Fans Against Criminalisation campaigner Paul Quigley is celebrating momentous
victory for the group which has lobbied for the repeal of the disgraceful Offensive Behaviour at Football Act for the last seven years.
The act was a knee jerk reaction to Celtic vs Rangers game where Celtic manager Neil Lennon was attacked on field and letter bombs were later sent to Lennon, Paul McBride QC and Trish Godman MSP.
The resulting legislation was nominally about tackling sectarianism but in reality gave the police carte-blanche powers to arrest fans for whatever they wished under the catch-all guise of offensiveness.
Paul Quigley explained:
A decision was taken to form a campaign to fight this, partly due to a deeply held collective ideological belief in the right to freedom of expression and equality before law, and partly due to the simple notion of self defence.
Fans of all clubs would be welcome to join our organisation and that we would help and campaign for all football fans who we deemed to be the subject of unjust treatment.
Fans Against Criminalisation was able to count on the support of thousands of passionate supporters of the campaign, as was evidenced by a demonstration at George Square which drew thousands of people in late 2011. In spite of this, the
government seemed to assume that this would all die down in due course, and that the fan campaign would not have the capability or endurance required to give them real cause to reconsider their position.
The treatment that football fans have had to endure ever since has been appalling. The human cost of this legislation is often lost amid the political rabble rousing, among the doctored statistics and the nauseatingly disingenuous moral
grandstanding. The reality of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is this; it has ruined lives and caused serious damage in our communities.
In the face of all of this, football fans endured. In the years that followed, an incredible campaign challenged this treatment of supporters and lobbied for the repeal of this ill advised and illiberal piece of legislation. Today, the Scottish
Parliament finally voted on this very question.
The Repeal Bill has passed, and this is the first time in the history of devolution that the Scottish Parliament has repealed its own legislation. This victory is historic not just for football fans, but for the country.
As a follow up. James Dornan, the MSP for Glasgow Cathcart and a candidate for deputy leader of the Scottish National Party, has decided to quit Twitter. He describes it as a cesspit of hate and bile, saying he has received abuse from football
fans over his defence of the Offence Behaviour at Football Act (OBFA). His disgraceful 'defence' of the legislation was to try and suggest that the campaign was some sort Labour party political effort. The fans were not impressed and clearly gave
him the slagging off he deserved. See more on this in article from spiked-online.com
The Planter's Wife is a 1952 UK adventure drama by Ken Annakin.
Starring Claudette Colbert, Jack Hawkins and Anthony Steel.
UK: Passed PG for mild violence, threat after 1:18s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:
2018 Strawberry Media video
The BBFC commented:
Compulsory cut required to remove sight of animal cruelty (cobra and mongoose fight) in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy.
The marriage of rubber-plantation owner Jim Frazer and his wife, Liz, which has survived many disasters, including years in a Japanese internment camp, is at a breaking point. Under constant threats of bandit attacks and concerned with the safety
of his plantation and the people on it, Jim spares no time for his marriage. Liz is to take their young son, Mike, home to school in England, and, without telling Jim, does not plan to return. A neighboring plantation is attacked and the owner
killed just prior to her departure. Liz and Jim get arms and ammunition from a near-by town, and a night of terror follows as the bandits attack.
The EU is considering a copyright proposal that would require code-sharing platforms to monitor all content that users upload for
potential copyright infringement (see the EU Commission's proposed Article 13 of the Copyright Directive ). The proposal is aimed at music and videos on streaming platforms, based on a theory of a "value gap" between the profits those
platforms make from uploaded works and what copyright holders of some uploaded works receive. However, the way it's written captures many other types of content, including code.
We'd like to make sure developers in the EU who understand that automated filtering of code would make software less reliable and more expensive--and can explain this to EU policymakers--participate in the conversation.
Why you should care about upload filters
Upload filters (" censorship machines ") are one of the most controversial elements of the copyright proposal, raising a number of concerns, including:
Privacy : Upload filters are a form of surveillance, effectively a "general monitoring obligation" prohibited by EU law
Free speech : Requiring platforms to monitor content contradicts intermediary liability protections in EU law and creates incentives to remove content
Ineffectiveness : Content detection tools are flawed (generate false positives, don't fit all kinds of content) and overly burdensome, especially for small and medium-sized businesses that might not be able to afford
them or the resulting litigation
Upload filters are especially concerning for software developers given that:
Software developers create copyrightable works--their code--and those who choose an open source license want to allow that code to be shared
False positives (and negatives) are especially likely for software code because code often has many contributors and layers, often with different licensing for different components
Requiring code-hosting platforms to scan and automatically remove content could drastically impact software developers when their dependencies are removed due to false positives
The Video Standards Council is responsible for UK video games censorship. Normally the group rubber stamps European PEGI ratings but it retains the power to ban games. And in a rare example of usage of such powers, the group has joined Australian
in banning Omega Labyrinth Z.
Omega Labyrinth Z is 2017 Japanese console game by Matrix Software
Banned in Australia and the UK in 2018.
Omega Labyrinth Z is a dungeon crawler game for the PS4 and Playstation Vita. It was submitted with a provisional PEGI 16 rating for depictions of erotic or sexual nudity. The game is set at the Anberyl Girls Academy and legend has it that a holy
grail exists that can grant any wish. It is hidden in one of the ancient caves that is located somewhere in the school grounds. A group of female students set out to explore the caves with the aim of finding the grail.
UK: Banned in March 2018 by the Video Standards Council
The VSC Rating Board has ruled that the video game, Omega Labyrinth Z, will not be issued a UK Certificate of Classification.
This refusal is relevant to physical product only (disc, cartridge, etc.) Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act (1984), the VSC Rating Board is required to consider the likelihood of any game causing harm to the user and, subsequently, to
wider society by the way in which the game deals with and portrays images of criminal, violent or horrific behaviour, illegal drugs and human sexual activity. The grounds for this decision are as follows: - The likely harm being caused to a
viewer or potential viewer, e.g. children or young people.
