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Censor Watch

2016: January

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Update: Rajan Zed Recommends...

Hymn for the Weekend by Coldplay

Link Here31st January 2016
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Rajan Zed has criticized Coldplay's music-video featuring Beyoncé titled Hymn For The Weekend , claiming it trivializes Hinduism.

Zed aid that this party-anthem/club-song music-video unnecessarily dragged sacred Hindu concepts and symbols with no linkage to the lyrics/storyline. He wrote:

What was the connection of--depicting one person dressed as Lord Shiva holding a trishul and sitting on the pavement; three persons dressed as Hanumans and standing with gadas leaning against their shoulders; two saffron-clad sadhus (with one on the ground and another high on a bamboo stick holding a mala) sitting on the roadside, as if meditating, with incense burning in front of them--with the lyrics in the video like drink from me ?

Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus understood that the purpose of Coldplay-Beyoncé in this case apparently was not to denigrate Hinduism, but casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees.

Zed said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more . BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it were disturbing for the followers.



Ethnically Correct...

Ofcom bans the use of the word 'chinky', as used to describe a Chinese takeaway

Link Here30th January 2016
Irvine Beat FM is a community radio station licensed to provide a service for people in the Fullarton, Harbourside, Redburn, Vineburgh, Springside and Castlepark areas of Irvine, Scotland.

A listener complained to Ofcom that the word chinky was used by the presenter to describe a Chinese take-away meal during the Saturday morning programme and this was a racial slur .

Ofcom noted that the word was used as part of a discussion about how cultured listeners were. The presenter asked listeners a list of ten questions such as:

Do you read daily newspapers?,
Do you watch Question Time? and:
Do you host dinner parties or do you tell your pals to come round and bring a chinky?
well you're not cultured if that's the case.

Ofcom considered the use of the word chinky raised potential issues under Rule 2.3 of the Code which states:

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

we took into account the Licensee's comments in response to the Preliminary View, namely that: Ofcom's 2010 research on offensive language did not specifically assess the word chinky as opposed to chink , and that the Scottish Executive report from 2005/6 did not consider possible regional variations in the acceptability of the use of the word chinky .

The 2010 research noted that where a word was considered to be discriminatory, but it had not received the same level of public disapproval as other racist words, some participants from across the UK considered it to be less offensive. For example, some participants felt that chink was less offensive than the words paki or nigger because it was not as well known to be socially unacceptable . However, other participants considered that, in principle, chink was as discriminatory as these words and should be treated in the same way even though it may not be as well known.

Ofcom considered it was likely that listeners throughout the UK would be of the view that the word chinky was a derogatory word and that the use of the word was therefore capable of causing offence and falling short of generally accepted standards, in particular to members of the Chinese community.

Ofcom concluded that the use of the word did not meet generally accepted standards, in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.



Heartstopping Distress...

Advert censor bans crimestoppers advert banned over bloody image of heart

Link Here29th January 2016

A Poster for Crimestoppers, seen on the station platform and on a phone box in Rugby, on 29 October and 16 November 2015 respectively, stated BREAK YOUR SILENCE Don't let drugs and violence rip the heart out of your community and included an image of bloodied hands holding a heart.

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause distress, particularly to children, and was therefore inappropriate for outdoor display in an untargeted medium.

Crimestoppers acknowledged that the artwork could be perceived as controversial and were sorry that it had caused distress. They strove to walk the line between effective and potentially difficult imagery in the artwork they used, and said the last thing they wanted to do was alienate members of the public.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA noted that the image in the ad featured a human heart grasped in bloodied hands, with drips of blood running down the fingers. The image was also accompanied with the claim Don't let drugs and violence rip the heart out of your community which enhanced the impression that the heart had been ripped out of an individual's chest. We considered that some individuals, particularly children, who would not necessarily understand the rationale behind the image, might find the bloody image upsetting because of its graphic nature. While we acknowledged the positive intention behind the campaign and understood that the image had been used to emphasise the serious implications of violent crime, we considered that the image was not directly relevant to crime or the overriding message of the campaign. For those reasons, we considered that the ad was likely to cause unjustifiable distress when displayed in an untargeted medium and concluded that it breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Crimestoppers Trust to ensure their marketing did not cause undue distress in future.



Sangat TV learns that offence is censored on TV but not at the cinema...

Ofcom bans Sikh music video which features the theme music to a film passed 15 uncut by the BBFC

Link Here 29th January 2016

Music video: The Theme to The Master Mind
Sangat TV, 13 August 2015, 20:30

Sangat TV broadcasts a religious and general entertainment service in English and Punjabi

Ofcom was alerted by a viewer to a music video broadcast on Sangat TV featuring a song called Jinde Sukha Anthem: Tigerstyle . The complainant considered that the video glorified the actions of two Sikh nationalists Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha ( Jinda and Sukha respectively). These two men, who were members of the Khalistan Commando Force, were hanged in 1992 for the assassination of General Arun Shridhar Vadiya, the Chief of the Indian Army responsible for Operation Bluestar in 1984. They were also found responsible for the murder of two Indian politicians.

Ofcom noted that the music video in this case was approximately four and a half minutes in duration and incorporated the theme song for the newly released Punjabi film The Mastermind Jinda Sukha. The music video consisted of clips of two artists performing a song interspersed with clips of scenes from the film The Mastermind Jinda Sukha , which showed the actors who played Jinda and Sukha in the film as well as other Sikh symbols and imagery. For example, there were clips showing the actors in the film depicting Jinda and Sukha: triumphantly raising their hands while in handcuffs; participating in a renowned bank robbery; and embracing one another. The music video also featured images of armed Sikh warriors and roaring lions (these animals having a particular significance in Sikhism and representing courage, majesty and strength).

Ofcom translated the lyrics of the song included in the music video:

When cruelty and oppression reaches its peak.
And when, o people, even the courts look the other way.
And the respectable mothers from whose womb

martyrs are born shed their tears.

And then some brave sons rise up for the struggle.
Upon meeting each other, these two sons took the destiny of the nation in their hands.
Bhindranwale's brave lions roared once again.
O people, there are few as brave as courageous Jinda.
They were like brave lions, O people!

Jinda and Sukha early one morning went looking for [General] Vadiya in Pune|
and surrounded the car.
And then the Khalsa [i.e. the assassins] obliterated the car.

They knew what they were doing
and celebrated and gave each other sweets upon hearing they had been sentenced to death.
The mission of these martyrs had been fulfilled.
It is not in every person's destiny to be as courageous as Jinda and Sukha.
In every house there are young men born who have such destiny

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 of the Code:

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

Sangat TV said that it had not only checked the music video briefly prior to broadcast. It added that it was confused as to how a movie cleared by BBFC for public screening could fall foul of Ofcom guidelines and would appreciate Ofcom educating us on this matter, to ensure that no incidents such as this recurs in the future .

Ofcom Decision

Ofcom noted that the lyrics and music video contained numerous positive references that could be reasonably interpreted as glorifying the actions of the two men who assassinated a senior member of the Indian army and two elected Indian politicians. Ofcom noted that the song lyrics variously commemorated the two men as being brave sons and like brave lions and stated that there were few as brave as courageous Jinda . In Ofcom's opinion, broadcast content containing such positive references to two convicted killers and one of the three acts of murder they had committed, which was still within living memory and is still an active source of dissension and controversy, had the potential to cause serious offence.

In response [to the Sangat TV query about the film being passed by the BBFC], Ofcom would like to clarify that it is not the case that just because a music video or other broadcast material includes extracts from a cinema film or associated content which has received a certificate for the purposes of cinema exhibition from the BBFC, that it is necessarily compliant with the Code if transmitted on an Ofcom licensed service. This is principally because the BBFC does not apply the Code when deciding whether, and if so how, to classify a film for showing in cinemas or other distribution. In this case, the BBFC did not classify this music video. Further, because the BBFC has classified a feature film this does not mean that a licensee can broadcast extracts from that film in a different context and consider that this material would necessarily comply with the Code. We were therefore greatly concerned that because the Licensee considered that BBFC approval for the film itself (but not the music video) was sufficient for its compliance purposes, Sangat TV only checked the music video briefly prior to broadcast. Regis 1 had responsibility for satisfying itself prior to broadcast that the content in this video (including the lyrics and not just the extracts taken from the film) was compliant with the Code. This regulatory requirement is irrespective of the rules of any other regulatory body, particularly where those rules relate to content delivered in an entirely different medium (i.e. cinema films).

Breach of Rule 2.3



Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

CBS TV show Angel from Hell

Link Here29th January 2016
Full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
One Million Moms is a US morality campaign that writes:

CBS is now airing a Christian-bashing program titled Angel From Hell , about a not so good guardian angel starring Jane Lynch. The previews alone can make believers sick to their stomachs with the blasphemous content including crude humor, foul language and distasteful dialogue. The new show airs on Thursday evenings at 9:30 pm ET/8:30 pm CT with a 14-DL rating.

This program is a new comedy that focuses on a holier-than-thou character who is anything but that. The network also cast children in scenes that are extremely inappropriate, such as the angel using foul language in front of them and then joking that she never promised to be G-rated. The premiere also included the angel hiding liquor in the children's clothes and saying, My booze! followed by a little boy saying, That's so cool! Almost every scene included the angel drinking alcohol from a flask, even on Sunday, and once at a bar. Not to mention the angel rides on a wrecking ball while busting up a concrete angel statue.

Is nothing sacred anymore? Once again networks like CBS mock Christianity. Angel From Hell is a demeaning show portraying Christians in a negative light. This program is another attempt to distort the truth about Christianity.



Bitter whingers...

ASA dismisses complaints about Radio X advert announcing the return of Chris Moyles

Link Here28th January 2016

  Two ads for the radio station, Radio X:

  • a. A TV ad for the radio station Radio X, broadcast between September and October 2015, featured the DJ Chris Moyles walking down a street. He was shown bumping into a number of people, including a man holding a coffee, a character in a costume and a paramedic pushing someone on a stretcher, and he knocked a cake out of a woman's hand. He then walked through a wall of the Radio X studio building.

  • b. A Video On Demand (VOD) ad seen on ITV Player on 13 and 21 October 2015 was the same as ad (a)


  1. 1. Eighty-seven viewers challenged whether ad (a) was offensive and irresponsible because they believed it encouraged and condoned anti-social and violent behaviour.

  2. 2. Some viewers challenged whether ad (a) was inappropriately scheduled for broadcast at times when children may be watching.

  3. 3. Two viewers challenged whether ad (b) was offensive and irresponsible for the same reason as point 1.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. & 3. Not upheld

The ASA understood the complainants' concerns about the behaviour shown in the ad and we acknowledged Global's intention to parody what they believed to be a well-recognised and iconic music video. Although we noted the ad used Bittersweet Symphony as its soundtrack, we considered that some viewers were still unlikely to recognise the parody element of the ad.

We considered the context in which the behaviour was shown and noted the eclectic mixture of people that Chris Moyles walked past in such a short amount of time (a business man, a charity collector, a woman holding a wedding cake and a paramedic) together with the end shot in which he was shown walking through a brick wall. While recognisable as an ordinary street, we considered the scenario in which he found himself was likely to be seen as surreal and far removed from the mix of people many were likely to encounter when walking down a street. We acknowledged that his actions in the ad were likely to be seen as unpleasant, but we considered that the context in which it was shown meant viewers were unlikely to interpret it as realistic and as an acceptable way to behave. In the particular circumstances of the ad, we concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or be seen to encourage or condone anti-social behaviour or bullying.

2. Not upheld

We understood the complainants' concerns that the ad was inappropriately scheduled and noted that the ad was subject to a scheduling restriction that prevented it from being shown around and during programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 16. We considered younger children were more likely to emulate the behaviour shown; however, we understood the scheduling restriction meant there was a reduced likelihood of those children seeing the ad. We considered older children were likely to recognise that the ad presented undesirable behaviour, but they were also likely to understand the fantastical nature of the ad shown through the varied mix of the people shown in the ad and the end shot of Chris Moyles emerging unscathed from the brick wall. We considered that the scheduling restriction applied was appropriate for the content and therefore, we concluded the ad had not been scheduled inappropriately.



Update: Germany bans far right website...

And also worries about the grey zone where the not so far right citizens criticise refugees

Link Here28th January 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Germany has banned a far-right website for spreading racist, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic content and arrested two people in a clampdown on hate crime.

Material on the website included banned Nazi slogans and the denial of the Holocaust as well as incitement of violence against foreigners, the prosecutors' office said.

The ban on the Altermedia Deutschland platform came as raids were carried out in homes in four German states as well as in the northeastern Spanish town of Lloret de Mar.

The two arrested people were the administrators of the Altermedia website and therefore responsible for its content that was served from a hosting company in Russia. German officials have asked Russia to take down the website.

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence, Hans-Georg Maassen, told reporters that:

There is the danger of a gray zone developing between far-right extremists, right-wing conservatives and citizen protesters with significant potential for violence.

Meanwhile Dutch far right website speaks of police taking action against people who tweet too much

28th January 2016. See  article from

Dutch police have been visiting the homes of people critical of asylum centres on Twitter, urging them to delete posts.

In recent months, police have visited the homes of many more people that criticised the plans for asylum centres. In October 2015, in Leeuwarden about twenty opponents of the programs received police visits at home. It happened in Enschede, and in some places in the Brabant, where, according to the Dutch media, people who had been critical of the arrival of refugees and ran a page on social media on the topic were told to stop.

A spokesman for the national police acknowledged to Handelsblad that there are ten intelligence units of digital detectives monitoring in real time Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and looking for posts that go too far .



Turbo Charged Offence...

