been pretty quiet on the seizures front, but the Daily Mail are taking them to task for the ludicrous seizure of a batch of discreetly nude rugby calendars

See article from



Offsite Article: Guns and Games...

Link Here14th January 2013
Full story: US Mass Shootings...Gun lobby vs violent media
A long article about Joe Biden's meetings with media and games industries, but not revealing much about what was said

See article from



Updated: Assassinated by Censors...

Germany bans Ninja Gaiden 3 video game

Link Here13th January 2013

While adult Australian gamers get to enjoy the latest Ninja Gaiden game thanks to the country's new R18+ rating, it seems that German gamers won't be so lucky.

The German language site Nintendo-Online seems to be saying that the German game censors of the USK have banned Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for the Wii U.

Update: Maybe not officially banned

13th January 2013. Thanks to Sadi

The German Nintendo site mentions that the USK possibly refused classification, but it is not very clear on that. The news is written inconclusively, leaving open the more likely possibility that the distributors didn't actually submit the game to the USK.

Note that the USK can't ban anything, only a judge can. So it seems more likely that Ninja Gaiden Wii U game was not banned in Germany, it is just not being distributed. Presumably the distributors think that the a ban would be inevitable anyway, and it wouldn't be worth the effort trying.



Raving Mad...

ASA easily offended by jokey newsletter with Jimmy Savile image

Link Here13th January 2013

An e-mail, for the DirtySmart clothing company, stated Trick or Treat - Dirty Smart Style in the subject line. The body of the e-mail was headed TRICK OR TREAT? . Text stated Hello young raver, It's Halloween and things are getting a little bit spooky ... Trick or Treat DIRTYSMART style! Below you will find 2 pictures ... One of the pictures will send you to a page displaying a vouchercode for 50% off all items! The other picture will double the price of everything! . Under the heading CHOOSE YOUR FATE (CLICK ONE) , arrows pointed to a cartoon image of a Halloween pumpkin and a cartoon image of Jimmy Savile.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible, because it made light of allegations of sexual abuse made against Jimmy Savile.

DirtySmart said the e-mail did not make light of allegations of sexual abuse made against Jimmy Savile, and there was no reference to ongoing investigations. They said they had not intended to cause offence, and were simply using a topical image. The opening line Hello young raver was the opening line used in all of their newsletters. They added that their database was opt-in and opt-out, so users were free to unsubscribe at any point. They acknowledged that some people may have found the cartoon image of Jimmy Savile distasteful, but they considered it would not cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that advertisers were entitled to refer to current news stories, but noted the need for particular care in how such stories were used, especially those involving allegations about the sexual abuse of children, to avoid accusations of exploitation in order to sell products or services. Whilst the e-mail did not directly refer to the allegations against Jimmy Savile, we considered it was clear that his image had been used because of the ongoing public awareness about those allegations. In that context, we considered the statement CHOOSE YOUR FATE with a choice between clicking on the image of a Halloween pumpkin or Jimmy Savile as a Trick or Treat was likely to be seen as insensitive by recipients and was likely to cause serious offence to some. We concluded the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Update: Un.Banned...

Sex.Violence.FamilyValues unbanned in Singapore

Link Here12th January 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in Singapore...Media Development Authority

Sex.Violence.FamilyValues. is a 2012 Singapore short comedy drama family by Ken Kwek.
With Adrian Pang, Vadi Pvss and Pamela Oei. YouTube icon IMDb

The film features 3 vignettes:

  • A kindergarten principal finds a series of morbid cartoons drawn by a child.
  • Porn Masala. A porn actor struggles to rise to the occasion while filming a romantic cumedy .
  • A middle-aged nightclub bouncer faces off with a rebellious teenage stripper.

It was banned last year by Singapore film censors because of its racial humour and political incorrectness.

It has now just been given a rating of R21 after cuts following an appeal by the film's makers. This means it can be screened in cinemas to audience members aged 21 or older.

A statement by the Media Development Authority (MDA) says that the film may be screened under an Restricted 21 (R21) rating with edits , without describing what the cuts were.

The statement also mentioned that the Films Appeal Committee (FAC) took account of the public complaints arising from an online trailer containing the more controversial segments of the film, especially in regard to racial references in Porn Masala .



Update: Turkey Proves Itself to be Fascist...

By investigating freedom of speech campaigners who spoke of 'fascist developments in Turkey'

Link Here12th January 2013
Full story: Music Censorship in Turkey...Musician under duress from Turkish authorities

Freedom of speech campaigners, PEN Turkey, came to the support of famed pianist Fazil Say who was prosecuted in Turkey for trivial insults about religion.

Their denouncement of Turkish repression got the campaigners themselves into trouble for supposedly insulting the Turkish state.

PEN Turkey write on their website:

As a result of an announcement constituting support for Fazil Say that we gave as the PEN Board on 3 June [2012], we were called to the prosecutor's office to submit an official statement under Article 301. On 10 January 2013, we submitted an official statement. In the announcement that is the subject of the complaint, we said the following:

As the Turkey Centre of the international writers association PEN, we strongly condemn and meet with consternation the [news] that our esteemed composer and pianist Fazil Say has been called up to court. The international community has been put on alert in the face of fascist developments in Turkey.

In the official statement we submitted as the board, we outlined that the above words were an expression of thought and a criticism, that they were not intended as being aimed as an insult. We emphasised that the right to criticise, a constitutional and legal right, was being exercised. As a result, it was requested that a decision not to prosecute would be given.

PEN Board



Updated: A Few Steps Forward, Then a Step Back...

Burma bans a slightly sexy fashion magazine

Link Here12th January 2013
Full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

Burma's new reformist government has backtracked on the freeing up the press and banned a magazine covering fashion.

The Information Ministry claimed on its website that the monthly magazine Nhyot deviated from its charter as a fashion magazine by publishing sexually arousing photos and articles.

The December issue of the magazine carried several pictures of scantily clad Burmese women in provocative poses and articles that the editor said constituted sex education. The content appears tame by the standards of similar publications in the West or in neighboring Thailand, but Burma's authorities have a string legacy of censorial attitudes.

Nhyot editor Ko Oo Swe told The Associated Press that whether the photos were sexually arousing depended on the eyes of the beholder. He said other magazines have also published material that differs from their charter but have not been shut down.

Update: Another 6 publications put on the naughty step

12th January 2013. See  article from

Perhaps hiding behind the news that a fashion magazine has been banned for being too sexy lurks news of continuing Burmese press censorship.

A further six publications: Media One, The Farmer, Ad World, Myanandar, High Speed Car, New Blood and Aesthetics, were told they would be monitored for one month after publishing supposedly irrelevant content.

An interim press council, led by retired Supreme Court Judge Khin Maung Aye, was formed the following month with a mandate to promote media freedom. Press council member, Zaw Thet Htway, told DVB he is hopeful that Burma's repressive media laws will gradually be abolished:

The draft [media law] will be presented to the media later this month -- after their feedback and legal experts' opinion, a final, strong law will be presented to the parliament. We are optimistic that once the parliament approves the new law, all other oppressive media laws will gradually fade away.



Period Drama...

BBC reply to viewers whingeing about violence in Ripper Street

Link Here12th January 2013

Ripper Street,


We've received complaints from some viewers who feel the content of Ripper Street is too violent and unsuitable for its timeslot.

The BBC's response

BBC One showcases a broad range of drama and tackles a wide variety of subjects, from Last Tango in Halifax to Call the Midwife and The Syndicate.

Ripper Street is a strong and gritty series set in the east end of London at the end of the 19th Century and we have tried to be true to the period. We scheduled it after the 9pm watershed and made sure the content was widely publicised as well as giving a warning before each episode as necessary so the audience would know what to expect.



Channel 4 Recommends...

Django Unchained. Channel 4 generates good publicity after interviewer amusingly fails to draw Tarantino into speaking about the media violence blame game.

Link Here12th January 2013

Quentin Tarantino clashed with Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy during a an interview ahead of the London premiere of his new film, Django Unchained . The Oscar-winning film-maker repeatedly refused to offer an opinion on the link between screen violence and true-life violence and at one point told Guru-Murthy: I'm shutting your butt down.

Django Unchained charts the fortunes of a black slave turned bounty hunter in the American deep south. The film's supporting characters find themselves variously shot in the face, bludgeoned with a hammer, and torn apart by dogs.

Interviewed by Channel 4 News on Thursday night, Tarantino admitted that he relished making violent films but insisted: It's a movie, it's a fantasy. It's not real life. When asked how he could be sure that there was no link between enjoying screen violence and enjoying real violence, however, the director refused to respond:

I'm not answering your question. I'm not your slave and you're not my master ... It's none of your damn business what I think about that.



Protecting the Innocent...

Far Cry 3 censored for its Japanese release

Link Here12th January 2013

Far Cry 3 is suffering censor cuts for its Japanese release.

According to Ubisoft (via website 4Gamer) the cuts for the Japanese language version are:

  • Wounded corpses have been censored
  • A sex scene has been edited
  • Depictions of open wounds have been edited
  • Killing 3 civilians in succession now results in a game over penalty, compared with about 5 in western versions



Is Video Game Violence a 'Big' or a 'Small' Problem?...