The game is explicit in its setting within a school environment and the majority of the characters are young girls - one child is referred to as being a first year student and is seen holding a teddy bear. The game clearly promotes the
sexualisation of children via the sexual interaction between the game player and the female characters. The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18.
There is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual behaviour. There is a constant theme of sexual innuendo and activity
throughout the game that suggests behaviour likely to normalise sexual activity towards children. As a means of reward gained by successfully navigating the game, the player has the means to sexually stimulate the female characters by using
either a hand held remote device or touch screen software.
The VSC Rating Board believes this content in a game, which would have strong appeal to non-adult players, is an issue which would be unacceptable to the majority of UK consumers and, more importantly, has the potential to be significantly
harmful in terms of the social and moral development of younger people in particular.
Update: Banned in Germany, New Zealand and Ireland
In a tweet, distributor PQube said its appeal against the UK ban had been rejected. The game has also been refused a rating in Australia and Germany. PQube said it would also not be available in New Zealand and Ireland.
Canada has several province based film censors but Manitoba is now set to close down its own film censor and use the ratings from
another province instead.
Culture Minister Cathy Cox said that she's started the dismantling of the Manitoba Film Classification Board and replacing it with the classifications designated by Consumer Protection British Columbia.
Cox told reporters she saw no problem accepting the standards of another province, especially one with an NDP government. She that this was not about cost to the state but was concerned with censorship costs borne by distributors. She said:
This is not about cost. The distributors pay the costs of classifying films shown and sold, and video games sold in stores in Manitoba. This is making it easier for distributors. This is an opportunity to reduce our footprint and to reduce red
Her staff later supplied figures that the state censors had classified 377 films in Manitoba in 2016-2017.
Film festivals would be permitted under Cox's changes to classify their own films or use classifications provided by other jurisdictions
EFF and 23 other civil liberties organizations sent a letter to Congress urging Members and Senators to oppose the CLOUD Act and any efforts to attach
it to other legislation.
The CLOUD Act ( S. 2383
and H.R. 4943
) is a dangerous bill that would tear away global privacy protections by allowing police in the United States and abroad to grab cross-border data without following the privacy rules of where the data is stored. Currently, law enforcement requests
for cross-border data often use a legal system called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, or MLATs. This system ensures that, for example, should a foreign government wish to seize communications stored in the United States, that data is
properly secured by the Fourth Amendment requirement for a search warrant.
The other groups signing the new coalition letter against the CLOUD Act are Access Now, Advocacy for Principled Action in Government, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
(AALDEF), Campaign for Liberty, Center for Democracy & Technology, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Constitutional Alliance, Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress Action, Equality California, Free Press Action Fund,
Government Accountability Project, Government Information Watch, Human Rights Watch, Liberty Coalition, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Black Justice Coalition, New America's Open Technology Institute, OpenMedia, People
For the American Way, and Restore The Fourth.
The CLOUD Act allows police to bypass the MLAT system, removing vital U.S. and foreign country privacy protections. As we explained in our earlier letter to Congress, the CLOUD Act would:
Allow foreign governments to wiretap on U.S. soil under standards that do not comply with U.S. law;
Give the executive branch the power to enter into foreign agreements without Congressional approval or judicial review, including foreign nations with a well-known record of human rights abuses;
Possibly facilitate foreign government access to information that is used to commit human rights abuses, like torture; and
Allow foreign governments to obtain information that could pertain to individuals in the U.S. without meeting constitutional standards.
You can read more about EFF's opposition to the CLOUD Act here
The CLOUD Act creates a new channel for foreign governments seeking data about non-U.S. persons who are outside the United States. This new data channel is not governed by the laws of where the data is stored. Instead, the foreign police may
demand the data directly from the company that handles it. Under the CLOUD Act, should a foreign government request data from a U.S. company, the U.S. Department of Justice would not need to be involved at any stage. Also, such requests for data
would not need to receive individualized, prior judicial review before the data request is made.
The CLOUD Act's new data delivery method lacks not just meaningful judicial oversight, but also meaningful Congressional oversight, too. Should the U.S. executive branch enter a data exchange agreement--known as an "executive
agreement"--with foreign countries, Congress would have little time and power to stop them. As we wrote in our letter:
"[T]he CLOUD Act would allow the executive branch to enter into agreements with foreign governments--without congressional approval. The bill stipulates that any agreement negotiated would go into effect 90 days after Congress was notified
of the certification, unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval, which would require presidential approval or sufficient votes to overcome a presidential veto."
And under the bill, the president could agree to enter executive agreements with countries that are known human rights abusers.
Troublingly, the bill also fails to protect U.S. persons from the predictable, non-targeted collection of their data. When foreign governments request data from U.S. companies about specific "targets" who are non-U.S. persons not living
in the United States, these governments will also inevitably collect data belonging to U.S. persons who communicate with the targeted individuals. Much of that data can then be shared with U.S. authorities, who can then use the information to
charge U.S. persons with crimes. That data sharing, and potential criminal prosecution, requires no probable cause warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment, violating our constitutional rights.
The CLOUD Act is a bad bill. We urge Congress to stop it, and any attempts to attach it to must-pass spending legislation.
Is it just me or is Matt Hancock just a little too keen to advocate ID checks just for the state to control 'screen time'. Are we sure that such snooping wouldn't be abused for other reasons of state control?
It's no secret the UK government has a vendetta against the internet and social media. Now, Matt Hancock, the secretary of
state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) wants to push that further, and enforce screen time cutoffs for UK children on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Talking to the Sunday Times, Hancock explained that the negative impacts of social media need to be dealt with, and he laid out his idea for an age-verification system to apply more widely than just porn viewing.
He outlined that age-verification could be handled similarly to film classifications, with sites like YouTube being restricted to those over 18. The worrying thing, however, is his plans to create mandatory screen time cutoffs for all children.
Referencing the porn restrictions he said: People said 'How are you going to police that?' I said if you don't have it, we will take down your website in Britain. The end result is that the big porn sites are introducing this globally, so we are
leading the way.
