Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2012: February

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29th February   

Sofa King Easily Offended...

More ludicrous claims of widespread offence by the PC extremists at ASA
Link Here

A regional press ad for The Sofa King, published on 4 August 2011, stated The Sofa King - Where the Prices are Sofa King Low! .

Three readers challenged whether the phrase Where the Prices are Sofa King Low! was offensive and unsuitable for general display.

The Sofa King said they had used the slogan Where the Prices are Sofa King Low! as their company strap line since they began trading nine years previously and that it was used on their premises and on their vehicles as well as in their advertising. They said complaints made to Northamptonshire Police in 2004 were not taken further by the Crown Prosecution Service and that no complaints had been made direct to them. They said the slogan simply used their company name to refer to pricing and that the words had not been changed or run together or punctuation used in a way that was intended to cause offence. They did not believe the slogan caused serious or widespread offence.

The Northampton Herald & Post said they had received two complaints about the slogan. They noted that the slogan also appeared on the advertiser's shop front and on their vehicles, and so could be seen by the public at any time. They said they had run the ad for some time with no complaints until now.

ASA Pronouncement: Complaints Upheld

The ASA noted that the phrase ... Sofa King Low! used the advertiser's company name but considered that it could be interpreted as a derivative of the swear word fuck , which consumer research had found to be a word so likely to offend that it should not be used in ads at all, even when it was relevant to the name of a product. Because of that, we concluded that the slogan was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that the ad breached the CAP Code.

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


29th February   

Update: Extreme Pornography Law...

Bangladesh enacts an anti-porn law with extreme penalties
Link Here

The Bangladesh Parliament has enacted its first-ever anti-porn law that carries extreme penalties for the production, preservation, transportation and marketing of porn.

Control Bill-2012, introduced earlier this year by home minister Shahara Khatun, received the green light and was supposedly aimed at curbing degradation of moral and social values. According to reports, the law was passed after deputy speaker Shawkat Ali put it to voice vote.

One provision covers anyone attempting to blackmail or trying to damage a person's social or individual reputation through the use of porn. The offender would then be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and fined $2,446.

The definition of porn under the law covers obscene books, periodicals, sculptures, imaginary structures, cartoons or leaflets that stimulate sex. It also includes any vulgar dialogue, acting, body gesture, nude or half-nude dance which creates sexual urge and that could be contained in film, video, audiovisual film, still picture, graphics or in any other means that has no artistic or educational value.

It is not applicable to books, writings, drawings or pictures reserved or used for religious purposes.


29th February   

Update: Denial Law Denied...

French constitutional court strikes down Armenian genocide denial law but Sarkozy orders another try
Link Here
Full story: Armenia Massacre Denial in France...France debates new law much to Turkey's annoyance

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered his government to draft a new law punishing denial of the Armenian genocide after a top court struck down a previous bill.

The Constitutional Council earlier ruled the law backed by Sarkozy infringed on freedom of expression. The bill, which covers the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I, was passed by both houses of the French parliament.

Turkey welcomed the ruling. But now Sarkozy seems set on re-opening Turkish antagonism. Noting the great disappointment and profound sadness of the law's backers, Sarkozy's office wrote in a statement:

The President of the Republic considers that [genocide] denial is intolerable and must therefore be punished. He has asked the government to prepare a new draft taking into account the decision of the Constitutional Council.


29th February   

Update: Power vs the Powers That Be...

Paddy Power has fun with a YouTube advert clearing chavs from Cheltenham with a tranquiliser gun
Link Here
Full story: Paddy Powers...Bookmakers adverts wind up the easily offended

Controversy baiting bookmakers Paddy Power have released another YouTube video which is causing the intended stir.

Last week the firm's Lady's Day advert for the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival which featured transgender actresses was widely criticised.

TV censors suspended it from being broadcast in the UK and the latest video looks set for an internet only airing.

In the new advert a man is seen loading a tranquiliser dart gun at a horse racing meet. He proceeds to shoot a variety of people not deemed appropriate for the Cheltenham Festival.

A Paddy Power spokesman said:

Shockingly, our last TV Ad has been banned after just four days on TV. That's some kind of record, even for us. This commercial, dubbed 'Chavs', didn't even pass the powers that be so it will never be seen on TV.

One has to suspect that it was never actually shown to the TV 'powers that be'.


28th February   

Update: Widespread Offence Bollox...

Credos surveys public opinion with regard to adverts banned by the easily offended ASA
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

Lynx advert

 ASA:   likely to cause serious or widespread offence
The people:. Eye-catching, harmless, light-hearted,
funny and suitable for the product

Credos which styles itself as an advertising think tank has published a report for the trade group, the Outdoor Media Centre examining the public offensiveness of some of the more controversial outdoor advertising campaigns.

The report, Public Attitudes Towards Outdoor Advertising , found that outdoor advertising is bottom on the list of offensive advert formats that the public are exposed to, with the internet; rap music; music videos; computer games and TV all being rated higher.

Credos asked 1051 GB adults aged 16-64 what they thought of twelve outdoor ads, four of which were banned by the ASA, with the other eight having received complaints.

It was found that while some ads provoked a strong emotional reaction, the public are generally unlikely to consider an advert so offensive that they would complain about it.

Respondents were asked to choose key words to describe each ad, out of the following list: funny, light-hearted, suitable for the product, harmless, depends on location and eye-catching. Harmless was the word used most often.

The perfect 10 ad for a gentlemen's club was found to be the ad which offended the most people, (31% of all adults) with inappropriate, vulgar, rude, eye-catching and sexist the top five words used to describe it.


28th February   

Update: Censored for the Moment...

Australian law Reform Commission delivers its report on rationalising media censorship
Link Here
Full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

The Classification team delivered its Final Report on the Review of the National Classification Scheme to the Attorney-General. Under the ALRC Act, the Attorney-General now has 15 Parliamentary sitting days in which to table the Report. Until it is tabled, the Report is under embargo and the ALRC is unable to make any comment about its recommendations or the Report's content.

We have also produced a short Summary Report that provides an accessible overview of the ALRC's recommendations and approach to reform. Once these publications have been tabled, they will be available to view or download from the ALRC website.


28th February   

Extract: Fears of Violence and Easy Offence...

BBC boss confirms that christianity is treated with less sensitivity than 'other' religions
Link Here

BBC director-general Mark Thompson has claimed Christianity is treated with far less sensitivity than other religions because it is pretty broad shouldered .

He suggested other faiths have a very close identity with ethnic minorities , and were therefore covered in a far more careful way by broadcasters.

But he also revealed that producers had to consider the possibilities of violent threats instead of polite complaints if they pushed ahead with certain types of satire.

...Read the full article


28th February   

Update: In a Perfect World...

UN meeting to discuss body image
Link Here
Full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

Actress Geena Davis has teamed up with UK Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone to challenge the portrayal of women in the global media.

The minister is at a UN summit this week where she will host the first international event about body image.

She will join UN delegates to talk about how education can be used to battle negative body image and the UK's Body Confidence campaign, which focuses on gender stereotyping in the media and highlights how misleading images can supposedly cause stress on younger women. She said:

Every day, women across the world are surrounded by body images which bear little or no resemblance to reality, whether that be the 'size zero or the perfect hourglass. These images can cause real damage to self-esteem.

If children continue to grow up in a world filled with images of uniform beauty and airbrushed perfection, future generations will never be happy in their own skin. This is why I am bringing the debate to the UN. Body confidence

Geena Davis, [with a 'prefect body'], welcomed the UK's body confidence campaign. She said:

Hollywood and the media have the power to shift attitudes and achieve social change, particularly in how our children value themselves and each other. There is a real need to dispel the myths of the 'perfect body that just don't match up to the real world.'


28th February   

Blowing her Top...

Malawi minister gets wound up by local and modest version of the Sun's Page 3
Link Here

Malawi Information Minister Patricia Kaliati is aging a nutter war with local tabloid, Weekend Times , with its Page 8 Action Girl that depicts sexualised images modestly reminiscent of Page 3 of The Sun in the UK.

Kaliati, speaking at the launch of the Malawi Child Protection and Gender Media Network, is reported to have condemned the Weekend Times Page 8 girls , describing it as pornographic and misogynistic.

What a shame! she screamed: How would you feel to see your daughter or sister exposed like that?

She called on journalists to campaign for the removal of Page 8 from Weekend Times.


27th February   

Update: Excuses Accepted...

South African advert censor clears sexy perfume ads
Link Here

A gentleman's club is relieved that the Advertising Standards Authority SA has dismissed complaints that its billboards advertising a range of fragrances are sexist and objectify women.

Mavericks Revenue Bar, in Cape Town, has launched Alibis fragrances, which, according to its website, are particularly for gentlemen upon leaving the club .

Shane Harrison, owner of Mavericks, said the billboards depicting three women striking poses in different settings had prompted three separate sets of complaints against the club.

But the ASA dismissed all the complaints last week:

Whingers had claimed that the ads were of a sexist nature , objectify women and potentially harmful to children , and to undermine family values.

But Harrison said:

If a consumer sees 'masturbatory implications' when looking at a woman holding a wrench, it is a problem perhaps best addressed in chambers outside those of the ASA.

In November, the ASA found that the model in another advertisement of the series - dressed only in a bra, fishnets, red stilettos and a tie - unduly objectifies the woman .


27th February   

Updated: Impaired Judgement...

ATVOD bluffs that hardcore might seriously impair under 18's that see it
Link Here

ATVOD have announced a determination that all internet hardcore must be locked behind paywalls, that in practice can only be unlocked by credit cards, even debit cards won't do. I wonder percentage of customers are banned from watching porn because they haven't got a credit card or else would rather not use it).

And as far seriously impairing under 18's, I guess they will all have been seriously impaired already. And will continue to be seriously impaired to the benefit of foreign websites. The 'experts' are hardly convinced that the depiction of anything so natural to every person's life can be considered seriously impairing anyway. And the government seems to have asked ATVOD/Ofcom to bluff it out until more specific legislation can be drawn up. (See morally impaired plot ).

And do any of these censors ever consider the serious impairment to our children caused by poverty. They seem so keen to add the mass of expensive state control freakery and yet it is suffocating Britain's ability to earn any money.

Anyway ATVOD have release the news article:

ATVOD Rules That Adult Website Must Block Access To Children

ATVOD publishes determination that adult video on demand website had breached statutory rules requiring video on demand providers to ensure that under 18s cannot normally access hardcore pornographic content

The Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) has today published its determination that the provider of the online video on demand service was in breach of a statutory rule which requires that material which might seriously impair under 18s can only be made available if access is blocked to children.

The website offered users access to explicit hardcore porn videos which could be viewed on-demand. The content of the videos was equivalent to that which could only be sold in licensed sex shops if supplied on DVD.

Responding to a complaint from a concerned father, who had discovered that his son had visited the site, ATVOD found that the website broke the statutory rules in two ways. Firstly, it allowed any visitor to the website unrestricted access to a selection of hardcore pornographic video promos/trailers featuring real sex in explicit detail and featured a large still image of explicit sex on the homepage. Secondly, access to the full videos was open to any visitor who paid a fee. As the service accepted payment methods -- such as debit cards and prepaid vouchers -- which can be used by under 18s, ATVOD ruled that the service had also failed to put in place effective access controls in relation to the full videos.

ATVOD followed up its ruling with an Enforcement Notification, requiring the provider of to either remove the hardcore porn content from the service or put it all behind effective access controls which will ensure that only adults can see it. The service has now ceased operating.

Speaking today at a conference at the House of Lords on ATVOD's role in child and consumer protection, ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson will say:

UK providers of hardcore pornography on demand must take effective steps to ensure that such material is not accessible to under 18s. Asking visitors to a website to click an 'I am 18' button or enter a date of birth or use a debit card is not sufficient -- if they are going to offer explicit sex material they must know that their customers are 18, just as they would in the 'offline' world.

Last week, ATVOD followed up its ruling with a seminar for providers of adult content on video on demand services. The seminar was designed to ensure that such providers fully understood their obligations under the statutory rules and to make clear that ATVOD would take action in relation to any other providers found to be in breach of the rule.

Comment: ATVOD Stitch Up

27th February 2012. From

The previous operator of made a few interesting comments to a forum.

Firstly he said that the complaint to ATVOD was initiated about the content of one of the films, not about ease of access to the site.

Secondly he summarised one of the important issues with ATVOD regulation that will suffocate British companies trading in adult video on demand:

With all due respect, do you seriously think any UK website owner is going to only use soft 18 images on their sites to promote their hardcore content? No.

The unlocked web pages of a website are for surfers to window shop and if there's soft images then first time visitors may think that the website only offers soft content.

It's effectively killing their business.


27th February   

Update: Nutters Gone Wild...

Collective Shout campaigner whinges at tame softcore videos available to Australian mobiles via Telstra
Link Here
Full story: Collective Shout...Nutter campaigners against sexualisation and the like

Telstra is not the boring government-owned phone utility it once was, the company now offers Telstra Babes softcore pornography over video-capable mobile phones.

We have a range of web pages offering different content for the many niche interest groups that make up our customer base, a Telstra spokeswoman said.

Campaigner Melinda Tankard-Reist of the nutter group Collective Shout said Telstra's attitude was disappointing and raised serious questions.

This is a mainstream communications company. When did they make a decision to go down this path? Was it at a corporate level?

The material is produced by Playboy and Girls Gone Wild. The telco said warnings were displayed and that the content was relatively tame. The spokeswoman said:

We have stringent guidelines pertaining to all content across our sites and in particular, the 'glamour' pages, which are among the mildest in the category among industry providers.

Tankard-Reist rejected that defence and ludicrously claimed that the companies supplying content to Telstra had disturbing associations:

Playboy isn't just your father's magazine under the bed any more, she said. Playboy hosts a range of hardcore, explicit, triple-X content across a range of cable television channels. You couldn't even print the names of the titles they show.

The Girls Gone Wild genre is harmful to women and girls and there have been allegations that girls have been made drunk to coerce them into filming sex acts or simulated sex acts for the camera.

Shareholders would be surprised to know the company is hosting and distributing pornographic content. It's a significant issue for its reputation.


27th February   

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...

Obscure court in Pakistan re-opens the Mohammed cartoon nonsense and calls for the arrest of Mark Zuckerberg
Link Here
Full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

A case for the arrest of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Cultural Editor of Danish Newspaper Fleming Rose, for allowing blasphemous cartoons of  Mohammad. has been registered in Jhang, in Pakistan

The case was registered after Advocate Muhammad Zahid Saeed, stirred by websites allegedly supposedly demeaning Mohammad, filed a petition before the District Session Judge seeking a ban on websites including Facebook, YouTube, Google and others.

In his petition, Saeed said that on visiting some websites while on the internet, he and his companion found caricatures of Mohammad published which, he alleged, were trying to create a war between Muslims and non-Muslims . He added that the caricatures were a form of international terrorism and evil profession .

Session Judge Arshad Masood responded to the petition by saying that the deliberate and malicious act of displaying derogatory caricatures is a continuing offence and a case must be registered in Pakistan and anywhere else in the world where the sentiments of Muslims were hurt.

The petitioner had maintained that the proceedings against the accused should be served through the Danish Ambassador and US Ambassador in Pakistan.


26th February   

Update: Fear of PEGI...

Keith Vaz has a parliamentary knock at PEGI games ratings
Link Here
Full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim

Keith Vaz has been casting doubt on PEGI ratings suggesting that these require further government scrutiny

As usual Vaz has voiced his concerns via an Early Day Motion 2761 in Parliament saying:

That this House notes that:

  • Tiga, the trade body representing independent UK video games developers, has come out in support of targeted tax relief for the games industry;

  • encourages tax relief for small and medium-sized enterprises for its role in generating and safeguarding jobs, especially in these current difficult times;

  • remains concerned that regulation of the video games industry is lacking in comparison to other industries; is anxious that the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) classification of video games is taken as seriously as the British Board of Film Classification by both retailers and shoppers;

  • wishes the public was more aware of the risks to children and young adults;

  • and calls on the Government to place more scrutiny on the PEGI classification system.

The only signature supporting the motion so far is sponsor Mike Hancock.


26th February   

Will Surely be Accused of Blasphemy...

Tunisian president acts against those making accusations of blasphemy
Link Here

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has called on parliament to outlaw accusations of blasphemy as a threat to public order.

Such practices can threaten the peace between citizens living in the same country and lead to conflict, Marzouki warned in a statement. Violators of the new law should be prosecuted to protect the coexistence, fraternity and solidarity among Tunisians, he said.

Nobody has the right to make such accusations against a fellow citizen because such behavior risks leading to violence which is reprehensible in itself, Marzouki added.

Salafist extremists have accused Tunisian journalists and other public figures of not following the teachings of the Koran. They have also demanded full-face veils for female university students, castigated a TV channel for an allegedly blasphemous film and beat up journalists at a protest.


26th February   

Are We the Taliban?...

Nude art poster generates a few inconsequential comments in New York
Link Here

There's a new billboard that's raising nutter eyebrows and turning heads in New York. It's called Art on the Wall and is one of four by photographer Kenneth Willardt.

The 8 by 10 foot panel is hanging on the wall of a Chelsea gallery and features a nude woman floating in water and with her breasts exposed, (presumably blurred in the photo).

Anne Brigitte Sirois is the director of the Guided by Invoices gallery next door. She said Kenneth Willardt s Art on the Walls is something he wanted to do to beautify the city. And that it is sensual and beautiful but definitely not porn.

Inconsequential views from street  revealed the comments: Hello. This is New York City. What are we the Taliban here? We can't show a naked woman and breasts. One driver said I don't think its appropriate anywhere. It's gonna cause a lot of accidents.


26th February

 Offsite Comment: Press TV should have been allowed to keep rolling...

Link Here
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship
Iran's news channel was just part of a broad spectrum of satellite propaganda that ranges from Russia Today to Fox. By Peter Preston

See article from


25th February   

Obituary: Lina Romay...

Star of The Bare Breasted Caged Women Behind Bars dies aged 57
Link Here

The beautiful Lina Romay died today from cancer aged 57.

She was born Rosa Maria Almirall Martinez in Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain on 23 June 1954. She often appeared in films directed by her long-time companion Jesus Franco.

Lina Romay began appearing in Jesus Franco's films from the time they met in 1971, and she has since appeared in over 100 feature films, most of them directed by Franco. The majority of their films together were in the adult porn genre, but she has also starred in many horror, comedy and action/adventure films as well. Among the most famous of her cult horror movies are The Bare Breasted Countess (aka Female Vampire ), Jack the Ripper, Exorcisms and Black Masses and Barbed Wire Dolls . Lina Romay has admitted to being an exhibitionist in interviews and many of her x-rated films involved oral sex and lesbianism.

A few of her films from horror related genres:

  • Tender Flesh (1997)
  • Shatter Dead (1994)
  • Faceless (1988)
  • The Treasure of the White Goddess (1983)
  • Revenge in the House of Usher (1982)
  • Mansion Of The Living Dead (1982)
  • Macumba Sexual (1981)
  • Mondo Cannibale (1981)
  • Man Hunter (1980)
  • Greta The Mad Butcher (1977)
  • Jack the Ripper (1976)
  • Doriana Grey (1976)
  • Night of the Skull (1976) aka Night of the Killers
  • Women Behind Bars (1975)
  • Caged Women (1975)
  • Barbed Wire Dolls (1975)
  • Exorcism (1975) aka Exorcisms and Black Masses
  • The Bare Breasted Countess / aka Female Vampire (1973)
  •  Daughter of Dracula (1972)
  • The Erotic Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1972)


25th February   

Cracking Decision...

Advert censor clears advert with dominatrix cracking her whip at a pistachio nut
Link Here

A TV ad for Wonderful pistachio nuts, seen in November 2011, featured a woman dressed in a black PVC corset and underwear and black PVC thigh high boots. She placed a pistachio on a chair and cracked the nut with a whip. The voiceover said Dominatrix do it ... on command. Wonderful Pistachios ... get crackin' . Large on-screen text then stated Big Nut and Get Crackin' , above a picture of a large pistachio nut which opened to reveal a bag of pistachios. The voice-over then said And for extra spice ... , and the sound of a whip cracking was heard, Try new sweet chilli flavour. Wonderful , as large on-screen text stated Sweet Chilli above a picture of a large pistachio nut which again opened to reveal a bag of pistachios. Issue

Ten complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive and unsuitable to be seen by children because of the dominatrix theme and whether the ad was inappropriately scheduled.

ASA Decision: Not upheld

The ASA noted that Clearcast had applied a restriction which prevented the ads from being broadcast in or around programmes directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children. We understood that almost all of the ads, although not all, had also been scheduled for broadcast after 9 pm, which reduced further the likelihood of them being seen by children.

We noted that the ad featured a woman dressed in a black PVC corset, underwear and thigh high boots, using a whip, and who was referred to as a dominatrix. We considered that the woman's outfit and the use of the term dominatrix did make reference to a sexual practice, but also noted that the woman then used her whip to crack a pistachio nut, and the ad did not include any explicit or sexualised behaviour. We therefore considered that most viewers would understand that the action was intended to be humorous and surreal, and would not find it overtly sexual. Whilst we also considered that the lines Dominatrix do it ... on command and the on-screen text Big Nut and Get Crackin' would be understood by adult viewers to be suggestive and recognised that that approach would not be to everyone's taste, we considered that most viewers would nonetheless understand that those lines were intended to be playful and humorous and considered that they were therefore unlikely to provoke serious or widespread offence.

We considered therefore that the scheduling restriction applied by Clearcast was sufficient and that the ad had been appropriately scheduled to minimize the risk of children seeing it. We concluded that, in light of that, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising), 4.1, 4.2 (Harm and offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling), but did not find it in breach.


25th February   

Flatly Ludicrous...

Swedish town has to take down crossing signs deemed too sexy
Link Here

Signs featuring a woman with perky breasts and a short skirt are set to be removed from the streets of Uppsala in eastern Sweden following claims of a mix up.

The design for the sexier signs were seemingly rejected by the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) for running afoul of the agency's anti-sexy policies.

But the design somehow got used anyway. Somehow, a rejected variant of the accepted prototype from several years ago was produced and erected on the streets of Uppsala, Tina Hallin of the Uppsala municipality told The Local.

The signs featuring the rejected design have now been taken down around Uppsala, even though there have been no official complaints from the residents.


24th February   

The Wright Stuff...

Profuse apologies keep the TV censors at bay
Link Here
Full story: The Wright Stuff...Matthew Wright's TV show is the traget of many a whinge

The Wright Stuff
Channel 5: 6, 7 and 8 December 2011, 09:15

The Wright Stuff is a weekday morning topical magazine programme broadcast live on Channel 5. It is presented by Matthew Wright and includes a different panel of guests each day.

Ofcom received 2,358 complaints regarding comments made by Matthew Wright and a guest during the daily newspaper review included in the programme on 6 December 2011, and Matthew Wright's subsequent apology on 7 December 2011. In summary, complainants considered Matthew Wright and the guest Charlie Baker made insensitive and inappropriate comments when discussing an article in the Daily Mail regarding the first murder case in the Hebrides for 40 years.

While Matthew Wright ( MW ) and Charlie Baker ( CB ) discussed the news item, there was a graphic on screen showing the newspaper article with the headline: First murder hunt in Hebrides for 40 years as teenager's body found and a photo of the murdered 16 year old youth, Liam Aitchison. Ofcom noted the following exchange took place:

CB: There's been the first murder, this is very sad, in the Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis [newspaper article is shown with photograph of the victim].

MW: [mock Scottish accent] There's been another murder .

CB: Not another one, the first one for 40 years .

MW: [mock Scottish accent] Well that's another one then, another murder .

[Audience laughter]

CB: The longest episode of Taggart of all time [MW laughing] there's lots of down-time in between .