ASA whinge at advert on games website Twitch for the film Turbo Kid

Link Here27th January 2016

A trailer for the film Turbo Kid , shown in-stream during a Twitch broadcast of the League of Legends World Championships on 10 October 2015, featured scenes from the film. These included: a circular saw blade being shot into a man's face, another being shot into a woman's chest, several decapitated heads on poles, people exploding into gore, a man's jaw being ripped off and the top of a man's head being cut off.

A complainant, who believed the ad's content was excessively gory, challenged whether the ad was distressing and offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA understood that League of Legends (LoL) was a game with broad appeal and that its style of play was fantastical and somewhat cartoonish, with no particularly explicit violence or depictions of gore. We considered that the imagery in the ad was significantly different to the content during which it appeared and likely to cause distress and offence to those who did not ordinarily view that type of content.

We acknowledged the statements from Lions Gate and Twitch, that they felt the ad was suitable for their audiences because adult game-players would be used to the sort of stylised violence featured within it. However, we understood that not all adult gamers and LoL viewers would play or view games with graphic violence or gore and considered that, unless they had previously viewed or sought out content of this type, users would not expect to come across material that was significantly stronger than the stream they had selected to watch. We therefore considered that, because there was such a significant difference between the type of material in the ad compared to the surrounding gameplay content, the ad should only have been targeted to users whose previous activity indicated they were comfortable with viewing such content. We understood, however, that such factors had not been taken into account in the targeting of the ad. We recognised that the ad contained material reflective of the film's content, but considered that those images were very graphic and that, unless targeted carefully, they were likely to cause unjustified distress or serious offence to some who saw the ad. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained about unless appropriately targeted. We told Lions Gate International (UK) Ltd to ensure that similar future advertising did not contain significantly more graphic content than the material it was placed in or around, unless sufficient care was taken with targeting to avoid causing unjustified distress or serious offence.



Ofcom Play Hyde to ITV's Jekyll...

Ofcom whinges about ITV's Jekyll and Hyde series broadcast at 18:30

Link Here27th January 2016

Jekyll and Hyde
ITV, 25 October 2015, 18:30

Jekyll and Hyde was an ITV fantasy drama series inspired by the Robert Louis Stephenson novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The first episode of the series was broadcast on 25 October 2015 at 18:30. Ofcom received 504 complaints from viewers about this episode. The majority of viewers who contacted Ofcom considered that the programme's scenes of violence and its dark and frightening tone were unsuitable for children, and a number of complainants referred in particular to their concerns for younger children.

We noted the programme was preceded by the following pre-broadcast information:

It's time now on ITV for a brand new adventure. It's Jekyll and Hyde which has some violence and scenes younger children may find a bit scary.

We noted the following scenes in the programme in particular:

1) Street attack: In the programme's opening scene, set on a dark and gloomy night in London in 1885, Edward Hyde (i.e. the alter ego of Henry Jekyll, Robert Jekyll's grandfather) was shown arguing with and then violently attacking a man in a dimly lit street. When the man started walking away from Mr Hyde, Mr Hyde knocked him to the cobbled street with two blows from his walking stick. Then, when he was lying on his front seemingly unconscious on the ground, Mr Hyde struck the man again across the back. These shots were interspersed with an eyewitness seeing the attack and screaming. When police whistles were heard, Mr Hyde scurried away, and while escaping, threatened to hit a young girl with his stick. At the conclusion of the scene, when someone called out to him when he has arrived at his front door, Mr Hyde turned around to roar at those pursuing him. This revealed, in close-up, his disfigured face with gnarled teeth and veins protruding from his skin.


Ofcom considered the programme raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:

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

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 1.3

Firstly, we noted several scenes that predominantly featured acts of violence. We considered these various scenes, as described in the Introduction, had a notably dark, menacing and violent tone. One of the factors cited in the Ofcom violence research as determining the audience's attitude towards depiction of violence was the cumulative/overall impact scenes of violence when taken together, and influenced for example by other elements such as music or an 'atmosphere of unease' 9. The dark and menacing tone of the scenes of violence in this first episode would, in our view, have distressed some younger viewers in particular.

We considered that the dark, menacing tone was established in the programme's opening scene (scene 1: Street attack ). This was set at night-time, accompanied by ominous music and depicted the original Dr Henry Jekyll (as Mr Edward Hyde) arguing with another man in a London street. As the man was shown trying to walk away, Mr Hyde struck him twice on the back with a walking stick (with a third blow heard but not seen by viewers). With the man knocked to the ground and apparently unconscious, Mr Jekyll struck him again across the back. An eyewitness screamed as she observed this brutal attack from a first floor window. Having threatened to violently attack a young girl he had knocked while escaping, at the conclusion of the scene, Mr Hyde suddenly turned around and roared, revealing to the audience in close up for the first time his disfigured face.

We considered that the manner in which this attack was depicted and the sudden revelation of Mr Hyde's unnatural and frightening features, resulted in a scene that would potentially distress younger viewers. We agreed with ITV's point that this scene did not depict explicit or graphic violence and contained no bloodshed. We also noted the Licensee's comment that the revelation that the murder had been committed by Mr Hyde introduced an element of the fantastical to the scene. However, we considered that the depiction of a man being bludgeoned to the ground, the witness' reaction, and the overall tone of the scene, created as the Licensee said an element of horror . We did not consider that any alarm or distress caused to younger viewers by the violence in this scene would be materially mitigated by the potentially frightening revelation that, as the Licensee described, the blows were struck not by a normal man but by Hyde a disfigured superhuman monster . In our view the impact of this scene would have been substantially increased by the fact that it was the opening scene of the programme (and indeed the series) and therefore viewers may well have been caught unawares by both its content and tone.

In Ofcom's view, the dichotomous and unpredictable personality of the programme's central character (as demonstrated in this scene at start of the episode shown around six minutes in to the episode) had the potential to scare some younger children. ITV argued that this was counteracted by Dr Jekyll's role in defeating the forces of evil . We disagreed. In our view, any such role was not at all clearly established in this opening episode of the series so as to effectively counteract the likely level of distress caused to some younger children, caused for example by Mr Hyde's behaviour in the scene where he seemed on the verge of letting a small girl be crushed to death by a truck. Viewers would have been left with the overall impression of Robert Jekyll as a character was unable to control his alter ego, who unpredictably behaved in a cruel and violent way. We considered this aspect added to the potential for some of the content in this programme to cause distress or concern to younger children.

In conclusion, Ofcom considered that the programme's content was not so strong that, with appropriate scheduling, it could not be broadcast pre-watershed. However, in the specific circumstances of this case, we considered that the content would have exceeded the expectations of viewers, and in particular parents and carers, at this time and on this channel. Therefore, while acknowledging this was a finely balanced decision, Ofcom concluded that children were not in this case protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling, and there was a breach of Rule 1.3.

ITV have now cancelled the series and noted that they received 380 complaints about the violence/scheduling.




France film censors award rare 18 rating to film about religious extremism

Link Here27th January 2016
Full story: Film Censorship in France...French age ratings are generally lower than most
The French ministry of culture will allow cinemas to show the controversial film Salafistes , which features interviews with North African jihadists, but have banned it for anyone under 18 in a rare move for a documentary in France.

The over-18 rating is normally only given to pornographic films, although it has featured for mainstream films when politicians have got themselves involved in the process.

According to the filmmakers, the 18 rating will kill the film , as it effectively bans it from being aired on public TV and means cinemas will be reluctant to show it.

Salafistes, whose title refers to the ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam that drives movements such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group, drew accusations of promoting terrorism by showing frank interviews with jihadists bent on attacking Western, and in particular French, targets.

It was also accused of being an attack on human dignity in that it shows the murder of French policeman Ahmed Merabet during the January 2015 attacks on the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Merabet was shot at point blank range on the street outside the magazine's offices.

Filmmakers François Margolin and Lemime Ould Salem said they had removed the offending scene, but insist that the film should be given as wide an audience as possible. According to the filmmakers, the violence itself serves as the best counterpoint to the interviewees' Salafist philosophy. Margolin said:

We are reporters. We tell people what is happening and what people are saying, we want viewers to hear the [jihadists'] arguments from their own mouths Reporting on what they say is not the same thing as promoting their ideas. When making the film, we worked on the principle that our audience is intelligent.



Updated: Netflix Goes Worldwide...

But don't throw your VPN away yet as censors and pixelators will surely soon get their evil way

Link Here27th January 2016
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Netflix has surprised the tech community, and perhaps some of the world, when it announced at a CES, a US technology show, that its streaming service is now available everywhere in the world except for China, North Korea, Crimea, and Syria.

And altering its original content to some of the more censorial of the new territories is something Netflix may have to confront. So far, however, Netflix hasn't censored any of its content, Anne Marie Squeo, a Netflix spokesperson, told Tech Insider:

We're an on-demand service that allows people to choose to sign up and decide what, where and when to watch, Squeo wrote in an email to Tech Insider. The service includes ratings guides and episode synopses to help people decide, and we also provide a PIN-code system to ensure children can't view certain content.

But Reed Hastings, the company's CEO, hasn't ruled out censoring its programming in the future. The Verge's Ross Miller asked Hastings about the company's policy with regard to such censorship, and he didn't exactly give a straight answer:

As to your question about... different versions like airplane cuts, we'll have to see and we'll have to learn, Hastings said, according to The Verge . I think entertainment companies have to make compromises over time... the thrust of what we're trying to do is have the artistic vision be consistent through the world.

The Bangkok Post outlines some of the issues about localised censorship requirements where the standard definition package costs 280 Baht ( £ 5.30) a month for 1 screen.

While opening the doors to Thai viewers , Netflix has not added any new Thai-language content beyond the small selection of films it already had. And while the company on Thursday added support for three new languages, Thai was not among them. Neither the website, app or subtitles are available in Thai yet.

Another significant difference Thailand viewers may not look forward to is the same type of censorship used for movies showing in Thai movie theaters.

Netflix already applies censorship to movies showing in different markets around the world to adhere to local media laws. Eg Netflix already sanitises content in Japan, pixelating full-frontal nudity seen, for example, in the Marco Polo series produced by Netflix as well as other content .

In Thailand, the service could follow standard practice at movie theaters (cinemas) by pixelating smoking, drinking and bloody violence , as well as censoring nude scenes .

Update: Indonesian censors are the first to whinge about worldwide Netflix

11th January 2016. See  article from

Netflix's expansion to Indonesia has agitated the Indonesian Censorship Agency (LSF).

LSF Chairman Ahmad Yani Basuki, together with the agency's members, held a meeting to discuss the online streaming service. During the meeting, Ahmad said that some of the movies provided by Netflix are not appropriate for Indonesian viewers There are some movies that we have forbid from being screened in the cinemas, Ahmad said, without mentioning the titles.

Several scenes that must be cut out from a movie before it can be screened in Indonesia include scenes that exhibit violence, gambling, drug abuse, pornography, scenes that may well lead to sectarian conflict, blasphemy, encourage criminal acts, and degrading human rights. Ahmad said too many of the abovementioned scenes in a movie will resulted in a ban.

In relation to Netflix, Ahmad underlined that Law No. 33/2009 on Movie Industry stated that movies that are going to be screened in Indonesia must first obtain a censorship letter from LSF. On the other hand, the American-based online streaming service company is yet to file a request for censorship. Without the requirement, we will recommend the Communication and Informatics Ministry to block the service, Ahmad said.

Update: Kenyan film censors bid to censor Netflix turned down

13th January 2016. See  article from

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has differed with the Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) over the handling of US online movie streaming service Netflix, which has launched operations in Kenya.

The CA said Netflix will not be asked to apply for a local broadcasting licence, meaning the US firm is exempt from local broadcasting censorship rules that are part of the licensing conditions.

Previously KFCB had announced that the US firm would not be exempted from the censorship law because it will be selling foreign content, adding that it had identified inappropriate programmes hosted by the on-demand service provider that are wrongly rated for children aged 13 years.

Update: Vietnam is none too impressed

15th January 2016. See  article from

Netflix's video-streaming service is winding up Vietnam's censorial authorities. Lawyers have apparently raised questions about the legitimacy of Netflix's service providing in Vietnam and how it would affect Vietnam's own pay-TV market.

Ngo Huy Toan, inspector of the Ministry of Information and Communication, affirmed that all foreign firms which provide services to Vietnam but do not register their business and do not have licenses are violating Vietnamese laws. Also according to Toan, the government of Vietnam allows foreign firms to team up with Vietnamese to provide pay-TV services. However, the firms must complete business registration in Vietnam, pay tax to Vietnam and respect Vietnamese laws.

Vietnam sets very restrictive regulations on TV program content editing, translation and content censoring. This means that movies and TV shows all must go through censorship before they can be shown in Vietnam.

Update: Malaysia considers censorship a must

15th January 2016. See article from

Netflix's movies and television series that are streamed online will still have to comply with local regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commision (MCMC)'s content censorship minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has said.

According to the New Straits Times (NST), Salleh told the paper that the MCMC can take action against Netflix if it makes offensive content available in Malaysia and breaches the regulator's content rules.

The communications and multimedia minister said MCMC will be asked to meet with Netflix to notify them of local content standards and their obligations.

Netflix still has to meet the local regulator's content standards even if it is exempt from getting a license as an over-the-top content application (OTT) provider like Facebook, Salleh said.

Malay Mail Online reported a US-based Netflix staff as confirming that there will be no censorship of television series and movies made available here, although certain content may be unavailable due to regional licensing restrictions.

Update: Indonesian censors block Netflix

27th January 2016. See  article from

Indonesian 's largest telco, PT Telkom Indonesia, announced that as of 12 a.m. Wednesday morning they had blocked access to the Netflix streaming service on all of its Internet platforms.