Whenever politicians peak of 'balance' it inevitably means that the balance will soon swing from people's rights towards state control. Matt Hancock more or less announced further internet censorship in a speech at the Oxford Media Convention. He
Our schools and our curriculum have a valuable role to play so students can tell fact from fiction and think critically about the news that they read and watch.
But it is not easy for our children, or indeed for anyone who reads news online. Although we have robust mechanisms to address disinformation in the broadcast and press industries, this is simply not the case online.
Take the example of three different organisations posting a video online.
If a broadcaster published it on their on demand service, the content would be a matter for Ofcom.
If a newspaper posted it, it would be a matter for IPSO.
If an individual published it online, it would be untouched by media regulation.
Now I am passionate in my belief in a free and open Internet ....BUT... freedom does not mean the freedom to harm others. Freedom can only exist within a framework.
Digital platforms need to step up and play their part in establishing online rules and working for the benefit of the public that uses them.
We've seen some positive first steps from Google, Facebook and Twitter recently, but even tech companies recognise that more needs to be done.
We are looking at the legal liability that social media companies have for the content shared on their sites. Because it's a fact on the web that online platforms are no longer just passive hosts.
But this is not simply about applying publisher or broadcaster standards of liability to online platforms.
There are those who argue that every word on every platform should be the full legal responsibility of the platform. But then how could anyone ever let me post anything, even though I'm an extremely responsible adult?
This is new ground and we are exploring a range of ideas...
including where we can tighten current rules to tackle illegal content online...
and where platforms should still qualify for 'host' category protections.
We will strike the right balance between addressing issues with content online and allowing the digital economy to flourish.
This is part of the thinking behind our Digital Charter. We will work with publishers, tech companies, civil society and others to establish a new framework...
A change of heart of press censorship
It was only a few years ago when the government were all in favour of creating a press censor. However new fears such as Russian interference and fake news has turned the mainstream press into the champions of trustworthy news. And so previous
plans for a press censor have been put on hold. Hancock said in the Oxford speech:
Sustaining high quality journalism is a vital public policy goal. The scrutiny, the accountability, the uncovering of wrongs and the fuelling of debate is mission critical to a healthy democracy.
After all, journalists helped bring Stephen Lawrence's killers to justice and have given their lives reporting from places where many of us would fear to go.
And while I've not always enjoyed every article written about me, that's not what it's there for.
I tremble at the thought of a media regulated by the state in a time of malevolent forces in politics. Get this wrong and I fear for the future of our liberal democracy. We must get this right.
I want publications to be able to choose their own path, making decisions like how to make the most out of online advertising and whether to use paywalls. After all, it's your copy, it's your IP.
The removal of Google's 'first click free' policy has been a welcome move for the news sector. But I ask the question - if someone is protecting their intellectual property with a paywall, shouldn't that be promoted, not just neutral in the search
I've watched the industry grapple with the challenge of how to monetise content online, with different models of paywalls and subscriptions.
Some of these have been successful, and all of them have evolved over time. I've been interested in recent ideas to take this further and develop new subscription models for the industry.
Our job in Government is to provide the framework for a market that works, without state regulation of the press.
The Daily Mail today ran the story that the DCMS have decided to take things a little more cautiously about the privacy (and national security) issues of allowing a foreign porn company to take control of databasing people's porn viewing history.
Anyway there was nothing new in the story but it was interesting to note the Freudian slip of referring to the BBFC as the British Board of Film Censorship.
My idea would be for the BBFC to rename itself with the more complete title, the British Board of Film and Internet Censorship.
Donald Trump organised a private meeting with video games makers and their critics as a diversionary tactic to avoid the
debate about gun control.
Republican lawmakers and moralist campaigners pressed the president at his meeting on Thursday to explore new restrictions on the video-game industry.
Some participants urged Trump to consider new regulations that would make it harder for young children to purchase those games. Others asked the president to expand his inquiry to focus on violent movies and TV shows too.
Trump himself opened the meeting by showing a montage of clips of various violent video games.
Video-game executives who attended the meeting Thursday included Robert Altman, the CEO of ZeniMax, the parent company for games such as Fallout; Strauss Zelnick, the chief executive of Take Two Interactive, which is known for Grand Theft Auto,
and Michael Gallagher, the leader of the Entertainment Software Association, a Washington-focused lobbying organisation for the industry.
We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry's rating system effectively helps parents make informed
entertainment choices, ESA said in a statement.
The Parents Television Council Program Director Melissa Henson participated in the meeting and commented in a post-meeting statement:
Stop Media Violence What I heard in today's meeting is that the entertainment industry is still fighting to maintain the status quo and is not ready or willing to confront the impact that media violence has on our children. But time is up for the
entertainment industry to put a stop to marketing graphic, explicit, and age-inappropriate content to our children.
The video game representatives pulled out their same old talking points that have long been refuted. During the meeting, I was able to interject and say just how untrue their excuses are.
Representative Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, said she was open to crafting legislation that would make it harder for youngsters to buy violent games. She said:
Even though I know there are studies that have said there is no causal link, as a mom and a former high school teacher, it just intuitively seems that prolonged viewing of violent nature would desensitise a young person.
The White House already has hinted at sustained, broader scrutiny still to come. A day before the meeting, a spokeswoman for Trump said the sit-down with video-game executives and their critics is the first of many with industry leaders to discuss
this important issue.
In a press release the DCMS describes its digital strategy including a delayed introduction of internet porn censorship. The press release states:
The Strategy also reflects the Government's ambition to make the internet safer for children by requiring age verification for access to commercial pornographic websites in the UK. In February, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) was
formally designated as the age verification regulator.
Our priority is to make the internet safer for children and we believe this is best achieved by taking time to get the implementation of the policy right. We will therefore allow time for the BBFC as regulator to undertake a public consultation
on its draft guidance which will be launched later this month.
For the public and the industry to prepare for and comply with age verification, the Government will also ensure a period of up to three months after the BBFC guidance has been cleared by Parliament before the law comes into force. It is
anticipated age verification will be enforceable by the end of the year.