On 7 December, Matthew Wright made the following apology:

Now I know that some of you have been upset by some comments during yesterday's newspapers review about the murder of Liam Aitchison in Stornoway. I'd like to apologise if that was the case, certainly no intention on my part to belittle the seriousness or tragedy of the story, or to offend anyone who knew Liam. You know me - touched by death too many times in my life to belittle anything like that. Not helped though by people running campaigns - report Matthew Wright to Ofcom. I mean, grow up, folks ... I'm very sorry all the same.

On 8 December, a further apology was broadcast:

Understandably, I know many of you were upset by comments made in Tuesday's newspaper paper review with regard to the tragic murder of 16- year old Liam Aitchison in Stornoway. I would like to say again that I had absolutely no intention of causing any distress to anyone involved in this tragic event or to upset viewers. I deeply, deeply regret my thoughtless comments, and very sincerely apologise to Liam's family and his community. I truly apologise ok, from the bottom of my heart if I have made their suffering worse. I should add that Charlie Baker also wishes to apologise unreservedly, he's not here this morning and is genuinely sorry for the upset this has caused.

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 of the Code, which states that:

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

Channel 5 said that it entirely accepted that the comments made by Matthew Wright and Charlie Baker on the programme were unfortunate, misjudged and entirely inappropriate .

Ofcom noted that Matthew Wright's comments included a phrase ( There's been another murder ) commonly associated with the fictional Scottish detective Jim Taggart from the television series Taggart, and delivered in a mock Scottish accent. Ofcom also noted Charlie Baker's subsequent response The longest episode of Taggart of all time there's lots of down-time in between and his remarks regarding the quality of fishing in the Western Isles. Our view was that all these comments were clearly capable of causing offence to viewers given the sensitivity surrounding the very recent murder of a 16 year old teenager in an isolated Scottish community.

Ofcom took account of the fact that The Wright Stuff is a live programme, and comments made by Matthew Wright and Charlie Baker during the news review were clearly unscripted and made spontaneously. Charlie Baker's remarks in particular were made in response to a comment by the presenter of the programme, which according to Channel 5 was unexpected to the production team and to Charlie Baker given the briefing exercise before the programme started.

Notwithstanding this editorial context, Ofcom considered that the degree of offence that the comments caused was considerable. This was mainly because Matthew Wright responded to Charlie Baker's introduction to the news story by making a joke that made light of the murder. He then went on to laugh loudly with the audience as the conversation continued. In doing so, he appeared to pay no regard to the unfortunate circumstances of this murder case concerning the killing of a 16 year old well known to many within the local community in which he lived. The potential for offence was heightened because Matthew Wright made his joke while a photograph of the victim Liam Aitchison was being shown on-screen.

We also observed that no apology was broadcast on 6 December in the programme itself. The absence of a timely apology was likely to have increased the degree of offence.

Absent of any mitigation, the programme would have been in breach of the Code. However, Ofcom noted that: Channel 5 broadcast two apologies on 7 and 8 December 2011, and the presenter has apologised directly to Liam Aitchison's family; Channel 5 removed the 6 and 7 December programmes from its on demand service; and, Channel 5 has taken steps to improve compliance in response to this incident.

Ofcom recognises that the comments caused considerable offence, particularly to viewers in Scotland. On balance, however, and in light of the steps taken by Channel 5 to mitigate this offence, Ofcom considered the matter resolved.


24th February   

Calendar Girl Modestly Obscured...

Advert censor clears advert for Calendar Girls stage play
Link Here

A poster, for a stage production of Calendar Girls, stated JENNIFER ELLISON is Miss July and featured a photograph of the actress who was shown naked and seated at a piano. She had her back to the reader and was looking over her right shoulder. Further text stated Calendar Girls by Tim Firth 29 November - 3 December... . Issue

The complainant, who did not believe the photograph was appropriate for general display, where it could be seen by children, challenged whether it was socially irresponsible.

Leep marketing+pr said although some of the images used to promote Calendar Girls implied nudity, they were careful not to use images that were suggestive, provocative or sexual.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured a photograph of an actress shown naked, with her back to the camera, as she was seated at a piano. We also noted text stated JENNIFER ELLISON is Miss July... Calendar Girls by Tim Firth 29 November - 3 December and considered that the context of a theatrical performance was clear. We noted the actress was naked and that the ad was on displayed in public. However we also noted her nudity was purposefully obscured by the piano. We considered that the image was not overtly sexual, nor was it overly graphic and, while we acknowledged that some might find it distasteful, concluded that it was unlikely to be seen as socially irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.


24th February   

Updated: Bullied by the MPAA...

Film studio to appeal for reduction in rating for the documentary, Bully
Link Here
Full story: The Bully Project...Weinstein Co takes on America film censorship

The Weinstein Company is appealing the US R rating assigned to filmmaker Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully , a frank look at America's bullying crisis in schools.

Co-chairman Harvey Weinstein will personally appear at the Feb. 23 appeals hearing at MPAA' s Classification and Rating Administration (CARA). He maintains that the R rating, assigned for some strong language, will keep Bully out of middle schools and high schools, the very locale where it needs to be seen the most.

Director Leo Hirsch said:

I made Bully for kids to see -- the bullies as well as the bullied. We have to change hearts and minds in order to stop this epidemic, which has scarred countless lives and driven many children to suicide. To capture the stark reality of bullying, we had to capture the way kids act and speak in their everyday lives -- and the fact is that kids use profanity.

It is heartbreaking that the MPAA, in adhering to a strict limit on certain words, would end up keeping this film from those who need to see it most.

Update: The Weinstein Co threatens to leave the MPAA over the R Rating for Bully

24th February 2012. From

The Weinstein Co. is so shocked and upset that the MPAA upheld the R rating of its documentary Bully , it is considering taking a leave of absence from the association.

The company had asked MPAA's Classification and Ratings Appeals Board to rate the movie PG-13. The board's tally was one vote short of the number needed to change the rating.

After learning of the board's decision, Weinstein Company co-chair Harvey Weinstein said in a statement that The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far.


24th February   

Updated: Stallions, Mares or Geldings?...

Paddy Power bets on controversy
Link Here
Full story: Paddy Powers...Bookmakers adverts wind up the easily offended

Bookmaker Paddy Power has stirred up a controversy with the release of a new TV advert shown on Sky Sports that some trans groups say is offensive.

LGBT Lib Dems Northern Ireland said Paddy Power has brought shame on itself and that the marketing tactic was in poor taste at a time when the UK government is trying to wipe out all forms of prejudice in sport.

The Irish bookmaker is well known for their edgy Television campaigns. Now ahead of the upcoming 2012 Cheltenham Festival, Paddy Power has launched a new advert which focuses on Ladies' Day at the Cheltenham horse racing festival. It is thought that the initial reaction to the ad will lead to another referral to the advertising censors of the ASA.

The advert had been cleared with Clear Cast, a body funded by the broadcasters that checks adverts against ASA rules on their behalf. Paddy Power had also consulted with a leading transgender organisation before putting the ad together. understands that the ASA will be discussing the advert in the coming days as a result of complaints.

In the advert, the commentator references a Facebook post made by a fan, saying they can't wait to see some beauties at Ladies' Day . The Irish firm claim to agree, but make things interesting by sending in some trans ladies . They then ask the viewers to spot the Stallions from the Mares . The tongue in cheek video then shows a number of different ladies, some of whom are women, and some not, obviously added for effect by the producers.

The firm advertised the advert on Cheltenham racing site, with a number of readers who had watched the video expressing their opinions and stating that they had already contacted the ASA.

Update: 500 Complaints

22nd February 2012. See  article from

Broadcasters Channel 4 and BSkyB are planning to continue airing Paddy Power's spot the trans lady advert in the face of fierce criticism.

The advert has been pulled by sports network ESPN but Channel 4 told the Guardian while it had a duty to ensure broadcasts comply with advertising codes, but beyond that it was policy to leave it up to our viewers to make their own judgment about the adverts they have seen .

BSkyB reportedly has no intention of removing the adverts from its broadcasts.

The Guardian reported that nearly 500 complaints had been made to the Advertising Standards Authority and a spokesperson for broadcaster ESPN, which is owned by Disney, said it had reviewed the commercial in question, and have made an internal editorial decision that it will not run on ESPN .

Update: Paddy Power Transgender TV Ad Pulled

24th February 2012. From

Paddy Power's Ladies Day commercial has been pulled from TV.

The decision to suspend the clip wasn't made by us -- it was done by the British TV advertising regulator along with television broadcasters.

This is especially frustrating given the commercial was already pre-approved by British television advertising clearance body Clearcast, just one week ago, who then considered the humour in the advert, while not to everyone's taste, fell short of causing offence.

Additionally, Paddy Power reached out to leading UK transgender group, The Beaumont Society, for feedback on the script.

The Beaumont Society said there was nothing untoward with the advert concept and felt it was not inappropriate since the entire campaign would be a tongue-in-cheek look at the Ladies Day race meeting where these days a large number of cross dressers make a day of it .

Furthermore, Paddy Power cast members of the trans-community in the various transgender roles in the commercial. Given the attention and diligence we demonstrated throughout the development of this commercial, we are very disappointed by today's decision.

Finally it is worth pointing out that the commercial, which went live on YouTube less than one week ago, has almost 250,000 views with more likes than dislikes .

The next commercial in Paddy Power's We Hear You advertising campaign, CHAVS , will be broadcast on the company's YouTube channel shortly.


24th February   

MTV's Viva is a bit MTV-Like...

Ofcom confirms ATVOD decision that a music video service on the internet is TV-like
Link Here

Ofcom has made an appeal decision that Ofcom was correct to determine that the MTV online service Viva TV Music is subject to expensive censorship as an on-demand programme service

An appeal by MTV Networks Europe against an ATVOD determination that its web- based music video service Viva TV Music is an on demand programme service and therefore subject to regulation has not been upheld by Ofcom.

The decision means that MTV is required to pay a substantial fee for its own censorship and ensure that the Viva TV Music service complies with a range of statutory requirements .

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

In the case of Viva TV Music, the decision turned on a number of issues, including whether the Viva TV Music section of the website constituted a service in its own right, and whether music videos are 'TV-like programmes.


24th February   

Updated: The Francisco Franco Foundation Recommends...

Obscenity by Bruce LaBruce
Link Here

Photographs of women posing sexily as nuns at an exhibition in Spain has sparked nutter 'outrage' and complaints of blasphemy from Catholic and conservative groups.

Obscenity , an exhibition of 50 photographs by the Canadian artist Bruce LaBruce, includes a portrait of Spanish actress Rossy de Palma in a black and white habit and corset with a rosary between her teeth. Another shows Alaska, a singer well known in Spain, dressed as a sexy saint in black with a communion wafer on her tongue.

The show at the Fresh Gallery in Madrid, drew condemnation from the Eucharistic Ministr y called for a demonstration against blasphemy . while a nutter campaign group, Make Yourself Heard , noted the news with the claim: Blasphemous provocation threatens again,

The Francisco Franco Foundation , a group that campaigns to preserve the memory of Spain's dictator, claimed the exhibition to be a virulent and morbid attack on the Catholic religion .

Update: Firebombed by Christian Terrorists

24th February 2012. See  article from by Paul Geddis

Re the Christian right's totally over-the-top reaction to Bruce LaBruce's Obscenity exhibition in Madrid.

Obscenity is made up of photos of fairly well-known people from Spain's culture industry, posing with religious paraphernalia like sacraments and rosaries. The photos don't seem all that shocking to me. Self-consciously shot in a fashion magazine style, aside from some bleeding trackmarks and a lascivious looking gayngel, there's nothing all that explicit about them. Even so, the exhibition has caused an uproar, with senior politicians like the mayor of Madrid calling for it to be closed, religious groups protesting outside, and then, last Friday, someone threw a firebomb through the window. Due to some miracle it didn't explode (maybe God is on Bruce's side after all).

No one involved really understands what all the fuss is about. When I spoke to Rossy de Palma earlier this week her point of view was that religious iconography belonged as much to the models in the show as the angry Christian terrorists who tried to boycott it. We grew up with all that bullshit and we can do what we want with it, she said.

Anyway, the exhibition was great, and the opening was packed with all the arty gays and fashion people that are currently making Madrid shit on Barcelona as far as creativity is concerned. Overall verdict? One in the asshole for freedom of expression over hysterical reactionaries.

...Read the full article


23rd February   

Looking for Horrors in Your Attic...

Call for information about the whereabouts of footage lost from Hammer classics
Link Here

Hammer Films writes:

Here's a list of lost scenes that we'd love to restore if we are able to source materials. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of such, please email us [See  article for email address].

The Reptile

  • An extended knife in neck/snake bite scene (this is thought to exist, but no known evidence).

The Curse of Frankenstein

  • The eyeball scene (this footage definitely exists somewhere).
  • The head in acid bath scene (this scene may not have been filmed, though stills exist).

The Mummy

  • The under-dressed maidens in the flashback procession (this scene may not have been filmed, though stills exist).
  • The tongue-cutting and/or the tongue wriggling (these are thought to exist, but no known evidence).

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

  • An extended glass-in-throat (apparently exists on a Dutch laser disc).
  • An extended body falling into grave (apparently exists on a Dutch laser disc).

Rasputin the Mad Monk

  • An extended fight scene (definitely filmed, but no known surviving materials).

Viking Queen

  • An extended more explicit version (some evidence, but nothing definite).


23rd February   

Update: Distressed Dragon...

ASA dismiss whinges about TV advert for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Link Here

A TV ad for the film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Cert 18), seen December 2011, showed fast edited scenes which included a fight between two people on an escalator, a man being shot at in the woods, a woman with a large tattoo on her back standing in a shower as if in pain, a knife being drawn from a kitchen knife block, a man lying face down on the floor as if he was dead, two people kissing passionately and a large explosion. For the first six seconds of the ad, on-screen text stated: Contains strong sex and sexual violence .

Five viewers challenged whether the ad was overly violent, distressing and unsuitable for children and was inappropriately scheduled.

Clearcast said the ad was given a post-7.30 pm timing restriction. They felt that, as with all film trailers of that nature, it was a matter of judgment and they had come to the conclusion that the action scenes were very brief, did not linger on any particular shot, and were comparatively restrained in tone, given the nature of the film.

ASA Assessment Complaints Not upheld

The ASA noted that Clearcast had applied a post-7.30 pm timing restriction and that the ad was therefore not shown around programmes commissioned for, or likely to have particular appeal to, under 16-years-of-age.

We noted that the trailer was promoting a film about a murder investigation, based on a best-selling book, and considered that, while there was some tension and suspense in the ad, the scenes which depicted action such as an explosion, a fight, a shooting, a shower scene, a knife, a man lying face down on the floor as if he was dead and two people kissing passionately, were all very fast-cut and brief scenes, and were not strongly violent, visually clear or sexually explicit. We considered that the overall effect of those action scenes was mild and did not consider that the cumulative effect was inappropriate or distressing, when broadcast after 7.30 pm.

We noted that the ad included on-screen text which stated Contains strong sex and sexual violence , and considered that that explained what viewers might expect from the film, but did not consider that that on-screen text was inappropriate or offensive, in and of itself.

Although the ad featured some images which might be inappropriate for a very young audience, we concluded that the ad was not overly violent and distressing and that the scheduling restriction that had been applied was sufficient.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1, 4.2 (Harm and offence) and 32.5.3 (Television Scheduling: Children), but did not find it in breach.


23rd February   

Worried Parents...

Ofcom censors Swedish TV reality programme
Link Here

Sol, Fest & Oroliga Föräldrar
Kanal 5, 16 September 2011, 19:00 CET

Kanal 5 is a Swedish language channel broadcasting to Sweden from the UK. The licence for Kanal 5 is held by SBS

Sol, Fest & Oroliga Föräldrar (Sun, Party and Worried Parents) is a programme in Swedish in which groups of young people go on their first holiday abroad unaccompanied, unaware that their parents are secretly abroad with them and watching everything that occurs. In this episode a group of young men and women from Sweden travelled to the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus.

Ofcom received a complaint about the programme. The complainant said that the  programme contained content unsuitable for young children, such as nudity, urination
and sexual themes.

Ofcom noted that the programme featured the following material:

  • a young woman baring her breasts (which were obscured with blurring);
  • comments of an offensive and sexual nature, including claims by the young men that one of their objectives on the trip was to “knulla horor” (translated into English as “fuck whores”);
  • a young man vomiting after trying a drink;
  • a young man urinating in the corner of a hotel balcony, with his back to the
  • a young man wearing swimming trunks lying down on his back on the deck of a boat while a young woman (wearing a bikini) licked his bare torso, and then straddled him in a sexual position. The camera later cut back to the pair, and the woman had her head placed over the man's crotch, and appeared to
    mime oral sex;
  • frequent swearing and offensive language in both Swedish and English, including the Swedish words “knulla” (translated as “fuck”), “horor” (meaning “whores”), “pissa” (“piss”), “javligt” (“damn” or “bloody”), and the English
    words “fuck” and “motherfucker”; and
  • dancing with sexual movements, such as a young man thrusting his crotch at a young woman's rear.

Ofcom considered

  • Rule 1.3: “Children must... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.”
  • Rule 1.16: “Offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)... unless it is justified by the context. In any event frequent use of such language must be avoided before the watershed.”

SBS accepted that it had made an error , and that a human error made by the scheduling department was behind the failure to edit the programme before broadcast.

And Ofcom recorded Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 1.16


22nd February   

Scruffs and Censors...

ASA whinge at Scruffs workwear ad featuring the ultimate lads' bash
Link Here

A poster for Scruffs Hardwear promoting a competition to win the ultimate lads' bash for you and 3 mates , seen in November 2011, featured an image of the inside of a workman's van, as if seen from the rear. The image included a man reclining at the front of the van with two women at the back. One of the women was shown in her underwear and high heels and was holding on to a vertical pole that was fixed to the van and the other was shown in a short white dress, sitting on a spare tyre covered in material. The image also included bottles of champagne and a bra hanging from a ladder. Further text included scruffs HARDWEAR IT'S GONNA GET DIRTY . Issue

Eight complainants challenged whether the ad was:

  1. offensive and demeaning to women; and

  2. unsuitable to be seen by children.

BSS Group stated that the WIN THE NIGHT BEFORE ad campaign was used to target tradesmen with a competition to promote their Scruffs safety footwear and work wear brand. They stated that the objective of the ad was to promote the competition in good humour and that many of their ads used double entendres and innuendo to create a Carry-On style humour. They stated that this was illustrated through the strap line It's Gonna Get Dirty , which alluded to the tradesmen getting soiled on site during the course of their working day. They said that on the flipside, it also related to the good humoured use of insinuation to appeal to their customers. They added that whilst they strove to be different, they worked hard not to be overtly sexual or sexist.

ASA Decision: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek representation of the morning after an ultimate lads' bash , which was the prize that was the subject of the ad. However, whilst the concept of the lads' night was linked to the competition prize being advertised, we considered that consumers would interpret the portrayal of the woman in back of the van, particularly the woman in her underwear, as a suggestion that they had played a sexual role in the lads' night out and morning after story that was being portrayed. We considered that this was further implied by the text IT'S GONNA GET DIRTY , which we considered would be understood by consumers to be a reference to sexual activity that was likely to take place. We concluded that, in the context of a promotion for work-related clothing, the portrayal of the women within such a strong sexual context was demeaning and offensive and that the ad was therefore unsuitable for public display.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We understood from the complainant that the poster ad had appeared near to a nursery school in one location and a primary school in another. We noted BSS Group stated that one of the outdoor media contractors had failed to follow their instructions that the poster ads should not have been placed near schools or near sensitive community sites. We considered that the images, alongside the text IT'S GONNA GET DIRTY, presented the women in a sexually provocative way and that as such, the poster ad was not suitable to be placed in areas where it was more likely to be seen by children. We considered that whilst a placement restriction had been put in place, the ad had appeared in areas where it was more likely to be seen by children. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).


22nd February   

Update: Malaysia Corrupted by Sex Education Book...

Banned sex education book, Where Did I Come From, by Peter Mayle
Link Here
Full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books

Malaysian officials have ordered book shops to stop selling a sex education book by British author Peter Mayle.

Where did I come from? is banned from sale pending a review, a Home Ministry statement seen by the BBC said. It will be banned completely if it is if it is proven to contain elements harmful to public morals and corrupt people's minds , said the statement from a senior official on Tuesday.

The book's cover states it is the facts of life without any nonsense . The illustrated book aims to help parents explain to children such topics as sex, conception and birth.

Deputy secretary for safety, Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi, said in the statement: The ministry has obtained the co-operation of book sellers around the country to immediately stop sales until the review is completed and the decision is made.


22nd February   

Adele Blurred...

ITV hastily cut short Adele's speech at the Brit Awards resulting in a raised finger
Link Here
Adele has won two prizes at the Brit Awards ceremony in London, but was at the centre of controversy after one of her acceptance speeches was cut short.

Her speech was halted after she picked up the prize for best British album. She also won best British female.

I flung the middle finger. That was for the suits at the Brit Awards, not my fans. I'm sorry if I offended anyone but the suits offended me, she said.

There were boos from the audience as she was interrupted by host James Corden in order to introduce the final perfomers, Blur. Adele then added: Can I just say, then, goodbye and I'll see you next time round. Her gesture was then momentarily visible on the live ITV1 coverage.

ITV later issued a statement about the incident, saying: The Brits is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was over-running and we had to move on. We would like to apologise to Adele for the interruption.


22nd February   

Update: Bigger Fatter Gypsier...

Channel 4 adverts wind up about 100 complainers
Link Here
Full story: Big Fat Gypsy Wedding...TV winds up the easily offended

Channel 4 adverts for Big Fat Gypsy Weddings has prompted about 100 complaints over alleged racism

Channel 4's billboard campaign, which feature the words Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier printed over images of Gypsy girls and children, led to complaints being lodged by the London Gypsy & Traveller Unit and London assembly members Jennette Arnold and John Biggs.

The Advertising Standards Authority said that it has so far received 97 complaints about the ad campaign, with most concerned that it is offensive to Gypsies. Some of the complainants also raised concerns about the use of the word gypsier, which they believe is racist.

A spokesman said that the ASA is currently assessing the complaints to see whether there is grounds for launching an investigation into whether Channel 4 has broken the advertising code.

Christine Cawley, an Irish Traveller who lives in London, criticised Channel 4's ad campaign in a piece for the Guardian's Comment is Free, arguing that the broadcaster seems to be using who we are against us in a way that feels very hard to take .

The London Gypsy & Traveller Unit delivered a letter of complaint to Channel 4 on Tuesday, addressed to the chief creative officer, Jay Hunt, and chief executive, David Abraham, raising concerns over the stereotyping inherent in the campaign.

We wonder if Channel 4 would have been so ready to use the adverts with similarly compromising phrases for other ethnic groups: 'Jewisher' or 'more Asian' or 'blacker', said the unit, which also asked Channel 4 to remove the ad campaign and apologise.

Update: Advertiser Censor

22nd February 2012. See  article from

One of Channel 4's biggest sponsors admitted it was displeased with the broadcaster's controversial Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier campaign for its hit documentary series, Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Honda, which sponsors all of Channel 4's documentary output, said that it had informed C4 of our unhappiness with this poster campaign in an email sent to the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain.

The billboard campaign, which features the words Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier over images of Gypsy girls and children has been criticised as offensive and racist and prompted more than 100 complaints to the advertising watchdog.

Honda had also received about 35 complaints from unhappy members of the public. Paul Ormond, Honda UK's general manager, corporate affairs, said:

We have had concerned members of the public ringing us thinking we have some control over editorial content. We have responded by saying we have no control over content but we have made our concerns known to Channel 4 that we are unhappy that we are being linked to this through the tone of the advertising campaign.


21st February   

Ofcom Firing Squad Stands Down...

Ofcom clear Jeremy Clarkson's joke about shooting striking civil servants
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Jeremy Clarkson on the One Show, BBC1

The controversial exchange came as Clarkson was asked his opinion of the civil servants engaged in a day-long industrial action over pensions.

His initial response was: I think they have been fantastic. Absolutely. London today has just been empty. Everybody stayed at home, you can whizz about, restaurants are empty.