US nutters survey parents then add the 2 figures together to find that nearly all agree it is 'a' problem

Link Here12th January 2013

Common Sense Media and the Center for American Progress commissioned SurveyUSA to conduct a nationwide survey of parents who have a child under age 18 living at home.

1,050 parents were interviewed 01/04/13 and 01/05/13.


  • 89% of parents nationwide say violence in today's video games is a problem. (albeit 44% from this total said it was only a minor problem).
  • 75% of parents say shielding children from violence is difficult.

All parents were shown video of an advertisement for the video game Hitman: Absolution . 84% say the advertisement is inappropriate to show on TV at a time when children are watching.

Parents were also shown a video of an advertisement for the movie Gangster Squad . 63% of parents say the advertisement is inappropriate to show on TV at a time when children are watching.



Updated: Vindictive or What?...

Leicestershire County Council Inquisition set to suspend councillor for watching a DVD on a council laptop in his own time whilst at home

Link Here12th January 2013

A Leicestershire county councillor faces a two-month suspension after a pornographic DVD was found in his work laptop. Councillor David Sprason stepped down as deputy council leader in November over the DVD, which was found in 2007.

A report compiled after an internal investigation claimed Sprason had showed a serious lack of judgement .

Councillor Nick Rushton, Conservative inquisition leader, said he would recommend his group endorses the suspension. A final decision on the matter will be made by the Tory group next week. The suspension would be reduced to a month if the councillor issues a written public apology, Rushton said.

The DVD was found in Sprason's work laptop in 2007, but no action was taken at the time. The DVD was viewed in private in Sprason's home outside of working hours.

Leicestershire Police have confirmed that no crime was committed.

Update: Foolish council made to look foolish

12th January 2013. See  article from

A former county council deputy leader who stepped down over a pornographic DVD found in his work laptop will face no further suspension from his party.

However is a totally over the and nasty reaction, the Leicestershire County Conservative Group have demanded that David Sprason publically apologise for watching an adult DVD in his own time in the privacy of his own home. The council have also banned him from being reappointed as deputy leader.

His party, showing a serious lack of judgement, claimed that Sprason had shown a serious lack of judgement .

Simon Galton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, the main opposition at County Hall, said: I think his actions encouraged the story and that has made the council look foolish.



Offsite Comment: The Independent Recommends...

Link Here12th January 2013
Geoffrey Macnab has a rant at comedic but sadistic violence in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained

See article from



Offsite Article: Giving Terrorists a Proper Ass Kicking...

Link Here12th January 2013
A Good Day to Die Hard is R Rated, as opposed to the PG-13 rating of the previous half arsed entry in the series

See article from



Quoting from the Bible of Extreme Political Correctness...

ASA whinges at covers of commonplace erotic books appearing in a shopping catalogue

Link Here 11th January 2013

A catalogue selling various products, including home furnishings, kitchenware and jewellery featured a number of ads for erotic books, including Brief Encounters: A Woman's Guide to Casual Sex, Shoot Your Own Adult Home Movies and Disciples of the Whip . The cover of each book was shown, some of which featured sexual imagery. Issue

A complainant challenged whether the ads were offensive and inappropriate in a catalogue that could be seen by children.

Premier Offers Direct said they marketed their catalogues to those who had opted in to receive further offers from them. The complainant received the catalogue because she previously purchased a product from the advertiser in 2009 and that, at the time, had opted in for additional offers from the advertiser and third parties. They also said that the catalogue to which the complainant responded also contained similar adult-related products and that, had she objected at the time, they would have suppressed her from future mailings. They did not believe that the pictures or content of the ads were offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The text that described each of the books was of a sexual nature and some of the covers featured sexual imagery. The ASA considered that such content was likely to cause offence when displayed in a medium that could be seen by children. We understood that the complainant had opted in to receive the catalogue. However, we were concerned that, by opting in, recipients were not made aware that they might receive sexually suggestive material as a result. Because the ad was addressed to general recipients and could therefore be seen by children we considered that it was irresponsibly targeted and concluded that it breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence). Action

The ad must not appear again. We told Premier Offers Direct not to include sexually provocative material in their catalogues in future, unless they were specifically targeted at recipients who had opted in to receive it.



Update: Still Lives Remaining...

Senator Jay Rockefeller to resubmit bill calling for research into video game violence

Link Here11th January 2013
Full story: US Mass Shootings...Gun lobby vs violent media

A bill introduced in Congress last year calling for a study into the effects of violent video games and other content on children, died when the 112th session ended on January 2.

But the bill's author, senator Jay Rockefeller, plans to reintroduce that bill during this session, likely by the end of the month, a staffer at the senator's office tells Polygon.

The will call for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to jointly undertake the study with the help of the National Academy of Sciences and will investigate:

  • Whether there is a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children.
  • Whether there is a connection between exposure to violent video programming and harmful effects on children.

The results of the study would be due to Congress, the FTC and the FCC within 18 months.

If passed, this would mark the eighth such study conducted by the FTC since the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. None of those found any link between violent video games and violence in children.



Update: For Emphasis on Blood Effects...

Australian games censors pass their first 18 rated video game

Link Here11th January 2013

Australia's Classification Board has announced the first video game to receive the new R18+ classification which came into effect at the start of 2013. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge , developed by Team Ninja, is published by Nintendo for the company's new Wii U console.

Lesley O'Brien, director of the Classification Board, said:

Under the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games, R 18+ computer games will have a high impact and it is for this reason that these games are not suitable for under 18s.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge contains violence that is high in impact because of its frequency, high definition graphics, and emphasis on blood effects.

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association welcomed the Classification Board's announcement. CEO, Ron Curry said:

The classification guidelines for video games are now more closely aligned with the guidelines for film and TV which makes it easier for parents to make informed decisions about the interactive content they choose to buy and play.

In the US the game is classified as Mature (a 17 rating) and in Europe it is rated as PEGI 18.



Offsite Article: From the BBFC Archives...

Link Here11th January 2013
Revealed: Censors gave 1979 classic Alien adults-only rating as teenagers would be confused about sex and reproduction due to pulsating egg scene

See article from



Historical Ratings...

Roman Polanski's Tess uprated from PG to 12

Link Here10th January 2013

Tess is a 1979 France/UK drama romance by Roman Polanski.
With Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth and Leigh Lawson. IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for a discreet scene of sexual violence for:
  • UK 2013 BFI RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 18th March 2013

Tess was originally classified A (PG) for cinema release in 1980 and was subsequently classified PG for video release in 1987, before the 12 certificate was introduced. This cinema and DVD/Blu-ray re-release is rated 12 for a discreet scene of sexual violence.

In a key scene Tess is raped by her cousin Alec, with whom she goes on to have a reluctant but consensual relationship. Tess tries to fight Alec off as he kisses her, starts to unbutton her dress and then lies on top of her. However, the scene cuts away and no further detail is shown. The scene exceeds the terms of the PG Guidelines today and is more appropriately rated 12 where the Guidelines state sexual violence may be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated. The scene has a strong contextual justification in terms of the film's narrative.



Update: High Noon...

MPAA president forewarns White House that Hollywood will oppose any proposals to censor films in the name of gun control

Link Here10th January 2013
Full story: US Mass Shootings...Gun lobby vs violent media

On the eve of the entertainment industry's White House meeting to discuss gun violence in films and video games, Motion Picture Association of America president Chris Dodd told The Hollywood Reporter that his industry will consider voluntary guidelines but will vehemently oppose any government restrictions on content.

Dodd and spokesmen from various sectors of the entertainment industry will meet with Vice President Joe Biden, who has been charged by President Barack Obama with recommending legislation to curb gun violence.

Dodd said:

We want to explore what we can do to provide parents and others with the information for them to make choices on what they want to see and what they want their children to see. That's a legitimate space for us to be in. It's all voluntary. What we don't want to get involved with is content regulation. We're vehemently opposed to that. We have a free and open society that celebrates the First Amendment.



Updated: Our Souls...

Connecticut town asks that people trash their violent computer games

Link Here10th January 2013

A Nutter group from Southington in Connecticut is holding a violent video game return program in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last month.

SouthingtonSOS said it will host the event on Jan. 12. The town of Southington will have a trash bin there for the collection of the games, and anyone returning games will be offered a gift certificate donated by a member of the Southington Chamber of Commerce as a token of appreciation.

The Board of Education said it sent out information electronically about the event last week to Southington residents.

Nutters of SouthingtonSOS said the group's action is not intended to be construed as a statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of school shooting ...BUT... said:

There is ample evidence that violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds, including TV and movies portraying story after story showing a continuous stream of violence and killing, has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying.

Update: Games burning event called off

10th January 2013. See  article from

In the days following the announcement of the program some experts were critical of the idea; the parenting editor at Common Sense Media likened the collection and destruction of video games to censorship, and Texas A&M International University researcher Christopher J. Ferguson wrote the group warning them that their efforts might cause more harm than good. Many editorial writers and advocates saw the buyback program as the equivalent of an old time book burning.