Every Day is a 2018 USA romance by Michael Sucsy.
Starring Maria Bello, Debby Ryan and Justice Smith.
UK: Passed 12A for moderate bad language, infrequent suicide references after 4s of BBFC category cuts for:
2018 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
Company chose to remove images of suicide techniques in order to obtain a 12A rating. An uncut 18 classification was available.
In the US the film is uncut and rated PG-13 for thematic content, language, teen drinking, and suggestive material.
Based on David Levithan's acclaimed bestselling novel, EVERY DAY tells the story of Rhiannon, a 16-year old girl who falls in love with a mysterious spirit named "A" that inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection,
Rhiannon and "A" work each day to find each other, not knowing what or WHO the next day will bring. The more the two fall in love, the more the idea of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours takes a toll on Rhiannon and "A",
leaving them to make a decision that will change their lives forever.
Hooded thugs have stormed a free speech event King's College London, throwing smoke bombs and attacking
Believed to be part of the anti-facist movement, violent protesters forced their way into a lecture hall before setting off smoke bombs and smashing windows. Thugs grabbed the speaker's microphone, while several security guards were punched
during the melee.
A threatening note was also left for the compere.
Ten to 15 people dressed all in black, with black hoods and black face masks, leapt over the barriers and instantly engaged in a fight with two or three security guards, said witness Tristan Teller:
They tried to stop them but they just started punching them in the face. One guard, a grey-haired gentleman who looked to be in around 60, received several punches.
The event, which was organised by KCL Libertarian Society, saw YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad, real name Carl Benjamin, invited to speak alongside Ayn Rand Institute director Dr Yaron Brook.
The group were had dispersed by the time police arrived. There have been no reported injuries. No arrests. Enquiries continue.
Update: Antifa: the militant wing of authoritarianism
A German law requiring social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove reported hate speech without
enough time to consider the merits of the report is set to be revised following criticism that too much online content is being blocked.
The law, called NetzDG for short, is an international test case and how it plays out is being closely watched by other countries considering similar measures.
German politicians forming a new government told Reuters they want to add an amendment to help web users get incorrectly deleted material restored online.
The lawmakers are also pushing for social media firms to set up an independent body to review and respond to reports of offensive content from the public, rather than leaving to the social media companies who by definition care more about profits
than supporting free speech.
Such a system, similar to how video games are policed in Germany, could allow a more considered approach to complex decisions about whether to block content, legal experts say.
Facebook, which says it has 1,200 people in Germany working on reviewing posts out of 14,000 globally responsible for moderating content and account security, said it was not pursuing a strategy to delete more than necessary. Richard Allan,
Facebook's vice president for EMEA public policy said:
People think deleting illegal content is easy but it's not. Facebook reviews every NetzDG report carefully and with legal expertise, where appropriate. When our legal experts advise us, we follow their assessment so we can meet our obligations
under the law.
Johannes Ferchner, spokesman on justice and consumer protection for the Social Democrats and one of the architects of the law said:
We will add a provision so that users have a legal possibility to have unjustly deleted content restored.
Thomas Jarzombek, a Christian Democrat who helped refine the law, said the separate body to review complaints should be established, adding that social media companies were deleting too much online content. NetzDG already allows for such a
self-regulatory body, but companies have chosen to go their own way instead. According to the coalition agreement, both parties want to develop the law to encourage the establishment of such a body.
Google has been warned it could be in contempt of Parliament if it fails to permanently remove a video by the banned far right group
National Action .
John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, strongly criticised the tech giant after being told it had broken a promise to take down extremist material from YouTube. He suggested the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee should haul Google bosses back
before it -- or make an application to him alleging contempt of the House. That is a recourse open to her if people do not comply and do not honour their undertakings
Labour MP Yvette Cooper had protested that the National Action video remained available online, despite Google repeatedly promising it would be taken down and take steps to prevent it reappearing.
The four-and-a-half minute propaganda video at the centre of the controversy was removed within hours of his warning, but the uploader had called on viewers to preserve the footage by re-uploading it in other forms. It features a National Action
demonstration in Darlington, which took place a month before the group was banned, showing members marching through the streets with the group's black flag and performing Nazi salutes. A leader is seen using a loudhailer to claim that white
British people will become a despised and persecuted minority.
Sony has blocked the publication of a video game based upon chat up lines and seduction techniques.
Super Seducer was scheduled for release on the PlayStation 4 on Tuesday. But feminists have taken issue with the themes of the game.
Sony has confirmed that the game has been banned bit has not explained the reasoning behind its censorship.
Super Seducer has, however, been released for PCs and Macs via Valve's Steam platform.
The Motherboard news site was among the first to notice that the PlayStation version had not been released. Seth Barton, editor of MCV, a trade publication commented:
While it's an unappealing title, I'm uncertain whether PS4 owners would be happy with Sony censoring the games they can play, especially as they can't go elsewhere to buy software.
Super Seducer does not feature nudity, but does show women in their underwear sitting next to its British creator, Richard La Ruina, as he delivers advice. Live-action sequences show the author grabbing parts of a date's body and attempting to
kiss a woman he has just met to illustrate actions the player should avoid.
South Afric's Film and Publications Amendment Bill will apply traditional pre-vetting style censorship t everything posted on the internet in
The National Assembly has approved the bill in a vote of 189 in favour, with 35 against and no abstentions. The bill must now come before the National Council of Provinces for its approval before it can be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be
signed into law.
Opposition parties say the Film and Publications Amendment Bill amounts to censorship - and may be unconstitutional. The Inkatha Freedom Party's Liezl van der Merwe said:
This bill through the Films and Publications Board, seeks to take wholesale control of the internet. Among some of the provisions, this bill requires everyone who generates some type of revenue from distributing content online to register, pay a
fee and have their content approved and classified before they can post it.
The party's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the red berets are prepared to challenge it in the Constitutional Court if necessary.