However, he added: We have to balance this though, because this is the BBC. Frankly, I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.

This resulted in 31,000 complaints to the BBC, and 736 to Ofcom.

But the TV censor Ofcom concluded that the Top Gear presenter's comments were not made seriously, and that Clarkson's words were not at all likely to encourage members of the public... to act on them in any way .

It would have been clear to most viewers that his comments were not an expression of seriously held beliefs or views that would be literally interpreted

Ofcom acknowledged the comments were potentially offensive but concluded that they were justified by the context.

Ofcom also pointed out that presenter Alex Jones had made a wide-ranging apology regarding Clarkson's comments at the end of the programme. The BBC also later apologised for any offence caused.


21st February   

Update: New for Old...

Details provided about Malta's new film censors
Link Here
Full story: Censorship Law in Malta...Lawnmakers hide obscenity law behind child protection

Malta's Ombudsman has issued recommendations on the composition and functions on the new film classification board which will replace the Board of Film and State Censors.

The recommendations were made as the Ombudsman, Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Said Pullicino, considered a complaint by KRS film importers against the chairman of the current board. KRS complained that in 2010, 28% of the films released locally were given a higher rating that in the UK.

Judge Said Pullicino noted that the proposed legislation will abolish the Film and Stage Classification Board and create a separate Board of Film Age-Classification, with similar functions to those possessed by the existing Board. In terms of the proposed regulations, the Film Board will consist of a chairperson and a number of 3-7 members who are appointed by the Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment.

The Ombudsman said the persons appointed to the film board should broadly represent the Maltese community. It should include a mixture of men and women with as close to a gender balance as possible, incorporating persons of different ages so that there is a reasonable spread of age amongst the members. At least one of the members should be well versed in issues affecting children and young people, either as parent or through his previous employment or other activities he is involved in.

The Ombudsman noted that the proposed regulations, like those currently in force, mention that the classification of films is to be carried out in accordance with guidelines to be drawn up by the Film Board but the draft legislation is silent on whether these should be made available, not only to applicants but also to the general public.

The Ombudsman said the film distributors and the public had the right to know what the guidelines drawn up by the Board will be.

The new rules also require the Film Board to issue, concurrently with the classification, notices to the public containing additional information as to the content of the films classified -- a practice which is already in place in many countries and which is indispensable since it enables consumers to know which classifiable elements (e.g. coarse language, violence, drug use, nudity etc) have led to the classification decision.

He stressed that loosening state control on censorship does not equate to decriminalisation. Actions violating the new regulations could still be considered, in certain circumstances, an offence punishable at law. The Commissioner of Police still retained the ultimate right to order a suspension of any screening and the closure of any cinema for a period not exceeding fifteen days for reasons of public order or morality or for non-compliance with any of these Regulations .


21st February   

Alcohol in the Movies...

Research finds a lifestyle of watching movies correlates with a lifestyle of drinking alcohol
Link Here

A new piece of research has received press attention as it links drinking with movie watching. The research was published in the medical journal BMJ Open.

The information about the research doesn't seem to try and differentiate between those watching movies featuring drinking and movies without drinking. I would guess that just watching a lot of movies regardless of drink or not, is enough to explain the figures found below, as this is enough to differentiate between different lifestyles.

From a UK perspective

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport told Associated Press:  Alcohol in films is an issue that is covered in the classification guidelines used by the British Board of Film Classification, and the promotion or glamourisation of drinking is something that is taken into account in classification decisions.

Comparing media and family predictors of alcohol use: a cohort study of US adolescents

By Mike Stoolmiller, Thomas A Wills, Auden C McClure. Susanne E Tanski, Keilah A Worth, Meg Gerrard and James D Sargent of Dartmouth College, USA


Objective To compare media/marketing exposures and family factors in predicting adolescent alcohol use.


Confidential telephone survey of adolescents in their homes.


Representative sample of 6522 US adolescents, aged 10--14 years at baseline and surveyed four times over 2 years.


Time to alcohol onset and progression to binge drinking were assessed with two survival models. Predictors were movie alcohol exposure (MAE), ownership of alcohol-branded merchandise and characteristics of the family (parental alcohol use, home availability of alcohol and parenting). Covariates included sociodemographics, peer drinking and personality factors.


Over the 2 year study period, the prevalence of adolescent using alcohol at least once increased from 11% to 25% and binge drinking  and from 4% to 13%.

  • The median estimated movie alcohol exposure from 532 movies was 4.5 hour

  • 11% owned alcohol-branded merchandise.

  • parental alcohol use (weekly or more) was reported by 23%

  • 29% of adolescents could obtain alcohol from home.

Peer drinking, movie alcohol exposure, alcohol-branded merchandise, age and rebelliousness were associated with both alcohol onset and progression to binge drinking.

The ratio for alcohol onset for high versus low movie alcohol exposure exposure were 2.13 +/- 0.44. Movie alcohol exposure accounted for 28% of this transition.

The ratio for binge drinking for high versus low movie alcohol exposure exposure were 1.63 +/- 0.43. Movie alcohol exposure accounted for 20% of this transition.

Characteristics of the family were associated with alcohol onset but not with progression.


The results suggest that family focused interventions would have a larger impact on alcohol onset while limiting media and marketing exposure could help prevent both onset and progression.


20th February   

Retro Sexist...

New Zealand feminist group starts up with a campaign against supposedly sexist beer adverts
Link Here

   Tui brewery girls

The new Auckland group, Feminist Action, has launched a campaign to get Tui to withdraw supposedly sexist beer ads featuring its all-female brewery.

The Tui brewery ads feature women in skimpy clothes and sexy poses, who are relentlessly depicted as more stupid than the dorky group of men who try to infiltrate the brewery.

Feminist Action spokeswoman Leonie Morris claimed:

These ads are retro-sexist. They mimic tired old sexist attitudes in an ironic way. They are funny only to people who are happy to laugh at put-downs of women.

The ads say that men should judge women just on how they look, that women are stupid and that it's okay to laugh at them.

Demeaning women in these ads is harmful whether the ads are funny or not. Valuing women only for how they look has a corrosive effect on women's sense of self-worth. Men who demean women like this are more likely to be violent to them, and we have a huge problem with violence against women in New Zealand.

The campaign will use Facebook, an online petition and other social media to gain support and put pressure on Tui owner, DB Breweries, to drop the ads.

Auckland Feminist Action is a new group acting on what it sees as persistent inequalities between women and men in New Zealand.


20th February   

Dangerous Philippines...

Philippines passes bill with extreme penalties for cybersex
Link Here

The Philippines Senate has now passed on final reading a proposed law with extreme penalties for cybersex, child pornography on the web, spamming, and other cybercrimes.

Under Senate Bill 2796, people engaging in cybersex-defined as the willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system -will be imprisoned for 6 to 12 years or made to pay a fine of P200,000 to P1 million.


20th February   

Music Censors...

Sri Lanka to introduce a bill to pre-censor song lyrics and TV dramas
Link Here

Sri Lanka Ministry of Culture and the Arts says it plans to bring a new bill soon to censor Teledramas and songs on TV deemed unsuitable for all audience.

With the implementation of the proposed act, the Teledrama producers will have to obtain the approval for the production from the Public Performances Control Board before telecasting it through TV channels.

The song writers will have to submit their lyrics to the Public Performances Control Board and the songs will be inspected by the board even after music is composed, the Ministry says.

Currently the Public Performance Control Board pre-censor only movies and stage drama.


19th February   

Cr*pples, B*****ds and Censored Words...

Sky EPG censors Game of Thrones
Link Here
The easily offended Sky EPG has taken offence at the weekend's Game of Thrones episode. The episode title Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things has become Cr*pples, B*****ds and Broken Things.

So has '*' become the 27th letter in the English language? Presumably it can be added to the alphabet after 'z'.

Isn't it about time that these new spellings were standardised and incorporated into the dictionary. Something like:

F*ck Pronounced: fuk, verb or noun, slang . archaic spelling : fuck, definition: more or less anything users want it to mean.


19th February   

Update: Dangerous Caricatures...

Morocco bans Spanish newspaper over a caricature of King Mohammed
Link Here
Full story: Royal Censorship in Morocco...Law puts the Moroccan king above comment

Morocco has banned the distribution of Thursday's edition of Spain's El Pais newspaper, as a cartoon published by the newspaper allegedly tarnished King Mohammed VI's name.

The decision to ban (the paper) was made on the basis of article 29 of the press code that protects the monarch, a senior communication ministry official told AFP: The caricature contains a deliberate intention to smear the (king's) image to harm the king personally.

The cartoon, which was picked up by a Moroccan website, accompanied an article by Spanish journalist Ignacio Cembrero. Contacted by AFP, Cembrero said the Moroccan reaction surprised him as the small cartoon was friendly and rather likeable .


19th February   

The Parents Television Council Recommend...

MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back
Link Here

The Parents Television Council (PTC) is waging what it calls an aggressive campaign in response to MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back , which began airing on February 2. While the show is only rated TV-14, content has already included the prelude to a sexual foursome and a woman asking a man to insert his finger into her arse during intercourse. MTV's head of programming, David Janollari, is on the record saying the network is targeting kids as young as 12 with the show.

PTC is warning parents about the supposedly 'explicit' content and asking the program's sponsors, including Dr. Pepper, T-Mobile and Toyota, if the show's content accurately reflects their corporate image. PTC has also contacted the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board regarding the allegedly erroneous TV-14 rating.

PTC President Tim Winter spouted:

Once again MTV is taking HBO-style content and marketing it to a Nickelodeon-age audience. The network programming executive is on the record saying 12-year-olds are in his crosshairs. And the TV-14 content rating is intentionally misleading for parents and for advertisers. The Parents Television Council will not sit silently and allow this affront to go unchallenged.

We are also reaching out to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, asking for a review of the program's content rating. To date, the mystery Board has done next to nothing except cancel meetings and avoid any possible public awareness of its existence. It is high time that the American public receive some level of accountability from those who assign routinely inaccurate content ratings, Winter concluded.


18th February   

Update: Old Time Censors...

New Zealand unbans the book Bloody Mama and hopefully apologises for all the police hassle caused to an innocent book seller
Link Here

The book Bloody Mama by Robert Thom was banned in New Zealand in 1971 on grounds of supposed indecency. Apparently it contains references to rape, incest, prostitution, cruelty and violence.

A second-hand copy of the book Bloody Mama at Wellington second-hand booksellers Book Have n, was anonymously snitched up to the Department of Internal Affairs in November.

The book, which canvasses the true life story of 1930s gang leader Kate Ma Barker and her sons, had been for sale for about a year, despite being banned by the now defunct Indecent Publications Tribunal.

This week the modern day book censors at the Office of Film and Literature Classification have reclassified the book as 'Unrestricted'. The censor commented that the adult content was restricted to one or two pages and readers would be mature enough to handle it.

Book Haven owner Don Hollander said the ruling was marvellous . The book would be returned next week and he would frame it to hang in the shop as a talking piece, he told NZ Newswire.

The book was made into a low-budget film starring Robert de Niro, that was also ludicrously banned in 1971. However, it was later reclassified R16 in 1981.


18th February   

Updated: Politically Correct Censor Objects...

ASA censure double glazing advert ludicrously claiming 'serious' offence
Link Here

A regional press ad and a mobile poster ad for a glazing company:

a. The regional press ad was headlined Others Measure - We Fit and featured a photograph of a naked woman seen behind a window, shown from the neck to the waist. The woman's breasts were mostly covered by two large flowers.

b. A poster ad, seen on a mobile poster site situated in various locations including a field next to a main road was headlined Other Measure - We Fit . The ad featured a photograph of a naked woman seen behind a window, shown from the neck to the waist. The woman's breasts were mostly covered by two large flowers. Text underneath the image stated Massive deals! .

A complainant challenged whether:

1. press ad (a) was offensive because they believed the image objectified woman; and

2. poster ad (b) was offensive for the same reason.

The ASA challenged whether:

3. poster ad (b) was irresponsible because it could be seen by children.

1st Choice Glazing believed that the press and poster image did not objectify women and stated that they had been tastefully shot in order to ensure decency. They stated that the image was no more revealing than others that appeared in some ads for cars or drinks and believed that the tongue-in-cheek image was unlikely to cause offence. They agreed that children might have seen the poster but stated that they were exposed to far more explicit images whilst watching popular programmes set on beaches, or during pop star videos and TV shows.

Smartlocal stated that the image had been widely used in the advertising campaigns for a number of years and that to date they had not received any complaints from their 120,000 readers.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA noted the woman's breasts were partly covered by the flowers and that the image was not presented in an overtly sexual way. However, we also noted the woman's head was not included in the image and considered that consumers would understand from the ad that they were being invited to view her naked torso and, in particular, her breasts. We considered that, because the product being advertised was unrelated to the image, the nakedness was incongruous and the image was likely to be seen to be an objectification of the woman in the ads and therefore of women in general.

We further considered that the text Others Measure - We Fit and Massive deals! in conjunction with the images were likely to be seen as innuendo and contribute to that impression. We therefore concluded that ads (a) and (b) were likely to cause serious offence. We also concluded that ad (b) was irresponsible because it could be seen by children.

On these points ads (a) and (b) breached CAP Code 4.1 (Harm and offence). Ad (b) also breached CAP Code rule 3.1 (Social responsibility).

Update: Capitalising on ASA Censorship

18th February 2012. From

A double glazing boss, whose advertising campaign was banned after it was deemed supposedly offensive to women, has launched a new billboard featuring a picture of a half-naked man.

Owner of 1st Choice Glazing in West Lothian, Derrick Findlay, was recently ordered by the easily offended advert censors of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to remove adverts from Boghall Roundabout and the M8 motorway. These featured an image of a naked woman behind a window with flowers covering her breasts.

Derrick was left deeply disappointed with the ruling, which followed just one complaint in nearly two years. [A frequency of complaints the ASA define as 'serious offence'. If the advert had received one more complaint it would have surely moved up into the 'widespread offence' category].

Now he and his team have come up with a new design which uses an image of a half-naked male model behind the glass -- accompanied by the slogan fantastic packages available!

Derrick enthused:

We have had some fantastic responses already. People can't believe that one complaint brought the original adverts down. We just thought we should do the same thing again but with a man. Everyone walking into the shop has been talking about it and has said it's great.


18th February   

Magic Locket...

ASA censures bollox claims about incredible powers of a religious locket
Link Here

A TV ad in Urdu, for Islamic Taweez lockets, stated DM Digital Global Network is presenting an Islamic locket, which consists of ninety nine sacred names of Allah Almighty and these sacred names has [sic] been recited with specific numbers. Wearing this locket, you can constantly increase blessings, call right now and book your locket today .

The ad also stated ... Any incurable patient who recites the name of Allah excessively and prays for recovery will be restored completely ... ; ... childless women use this sacred name ... will be awarded with a baby ... ; ... a person who eat four bites of bread for forty days after reciting this name ... will be save of problems of appetite, thirst, wounds and pain ... ; ... recite this name excessively over the water at the time of break and drink it, Inshaa Allah (Allah willing), syndrome will cured ... ; ... a woman unable to feed his [sic] baby, recite Ya-Matin over water and give her, Inshaa Allah... will have plenty of milk ... ; ... an ill person who recite Ya-Muhyiy excessively or recite it on other sick person will Inshaa Allah ... be better ... ; ... a person who recite Ya-Hayy three thousand times daily will Inshaa Allah ... never get ill ... A person who will write this name with camphor and rose ... will be restored completely ... ; ... a person who daily recite Ya-Ghaniy seventy times, Allah will increase his wealth, and he will not be dependent of [sic] anyone ... ; ...A person having any internal or external infection or disease, recite Ya-Ghaniy all over his organs and body, s/he will Inshaa Allah be restored to health ... ; ... A person who recite [sic] this name excessively, all of his problems and troubles will Inshaa Allah ... be solved and money and children will be good ... ; ... A person who have any income problems, or any other distress, grief, or sorrow, recite this name forty one times daily, will Inshaa Allah ... be free from all these problems ... ; ... A person having disobedient wife or children held his/her forehead and recite Ya-Shahid twenty one times, Inshaa Allah ... s/he will become obedient ... ; ... The person who recite Ya-haqq on all four corners of a square paper, raise upwards placing it on the palm, and pray, Inshaa Allah ... misplaced person or article will be found and will stay save from loss ... Call now and buy your locket ... ; ... If anyone place a hand over the belly of pregnant woman and recite Ya-Mubdi ninety-nine times, Inshaa Allah ... her pregnancy will neither waste ... nor a premature birth ... ; ... A person who recite Ya-Ar-Ra'uf excessively will Inshaa Allah ... be kind to and have kindness of people... .

Throughout the ad, text stating This locket is not for medical purposes scrolled along the bottom of the screen.

  1. A viewer challenged whether the claims that wearing the locket would positively affect the wearer in multiple ways were misleading.

  2. The ASA challenged whether the claims that wearing the locket provided health benefits for wearers and those they knew, particularly sick or incurable patients, were irresponsible, because they could discourage consumers from taking appropriate medical advice.

1. & 2. DM Digital TV Ltd (DM Digital) said the ad was a teleshopping feature shown during the month of Ramadan to promote religious faith, via the recital of 99 names of Allah. They said the various lockets with the difference names of Allah were worn by those who believed in the Islamic faith, in order to receive blessings as described in the Holy Quran and that those who regularly prayed and recited the specific 99 different names of Allah, during Ramadan, could expect to receive rewards. They also said the ad was not intended to be educational or to be construed as medical advice, and that it was for entertainment purposes only. They said this was made clear by the on-screen text throughout the feature which stated this programme does not give any medical advice. Please seek your GPs advice before any treatment. This is a teleshopping presentation and entertainment feature brought to you by DM Digital Television .

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was shown during the month of Ramadan in 2011 and had not been shown since. We noted DM Digital said the feature was not intend to be construed literally by viewers. However, we were concerned that, while the ad made claims that the locket and act of reciting would provide many benefits, we had not seen evidence relating to those claims. We considered that the ad was therefore likely to mislead viewers into believing that wearing the locket would positively affect the wearer.

On this point the ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.12 (Exaggeration).

2. Upheld

We acknowledged the ad contained on-screen text which indicated that the programme did not give medical advice. However, we were concerned that the main text of the ad stated that people with infections or diseases would be restored to health. Because of the nature of the claims made, we considered that the ad was socially irresponsible and, furthermore, could discourage people, particularly those who were vulnerable, from seeking essential medical treatment.

On this point the ad breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility), 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.12 (Exaggeration) and 11.3 (Medicines, Medical Devices, Treatments and Health).


17th February   

Update: Modern Day Popeyes Get Super Virile on Spinach...

Peta adverts do a grand wind up job with wives enjoying getting knocked about by their super virile vegan partners
Link Here
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

PETA's ongoing shock tactics have landed them in hot water with women's rights campaigners. Their latest campaign features the message that violent sex is good sex.

The ad is a spoof of a PSA about a fictional syndrome called WVAKTBOOM, or, Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me... a painful condition that occurs when boyfriends go Vegan and can suddenly bring it like a tantric porn star.

The advert shows a woman wearing a neck brace trudging painfully back from shops. Under her parka coat she appears to have forgotten her skirt.

Back at home her sprightly (newly vegan ) boyfriend, wearing only his tighty whiteys , is fixing a hole in the wall, another casualty of last night's sextravaganza, a flashback hints.

Critics have been quick to accuse PETA of joking about domestic violence or implying that good sex should be rough enough to warrant medical care. The Daily Mail cited a few example forum posts form Mumsnet.

Columnist Sunny Hundal chipped in that Peta's new ad campaign is absolutely atrocious. Before kindly providing links to two more in the series whilst proclaiming: WTF were they thinking?

Tory Shepherd (From ) was a little more forthright:

This is just a nasty, puerile piece of work. Not because of the sex. Talking up the virility of a man who has forsworn all animal products is not a bad way to counteract the general impression of vegans as anaemic, pale weaklings.

But domestic violence? Really? Don’t chortle and say it’s “tongue in cheek” and “playful” and point out the chick’s “mischievous smile” as though really, she was asking for it. She’s wearing a neck brace, and you’re merrily jesting about needing protective equipment.

It will be interesting what the advert censors at the ASA make of it. They will no doubt require a little verification that a spinach diet sends men super insatiable.


17th February   

Updated: Kuwait Goes GaGa...

Music distributor pulls out of Kuwait citing censorship
Link Here

A leading music distributor has closed its Kuwait operations after claiming censorship of albums and artwork had made it impossible to run a full-scale operation.

Music Master, which distributes music from major labels such as Universal, Sony and EMI, said curbs on content from bestselling artists such as Lady Gaga and Beyonce had left it battling to maintain its profit margins.  Music Master is one of the Middle East's largest distributors with operations in the Gulf States, Egypt and Lebanon. The company sells into some 50 stores across Kuwai.

Saeed El Ajou, managing director of the Dubai-based company said:

It comes down to censorship issues. There is too much censorship to justify having a full-scale operation there. If you can't push your top-selling artists then it makes it hard to justify having a full-scale business. The avant-garde artists - Lady Gaga, Beyonce - who are the bestsellers, tend to cause a problem.

It is basically lyrics and artwork and anything that is seen as provocative won't go through. Anything which has any provocative lyrics or any innuendo.

It is purely Kuwait-specific, everywhere else we are very fortunate that there are no censorship issues. Even Saudi has been liberal in what they allow through.

Update: Virgin Megastore quits Kuwait citing censorship

17th February 2012. From

The Virgin Megastore in Kuwait closing at the end of the month. Sources have suggested that increasing government censorship led to the decision as almost 60% of products they sell are banned in Kuwait.

In a statement posted in their website Nisreen Shocair, President of Virgin Megastore Middle East and North Africa said:

This has been a difficult decision, but it is one that will allow us to better manage our resources and focus on growing the markets that support the Virgin Megastore business model.

The staff from Virgin Megastore confirmed that most products that are in high demand in other parts of the word are unavailable in Kuwait.


16th February   

DIY Widespread Offence...

ASA whinges at another minor sex reference in a trader ad
Link Here

A poster ad, for a Mems DIY store in Tottenham, was viewed on 7 November 2011. It included the text Mems, Always HAMMERING Down Prices along with an image of a woman wearing a bra, denim hot pants, a tool belt and a hard hat. She was holding a hammer and pulled at the front of her shorts with her other hand.

A [single widely spread and offended] complainant challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because she believed it was:

  1. overtly sexual; and
  2. sexist and objectified women.

1. & 2. Mems DIY said ... HAMMERING Down Prices was an obvious play on the word hammer and was intended to emphasise the fact that low prices were being offered by referring to a product sold by them and used by their customers. They said that in order to reinforce that point, a person in the ad, coincidentally a woman, was holding a hammer. They said the woman was wearing a hard hat and a tool belt, as well as standing next to a ladder, to further illustrate the nature of the business. She was at the far left-hand side of the ad, most of which was made up text and contact details; none of the wording was linked, overtly or otherwise, to the woman's body. They said there was no explicit nudity and the woman's pose was not overtly sexual; her hand was resting in, or on, the tool belt not her shorts. They said products and services were supplied by them to everyone, regardless of gender and while they could have considered depicting both a man and a woman in the ad that would have resulted in a greater emphasis on human figures than was considered necessary or appropriate. They said they did not intend to cause offence but did not believe the ad was overtly sexual or sexist.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA noted the ad appeared in an untargeted medium. We noted the woman in the image was wearing a lacy bra and very short denim shorts, which she appeared to be pulling down at the front; she was also pouting. We disagreed that her hand was clearly resting on the tool belt. We considered the woman's pose and dress was sexually provocative and had the effect of making her appear sexually available. We also considered the text ... Always HAMMERING Down Prices in conjunction with the image could be interpreted as innuendo. Although she was holding a hammer and wearing items related to DIY, we considered a sexually provocative image of a woman bore no relation to the product being advertised and that the ad therefore objectified the woman by portraying her as a sexual object. We considered the ad was overtly sexual and, because it objectified women, was also sexist. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that it was irresponsible for such an image to appear in an untargeted medium.