Dian Rachmawan, Telkom's Director of Consumers, said the ban was put in place due to Netflix not following the country's broadcast laws and for having violent and pornographic content. Rachmawan told Daily Social that he didn't want to ban Netflix completely from the country ...BUT... rather wants to ensure they follow local regulations.

This blocking action will not have an impact to our customers. They [Netflix] are still small here. While they are still small, we will teach them to follow the rules here.



Miserable Pakistan...

Pakistan demands that ISPs block 400,000 porn websites

Link Here27th January 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
Pakistani ISP are getting ready to write a lot of firewall censorship rules, with the country's telecommunications censor issuing a list of 429,343 banned porn Websites.

According to newspaper The Express Tribune , ISPs will be expected to implement the blocks at the domain level . The outlet explains that the regulatory order followed instructions from the Supreme Court that it take remedial steps to quantify the nefarious phenomenon of obscenity and pornography that has an imminent role to corrupt and vitiate the youth of Pakistan .

ISPs aren't impressed, complaining that they'll need both time and equipment to implement such a large block-list.



Aggressive research...

US academics claim that porn consumption correlates with actual acts of sexual aggression

Link Here27th January 2016

A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies

Paul J. Wright, Robert S. Tokunaga, Ashley Kraus

First published: 29 December 2015


Whether pornography consumption is a reliable correlate of sexually aggressive behavior continues to be debated. Meta-analyses of experimental studies have found effects on aggressive behavior and attitudes. That pornography consumption correlates with aggressive attitudes in naturalistic studies has also been found. Yet, no meta-analysis has addressed the question motivating this body of work: Is pornography consumption correlated with committing actual acts of sexual aggression? 22 studies from 7 different countries were analyzed. Consumption was associated with sexual aggression in the United States and internationally, among males and females, and in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Associations were stronger for verbal than physical sexual aggression, although both were significant. The general pattern of results suggested that violent content may be an exacerbating factor.



Commented: Small minded TV censors...

High priests of political correctness at Ofcom ban jokes about dwarves

Link Here27th January 2016

The One Show
BBC1, 4 November 2015, 19:00

The One Show is a daily magazine programme broadcast every weekday in the early evening on BBC1.

A total of 11 complainants alerted Ofcom to a joke made by the comedian Jimmy Carr, when he appeared on this programme. In summary, complainants objected to Jimmy Carr making a disgusting and offensive joke about a particular disabled group i.e. those who have dwarfism. Three of the complainants either themselves, or had family members who, have dwarfism.

We noted the following exchange at approximately 19:26, between one of the programme's presenters, Matt Baker ( MB ), and Jimmy Carr ( JC ):

MB: Which joke were you most surprised by that you thought was funny that you didn't realise at the time?

JC: I don't know, I'm just trying to think of my favourite all-time joke which might work on this show: 'I've got a Welsh friend of mine. I asked him how many partners he had in his life. And he started to count and he fell asleep' . [Laughter in the studio]

JC: [Looking into the camera and smiling] That's just about alright, isn't it... [Looking at presenter] I tried to write the shortest joke possible, so I wrote a two word joke, which was: Dwarf shortage . Just so I could pack more jokes into the show. [Looking into the camera] If you're a dwarf and you're offended by that: Grow up!

We considered that Jimmy Carr's joke ( Dwarf shortage ) and his follow-up statement ( If you're a dwarf and you're offended by that: Grow up! ) raised potential issues under the following rule of the Code: Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context... Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

In coming to a Decision in this case, we therefore assessed first whether the material in this programme had the potential to cause offence. During this programme, Jimmy Carr referred to his attempt to write the shortest joke possible . The joke in question was Dwarf shortage . He then made the statement: If you're a dwarf and you're offended by that: Grow up! We considered that, as both the joke and the follow up statement attempted to derive humour from dwarfism (a medical condition causing restricted growth which often causes a person with the condition to be regarded as disabled), these statements clearly had the potential to cause offence.

In reaching our Decision, we noted the BBC statements that The One Show's Editor takes the view that [Jimmy Carr's] joke was not appropriate for The One Show and The One Show production team takes a particular view on the tone they would like to adhere to, and feels this joke was inappropriate in light of that . We also noted that the BBC would be amending the letter that guests are asked to sign prior to appearing on the One Show to make clear they should refrain from making jokes at the expense of minorities . Nonetheless, the BBC argued that Jimmy Carr's comments did not amount to a breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

However, on the facts of this particular case, we considered that Jimmy Carr's jokes intended to derive humour from people with dwarfism were likely to cause offence, and for all the reasons set out above were not justified by the context. Therefore, our view was that there was a breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

Offsite Comment: Should anything be 'beyond a joke ?'

27th January 2016. See  article from by Mick Hume

The new comedy code of intolerant conformism is no laughing matter.

 See  article from



Update: Rated U for sustained tedium...

BBFC pass Charlie Lyne's 10 hour protest epic, Paint Drying, U uncut

Link Here26th January 2016
The BBFC have officially awarded a U certificate to a ten-hour film of paint drying, created as part of a protest of its practices by British filmmaker Charlie Lyne.

Lyne first established a Kickstarter to fund the submission of a film entitled Paint Drying to the BBFC; one which would consist of a single, unedited shot of white paint drying on a brick wall. The money raised would pay for the BBFC's imposed fees on having work certified, which Lyne believes unfairly burdens independent filmmakers. The campaign ended up raising £5,936 and allowed Lyne to submit a 607-minute film to the censors.

The BBFC noted that the film contained no material likely to offend or harm and commented about the classification process:

Examiners are required to watch a very wide variety of content every day, so this didn't phase them.



Burning Issues...

PC bullies get book banned for its light hearted story set in a US time of slavery

Link Here26th January 2016
Free speech campaigners in America have protested about a book being pulled after politically correct pressure from those who claim the right to dictate how books about slavery should be written. The campaigners note that the ban will lead authors to shy away from taking on racially sensitive ... topics for fear of public outcry and reprisals .

A Birthday Cake for George Washington , by author Ramin Ganeshram and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton, is narrated by the daughter of George Washington's slave, Hercules, who is preparing a cake for the president's birthday.

In a review, School Library Journal accused the book of providing a dangerously rosy impression of the relationship between slaves and slave owners that it could give to young readers. It said that the light tone of the text and the colourful, cartoon-style illustrations convey a feeling of joyfulness that contrasts starkly with the reality of slave life .

The PC censorship campaign then grew under the hashtag #slaverywithasmile. Then last week publisher Scholastic bowed to the pressure and withdrew the book from sale.

Campaigners hailed the decision as a victory, but the National Coalition Against Censorship and the PEN American Center have now released a statement criticising Scholastic's move. NCAC executive director Joan Bertin said:

While reasonable people can disagree about the book's historical or literary merit, Scholastic's decision to pull it in response to controversy is a shocking and nearly unprecedented case of self-censorship.

Those who value free speech as an essential human right and a necessary precondition for social change should be alarmed whenever books are removed from circulation because they are controversial.

While it is perfectly valid for critics to dispute a book's historical accuracy and literary merit, the appropriate response is not to withdraw the volume and deprive readers of a chance to evaluate the book and the controversy for themselves. In the case of A Birthday Cake for George Washington, a book is gone that generated important discussions about how our nation creates, perceives and perpetuates narratives about slavery and slave ownership.

[Pulling the book] is likely to have a chilling effect, leading authors and illustrators to hesitate in taking on racially sensitive or politically controversial topics for fear of public outcry and reprisals .



Gambling on censorship...

Sweden seeks effective methods to censor the internet in the name of blocking unapproved gambling sites

Link Here26th January 2016
An ISP in Sweden is sounding the alarm over the government's plan to IP-block unauthorized online gambling sites.

Over the weekend, leading Swedish ISP Bahnhof released a statement saying it had received an email from an investigator hired by the Swedish government to consider ways to efficiently prevent unauthorized online gambling operators from offering services to Swedish gamblers.

Sweden's government is in the process of revising the country's legal landscape for gambling, which will see the end of state-owned operator Svenska Spel's online betting monopoly and the licensing of independent online operators.

As part of this process, specifics of which won't be made public until March 2017, steps would be taken to ensure that operators who lack a new Swedish license are unable to serve Swedish punters. Bahnhof says the government investigator has asked for a meeting in which to discuss the ISP's role in this plan.

Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung  said his concern was the government's attempt to censor the internet  and that gambling sites will be used as a precedent for future clampdowns.



German Amazon offends the intelligence of just about everyone...

Children's historic refugee costumes pulled in case they offend modern day migrants

Link Here 26th January 2016
Costumes for children to dress up as wartime refugees have been taken off the German edition of Amazon' s website over supposed fears they offend refugees.

Pictured holding a suitcase, the child models are pictured wearing old fashioned clothing, intimidating wartime civilian wear which some people have claimed mocks the plight of migrants.

When Amazon's offering of refugee costumes was posted online it quickly attracted the attention of PC bullies who claimed the costumes were 'inhuman and distasteful.

Those that defended the children's costume on offer pointed out that it was nothing to do with the current wave of refugees, and is intended to represent a refugee during World War II. The costumes were being offered for carnival celebrations take place in Germany and Switzerland.



Updated: So who now decides who is allowed to be depicted as baddies in video games?...

Survival Island 3 banned for setting up aborigines as targets for shootings

Link Here 25th January 2016
A mobile game that set up Indigenous Australians as shoot 'em up targets has been removed from both Apple and Google app stores following campaigns by cyber bulllies.

Survival Island 3 -- Australia Story 3D tasked players with surviving in the outback. Threats included angry animals and aboriginals noted as angry as you invaded their home!

A screenshot used to promote the game in the Apple iTunes store showed an in-game alert of Beware of Aborigines!

The game was listed as appropriate for players of 12 years old and up, for infrequent/mild realistic violence, cartoon or fantasy violence, and horror/fear themes .

Gaming news website Player Attack said :

The video shows a first-person view of beating an Aboriginal man to death with a blunt weapon while the voiceover cackles gleefully. The gamer is rewarded with a boomerang and what looks like a stone arrowhead.

A petition calling for the removal of the game was started on Friday night, and now has more than 48,300 signatures.

Survival Island 3 is not currently available to download from either the Australian or United States iTunes stores, nor the Google Play store.

Offsite Update: Beware of Liars

25th January 2016. See  article from

The Beware of Aborigines! line is from the app store page, along with the New Weapon line, both of which are used on the promotional screenshots but don't actually appear in the game.

The Aboriginal NPCs are standard NPCs and can either be friendly or hostile depending on the player's actions but it doesn't say Beware of Aborigines when they're on screen. This is also evidenced in a video from Andrei Plugaru , where no warning messages pop up when the Aborigines appear.

Even still, the media picked up on the petition -- no different than what they did with the GTA V petition that resulted in the game getting removed from Target and Kmart in Australia -- and they've been reporting that the game is about killing indigenous tribes in Australia.

At the time of the writing of this article, Survival Island 3: Australia Story 3D has been pulled from the iTunes app store and Google Play.

...Read the full article from



Update: An abuse of human rights...

Pre employment job vetting of minor offences now illegal

Link Here25th January 2016
Mandatory pre-employment criminal record checks have been ruled unlawful in the UK, following a ruling in the High Court.

Lord Justice McCombe and Mrs Justice Carr declared the government's disclosure scheme is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The High Court heard the complaints of two people who had suffered professional setbacks after being forced to disclose minor criminal convictions to potential employers.

Lord Justice McCombe ruled that the criminal record disclosure scheme in the UK was arbitrary and unlawful.

The challenge related only to minor offences, and no challenge was made to the rules requiring disclosure for those who have been convicted of violent or sexual crimes.

The Home Office has declared that it will consider whether to appeal the decision.



Petition: Strong encryption keeps us safe from hackers and thieves...

An open letter to the leaders of the world's governments signed by organizations, companies, and individuals

Link Here 23rd January 2016
Full story: Internet Encryption...Encryption, essential for security but givernments don't see it that way
An open letter to the leaders of the world's governments SIGNED by organizations, companies, and individuals:

We encourage you to support the safety and security of users, companies, and governments by strengthening the integrity of communications and systems. In doing so, governments should reject laws, policies, or other mandates or practices, including secret agreements with companies, that limit access to or undermine encryption and other secure communications tools and technologies.

  • Governments should not ban or otherwise limit user access to encryption in any form or otherwise prohibit the implementation or use of encryption by grade or type;
  • Governments should not mandate the design or implementation of "backdoors" or vulnerabilities into tools, technologies, or services;
  • Governments should not require that tools, technologies, or services are designed or developed to allow for third-party access to unencrypted data or encryption keys;
  • Governments should not seek to weaken or undermine encryption standards or intentionally influence the establishment of encryption standards except to promote a higher level of information security. No government should mandate insecure encryption algorithms, standards, tools, or technologies; and
  • Governments should not, either by private or public agreement, compel or pressure an entity to engage in activity that is inconsistent with the above tenets.