Speaking to BusinessTech, legal expert and long time opponent of the bill, Nicholas Hall, explained some of the details of the censorship provisions. Hall said that the FPB now has the power to classify and potentially ban films, games and 'other
Other publications are defined as:
Any newspaper, book, periodical, pamphlet, poster or other printed matter;
Any writing or typescript which has in any manner been duplicated;
Any drawing, picture, illustration or painting;
Any print, photograph, engraving or lithograph;
Any record, magnetic tape, soundtrack or any other object in or on which sound has been recorded for reproduction;
Computer software which is not a film;
The cover or packaging of a film;
Any figure, carving, statue or model; and
Any message or communication, including a visual presentation, placed on any distributed network including, but not confined to, the internet.
Hall said that YouTubers and streamers are most likely to be affected by the new laws:
While the amendment bill will give the FPB the power to potentially classify any content uploaded online, including private communications, they generally will only have this power if someone complains to them about the specific content.
Films and games are treated differently, however. Under the bill, a distinction is made between 'commercial distributors' and 'non-commercial distributors'. Non-commercial distributors of films and games are treated much like the creators of
'other publications', their content can only be classified if someone complains.
However, commercial distributors are required to have their content classified prior to distribution or face criminal prosecution.
Hall added that this distinction was particularly problematic as it is unclear what is defined as a 'commercial purpose', and that this could be as simple as enabling advertising on uploaded videos.
All content platforms (Youtube, Netflix, Steam etc) will now also be required to register as distributors and pay an annual fee, based on the number titles they have in their library.
The other concern is that they have built in provisions to allow them to enforce this system, one of which is to force ISPs (eg Telkom, Mweb, and Afrihost) to block access to content platforms that do not comply.
US President Donald Trump is to meet video games company representatives on Thursday to discuss violent content. The meeting comes in the wake of last month's shooting at a school in Florida in which 17 people died.
The Electronic Software Association (ESA), which represents the games industry in the US, said it would be attending. It said in a statement:
The upcoming meeting at the White House will provide the opportunity to have a fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry's commitment to parents, and the tools we provide to make informed entertainment choices,
Also at the meeting will be the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the organisation responsible for offering age and content guidance for games.
A report from the Washington Post suggested some games developers had also been invited to attend, including Take Two Interactive, the publisher of the controversial Grand Theft Auto series. The company did not return the BBC's request for
comment on the meeting. The Post also said key critics of the games industry would be at the table, including Brent Bozell, founder of the Parents Television Council.
On several occasions, President Trump has pointed to video game violence as being a problem potentially affecting American youths. He wrote on Twitter in December 2012:
Video game violence & glorification must be stopped. It is creating monsters!
The games industry has routinely and robustly defended itself against claims its products provoke real-life violence. The ESA explained in a statement:
Video games are enjoyed around the world and numerous authorities and reputable scientific studies have found no connection between games and real-life violence,
Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States. Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun
violence than any other nation.
Social media giants have been ramping up internet censorship to prevent or take down terrorist posts. However the police are now
complaining that the companies are not proactively reporting such posters to the police.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the outgoing chief of UK counter-terror policing, said they are threatening public safety to maximise profit and customer satisfaction. Speaking at a counter-terror conference in London, Mr
Rowley said social media firms should work with police in the same way banks had been made to co-operate on tracing dirty money. He said:
The online extremists seem able to act with impunity, occupying spaces owned and managed by legitimate and very wealthy corporations.
I am disappointed that in the UK as a police service we are yet to receive a direct referral from them when they have identified such behaviour.
They are effectively private tenants to their communication service provider landlords. In the real world if a landlord knew their property was being used to plan or inspire terrorist attacks you would expect them to show corporate
responsibility by informing the authorities and evicting them forthwith. We want to see those same standards applied in the virtual world.
Women should be able to report wolf-whistling, catcalling and unwanted attention on public transport to the police as
hate crimes, according to Grimsby's MP, Melanie Onn.
The Labour front-bench politician has secured a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, March 7, to call for misogyny to be made a hate crime. The town's MP said women should not have to put up with unwanted behaviour in public and claims that a law
change would make women more confident in reporting such behaviours.
Surely in tetchy and angry times, when so many are so 'easily offended, surely we don't want people to be given the power to cause so much harm to others for trivial reasons. EVeryone will just end up hating everyone else even more.
So how come the BBFC are saying virtually nothing about internet porn censorship and seem happy for newspapers to point out the incredibly dangerous privacy concerns of letting porn websites hold browsing records
The BBC seems to have done a good job voicing the privacy concerns of the Open Rights Group as the article has been picked up by most of the British
The Open Rights Group says it fears a data breach is inevitable as the deadline approaches for a controversial change in the way people in the UK access online pornography.
Myles Jackman, legal director of the Open Rights Group, said while MindGeek had said it would not hold or store data, it was not clear who would - and by signing in people would be revealing their sexual preferences.
If the age verification process continues in its current fashion, it's a once-in-a-lifetime treasure trove of private information, he said. If it gets hacked, can British citizens ever trust the government again with their data?
The big issues here are privacy and security.
Jackman said it would drive more people to use virtual private networks (VPNs) - which mask a device's geographical location to circumvent local restrictions - or the anonymous web browser Tor. He commented:
It is brutally ironic that when the government is trying to break all encryption in order to combat extremism, it is now forcing people to turn towards the dark web.
MindGeek, which runs sites including PornHub, YouPorn and RedTube, said its AgeID age verification tool had been in use in Germany since 2015. It said its software would use third-party age-verification companies to authenticate the age of those
AgeID spokesman James Clark told the BBC there were multiple verification methods that could be used - including credit card, mobile SMS, passport and driving licence - but that it was not yet clear which would be compliant with the law.
For something that is supposed to be coming in April, and requires software update by websites, it is surely about time that the government and/or the BBFC actually told people about the detailed rules for when age verification is required and
what methods will be acceptable to the censors.
The start date has not actually been confirmed yet and the BBFC haven't even acknowledged that they have accepted the job as the UK porn censor..