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

We told Mems DIY to ensure future marketing communications were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society and that, particularly in an untargeted medium, they did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.


16th February   

Update: Here We Go, Here We Go, Here We Go...

Scottish publicans ask government to clarify exactly what songs, chants and banter is banned by the new football and sectarianism law
Link Here
Full story: Football Sectarianism...Sectarian Rangers football song wind up

Pubs across Scotland could close unless the Government spells out to landlords what constitutes an offence under new laws designed to tackle football-related bigotry, trade lobbyists have warned. inShare2 Custom byline text: GERRY BRAIDEN

With arrest rates for sectarian behaviour expected to accelerate after the Offensive Behaviour Act receives Royal Assent, the country's largest licensed trade group fears hundreds of bar and pub owners could become collateral damage.

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has joined a long list of other parties asking for clarification on matters such as what songs and slogans are in and out and has asked for ministers and the police to provide real-life scenarios of situations which could unfold in licensed premises.

The Government has said the police's football co-ordination unit was already setting up meetings with licensing authorities to discuss the implementation of the legislation.

In his letter to Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham, SBPA chief executive Patrick Browne said that as long as it was unclear how the laws would impact on the trade there was a high risk a licensed premise could find itself being reported to the local licensing board which could then sanction their premises licence, with implications for the business .

He added: Given the new and very specific nature of the offences under the new Act relating to licensed premises, it would be helpful for my members and licensees more generally to have further guidance from the Government as to which types of behaviour on their premises would be unacceptable under the terms of legislation. This would assist them in fulfilling the expectations of licensing boards and the police more generally.


16th February   

Update: Searching for a Threat to Free Speech...

Lawyer warns that the 'right to be forgotten' will surely lead to internet censorship
Link Here
Full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU

A leading British lawyer has condemned new European regulations that force websites to delete data on users' request, saying such rules could transform search engines like Google into a censor-in-chief for the European Union, rather than a neutral platform .

According to the current European proposal from Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, various websites will be forced to delete information shortly after consumers request it be removed.

Prof Jeffrey Rosen, writing in the Stanford Law Review,  argued that the fear of fines will have a chilling effect, and that it will be hard to enforce across the Internet when information is widely disseminated:

Although Reding depicted the new right as a modest expansion of existing data privacy rights, in fact it represents the biggest threat to free speech on the Internet in the coming decade.

Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.

Prof Rosen warns that if the regulations are implemented as currently proposed, it's hard to imagine that the Internet results will be as free and open as it is now.


16th February   

Update: Hanging on to Freedom...

Tunisian court appeal trying to prevent the country slipping back to bad old ways of internet censorship delayed
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Tunisia...Blogs and websites banned in Tunisia

A court hearing of a case regarding censorship of pornographic websites in Tunisia has been postponed to February 22nd, confirmed Olivia Gre, director of the Tunisian chapter of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Last year, a lawsuit was filed by three Tunisian lawyers, who found free access to pornographic websites in Tunisia to be dangerous to children and corrosive of Islamic values. The court's decision sided with the lawyers, yet the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) appealed the ruling on May 26th. On August 11th, 2011, the appeal was denied, but the ATI delayed implementing the decision, pleading technical and financial limitations.

They appealed the decision again, to Tunisia's Supreme Court, prolonging the legal debate as to the acceptable extent of internet freedom.

On February 3rd, RSF released a statement, entitled Internet Filtering: Risks to Stepping Backwards , in which it argued that blocking porn sites in Tunisia could mark a prelude to the return of old censorship practices of the previous regime. The statement recommended that internet providers promote tools of parental control.

Update: Blocking Blocked

23rd February 2012. See article from

The Tunisian Internet will remain unblocked, for the time being. The Supreme Court of Tunisia has cancelled the decision of a lower court, which had previously ruled in favor of blocking pornographic content on the internet.

The decision did not end the case, but sent it back to a lower court, giving an apparent vote of no confidence in the legal argumentation previously presented.

The decision was immediately hailed by free speech advocates and by the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI). The ATI's legal argument against the suit, however, did not hinge upon issues of civil liberties, but rather the technical ability of the agency to implement the decision. According to a press release distributed by the ATI this afternoon, all attempts of application of judgment led to serious degradation of service.

Olivia Gre, director of the Tunisia office of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said: For us, it's definitely good news. It means not taking a step backwards . According to Gre, the trial would begin from scratch, with new legal arguments to be employed in two to three months.


16th February   

Update: The King is Inviolable...

Moroccan sentenced to 3 years in jail for criticism of the king
Link Here
Full story: Royal Censorship in Morocco...Law puts the Moroccan king above comment

On Monday, a court in the Moroccan city of Taza sentenced 24 year-old student Abdelsamad Haydour to 3 years in jail and a fine of USD 1,200 for criticizing the king of Morocco in a video posted on YouTube. According to the official state news agency, Haydour is accused of attacking the sacred values of the nation.

According to one Moroccan news website Haydour had no legal assistance during the hearing and the Court did not appoint a lawyer to defend the accused in accordance with the Moroccan law.

Under Moroccan law the king is considered inviolable. But the Moroccan constitution also guarantees (Article 25) freedom of thought, opinion and expression in all its forms.

The incriminating four-minute clip was posted in early January, during a week of social unrest and violent clashes between demonstrators and anti-riot police in the unemployement-stricken city of Taza. In the video, Abdelsamad Haydour is seen talking to a group of people in the street, harshly criticizing the king and his entourage.


16th February

 Offsite Article: Asking for more than just a 140 character explanation...

Link Here
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs
US senators Dick Durbin and Tom Coburn have just sent a letter to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo requesting detailed information about the company's handling of takedown notices, injunctions and subpoenas.

See article from


15th February   

Update: Budget Censors...

ASA whinges that a Ryanair bikini advert supposedly caused widespread offence
Link Here
Full story: Ryanair Adverts...Ryanair wind up advert censors

Two press ads for Ryanair Ltd.

a. The first ad, published in The Guardian, showed a woman in a bra and pants. She had one hand on her hip and pulled her pants slightly down with the thumb of the other. The headline stated RED HOT FARES & CREW!!! ONE WAY FROM £ 9.99 . Further text stated BUY THE 2012 CABIN CREW CHARITY CALENDAR ON RYANAIR.COM! , and in the bottom right corner of the photograph, ORNELLA FEBRUARY .

b. The second ad, published in The Daily Telegraph and The Independent, showed a woman in a bra and pants. The headline stated RED HOT FARES & CREW!!! ONE WAY FROM £ 9.99 . Further text stated BUY THE 2012 CABIN CREW CHARITY CALENDAR ON RYANAIR.COM! , and in the bottom right corner of the photograph, GILLIAN MARCH .

  1. Thirteen complainants, who believed ad (a) was sexist and objectified women, particularly female cabin crew, challenged whether it was offensive and unsuitable for display in a national newspaper.

  2. Four complainants, who believed ad (b) was sexist and objectified women, particularly female cabin crew, challenged whether it was offensive and unsuitable for display in a national newspaper.

Ryanair said the ads promoted their 2012 cabin crew charity calendar and used images taken directly from it. They said, because members of their cabin crew volunteered their time to produce and promote the calendar, it was not sexist and could not be seen to objectify the women who appeared in it. They said, because similar images of women and men often featured in the same media, the ads could not be deemed offensive or unsuitable for public display.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA noted both ads promoted one way fares from £ 9.99 and a cabin crew charity calendar. We also noted the women, featured in ads (a) and (b), were wearing underwear and looking directly at the reader and considered that, although the images were not overtly sexual in content, the appearance, stance and gaze of the women, particular the one in ad (a), who was shown pulling her pants slightly down, were likely to be seen as sexually suggestive. We also considered that most readers would interpret these images, in conjunction with the text RED HOT FARES & CREW!!! and the names of the women, as linking female cabin crew with sexually suggestive behaviour. Although we acknowledged that the women in the ads had consented to appear in the calendar, we considered that the ads were likely to cause widespread offence, when displayed in a national newspaper, and therefore concluded that they breached the Code.

Ads (a) and (b) breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence). Action


15th February   

Update: Level 1...

Australian bill to introduce an adult ratings for games clears the first step
Link Here
Full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games
Australia's Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare has started the ball rolling for an adult rating for video. For the first step the bill has been cleared by the Federal Parliamentary Caucus of the Australian Labor Party. The bill is now ready to be introduced in parliament.

The R18+ bill needs the support of at least two crossbench members of parliament to be passed through the Lower House. To pass through the Senate, the Bill needs the support of either the coalition or the Greens, both of which have indicated some level of support for the R18+ issue.

If all goes to plan, Clare is proposing that a R18+ for games will be available from 1st January 2013.

Update: Inquiry

17th February 2012.  See  article from

The opposition Coalition has asked that the R18+ bill be sent for an inquiry.

As part of the legislation process, if one MP calls for an inquiry on a proposed bill, that bill must undergo extra scrutiny and further examination by a Standing Committee. This inquiry process is usually utilised for bills that are deemed complex or controversial.

The good news, however, is that these inquiries are usually fast tracked, and made up of people with responsibilities in that portfolio area, so to not delay the passage of the proposed legislation. It's probably worth noting that, since 1990, approximately 30% of bills have been sent to Standing Committees.


15th February   

Update: Human Rights Violations...

Netherlands and Bulgaria register dissent against the one-sided ACTA treaty
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

European disquiet about the terms of the ACTA anti-piracy treaty is gaining momentum. The Netherlands and Bulgaria are the latest to question the treaty.

A majority of the Dutch Parliament is said to be against the ratification of ACTA. They only intend to change this position if there's irrefutable evidence that it doesn't violate basic human rights.

Right now this is certainly not the case, as professors Douwe Korff and Ian Brown examined ACTA's compatibility with human rights and concluded:

Overall, ACTA tilts the balance of IPR protection manifestly unfairly towards one group of beneficiaries of the right to property, IP right holders, and unfairly against others.

It equally disproportionately interferes with a range of other fundamental rights, and provides or allows for the determination of such rights in procedures that fail to allow for the taking into account of the different, competing interests, but rather, stack all the weight at one end.

This makes the entire Agreement, in our opinion, incompatible with fundamental European human rights instruments and -standards.

Meanwhile in Bulgaria, more than 10,000 people took the streets in Sofia last Saturday to protest the treaty, Economy Minister Traicho Traikov then announced that the country will not ratify ACTA before other EU countries have made up their minds.


15th February   

Update: Dominion over Domains...

UK follows the US lead and seizes domain of site accused of copyright violation
Link Here
Full story: Internet Domain Censorship...In the Domain of Nominet internet censorship

The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has seized the domain of a popular music blog in the style of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security domain name seizure.

The RnBXclusive blog in question was running from a .com domain name, seemingly outside of British jurisdiction. Rackspace hosted the content in question, and its domain was registered with GoDaddy; both are U.S. companies. The site now just carries a threatening page including the message:

If you have downloaded music using this website you may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine under UK law.

In speaking to GoDaddy, a spokesperson confirmed that the company had a presence in the UK, as has Rackspace. This seems to be enough for the UK authorities to demand a domain take down.


15th February   

Penitentiary and Penitentiary II...

New ArrowDrome DVD release of blaxploitation cult classic
Link Here

Penitentiary is a 1979 US prison boxing drama by Jamaa Fanaka. With Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White, Leon Isaac Kennedy and Thommy Pollard. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow/ArrowDrome (+Penitentiary II) R0 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 13th February 2012

Promotional Material:

There's only one way out, and 100 fools stand in the way!

Too Sweet likes three things... Candy bars, makin' love and fighting. Arrested while defending a beautiful hooker in a roadside diner brawl, he finds himself unjustly incarcerated in a violent prison hellhole where life is cheap and punks get owned by predatory lifers. There's only one way out... Victory in the ring!

Now Too Sweet has to fight for his freedom in series of boxing battles, all the while watching his back in the prison corridors, waiting for the cold sting of the shiv that might end his life.

Experience Jamaa Fanaka's extraordinary grindhouse classic -- Which is arguably the last great Blaxploitation flick -- and pray to God you never end up somebody's bitch in the Penitentiary !

DVD Features:

  • audio commentary with writer/director Jamaa Fanaka
  • trailers
  • feature length sequel Penitentiary II starring Ernie Hudson and Mr T.
  • Collector's booklet by author Calum Waddell!

Penitentiary II at the BBFC

Penitentiary II is a 1982 US prison drama by Jamaa Fanaka . With Leon Isaac Kennedy, Glynn Turman and Ernie Hudson. See IMDb

Passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow/ArrowDrome (+Penitentiary) R0 DVD

Previously passed 18 after 29s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1986 Stablecane VHS


15th February   

Update: Vigilant Censors...

Chinese TV censors ban foreign programming during prime time
Link Here

China's TV censor has announced that foreign TV shows will no longer be aired during prime time, state media report.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) says these shows cannot be aired from 19:30 to 22:00. The series also cannot run longer than 50 episodes and should comprise no more than 25% of programming each day . Local TV channels are also not allowed to show too many shows from one particular region, the censor says, without explaining further.

Foreign shows also have to be approved before they are aired and cannot have violent or vulgar content. Stations that violate the new rules face severe punishments , the newspaper reports.

Most foreign TV shows broadcast in China are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand.

The move comes after President Hu Jintao told members of the Communist Party last month that officials should remain vigilant against Western cultural influences.


15th February   

Update: Observing Censorship...

Le Nouvel Observateur magazine banned in Morocco
Link Here
Full story: Persepolis Banned...Iran tries for worldwide ban of movie Persepolis

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information condemns the Moroccan authorities for their confiscation of the last issue of the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur due to its publishing of an image adopted from the French-Iranian film Persepolis .

The mentioned issue of the magazine was supposed to be distributed on 2 February 2012 and addressed Persepolis, an animated film about the suffering of an Iranian family following the Iranian revolution in 1979, forcing the family to travel to France. Persepolis seems to have offended by a depiction of the muslim god as an old man. 


15th February   

Update: Media Control Freakery...

The European Commission voices grave concerns about democracy in Hungary
Link Here
Full story: Media Censorship in Hungary...Repressive media censor established in 2011

The European Commission has strongly criticized recent laws passed in Hungary, saying they damage democracy and force the media toward self-censorship when reporting on the prime minister and the government.

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, speaking after talks with Hungarian Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics, she said the European Union continues to have grave concerns about the current situation in Hungary.

The EU has already opened legal proceedings against Hungary over the independence of its judiciary and the central bank under Prime Minister Viktor Orban. An EU media advisory panel has also denounced the extraordinary concentration of media power under Orban.

But Kroes said the EU's concerns are wider and center on the quality of its democracy and on its political culture. She said that in the latest media developments, authorities are pushing for high music content on radio to quieten political discussion such as that broadcast by private station Klubradio, which has been threatened with a ban. Klubradio has been given a a 60-day license extension, pending its court appeal against the Media Council decision to award the frequency to another bidder.

Update: Klubradio licence refused

15th July 2012. See  article from

Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that Hungary's Media Council (NMHH) has rejected opposition radio station Klubradio's bid to keep its Budapest commercial radio frequency, 95.3 FM, although the station had already been reassigned it after going to court. The bids of all other radio frequency applicants were also rejected.

The Media Council's stubborn hostility towards Klubradio only reinforces the view that it is politicized, despite its denials, Reporters Without Borders said. This decision is just the latest stage in a long battle that has included an attempt by the ruling party to use its legislative power to circumvent court decisions. It also underscores the dangers of the 2010 media law, which Prime Minister Viktor Orban is trying to retain in the face of general opposition.

By citing the 'Klubradio judicial precedent' as grounds for eliminating all the applicants for the three frequencies on offer in the capital, this regulatory agency is just making things worse. If it sticks to these ridiculous arguments, it will be clear that it has a political agenda. How far will the ruling party go in its attempts to ride roughshod over its opponents and the international community?


15th February   

Bishops Discouraged...

Spanish public TV station refuses ads encouraging parents to sign up their kids for religious education at school
Link Here

Religious instruction in public schools in Spain is optional, and parents must sign their children up in order for them to attend.

In a statement sent to CNA, Catholic bishops explained that two ads (one in Spanish and the other in Basque) were sent to EITB Television, which were slightly edited and then aired two days later.

The ads featured two mothers discussing the importance of religious education for their children and encouraged parents to sign their children up for religious classes.

The ads were soon pulled off the air by EITB who said that the the public service announcements were incompatible with their advertising policies.

Catholic bishops in the Spanish dioceses of Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria criticized the public television station for pulling the adverts. They called the move a violation of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and religious freedom. The bishops added that the ad removal reflected a secular outlook that sees religion as something to be excluded from social life which is unsuitable for a public institution at the service of all.


15th February   


New Chief Executive at Index on Censorship
Link Here

The board of Index on Censorship has announced that it has appointed Kirsty Hughes as the organisation's new Chief Executive

A highly-respected international figure, Kirsty will succeed John Kampfner, who leaves at the end of March. She will begin her work in the middle of April, leading a team of 20 in Index's London office and 12 staff around the world.

Kirsty's distinguished career has taken her from Chatham House to the IPPR and the European Commission. More recently, she was head of Global Public Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam. Currently Senior Associate Fellow, at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford, Kirsty is also an experienced writer, policy analyst and journalist who has written extensively on European and international politics.

Kirsty Hughes said: At a time when people around the world are standing up for their right to freedom of expression, often in the most difficult and challenging circumstances, Index has been a vital, internationally renowned, source of news, analysis, argument, campaigning and hope. I am greatly looking forward to working with the Index team and its partners.

After he has stepped down as Chief Executive, John Kampfner will join the Index board.


15th February

 Offsite Article: Top Gear still won't put a brake on swearing... and it's driving viewers up the wall...

Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
Daily Mail has a knock at strong language on post watershed Top Gear citing a few vaguely annoyed tweets

See article from


14th February   

Updated: The Human Centipede II...

Director's Cut released on US DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is a 2011 Netherlands/UK horror by Tom Six. With Laurence R Harvey and Ashlynn Yennie. See IMDb .

US: The Director's Cut is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

UK & Australia availability

UK & Australia: The Uncut Version is now available online for:

UK: Passed 18 after 2:37s of BBFC cuts for:


14th February   

Update: Tattoo Ban...

Vietnam bans The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Link Here

David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo features scenes of violence, rape, torture, nudity. All a bit too much for Vietnamese sensibilities.The film now will not be shown in Vietnam, after the film's distributor withdrew it. This was confirmed by the National Film Board.

However there seems a little doubt as to whether the film was banned due to the film censor's demands, or else just banned in anticipation of the film censor's demands.

Tuoitre news reported that:

The film was to be released on March 2, but its international distributor, Sony Pictures, decided not to release it in Vietnam since the National Film Board requires the studio cut sensitive scenes from the movie.

However VietNam Net Bridge reported that:

The withdrawal has no connection to the Vietnamese censorship because the film had not been submitted to the national film censorship board yet.

Either way it is banned due to local film censorship rules.


14th February   

Cumming to the Attention of the Censors...

Poster for nightclub reported to the advert censors
Link Here

An investigation has been launched into a suggestive ad campaign for a Manhattan's nightclub in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received a formal complaint and said the complainant had objected that the ad, which includes an image of a woman whose facial expression is suggestive of sexual activity, is offensive .

The club's owner, Andy Lieshman, said it was never meant to be offensive. He added: It wasn't meant to offend anybody at all. It was just all in the aim of good fun. There was really no seediness behind it. The bar has now removed the poster from outside its premises and made changes to the advert on its Facebook page.

The ASA said it was only able to investigate promotional materials on the club's website as its remit does not extend to anything displayed on companies' or organisations' own property.


14th February   

Update: Presidential Concerns...

President of the European Parliament speaks out against ACTA
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The recently elected president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has criticized the current ACTA treaty, saying it provides little protection for the rights of individual users.

I don't find it good in its current form, Schultz said in an interview with Germany's ARD television station on Sunday. The current treaty swings too heavily in favor of copyright holders, he said, and an individual's internet freedoms is only very inadequately anchored in this agreement.

Schultz's own party, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, has come out against ACTA, and the German government announced on Friday that it was going to hold off on ratifying ACTA until after the European Parliament has voted on the issue. That vote is scheduled in June, after the European Parliament's trade committee has scrutinized it.


14th February

 Offsite Article: Porn for 3...

Link Here
Daily Mail has a long whinge about kids access to porn on mobile phones

See article from


13th February   

Updated: Death Wish 3...

Death Wish 3 released uncut for the first time in the UK
Link Here

Death Wish 3 is a 1985 US vigilante film by Michael Winner with Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin and Ed Lauter. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut with BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Media Sales/Final Cut R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today, 13th February 2012
  • UK 2006 MGM DVD which was never actually released
Before that it was passed 18 after 13s of BBFC cuts for :
  • UK 1986 Guild VHS

See pictorial cuts details from

  • The rape on the woman who Paul had saved in the parking lot is missing 6s and also the sight of bare breasts
  • A topless black woman being dragged out of a window is missing. Then a little later there is a shot of her continuing to resist the same thugs

Summary Review: Entertaining

Paul Kersey, New York architect and part-time vigilante, comes to LA to visit an old friend. Instead, he must avenge his death by fighting youth gangs.

Death Wish 3 is a very different film to it's predecessors, whereas the first two movies were powerful urban drama's about how a man can be driven over the edge as a result of violence this instalment goes all out as an action movie and disregards the social commentary for the most part.

Whereas in the previous film's Bronson was hunting down muggers and rapists and disposing of them with his pistol in Death Wish 3 he gets hold of a gattling gun and buys a magnum and a military issue rocket launcher and lays waste to the scum of society by the bulk load. It might not be as realistic but it's damn entertaining and is by far my favourite of the Death Wish sequels.


13th February   

Update: Let them Come and Arrest Me...

Swiss prosecutors consider Turkish minister's denial of the Armenian Massacre
Link Here
Full story: Armenia Massacre Denial in France...France debates new law much to Turkey's annoyance

Swiss prosecutors have launched an initial investigation to see whether Turkey's EU minister breached the law by denying that the mass killings of Armenians a century ago were genocide.

According to media reports, during a recent visit to Switzerland Egemen Bagis denied that there had been an Armenian genocide, adding Let them come and arrest me.

Under Swiss law it is a crime to deny that the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World War One constituted an act of genocide.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, later said Turkey had summoned the Swiss ambassador to Ankara to tell him that the probe was "unacceptable."


13th February   

Toy Censors...

Iran adds Simpsons dolls to its list of banned toys
Link Here

An Iranian government-affiliated agency has banned dolls of the Simpsons cartoon characters, who join Barbie and others on a toy blacklist,.

We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys, Shargh daily quoted Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, secretary of policymaking at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, as saying.

He did not elaborate on what was wrong with the Simpsons specifically. But he noted that any doll on which genitals are distinguishable, as well as dolls of adults, are banned. So were toys with speakers that blare out the voices of Western singers, or toy kitchen sets that include glasses for drinking alcoholic beverages.

Farjoo said however that dolls of Spiderman and Superman were authorized for sale. They help oppressed people and they have a positive stance, he said.


13th February

 Offsite Article: Big Brother's No Brainer...

Link Here
Camden council turns off CCTV speaker facility that threatens to report residents for using communal areas

See article from


12th February   

Update: A Day to Defend Free Expression...

Report from event organised by One Law for All
Link Here
Full story: UK Religion and Free Speech...Religious intimdation cancels public debate about sharia

Atheists, secularists and supporters of free speech rallied in London to protest what they feel is an increased confidence of Islamists to censor free expression publicly . Around 200 people gathered on the steps of the memorial to King George V in Old Palace Yard opposite the House of Lords in Westminster.

Anne Marie Waters from the One Law for All group, which protests against sharia law in the United Kingdom, said that freedom of expression was the greatest freedom we have and included the freedom to offend .