Access Now, ACI-Participa, Advocacy for Principled Action in Government, Alternative Informatics Association, Alternatives, Alternatives Canada, Alternatives International, American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Amnesty International, ARTICLE 19, La Asociación Colombiana de Usuarios de Internet, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, Asociatia pentru Tehnologie si Internet (ApTI), Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Association for Proper Internet Governance, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, Australian Privacy Foundation, Benetech, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Bits of Freedom, Blueprint for Free Speech, Bolo Bhi, the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Digital Democracy, Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights, the Center for Internet and Society (CIS), Center for Media, Data and Society at the School of Public Policy of Central European University, Center for Technology and Society at FGV Rio Law School, Chaos Computer Club, CivSource, Committee to Protect Journalists, Constitutional Alliance, Constitutional Communications, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, ContingenteMX, Courage Foundation, Críptica,, Defending Dissent Foundation, Digitalcourage, Digitale Gesellschaft, Digital Empowerment Foundation, Digital Rights Foundation, DSS216, Electronic Frontier Finland, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Engine, Enjambre Digital, Eticas Research and Consulting, European Digital Rights, Fight for the Future, Föreningen för digitala fri- och rättigheter (DFRI), Foundation for Internet and Civic Culture (Thai Netizen Network), Freedom House, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Freedom to Read Foundation, Free Press, Free Press Unlimited, Free Software Foundation, Fundacion Acceso, Future of Privacy Forum, Future Wise, Globe International Center, The Global Network Initiative (GNI), Global Voices Advox, Government Accountability Project, Hiperderecho, Hivos, Human Rights Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Institute for Technology and Society of Rio (ITS Rio), Instituto Demos, the International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), International Press Institute (IPI), Internet Democracy Project, IPDANDETEC, IT for Change , IT-Political Association of Denmark, Jonction, Jordan Open Source Association, Just Net Coalition (JNC), Karisma Foundation, Keyboard Frontline, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, Localization Lab, Media Alliance, Modern Poland Foundation, Movimento Mega, Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO), Net Users' Rights Protection Association (NURPA), New America's Open Technology Institute, Niskanen Center, One World Platform Foundation, OpenMedia, Open Net Korea, Open Rights Group, Panoptykon Foundation, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Patient Privacy Rights, PEN American Center, PEN International, Pirate Parties International, Point of View, Privacy International, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, Protection International, La Quadrature du Net, R3D (Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales), R Street Institute, Reinst8, Restore the Fourth,, Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), Security First,, Share Foundation, Simply Secure, Social Media Exchange (SMEX), SonTusDatos (Artículo 12, A.C.), Student Net Alliance, Sursiendo; Comunicación y Cultura Digital, Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/open, TechFreedom, The Tor Project, Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, Usuarios Digitales, Viet Tan, Vrijschrift, WITNESS, World Privacy Forum, X-Lab, Xnet, Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum

Sign the petition from



Offsite Article: Mass Snooping and Human Rights...

Link Here23rd January 2016
Did the European Court of Human Rights Just Outlaw 'Massive Monitoring of Communications' in Europe?

See article from



Is your browser safe against tracking?...

EFF checks out your browser and add-ons for protection against tracking

Link Here22nd January 2016
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched version 2.0 of its tracking and fingerprinting detection tool, Panopticlick .

This version brings new tests to our existing tool, such as canvas and touch-capability fingerprinting, updating its ability to uniquely identify browsers with current techniques.

In addition, it adds a brand new suite of tests that detect how well your browser and extensions are protecting you from:

  1. tracking by ads;
  2. from tracking by invisible beacons; and also
  3. whether they encourage compliance with the Do Not Track policy , which EFF and a coalition of allies launched earlier this year.

We've also redesigned the site look and feel, including friendlier layout on mobile devices. If your browser lacks protections, Panopticlick 2.0 will recommend installing tools that are available on your platform, such as Privacy Badger , Disconnect or AdBlock , in order to get better protections as you navigate the Web.



Update: New Zealand film censor asks...

Do we really still need to be concerned about pornography in New Zealand?

Link Here22nd January 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in New Zealand...New Zealand considers internet blocking



Update: One Netflix for Europe...

UK government consults on ending geo blocking as a way to carve up digital rights in Europe

Link Here21st January 2016

The UK government has launched a public consultation on the EU's proposals to ban Netflix-style geo-blocking. The government says it wants its citizens to be able to access legally purchased content wherever they travel in the European Union and is now seeking input from copyright owners, ISPs and consumers.

During the past several days the issue of content geo-blocking has become a global hot potato after Netflix announced renewed efforts to thwart users who attempt to bypass its content-locking mechanisms.  Starting immediately, subscribers who attempt to access the Netflix service with a VPN or proxy in order to gain access to libraries in other regions will face additional roadblocks. The measures have been widely criticized by both VPN companies and consumers .

But while this kind of effort to protect copyright holders and licensing agreements is probably legal now, over in Europe a conflicting scenario is playing out via the European Commission.  Following the adoption last March of a new Digital Single Market Strategy which aims to improve consumer access to digital services and goods, the Commission presented plans to abolish geo-blocking and filtering restrictions across EU member states.

Describing geo-blocking as a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons the Commission said that users should be allowed to access digital content services like Netflix all across Europe, no matter where they are.

In response to the Commission's proposals the UK government has just launched a public consultation, aiming to gauge the public's response to the idea of a geo-blocking ban in advance of any final decision by the EU. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) announced:

The European Commission has recently published draft legislation that is intended to ensure that all digital services are portable within the European Union.

This would mean that a person who lives in the UK, and who subscribes to a digital content service there, would be able to be confident they can continue to access that service when they are elsewhere in the EU, provided they have the right level of internet connection.

The UK government itself is strongly in favor of the EU's proposals and believes that both consumers and content providers will benefit from legislative change.

The government says that in advance of negotiations on the text between EU Members States it is seeking views from both businesses and consumers on the costs and benefits of the proposals, alongside suggestions of how the language of the legislation could be improved. The IPO says:

In particular, we are seeking views from service providers, rights holder organizations, and consumers, in order to better understand how the proposals will affect them,



Update: No Wine, Piggies or Bush!...

Iran sets out its book censorship rules

Link Here21st January 2016
Full story: Book Censors in Iran...Iranian literary censors
Iran has banned the use of the word wine as well as the names of foreign animals and certain foreign presidents .

Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is imposing the ban to counter a Western cultural onslaught . Mohammad Selgi, head of book censorship at the ministry, said:

When new books are registered with us, our staff first has to read them page by page to make sure whether they require any editorial changes in line with promoting the principles of the Islamic revolution, effectively confronting the Western cultural onslaught and censoring any insult against the prophets.

Words like wine and the names of foreign animals and pets, as well as names of certain foreign presidents are also banned under the new restricting regulations.

According to BBC Persia , Selgi also spoke out against books on psychology that cite masturbation as a treatment method.



Sexuality shouldn't be linked with domesticity...

Shopper offended by lingerie shop window set in a laundrette

Link Here21st January 2016
A lingerie shop has offended the easily offended of Brighton. The shop display featured a sexily attired mannequin visiting a laundrette.

Prudish Brighton student, Sarah Derby, complained that the display was demeaning women with outdated ideology. She said:

I understand sex sells but this window displays a picture of women as sexualised domestic beings. They seem to be saying that to be sexy you also need to be able to do the laundry.

I live in Kemp Town and walk past all the sex shops every day. This isn't about being prudish ...BUT... sexuality shouldn't be linked with domesticity.

In her full complaint to the company, Derby questioned why the firm had not chosen to display attractive women in the House of Commons, laboratories or succeeding at sport.

A spokeswoman for Boux Avenue said:

We were very concerned to hear of the complaint with regards to one of our window displays in the Brighton store. At Boux Avenue we pride ourselves on being a customer centric brand and we attempt to create fun and engaging window displays that we are confident our customers will enjoy. The window as designed by our creative team, was not intended to cause offence but we can see how the concept could be interpreted and have taken the feedback on board.

The campaign is due to come to an end this week and this is not a creative that we will be repeating. We apologise for any offence caused, as this was by no means the effect intended.




Impress, a UK newspaper censor competing with IPSO, announces first members

Link Here21st January 2016
Press censor Impress has named the first 10 media organisations to sign up including: New Internationalist, The Ferret, The Caerphilly Observer,  The Port Talbot Magnet, The Southport Reporter and View Digital

Walter Merricks, the chairman of Impress, said that it has also officially submitted an application to the Press Recognition Panel for recognition under the controversial royal charter:

This marks a new era for independent press regulation. It is a significant moment for us and one which has taken a lot of hard work to achieve; we believe that we meet the requirements for recognition and we will now wait and see if the panel accepts that we are independent and effective, properly funded and able to protect the public.

The recognition process is expected to last at least four months.



Offsite Article: Threatening Dark Clouds...

Link Here21st January 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
China is Blocking Circumvention Tools With Help of Cloud Service Providers. By Oiwan Lam

See article from



Update: Germany Unfriends Facebook...

Facebook launches undetailed censorship scheme in Germany in response to government pressure about criticism of refugees and immigration

Link Here20th January 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Facebook has launched a censorship campaign designed to silence hate speech, extremism and racism in Europe.

It unveiled its Online Civil Courage Initiative following months of pressure from the German government.

Although Facebook insists its strategy is about combating extremism, it does not make it clear whether this means Islamic terrorism, right wing racism or both.

Announcing the launch of the initiative, Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said:

The best cure for bad ideas is good ideas. The best remedy for hate is tolerance. Hate speech has no place in our society - not even on the Internet. Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.



Debate is Futile...

A few vegans take easy offence at light hearted adverts for Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Link Here20th January 2016

Perfectly OK

Totally 'outrageous'

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), a leading burger chain in the UK, has launched a new tongue in cheek campaign to tempt vegetarians to eat meat, inevitably outraging a few easily offended vegans.

The adverts, seen mostly at London Underground stations and trains, include taglines such as Vegetarians, resistance is futile, and You'll always remember when you gave up being a vegetarian .

People have taken to social media to whinge about GBK's ads, coining the hashtag #gourmetmurderkitchen to highlight what has been perceived to be a flippant attitude towards the consumption of meat.

GBK quickly responded to the flood of complaints, confirming they will be taking down some of the adverts.

We've been reading the reactions to our latest advertising campaign and needless to say, we're quite taken aback. Our intentions were light-hearted and not meant to cause any offence, but clearly we have, and for that we apologise.

Having read all your comments and messages, we've made the decision to take down some of the adverts.




Offsite Article: Passed 18 for strong mental cruelty...

Link Here20th January 2016
Drying Paint video now delivered to the BBFC

See article from



Beyond Healing...

Deadpool banned in China due to its R rated content

Link Here19th January 2016
Deadpool is a 2016 Canada / USA action Sci-Fi adventure by Tim Miller.
Starring Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano and Ryan Reynolds. Youtube link IMDb

Based upon Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

An R rated film is not really suitable for the Chinese market, and so Deadppol was duly banned by Chinese film censors at SAPPRFT due to its violence, nudity and graphic language.

China's censorship authorities often work with Hollywood studios to create special cleaned-up cuts of R-rated movies, but sources close to the Deadpool decision say it wasn't possible to excise the offending material without causing plot problems.



Pakistan Army Retribution...

Game set in Taliban school massacred banned on grounds of political correctness

Link Here18th January 2016
A bloody video game set inside the Pakistani school where more than 130 children were massacred by Taliban gunmen has been withdrawn, weeks after it was released as part of an army-backed campaign to promote peace and tolerance in the country.

Players of Pakistan Army Retribution take the role of a soldier attempting to protect precious lives from terrorists who attacked the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar in December 2014.

There are various levels in the game, which features a rousing rendition of the national anthem, depicts events from the day of the attack and is branded with the logos of the Pakistani army and Punjab Information Technology Board.

The organisations jointly commissioned the game as part of a campaign to mark the one-year anniversary of the school killings.

Although it had been available to users of Android mobile devices for some time it only attracted public attention recently when Dawn, one of the country's leading newspapers, ran a review on its website that declared the game failed on every politically correct front.

There were claims of the game being disrespectful to the dead. Making a game out of the nation's most gruesome tragedy is adding salt to the injuries of not only the families of the martyred children but the entire nation.

Umar Saif, chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board, said the game was immediately pulled from the Google Play store after he became aware of it on Monday. Saif said Pakistan Army Retribution was just one of dozens of videos, jingles and social media items commissioned as part of a Peaceful Pakistan campaign intended to build on national revulsion over the APS attack.



Updated: Missing, presumed censored...

Hong Kong book sellers go missing in connection with books critical of China

Link Here18th January 2016
Another associate of a Hong Kong bookshop specialising in titles critical of the Chinese government appears to have disappeared.

Last month four other employees of the same bookshop and publishing house, including its owner, went missing.

Their colleagues believe they have been detained because of their work.

The latest associate to be reported missing is the man who raised the alarm when his colleagues disappeared in October. Mr Lee spoke to the BBC when his colleagues disappeared but did not want to disclose his full name at the time fearing reprisals.

He failed to arrive home on Wednesday evening and his wife has been unable to reach him. She told the BBC she is deeply afraid. One of his colleagues said Mr Lee was taken away by unknown men and the fear is that Chinese officials have reached beyond mainland China to punish them for their work, our correspondent Juliana Liu in Hong Kong reports.

Two of the previous four men who disappeared were last seen in Shenzhen, mainland China, where their wives live; one was last seen in Hong Kong; and the other, the owner of the publishing house, was last heard from by email from Pattaya, Thailand, where he owns a holiday home.

The Causeway Bay Bookstore sells gossipy paperbacks that are highly critical of the Chinese leadership and are said to be popular among mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong.

Update: Abductions of book sellers by Chinese police achieves its aims

6th January 2016.  See  article from

Hong Kong book stores have understandably pulled titles that are critical of the Chinese government after presumed police abduction of book sellers.

Reading material banned on the Chinese mainland has been pulled from the shelves of at least one Hong Kong bookstore in response  to  the disappearance of bookseller Lee Bo.

English-language-focused Page One, which has a total of eight outlets in the city -- six of them at Hong Kong International Airport -- is understood to have begun withdrawing material banned by China from sale in late November, around the time the first of five men linked to Causeway Bay Books went missing.