With all that pressure, the group decided that they would not host the Buyback program after all this week, but a spokesperson for the community organization called their efforts successful because it raised awareness about violent media, reports Polygon.



Blessed by the Advert Censor...

New Zealand's ASA dismisses whinge re the pope blessing a gay couple getting married

Link Here10th January 2013

New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed whinges against an advert depicting the Pope blessing a gay marriage.

Billboards displayed in Auckland and Wellington last month with the slogan Same Power, Different Attitude prompted four complaints.

The advert was created by electricity company Powershop as part of a series that communicated a message about individual choice and control.

ASA Chair Jenny Robson said the advert did not cause widespread offense, neither did it breach the due sense of responsibility to consumers and society , APNZ reports.



Update: That Network Moment...

One of China's army of self censorers reveals all

Link Here10th January 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

In the past few days, China's most influential microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, has been deleting posts related to a controversial editorial, known as the Southern Weekly's New Year Greeting incident . All the related keywords, and even terms like the South (??), the first part of the newspaper's name, are unsearchable. Outraged micro-bloggers keep yelling and cursing at Sina Weibo's managers.

However, a Sina Weibo's manager, @geniune_Yu_Yang, frustrated by the pressure the Propaganda Department imposed upon him and his colleagues, came out and wrote an inside story to explain Sina's difficult position. Below is a quick translation of what he wrote:

Last night in [Sina] Weibo, apart from the Propaganda Department, my work unit was the second most popular target of netizens' verbal attack. The screen was full of the terrifying note: The micro-blog has been deleted. The platform looked like a sinking ship with thousands of holes on it. My boss, Lao Shen's [Sina] Weibo's page is full of cursing. In particular, after the Southern Weekly incident had been reported by Netease [a popular web portal] extensively yesterday, attacks on Sina's cowardice and its role as the running dog [of the Propaganda Department] reached a climax. I was so frustrated and finally fought with a famous online script-writer. After I cooled down, I reflected upon the whole thing, feeling the urge to write a long micro-blog to explain the situation in detail.

Very often, you can't see the truth when you just see the phenomena and when you are overwhelmed with anger.

1. If we don't delete your post, the alternative is that your account will be banned. This platform belongs to the public. It has changed our life and can exercise influence on the society and government through the spread of opinion. On the one hand, we have millions of netizens, on the other hand, we have, not Sina [Weibo, but the government and the authorities]. Since the day [around the end of March 2012] when Sina Weibo suspended its comments function for three days, a special group of people have the authority to decide on the criteria for giving out alert signals, and can make [Sina] Weibo go game-over as simply as treading on some ants without giving a damn about people's needs. When they issue urgent orders (like the Emperor's 18 golden orders in ancient time), you have to execute them.

We need [Sina] Weibo to deliver voices. But a hand is manipulating behind us. Someone is doomed to be sacrifice in this game. We live in a country full of special and sensitive barriers and we have to operate within a set of rules.

2. With such background, we have the second thesis: The strategy on deletion and distribution. Please think about this: You guys keep posting messages like machines, and the micro-blog secretaries keep deleting them. If we don't delete messages one by one and suspend accounts, we could have saved more time and energy. We could have served better as the running dog. You can see the messages before they are deleted, right? You still have your account functioning, right? You are all experienced netizens, you know that the technology allows us to delete messages in a second. Please think carefully on this.

3. In some cases, other platforms have more space than Sina. Sina is the biggest tree and everyone is using the platform. Classmate Xuan [, nickname for the Propaganda Department,] will watch every single act. Once the leaves of the tree move, the bell rings. The way we receive orders is similar to the way the Catholic Father in the movie Cinema Paradiso rings his hand bell whenever there is a kissing scene. We have to take orders whenever we hear the ringing bell.

Before this incident occurred, and at its very early stages, we were under a lot of pressure. We tried to resist and let the messages spread. This is our accomplishment already. Our official account @Sina_Media reported on the suspension of the Southern Weekly instantly, and the news was retweeted by @headline_news, which was again retweeted again 30,000 times in 10 mins. Then we got the order from Classmate Xuan and we had to delete it. Fortunately, the message had been distributed. A friend from Penguin website left a warm message in my microblog: This is a battle. Sina [Weibo] is a human flesh shield. It is a courageous act.

4. Expectedly, my bosses have to go through tea session [euphemism for police interview] again. I have to stop here.



Update: Governments With No Benefits...

Indian shuts down TV channel for 2 weeks for airing a trailer to a 15 rated romantic comedy

Link Here10th January 2013
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

India's government has directed all cable and television platforms not to carry SS TV channel for a fortnight from the midnight of 15 January to the midnight of 30 January for telecasting the trailer for the supposedly  'adult' film Friends with benefits on 30 September 2011. The film is a comedy romance that is 15 rated in the UK.

Television transmission platforms have also been prohibited from carrying Zing and Enterr 10 television channels for one day from midnight of 12 January for telecasting 'adult' films in violation of the programme code.

While Zing TV had telecast the adult film Hawas in January, the Enterr 10 channel telecast three Hindi feature films -- Musafir on 29 September 2011, Plan on 19 October 2011 and Aashiq Banaya Apnne on 31 January 2012.

In the case of Hawas , the directive noted that the film showed visuals of passionate love making and kissing scenes between a couple, who were shown to be clinging to each other and writhing in bed in an explicit portrayal of sexual desires overpowering them. Such a portrayal is distinctly meant for adult audience, for which CBFC had appropriately given A certification to the said film.



Offsite Article: It might seem like a laugh but the Daily Mail's latest attack on comedy is dangerous...

Link Here10th January 2013
The day we start allowing populist, socially conservative wings of our national press to dictate what can and can't be said is a very dark one indeed

See article from



Offsite Comment: The enemies of press freedom should stop handing out prizes in the name of George Orwell...

Link Here10th January 2013
The Orwell Prize is administered by the Media Standards Trust, the same body that launched the Hacked Off Campaign. The present aims of Hacked Off is to see all of Leveson's recommendations implemented in full.

See article from



Offsite Article: BAFTA Nominations...

Link Here10th January 2013
Movie awards from a British perspective

See article from



No Cigar for Trailbike Magazine...

ASA finds Jimmy Savile advert in poor taste

Link Here9th January 2013

An e-mail, received in October 2012, stated Now then, now then in the subject line. The body of the e-mail stated TBM How's about that then in large print above a black and white image of Jimmy Savile, wearing underwear and smoking a cigar, with a superimposed copy of a TBM magazine in his hand. Text beneath the image stated Christmas is coming and what better way of relaxing than to pull up a comfy velour settee, light up a Cuban cigar and finger through a copy of your favourite magazine - delivered direct to your door. TBM ... the publication that doesn't take itself too seriously. 'As it 'appens!' .

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible, in view of recent media coverage surrounding allegations of sexual abuse made against Jimmy Savile.

Extreme Publishing Ltd, trading as TBM Magazine (TBM), stressed that they had not intended to offend or upset anyone by sending the e-mail. They explained that the e-mail had been sent to almost 4,000 people who, as current or past subscribers to, or advertisers for, their magazine, had signed up to receive their eNewsletter. They noted that the ASA had received two complaints about the e-mail and said that represented a very small proportion of those who had received it.

TBM stated that the image of Jimmy Savile, which they said showed him wearing running shorts and not underwear, was not distasteful in and of itself, because pictures of him were prevalent in the media at the time. They pointed out that riders of trailbikes had to be at least 17 years old, and said in fact most of their magazine readers were much older and tended to be quite broad-minded.

TBM considered that neither the image nor the wording of the e-mail were distasteful, and reiterated that the text was obviously intended to be of a light-hearted nature. They said that was clear from the sentence TBM ... the publication that doesn't take itself too seriously . They suggested that it would not be possible to avoid upsetting everybody at all times, and, although they stressed that they were sorry for any offence which had been caused, said they did not consider the ad was in breach of the Code.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA understood that the e-mail was an eNewsletter designed to promote Trailbike & Enduro Magazine and had been sent to a mailing list of current and past subscribers as well as companies which advertised in the magazine. We acknowledged that TBM believed their demographic for the hard-copy magazine was a broad-minded adult audience. We also acknowledged TBM's statement that they had intended the e-mail to be humorous, and that they considered the joke to have been made at their own expense.

Although advertisers were entitled to refer to current news stories in their ads, we considered that particular care was needed in such cases, and especially when the stories involved allegations about the sexual abuse of children. We understood that the e-mail had been sent several days after the Metropolitan Police had launched a formal criminal investigation into alleged sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile, stating at that time that over 200 potential victims had been identified. We considered that the overall tone of the ad was light-hearted, and that that approach was likely to be seen as insensitive by its recipients when used in conjunction with references to Jimmy Savile, given the media climate at that time. We also considered that, particularly in view of the e-mail's subject line, the accompanying text and the large image of Jimmy Savile, who was seen reclining in an armchair wearing few clothes, it was likely to cause serious offence to some. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Ofcom Get Their Talons Into Wolverine...