Accusations of Islamophobia against those who reposted the Jesus and Mo webcomic was one of a number of incidents highlighted by speakers. Susan Zhuang from the University College London Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society spoke of the reaction to the posting of the cartoon to their Facebook profile: maybe we were naive but we never thought it would come to this . The university's student union demanded that the group remove the cartoon, but the group declined and launched an Internet petition to defend freedom of expression .

The blogger and activist Rhys Morgan, who had been previously threatened with libel for saying that the a clinic operated in Texas by Staislaw Burzynski was charging hundreds of thousands of dollars to cancer patients for unproven treatments, also spoke of being threatened by his sixth-form college to remove the Jesus and Mo cartoon from his Facebook account. He said that the staff at his college implied that [he] would be suspended or expelled , claiming that the image offended Muslims. He also said that he had got threats of violence including someone saying that his house would be burned down, and was called a God-hater .

The philosophy professor A. C. Grayling and the popular science writer Richard Dawkins both spoke at the rally, with the latter criticising the decision by the organisers of a literary festival in Jaipur, India, to kowtow to a violent threat by rescinding an invitation to the author Salman Rushdie based on a demand by some local Islamic scholar . (Dawkins joked about how, unlike Islamic scholars, a true 'scholar' studies more than one book .)

Dawkins argued that people should stop being so damn respectful . Without freedom of speech, Dawkins said, society would be in a scientific, technological, moral dark age .

Update: Report from the event

See article from


12th February   

Update: TinTin Conquers Belgium...

Belgian court refuses to ban TinTin book over claims of racism
Link Here
Full story: TinTin Book Censorship...TinTin au Congo and the overly sensitive

A Belgian court has refused to ban the sale of Tintin in the Congo , rejecting arguments by a Congolese man that the iconic 1931 comic book was filled with racist stereotypes about Africans.

The Brussels court ruled that Belgian anti-racism laws only apply when there is a willful intention to discriminate against someone, said an attorney for Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, the man who tried to get the strip off bookshelves.

The court heard arguments that given the historical context, the author, Herge, could not have been motivated by the desire to discriminate.

For the past four years, Mbutu Mondondo had sought to get the book banned or at least force stores to place a warning label on the cover or add a preface explaining that it was written in a different era, as English versions do.

Mbutu's lawyers said he would appeal the decision.


12th February   

Update: Indian Tirade Mission...

Keith Vaz has another knock at the Top Gear Christmas Special about a trade mission to India
Link Here
Full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim

Keith Vaz has had another knock at the Top Gear Christmas Special that featured a few jokey comments about India.

Vaz has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament saying:

That this House is deeply concerned by recent events which have served to undermine the excellent relationship between India and the UK;

  • notes that the Top Gear India Christmas Special, featuring the unhelpful comments of Jeremy Clarkson and Dow Chemicals' sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics in particular have had a very negative reaction in India;

  • is concerned that Indian student applications to UK universities are falling;

  • is disappointed by Britain's failure to secure the fighter jet contract from India despite the efforts of successive defence ministers;

  • and calls on the Government to re-energise this vital, special and enduring relationship which ought to be one of the closest and most beneficial in the world.


12th February   

Update: Preaching Nonsense to the Easily Offended...

Christian street preacher cleared of causing harassment, alarm or distress over comments about gays being sinners
Link Here

A Christian street preacher has been cleared of hate crime charges over comments he made about homosexuality.

Mike Overd was arrested last year under the Public Order Act for saying that gay men could be forgiven by God for their sin.

The charge was brought against him following a complaint by civil partners Craig Nichol and Craig Manning, who were walking by arm in arm as Overd preached on Taunton High Street.

They felt that the preacher had singled them out as sinners and complained to police, who arrested Overd and charged him with a hate crime.

Overd was acquitted after the Magistrates concluded that he had not intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Overd said his case should never have been brought before the court.


12th February   

Update: Only Now is ACTA Getting Noticed...

Reports from anti-ACTA protests
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Thousands of people have taken part in co-ordinated protests across Europe in opposition to a controversial anti-piracy agreement.

Significant marches were held in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta).

Around 200 protesters gathered in central London outside the offices of several major rights holders.

Saturday's London demonstration was supported by the Open Rights Group, a vocal opponent to the treaty. The group's executive director, Jim Killock, argued that Germany's stance shows Acta negotiations were carried out in secret by EU bureaucrats Three member states in Europe are now looking like they don't want to sign, he told the BBC: That shows that politicians are only really starting to look at this now. All of a sudden, the whole thing is breaking down.

Speaking at the London protest Loz Kaye said: What we've seen is a whole wave of people coming out on the streets right across Europe, he told the BBC.  Some people have been called extreme, but equally, Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres have spoken out. Even The Economist, which is hardly radical, has described the treaty as potentially draconian.

More demonstrations were held in other UK cities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow. .


12th February   

Murder Obsession...

New US DVD release of Riccardo Freda's giallo with a touch of Satanism
Link Here

Murder Obsession is a 1981 Italy France horror by Riccardo Freda. With Stefano Patrizi, Martine Brochard and Henri Garcin. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Cut by the BBFC

It was last seen in the UK when a short version was passed 18 after 1;18s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1987 Dealerpack VHS titled The Wailing

Summary review: Murder, Sex and Satanism

Michael is a successful actor, but he has a scandal in his past: at a tender age he knifed his father to death. Soon rude things begin happening and Michael fears a repeat of his nightmare past is in progress.

You don't hear much about it. It's a shame, because this is one of the most overlooked Italian horror films.

The plot is strange, twisted, and full of bizarre touches of nasty murder scenes, perverse sexuality, nudity, and some very creepy tones of Satanism and the black arts which more than likely will chill you to the bone.

The music is also effective in creating the creepy, stormy atmosphere of Satanism, murder and sex in a remote mansion in the countryside. The special effects are crude though.

This film is definitely not for everyone, but those who appreciate fine, classy Italian horror and do not mind complicated, twisted plotlines should enjoy it.


12th February

 Offsite Video: A New Featurette For Banned Horror Film The Bunny Game...

Link Here
Full story: The Bunny Game...Banned by the BBFC
An impressive promotional video for a film the BBFC would rather you didn't see

See article from


12th February

 Offsite Article: The Daily Mail Blame Game...

Link Here
Full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges
Coronation Street obsession tenuously 'blamed' for not so perfect murder by a 14 year old

See article from


11th February   

Updated: Don't Try Watching This at Home Children...

Children's TV programme, Alex Mack, rated 15 by the BBFC
Link Here

The BBFC have sparked a fair bit of web chatter of their rating for the first season DVD of The Secret World of  Alex Mack.

This was passed 15 uncut for potentially dangerous behaviour that may be copied.

For anyone who doesn't know, it's a sweet natured children's show that ran at 10am on Channel 4 in the 1990's.

The distributors seems to have advised retailers that it would be PG rated, so presumably that is what they were expecting.

Update: BBFC credibility takes a tumble

11th February 2012. See  article from

The BBFC added the following remark to their website page re the 15 rated Alex Mack decision:

One episode in this TV series contains a scene in which a child character hides inside a tumble drier. The presentation of this behaviour is comic and no negative consequences are shown which would warn young viewers of the potential dangers of hiding in such appliances. While fatal incidents of children trapped in washing machines or fridges are rare, there remains sufficient cause for serious concern.

  • At U , BBFC Guidelines state No potentially dangerous behaviour which young children are likely to copy .

  • At PG , the Guidelines state No detail of potentially dangerous behaviour which young children are likely to copy .

A cut was, therefore, advised if the work was to obtain the U category as requested by the distributor, or even a PG classification.

The BBFC has taken this approach with previous works aimed at children such as ROCKETMAN and LILO & STITCH. The distributor indicated that they would be happy to accept a higher certificate rather than cutting the episode. The TV series is rather dated and would not have much appeal to a young audience when compared to current children's TV programmes. In addition, as the work was being targeted at an adult nostalgia market, children would not be the natural audience.

The BBFC decided - given the work's history, the company's willingness to accept a higher certificate and that the work was not being aimed at children - to pass it 15 without cuts. This certificate sends a clear signal to parents that it contains material which may be harmful to younger viewers.

The BBFC considered the possibility of a 12 certificate, given that the scene is unlikely to be harmful to those over 12. However, given the potential dangers involved, it was considered less likely that parents might allow their children to view the work if it has a more restrictive classification.


11th February   

Diary: Frightfest Glasgow 2012...

2 day horror film festival
Link Here

Frightfest Glasgow 2012

Friday 24th February 2012

  • 6.30 p.m. - CRAWL
  • 9.00 p.m. - THE DAY
  • 11.15 p.m. - WAR OF THE DEAD

Saturday 25th February 2012

  • 11.00 a.m. - EVIDENCE
  • 1.15 p.m. - PENUMBRA
  • 3.30 p.m. - RITES OF SPRING
  • 9.00 p.m. - CASSADAGA
  • 11.15 p.m. - THE RAID

FrightFest Extra screenings

  • Hammer Restorations
  • Livid


11th February   

Update: De-mailed...

Iran turns off major portions of the internet
Link Here
Full story: Iranian Internet Censorship...Extensive internet blocking

Iran is closing down the country's internet access. The government cut has blocked major websites leaving millions without email and social networks.

The shutdown comes at a time when inhabitants are preparing to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, complete with rumours of anti-government protests.

Gmail, Google and Yahoo have been blocked and users have been unable to log in to their online banking. This seems related to the secure internet protocol https being totally blocked.

Last month, the country's Information Minister announced plans for a government-run intranet as a replacement for the internet.


11th February   

Update: A Pandora's Box of Human Rights Violations...

Amnesty International urges EU to reject international anti-counterfeiting pact
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Amnesty International has urged EU governments not to join the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), branding it a Pandora's box of potential human rights violations.

Starting this Saturday, 11 February, a range of civil society groups and individual citizens have planned protests in many European cities to voice opposition to ACTA before the European Parliament decides whether to formally ratify the pact later this year.

Amnesty International believes the pact's content, process, and institutional structure impact in a number of ways on human rights -- especially the rights to due process, privacy, freedom of information, freedom of expression, and access to essential medicines.

The EU should reject ACTA in its current form -- implementing the agreement could open a Pandora's box of potential human rights violations by doing away with due process and front-loading the requirement to enforce its provisions, said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International: While Amnesty believes that creators should be compensated for their work, the protection of intellectual property should never come at the expense of basic human rights.

Amnesty International is concerned about ACTA's broad coverage, vague language, and tendency to value private law enforcement over judicial review. Rather than allowing the courts to resolve how infractions of the ACTA should be treated, the pact obliges states to encourage third parties to enforce its provisions.

This would incentivize Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to impose repressive measures to avoid infringements, such as blocking, deleting, or even suspending services without recourse to judicial review.

Companies may be threatened with criminal sanctions if they derive indirect economic benefit from infringements or if they are deemed to have aided and abetted one or more acts of infringement. This is likely to have a chilling effect on free speech and access to information.

As these private companies would also be incentivized to implement intrusive surveillance technologies in order to avoid being liable for the actions of their users, this would also lead to gross violations of user privacy.

Access to generic medicines and other essential products could also be affected, as the ACTA would give customs officials the authority to seize products with labels suspected of being confusingly similar to trademark brands. Giving generic medicines similar labels helps to communicate medical equivalence and supports public health policy goals.

Amnesty International is also gravely concerned about the ACTA's vague and meaningless safeguards. Instead of using well-defined and accepted terminology, the text refers to concepts such as fundamental principles and even invents a concept of fair process , which currently has no definition in international law.

Only a small number of states including EU members, Japan, Australia and the USA, have negotiated the Agreement since 2007. The negotiation process has lacked transparency and democratic credibility, as it has taken place outside of recognized institutions, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The public was kept out of the process, and civil society, despite its demands, has not yet had access to all documents relating to the ACTA negotiations. US industry was kept up to speed with the negotiations, on condition that the industry partners signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The resulting standards are tremendously skewed towards protecting commercial interests over human rights.

Germany and Latvia delay ratification

See  article from

Germany has halted signing a controversial anti-piracy accord, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta), after the justice ministry voiced concerns.

A foreign ministry spokesperson told AFP that the delay was to give us time to carry out further discussions .

Latvia put off ratification on Friday. Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already delayed the process.

The Associated Press reports Germany's that Justice ministry believes the legislation is unnecessary in Germany and that the European Parliament should vote on Acta before the country considers it for ratification.

Anti-Acta websites currently list more than 50 protests scheduled to take place across Germany on Saturday.


10th February   

Update: Supremely Unethical...

Nutter group use half the truth to call on Leveson (of all people) to ban Page 3 girls
Link Here
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

Platform 51 is a women's group that was once the YWCA. They write:

Platform 51 poll reveals significant support for ban

A new poll, commissioned by women's charity, Platform 51, reveals that over two fifths of women in the UK would support a ban on the use of topless images in daily newspapers.

  • Almost double the proportion of women (42%) would support a move to ban topless models as oppose it (24%)
  • Amongst men and women, younger people aged 18-24 (41%) and Londoners (43%) would be most supportive of a ban

Commenting on these latest figures, Rebecca Gill, Platform 51's Director of Policy, Communications and Campaign, said:

Today's figures reveal that many more women are in favour of a ban on Page 3 than against it. Everyday we help girls and women across the country to build up their confidence and self-esteem and we see how they are affected by such photos, both in how they feel about themselves and how men see them.

These figures are particularly timely with Dominic Mohan being recalled in front of the Leveson inquiry on this issue. We hope that the inquiry will listen to women's views.

Surely readers have the right to know the full results of the poll including the views of men, older people, and those outside London. The results selected have obviously been cherry picked, and one assumes that the full results simply do not support Platform 51's views.

And then Rebecca Gill, CEO of Platform 51, cheekily uses these bollox half survey results to sort of call on Leveson to ban page 3. See article from by Rebecca Gill:

On Monday Dominic Mohan was recalled to the Leveson inquiry where he defended Page 3 as a British institution . Unfortunately he missed the all important word was'- it was a British institution - and not a particularly good one at that.

Platform 51 commissioned a nationally representative poll over the weekend which showed that almost twice as many women would support a ban on topless pictures of female models appearing in daily newspapers as would oppose it. In a country where many people feel uneasy with the word 'ban , these results are certainly striking.


These serious objections to Page 3 are perhaps well rehearsed. But what our polling shows is that many people, far from viewing institutions like Page 3 as harmless fun, in fact see Page 3 as an outdated institution which is, frankly, a bit embarrassing and needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

I wonder if Leveson appreciates the irony of being asked to make recommendations based on the very sort  of unethical bollox that he is supposed to be sorting out.


10th February   

Update: ACTA Opposition...

Some good points made in opposition to the undemocratically authored ACTA anti-piracy international treaty
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty, signed by most European countries last week, has generated considerable protest. This has sparked at least one signatory to have a deeper  think about what they actually signed up for.

The Slovenian ambassador to Japan, Helena Drnovsek Zorko, has issued an unprecedented public apology for signing the treaty, saying she was only obeying orders and was now supporting the public protests against the treaty. She sdmitted:

I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention, she said, in a most undiplomatic display of honesty. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children.

The Polish government has announced it is to suspend the ratification of the ACTA treaty, in light of public concern. Polish prime minister Donald Tusk said:.

The issue of signing of the ACTA accord did not involve sufficient consultation with everyone who is part of the process. The ACTA ratification process will be frozen as long as we haven't overcome all the doubts. This will probably require a review of Polish law. We can't rule out that, at the end of the day, this accord will not be approved.

French European Parliament member Kader Arif, who resigned in protest the day the treaty was signed, urged his fellow parliamentarians to reject ACTA.

I see a great risk concerning checks at borders, and the agreement foresees criminal sanctions against people using counterfeited products as a commercial activity, he told The Guardian. This is relevant for the trade of fake shoes or bags, but what about data downloaded from the internet? If a customs officer considers that you may set up a commercial activity just by having one movie or one song on your computer, which is true in theory, you could face criminal sanctions.

I don't want people to have their laptops or MP3 players searched at borders, Arif said. There needs to be a clearer distinction between normal citizens and counterfeiters which trade fake products as a commercial activity.

[And if you doubt what Arif is saying you only have to look to Britain for an example of EXACTLY what Arif fears. The British Parliament deliberately targeted its anti porn laws at commercial suppliers rather than customers. Yet the British authorities corrupted the law and deemed that giving a dodgy video to your mate was in fact commercial supply. They argued that commercial 'gain' could be as minimal as just the satisfaction of doing your mate a good turn].


See  article from

The Open Rights Group are supporting a demonstration against ACTA, which will take place in central London on Saturday, on 11th February. It has been planned to coincide with demonstrations across Europe, when a chorus of thousands of discontented voices will speak as one against over-reaching Internet laws.

The aim will be to tell as many people as possible what's going on by distributing leaflets and asking those who are worried to contact their MEPs.

People will be meeting at UK Music's offices, 27 Berners St, Paddington, central London at 2pm. The Open Rights Group will help supply what can only be described as brilliant leaflets and fabulous t-shirts. Then the idea is to split up into small teams and head off to spread the word.


10th February   

Update: Twitter Censorship...

And how it is used to stop broadcast of the whereabouts of pirated music
Link Here
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs

In early June, about three weeks before Beyonce's latest album came out, one of her songs, a collaboration with the rapper Andre 3000, made its way to the open seas of the Internet. Twitter recently published a batch of data that sheds light on the leak and provides insight into how Twitter censors information on the Internet.

It began when a website called RapUp published a link to the song, Party . Someone tweeted the link and lots of people retweeted it. From the perspective of Beyonce's record label, Columbia, this was not cool. So Columbia turned to a London-based contractor called Web Sheriff, which sent a takedown request to Twitter. It contained a list of over 100 of those copyright-infringing tweets and retweets. Twitter wrote back quickly: We have removed the reported materials from the site.

Twitter has removed thousands of tweets from its site over the years, and last month, it published the more than 4,000 takedown requests that have floated into its inbox since 2009.

...Read the full article


10th February   

Update: Twitter Censorship...

Brazil court case to consider asking Twitter to censor tweets that reveal police speed traps
Link Here
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs

A request for an injunction to stop Twitter users from alerting drivers to police roadblocks, radar traps and drunk-driving checkpoints could make Brazil the first country to take Twitter up on its plan to censor content at governments' requests.

Twitter unveiled plans last month that would allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws.

As far as we know this is the first time that a country has attempted to take Twitter up on their country-by-country take down, Eva Galperin of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation said: Twitter has given these countries the tool and now Brazil has chosen to use it, she said.

Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues Alves, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office, said the injunction request was filed Monday. He said a judge was expected to announce in the next few days whether he will issue the order against Twitter users.


10th February   

Update: Top Gear Viewing Figures Inflated by 1000's of Journalists?...

Now Jeremy Clarkson develops an arse like growth over his mouth
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

A disfigurement group has called for Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC to apologise after the Top Gear presenter compared the shape of a new car to people with growths on their faces .

In an episode of the BBC motoring show Clarkson likened a Japanese car with a large bulge on the back to a really ugly growth.

He suggested that people wouldn't talk to [the car] at a party and did an impression of the elephant man, the disfigured Victorian character, after fellow presenter Richard Hammond dubbed the vehicle the elephant car .

James Partridge, the chief executive of group Changing Faces , said that  Clarkson's comments create a culture of ridicule and bullying against people who are ill, disabled or have unusual features.

Mocking people with a disfigurement, a facial growth in this case, is irresponsible and extremely offensive. People with disfigurements experience discrimination and bullying which occasionally includes violence, said Partridge.

The group has written a letter of complaint to Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, and the BBC, which has received 55 complaints about the broadcast.

A BBC spokesman said that there were no plans to edit  Clarkson's comments about growths out of tonight's repeat how, but declined to comment further.


10th February   

The Old Guard Marched Off the Premises...

Director of the PCC stands down at the end of the month
Link Here

Stephen Abell, the Director of the Press Complaints Commission since the beginning of 2010, has announced that he will be leaving the PCC at the end of February. He is leaving to become a partner at Pagefield communications consultancy, where he will take responsibility for media relations and crisis communication.

Lord Hunt, Chair of the PCC, said:

When I joined the PCC last year, Stephen and I agreed that we would work together until we were in a position to propose a new structure for self-regulation of the press. I have valued his assistance in this, and his professionalism in leading the PCC's staff as they continued their important work during a difficult period. It is testament to him that the service to complainants, both those in the public eye and those without claim to celebrity, has improved and expanded over the last few years. I wish him success in all his future endeavours.

The PCC has appointed Michael McManus, who has wide experience in the worlds of journalism and politics, as Director of Transition. He will continue the work on ongoing proposals for reformed, independent self-regulation of the press. He will be part of a new senior team at the PCC, including Director of Communications Jonathan Collett and Charlotte Dewar, who has been promoted to Head of Complaints and Pre-Publication Services.

Stephen Abell said:

It has been a great privilege to work over the years with the committed, wonderful staff and board members of the PCC. I have been involved with the PCC for more than a decade, and I decided last year that it was time for a new challenge. First, I wanted to work with David Hunt in the development of positive proposals for a new structure of self-regulation. I believe we have now done that. I also wanted to give a full account of the work of the PCC to Lord Justice Leveson.

I remain a firm supporter of enhanced self-regulation for the press, maintaining all that is good about the work of the PCC, and am confident that this will be achieved as a result of the Leveson Inquiry.


10th February   

Update: Scratching the Surface...

Pakistan blocks 13,000 porn sites
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking

Pakistan has blocked 13,000 supposedly obscene Web sites and are taking additional steps to prevent the spread of such materials across the Internet.

The Times of India reported on Friday that Parliamentary Secretary for Information Technology Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan had made the remark, calling it a serious issue that the government is trying to address at the moment.

He went on to express concern at the rapid spread of obscene Web sites and admitted the government had no mechanism to block these sites, but pointed out a ministerial committee and a sub-committee had been formed to look into this matter, the report stated.


10th February

 Offsite Article: Science Magazine Censorship...

Link Here
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone
Apple censors science magazine over an article about the penis

See article from


9th February   

Er...You Mean Like Letting Them Watch Alex Mack?...

BBFC as part of ParentPort reveal that 40% of parents have allowed their children to watch a film classified above their age.
Link Here

Revealed: How parents control children's access to adult media

A new online survey conducted by the website ParentPort reveals that, of those parents surveyed whose children watch films at home, 40% had allowed their children to watch a film classified above their age.

The survey of 1,800 respondents from the UK's two largest online parenting communities --Mumsnet and Netmums - reveals the challenges and pressures parents face when it comes to keeping the media their children see age-appropriate.

Of those parents surveyed whose children play video games, a quarter (25%) had allowed their children to play games classified above their age.

Furthermore, 16% of parents surveyed said they had bought their children a device or gadget -- such as a games console or MP3 player -- which they themselves did not fully understand how to use.

However, the parents surveyed did not just give into their children's appetite for the media -- many also closely supervise what their children see and use. In fact, 82% of the parents surveyed claimed they always know what films and television programmes their children watch, and 77% said they always or usually know what websites their children visit.

Meanwhile, the survey also uncovers parents' boundaries when it comes to media, with one in eight of the parents surveyed reporting concern that Christmas presents their child had received were inappropriate for their age. Some reported being worried their youngsters would have unsupervised access to the internet through smartphones and laptops given as gifts. Others cited well-meaning friends and family overstepping the mark -- with examples of pre-teens unwrapping presents of 18-rated video games, and under-tens receiving 12-rated DVDs.

Overall, the parents surveyed recognised the contribution the media makes to their children's lives. Over half (52%) of the parents surveyed thought films and DVDs generally played a positive role in their children's lives. Forty-nine per cent cited television as also having a positive effect, and 48% believed the internet also made a good contribution to their children's lives. ParentPort website

ParentPort was set up last October to make it easier for parents to complain about material they see or hear across the media, communications and retail industries.

It was jointly developed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), the BBC Trust, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Video Standards Council (VSC)/Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).

Of those parents completing the survey who knew about ParentPort, 94.7% rated the website as a very useful or quite useful tool for them as a parent, guardian or carer; while 93.9% said they would recommend ParentPort to others.

Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive said: This survey reveals the challenges facing parents when it comes to their children's use of the media. ParentPort now gives parents an easy way to register their concerns with the media regulators who work to protect children from inappropriate material .

Guy Parker, ASA Chief Executive said: Parents, carers and guardians play an important role as the first line of defence in deciding what's appropriate for their children to see. But quite rightly, they expect support from media regulators, which is why ParentPort is such a valuable resource to help us understand parents' views. We encourage parents to take full advantage of it.

Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion, said: The world of media is speeding up and changing shape and anything that helps people navigate the new landscape is to be welcomed.


9th February   

Hammer at the Vault...

A season of Hammer Films including Dracula with BBFC cuts newly restored from an uncut Japanese release
Link Here

Hammer at the Vault
10-26th February 2012
At the Old Vic Tunnels, London

The flicker club has formed an unholy alliance with the mighty Hammer, Britain's legendary house of horror.

We will be resurrecting bloody classics like The Reptile , Frankenstein Created Woman and The Vampire Lovers and bringing them face to face with their 21st century counterparts: Wake Wood, Let Me In and the eagerly awaited The Woman in Black , starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Also Twins of Evil, Vampire Circus, Hands of the Ripper, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost Continent, Dracula, Quatermass and the Pit, The Reptile, Plague of Zombies, The Witches, Dracula Prince Of Darkness, Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell.

Restoration of the Japanese footage to Dracula

See  article from

We have reviewed the restoration of the Japanese footage to Dracula . It was incredibly exciting to see the two long-lost moments in the context of the BFI's restoration.

Molinare have done a superb job restoring this footage, considering the state of the reels (you'll be able to compare and contrast on the eventual Blu-ray; we're going to release all four surviving Japanese reels unrestored as a single extra).

The moment where the Count leans-in over Mina is full of transgressive threat and erotic charge (one can easily see how this moment had to be cut in 1958) though the footage does not actually include a bite (contrary to wishful thinking in some quarters).

The face-clawing scene is truly magnificent and sits perfectly within the last few seconds of the film. T

The world premiere screening of the definitive restored Dracula is at the Vault on 18th February 2012


9th February

 Offsite Article: No Joke...

Link Here
The Twitter joke trial appeal: a review of the High Court appeal hearing

See article from


9th February

 Offsite Article: The Dark Web...

Link Here
Is the propaganda machine winding up to take a knock at anonymity on the internet?

See article from


8th February   

Update: Protecting Business as Well as Children...

Ireland points out that ISP's aren't the best organisations to decide which websites to block, and the inevitable safety first over blocking will result in damage to innocent parties
Link Here

The Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI) is knocking Britain's new plan that requires surfers to select whether or not they want internet blocking, calling it nothing less than censorship.

The ISPAI said the responsibility should lie with parents policing what their children view on the web and not the business of the U.K. government. ISPAI's Paul Duran told the Irish Independent:

If Internet service providers are dictating what can be accessed, then that could be seen as nothing less than censorship. Essentially we would be deciding what would be the inappropriate material. That should be left to the parents or guardians.

The ISPAI represents 20 ISPs in Ireland including Eircom, O2, Vodafone and UPC.

Critics of the British move said there are a number of practical issues that are being overlooked and need to be addressed. The restrictions could lump in websites that do not contain sexually explicit material.

Digital law expert JP McIntyre said:

Many of these blocking issues are easy to circumvent, but what they do tend to do is damage people who have been wrongly blocked. You'll find that shops selling things like lingerie get blocked by these filters,

Very often there are no appeal mechanisms or they are very hard to use and in the meantime people find that their businesses are suffering because people can't access their sites and they don't know why.

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald refused to comment on whether there were any plans to persuade Irish ISPs to adopt the British model.


8th February   

Unchallenged Eyewitness...

Ofcom censure muslim channel programme for giving a one sided view of US foreign policy in Afghanistan and the Middle East
Link Here

Ahlulbayt TV, 27 September 2011, 18:30

Ahlulbayt TV is a satellite television channel serving the Shia Muslim community in the UK. The licence for Ahlulbayt TV.

Eyewitness is a current affairs programme that contains lengthy interviews about topics of political interest.

A viewer alerted Ofcom to a programme featuring Agha Murtaza Poya, a Pakistani politician and journalist. In this programme, Agha Murtaza Poya talked about various geo-political issues, and his contribution included a critique of US foreign policy in relation to, for example, Afghanistan, Iran and Israel/Palestine. The viewer considered that the programme:

  • incited hatred towards countries such as the USA; and
  • presented no alternative point of view to that expressed by Agha Murtaza Poya.

Ofcom noted that the programme featured Agha Murtaza Poya speaking at length about his views on the conflicts in the Middle East, the US presence there, the spread of Islam and the future of Israel. The programme consisted of Agha Murtaza Poya giving answers to a range of questions. The programme did not include the voice of the interviewer. Instead the questions asked in the interview were included in voiceover as part of the programme commentary.

We noted that the programme included a range of statements from Agha Murtaza Poya, including the following, which could be interpreted as being highly critical, in particular, of: the foreign policies of the USA Eg:

I would certainly want all these regimes to start showing a more human face - whether it is an Assad or a Gaddafi or anybody - but the crimes being committed by the so-called international community - that is worse than anything else.

They [the US] didn't fail, they didn't go in for anything else. They didn't fail in Iraq. They beat the daylights out of the Iraqi society, and fractured it, gave it multiple fractures, so therefore... but it's bought Israel ten years, and that was the purpose of going in.

Ofcom considered Rule 5.5 (due impartiality) of the Code, which states that:

Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service…. This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 5.5

This programme consisted entirely of an interview with Agha Murtaza Poya. We noted that ATNL argued that any particular view points presented by the guest were challenged through questions included in the voiceover to the programme.

We considered that the questions included in the voiceover did, to some limited extent, clarify or add context to the viewpoints being expressed by Agha Murtaza Poya. In our view however these questions served principally to highlight geo-political issues relating to various nations, such as Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan; and served as a means of punctuating the points being made by the interviewee. None of the questions included in the voiceover could reasonably be said to reflect the viewpoint of the US Government in relation to its foreign policy in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In our view, taken overall this programme contained a range of statements that were highly critical of various aspects of US foreign policy, but did not include any views that could reasonably be said to reflect the viewpoint of the US Government in relation to its foreign policy and that countered the points being made by Agha Murtaza Poya.

The programme gave a one-sided view on this matter of political controversy. Further, the broadcaster did not provide any evidence of views of the US Government on this issue being included in a series of programmes taken as a whole (i.e. more than one programme in the same service, editorially linked, dealing with the same or related issues within an appropriate period and aimed at a like audience). Ofcom therefore considered the programme to be in breach of Rule 5.5 of the Code.

Ofcom is concerned that this breach of Rule 5.5 comes only a few months after a similar breach by the Licensee of the due impartiality requirements of the Code4 . Ofcom is therefore requiring the Licensee to attend a meeting to explain its compliance procedures in this area. The Licensee is put on notice that any further similar contraventions of the Code will be considered for further regulatory action by Ofcom.

Breach of Rule 5.5


8th February   

Should be Charged with Wasting Censors' Time...

ASA dismiss ludicrous whinges about animated characters almost kissing on a bed
Link Here

A TV ad, for the console game SIMS 3 Pets , included an animated character that had a human body and a dog's head. It stated Are you an animal person? Well, not like me cos most people are made up entirely of person. And if you're a person person, then you'd be missing out on the duality of life. With the Sims 3 Pets you can have a pet or be a pet. You can play both ways. So, go on, experiment. Chase some tail. Play with life . The ad also included animated scenes of a man playing a guitar surrounded by animals and other people. He was also shown in a bath and then appeared about to kiss a woman on a bed.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with no timing restriction.

  1. Some of the complainants challenged whether the ad, in particular the scene with the couple on a bed, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

  2. Most of the complainants challenged whether the ad, in particular the scene with the couple on a bed, was suitable to be broadcast when children might be watching.

1. Electronic Arts (EA) said the scene of the couple on the bed was from gameplay. They believed the graphics made clear the characters were fictitious and that the product was a videogame; the PEGI 12 logo was also clearly displayed. EA said both characters were clothed and did not actually kiss; the footage of a dog lifting its leg onto the corner of the bed also added to the silliness and comedy of the ad.

Clearcast said they had noted the couple on the bed but they were not kissing and therefore they considered a timing restriction was not necessary, because they did not believe the ad would cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not Upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA considered the presentation of the ad was such that it was clear that it was for a videogame and that the scenarios shown were not a reflection of real life. We acknowledged some viewers might find the content of the ad, in particular the scene of the couple on the bed, distasteful but considered most viewers were likely to interpret it as being light hearted and mildly suggestive, rather than as being overtly sexual. We therefore concluded that it was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We considered the scene of the couple on the bed was mildly suggestive but noted it was brief and that although they appeared about to kiss, kissing did not take place. We considered the ad did not include anything that was likely to cause harm or distress to children or was otherwise unsuitable for them. We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling of television and radio advertisements) but did not find it in breach.


8th February   

Extract: The Saga that Refuses to End...

Authors under threat of legal proceedings for supporting Salman Rushdie at the Jaipur Literary Festival
Link Here
Full story: Satanic Verses...Salman Rushdie irritation of the muslim world

Legal proceedings have been filed against four authors that read aloud from Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.

The Jaipur story has now taken a new turn, on 6th February two courts in the city began legal proceedings after complaints were filed by among others, members of an organisation that campaigned against Salman Rushdie's participation in the Jaipur Literature Festival. They allege that the festival organisers and four authors who read from Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.

The four authors --- Amitava Kumar, Hari Kunzru, Ruchir Joshi, and Jeet Thayil --- read from the novel to express solidarity with the absent Rushdie, and as a mark of protest. Rushdie did not go to Jaipur after he received plausible information that security forces had evidence of death threats against him. Now the festival's organisers are also being charged under provisions of India's criminal laws, which date back to the colonial era.

The complainants main contention is that the authors and the festival organisers conspired to promote enmity on grounds of religion. One magistrate has recorded the complaint to decide if the case has any merit before it is sent to the police to register a First Information Report. That case will now be heard on 8 March.

...Read the full article


8th February   

Long Life Free Speech...

South Korea arrests Twitter user for posting 'long live Kim Jong-il'
Link Here

The South Korean authorities should immediately release a social media activist accused of helping the enemy for re-tweeting messages from North Korea's official government Twitter account, Amnesty International said today.

Park Jeonggeun, a 24-year-old Socialist Party activist, was charged by South Korean law enforcement authorities with violating the country's national security law for re-tweeting the message long live Kim Jong-il from North Korea's official Twitter account.

Park, who says his re-tweets were meant to ridicule North Korea's leaders rather than support them, has been held at Seoul Detention Centre since 11 January and could face up to seven years in jail.

This is not a national security case, it's a sad case of the South Korean authorities' complete failure to understand sarcasm, said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director.

Imprisoning anyone for peaceful expression of their opinions violates international law but in this case, the charges against Park Jeonggeun are simply ludicrous and should be dropped immediately, he said.


8th February

 Offsite Article: Sympathy Lost after Cringeworthy Excuses...

Link Here
Indian ministers quit the Karnataka State Assembly after being spotted from the media gallery watching porn clips on a phone

See article from


7th February   

Truly Disturbing...

BBFC makes cuts to an up 'n' coming horror, The Owner
Link Here
The Owner (El propietario) is a 2008 Argentina horror thriller by Valentín Javier Diment and Luis Ziembrowski. With Jimena Anganuzzi, Carla Crespo and Mario Das Arias. See IMDb .

It was passed 18 after 1:22s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 4Digital/Redemption R2 DVD

The BBFC commented about their cuts:

  • Company was required to make cuts to remove eroticised nudity from a sequence of sexual violence in which an unconscious woman is sexually assaulted.

Promotional material for the film reads:

This is a truly disturbing and perverse horror movie that oozes depravity from each and every frame.

The Owner, of the title is a sex-obsessed landlord (Luis Ziembrowski) who hides cameras all over the apartments he rents out, and in particular the apartment of an up-and coming lesbian actress (Jimena Anganuzi), whose every move and exposed flash he drools over, watching her body on playback again and again. Slowly his obsession becomes a twisted one-sided relationship in his mind that the actress only becomes aware of when its too late...


7th February   

Update: TV Channel Told to Wash its Mouth Out with Soap...

Ofcom fine Believe TV over nonsense religious healing claims
Link Here
Full story: Censors vs Religious Healing...Censors unimpressed by claims of religious healing

Ofcom have fined Light Academy Ltd £ 25,000 in respect of claims made by its Believe TV channel.

Ofcom decided that the programmes on Believe TV:

  • Paul Lewis Ministries, December 2010
  • Pastor Alex Omokudu Healing Ministry Testimonies, December 2010 - February 2011
  • Bishop Climate Irungu Ministries, January 2011

Breached rules:

  • Rule 2.1: Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material .
  • Rule 4.6: Religious programmes must not improperly exploit any susceptibilities of the audience .

Ofcom considered only the breaches of Rules 2.1 and 4.6 to be so serious as to warrant consideration of a statutory sanction. In addition, Ofcom considered the Code Breaches to be repeated because they happened repeatedly over a period of several months.

Ofcom have previously highlighted a number of examples of broadcast material which had the potential for harm in breach of Rule 2.1, because some viewers with serious illnesses, especially more vulnerable ones, may not seek, or abandon existing, conventional medical treatment on the basis of what they have seen on Believe TV.

For example, Ofcom noted examples:

  • Paul Lewis, in the programmes Paul Lewis Ministries broadcast on 21 December 2010 and 22 December 2010, preaching directly to camera and providing 'healing' direct to individuals through the use of his 'Miracle Olive Oil Soap'; and
  • Bishop Climate Irungu, in the programmes Bishop Climate Irungu Ministries, broadcast on 4 January 2011, providing testimony of 'healing' direct to camera; and
  • 'testimonies' of congregation members (supported by statements by Pastor Alex Omokudu), which clearly encouraged viewers to believe that the healing or treatment of very serious illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart problems could be achieved exclusively through healing provided by being anointed with a product such as olive oil soap, Ribena or oil.

Ofcom also considered whether to revoke the licence for believe TV but decided that this would not be proportionate.


7th February   

Updated: Holy Flying Circus...

Reconstructing the nutter furore in the run up to the release of Life of Brian
Link Here

Holy Flying Circus is a 2011 UK TV comedy drama by Owen Harris with Ben Crispin, Steve Punt and Charles Edwards.

Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Freemantle R0 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 6th February 2012

The promotional material reads:

In 1979 Monty Python's Life of Brian caused controversy around the world. This is NOT their story...

Holy Flying Circus is a fantastical re-imagining of the events leading up to Michael Palin and John Cleese appearing on the BBC's Friday Night Saturday Morning to defend the film against charges of blasphemy. Written by Tony Roche (In the Loop, The Thick of It) directed by Owen Harris (Misfits, Skins) and edited by Billy Sneddon (Four Lions, In the Loop) this is a bold and entertaining homage to one of the world's greatest comedy teams.

This programme does not feature the Pythons and is not produced or endorsed by them.


7th February   

I Don't Give a Shit...

M.I.A. continues fine tradition of offending the easily offended during the Super Bowl half time show
Link Here

American broadcaster NBC has apologised after M.I.A. put her middle finger up during her Super Bowl half-time performance.

She made the gesture whilst singing: I don't give a shit, during a performance of Madonna's new single, Give Me All Your Luvin'.

The screen was briefly blurred after M.I.A.'s gesture in a failed attempt to cut out the camera shot. The broadcaster said M.I.A. did not do anything similar during rehearsals and the league had no reason to believe she would do anything during the show.

NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey Said:

We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time.

The NFL hired the talent and produced the half-time show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.

The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans.


7th February   

Update: Safely Censored...

TalkTalk to mandate that new subscribers select whether or not they want ISP level website blocking
Link Here

From the end of next month new subscribers to TalkTalk broadband will be unable to activate their internet connection until they specify any categories of website access that they would like to block.

The TalkTalk ISP has defined nine categories of websites, including porn, dating, gambling, gaming, suicide, social networking and weapons + violence, that can be blocked. Subscribers will be alerted automatically either by email or text if the controls are subsequently changed.

TalkTalk already provides subscribers with the opportunity to block access to websites through its HomeSafe service, but currently they not prompted to choose website blocking and the default is for no sites to be blocked. So far 240,000 subscribers have elected for website blocks to be imposed.

The children's minister, Tim Loughton, praised TalkTalk and said he hoped other internet service providers would offer similar services shortly:

Through the UK Council for Child Internet Safety we are working with industry and charities to provide tools and information to inform parents and help keep children safe online.

Meanwhile a little propaganda for cyberbullying parents

See  article from

Parents who are not technology savvy are putting their children are at risk from exposure to unsuitable content on the internet, claim two studies.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre and IT firm Westcoastcloud, have warned that not all parents have put internet blocking controls on their computers.

Further, even the majority of those who have put controls in place have not considered doing the same on other household devices that access the internet.

A Mori poll, commissioned by Ceop, showed that about 8% in the UK, aged between five and 15, are regular users of the internet.

But the study from Westcoastcloud, a division of Glasgow-based cloud computing specialist Iomart, revealed that only half of parents have installed software to protect their offspring  while only one in four has installed similar protection on the mobile phones, games consoles and television services.

Technology has transformed people's lives both collectively and individually, said Peter Davies, chief executive of the Ceop Centre and the senior police officer leading on child protection on the internet for the Association of Chief Police Officers: But too often we see examples of where the child is at risk because they make simple online mistakes -- because they are lured in or push the boundaries too far and risk their safety.


7th February   

Update: India Censors Google and Facebook...

Google and Facebook remove content supposedly objectionable to religious and political leaders
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

Google India has removed web pages deemed offensive to Indian political and religious leaders to comply with a court case that has raised censorship fears in the world's largest democracy.

A New Delhi court gave Facebook, Google, YouTube and Blogspot and other sites two weeks to present further plans for policing their networks, according to the Press Trust of India.

Google India did not say which sites were removed but had said it would be willing to go after anything that violated local law or its own standards.

Indian officials have been incensed by material insulting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi and religious groups, including illustrations showing Singh and Gandhi in compromising positions and pigs running through Mecca, Islam's holiest city.

Communications Minister Sachin Pilot said that anyone hurt by online content should be able to seek legal redress, he said. The government has warned it has evidence to prosecute 21 sites for offenses of promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration.

Update: Summons Stands

18th February 2012. See  article from

The Delhi High Court has refused to stay a summons against Google and Facebook issued by a trial court over a private complaint. At the same time, Justice Suresh Kait denied a strong plea from the counsel for the Delhi Police that Google India managing director Rajan Anandan and Facebook India's director of online operations Kirthiga Reddy appear in person before the trial court on 13 March, when the next hearing is scheduled.

What is this insistence that they should appear in person? Justice Kait asked public prosecutor Naveen Sharma. They have been allowed to appear through a lawyer. The court deferred the hearing of the petition challenging their summonses to 3 May.

Sharma told the court that websites like Facebook and Yahoo had been given sufficient warnings and opportunities by the communications and information technology ministry to remove objectionable content before steps were taken for their prosecution.

Update: Removal Count

2nd March 2012. See  article from

Presumably, Google has satisfied the request of the Indian courts as no more removal requests have been added to Google's Transparency Report although 122 more items have been added to the Items requested to be removed category. Additionally, only half of the removal requests have been fulfilled.

Update: Yahoo Excused

3rd March 2012. SSee  article from

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a criminal case against Yahoo India which was accused of hosting objectionable content on its web pages.

Yahoo was among 21 web firms, including Facebook and Google, accused of hosting material that could cause communal unrest.

However Yahoo said there is no actual document to show that its website has violated any law.

The judge agreed, however, he said that a private complaint against the website could be revived if credible and actionable evidence was filed against it.

Update: Case Delayed

14th March 2012. See  article from

The controversial Indian legal imbroglio over censorship of web content and involving twenty companies including Google, Facebook and Microsoft has been deferred until May 23.


7th February   

Updated: Envisaging a Compensation Culture...

David Hunt proposes a new press regulator with the ability to fine newspapers that break its rules
Link Here
Full story: Leveson Inquiry...Considering UK press censorship and regulation

David Hunt, the new chairman of the Press Complaints Commission has unveiled a blueprint for a totally new newspaper watchdog which he hopes will eradicate bad journalism and practices that have brought shame on the industry.

He told the Leveson inquiry that he was, however, flatly opposed to statutory regulation of newspapers, arguing that it would open a Pandora's box which would give the opportunity to unscrupulous politicians to try to curb the freedom of the press.

The new regulatory body proposed by Hunt would have real powers to investigate allegations such as phone hacking, illegal computer hacking or general press intrusion by reporters or paparazzi. It would also have the power to impose fines and award compensation to victims of the press, he said, with newspapers signing binding contracts to adhere to its rulings for five years at a time.

The new body would be far more robust than the PCC and be independent of influence by present editors, according to Hunt, with a three-pronged structure involving units providing a swift complaints resolution service, a standards arm and an arbitration operation which would assess damages.

Update: Mandatory registration of journalists

7th February 2012. See  article from

 Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail,proposed a fresh system of accrediting journalists. He told the Leveson Inquiry that the present system of press cards was haphazard .

Those guilty of the most serious misconduct could have their press cards removed, in the same way as doctors are struck off. But all newspapers and accredited freelance agencies would have to sign up for the scheme.

Dacre suggested that agencies using paparazzi should be encouraged to join a reinvigorated and strengthened Press Complaints Commission, and said the public should be consulted in an inquiry to determine the practical definition of legitimate public interest.

And he voiced his support for recommendations made last week by the PCC chairman Lord Hunt, who has suggested a separate unit working alongside the new regulatory body to uphold standards; contracts to lock newspapers into the new body; and an arbitration system to settle privacy and libel complaints rapidly and cheaply reducing predatory legal fees.

Dacre said he accepted that the present PCC should be bolstered by a separate regulatory body to deal with abuses of standards. Such a body could be run by a Press Ombudsman with powers to investigate editors and journalists and impose sanctions, including the removal of press accreditation.

...Read the full article


7th February   

Which is Safer, a Dangerous Dog, or an Enraged Dangerous Dog Owner?...

MacDonald's hastily withdraw advert featuring a pit bull terrier
Link Here

McDonald's has apologized and pulled a radio advert from airing in Kansas City.

The ad said eating a Chicken McBite was less risky than petting a stray pit bull, shaving your head, naming your son Sue or giving friends your Facebook password.

Easily enraged pit bull owners and their supporters soon started complaining. A campaign against the ad circulated on social media sites, and an apology was quickly delivered in the same way.

Ashlee Yingling, spokesman for McDonald's Corp said"

The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologize. As soon as we learned of it, we tracked the source and had the local markets pull the ad immediately. We'll do a better job next time. It's never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald's.

Rachele Lizarraga, who owns a pet-sitting business and is social media coordinator for Chako Pit Bull Rescue, started a Facebook page called Pit Bulls Against McDonald's . She launched an online petition calling for an end to the ad and started one of many Twitter threads.

And as to whether Pit Bulls are dangerous.

See article from

A pit bull is any of several breeds of dog. The name can refer to almost any short-haired, muscular, and aggressive-looking dog. These dogs are often cross-bred to produce winning fighters. The American Pit Bull Terrier is considered to be the strongest dog in the world.

For a century prior to the 1970s, pit bulls were revered in America as a symbol of strength and independence. But because of their particular traits, the dogs have been mistreated and poorly bred for criminal purposes like dog-fighting and for the protection of drug trafficking operations. This mistreatment, cross-breeding, and training for aggressive behavior have led to many incidents between these animals and people.

And Topically

See  article from

Leslie Trotman, 83, died from a ruptured spleen after a neighbour's pitbull-type dog attacked him in his garden, Scotland Yard says


7th February   

Update: Stigmatising Breastfeeding...