When a South China Morning Post reporter posing as a customer approached Page One's Tsim Sha Tsui store and asked for a book called The Secret Deals Between Xi Jinping and Bo Xilai, the salesman said the retailer had stopped selling banned books more than a month ago. the reporter said:

We were told to take all politically sensitive books off the shelves in late November. The manager did not tell us the reason, but said Page One would no longer sell banned books ever again.

Banned books were often among the top selling items in Page One's Hong Kong outlets and were placed in prominent areas at airport stores, from where mainland tourists would buy and smuggle them to elsewhere in the country. The publishing of sensational books on the inner workings of the Communist Party and the private lives of government officials has brought good returns for a number of booksellers.

Update: Chinese authorities parade censored bookseller on TV

18th January 2016. See  article from

A Hong Kong publisher reported missing last October has appeared on Chinese state TV. The Chinese police spun the unlikely sounding an explanation that the incarceration was somehow about a hit and run prosecution 10 years earlier.

Public confessions have long been a part of China's criminal law, but experts say many confessions are forced.

Update: China whinges about British criticism

18th January 2016.  See  article from

Beijing has strongly criticised Britain for suggesting that a Hong Kong bookseller detained by China was involuntarily removed to the mainland , accusing Britain of interfering in Chinese domestic affairs.

Britain on Friday released a report describing the disappearance of Lee Bo, who holds a British passport and published books critical of Chinese politics, as a serious breach of an agreement signed with Beijing before Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. They were Britain's strongest comments yet on the case that has rocked Hong Kong , adding to growing fears that freedoms are being eroded in the semi-autonomous city.

Beijing hit back, claiming London was making groundless accusations against China . Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement:

Hong Kong affairs are China's domestic affairs. We ask the British side to mind its words and actions and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs.



Updated: Now Danish Girl is harassed by a mob of film censors of Arabic origin...

Transgender film banned in Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait

Link Here 17th January 2016
The Danish Girl is a 2015 UK / Germany / USA biography by Tom Hooper.
Starring Amber Heard, Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

Qatar: Banned in January 2016

The Danish Girl has been pulled from cinemas in Qatar following online protests about the depravity of the film, which tells the story of an artist who underwent one of the world's first gender reassignment operations. Representatives from the country's culture ministry wrote on Twitter:

We would like to inform you that we have contacted the concerned administration and the screening of the Danish film is now banned from cinemas. We thank you for your unwavering vigilance.

The film had opened in cinemas in Doha on Thursday only to be banned four days later.

Promotional Material

Based on the book by David Ebershoff, The Danish Girl is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, portrayed by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), and directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

Meanwhile in the UK the film was  passed 15 uncut by the BBFC for sexualised scenes for its cinema release

Update: Censor Mob

17th January 2016. See article from

Elsewhere in the Middle East, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that The Danish Girl failed to pass local censors in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait.



Glorying in Jailing Men...

UK Home Affairs Committee sets up a biased inquiry clearly with the intention of jailing men for seeking the simple pleasures of life from sex workers, just so that mean minded feminists can feel good about their 'equality'

Link Here17th January 2016

The Home Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into the way prostitution is treated in legislation. In particular, the inquiry will assess whether the balance in the burden of criminality should shift to those who pay for sex rather than those who sell it. Saying that, the only discussion points on the agenda are in support of the premise.

Inquiry: Prostitution Home Affairs Committee

Terms of Reference

Written evidence is invited on the following issues:

  • Whether criminal sanction in relation to prostitution should continue to fall more heavily on those who sell sex, rather than those who buy it.
  • What the implications are for prostitution-related offences of the Crown Prosecution Service's recognition of prostitution as violence against women.
  • What impact the Modern Slavery Act 2015 has had to date on trafficking for purposes of prostitution, what further action is planned, and how effectively the impact is being measured.
  • Whether further measures are necessary, including legal reforms, to:
    - Assist those involved in prostitution to exit from it
    - Increase the extent to which exploiters are held to account
    - Discourage demand which drives commercial sexual exploitation

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted online by midday on Thursday 18 February 2016.



Update: Under-aged Fonts...

Ludicrous ruling from the drinks censor sees packaging for MMWah mixed flavour shots banned

Link Here17th January 2016
Full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks

A complaint about the packaging of 5 x 20ml bottles of Mmwah (mixed flavour alcoholic drinks) produced by Harwood Drinks Ltd has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP) for particularly appealing to under-18s. The ICP did not uphold a further aspect of the complaint which suggested the packaging encouraged immoderate consumption.

The complaint was initiated by a member of the public who, believed that the cute size of the small bottles could lead to immoderate consumption by encouraging snacking on alcohol . The complaint also highlighted the style of writing, flavours and size of the product packaging as appealing to a younger age group.

The ICP considered the packaging under paragraph 3.2(f) (encouraging illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption) and 3.2(h) (having a particular appeal to under-18s) of the Portman Group's Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks.

In considering whether the packaging encouraged immoderate consumption, the Panel noted that the total alcohol content of all five 20ml bottles was 1.5 units. Accordingly the packaging was not considered to encourage immoderate consumption and was not upheld under Code rule 3.2(f).

The Panel then considered whether the product had a particular appeal to under-18s. The Panel discussed the style of font, product name, colour and imagery used on both the primary and secondary packaging. They considered each aspect individually and also the overall impression conveyed by the packaging. The Panel concluded that the style of font, bright colours, language and miniature size combined would have particular appeal to under-18s, particularly young girls. Accordingly, the Panel upheld the complaint under code paragraph 3.2(h).

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Henry Ashworth said:

When creating packaging and design for an alcoholic product, it is important to consider how all the elements combine so that, however inadvertently, the packaging does not end up having a particular appeal to under-18s. The Portman Group Advisory Service is on hand to provide free and confidential advice regarding the marketing and packaging of alcoholic products.



A Censor with no Pecker...

Indian film censors make substantial cuts to The Hateful Eight

Link Here16th January 2016
India's film censors have cut 1:34s of material from the cinema release of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

The film was given an adults only A rating after the following cuts:

  • Mute all occurrences of the strong language: 'bitch', 'son of a bitch', 'whore', 'motherfucker'.
  • Delete close up frontal nudity of man in snow and reduce him being dragged around by 50%
  • Mute the words 'black pecker', 'Black Johnson', 'Black Jingus' wherever they occur, particularly in dialogue about nude man.
  • Delete the visuals of a blow job.
  • Delete killing of Mexican with face being blown up
  • Reduce killings and shootings by 50% wherever they occur
  • Reduce puking of blood scene by 50%
  • Reduce a scene of vomiting on woman's face by 50%.
  • Reduce a hand chopping by 50%.
  • Reduce hanging scene by 50%

The CBFC's under fire chief censor Pahlaj Nihalani did however make a point of noting that he has passed The Danish Girl with an uncut A rating, noting the worthiness of the nude scenes.

There still may be hope for Indian Tarantino fans as India's Government has been listening to appeals by film makers and there have been several recent examples where the government has overruled censor cuts in Mastizaade, Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 and Miss Teacher



Updated: A Culture of Censorship...

Government appoints a new TV censor for Ofcom

Link Here16th January 2016

Ofcom has announced the appointment of two new, non-executive members to its Board. Non-executive directors are appointed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Ben Verwaayen and Bill Emmott will take up their positions from this month, each for a period of four years.

Bill Emmott will also take on the role of Chairman of Ofcom's Content Board.

Ben Verwaayen has 30 years' experience in running major telecoms, technology and media companies in executive and non-executive roles. He is currently a General Partner at investment fund Keen Venture Partners and holds various Board positions, including Akamai in the US and mobile operator Bharti Airtel in India. Ben is a former Chief Executive of BT, KPN in the Netherlands and Alcatel Lucent, and has served as a Chairman of Endemol.

Bill Emmott is a journalist and editor who spent 26 years at the Economist, with 13 years as Editor-in-Chief and as a main Board Director. He is also a documentary film maker and an author of non-fiction books. Bill was Chairman of the London Library from 2009 to 2015, is one of Swiss Re's panel of advisers, Group Economic Adviser to Stonehage Fleming wealth managers and a visiting professor at Shujitsu University in Okayama, Japan.

Ben Verwaayen and Bill Emmott have replaced Tim Gardam and Mike McTighe, who are stepping down from the Board having each served two terms.

Update: Another new TV censor, previously from ATVOD

16th January 2016.  See  press release from

Ofcom has appointed Robin Foster, previously an independent member of the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) Board, to its Content Board.

Robin brings over 20 years' experience of the UK media sector. He has held senior level strategy positions at the BBC and the Independent Television Commission, and is currently a member of the Advertising Advisory Committee to BCAP at the Advertising Standards Authority and a founding director of media consultants, Communications Chambers.

Robin's appointment is for a three year term.



Social Problems Solved...

Kenya announces a radio watershed to protect children from Jeremy Kyle-like sex talk shows

Link Here16th January 2016
Kenyan broadcasters will not be allowed to air adult content from 5am to 10pm Eastern African time, from June 2016.

A statement from the Kenya Communications Authority said the law is to protect children:

No broadcasting station shall air programmes, including interactive call-ins or discussion sessions, whose content is suitable for adult-only audience during the watershed period.

Popular stations in Kenya air explicit content during the day, a practise that appears to get them higher ratings and attracts more commercials. Reports say many are amused by the kind of content discussed and call into the programmes to share their experiences related to sex with their partners. For instance, husbands report their wives while the divorced also narrate their former sex life.

The new set of amendments will also hinder preachers who solicit for funds from their followers. Kenyans have been victims of fraudulent preachers who stage-manage every proceeding during their services to capture attention.



Unlike David Cameron...

French government decides to keep its citizens safe from fraudsters and thieves by allowing strong encryption

Link Here16th January 2016
The French government has rejected an amendment to its forthcoming Digital Republic law that required backdoors in encryption systems.

Axelle Lemaire, the Euro nation's digital affairs minister, shot down the amendment during the committee stage of the forthcoming omnibus digital bill, saying it would be counterproductive and would leave personal data unprotected. She said:

Recent events show how the fact of introducing faults deliberately at the request - sometimes even without knowing - the intelligence agencies has an effect that is harming the whole community

Even if the intention [to empower the police] is laudable, it also opens the door to the players who have less laudable intentions, not to mention the potential for economic damage to the credibility of companies planning these flaws. You are right to fuel the debate, but this is not the right solution according to the Government's opinion.

Lemaire called the proposal a plan to introduce vulnerability by design, and said that while she was aware that law enforcement would like such powers they were not a good idea, and could be used without the proper legal processes that the government supported. She said that, like the Dutch government, her party supported strong encryption.



Blurred Thinking...

Another ludicrous academic calls for BBFC to rewrite their rules to suit her pet campaign against smoking and drinking

Link Here15th January 2016
Full story: Smoking Censorship in the UK...Campaigners calling for film and TV censorship
Dr Jo Cranwell, a psychologist from the University of Nottingham, is calling for tighter measures put in place to protect children from images depicting smoking an drinking in music videos.

She claims that British teenagers are being exposed to a high level of tobacco and alcohol images in online music videos and research from the University of Nottingham suggests girls aged between 13 and 15 are the most exposed.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , analysed 32 of the most popular music videos during a 12-week period. reserachers estimated, using the census and their own data, that the average percentage of viewing of those videos was 22% for teenagers and 6% for adults. They worked out the total number of depictions (impressions) of alcohol and tobacco in 10-second slots throughout the music videos seen by viewers. Overall, the videos produced 1,006 million impressions of alcohol and 203 million of tobacco.

Trumpets by Jason Derulo, and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke delivered some of the highest number of tobacco impressions, while Timber by Pitbull, and Drunk In Love by Beyonce, delivered the most alcohol content, the study said.

Cranwell whinged:

Girls are looking at role models beyond their core family unit and their peers. They're looking at wider society and they're looking at celebrities on film, she said. They're very attractive and they lead very aspirational lifestyles and these young girls are looking to them to learn about how they should look and how they should behave.

The BBFC should include portrayals of alcohol and tobacco smoking in their 'drug misuse' and their 'dangerous behaviours presented as safe age classification' criteria and at the moment they're not.

The BBFC says classification of content online is not required by law but many platforms use BBFC age ratings voluntarily. Its guidelines state that classification decisions also take into account any promotion or glamorisation of activities such as smoking or drinking. The last review in 2013 public opinion was clear that neither smoking nor alcohol were viewed as areas for concern for film classification .

Presumably Cranwell was too wrapped up in self importance to realise that issuing silly ratings, eg an 18 rating for 1001 Dalmatians, would undermine the credibility of ratings and would lead to parents ignoring them entirely.



Stick with your local rubbish!...

Netflix demands that users must not use VPNs and proxies to reach the content that they actually want to see (and pay for)

Link Here15th January 2016
For those utilizing VPNs, proxies and unblocking tools to access geo-restricted content on Netflix, the party may soon be over. According to an announcement by the company's Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture, people using such services will face new roadblocks in the coming weeks.

While increasing numbers of people are becoming tuned in to the joys of Netflix, growing numbers of subscribers are discovering a whole new world of content beyond what the service offers them as standard.

Netflix serves healthy libraries of content to many regions, but users in countries such as the United States get access to far more content than those located elsewhere. Likewise, not all European countries are served equally, with citizens of Italy falling short on content offered in the UK, for example.

As a result more and more customers of Netflix are bypassing restrictions designed to limit subscribers to content designated to their home countries. This is usually achieved by using a generic VPN or proxy service but some companies offer dedicated products to unlock Netflix on a global basis.

Even though Netflix admits it takes measures to try and limit the use of its service in this manner, the situation has traditionally seemed of minor interest to the company. However, in recent months Netflix has addressed the issue several times in the media and today has given the clearest sign yet that a crackdown is imminent.