12 rated and cut by channel 4, but not enough for an evening broadcast

Link Here8th January 2013

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Channel 4, 26 August 2012, 18:55

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the fourth feature film in the X-Men comic book fantasy series. The film focuses on the background of Wolverine, a vigilante who produces metal talons from his knuckles and can recover from any wound.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to violent scenes in the broadcast of this film before the 21:00 watershed on Channel 4. After viewing the material, Ofcom noted various examples of violence:

  1. Wolverine as a young boy discovers bony talons emerging from his knuckles and then stabs and kills a man who is revealed subsequently to be his father;
  2. a fantasy gun battle in which a swordsman kills two men by leaping and stabbing them in the chest (not shown in vision);
  3. an intense sequence of surgery in which Wolverine's head and body are drilled with holes and liquid metal is injected into him;
  4. Wolverine has two violent fights his brother; various stab wounds are shown;
  5. Wolverine fights a mutant (who has had his mouth sewn shut and has a long sword coming out of each hand); various stab wounds are featured before the mutant is decapitated off screen; and
  6. Wolverine is shot in the head at close range, although this does not kill him.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code:

Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

We therefore wrote to Channel 4 (or the Licensee ) for its formal comments on how the broadcast complied with this rule

Channel 4 said X-Men Origins: Wolverine had been carefully edited by a senior editor at the Licensee to reduce the level of violence in the film to make it suitable for the transmission time. Channel 4 listed 27 edits made to the film to reduce or remove the film's impact overall, including edits for language and violence. The Licensee said the film was scheduled with care to avoid programmes specifically made for children and was preceded in the schedule by and Channel 4 News.

Channel 4 responded to each of the specific examples of violence identified by Ofcom in the Introduction to this finding:

  1. Channel 4 said that the stabbing itself is largely implicit and there is little or no blood and that it had: edited out close- up shots of the claws emerging from Wolverine's knuckles; and dipped the sound to minimise the impact of the stabbing to death of a man who is subsequently revealed to be Wolverine's father.
  2. Channel 4 pointed out that this scene is clearly a fantasy battle and the stabbing is not seen in vision and therefore only implied.
  3. The Licensee disputed Ofcom's description of this scene, maintaining that the scene was highly stylised and drill bits are not seen being drilled into Wolverine's body . It said that Wolverine had volunteered to undergo the operation to become a superhero and knew in advance it would involve pain: There is no duress and no deliberate infliction of pain for pain's sake.
  4. Channel 4 said it was important to bear in mind that the fights were clearly stylised, fantasy fights with little blood or graphic wounding and in which the wounds immediately healed up while the participants fly and leap across rooms and through buildings . Although edits were made to these scenes to reduce their impact, the Licensee was of the view that they would not have been perceived as real scenes of violence .
  5. Channel 4 said it is not clear whether or not the mutant's mouth was sewn shut as indicated by Ofcom: the Licensee said it was just clear that he [the mutant] has no mouth . It also pointed out that the decapitation of the mutant is not shown on screen and this only becomes apparent as his body falls from the building.
  6. Channel 4 again highlighted the elements of fantasy violence in this sequence and viewer awareness that the main character would not be killed by bullets. The Licensee said there is little or no blood or gore or, indeed, much suffering and that it had edited the sequence to reduce the level of violence, including the removal of a close-up shot of a point blank shot into Wolverine's head

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

The film contained dark fantasy and violent themes throughout and a number of scenes of violence, aggression and menace. By way of example, in one scene (example 3 above), to enable Wolverine to kill his brother (who had apparently killed his girlfriend), Wolverine voluntarily submitted to a surgical procedure to change his body skeleton and talons from bone to metal. To achieve this, the character was placed in an aquatic container and two rows of hot needles were drilled into Wolverine's body and head. The character clearly experienced excruciating pain, and a number of close-up shots were shown of the needles being drilled into Wolverine's cheeks and forehead.

In another scene (example 5), the climatic fight sequence showed Wolverine fight with another mutant (the name the film series gives to those who have special abilities), a former soldier colleague of Wolverine who had been the subject of various experiments. The result of these experiments (not seen in the film) was that this mutant had a gruesome appearance: he was heavily scarred around the eyes and mouth and appeared to Ofcom to have had his mouth sewn shut so he could not speak. The mutant also had long swords extending from the knuckles of both hands. The fight involved various martial arts elements of jumping, punching and kicking but also, given the two characters had blades built in to their bodies, both characters stabbing each other a number of times (although both automatically healed themselves). The sequence concluded when Wolverine leapt towards the new mutant and slashed him aggressively across the neck. In the subsequent shot, it was clear that the mutant had been decapitated because his head was shown coming away from his body

We took account of the intensity of the surgery sequence, and the repeated sequences of violence and stabbing (despite a number of the characters healing automatically from wounds) spread throughout the film. This material conveyed a continuing theme of dark fantasy violence which, in Ofcom's view, made the content unsuitable for children to view, particularly younger children.

Ofcom did not consider that viewers, and in particular parents, would have expected this level of intensity and violence to be shown on Channel 4 from 18:55 on a Sunday evening.

Ofcom therefore concluded that children were not in this case protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling, and there was a breach of Rule 1.3.



Updated: Historically Sensitive...

Calls to remove artwork documenting prisoners' messages during the 1981 republican hunger strikes

Link Here8th January 2013

A Fine Gael town councillor is attempting to have an art installation removed from an Athlone gallery because he says it is offensive to many people .

Mark Cooney, a member of Athlone Town Council, has tabled a motion to remove Fragments Sur Les Institutions Republicaines IV by artist Shane Cullen from the Luan Gallery.

The piece consists of 96 tablets containing a painted recreation of communications smuggled in and out of the H-Block prisons during the 1981 republican hunger strikes.

Sinn Fein councillor Paul Hogan called the motion a narrow-minded attack on Irish art and an attempt to censor history .

Update: Ban toned down to a request for consideration

See  article from

Athlone Town Council has decided to ask the board of the new municipal art gallery to consider concerns and objections to a current exhibition.

Fine Gael Councillor Mark Cooney had proposed a motion to formally request the Luan Gallery to take down the work of artist Shane Cullen. However, a counter-proposal was passed after several councillors expressed their concern over the censorship implications of such a move. Tt was agreed instead that the board of the gallery be asked to consider concerns and objections.



Searching for a Cut...

French ISP told to stop blocking Google adverts

Link Here8th January 2013

A large ISP in France which reconfigured the broadband routers of its subscribers to automatically block Google's Adwords/Adsense adverts has had to abandon its plans after getting into trouble with the French Government.

The ISP Free's motivation for the blocking appears to have been an attempt to protest against the principle of net neutrality, whereby ISPs have little say in how traffic is routed through its networks. The company feels that it is being constrained in its ability to generate revenue whilst companies such Google rake in profits from consumers. Controversially, their answer is to seek to control, or block, such services until such time as they can get a cut. Free has already reportedly complained about the dominance of Google's Adwords system.

However the move angered advertising and media groups whose business model depends on ad distribution, prompting them to enlist the help of the French Government to get the blocking reversed.

In a news conference reported by the New York Times, the Government made plain that such blocking was unacceptable and ordered Free to restore access to ad content. Digital economy minister, Fleur Pellerin said in a staement:

An Internet service provider cannot unilaterally implement such blocking. This kind of blocking is inconsistent with a free and open Internet, to which I am very attached.

Free said it would end the blocking of ads immediately.



Update: Real World Censorship...

Apple bans Endgame: Syria as it doesn't like games set in the real world

Link Here8th January 2013
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

A game that explores the Syrian civil war, Endgame: Syria , has been rejected by Apple due to App Store guidelines forbidding games that solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity .

Apple say that Endgame:Syria, which explores a real news event and aims to show users the range of factions and peoples involved in the situation, fell into this category and so was rejected.

The game's designer, Tomas Rawlings responded:

This decision is a shame really as it makes it hard to talk about the real world. Our aim is to use games as a format to bring news to a new audience and submission processes such as this do make it a lot harder for us.

We'll be making changes to the game and re-submitting it but it does mean we'll have to strip some of the meaning and context from it to pass Apple's submission process and that is not ideal.



Offsite Article: Dewebbing the World Wide Web...

Link Here8th January 2013
Irish newspapers seek to charge websites for linking to their articles

See article from



Offsite Article: Recommend...

Link Here8th January 2013
All My Babies' Mama's, an upcoming US reality show featuring a rapper with 11 children by 10 different mothers

See article from



Archive Censorship...

Newspapers and Broadcasters speak out against court powers to ban website content that may be prejudicial to trials

Link Here7th January 2013

A coalition of national newspapers and broadcasters are to warn against possible changes to contempt laws that could see courts given new powers to order the removal of archive stories from their websites.

A Law Commission consultation paper on reforming contempt of court legislation has raised fears in the media industry that the proposals could fundamentally alter criminal reporting in the digital age.