The BBFC boss David Austin, spouted some nonsense to the BBC claiming that age verification was already in place for other services, including some video-on-demand sites. In fact 'other' services such as gambling sites have got totally different
privacy issues and aren't really relevant to porn. The only method in place so far is to demand credit cards to access porn, the only thing that this has proved is that it is totally unviable for the businesses involved, and is hardy relevant to
how the dominant tube sites work.
In fact a total absence of input from the BBFC is already leading to some alarming takes on the privacy issues of handing over people's porn viewing records to porn companies. Surely the BBFC would be expected to provide official state propaganda
trying to convince the worried masses that they have noting fear and that porn websites have people's best interests at heart.
Incoming age verification checks for people who watch pornography online are at risk of their sexual tastes being exposed, a privacy expert has
The Government has given the all clear for one of the largest pornography companies to organise the arrangements for verification but experts claim that handing this power to the porn industry could put more people at risk.
Those viewing porn will no longer be anonymous and their sexual tastes may be easily revealed through a cache of the websites they have visited, according to Jim Killock, director of Open Rights Group. He warned:
These are the most sensitive, embarrassing viewing habits that have potentially life-changing consequences if they become public.
In order for it to work, the company will end up with a list of every webpage of all of the big pornographic products someone has visited. Just like Google and Facebook, companies want to profile you and send you advertisements based on what you
are searching for.
So what are AgeID going to do now that they have been given unparalleled access to people's pornographic tastes? They are going to decide what people's sexual tastes are and the logic of that is impossible to resist. Even if they give
reassurances, I just cannot see why they wouldn't.
A database with someone's sexual preferences , highlighted by the web pages visited and geographically traceable through the IP address, would be a target for hackers who could use them for blackmail or simply to cause humiliation.
Imagine if you are a teacher and the pornography that you looked at - completely legally - became public? It would be devastating for someone's career.
Inxeba (The Wound) is a 2017 South Africa / Germany / Netherlands / France romance by John Trengove.
Starring Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay.
Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, Xolani's entire existence
begins to unravel.
Inxeba (The Wound) is a film centred around an African custom of adulthood initiation via a circumcision ritual. It contains two simulated sex scenes and has a gay storyline.
South African film censors at Film and Publication Board (FPB} originally awarded a straightforward 16 LS rating for language and sex.
The gay theme wound up local conservatives of the Gauteng branch of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) and cultural organisation the Man and Boy Foundation and an appeal against the rating was lodged.
The result of the appeal was that the rating was upgraded to an X18 rating which is generally reserved for explicit hardcore pornography. Similarly to the UK, the movie can then only be screened at licensed porn cinemas, and it is effectively
banned from mainstream cinemas.
Clearly the producers of Inxeba are not well pleased and along with leading South African film industry players say the fight over the movie being reclassified as pornographic by the FPB is far from over. They have vowed to take the matter
to court. They accuse the FPB of censorship, homophobia and of not following its own governing act or classification guidelines by overturning the controversial, award-winning gay Xhosa initiation movie's original 16 LS ratin.
Inxeba (The Wound) has been unbanned by a Pretoria High Court Order and will be back on mainstream cinema screens again from Friday, March 9.
This is the result of a High Court order granted on Tuesday, in the urgent application brought by Webber Wentzel on behalf of the film's producers and distributor to reverse the X18 rating and enables the film to return to the public domain and
be relieved of its imprisonment in sex shops, branded as pornography.
While this outcome has provided momentary relief to the film as it can be screened in mainstream cinema with the rating of 18, the lifting of the ban is, however, only temporary, pending the outcome of review proceedings before the court, which
will be heard on March 28.
Authorities in Germany said they have received far fewer complaints from citizens than expected since the
country's social network censorship law (NetzDG) went into effect 01 January, reported Heise Online.
Germany's Federal Office for Justice (BfJ), the division of Germany's Federal Minister of Justice responsible for enforcing the law said they have received only 205 complaints since January, less than 1% of the amount predicted. The German
government had assumed that citizens would file roughly 25,000 complaints with the BfJ .
Google and Facebook accused of supposedly profiting from pop-up brothels and sex clubs
Ministers are reportedly considering new laws to make internet giants liable when sex workers use their sites to organise business.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) are supporting the propaganda and claim Google and Facebook are making profits from sex trafficking, according to the Times.
Pop up sex clubs have been discovered in Cornwall, Cambridge, Swindon and holiday cottages in the Peak District. Will Kerr, the NCA's 'head of vulnerabilities', claimed:
People are using the internet and social media sites to enable sexual exploitation and trafficking. It is clear that the internet platforms which host and make a profit out of this type of material need to do more to identify and stop these forms
Government figures want internet giants like Facebook to be held accountable, eying new US laws that are set to overturn more than 20 years of blanket immunity for sites for content posted by users. It will make firms liable if they knowingly
assist, support or facilitate content that leads to trafficking.
Downing Street and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said they are looking at whether and how to replicate the action in the UK.
The European Union has given Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies three months to show that
they are removing extremist content more rapidly or face legislation forcing them to do so.
The European Commission said on Thursday that internet firms should be ready to remove extremist content within an hour of being notified and recommended measures they should take to stop its proliferation. Digital commissioner Andrus Ansip said:
While several platforms have been removing more illegal content than ever before ... we still need to react faster against terrorist propaganda and other illegal content which is a serious threat to our citizens' security, safety and fundamental
The EC said that it would assess the need for legislation of technology firms within three months if demonstrable improvement is not made on what it describes as terrorist content. For all other types of 'illegal' content the EC will assess the
technology firms' censorship progress within six months.
It also urged the predominantly US-dominated technology sector to adopt a more proactive approach, with automated systems to detect and censor 'illegal' content.
The Australian Federal Police Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) is seeking rulings from the
country's Film Classification Board that will help it ban the import and supply of magazines that promote Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
Since August 2017 the JCTT has made several applications to the board asking it to determine that materials from ISIS and Al-Qaeda should be refused classification in Australia. The Classification Board has upheld applications on 22 different
pieces of material.