In a post to Netflix's blog today, Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture David Fullagar said that while the company would continue to break down borders in order to offer content to the broadest possible audience, measures will be taken to ensure that content licensing agreements are respected.

That means that circumvention devices -- VPNs, proxies and similar tools -- will fall further under the company's spotlight.

Some members use proxies or 'unblockers' to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do, Fullagar says.

This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are.

The news will come as a blow to those enjoying the best possible Netflix experience, especially those in countries where the local library is limited compared to that of the United States, for example.

Note: While VPNs were not mentioned in the announcement, Netflix confirmed to TorrentFreak that these services will be targeted as well.



Offsite Article: What's the difference between 'offensive' and 'grossly offensive'?...

Link Here 15th January 2016
Judge Liam McNally's decision to allow the unpleasant Pastor James McConnell walk free is a little triumph for free speech. By Padraig Reidy.

See article from



Offsite Article: After Cologne: let's dare to say how things really are'...

Link Here 15th January 2016
A new Kafkaesque Europe where elevating European values over others is branded a phobia. Where to refuse to speak the truth is considered virtuous, and where saying how things really are, is seen as bad. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from



Obituary: Alan Rickman...

Happy Trails Hans. Magnificent Die Hard actor dies aged 69

Link Here14th January 2016
Actor Alan Rickman, known for films including Harry Potter, Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, has died at the age of 69, his family has said.

The star had been suffering from cancer, a statement said.

He became one of Britain's best-loved acting stars thanks to roles including Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films and Hans Gruber in Die Hard

He also played a great villainous Sheriff of Nottingham in  Robin Hood Price of thieves.

Both Die Hard and Robin Hood Price of thieves are featured on Melon Farmers as they were subject to extensive BBFC cuts.



No room for Liberty in the age of the Snooper's Charter...

Shami Chakrabarti to step down as director of Liberty

Link Here 14th January 2016
The civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti , once called the most dangerous woman in Britain , is stepping down as director of Liberty after leading the organisation for 12 years.

Having joined Liberty the day before the 11 September 2001 attacks, her departure comes as counter-terrorism legislation, surveillance concerns and privacy issues continue to rise up the political agenda.

Chakrabarti will remain in post until the organisation has chosen her successor. During her time at Liberty the organisation has seen off attempts to impose compulsory ID cards , derailed plans to extend the period suspects can be held without charge to 42 days, defeated the internment of foreign nationals and challenged powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act to stop and search individuals without suspicion .



Update: Hurt sentiments...

TV comedian briefly jailed for blasphemy against a cult leader

Link Here14th January 2016
Full story: Blasphemy in India...Hurting religious sentiments
A day after he was arrested and forced to spend a few hours in an Indian jail for mocking a self-styled religious sect leader, popular comedian Kiku Sharda called the experience traumatic, sad and sudden.

The comedian was arrested for mimicking Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in an episode on December 27.

Amid nationwide outrage, Sharda was also sent to custody for 14 days but released after a few hours in jail, soon after the Dera chief said he forgave him. But around 10 pm, he was detained again and then released this morning.

Thankfully I didn't spend 14 days in jail, Sharda remarked, joking, however, that he did feel more secure in jail than outside because of the crowd of Baba Ram Rahim's followers in court. There was uproar when I came. It was scary.

The comedian, booked for hurting religious sentiment, said he had faced this sort of trouble for the first time in 13 years.

The Dera Sacha Sauda, a sect that has a strong presence in Punjab and Haryana, describes itself as a social welfare and spiritual organisation with millions of followers in India and abroad. It doesn't sound a very noce group though, with police investigating claims that 400 followers were forced to undergo castrations so that they could get closer to God .



Updated: Worshiping Lord Bezos...

Rajan Zed whinges at Fortune magazine

Link Here14th January 2016
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Perenial hindu whinger Rajan Zed has taken 'offence' at the cover of the January international edition of American business magazine Fortune which juxtaposes image of President Jeffrey P. Bezos as the likeness of the religious character Lord Vishnu.

Zed's usual copy and paste news release said that Lord Vishnu was a highly revered major deity in Hinduism meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used indecorously or thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects.

Zed, calling it an unnecessary dragging of a Hindu deity to prove their point of view, urged Fortune to publish a disclaimer about this on its website and the next issue with proper explanation of Lord Vishnu and Hinduism; in addition to a formal signed apology by all involved at Time Inc.

Zed further said that Hindus welcomed media to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not just for improper showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance their commercial or other agenda. Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more ...BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at misusing it hurt the devotees. Media should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects and sacred symbols.

Update: Apologies

14th January 2016.  See  article from

American business magazine Fortune has apologized for juxtaposing image of President Jeff Bezos as the likeness of the religious character Lord Vishnu. Alan Murray, editor of Fortune Magazine said:

The cover of Fortune's January 2016 international edition featured an illustration of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as a Hindu deity. Neither the artist nor the editors of Fortune had any intention of parodying a particular deity or of offending members of the Hindu faith. It is clear that we erred and for that, we apologize.

Rajan Zed thankedMurray for showing maturity and responsibility and understanding the feelings of the community. but was pushing his luck a little by suggesting that Fortune and other media companies worldwide to send their senior executives and editors for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of the customers and communities.



Edward Scissorhands violently beaten up by Jim Ferman...

BBFC case study reveals how Edward Scissorhands was originally cut for a PG rating

Link Here 14th January 2016



Lego's Creativity Block...

Lego ends its censorship of Lego constructions after being shamed by Ai Weiwei

Link Here13th January 2016
Lego will no longer ask for thematic purpose of bricks it sells after it was international shamed for censoring Chinese artist Ai WeiWei.

Lego has performed a U-turn on its bulk orders policy after it was engulfed in controversy when it refused an order from the artist. Ai accused the company of an act of censorship and discrimination when it refused to sell him a bulk order last October.

Lego said at the time that its censorship policy was to block requests that it believed would be used for political purposes.

The decision sparked a wave of online criticism and led to WeiWei setting up Lego collection points across the world. The results of the project are now on show in the Letgo Room (2015) at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.

Lego said in a statement on its website that the censorship policy has been dropped but exhibitors of works featuring lego will now be now be asked to make it clear - if they intend to display their Lego creations in public - that the Lego Group does not support or endorse the specific projects,

Mr Ai welcomed the decision, tweeting nice move on his official account with the hashtag freedomofexpression .



Updated: Thailand becomes the new Burma...

Military dictators extend emergency news censorship powers to 'unusual situations'

Link Here13th January 2016
Thailand's military dictators are rewriting the country's constitution to give the government greater powers to censor the media.

In addition to the ability to censor the press during times of war - a power granted in the 2007 constitution - the military rulers now plans to give the state the ability to block news during political crises and other unusual situations , such as during the mass street protests that lead to 2014's military coup.

A Constitution Drafting Committee spokesman Udom Rathamarit said that the committee agreed that the government should have such censorship powers following the imposition of an emergency decree or under martial law:

When the country is facing an abnormal situation, the mass media should be cooperative. Otherwise, it can be difficult to set rules and disorder can break out. In normal times, we protect (the media's) work.

Acknowledging the potential for abuse of the new censorship powers, the CDC spokesman claimed that the panel will set good criteria to ensure that doesn't happen.

Update: Military dictators realise that they have the censorship power already

13th January 2016. See  article from

Constitutional drafters have dropped a plan to give the government additional powers to censor the media during political crises following an outcry from the press.

Constitution Drafting Committee spokesman Chartchai Na Chiang Mai said that the panel backed off its intention to add language to new charter allowing authorities to block during unusual situations , such as during the mass street protests that led to 2014's military coup.

Chartchai said panellists decided that the executive or emergency decrees issued during such times generally have included provisions allowing for government media censorship. The military also has the same power under martial law, he added.

As such, including the censorship language in the new constitution would be redundant.



Offsite Article: Taking the school bully down a peg or two...

Link Here13th January 2016
Full story: University Censorship...Universities vs Free Speech
Chris Patten makes a robust response to the ludicrous Oxford student who whinged about a statue of Cecil Rhodes

See article from



Obituary: Angus Scrimm...

Closer to God, Phantasm's The Tall Man dies aged 89

Link Here11th January 2016
Angus Scrimm (born Lawrence Rory Guy was an American actor and author, best known for playing the Tall Man in the 1979 horror film Phantasm and its sequels.

Scrimm stood approximately 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m).[2] To appear even taller when playing the Tall Man, he wore suits that were several sizes too small and platform shoes. His Phantasm role led to a steady acting career in theater and television.

On January 9, 2016, he died at the age of 89 in Los Angeles.

  • Sweet Kill (1973) Henry
  • Scream Bloody Murder (1973) Doctor Epstein
  • Jim the World's Greatest (1976) Jim's Father
  • Phantasm ( 1979 ) The Tall Man
  • Witches' Brew (1980) Carl Groton
  • The Lost Empire (1983) Dr. Sin Do/Lee Chuck
  • Phantasm II ( 1988 ) The Tall Man
  • Transylvania Twist ( 1989 ) The Tall Man
  • Subspecies ( 1990 ) King Vladislas
  • Mindwarp (1992) The Seer
  • Munchie Strikes Back (1994) Kronas
  • Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead ( 1994 ) The Tall Man
  • Wishmaster ( 1997 ) Narrator
  • Phantasm IV: Oblivion ( 1998 ) The Tall Man
  • The Off Season ( 2004 ) Ted
  • Masters of Horror : Incident On and Off a Mountain Road (2005) Buddy
  • Automatons (2006) The Scientist
  • Satanic (2006) Dr. Barbary
  • I Sell The Dead (2008) Doctor Quint
  • Hollywood Horror (2009)
  • Satan Hates You (2009) Dr. Michael Gabriel
  • John Dies at the End (2012) Father Shellnut
  • Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story (2015) uncredited cameo
  • Phantasm V: Ravager (2016) The Tall Man



F***ing Ludicrous...

Ofcom's newly renamed complaints bulletin whinges about asterisked subtitles for an afternoon repeat of Impractical Jokers

Link Here11th January 2016
Ofcom has a new name for its complaints bulletin reflecting the recent sacking of the internet video on demand censor, ATVOD. Ofcom has now taken over from ATVOD and will publish the results of any VoD complaints in the newly re-titled: Ofcom Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.

Impractical Jokers
Comedy Central, 6 August 2015, 16:00

Impractical Jokers is a hidden camera practical joke reality series, following four comedians, as they perform various pranks on members of the public.

During monitoring of an episode of Impractical Jokers shown before the watershed in the school holiday period we noted that at certain points when bleeped offensive language was used in the programme, the following subtitles were shown to viewers:

He's gonna beat the f***ing s**t out of me. God, I'm f***ing shaking.

Ofcom considered the subtitles raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 1.3 of the Code which states:

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

Paramount UK stated that the broadcast in subtitles of partially obscured expletives was a regrettable oversight by our Compliance team . The Licensee added that following contact from Ofcom about this issue, the Licensee had withdrawn all 72 episodes of Impractical Jokers from UK daytime schedules pending a review of their subtitling.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

We noted that a three minute sequence which was repeated on one occasion during the programme contained two bleeped uses of the word fucking . Although the word was not audible in either case, we considered the accompanying subtitle ( f***ing ) made clear the language used.

Ofcom's research on offensive language notes that the word fucking is considered to be among the most offensive by audiences. In our view, the repeated display of partially obscured examples of the most offensive language, particularly because they were broadcast at the same time as bleeping on the programme's audio track, made clear the specific offensive language being used, and were unsuitable for children.

We noted both that the Licensee had apologised for the error and the steps it taken to ensure that it the issue was not repeated. Nevertheless, for the reasons set out above, we concluded that the broadcast was in breach of Rule 1.3.

Breach of Rule 1.3



Natural Born Censor...

Former government minster for feminism and political correctness appointed to ASA advisory committee

Link Here11th January 2016
Four new members, Adair Richards, Jo Swinson, Robin Foster and Ruth Sawtell, join the Advertising Advisory Committee (AAC). They will be responsible for providing advice to the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), which writes and maintains the Broadcast Advertising Codes, on the key broadcast advertising issues affecting consumers.

Established in 2005, the AAC advises BCAP on matters relating to the Broadcast Codes. The Committee ensures that the concerns of consumers, viewers and listeners are taken into account when the Codes are drafted.

Jo Swinson AACJo Swinson

Previously serving as Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, Jo oversaw the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. As Minister for Women and Equalities, she led on various high profile policy issues including body image and media representation of women.

Of their appointment, Stephen Locke, AAC Chairman said:

I'm delighted that Ruth, Robin, Adair and Jo are joining the Committee. Their extensive understanding of, and insight into, the fast-changing consumer and media landscape will ensure a strong consumer voice in the formulation of broadcast advertising regulation. I greatly look forward to working with them, and with the two members of the previous Committee who will be continuing in their role -- Alison Goodman and Claire Whyley

The new members succeed Angela McNab, John Bradford, Michaela Jordan who served on the Committee for six years and Colin Cameron, who served for seven years.



Update: Dangerous Talk...

US authorities close down escort review site covering sex workers in Seattle

Link Here11th January 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

US police have shut down, one of the best known and highly used escort review forums in the Seattle area. operated for several years. The site describes itself as

Here local Seattle hobbyists and providers gather to share information, or chat in a relaxed environment.

The website's home page has now been hijacked by police and shows a message indicating it has been:

Seized pursuant to a promoting prostitution investigation conducted by the King County Sheriff's Office, the Bellevue Police Department, the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to KIRO-TV, eight men associated with site were arrested for promoting prostitution, money laundering, and various other charges.