Worldwide protests against Facebook's censorship of breastfeeding pictures
Link Here
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Protesters assembled at more than 30 locations worldwide at 10am yesterday to oppose Facebook's policy regarding the removal of images of breastfeeding from the social networking website.

Irish protesters stood their ground for two hours to highlight the fact Facebook is removing breast feeding photos. Moreover, parents argued that Facebook's censorship reflects a disturbing trend stigmatising breastfeeding in public.

Chris Finn, a representative from Friends of Breastfeeding, an advocacy group in Ireland. said:

Some might ask why would a mother want to post a picture of herself breastfeeding on Facebook. And the only question I can ask you back is, 'Why wouldn't she'?

We're here to stand up and say that our nation's attitude towards breastfeeding needs to change. Why? Because breastfeeding is just the biologically normal way to feed a baby, and the only way to make a change is if we see breastfeeding.

Facebook said that its terms prohibit nudity. Therefore, images containing a fully exposed breast are deemed to violate those terms of user safety. A statement said:

These policies are based on the same standards that apply to television and print media. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and we are very glad to know that it is important for mothers, including the many mothers who work at Facebook, to share their experience with others on the site.


7th February   

Update: Repressive Indonesia...

Ministry claims to have blocked nearly 1 million porn websites
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill

Indonesia's Communications and Information Ministry claims it has blocked nearly 1 million sites that carry pornographic content.

Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said the censorship of porn sites was in line with the government's commitment to provide safe sites accessed by Indonesians and build a more positive character for the nation.

We've blocked more than 983,000 porn sites. We will keep on doing it, Tifatul said during a seminar on the Healthy and Safe Use of the Internet. Tifatul added that the censorship would in turn improve people's ethics in using the Internet for positive purposes.


7th February   

Miserable Equality...

Easily offended shadow equalities minister 'disturbed' by bunny girl image on beer pump
Link Here

A beer called Top Totty, by the Stafford-based brewer Slater's, has been banned from a parliamentary bar because its pump plate featured a bikini clad bunny girl.

The easily offended shadow equalities minister, Kate Green, was left disturbed after seeing the ale's advertising in Parliament's Strangers' Bar. Green told the Commons:

I was disturbed last night to learn that the guest beer in the Strangers' Bar is called Top Totty and there is a picture of a nearly naked woman on the tap.

She called for a debate on dignity at work in parliament and asked Young to back her demands for Top Totty to be withdrawn immediately.

Sir George Young, told MPs: Action will be taken. And within 90 minutes, House authorities ordered the beer to be withdrawn.

Top Totty's Stafford-based brewer, Slater's, describes the ale as a stunning blonde beer, full-bodied with a voluptuous hop aroma .


7th February

 Offsite Article: Why should religions be exempt from advertising rules?...

Link Here
Full story: Censors vs Religious Healing...Censors unimpressed by claims of religious healing
Responding to Brendan O'Neill's comment piece that arguing that if Christians are not free to say 'God heals', then there is no religious freedom in this country

See article from


6th February   

Update: Radical Findings...

Parliamentary Committee find that ISPs should monitor the internet for websites radicalising religious extremists
Link Here
Full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

Website should be monitored and material that promotes violent extremism should be removed. A nine-month inquiry by the Commons home affairs select committee concluded the internet is a fertile breeding ground for terrorism and plays a part in most, if not all, cases of violent radicalisation.

ISPs should be more active in monitoring sites and the government should work with them to develop a code of practice for removing material that could lead to radicalisation, the report said.

The inquiry found that the internet played a greater role in violent radicalisation than prisons, universities or places of worship, and was now one of the few unregulated spaces where radicalisation is able to take place .

But it added that a sense of grievance was key, and direct personal contact with radicals was a significant factor . The government's counter-terrorism strategy should show the British state is not antithetical to Islam , the committee said. Keith Vaz, its chairman, said:

More resources need to be directed to these threats and to preventing radicalisation through the internet and in private spaces. These are the fertile breeding grounds for terrorism.

The July 7 bombings in London, carried out by four men from West Yorkshire, were a powerful demonstration of the devastating and far-reaching impact of home-grown radicalisation.

We remain concerned by the growing support for non-violent extremism and more extreme and violent forms of far-right ideology.

He added that a policy of engagement, not alienation would prevent radicalisation and called for the government's counter-radicalisation strategy Prevent to be renamed Engage.

Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties and privacy group Big Brother Watch, said:

Whatever the reason for blocking online content, it should be decided in court and not by unaccountable officials.

There is a serious risk that this kind of censorship not only makes the internet less secure for law-abiding people, but drives underground the real threats and makes it harder to protect the public.


6th February   

Updated: Legend...

The Director's Cut of Legend gets a UK all region Blu-ray release
Link Here

Legend is a 1985 US/UK fantasy by Ridley Scott with Tom Cruise and Mia Sara. See IMDb

The Director's Cut was passed PG uncut for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox Online
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox (+European Version) R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 6th February 2012

The additional material is non-contentious but makes the film more coherent. See pictorial version details from

The new Blu-ray is region ABC. It features the European Version but has the Director's Cut as a 'Special Feature'.


6th February   

Update: Oops...

It seems that TV censor Ofcom has no dominion over the Channel Islands
Link Here

Anomalies in Guernsey's television and radio laws have been caused by UK authorities failing to communicate, the Home Department has said.

It made the comment in a report asking the legislative assembly known as the States to approve remedial legislation to retrospectively cover changes made in the UK since 2003. The report is due to go before the States in March.

The current laws leave uncertainty over issues such as TV licensing and the power of the regulator Ofcom.

The department said as part of the process of preparing the legislation it has contacted the relevant UK authorities to ensure all future legislation will be passed on to Guernsey.


6th February   

Best Whingers in Europe...

ASA report upsurge of complaints about advertising
Link Here

Guy Parker, the chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has highlighted a 40%rise in complaints to the advert censor. He said in excess of 20,000 campaigns provoked complaints to the ASA in 2011.

Parker said the UK was now responsible for more complaints over advertising than the rest of Europe put together:

They say that British people don't complain. They don't complain face-to-face... but they don't mind complaining remotely. Now far more than half of all the complaints made to advertising regulatory bodies in all 27 EU member states are made by the UK public to us, it's 60-65 per cent.

Parker, giving evidence to Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into media standards, said that it was not in the interest of British business for there to be mistrust in advertising:

Trust in advertising has been declining for a number of years and this is not good news. [If] people trust individual ads less...then companies' advertising spend is going to be less effective.

The surge in the ASA's workload in the past year has been due partly to an extension of the censor's remit on 1 March to include claims made on company websites. The ASA workload rose by 44%in the following seven months, and 36% of the cases related to websites. The ASA has taken on a dozen extra frontline staff to cope with the added complaints.


6th February   

Update: Exile...

Kolkata book launch event cancelled lest religious people get offended (and get violent)
Link Here
Full story: Blasphemy in India...Hurting religious sentiments

The cancellation of the release party for Taslima Nasreen's autobiography at the Kolkata Book Fair has thrown the spotlight on the destructive clout of religious fanatics in a city once known for savouring cultural pluralism.

Coupled with the Salman Rushdie controversy - when the Booker awardee had to call off his visit and then his much-anticipated video address at the Jaipur Literature Festival following security threats triggered by some Islamic groups' protest - would go down as another instance of Indian authorities and parties kowtowing before religious rabblerousers.

While the Rushdie episode saw the political parties and the government, in the words of novelist Vikram Seth, knuckling under an enforced disgrace because of power and politics , the only difference here was that publishers went ahead with the launch of the book at the fair, despite the hostile attitude of organisers.

The seventh volume of Nasreen's book Nirbasan ( Exile ), which deals with her life after exile from Kolkata in 2007 and which almost nobody had read before the release, saw religious fundamentalists protesting against the launch.

This was nothing new for the Bangladesh-born author, a doctor by profession in the early 80s, who was forced to leave her country in 1994 after there was widespread agitation against her novel Lajja ( Shame ), which a section of people saw as an assault on Islam.

Hours before the release function, the organisers telephoned the publishers, People's Book Society, asking them to cancel the programme due to logistical problems . But later it transpired that some Islamic groups had approached the authorities and the city police against the book release.

A top official of the organising body, Publishers' and Book Sellers' Guild, confirmed the development saying:

We cannot allow any such thing to happen inside the Book Fair premises which can hurt the interest of the common people coming to the fair. We cannot allow anything that may hurt the religious sentiments of any community.

Update: Cancer of Censorship

11th February 2012. See  article from

Taslima Nasreen commented to the Times of India:

You may wonder why the authority tries to ban me or ban my book launch. They believe I am anti-Islam, and supporting me or allowing me entry to the country or the state or the city or the book fair would send a wrong message to the Muslim fanatics. They fear they would lose the Muslim vote. They do not want to take the risk of a single Muslim vote.

The author believes the appetite for censorship is growing in India , she said. With Rushdie prevented by fears of violence from attending or even speaking via video link at the Jaipur event in January, Nasrin says we are witnessing the disturbing victory of Islamic gangsters in Jaipur and Kolkata. I am wondering how to stop this growing cancer from spreading, she said. According to Nasrin, intolerance is growing

because the government does not take action against intolerant fanatics and the fanatics are forgiven for whatever violence they commit in the name of religion ... India needs to secularise the states, judiciary and educational systems. People need to learn about the principles of democracy, freedom of expression, human rights and humanism. They need to be enlightened. In the name of 'Indian secularism', irrational blind faith and the barbarity of all religions seem to be accepted and respected equally.


6th February   

Update: i Spy Internet Snooping...

European Advertising Standards Alliance define new rules to inform web surfers that adverts they see are determined via snooping
Link Here
Full story: Behavioural Advertising...Serving adverts according to internet snooping

When new rules governing the way companies collect and use data about our movements online come into force, a little i symbol will appear on screen to reveal adverts generated by cookies . Many internet users find these digital devices, which are used by websites to create personal profiles based on use of the Internet, intrusive.

The data is used for Online Behavioural Advertising, allowing companies to direct their display adverts at individuals who, through the websites they have visited, have indicated an interest in certain goods or services.

The warning system, to be introduced by the European Advertising Standards Alliance and the Internet Advertising Bureau of Europe, will allow users to opt out of all Online Behavioural Advertising.

Similar measures introduced in the US had shown that users were often reassured about the use of cookies and chose to redefine their advertising profiles so they more accurately reflected their interests. Some web names, like Yahoo!, have already begun using the triangle icon on a voluntary basis in Britain but from June all ad networks will be required to display the symbol or face sanctions.


5th February   

Update: Tattooed with Shame...

India's film censors are 'disturbed' that they are being portrayed as good for nothing film banners after banning The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Link Here

Film viewers in India were in for some bad when Sony Pictures announced that the keenly-awaited The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo , had been banned. An official Sony statement read:

The Censor Board (of India) has adjudged the film unsuitable for public viewing in its unaltered form. And while we are committed to maintaining and protecting the vision of the director, we will, as always, respect the guidelines set by the board.

News of the ban has not just disappointed viewers, it has also shocked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) who rather expected Sony to accept their long and unacceptable list of suggested cuts. CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur said:

We are disturbed at the bad press it has generated, especially internationally. If they were unhappy with the decision, they should have brought it to the notice of the senior officers. We did not hear from Sony Pictures, nothing was brought to our notice, till we read about it in the papers.

The CBFC's proposed cuts for Dragon Tattoo include two graphic lovemaking scenes between journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara), a lesbian sex scene between Lisbeth and a barfly, a rape sequence and a scene in which she tortures her rapist, with a video of her being assaulted playing in the background. Thakur says the film was issued an A certificate, after extensive cuts, on December 19, 2011.

Sony didn't follow up the option of going to the revising committee to appeal against the cuts either, again to the annoyance of the film censors. Thakur ranted:

CBFC functions like a quasi-judicial organisation. From the lower court you go to the High Court and Supreme Court. So if they had a problem, the producers should have taken it to the next level. Filmmakers have a chance to be heard, cuts are discussed with them. They have lost so much time by not bringing it to our notice.

But Sony's spokesperson took a further dig at the squirming film censor and quickly dismissed the option as useless:

No appeal ever works.

Another issue irking the CBFC is that Dragon Tattoo had faced similar censorship problems in Malaysia and the Gulf countries. Japan rejected the original film too and okayed a revised version with pixellated scenes. Thakur lamented:

If they have accepted that in Japan, then why take such a stand in India?


5th February   

Extract: For Our Eyes Only...

The Daily Mail does an interesting piece about BBFC censorship of early James Bond films
Link Here

He may have triumphed over the world's greatest criminal masterminds, but in his early days James Bond suffered countless defeats at the hands of Britain's film censors.

Producers of the 007 movies had to cut scenes, redub dialogue and rewrite scripts because the British Board of Film Classification objected to some of the spy's more risque exploits.

...Read the full article


5th February   

Update: Anonymity on the Internet...

British MPs note their concern about Google's plundering of private data
Link Here
Full story: Behavioural Advertising...Serving adverts according to internet snooping

A small group of British MPs have signed up to an Early Day Motion voicing concern that Google are set to plunder user data for advert serving purposes.

The primary sponsor is Robert Halfon and the motion reads:

That this House

  • is concerned at reports in the Wall Street Journal that Google may now be combining nearly all the information it has on its users, which could make it harder for them to remain anonymous;

  • notes that Google's new policy is planned to take effect on 1 March 2012, but that this has not been widely advertised or highlighted to Google's users and customers, who now number more than 800 million people;

  • and therefore concludes that Google should make efforts to consult on these changes and that the firm should be extremely careful in the months ahead not to risk the same kind of mass privacy violations that took place under its StreetView programme, which the Australian Minister for Communications called the largest privacy breach in history across western democracies.

The motion has been signed by

  • Campbell, Gregory: Democratic Unionist Party Londonderry East
  • Campbell, Ronnie: Labour Party Blyth Valley
  • Caton, Martin: Labour Party Gower
  • Clark, Katy: Labour Party North Ayrshire and Arran
  • Connarty, Michael: Labour Party Linlithgow and East Falkirk
  • Corbyn, Jeremy; Labour Party Islington North
  • Halfon, Robert; Conservative Party Harlow
  • Hopkins, Kelvin; Labour Party Luton North
  • McCrea, Dr William; Democratic Unionist Party South Antrim
  • Meale, Alan; Labour Party Mansfield
  • Morris, David; Conservative Party Morecambe and Lunesdale
  • Osborne, Sandra; Labour Party Ayr Carrick and Cumnock
  • Rogerson, Dan; Liberal Democrats North Cornwall
  • Vickers, Martin; Conservative Party Cleethorpes
  • Williams, Stephen; Liberal Democrats Bristol West


5th February   

Update: Protect Us from the Protectors...

Ofcom plugging away at the notion that people would like to see TV style censorship applied to the internet
Link Here

Ofcom commissioned Ipsos MORI to survey audiences to understand attitudes towards content regulation; and how far, and in what ways, the public expects it should be protected in a world where content can be accessed in such a broad range of ways.

The report Protecting audiences in a converged world is based on findings from seven pairs of workshops conducted across the UK, each of which had around 20 participants. Fieldwork took place in June and July 2011.

Key findings include:

  • Protecting minors, and protection from harm, were considered to be the most important areas for future regulation.

  • Offence is very important to some, but not at all important to others.

  • Impartiality, privacy and fairness were usually considered to be relatively less important. But a wide range of views were expressed, depending on whether participants considered the areas to be an important principle to uphold or personally relevant.

  • Knowledge of current content regulation is high for broadcast services, but lower for other services like catch up and VoD (video on-demand).

  • Viewers have high expectations of content regulation on broadcast television, and associated VoD and catch-up services.

  • Other online audio-visual content is seen to be different from broadcasting content and people have generally lower expectations about regulation in this area.

  • Converged TVs and devices, which incorporate broadcast, VoD and open internet services, are considered to be closer to a TV-like experience -- and have a higher expectation of regulation -- than the open internet. It is particularly important to protect vulnerable people in this environment.

  • Technology use and social attitudes were found to be the most influential factors in influencing people's views on the future of content regulation.


5th February   

A Losing Battle...

Political campaigner charged with treason over anti-corruption cartoons
Link Here

Aseem Trivedi, a 25-year-old political cartoonist, has been charged with treason and insulting the Indian national emblems, according to local news reports and CPJ interviews.

Trivedi was inspired by the well-known social activist Anna Hazare's fight against corruption and graft. Trivedi drew cartoons criticizing the Indian government, some of which were exhibited while Hazare was fasting in Mumbai in December.

Trivedi faces another legal attack in Mumbai. There, lawyer R.P. Pandey has filed his own complaint, alleging that the cartoons are defamatory and derogatory and requesting strict legal action, according to news reports.

While Mumbai police have yet to file charges, the complaint has had repercussions: Big Rock, a domain name registrar, suspended Trivedi's website,, citing the criminal complaint, The Times of India reported.

Speaking to CPJ from Mumbai, Pandey claimed that while parodying politicians was a legitimate pursuit, mocking national institutions like the Indian Parliament and national symbols was completely unacceptable.

Trivedi told CPJ that he sees the ban against his website as arbitrary and a sign of the government's growing intolerance toward dissent.


5th February   

Update: Tweet Tweak...

Thailand approves of the new Twitter censorship by country policy
Link Here
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs

The Thai government becomes the first to publicly endorse Twitter's decision to permit country-specific censorship of content

Thai information and communication technology minister, Jeerawan Boonperm, called Twitter's decision a welcome development and said the ministry already received good co-operation from internet companies such as Google and Facebook. The Thai government would soon be contacting Twitter to discuss ways in which they can collaborate , she told the Bangkok Post.

Thailand has some of the most repressive censorship laws in the world, ranking it 153 out of 178 in Reporters Without Borders' 2011 Press Freedom Index. In particular these are used to target criticism of the monarchy. Lese-majeste laws include punishments by up to 15 years in prison, but under Thailand's 2007 computer crimes act prosecutors have been able to increase sentences.

Thailand's endorsement could have profound ramifications across the region, said Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch Thailand, while it already adds more damage to an already worrying trend in Thailand . Twitter gives space to different opinions and views, and that is so important in a restricted society -- it gives people a chance to speak up, he said. But if this censorship is welcomed by Thailand, then other countries, with worse records for human rights and freedom of speech, will find that they have an ally.


5th February   

Update: Playing Safe...

Australia's opposition parties form their own Online Safety Working Group
Link Here
Full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Australia's opposition Coalition has announced plans for an Online Safety Working Group designed to assist parents and teachers in protecting young people from the risks associated with the internet and social media.

The Coalition will consult with technology, education and cyber safety representatives, to develop its online safety policy in the areas of education, regulation and enforcement.

Federal opposition leader, Tony Abbott, said in a statement that approximately 2.2 million Australian children actively engage via the internet and are vulnerable to its risks:

In a relatively short period of time, the internet has transformed our way of life. However, there are also risks, and children are particularly vulnerable. These risks include children being exposed to illegal or inappropriate content and the increasing use of social media as a forum for online bullying.

Abbott added that the Coalition do not seek to repeat Labor's ham-fisted attempt to put a filter on the internet or to hinder the dynamic nature of the online environment. Abbott was referring to the Federal Government's proposed mandatory Internet Service Provider (ISP) filter which attracted criticism from the IT industry during 2011: This is about protecting cyber privacy. It's not about trying to enforce cyber censorship.


5th February   

Update: Secretive Copyright Treaty...

EU rapporteur resigns over being railroaded to get restrictive copyright treaty passed before the public realises what it entails
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The European Parliament rapporteur for ACTA, Kader Arif, resigned just hours after the EU signed the controversial intellectual property treaty.

In a translated statement, Arif denounced the process leading up to the ACTA signings as a masquerade .

I denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process which has led to the signature of this agreement: failure to address civil society, lack of transparency since the beginning of the negotiations, successive reports of the signature of the text without any explanation, sweeping aside of the views of the European Parliament expressed in several different resolutions.

Arif said that he had come under pressure to rush through the ratification process so as to keep ACTA out of the public eye.

As rapporteur on this matter, I was contronted by unprecedented manoeuvres by the right of the Parliament to impose an accelerated timetable with a goal of passing the agreement quickly before public opinion could be alerted.

The rapporteur closed his statement by expressing the hope that his resignation would lead to greater public awareness of the treaty.

This agreement could have major consequences on the lives of our citizens, and yet it seems that everything is being done to ensure that the European Parliament will have no voice in this chapter. Thus, today, in handing back the report that I have been in charge of, I hope to send a strong signal to alert public opinion to this unacceptable situation. I will not participate in this masquerade.


5th February

 Offsite Article: Daily Mail 'fabricated' anti-games article...

Link Here
Charity worker calls foul on 'games turning kids into zombies' story. Actually he's a proponent of gaming for children

See article from


5th February

 Offsite Article: Is it acceptable to call someone babe?...

Link Here
Brighton and Hove bus drivers told not to refer to passengers as babe, love or darling

See article from


5th February

 Offsite Article: Lads' Rag Mags...

Link Here
Students learn the essential modern life skills of how to be miserably politically correct, and how to whinge at bad taste jokes

See article from


4th February   

Twisted Censorship...

Twisted Metal computer game has a mixed reception from the world's game censors
Link Here

Britain's game censors at the BBFC have awarded Twisted Metal an uncut 18 rating for strong bloody violence.

They kindly explain their decision:

Twisted Meta l is a racing game in which drivers uses various weapons to destroy opponents. The game was classified 18 for strong bloody violence.

The game includes a series of cutscenes which use a mixture of live action and CGI to tell the back-story of each character. These include an attack on a family, a defensive attack on a character with a pair of scissors, and a dead woman lying on the road. Although the BBFC's Guidelines permit strong violence at 15 , the dark tone of the stories and the involvement of a sadistic and predatory serial killer mean the game is more appropriately classified at 18 .

The game also includes infrequent use of strong language.

The game in its original format is rated Mature in the US, which is basically a 17 age rating.

However the game seems to be causing problems in Europe, presumably with the German censors who don't care for violence in video games. The European version of the game has therefore been delayed in order to tone down the violent content. Whilst the US will be receiving the game on February 14, the European version has been delayed until March 7th.

Explaining the changes on NeoGAF , series creator David Jaffe posted that:

To be fair, there have not been that many cuts.

For example, in the scene we've released on the net from the intro- where the girl stabs Tooth in the eye- the SCEE version has this but we cut away right before the scissors make contact with Tooth's face. It's CLEAR what she's doing and I think we even keep the sound effects in and such- but the last few frames are gone. The story itself tho totally works and- for some folks even who tend to think this kinda stuff plays better left to your imagination anyway- perhaps it even works better.

Only a few content cuts for the game- for example, I think the guy on the gurney from Meat Wagon is dead so you are exploding a corpse covered with TNT vs. a screaming man trapped to the gurney. Sucks on my end but at the same time, I get it and the game play isn't different and the intent is still there, as is the humor. In some ways, it's actually much more macabre when you think about it. Shooting a dude screaming out the back of an ambulance is pretty stupid and fun and cartoony in a dark, twisted way. Turning a stolen from the morgue CORPSE a missile? A bit more disturbing in some ways...not trying to sell you on it, just thinking out loud.

The game has been passed MA 15+ in Australia without cuts, but it is speculated that cut European Version was submitted. Of course it is also unsure which version was submitted to the UK's BBFC.


4th February   

Fernando Di Leo's Crime Collection...

US region A Blu-ray release of the films said to have inspired Quentin Tarentino
Link Here

Fernando Di Leo's Milieu quadrilogy consists of Caliber 9, The Italian Connection aka Manhunt in Milan , The Boss and Rulers of the City.

Fernando Di Leo's films are claimed to be the  inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's early films.  And gushingly, a breathtaking crime collection that no lover of Italian genre-cinema could possibly afford to miss.

The collection is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

At the BBFC

The Italian Connection aka Manhunt in Milan is a 1972 Italy/West Germany crime drama by Fernando di Leo. With Mario Adorf, Henry Silva and Woody Strode. See IMDb

It was last released in the UK when cut by the BBFC for its 1973 cinema release.