The Media Lawyers Association (MLA), which represents newspapers and broadcasters, is expected to submit a response expressing concerns about a number of the proposals set out in the Law Commission's consultation paper.

Crown court judges could be given the power to order newspapers and broadcasters to temporarily remove potentially prejudicial material even if it was first published years ago, according to proposals put out for consultation by the Law Commission.

Santha Rasaiah, a director at the Newspaper Society said:

It would be unnecessary, disproportionate and onerous to introduce courts orders which would effectively require that the local media routinely identify and remove material from their archives.

David Burgess, deputy general counsel for the Independent, i and London Evening Standard, said the emphasis should be on judicial directions to the jury not to research material outside court:

The focus should not be on court orders controlling archives. When seeking to secure a fair trial, firm and clear judicial directions to the jury not to undertake independent internet searches is the sensible approach.

Only in very unusual cases should such instructions be supported or supplemented by court orders. In addition, when asserting that an archive publication creates a substantial risk that the course of justice will be seriously impeded or prejudiced the applicant should be forced to demonstrate why judicial directions to the jury would not be effective in each individual case.



MP Mark Pritchard Recommends...

Way To Go, a new BBC black comedy about startup assisted suicide business

Link Here7th January 2013

Way To Go is a new BBC sitcom series starring Blake Harrison, of the Inbetweeners . It tells the story of three young men who build a suicide machine and offer the service to those who wish to end their lives.

A prominent Tory MP has expressed his disgust at the programme's premise, slamming it for turning suicide into a joke.

Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, told the Sunday Express: It is a sad fact that assisted dying is now regarded as a 'revenue stream to some foreign clinics and clearly as a matter of fun by some parts of the BBC.'

Defending the forthcoming comedy, BBC3 controller Zai Bennett told the Sunday Express:

Bob Kushell's scripts are in turn dark, poignant, absurd, moving and brilliant.

I'm thrilled that Way To Go is coming to BBC3.'



In the Absence of Gun Licensing We'll Censor Video Games...

Philippines MP looks to impose video game censorship in a bid to end gun crime

Link Here 7th January 2013

A Philippines MP has urged local executives to immediately enforce classifications for video games that are sold in stores or played in gaming arcades as she claims many of them promote violence or sexual promiscuity.

Bernadette Herrera-Dy said that currently there is no specific government agency that classifies video games. She said the age and content ratings being set by the US Entertainment Software Rating Board on video games are not legally binding in the Philippines.

Herrera-Dy issued the call in the wake of gun-related violence in the country with the Caloocan City and Cavite shootings resulting in the death of nine persons, including two children. She warned that violent video games are readily available to minors in their homes and in gaming arcades, and are easily accessed from various websites.

Herrera-Dy said that under her proposal, local governments must impose a classification system for access to video game CDs sold in stores or those played in mall fun centres and Internet shops. She said the classification ratings used by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board could be re-used for video and Internet games.

She vowed to file several anti-gun control and violence prevention measures such as the video game classification standards, believing that strong public support may give these proposals a good chance of being passed into law before the closing of the 15th Congress in June. she spouted further:

In the absence of national laws that would ensure stringent gun licensing regulations and violence prevention measures, local government units may step in because they are capable of taking quick and determined steps to protect their constituents from a culture of violence that has slowly crept into our communities.

Herrera-Dy admitted that there is no direct connection between video games and the incidence of firearm violence :

..BUT.. this should not deter local and national legislative bodies to pass laws against video game violence, most of which are even more brutal and ruthless than those committed in real life.



Offsite Article: Lennox Bollox...

Link Here7th January 2013
Annie Lennox spouts: 'We live in a culture where the global industry of violence and pornography is glorified and perpetuated in films, video games and websites'.

See article from



Breaking Dawn Part 1...

Extended Version gets an exclusive release on French DVD

Link Here6th January 2013

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is a 2011 US fantasy by Bill Condon. With Kristen Stewart and Nikki Reed. YouTube icon IMDb

An Extended Version claiming to be a France exclusive will be released on DVD on the 8th February 2013. And in passing it is interesting to note that Breaking Dawn is rated as Tous Public [U] in France.

The Extended Version contains 7 additional scenes:

  • Revised opening scene with the Volturi
  • Extended flashback of the young Edward Cullen
  • New scene during the honeymoon
  • 2 new scenes in the Cullen home
  • Extended version of the fight scene between Edward / Jacob and the other werewolves
  • New scene with Jacob tending his wounds



Update: Inciteful Appeal...

Book seller wins appeal against his conviction for disseminating terrorist publications

Link Here6th January 2013
Full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

A man once described as the terrorists' favourite bookseller has had his conviction for selling books about Jihad quashed.

Material produced and distributed by Ahmed Faraz ended up in the hands of almost every major terrorist in Britain. Members of the trans-Atlantic airline gang even cited his texts in their suicide videos.

Faraz was convicted of 11 counts of possessing and disseminating terrorist publications. He was sentenced to three years in jail for running an operation to publish extremist texts and violent DVDs and distribute them around the world with the aim of priming terrorists for action.

But now his appeal against the convictions has been upheld. Court of Appeal judges found the prosecution in his original trial had been wrongly allowed to rely on the fact that the books had been found in the homes of high profile terrorists, without there being any suggestion that the offenders had actually been encouraged by the books to commit their terrorist acts.



Not So Popular Petition...

Ofcom fine Tunisian TV channel for partisan views of political controversy

Link Here5th January 2013

Ofcom has imposed a Ł 25,000 fine on Al Mustakillah Television for the broadcast of two programmes, the first on 9 October 2011 and the second on 25 October 2011.

Al Mustakillah Television was a news, current affairs and general entertainment service broadcast in Arabic. The Licence for the service was surrendered to Ofcom on 20 November 2012.

Ofcom found that two programmes broadcast by the Al Mustakillah breached several rules of the Code. The Finding followed complaints from three viewers who considered the programmes broadcast on 9 and 25 October 2011 were used to promote the Popular Petition for Freedom, Justice and Development ( the Popular Petition ) in Tunisia.

Ofcom understands the Popular Petition was a manifesto written by Dr Mohamed Elhachmi Hamdi ( Dr Hamdi ), who featured in both of these programmes, adopted by the political party known as the Party of Progressive Conservatives in Tunisia. Dr Hamdi is also sole director and majority shareholder of Al Mustakillah.

Ofcom noted that during these programmes Dr Hamdi himself regularly spoke directly to the camera while setting out in detail the manifesto of the Popular Petition and promoted various policies and promises of the Popular Petition. These included the provision of: free healthcare for all Tunisians; unemployment benefits; and free travel for those of the age of 65.

This was in breach of Rule 5.4 (Programmes must exclude all expressions of the views and opinions of the person providing the service on matters of political controversy and matters relating to current public policy).

In its Finding, Ofcom considered the content and views expressed during the 9 October 2011 programme, prior to the Tunisian Election held on 23 October 2011, were almost entirely positive statements about the Popular Petition and the parties adopting it as a manifesto. Any references to other parties during the programme were, in Ofcom's view pejorative. This was in breach of Rules 6.1 (the rules in Section Five, in particular the rules relating to matters of major political controversy and major matters relating to current public policy, apply to the coverage of elections), 5.11 (due impartiality must be preserved on matters of major political controversy and matters relating to current public policy) and 5.12 (in dealing with matters of major political controversy and matters relating to current public policy, an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in each programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes).

Ofcom considered that the programme broadcast on 25 October 2011, i.e. after the Tunisian General Election, dealt with a matter of political controversy and matters relating to current public policy. The broadcaster did not provide any evidence of the viewpoints of, for example, other Tunisian political parties or their supporters, on the aftermath of the Tunisian General Election, the future policy direction of Tunisia and the policy platform of the Popular Petition, being included on the channel in a series of programmes taken as a whole. Ofcom therefore considered the 25 October programme to be in breach of Rule 5.5 of the Code.




HighTide festival courts controversy with a play featuring blacked up actors

Link Here5th January 2013

An incendiary play at this year's HighTide festival in Suffolk is to feature actors in blackface despite recent calls for a boycott of theatres that continue to employ the practice.

HighTide and the Nuffield theatre will present the UK premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's comedy Neighbours , which requires black actors in blackface to play a family of minstrel performers.

The festival's artistic director Steven Atkinson, who will direct the new production, said it was:

one of the best new plays I've read in six years of running HighTide.

It's a progressive, intellectual drama that looks at identity, specifically contemporary African American identity, he continued. The real innovation of this play is not just that it addresses head-on a contemporary taboo -- the past popularity of blackface -- but it's what the Americans call 'form forward'. It's a play that's bold in content as well as how it's told.

Promotional material describes the play:

Neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins: Black face, not on my doorstep, not today.

Richard Patterson is not happy. The family of black actors that has moved in next door is rowdy, tacky, shameless, and uncouth. And they are not just invading his neighborhood-they're infiltrating his family, his sanity, and his entirely post-racial lifestyle.

This wildly theatrical, explosive play on race is an unconventional comedy which uses minstrelsy both to explore the history of black theater and to confront tensions in post-racial America.