The Sex Workers Outreach Project, known as SWOP, condemned the site's seizure and noted that there is resulting collateral damage.

SWOP believes the closure of is the latest in a long history of abuses of people in the sex trade that puts these communities in more vulnerable and often more dangerous situations.

Along with raids, attacks on web-based communities like TRB harm both native and non-native sex workers. In addition to a discussion forum, TRB functioned as a free advertising platform for adult workers. Many adult workers in the Northwest relied on the site as a low-barrier and free way to advertise and work without management, indoors, especially subsequent to MyRedbook's closure new barriers for using Backpage to advertise.

Capri Sunshine, a local sex worker and the SWOP-Seattle media coordinator, said:

The site was valuable to a lot of sex workers. It was free, undocumented workers without ID or credit cards could use it, and it was where most girls got the majority of their work



Offsite Article: How many 'f's in Fifteen?...

Link Here11th January 2016
BBFC answers questions about borderline classification decision

See article from



Offsite Article: American right strays into the censorship zone...

Link Here10th January 2016
Twitter has unverified the account of Breitbart technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos, effectively declaring war on conservative media by punishing the outspoken commentator for his views.

See article from



PC bullies whinge at a generic name for a style of pillowcase named 'housewife'...

And Wiki joins in the fun describing the style as: 'Housewife is essentially a bag, with a flap in the open end to fuck', or near enough

Link Here 9th January 2016
Ludicrous PC extremists have gotten all 'offended' by a picture of a pillowcase from Sainsbury's.

The pillowcase in question, from their own value brand, was offered in the style of housewife .

Cyber bullies took great delight on Twitter, claiming it to be sexist and an example of everyday sexism .

Sainsbury's responded to the tweet, saying:

 Hi there, this is the generic name for this style. Chris.

Sainsbury's isn't the only store to use the name housewife for pillowcases- it has been recognised as a style since the 1990s.

It's a good job the whingers didn't check out the definition on Wikipedia. This is amusingly defined with an open invitation to get a letter wrong:

Housewife is ... essentially a bag, with a flap in the open end to tuck the pillowcase behind to keep it in [place]...

Surely more than a coincidence.



Just when you thought PC whinges couldn't get any more inane...

Hands up all those who are not a bit sexist, homophobic, racist and especially ageist when it comes to selecting sexual partners

Link Here 9th January 2016
The dating site Where White People Meet, launched in late 2015, for white people who want to date other white people.

At first sight it may seem a little un-PC but there are plenty of websites specialising in very specific gender, racial, religion, age dating that exist without PC extremists throwing a wobbler. Eg for Jewish people or for those older than 50.

But of course this doesn't please PC extremists. According to a recent study out of Australia on online dating apps, claims that people who display a marked romantic preference for one race are more likely to be racist. Researchers found that 64% of the gay men they studied said it was acceptable to state a racial preference on these apps, and 70% believe it is totally fine to list racial preferences. Apparently the researchers claimed a correlation between racial discrimination and those who had high levels of racial preference.

The Guardian PC expert writing the article wailed:

To deny a person based solely on racial and ethnic identity without even getting to know them, instead of giving their numerous non melanin-related aspects a chance, is racism -- both on- and offline. I

I bet even the Guardian PC extremists would draw a line at demanding people ignore ageism when selecting sexual partners. And as for expecting religious women to not consider cultural identity when selecting their men....let's not go there.



Just when you thought PC whinges couldn't get any more inane...

A few tweeters get all 'offended' by a stripy scarf on sale at H and M

Link Here 9th January 2016
A few people have whinged on twitter about a scarf design sold by H&M. The scarf is apparently similar to a tallit scarf, a Jewish shawl worn during prayer. Both feature a cream colour, with the same black stripes and tassels.

A couple of trivial tweets were:

Dear Fashion: Please step off other ppl's ritual items (or symbols of liberation, really.)

Yo @hm this is exceedingly uncool.

An H&M spokesperson said:

We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece. Everyone is welcome at H&M and we never take a religious or political stand. Stripes is one of the trends for this season and something we were inspired by. Our intention was never to upset anyone.



Cultural Codes...

Beijing censors art exhibition featuring gender inequality

Link Here8th January 2016
An exhibition about gender inequality in China has been shut down by the authorities. The show, entitled Jian, Rape: Gender Violence Cultural Codes , was booked to open at Ginkgo Space, a commercial gallery in Beijing. Artist Cui Guangxia had organised the exhibition as a response to the United Nations call for men to engage with the issue of women's rights.

The closure by local officials could be a result of sensitivity to any open discussion of human rights in China, says Cui, or to the directness of the show's title, and the explicit nature of many of the works it contained. Or it could be because Cui is one of more than a dozen Chinese artists arrested last year for voicing support for the democracy protests in Hong Kong. Or it could be a combination of all these factors.

The leading Chinese feminist artist Xiao Lu says the censored exhibition, which was to include the work of 32 female and 32 male artists, would have been the first show in China to address the issue of gender equality.



Dutch Courage...

Netherlands supports strong encryption to protect internet users from crooks and thieves, unlike David Cameron and co.

Link Here8th January 2016
The Dutch government has issued a statement in defence of strong encryption, bucking the recent trend of governments and intelligence agencies arguing for weaker encryption. Ard van der Steur, the Dutch minister of security and justice, wrote that:

The government believes that it is currently not desirable to take legal measures against the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands.

Encryption supports respect for privacy and the secret communication of citizens by providing them a means to communicate protected data confidentially and with integrity. This is also important for the exercise of the freedom of expression. For example, it enables citizens, but also allows empowers important democratic functions like journalism by allowing confidential communication.

Security experts have welcomed the statement. Nithin Thomas, CEO of London-based security company SQR Systems called the announcement a powerful example that other world governments should follow .



Update: Ashes to Ashes, Bust to Bust...

FHM publishes its last ever issue

Link Here8th January 2016
Full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

FHM has become the latest lads' mag to bow out after a history of 31 years of publishing.

The final issue of the magazine hit the shelves yesterday and features TV presenter Holly Willoughby. She first fronted the magazine in 2008. Willoughby poses in a black dress alongside the witty cover line: Ashes to Ashes, Bust to Bust .

Bauer Media, which owns FHM, said in November that it would be closing the magazine after dramatic losses in circulation.



The many faces of easy offence...

Cyber bullies pick on Hungarian lawyer trying to highlight the decline of notable African tribes

Link Here8th January 2016
A Hungarian human rights lawyer and journalist who published a series of portraits transposing her own face on to those of African women has been bullied into removing her work.

Boglarka Balogh posted the project I Morphed Myself Into Tribal Women To Raise Awareness Of Their Secluded Cultures writing that the portraits set out to celebrate stunning tribal beauties at the brink of extinction .

But PC extremists took offence at the artwork and in a series of angry blogs claimed the work to be offensive, patronising and narcissistic. Kara Brown in an article headlined World Weeps in Gratitude for Woke Hungarian Who Did 7 Types of Blackface to Save Africa From Going Extinct whinged:

You can practically feel the ignorance washing over you like those firehoses they turned on black protesters back in the good old days.

Balogh responded by deleting the pages and writing:

Since I had no intentions to offend anyone and yet I'm not able to answer to all of you, I've decided to delete my post. My intention was 100% pure with this tribal art, being a human right [sic] lawyer and journalist who knows pretty much about racism and similar issues. I have never imagined that my work will annoy so many people and that I will have to explain myself. And sure, I will not do that. Keep calm and love every human.



Offsite Article: Let's blame porn for everything...

Link Here8th January 2016
Ludicrous academic sees porn as a possible cause of Cologne New Year assaults but totally rejects any connection to the ethnicity of the perpetrators

See article from



Updated: 31 Cuts...

Rob Zombie's latest horror struggling with cuts for an R rating

Link Here7th January 2016
31 is a 2016 USA horror thriller by Rob Zombie.
Starring Malcolm McDowell, Elizabeth Daily and Meg Foster. Youtube link IMDb

31 tells the story of five carnies in 1976 kidnapped on the morning of Halloween and held hostage in a remote industrial Hell. While trapped, they are forced to play a violent game called 31. The mission is to survive 12 hours against an endless gang of grease-painted maniacs.

Director Rob Zombie is running afoul of national ratings body, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who, after reviewing two cuts of his latest movie 31 , refuse to give it anything lower than an NC-17 rating. Zombie commented:

Well, after two tries through the MPAA, our rating on 31 remains NC-17. Maybe three is the charm to get an R rating. Why R, you ask? Well, because your local theater will not show an NC-17. Even though you are a fucking adults... things much be censored for your enjoyment.

The MPAA have said the current cut of 31 features sadistic graphic violence, bizarre sexuality/nudity, pervasive disturbing images and some strong language.

The film is scheduled to premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, followed by a theatrical release in February or March.

Update: R rating confirmed

7th January 2016. See latest ratings [pdf] from

The MPAA  has announced that a cut version has just been rated R for strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.

The R rating was granted at the 3rd attempt and surely there will now be an unrated video release to follow the cut theatrical release.



Update: Censorship Disaster...

Rana Plaza movie ban upheld on appeal to the Bangladesh Film Censor Board

Link Here7th January 2016
Rana Plaza is a 2015 Bangladesh docu-drama by Nazrul Islam Khan
With Pori Moni and Symon Sadik.

Banned by the Bangladesh film censor, a decision upheld after an appeal.

Summary Review

The film is based on the tragic Rana Plaza collapse. The movie centers on garment factory worker Reshma Begum's 17-day fight to survive under the debris of Rana Plaza, a building that collapsed on April 24, 2013.

Bangladesh: Banned in 2015

The movie revealed a little too much about dire safety and working conditions in Bangladeshi factories and was subject to a series of censorship hurdles.

The movie centers on garment factory worker Reshma Begum's 17-day fight to survive under the debris of Rana Plaza, a building that collapsed on April 24, 2013.

On July 17 2015, the High Court got involved in the censorship process and directed the authorities concerned to delete some scenes from the film saying they were too graphic and may have detrimental effects on public sentiment.

Presumably with the cuts made, the film was cleared by the Bangladesh Film Censor Board for a premiere on September 4. But the High Court again stepped in on August 24, slapped a six-month ban on its release following a plea by the Bangladesh National Garment Workers League chief Sirajul Islam. It also stayed the censor board's clearance of the movie. The petitioner had claimed that the movie has frightening scenes and the names of security forces were used in it, which is a violation of the law.

Further legal hearings followed in September, unbanning and re-banning the film, until the government stepped in November 3 and  blocked the screening of the movie pending an appeal filed with the censor board.

And in the latest step in January 2016, the Appellate Committee of the board refused to grant the film a certificate saying that the committee had found the movie not suitable for public viewing.



Offsite Article: Requiring Reporting of Online Terrorist Activity Bill...

Link Here 7th January 2016
US social media companies speak out against US bill demanding they report any terrorist content they come across on their websites

See article from



Offsite Article: Germans must be free to read Mein Kampf...

Link Here7th January 2016
The ban on Hitler's tome was dankly elitist. By Sabine Beppler-Spahl

See article from



Offsite Article: Religious Correctness...

Link Here7th January 2016
A year after Charlie, RSF cautions against the insidious imposition of a 'religious correctness' that poses a major threat to the journalistic freedom to inform others (and make them laugh).

See article from



Offsite Article: The truth about Charlie...

Link Here7th January 2016
Full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
Oe year after the 7 January attacks. By Karima Bennoune

See article from



Offsite Article: ISPs: should pay full costs of Snooper's Charter hardware...

Link Here 7th January 2016
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
And Terrible Theresa accused of deceit over comms data definition

See article from



Update: Paranautical Activity...

The latest game banned by Australian censors

Link Here6th January 2016
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Paranautical Activity is a 2014 first person shooter by Code Avarice developed further by Digerati in 2015 as the Deluxe Atonement Edition

The PC and consolde gamen Paranautical Activity made the news in 2014 when developer Mike Maulbeck got involved in a twitter storm over incorrect details and was pulled from Steam.

The game reappeared in February last year as a Deluxe Atonement Edition . But this has now been banned by Australian censors.

The Classification Board listing is dated 5th January 2016 and lists the film as banned or 'Refused Classification' The Australian censor does not give reasons for the ban beyond vague words about it not fitting within the censorship rules.

Current distributors Digerati told kotaku they would look at removing the 'offending item' to comply with the Classification Board's requirements:

The reason they gave was 'illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives and rewards' -- the prescribed drug in game is Adderall and picking up the item gives you a 15% speed increase.

I have asked if we can resub [Paranautical Activity] without the item, waiting for a reply.



Update: Free to offend...but not too much...

Judge finds high profile preacher's criticism of islam to be 'offensive' but not 'grossly offensive' so clears preacher of charges on internet insult

Link Here6th January 2016
Evangelical Protestant preacher Pastor James McConnell has been found not guilty of making grossly offensive remarks during a sermon in which he described Islam as heathen , satanic .

The high profile evangelical pastor had been charged with two alleged offences after the sermon delivered from the pulpit of his Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle on May 18, 2014 was streamed online.

But following a hearing he was cleared of improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

Delivering his reserved judgment, District Judge Liam McNally said:

The courts need to be very careful not to criminalise speech which, however contemptible, is no more than offensive. It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances. Accordingly I find Pastor McConnell not guilty of both charges.

In my view Pastor McConnell's mindset was that he was preaching to the converted in the form of his own congregation and like-minded people who were listening to his service rather than preaching to the worldwide internet. He is a man with strong, passionate and sincerely held beliefs... his passion and enthusiasm for his subject caused him to, so to speak, 'lose the run of himself

The judge said the comments about Islam being heathen and satanic were protected under human rights legislation. When considering the remarks about mistrusting Muslims, Judge McNally said he was satisfied the pastor had not set out to intentionally cause offence. If the preacher had qualified his remarks, as he did in subsequent media interviews, he could have been spared the legal battle.