The list of materials now banned in Australia includes magazines produced by ISIS from 2014 to 2016 called Dabiq that were used as a recruitment tool by the organisation. Material that is listed as refused classification in Australia cannot be
imported into, or exported out of, the country, and there are substantial restrictions on their dissemination.
An Australian campaign group, The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, writes:
This Playstation game involves the player acting as a housemaid to stop a single violent father beating his daughter. In some scenes the father is seen choking the housekeeper by the neck and hitting her with a fist, and going upstairs to beat
his daughter with a belt. At one point you can see him place his dead daughters body on the bed whist saying it's all over now, daddy isn't angry anymore.
The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect has called on Australian stores not to stock it. However there are Australian retailers already taking pre-orders for this violent and disturbing game.
Family violence is a big issue in this country and is not something that should ever be considered entertainment. Retired psychologist Dr Glenn Cupit said that "games like this are worse than films as they are immersive and involve young
people in the act of violence".
When we have one woman a week being killed by family violence in Australia we do not need this fantasy violence adding to an already violent society.
Shame on SONY for allowing the release of such filth, and I call on Australia to take a stand against it and ban it from sales on our shores.
Idaho lawmakers on Friday approved a proposal declaring pornography a public health risk.
The resolution, sent to the House floor for debate by the House State Affairs Committee, does not call for a ban but rather is a symbolic gesture that urges state agencies and local officials to recognize the need for education, research and
possible policy changes to protect Idahoans -- particularly teenagers -- from pornography.
Representative Lance Clow, a Republican who is backing the resolution spouted:
Pornography has and does have adverse impacts on all members of society. It leads to the abuse men, women and children, destroys marriages and has impacts on young and old Families are being torn apart by this epidemic.
A few viewers of Coronation Street are 'outraged' at a scene showing the resident vicar taking heroin in
The character, Billy Mayhew, has been battling an addiction to painkillers. However, he fell to new lows after his drug dealer brother Lee sold him heroin. The pair shot up in church, and as they were slumped against the pews Lee said: This must
be what heaven feels like.
Ofcom received 82 complaints from viewers about the scene.
An ITV statement said that it had dealt with the issue in a responsible way, and that further episodes would show the negative side of Billy's drug taking.
However, the following episode opened with the vicar blaspheming, before going on to take more heroin and becoming aggressive towards his adopted daughter while high.
Facebook has revealed just how shoddy its 'fake news' and censorship process is when it censored an obvious joke after it passed through the censorship system without anyone at Facebook noticing how stupid they were being.
The Babylon Bee set off Facebook's alarm bells by publishing a satirical piece stating that CNN had purchased an industrial-size washing machine to spin news before publication. This is obviously a joke and is clearly marked satire and is
published on a site entirely devoted to satire.
But the uptight jerks over at Snopes decided to fact check the Bee's claim, to ensure that no one actually thought that CNN made a significant investment in heavy machinery.
The article was duly confirmed as fake news resulting in Facebook saying that it would censor The Babylon Bee by denying them monetisation.
And as per the normal procedure, when alerted about stupid censorship, Facebook admitted it was a ghastly mistake and apologised profusely. Fair enough, but in passing it still shows exactly how shoddy the process is behind the scenes.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the absurd provisions of a bill unveiled this week in Singapore that would prohibit photo and video
reporting from the scene of a terrorist attack.
A ban on media coverage is the main aim of the Public Order and Safety Bill presented by Singapore's home affairs ministry , which would allow the police to enforce a communications stop order.
Journalists and members of the public would face up to two years in prison or a fine of 20,000 Singaporean dollars (15,000 US dollars) if they took photos or video of a terrorist attack or communicated text or audio messages about the ensuing
Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF's Asia-Pacific desk said:
No one disputes the need for special measures in the event of a terrorist attack, but it is not the interior ministry's job to decided what journalists can broadcast or publish.
By depriving the public of coverage of such grave events, this ban would put the public in danger. This proposed law would be completely counter-productive if the aim of the authorities is to protect the population. But it would be very
effective if their aim is to gag independent media.
Over many centuries in Britain, our press has held the powerful to account and been free to report and investigate without fear or favour. These principles underpin our democracy and are integral to the freedom of our nation.
Today in a world of the Internet and clickbait, our press face critical challenges that threaten their livelihood and sustainability - with declining circulations and a changing media landscape.
Mr Speaker, it is in this context that we approach the Leveson Inquiry, which was set up seven years ago in 2011, and reported six years ago in 2012, in response to events over a decade ago.
The Leveson Inquiry was a diligent and thorough examination of the culture, practices and ethics of our press in response to illegal and improper press intrusion.
There were far too many cases of terrible behaviour and having met some of the victims, I understand the impact this had.
I want, from the start, to thank Sir Brian for his work.
The Inquiry lasted over a year and heard evidence from more than 300 people including journalists, editors and victims.
Three major police investigations examined a wide range of offences, and more than 40 people were convicted.
The Inquiry and investigations were comprehensive.
And since it was set up, the terms of reference for a Part 2 of the Inquiry have largely been met.
There have also been extensive reforms to policing practices and significant changes to press self-regulation.
IPSO has been established and now regulates 95% of national newspapers by circulation. It has taken significant steps to demonstrate its independence as a regulator.
And in 2016, Sir Joseph Pilling concluded that IPSO largely complied with Leveson's recommendations. There have been further improvements since and I hope more to come.
In November last year, IPSO introduced a new system of low-cost arbitration.
It has processed more than 40,000 complaints in its first three years of operation; and has ordered multiple front page corrections or clarifications.
Newspapers have also made improvements to their governance frameworks to improve internal controls, standards and compliance.
And one regulator, IMPRESS, has been recognised under the Royal Charter.
Extensive reforms to policing practices have been made.
The College of Policing has published a code of ethics and developed national guidance for police officers on how to engage with the press.