Update: Magically Censored...

Thai TV series featuring a sorcerer who performs black magic to manipulate politics hits too close to home

Link Here5th January 2013
Full story: Thai TV Censorship...Kissing and catfights make the news whilst booze and fags are blurred

Thai Government figures have denied any political intervention in the abrupt termination of a controversial TV series on Channel 3, which was unexpectedly replaced last night with a new drama series.

Channel 3 announced in an onscreen message last night that Nua Mek 2 (Above the Clouds 2) had been replaced earlier than scheduled because of supposedly  inappropriate content.

The storyline focuses on a corrupt politician keen on profiteering on a satellite launch and a sorcerer who performs black magic to manipulate politics, and of course lots of soapy romance.

Comments on social media, have it the series was cut short at the orders of people in power who were stung by its content.

Suranand Vejjajiva, the prime minister's secretary-general, claimed that the government had never interfered with any TV drama or news report. The prime minister has nothing to do with the abrupt end of the drama, he said in a phone interview with The Nation.

The original schedule for Nua Mek 2 called for 12 episodes. Episode Nine aired last Sunday. As controversy mounted the producers hastily edited the last 3 episodes into a single episode to at least provide a presumably uncontroversial end to the series. However even that edited last episode was cancelled, leaving the show's story unfinished.



Offsite Article: For just a couple of attached images in an old mailbox...

Link Here 5th January 2013
British government officials, and Policing Minister, Damian Green, were today accused of spreading deliberate disinformation about the reasons for prosecuting gay barrister Simon Walsh in 2012 for possession of extreme porn.

See article from



Trending Censorship...

French minister for political correctness calls for the censorship and moderation of Twitter

Link Here4th January 2013

A series of insulting hashtags on Twittersseems to have prompted France's minister for political correctness into calling for the censorship of Twitter.

#SiMonFilsEstGay ( If my son is gay ) trended on Twitter for days in France recently. Before that, #unjuifmort ( a dead Jew ), #unbonjuif ( a good Jew ) and #SiMaFilleRame'neUnNoir ( If my daughter brings home a Black ) have come to the attention of the authorities.

Now Najat Belkacem-Vallaud, Minister of Women's Rights, said that Twitter must begin to censor hate speech. She argued that this sort of speech is illegal according to national law in the French newspaper Le Monde:

At a moment when the government is implementing an action plan against violence and discrimination committed for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity, I want, without prejudice to any legal action, to call upon Twitter's sense of responsibility, so that it can contribute to the prevention and the avoidance of misbehavior like this.

I want us to be able to work together, along with the most important associated agencies, to put in place alerts and security measures that will ensure that the unfortunate events that we have witnessed in recent weeks will not occur again.

Belkacem-Vallaud adds that freedom of expression cannot be used with impunity, because homophobia and racism can quickly lead to violence. Children who are homosexual are put at risk when such discussions are spread without moderation on the Internet.

Jason Farago in the Guardian explains how the French minister is going beyond mere prosecution for those who post such tweets and now wants Twitter to take steps to help prosecute hate speech by reform[ing] the whole system by which Twitter operates , including her demand that the company put in place alerts and security measures to prevent tweets which French officials deem hateful.



Update: Up For a National TV Award for Shit Stirrer of the Year...

Daily Mail still having fun claiming 'outrage' at the Big Fat Quiz of 2012

Link Here 4th January 2013

The latest article from the Daily Mail reads:

Sick comic facing axe: Jack Whitehall could be dropped as presenter at TV awards as Channel 4 repeats vile quiz

Comedian Jack Whitehall is facing the axe as the presenter of a prize at the National Television Awards following the growing controversy over his lewd behaviour on a Channel 4 panel game.

The star has been booked for the ITV show to be broadcast later this month, but it has emerged that a key figure on the programme believes he should not now appear on the awards show.

Channel 4 yesterday ignored the protests of viewers and said the Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2012 which featured vile jokes about the Queen and Susan Boyle will be repeated unedited on the main channel tonight at 11:35pm.

Last night co-executive producer of the National Television Awards, George Mitchell, said he would be having a summit conference on Monday about whether Whitehall should still present a prize at the awards. He said he would like to offer him the chance to bow out gracefully and give him the chance to withdraw . But he admitted other bosses on the show may not agree with him.

But unfortunately for the Daily Mail, the supposed axe of Jack Whitehall's awards presentation seems to be bollox. See  article from :

K im Turberville, creator and executive producer of the NTA, told The Independent:

Contrary to spurious reports earlier today, I would like to confirm that there has been no crisis summit over Jack Whitehall's invitation to present an award at this year's National Television Awards.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming him on January 23 for our live show.

The Independent also pointed out that a poll of readers found that 95% of readers don't think participants on the panel show took the joke too far anyway.

The Daily Mail also dragged up a rather low key sound bite from Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch UK said:

This programme should have always been broadcast in the late night 11.35pm slot. Putting it out at primetime was totally inappropriate.

Children are far more likely to be watching at 9pm, especially when you consider it was the Christmas holiday.

The Daily Mail added that another show has sparked a little 'outrage' too:

It emerged also that another festive Channel 4 show, The 50 Funniest Moments of 2012 , also triggered complaints after it included footage of a male far-Right Greek politician punching a woman in the face and strong swearing just after the watershed. Some 40 viewers contacted Ofcom about the programme, most of them angry at the suggestion that a woman being punched in the face was funny.



Update: The River Runs Free...

Producer prosecuted for staging gay play in Uganda sees the case against him dismissed

Link Here4th January 2013

Charges against British theatre producer David Cecil were dropped by a Ugandan court on 2nd January. Cecil, who faced trial for producing a play with a gay theme without permission from the country's Media Council, told Index the magistrate had declared the case dismissed as the prosecution had failed to disclose any evidence.

Cecil was arrested in September last year, when his theatre company refused to halt its production of The River and the Mountain pending a content review by the Ugandan Media Council.

Index on Censorship and David Lan, the artistic director of the Young Vic, launched a petition calling for the charges against Cecil to be dropped which was signed by more than 2,500 people, including director Mike Leigh, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig andactor Simon Callow.

Cecil told Index:

Evidently, there is a minority in the government and cultural industry who are willing to sacrifice the constitutional right to freedom of expression to their personal prejudices. However, the unsuccessful prosecution of this case is encouraging, and I pray that those working in the cultural industry are not put off by this oppressive and self-interested minority.

Mike Harris, Head of Advocacy at Index on Censorship said:

We're very pleased for David that the magistrate has dismissed this case --- but concerns remain over the state of free speech in Uganda. Since this prosecution, the Media Council has intervened to censor yet another political play. The government and its agencies need to do more to defend free speech.

Update: Deportation

9th February 2013. See  article from

David Cecil, the British theatre producer arrested in Uganda in 2012 for staging a play with a homosexual protagonist, is being held in police custody after being threatened with deportation.

Immigration officers took Cecil from his home in the outskirts of the capital, Kampala, on Thursday to Jinja Road police station, where he is being held. Fridah Mutesi, a human rights lawyer in Uganda, said the government did not disclose the grounds on which Cecil was being deported, but that it had the power to deport individuals deemed undesirable .

In January Cecil was charged with disobeying lawful orders by the Uganda media council, which said he had staged The River and The Mountain despite being told not to. The case was dismissed owing to a lack of evidence. It is believed that the deportation order is a result of his staging the play, which Cecil has described as a comedy drama about a gay businessman killed by his employees . The producer's lawyer, Godwin Buwa, said the government was unhappy about Cecil's court case last month being dismissed.



Offsite Article: Les Miserables...

Link Here4th January 2013
There is the possibility of a future Extended Version restoring some of the music that did not make the Theatrical Cut.

See article from



One Country is Repressive and the Other Not...

TV satirists hauled over the coals for insulting the head of state

Link Here3rd January 2013

A popular Egyptian political satirist is being investigated by prosecutors for allegedly insulting the president. A formal complaint was brought against Bassem Youssef for undermining the standing of President Mohamed Morsi in his television show.

The cases come amid increasing worries about press freedoms in Egypt. Many journalists have joined critics of the new Islamist-backed constitution, saying it does not offer enough guarantees of press freedoms.

Bassem Youssef is a doctor who shot to fame after winning a huge number of followers with his witty lampooning of public figures in amateur videos posted on the internet following the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's rule. He became a household name when his satirical show began to be broadcast three times a week on one of Egypt's independent satellite stations. He has poked fun at everyone from fellow television presenters to well-known Muslim scholars and most recently President Morsi himself, the BBC's Shaimaa Khalil reports,

But sketches in which he portrayed Morsi as a pharaoh, calling him Super Morsi for holding on to executive and legislative powers, and, separately, putting the president's image on a pillow and parodying his speeches have angered one Islamist lawyer, whose formal complaint has resulted in the investigation.

A popular satirical quiz show has been criticised for jokes about the royal family.

Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the Year has now prompted in excess of 160 complaints following supposedly coarse jokes about the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

TV censor Ofcom and Channel 4 had by Wednesday received 80 complaints each about the show, broadcast after the 9pm watershed on Sunday. Ofcom will 'consider' the complaints and no doubt reject them for the bollox that they are.

Comedians Jack Whitehall joked about last year's diamond jubilee: I have a theory. She [the Queen] didn't sit down for the entirety of that thing, and people were talking about that. It was the day after the night of her anniversary and Prince Philip woke up with a urinary infection ... I'm just saying what everyone's thinking, people.

The number of complaints has soared following an exaggerated 'outrage' story in a Daily Mail front-page splash headlined Channel 4 and the sick show they call comedy . The jokes were reprinted in full on page 4 of the paper.

Tory MP Conor Burns said he would write to Channel 4 to ask why the distasteful jokes were aired between 9pm and 10.30pm, shortly after the watershed for material unsuitable for children. [er... because before the watershed is when material has to be suitable for children!].

And for those that missed the fun Channel 4 is to repeat The Big Fat Quiz of the Year on Friday evening, though in a much later slot than the original broadcast on Sunday.



In Fear of the Daily Mail and their Twitter 'Outrage'?...

The Big Bang Theory seems to have been vandalised by censors

Link Here3rd January 2013

E4 has been showing The Big Bang Theory, late at night over the New Year

On several occasions colourful language was edited out. Now The Big Bang Theory is hardly a hard-hitting, cutting-edge comedy which touches on controversial subjects. It's about as mainstream as it gets (the Sunday Times recently described it as the heir to the series Friends ).

Here's one occurrence of censorship I particularly recall. In one episode Penny discovers that Leonard and Sheldon (who live across the hall) have been in her apartment and tidied it up while she was asleep in bed. When Sheldon and Leonard are debating the rights and wrongs about what they did next morning, Penny wakes up and can be heard shouting in her apartment.

If I recall correctly it's something like You son of a bitch! and You sick, geeky bastard!

This seems to have been edited to You son of a ....! and You sick, geeky .....!

There were moments in other episodes in which I noticed cuts. One scene where Rajesh mentions online pornography seems to have been removed completely, including Penny's reaction to it in the conversation.

Now I was neither looking out for detecting cuts nor did I even watch all the episodes. But it just seemed rather blatant and thus, obvious. If you destroy the syntax of sentences, it's not hard to spot something's been taken out.

But I really don't quite get it. Alright, so bitch and bastard are technically insults. But as a whole this series is about as kind-hearted and middle of the road as things get on TV. As so often with our moral guardians, there just seems no sense to this action. In fact it just looks like vandalism to me.



Update: Immoral Censorship...

Turkey seeks to censor John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men on moral grounds

Link Here3rd January 2013
Full story: Book Censorship in Turkey...Freedom of speech under duress

The Publishers Union of Turkey has protested against a request by a national education ministry commission in Izmir province to censor John Steinbeck's masterpiece Of mice and man. The union said in a statement:

We are finding it hard to understand that actually ministry officials formed a commission to investigate the book for moral standards and then propose censorship on it. This is another embarrassing example of the censure mentality in Turkey. And hopefully it will be the last one.

Steinbeck's masterpiece is actually listed among the 100 basic readings by the education ministry. It is also one of the most read novels in Turkey at all times.

The union urged the education minister Omer Dincer to implement of laws to prevent such absurd commissions, saying that such censure practices violated the freedom of expression.

Sel Publishing House, handling the Turkish translation, reiterated the union's protes complaining that universally acclaimed masterpieces could just be prosecuted in Turkey for subjective moral reasons. Sel said in a statement:

The commission already identified the passage needing censorship on a page by page and publisher house to publisher house manner. The identified passages have been submitted to ministry's support service unit.



Update: The Great Firewall of Pakistan...

Pakistan considers what to do with an expensive new internet censorship toy bought in from China

Link Here3rd January 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Information Technology are debating how to use a new system to censor websites and their contents.

The system is being imported from China and is expected to control internet traffic and activities across the country as per PTA policies.

PTA have been holding consultations over this new project with other parties interested in censorship including the Ministry of Interior, the Armed Forces of Pakistan, various intelligence agencies and NTSC.

Sources privy to the Ministry for Information Technology told Pakistan Today that the ministry had a few reservations regarding the system, its capabilities and above all its massive cost.

According to details about the project, a central point would be established by PTA from where all internet traffic inside the country would flow and supposedly objectionable content and pornographic websites would be blocked from there. Under the new mechanism, URL filtering software worth $ 5 million would also be installed at four landing stations of submarine cable which would control internet content on mobile phones as well.

According to media reports, various objections are being raised by groups who contend that, emails, mobile phone internet traffic and mobile phone calls would then be monitored by the government.

PTA Chairman Farooq Ahmed Khan denied such surveillance but confirmed that in the next 60 days a new mechanism for blocking un-Islamic, pornographic and blasphemous material from websites will be activated.



Bad Reviews Stand...

A Virginia Supreme Court judge rules that bad internet reviews cannot be censored without proof of false statements

Link Here3rd January 2013

Many businesses complain when they get bad reviews on Yelp. On Wednesday there was a court ruling on whether they can censor the reviews.

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that merchants have no right to automatically censor a bad review on Yelp. They must first prove the statements are false.

In the Virginia case, a business claimed that a customer falsely accused him of theft via a review. A lower court judge ordered the customer to take the statements off Yelp, but now the high court said that violates free speech. The business must first prove the reviewer's statements are libelous



Unjammed and Unblocked...

World's leading broadcasters unite against TV and internet censorship

Link Here3rd January 2013

Leading broadcasters from Europe, Japan, the United States and Australia have signed a declaration to fight what they believe is the growing censorship of the Internet and jamming of TV signals by authoritarian political regimes.

The following broadcast organisations say that international journalism is facing unprecedented challenges from countries that seek to deny their own citizens access to information from outside their borders in violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  • Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France (AEF),
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC),
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC),
  • Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) [US],
  • Deutsche Welle (DW),
  • Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK)
  • Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW)

They note and condemn without reservation certain government's control of the flow of information such as blocking the Web and most notably intentional jamming of satellites as practised recently by Iran. Furthermore, they have denounced efforts to identify and track Internet users in order to stifle free expression, inquiry and political activity.

In a call to action, they have agreed to increase, whenever possible, support for efforts to circumvent Web censorship through the use of new and innovative hardware and software tools and have agreed to increase our advocacy for Internet freedom.



The Thompsons...

New US DVD and Blu-ray release is uncut, so better than the cut UK release

Link Here2nd January 2013
The Thompsons is a 2012 horror thriller by The Butcher Brothers
With Mackenzie Firgens, Elizabeth Henstridge and Cory Knauf. YouTube icon IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

See  review from : "The movie is a mess"
See  review from : "A slick little vampire movie"

Censorship History

The UK distributors cut about 1 minute of sexual violence. From the running time, the US release seems to be the uncut version.

See pictorial cuts details from . The pre-cut scene shows the brothers forcing a couple to have sex before carving the guy's face off.

Promotional Material

In The Butcher Brothers' award-winning original film, The Hamiltons were a dysfunctional, orphaned family struggling in sunny suburbia. On the outside, they appeared normal enough but they harbored a very dark secret...the need to drink blood in order to survive.

In this action-packed sequel, a bloodbath at a gas station in the desert puts the family on the run, eventually seeing them resurface in the U.K. with a new identity as The Thompsons. Desperate for protection in this unfamiliar country, the Thompsons seek out the help of a shadowy underground rumored to be sympathetic to vampires.



Update: Which Newspaper Most Over Hyped Trivial Tweets in 2012?...

The Daily Mail rounds up a few minor complaints about the Big Fat Quiz of 2012

Link Here 2nd January 2013

The Daily mail writes:

Channel 4 and the sick show they call comedy: Comedians guzzle wine and egg each other on to trade obscene jokes about the Queen, Philip and Susan Boyle

The Big Fat Quiz of 2012 featured countless vile sexual jokes just after 9pm Most made by James Corden and Jack Whitehall who drank bottle of wine each during pre-recorded show Channel 4 accused of failing to learn from Sachsgate scandal Television watchdog Ofcom says it has received [just five] complaints

The pre-recorded show, presented by controversial comedian Jimmy Carr, also featured puerile remarks about sprinter Usain Bolt, President Obama and singer Susan Boyle. Crude: Big Fat Quiz of the Year featured guests Richard Ayoade, Russell Howard, Jonathan Ross, Jimmy Carr, Jack Whitehall, James Cordon and Gabby Logan

Last night TV watchdog Ofcom confirmed it had already received  [just five] complaints. Most of the crass humour came from Gavin And Stacey star James Corden, 34, and comedian Jack Whitehall, 24, who were seen to drink a bottle of wine each on screen. They were egged on by Jonathan Ross.

Margaret Morrissey, founder of campaign group Parents Outloud, said:

It is amazing this programme was ever broadcast. This was not live television, someone made the decision to allow this to go out at 9pm during the holidays when young children will still be up and watching television.