We Need to Talk...

Cartoon Network censors two women romantically dancing together

Link Here6th January 2016
Cartoon Network is defending its decision to censor a scene of two woman dancing romantically from popular animated series Steven Universe .

It emerged this week that the network had made changes to an episode of the American animated series for its broadcast in the UK.

The episode features a romantic dance between two female characters, Pearl and Rose Quartz, during a musical number, but the UK broadcast the close ups of the dancing partners with other characters.

Cartoon Network claimed in a statement to PinkNews:

Cartoon Network (in Europe) often shows amended versions of programs from US originals. The US broadcast system requires that shows are marked with a rating --in this case PG (parental guidance necessary). In the UK we have to ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time. We do feel that the slightly edited version is more comfortable for local kids and their parents.

However, the claim appears to be entirely inconsistent with the British ratings system, with the BBFC noting that heterosexual and gay content is considered using the same rules regardless of orientation.

The BBFC's U rating -- which Cartoon Network aims for -- says:

Characters may be seen kissing or cuddling and there may be references to sexual behaviour. However, there will be no overt focus on sexual behaviour, language or innuendo.

Fans have raised concern about the network's gay discrimination in a petition saying:

Cartoon Network UK is taking much-needed role models away from vulnerable kids.

Steven Universe is a beloved series acclaimed for its groundbreaking portrayal of queer characters. I've heard many young people say it changed their lives.

In the UK and Europe, CN UK have censored a romantic dance between two female characters, Pearl and Rose Quartz. Queer youngsters treasure and cling to this moment.

The same episode ('We Need to Talk') has plenty of hetero dancing and kissing, so it looks like they're censoring this because it's two women.

Happily, there's a hopeful precedent. When CN France turned Steven Universe's lesbian love song Stronger Than You into a song about friendship, we raised an outcry and they listened.

Please ask CN UK to stop censoring queer content in Steven Universe , and to restore Pearl and Rose's dance in future broadcasts in the UK and Europe.



Offsite Article: Our sacred right to blaspheme...

Link Here6th January 2016
Full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
Charlie Hebdo has been attacked, threatened, misunderstood and maligned, but it sticks to its core values. By Caroline Fourest

See article from



Offsite Article: Reversing the polarity...

Link Here6th January 2016
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
The government couches the snoopers charter draft law in well known data protection principles but then carefully corrupts them by omitting a few 'nots'

See article from



Censorship Demons...

US Walmart demands cover censorship and a new title for Deathgasm

Link Here5th January 2016
Deathgasm is a 2015 New Zealand comedy horror by Jason Lei Howden.
Starring Milo Cawthorne, James Blake and Kimberley Crossman. Youtube link IMDb

The Walmart DVD edition of Deathgasm will be changing titles to Heavy Metal Apocalypse. The artwork has also been changed, removing the pentagram and demon.

The distributor is being forced to do this to get the movie into Walmart. And since it's one of the biggest retail locations in the United States, it makes sense that they'd make this change.

The movie itself is uncensored.





Dame Edna puts the BBC straight...

Barry Humphries notes puritanism and nervousness of the BBC about comedy

Link Here5th January 2016
  Barry Humphries , the Australian comedian best known for playing Dame Edna Everage, has mocked the BBC for refusing to let him make jokes about Jeremy Corbyn without also ridiculing David Cameron.

He claims that during talks with the BBC about a guest appearance as Dame Edna on Michael McIntyre's Christmas show, executives insisted on evenhanded mockery. He explained:

I mentioned some ideas to the BBC. I wanted to say something about Mr Corbyn and a faceless, nameless person at the BBC said, 'Then you have also have to say something about Mr Cameron.' As if there wasn't any bias at the BBC at all!

In an interview in the Radio Times he said shows such as Til Death Us Do Part , which ridiculed the racist views of main character Alf Garnett, would no longer be made by a nervous BBC:

It couldn't be done. There is a new puritanism that we are experiencing, a nervousness



Update: One year on and the assassin is still amongst us...

Charlie Hebdo releases a special edition to note the anniversary of the terrorist attack

Link Here4th January 2016
Full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
A special edition of Charlie Hebdo will mark a year since brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi burst into Charlie Hebdo's offices in eastern Paris and killed 12 people, including eight of the magazine's staff.  Included in the special edition will be a collection of cartoons by the five Charlie Hebdo artists killed in the 2015 attack as well as several external contributors.

Cartoonist Laurent Sourisseau, who took over the management of the weekly after the attack, also wrote an angry editorial in defence of secularism. It denounces:

Fanatics brutalised by the Koran as well as those from other religions who hoped for the death of the magazine for daring to laugh at the religious.

7.5 million people bought the first post-attack issue and 200,000 people signed up for a subscription. However, the magazine's staff feel unsupported in their struggle, said financial director Eric Portheault, who escaped death by hiding behind his desk when the gunmen stormed in, said:

We feel terribly alone. We hoped that others would do satire too. No one wants to join us in this fight because it's dangerous. You can die doing it.

Commemorative plaques will be unveiled at the sites of the January attacks, including at the weekly's former offices, in modest ceremonies attended by families and government officials, a City of Paris spokesman said.

On 10 January, a more public ceremony will take place on the Place de la Republique, the square in eastern Paris which became an informal memorial. President Francois Hollande will preside over the ceremony.

Update: Protests

6th January 2016. See  article from
See  article from

A Turkish state-run news agency said a court ordered the telecommunications authority to ban access to websites showing the cover. Anadolu Agency said the ban was ordered by a court in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir. A lawyer in Diyarbakir filed a petition saying the websites were a danger to public order .

In the Philippines, police said about 1,500 people protested in the Muslim-majority city of Marawi, with local politicians and teenage students packing the main square and some raising their fists in the air as a Charlie Hebdo poster was burned. T he organisers said in a statement:

What happened in France, the Charlie Hebdo killing, is a moral lesson for the world to respect any kind of religion, especially the religion of Islam. Freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the noble and the greatest prophet of Allah.

The Muslim Council of Great Britain advised Muslims to react with dignified nobility . Its advice sheet says:

Our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the prophet (peace be upon him). Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.

The Vatican's newspaper has criticised French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo for a front cover portraying God as a gun-wielding terrorist. In a commentary, the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said treatment of this kind towards religion is not new -- and stressed that religious figures have repeatedly condemned violence in the name of God. The newspaper said:

Behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism, the weekly is forgetting once more what religious leaders of every faith unceasingly repeat to reject violence in the name of religion -- using God to justify hatred is a genuine blasphemy, as pope Francis has said several times

In Charlie Hebdo's choice, there is the sad paradox of a world which is more and more sensitive about being politically correct, almost to the point of ridicule, yet does not wish to acknowledge or to respect believers' faith in God, regardless of the religion.



Offsite Article: Double Trouble...

Link Here4th January 2016
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Copenhagen's Little Mermaid falls foul of Facebook censors and then Denmark's copyright extortionists

See article from



Updated: Good Riddance ATVOD...

Ofcom consults on proposals for Video on Demand censorship rules and processes

Link Here2nd January 2016
ATVOD was sacked from its job as the Video on Demand censor a few weeks back. Ofcom has now taken over the role from 1st January 2016.

Ofcom has just published a paper outlining transitionary arrangements for Video on Demand Censorship and has outlined proposals for future changes to processes. Ofcom is consulting on these proposals and invites responses by 1st March 2016.

Ofcom will take on some employees from ATVOD and in the first instance the ATVOD censorship rules and processes will be continued. However Ofcom makes the following proposals for the future:

  • Service providers will still be required to register for censorship using more or less the same impossibly convoluted rules that currently exist (perhaps with improved explanation).
  • Ofcom proposes that service providers should no longer be charged a fee. (Ofcom note that the marginal cost to extend current TV censorship processes to Video on Demand are not great).
  • Ofcom will reorganise the complaints procedure along the lines of that used for broadcast complaints
  • Ofcom will rewrite the censorship rules in the style of the TV broadcast rules but substantive content will not be likely to change much as it is basically derived from EU and UK decrees.



Updated: Changing Spots...

After being internationally embarrassed by cuts to a James Bond kiss, India seeks to revamp its film censorship set up

Link Here2nd January 2016
India's Information and Broadcasting ministry is planning a complete revamp of its film censorship system. As part of the process, the goverment will research film censorship systems in other countries citing examples of the BBFC and MPAA.

A senior ministry official said that as the ministry reviews the functioning of the CBFC, it will also look at how ratings are given to movies in United States and other countries where such process is voluntary in nature.

Of course the government is not contemplating much of a relaxation saying it supports a liberal creative environment ...BUT... it is also conscious that there needs to be a framework so that films which can affect friendly relations with other nations or are against national interest are not allowed to be shown. It also says that it would like the new system to be controversy-free .

So just to summarise the government wants film censorship to be simultaneously liberal, illiberal and controversy free.

The official said that further announcements would be made soon.

Update: More details on film censorship revamp

2nd January 2016. See  article from

India's mad film censor has been sidestepped in a government study to revamp film censorship in India. Having faced adverse publicity over several decisions taken by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) last year, the government has set up a committee headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal to recommend measures to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework .

The committee will include filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey, journalist and film critic Bhawana Somaaya, National Film Development Corporations's MD Nina Lath Gupta and Information and Broadcasting Ministry's Joint Secretary (Films) K Sanjay Murthy. It will submit its recommendations within two months. T he ministry said:

During their deliberations, the committee would be expected to take note of the best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression



Wight Angel...

Art vandalism on the Isle of Wight

Link Here2nd January 2016
A village's 6ft-tall Muslim angel has been censored by vandals after threats that the artwork was not in keeping with Christmas.

Artist Penelope Walford used a store mannequin and a curtain to make the angel, which was dressed in a burqa.

She said she was inspired by her fear of rising Islamophobia after the Paris terror attacks and the UK's decision for air strikes against Islamic State .

Walford displayed her work as part of the St Helens Village of Angels event, Isle of Wight. She said:

She had been up a few days when I had a call saying she should be taken down because people had been talking about the 'burqa-clad angel'. They said it was not in the spirit of Christmas and there was no place for a Muslim angel in a Christian event. One chap was threatening to behead it and another said he was going to rip her burqa off.



Extract: Most unbelievable hype of the year so far...

That Chewie tearing an arm off is amongst the deleted scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Link Here1st January 2016

You might be frustrated to learn that director JJ Abrams's original cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was two hours and 40 minutes; over 15 minutes of footage was mercilessly chopped. But what exactly happened in the missing scenes?


Early rumours about the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens suggested that we'd be seeing a bit of arm-from-socket action, courtesy of everyone's favourite Wookiee. But according to Den of Geek , the scene in question, which took place at Maz Kanata's castle, may have been among the 20 minutes of cut footage.

It does, however, feature in the new Force Awakens novel, which describes how Unkar Plutt (the Jakku dealer who tries to take BB-8 from Rey) confronts the heroine at Maz's castle. He tries to attack her -- but before he can do anything, Chewie steps in:

"Grabbing the thrusting arm, a roaring Chewbacca twisted and ripped it off at the shoulder, throwing the dismembered limb clear across the room. Looking down at himself, Plutt let out a scream of agony as his underlings hurriedly fell back. The arm landed on a table where a group of four-armed, long-snouted Culisettos was gambling. With an annoyed huff, one of them picked up the amputated limb and absently tossed it aside, allowing the game to resume".

...Read the full article from



Unspeakable Censorship...

Bangladesh film banned because the censors could not speak a local dialect

Link Here1st January 2016
Mor Thengari (My Bicycle) is the first feature film made entirely in Chakma, an indigenous language spoken by the Chakma ethnic minority in Bangladesh. Directed by Aung Rakhine, the film centers around indigenous people, particularly the Chakma community. However, My Bicycle will not see a commercial release inside Bangladesh because it did not make it past the country's film censor.

In part, this is because the country's film industry is regulated by a censor board that only seems to have the capacity to review Bangla and English films.

However, it is likely that language was not the only barrier. Blogger Marzia Prova writes that censor certificates are only granted if the director is a member of the directors association and the producer a member of the producers association--requirements that may not have been met because membership is often prohibitively expensive.

Still others speculate that My Bicycle was censored due to its unfavourable portrayal of the army. After the film was shown in several festivals, the armed forces took notice and lodged a 14 page long complaint that the film showed the activities of the army:

The issue of armed forces rule in the hill tracts is a sensitive issue, people may know the truth. People may discover a lot of things. It is a big problem, so stop the film.

My Bicycle was conceived of 10 years ago and finally produced by Pandolipi Karkhana, who managed to find 30 financiers. Filming began in 2012. The film tells the story of an indigenous man named Komol who is fired from a job in a city and returns to his native village with only a bicycle. Komol tries to make a living by using the bicycle to ferry passengers and goods, but runs into trouble with others in the village.

Almost 300,000 people speak Chakma language in Bangladesh. But the language is dying because it is not being used.



Update: Microsoft to begin alerting users about suspected government snooping...

But only until this is criminalised in the upcoming Snooper's Charter

Link Here 1st January 2016
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Microsoft will warn email and OneDrive users if it detects apparent attempts by governments to hack into their accounts.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo already offer similar government hacker alert systems to the one just introduced by Microsoft. Alerts are far from rare. Google, for example, reportedly tells tens of thousands of users every few months that they've been targeted by foreign spooks.



Offsite Article: Encryption in the Balance...

Link Here1st January 2016
EFF reviews US government policy on encryption in 2015

See article from

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