3rd February   

Update: Wounding Religion...

ASA censure of bollox claims about healing by prayer causes offence to religious group
Link Here
Full story: Censors vs Religious Healing...Censors unimpressed by claims of religious healing

A website and a leaflet, for Healing on the Streets - Bath, viewed on 10 May 2011:

a. The website home page stated Our vision is to :- Promote Christian Healing as a daily life style for every believer, through demonstration, training and equipping. We are working in unity, from numerous churches outside the four walls of the building, In order to :- - Heal the sick ... .

A page headed What people have told us afterwards ... included five testimonials in which people stated that after receiving prayer their conditions had been improved.

b. The leaflet was available for download on the website under the heading Download a healing flyer by clicking below . The leaflet stated NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction ... Ulcers, Depression, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, Sleeping disorders or any other sickness? We'd love to pray for your healing right now! We're Christian from churches in Bath and we pray in the name of Jesus. We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness . Issue

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the claim in ad (b) that the advertiser could heal the named conditions was misleading and could be substantiated;

  2. the testimonials in ad (a) misleadingly implied that the advertiser could heal the conditions referred to; and

  3. the ads were irresponsible, because they provided false hope to those suffering from the named conditions.

  4. The ASA challenged whether the ads could discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1., 2. & 3. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that HOTS sought to promote their faith and the hope for physical healing by God through the claims in their ads. However, we were concerned that the prominent references in ad (b) to healing and the statement You have nothing to lose, except your sickness in combination with the references to medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought such as arthritis, asthma, MS, addictions, depression and paralysis, could give consumers the expectation that, by receiving prayer from HOTS volunteers, they would be healed of the conditions listed or other sicknesses from which they suffered. We also considered that the testimonials in ad (a) could also give consumers that expectation, and furthermore, noted that a video on the website also made claims that HOTS volunteers had successfully prayed for healing for people with cancer, fibromyalgia, back pain, kidney pain, hip pain, cataracts, arthritis and paralysis. We noted the testimonials on the website and in the video but considered that testimonials were insufficient as evidence for claims of healing. We therefore concluded the ads were misleading.

We acknowledged that HOTS volunteers believed that prayer could treat illness and medical conditions, and that therefore the ads did not promote false hope. However, we noted we had not seen evidence that people had been healed through the prayer of HOTS volunteers, and concluded that the ads could encourage false hope in those suffering from the named conditions and therefore were irresponsible.

We acknowledged that HOTS had offered to make amendments to the ads, and to remove the leaflet from their website. However, we considered that their suggested amendments were not sufficient for the ads to comply with the CAP Code.

On these points, ads (a) and (b) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 3.1 and 3.6 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.47 (Endorsements and testimonials), 12.1 and 12.6 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

4. Upheld

We understood that HOTS volunteers were instructed to give a letter to the recipients of prayer which told them they should not stop taking their medication or following the advice of medical professionals. We also noted their offer to add a prominent reference along the lines of that letter to their website. However, we considered that, because both the leaflet and the website made claims that through the prayer offered by HOTS volunteers people could be healed of specific medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought such as arthritis, asthma, MS, addictions, depression and paralysis, the ads could discourage people, and particularly the vulnerable or those suffering from undiagnosed symptoms, from seeking essential treatment for medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. We concluded the ad breached the Code.

On this point, ads (a) and (b) breached CAP Code rule 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products). Action

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told HOTS not to make claims which stated or implied that, by receiving prayer from their volunteers, people could be healed of medical conditions. We also told them not to refer in their ads to medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

HOTS Bath official response


We are disappointed with the ASA's decision, and will appeal against it because it seems very odd to us that the ASA wants to prevent us from stating on our website the basic Christian belief that God can heal illness.

The ASA has even demanded that we sign a document agreeing not to say this, which is unacceptable to us - as it no doubt would be for anyone ordered not to make certain statements about their conventional religious or philosophical beliefs.

All over the world as part of their normal Christian life, Christians believe in, pray for and experience God's healing; our ministry, in common with many churches, has been active in praying for God's healing (of Christians and non Christians) for many years.

Over that time the response to what we do has been overwhelmingly positive, and we find it difficult to understand the ASA's attempt to restrict communication about this. Our website simply states our beliefs and describes some of our experiences.

We tried to reach a compromise, recognising some of the ASA's concerns, but there are certain things that we cannot agree to -- including a ban on expressing our beliefs.


3rd February   

Update: Cloud Cleansing...

Apple's cloud computing service substitutes cleaned up versions for your mp3s uploaded with explicit lyrics
Link Here
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

Apple is censoring rap music and other explicit tracks downloaded using its iTunes Match service by replacing them with the clean versions of the same songs.

According to a report in Cult of Mac, confirmed in tests by Mashable, songs uploaded to the service with explicit lyrics are automatically replaced by the clean version of the song.

iTunes Match is an optional service that costs $25 a year. It matches songs in your iTunes library with high-quality versions on Apple's servers, and lets you play and download your choice of those songs to your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

In Mashable's test, a ripped copy of Jay-Z's The Black Album (with explicit lyrics) was uploaded to iTunes Match, where it was promptly replaced by the clean version. Cult of Mac found the problem affected songs by Jay-Z, Kanye West and Ice Cube.

The problem does not seem to affect music that was actually bought on iTunes.

According to 9to5Mac, a reader contacted Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, about this issue, and received a response from one of his engineers. The email acknowledged the existence of the problem, and said Apple was working on a fix.


3rd February   

Les Miserables...

Film poster for Les Infideles offends the easily offended in Paris
Link Here

Film posters for a new French film, Les Infideles, about adultery have been taken down in Paris because they are supposedly too provocative.

The adverts show Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche implying sexual positions which campaigners have claimed degrade women.

On poster showing a girl with her head at the groin of a guy on a phone is captioned It's going to cut out, I'm just entering a tunnel

In the other advert a woman's legs are in the air and are being held by Dujardin. It says underneath I'm just going into a meeting .

ARPP, the French advert censor, has ordered that the billboards be taken down. Stephane Martin, who works for the censor, told French newspaper Le Parisien:

We already feel that this campaign is against the rules, even if it relates to the subject of the film, a comedy about adultery.As a preventative measure, we've already counseled JC Decaux, who are in charge of the billboards, to take them down.


3rd February   

Update: Dangerous Movies...

Egyptian film star sentenced to jail for offending islam
Link Here
Full story: Blasphemy in Egypt...Unswaying belief in injustice

One of the Arab world's best known Egyptian actors has been sentenced to three months in jail for supposedly offending Islam.

The judge confirmed that  veteran actor Adel Imam was convicted in absentia of insulting the religion. The judge said Imam can appeal.

The state-run Ahram Online English website reported that he was found guilty for defaming Islam in a 2007 movie in which he plays a corrupt businessman who tries to buy a university diploma. The film, Morgan Ahmed Morgan , included a scene with bearded Muslim men wearing traditional Islamic robes. Other reports said the court objected to his use of Islamic symbols in the film and others he has appeared in.

offsite Extract: More

4th April 2012. See article from

The Arab world's most revered comedian faces potential jail time for a series of supposedly blasphemous films --- released two decades ago.

In February, a case was filed against Imam by Arsan Mansour, a lawyer accusing the actor of consistently slandering Islam --- as well as several of its symbols, such as the jilbab and, in all seriousness, the beard --- in his films Al-Irhab wal-Kabab ( Terrorism and Kebab ), Al-Irhabi ( The Terrorist ) and, breaking with tradition, Teyour al-Zalam ( Birds of Darkness ). The films were released in 1992, 1994 and 1995, respectively.

While the three films did generate some controversy upon their original release, this delayed legal reaction is being seen by most as having little to do with any alleged onscreen blasphemy, and more to do with the changes sweeping the nation.

Gamal Eid, the human rights lawyer spearheading Imam's defense team said:

The real problem is the precedent this case has already set, as well as its implications. Over the past two months, three major film and television productions have been shut down for supposedly violating Sharia. Cases similar to the one against Imam have also targeted acclaimed filmmakers like Sherif Arafa, Wahid Hamed --- both of whom can be counted among Imam's frequent collaborators --- and several others. These are only a few of the latest higher-profile incidents.

As Eid puts it, They're coming out of the woodwork now --- all these self-righteous characters with cloudy intentions and misguided beliefs.

...Read the full article


2nd February   

Updated: The Tin Drum...

The Director's Cut gets a region B UK Blu-ray release on the Arrow Academy label
Link Here

The Tin Drum is a 1979 West German film by Volker Schlondorff. With David Bennent, Mario Adorf and Angela Winkler. See IMDb

Director's Cut

The Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for strong sex and sexualised nudity for:

  • UK 2011 Arrow Academy (also with Theatrical Version) RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 30th January 2012

The Director's Cut adds plot details that add depth to the film. It basically restores scenes that were removed when the distributors wanted the film to be shortened for running time reasons. See pictorial version details from

Uncut Theatrical Version

Previously the Theatrical Version was passed 15 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 Arrow Academy (also with Director's Cut RB Blu-ray) R2 DVD
  • UK 2003 Nouveaux Pictures R2 DVD

The cut's were waived when the BBFC decided that the disputed scene did not constitute an indecent image. You do not see Maria's pubes and it seems likely (from other evidence - eg the book about the making of the film) that Scholndorff made her wear masking tape at this point. The offending shot simply shows a young boy pressing his face against a woman's pubic region (not actually her vagina). 

It is  a serious film with little else to comfort paedophiles and expert views agreed that the scene was no more indecent (or vulnerable to misuse) than some of the other scenes in the film, such as the sherbert licking.

Cut Theatrical Version

Before that the Theatrical Version was passed 15 after 19s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1997 Disc VHS
  • UK 1994 Connoisseur VHS
  • UK 1980 cinema release (X Rated)

The BBFC cuts were:

  • A shot has been deleted from the scene where the young Oskar is seen burying his head in Maria's pubic area.

Release Details

Arrow Academy presents Volker Schlöndorff s masterpiece in its original theatrical version and the Director's Cut, seen for the first time in the UK after its Cannes Film Festival premiere.


  • High Definition and Standard Definition presentation of the original theatrical version
  • High Definition presentation of the Director s Cut [Blu-ray only]
  • New restoration of both the theatrical version and the brand new Director s Cut approved by director Volker Schlöndorff
  • Brand new interview with Volker Schlöndorff
  • Comprehensive booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by George Lellis and Hans-Bernhard Moeller, authors of Volker Schlondorff's Cinema: Adaptation, Politics and the Movie-appropriate, as well as extracts from Volker Schlöndorff s diary, writing by Jean Claude Carrière and Günter Grass, illustrated with archival stills.
  • More extras to be announced!


2nd February

 Offsite: Remembering the Good Old Days When Banned Films Stayed Banned...

Link Here
Radio Times asks the BBFC what's changed in 25 years to enable banned films to be unbanned

See article from


2nd February   

Playing Moralists...

Oklahoma proposes a sin tax on video games
Link Here

An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would impose a tax on violent video games . Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller introduced bill HB 2696, which would add a 1% tax on games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the ESRB.

Half of the revenue would be put towards a Childhood Outdoor Education Revolving Fund with the rest going to a Bullying Prevention Revolving Fund. Both of these things would be created as part of the law.


2nd February   


A new book exploring Nazis in cinema and culture
Link Here

From promotional material:

Nazisploitation! examines past intersections of National Socialism and popular cinema and the recent reemergence of this imagery in contemporary visual culture. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, films such as Love Camp 7 and Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS introduced and reinforced the image of Nazis as master paradigms of evil in what film theorists deem the sleaze film.

More recently, Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds , as well as video games such as Call of Duty: World at War , have reinvented this iconography for new audiences. In these works, the violent Nazi becomes the hyperbolic caricature of the monstrous feminine or the masculine sadist. Power-hungry scientists seek to clone the Fuhrer, and Nazi zombies rise from the grave.

The history, aesthetic strategies, and political implications of such translations of National Socialism into the realm of commercial, low brow, and sleaze visual culture are the focus of this book. The contributors examine when and why the Nazisploitation genre emerged as it did, how it establishes and violates taboos, and why this iconography resonates with contemporary audiences.

 See  review from , Jan 2012

A key question is how exactly did a society as sexually repressive as Nazi Germany become a signifier of far-out sex and erotic adventurism?

Although this book ultimately struggles to provide a definitive answer, perhaps because the question is unanswerable, it does, over the course of some 300 pages, prove how potent and enduing the conventions of Nazisploitation have become.

Like the Nazi zombie monsters of the recent Norwegian opus Dead Snow, it is a phenomenon that has proved itself all-but unkillable.


1st February   


Visions of Ecstasy unbanned by the BBFC as a result of repealed blasphemy laws
Link Here

Visions of Ecstasy is a 1989 UK erotic short by Nigel Wingrove. With Louise Downie, Elisha Scott and Dan Fox. See IMDb

It was originally banned by the BBFC for a 1989 Axel VHS . It was the only film banned in the UK solely on grounds of blasphemy.

The BBFC decision was subsequently appealed to the Video Appeals Committee, who upheld the ban. Then director Nigel Wingrove then took his case to the European Court of Human Rights , but again lost his case.

In 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. And now the film has been passed 18 uncut for a 2012 4Digital home video release.

But don't expect too much. Director Nigel Wingrove was a bit defensive when talking to the BBFC :

If I made the film now I would make it very differently, I was exploring areas of dark eroticism, but I had worked chiefly in prints, not films.

People say I should put it out, but on a personal level I have reservations. If I did release it, I would need to put it into context and perhaps release a documentary to accompany it.

The film has now been passed 18 uncut for nudity and sex involving religious images for:

  • UK 2012 4DigitalRedemption R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release 26th March 2012

The BBFC have explained their decision to unban the film in a press release :

Visions of Ecstasy is a 19 minute short film, featuring a sequence in which a figure representing St Teresa of Avila interacts sexually with a figure representing the crucified Christ. When the film was originally submitted to the BBFC in 1989, for video classification only, the Board refused to issue a classification certificate. This decision was taken on the grounds that the publication of the film, which the issue of a BBFC certificate would permit, might constitute an offence under the common law test of blasphemous libel.

The Board is required, as part of the terms of its designation under the Video Recordings Act 1984, to seek to avoid classifying any work that might infringe the criminal law. Therefore, the Board had no alternative at the time but to refuse a classification. The Board's decision to refuse a classification to the film was subsequently upheld by the independent Video Appeals Committee.

In 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. This means that the BBFC is no longer entitled to consider whether the publication of the film might comprise a blasphemous libel.

The BBFC has carefully considered Visions of Ecstasy in terms of its current classification Guidelines. These reflect both the requirements of UK law and the wishes of the UK public, as expressed through regular large scale consultation exercises. With the abolition of the offence of blasphemy, the Board does not consider that the film is in breach of any other UK law that is currently in force. Nor does the Board regard the film as likely to cause harm to viewers in the terms envisioned by the Video Recordings Act.

The Board recognises that the content of the film may be deeply offensive to some viewers. However, the Board's Guidelines reflect the clear view of the public that adults should have the right to choose their own viewing, provided that the material in question is neither illegal nor harmful. In the absence of any breach of UK law and the lack of any credible risk of harm, as opposed to mere offensiveness, the Board has no sustainable grounds on which to refuse a classification to Visions of Ecstasy in 2012. Therefore the film has been classified for video release at 18 without cuts.


1st February   

Blog Block...

Blogger to be censored on a per country basis
Link Here
Full story: Google Censorship...Google censors adult material froms its websites

Google has quietly announced changes to its Blogger blogging platform that will enable the blocking of content only in countries where censorship is required.

Google's announcement three weeks ago, buried in a Blogger help page, went unnoticed until it was highlighted by TechDows.

Google wrote that it would begin redirecting Blogger traffic to country-specific URLs, meaning whatever country you're in, you'll get that country's domain for Blogger-hosted blogs. Doing that, Google wrote, means content can be removed on a per country basis. Google added:

Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law.


1st February   

Mild Sexualisation...

ASA re-visit previously cleared lap dancing poster in the light of new more restrictive censorship rules
Link Here

The ASA originally received four complaints about Urban Tiger's poster ad in August 2011. The ASA Council considered the ad in early September, and concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, would not be seen as objectifying women and would not be likely to cause harm to children.

On 7 October 2011, the ASA issued new [more restrictive] guidance on sexual imagery in outdoor advertising. In accordance with that new guidance, we are considering Urban Tiger's ad again in light of the new complaint we have received.

A poster, for a lap dancing club, viewed on 14 October 2011, was headed URBAN TIGER GENTLEMAN'S CLUB NORTHAMPTON'S FINEST LAPDANCING CLUB - Luxurious table dancing venue - Stag Parties & special events - Corporate entertainment . To the right-hand side of the poster was an image of a woman wearing a sheer white dress cut to the waist. Her hair covered her cleavage. She sat side-on, facing to the left, and leant back slightly on her left arm. Her right arm rested on her left knee. Her legs were exposed from the thigh down. Issue

The complainant challenged whether, given its content and the nature of the advertised venue, the ad was unsuitable for display close to a primary school where it could be seen by children.

Urban Crowd said that they believed the ASA might have received a complaint about the ad not because of its content, but because the complainant might object to the type of business it was advertising. They said they were very conscious of objections to the nature of their business and as a result were sensitive about the content of their advertising, and it was their policy to avoid using images which were too revealing or controversial. They said they believed the ad in question followed that policy; it advertised their business but the model was wearing a significant amount of clothing and was not in a pose that could be considered sexual. They said poster ads advertising products such as underwear and deodorant often featured models wearing less clothing. They added that they also believed there was nothing in the text of the ad which was offensive.

Urban Crowd said the ad in question was on a major road which was two streets, and approximately 400 metres away, from the entrance to the school the complainant had mentioned. They thought the location was not one where all the children would see it as they arrived or departed from school.

Clear Channel, who owned the poster site, said they had placed a restriction on the ad so that it would not be displayed within 100 metres of schools. They said that the ASA had reviewed the ad in September 2011 after receiving complaints, but had concluded that no further action was warranted. They said that for those reasons they considered the ad was in compliance with the newly established rules following the Bailey Report into the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that in the context of an ad for a lap dancing club, it was likely that most images of women would be interpreted to be at least mildly sexual because of the nature of the service advertised. However, we noted the Code stated that the fact that a product was offensive to some people was not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code. We therefore considered the ad on the basis of the image, the text and the ad's overall impression.

We considered that the overall impression of the ad was that it was only mildly sexual. We noted the text that described the club used non-sexual language and considered that the woman's stance was not sexually suggestive. We noted that although the woman's dress was cut to the waist, her hair completely covered her cleavage and considered that although she was leaning back she was not arching her back in a sexually provocative way. For those reasons, we considered the ad was only mildly sexual and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or be seen as socially irresponsible. However, we welcomed the policy Urban Tiger had in place with regard to the placement of their ads, and Clear Channel's decision to impose a restriction to ensure that the ad would not be displayed within 100 metres of a school.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Irresponsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.


1st February   

Overcautious BBC...

BBC Trust explain why the BBC censored the words 'Free Palestine' from a rap performance
Link Here

The BBC has admitted it was overcautious in editing the word Palestine from an artist's performance on Radio 1Xtra and has said it is looking to learn from the way it handled the situation.

However the BBC Trust said the final content that was broadcast on the  music programme Charlie Sloth Hip Hop M1X , was not biased and therefore did not breach its editorial guidelines.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has spent eight months trying to find out why the decision was made to censor the lyrics of a freestyle performance by the rapper, Mic Righteous. Appearing on the Charlie Sloth show in February 2011, he sang: I can scream Free Palestine for my beliefs .

BBC producers replaced the word Palestine with the sound of breaking glass, and the censored performance was repeated in April on the same show.

Amena Saleem, of PSC, said: In its correspondence with us, the BBC said the word Palestine isn't offensive, but 'implying that it is not free is the contentious issue , and this is why the edit was made.


1st February   

Updated: No Flies on Shameless...

Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet in a new fully restored version for UK DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here

Four Flies on Grey Velvet is a 1971 Italy/France giallo by Dario Argento. With Michael Brandon and Mimsy Farmer. See IMDb

A Restored Version/Rebuild Edit  was passed 15 uncut for strong violence for:

  • UK 2012 Argent/Shameless 40th Anniversary Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 30th January 2012
  • UK 2012 Argent/Shameless 40th Anniversary R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 30th January 2012

From promotional material:

This special 40th Anniversary Edition has been fully re-mastered in HD from the original negative and includes four inserts of previously missing footage, through print damage, known amongst Argento fans as the legendary missing forty seconds .

However the inserts are in Standard-Definition quality only. The Blu-ray will allow for seamless branching of the four inserts giving viewers two versions of the film: one all HD without the re-inserted scenes and one longer version including the inserts.

Previous Releases

The film's last appearance in the UK was X rated after BBFC cuts for the 1973 cinema release.

Summary Review: Argento's rarest giallo

A musician is stalked by an unknown killer who's blackmailing him for an accidental killing of another stalker. But is everything what it appears to be?

Argento demonstrates some very creative camera work in this one. Furthermore, he keeps a nice and steady pace, there is very little downtime in this one and Ennio Morricone gives a good, if not great score.

It also boasts some inventive deaths. Now, Four Flies on Grey Velvet certainly has its flaws. There is a bit too much comedy in for my tastes, which I feel distracted from the horror. Also, Morriconne's score is underutilized and there isn't enough nudity.

Undoubtedly Dario Argento's rarest giallo, Four Flies on Grey Velvet is none the less the weakest in his Animal Trilogy (which also includes The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Cat O'Nine Tails ), but it is still a pretty entertaining entry in the giallo genre.


1st February   

Killer Art...

Humourous and youthful book playing on street language is banned in Vietnam
Link Here

Vietnam's pop culture is attracting the attention of book censors who experts say are struggling to accept an increasingly brash literary scene.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, whose collection of comic rhyming slang was recently banned, said his illustration of two gormless-looking soldiers kicking a grenade to each other may have caused the censors' ire. The caption reads Being a soldier you must always get noticed , an attempt to poke fun at the inflated, heroic image of the country's military. I just thought it was funny, said Phong.

The 26-year-old artist said censorship only increased people's desire to read the book, entitled The murderer with a pus-filled head , which aims to reflect the street patois of Vietnam's youth.

Phong said his book sold 5,000 copies in two weeks but was then discontinued, stoking under-the-counter demand that pushed prices to as much as 100,000 dong ($5), more than double its official cost.

Vietnamese officials would not confirm the specific reason for the decision to take Phong's book off the shelves. They also wouldn't provide figures on the number of books banned each year when asked by AFP.

However the censors have now indicated a willingness to negotiate a revised version. Phong said he expects some illustrations will be removed and replaced with different popular slang and is confident a new book would not be seen as diluted.

Another controversial book, a collection of short stories by journalist Nguyen Vinh Nguyen, was banned and its publisher fined for disseminating depraved and pornographic ideas, not in accordance with Vietnam's traditions and customs .

Readers really want the sort of products of a free publishing environment, rather than what they are given now, which are books that have undergone 'treatment' and been sanitised, Nguyen told AFP.


1st February   

Scary Hype...

Ambulances called for viewers of the 'shocking' new film V/H/S
Link Here

Two movie-goers had to be treated by paramedics after they experienced adverse and shocking reactions to graphic scenes in a new horror film at the world-renowned Sundance Film Festival.

One viewer was watching a midnight screening of V/H/S last week when he ran from the cinema screen, collapsed and began to suffer seizures, according to the film's co-writer Simon Barrett. He explained that while very funny in parts, the film is also quite intense and gory.

While he was being treated, his girlfriend also ran into the lobby and began to vomit. The night before, another woman reportedly left in tears because she could not stand the suspense.

The lurid accounts of movie-goers passing out will no doubt lead some to suspect that this may have been an attempt to court publicity - but the film's production team insist what happened was real.

The film features a group of misfits hired by an unknown third party to burgle a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape. The supernatural footage they find proves a bit scary.

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