No doubt there'll be a storm of outrage and then the comedians will turn around and be all contrite. But they could have avoided offending people and corrupting young minds. Even if their parents stop them, children can still watch it on their iPads and iPhones. The nation's television now serves the lowest common denominator.

Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said:

Nothing Jimmy Carr does surprises me. This programme is in extremely poor taste and I'm amazed it was ever broadcast. Most people would consider it to be in very bad taste to poke fun at someone in their 80s who's served the country devotedly for 60 years.

A Channel 4 spokesman said:

Big Fat Quiz Of The Year is a well-established comedic and satirical review of the year's events with well-known guests and is broadcast after the watershed with appropriate warnings.

Update: Huffington Post Rounds up a few tweets about the Daily Mail article

2nd January 2013. See  article from

The Daily Mail has triggered a huge backlash on Twitter for manufacturing outrage over a Channel 4 comedy show in which comedians guzzled wine and egged each other on to trade obscene jokes about the Queen, Philip and Susan Boyle .

The Big Fat Quiz of 2012, broadcast on Monday evening and starring Jimmy Carr, Richard Ayoade, Russell Howard, Jonathan Ross, Jack Whitehall, James Cordon and Gabby Logan, was lambasted by the newspaper for its countless vile sexual jokes .

However, The Mail's opprobrium was met with derision on Twitter on Wednesday morning, with users lining up to point out the hypocrisy of the paper which, having complained about the sick jokes , then reprinted them in full.

...Read the full article



Rory Bremner Recommends...

Aggressive comedians on Mock the Week

Link Here2nd January 2013

Rory Bremner, the comedian, has attacked BBC news quiz Mock the Week for being too aggressive and treating some guests with disrespect.

Bremner, who was a panelist on the comedy show for two series following its launch in 2005, said that he felt uncomfortable doing the programme, which he claimed was filmed in a highly charged and competitive environment. He said he has since found out that other comedians felt the same way about the controversial show.

Bremner said that after doing two early series of Mock the Week he decided he no longer wanted to appear on it:

I felt that there was a new and highly competitive and quite aggressive tendency there and felt uncomfortable. But I've since found out that very few people have felt comfortable doing Mock the Week.

The impressionist said that the new breed of stand-up comedians who appear on panel shows such as Mock the Week are like prize fighters .

Other comedians have also attacked Mock the Week. In 2009 Jo Brand said that she had stopped appearing on the programme due to the lack of women on its panels and the difficulty in getting her voice heard among the other comedians. She said that some male comedians also found the environment ultra-competitive.



Update: Super Morsi...

Egypt is quick to return to dictatorship as it takes action against political satirist

Link Here2nd January 2013
Full story: Press Freedom in Egypt...Press under duress in Egypt

A popular Egyptian political satirist is being investigated by prosecutors for allegedly insulting the president. A formal complaint was brought against Bassem Youssef for undermining the standing of President Mohamed Morsi in his television show.

Separately, an independent newspaper says it has been accused by the presidency of circulating false news and is being investigated.

The cases come amid increasing worries about press freedoms in Egypt. Many journalists have joined critics of the new Islamist-backed constitution, saying it does not offer enough guarantees of press freedoms.

Bassem Youssef is a doctor who shot to fame after winning a huge number of followers with his witty lampooning of public figures in amateur videos posted on the internet following the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's rule. He became a household name when his satirical show began to be broadcast three times a week on one of Egypt's independent satellite stations. He has poked fun at everyone from fellow television presenters to well-known Muslim scholars and most recently President Morsi himself, the BBC's Shaimaa Khalil reports,

But sketches in which he portrayed Morsi as a pharaoh, calling him Super Morsi for holding on to executive and legislative powers, and, separately, putting the president's image on a pillow and parodying his speeches have angered one Islamist lawyer, whose formal complaint has resulted in the investigation.

Update: Arrest warrant

31st March 2013.  See  article from

An arrest warrant has been issued for a popular Egyptian political satirist for allegedly insulting Islam and President Mohammed Morsi. Bassem Youssef has faced several complaints over his show El Bernameg (The Programme). He has poked fun at a wide range of figures, from fellow television presenters to well-known Muslim scholars and recently Morsi himself.

As well as insulting Morsi and Islam, Mr Youssef is also accused of spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order .



Update: At least China is Uncompetitive in one Market...

Extreme film censorship puts a dampener on local production

Link Here1st January 2013
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids

China is wrestling with how to reconcile its extreme censorship system with the need to create films the world will want to watch.

Xie Fei, a professor at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, recently sparked a debate on government control over the film industry when he called for replacing the country's censorship procedures by a movie rating system with ratings similar to those used in the United States. Xie wrote in an open letter:

In the past few years, there were so many unwritten laws when censoring movies. Unwritten laws such as: 'ghosts are not allowed in contemporary settings,' 'extramarital affairs are not allowed,' 'certain political incidents are not allowed,' etc. The censorship system [in China] is not defined by law, but done according to individuals.

Such rules are killing artistic exploration.

Beijing-based filmmaker Dayyan Eng responded saying that with more foreign films entering the domestic market, local directors struggle to compete. He blames it partly on the censorship system.

It's [Censorship] restricting what we can make. And I think that everyone has been finding out, especially this year, because the local films have been killed by Hollywood.

If Hollywood is allowed to make whatever they want, and actually most of them, the big budget ones anyway, are being shown in China, we are at a disadvantage because the system that's in place to regulate or censor this things is not the same for Chinese films and for Hollywood films.

Eng's latest film, Inseparable , was the first wholly local production to feature a Hollywood star, Kevin Spacey. Eng says the censorship system influenced the way he wrote his movie.

When I first started out doing the story and writing the script and even up to shooting and editing it, in a way I have to censor myself a little bit. For example, there would be certain scenes I want to do, but I would think 'Maybe it is not going to pass the censorship if I do it this way, if I go too far' so I tend to pull myself back little bit.

Although Chinese lawmakers recognize that domestic films are facing increasing pressure to compete with foreign films, they did not directly respond to Xie Fei's suggestions that a US-style rating system was better than China's censorship rules.

Similar proposals surfaced in 2007, after nude scenes in the Ang Lee film Lust Caution were cut before the film's release in China. But censors put an end to the idea when a senior official from SARFT said that such a system would not be appropriate for China.

But now, with a growing number of actors, directors and producers sharing their views online, it has become easier for critical voices to contribute to the national discussion. Film producer Robert Cain has consulted Hollywood and Chinese studios on co-productions since 1987. He says that by not establishing a rating system, the Chinese government is patronizing its public:

There is no need to treat everyone in China like a child or an infant that can be hurt by certain topics in movies. Everyone knows that people have sex, everyone knows that crime takes place and it seems very hypocritical to me that the government wants to pretend, at least in films, that these things don't happen in China.




Indian rapper's gig is cancelled at the last minute after online petition against misogynistic lyrics

Link Here1st January 2013

An online petition and a twitter campaign against Indian rapper Honey Singh led to a New Year's Eve concert by him at Gurgaon's Bristol hotel being cancelled at the last minute.

The chart-topping singer also ran into legal trouble after a case against him was lodged against him with the police.

IPS officer Amitabh Thakur lodged the case against Singh on grounds of supposed obscenity for:

Extremely vulgar and indecent songs and that the rapper's misogynistic and deeply troubling lyrics described how woman could be sexually assaulted. This cannot be accepted at all, particularly when the country is mourning the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim and is outraged over increasing crime against women.

In Gurgaon, confusion prevailed at the venue gates. The crowd was still trickling in till as late as 9pm, even though the event management company that was organising the concert had confirmed much earlier that the show had been scrapped owing to the internet blackout in Delhi.

The Internet petition against Singh was started by Delhi-based writer Kalpana Misra, who believes the lyrics of some of his songs are pornographic, unacceptable, and grossly misogynistic. By Monday evening, Misra's petition had more than 2,500 online supporters. And all through the day, the social networking site Twitter was abuzz over the same issue, with Honey Singh's Gurgaon gig becoming a trending topic.

Update: Case filed

28th February 2013. See  article from

A judicial magistrate court has directed the police to inquire into the alleged obscene lyrics of Punjabi rapper Honey Singh and asked them to file a report by April 4.

Sanjay Khera, a local resident, had filed a complaint under sections of IPC related to obscenity offences on January 3 against Singh demanding ban on his music albums. In the complaint moved through advocate Sandeep Sachdeva, Khera had claimed that Singh's songs were vulgar and obscene in nature, and not fit to be aired.



Offsite Article: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning...

Link Here1st January 2013
A good write up and report about cuts to obtain an MPAA R rating

See article from



Offsite Article: Playing 20 Questions...

Link Here1st January 2013
Full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games
R18+ is officially introduced in Australia today, but what does this mean for previously banned games? And what about the states that are yet to introduce the law?

See article from



Offsite Article: Violence in TV drama...

Link Here1st January 2013
Ripper Street, Line of Duty and Good Cop may pile on the gore, but we shouldn't be shocked. It's just a return to gruesome form for British TV

See article from

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