And reforms in the Policing and Crime Act have strengthened protections for police whistleblowers.
So it is clear that we have seen significant progress, from publications, from the police and also from the newly formed regulator.
And Mr Speaker, the media landscape today is markedly different from that which Sir Brian looked at in 2011.
The way we consume news has changed dramatically.
Newspaper circulation has fallen by around 30 per cent since the conclusion of the Leveson Inquiry.
And although digital circulation is rising, publishers are finding it much harder to generate revenue online.
In 2015, for every 100 pounds newspapers lost in print revenue they gained only 3 pounds in digital revenue.
Our local papers, in particular, are under severe pressure. Local papers help to bring together local voices and shine a light on important local issues - in communities, in courtrooms, in council chambers.
And as we devolve power further to local communities, they will become even more important.
And yet, over 200 local newspapers have closed since 2015, including two in my own constituency.
There are also new challenges, that were only in their infancy back in 2011.
We have seen the dramatic and continued rise of social media, which is largely unregulated.
And issues like clickbait, fake news, malicious disinformation and online abuse, which threaten high quality journalism.
A foundation of any successful democracy is a sound basis for democratic discourse. This is under threat from these new forces that require urgent attention.
These are today's challenges and this is where we need to focus.
Especially as over 48 million pounds was spent on the police investigations and the Inquiry.
During the consultation, 12% of direct respondents were in favour of reopening the Leveson Inquiry, with 66% against. We agree and that is the position that we set out in our Manifesto.
Sir Brian, who I thank for his service, agrees that the Inquiry should not proceed on the current terms of reference but believes that it should continue in an amended form.
We do not believe that reopening this costly and time-consuming public inquiry is the right way forward.
Considering all of the factors that I have outlined to the House today, I have informed Sir Brian that we will be formally closing the Inquiry.
But we will take action to safeguard the lifeblood of our democratic discourse, and tackle the challenges our media face today, not a decade ago.
During the consultation, we also found serious concerns that Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 would exacerbate the problems the press face rather than solve them.
Respondents were worried that it would impose further financial burdens, especially on the local press.
One high profile figure put it very clearly. He said:
'Newspapers...are already operating in a tough environment. These proposals will make it tougher and add to the risk of self-censorship'.
'The threat of having to pay both sides' costs - no matter what the challenge - would have the effect of leaving journalists questioning every report that named an individual or included the most innocuous data about them.'
He went on to say that Section 40 risks 'damaging the future of a paper that you love' and that the impact will be to 'make it much more difficult for papers...to survive'.
These are not my words Mr Speaker, but the words of Alastair Campbell talking about the chilling threat of Section 40. [political content removed]
Only 7 per cent of direct respondents favoured full commencement of Section 40. By contrast, 79 per cent favoured full repeal.
Mr Speaker, we have decided not to commence Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and to seek repeal at the earliest opportunity.
Action is needed. Not based on what might have been needed years ago - but action now to address today's problems.
Our new Digital Charter sets out the overarching programme of work to agree norms and rules for the online world and put them into practice.
Under the Digital Charter, our Internet Safety Strategy is looking at online behaviour and we will firmly tackle the problems of online abuse.
And our review into the sustainability of high quality journalism will address concerns about the impact of the Internet on our news and media.
It will do this in a forward looking way, so we can respond to the challenges of today, not the challenges of yesterday.
Mr Speaker, the future of a vibrant press matters to us all.
There has been a huge public response to our consultation. I would like to thank every one of the 174,000 respondents as well as all those who signed petitions.
We have carefully considered all of the evidence we received. We have consulted widely, with regulators, publications and victims of press intrusion.
The world has changed since the Leveson Inquiry was established in 2011.
Since then we have seen seismic changes to the media landscape.
The work of the Leveson Inquiry, and the reforms since, have had a huge impact on public life. We thank Sir Brian Leveson for lending his dedication and expertise to the undertaking of this Inquiry.
At national and local levels, a press that can hold the powerful to account remains an essential component of our democracy.
Britain needs high-quality journalism to thrive in the new digital world.
We seek a press - a media - that is robust, and independently regulated. That reports without fear or favour.
The steps I have set out today will help give Britain a vibrant, independent and free press that holds the powerful to account and rises to the challenges of our times.
A controversial Polish law censoring certain claims regarding the Holocaust and banning the use of the phrase Polish death camps went into
Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the bill into law, after it passed by wide margins in both chambers of the Polish legislature.
The law bans the phrase Polish death camps, and outlaws claims of collusion by the Polish nation with the Holocaust. Anyone found guilty of ascribing responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the
German Third Reich could be sentenced to as much as three years in prison under the new law.
In the meantime the phrase "Polish death camps' has never been heard quite so often as in the last couple of months.
US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with members of the video game industry next week to discuss violence in games. The announcement comes a week after Trump suggested a link between violent video games and youth violence.
Likely comapnies that will be involved are Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft.
Trump said recently:
I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts, said Trump last week, after a mass shooting left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida. And then you go the
further step, and that's the movies. You see these movies, and they're so violent, and yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn't involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.
Of course the idea is to deflect blame for frequent killing sprees from guns to games. But if Trump is right and people are readily corrupted by video games, then surely games players need to banned from owning guns, and that's pretty much the
The National Secular Society has called Facebook's decision to remove the page of a satirist who mocks Islamist preachers a very
poor reflection on its attitude to free expression.
Waleed Wain, a British comedian who goes by the name Veedu Vidz online, makes videos satirising well-known Islamist preachers, Islamic extremism and anti-Muslim bigotry.
In a video published on 23 February Wain said Facebook had removed his page indefinitely. The page was previously banned for one month after offended viewers repeatedly reported the videos.
When the ban was lifted in February, the Veedu Vidz Facebook page shared the video Halal Movie Review: The Lion King . The video parodies Zakir Naik, an Islamist preacher who has been banned in the UK and other countries for promoting
terrorism. Within 24 hours of sharing the video, the Veedu Vidz page was unpublished.
Wain has appealed against Facebook's decision to unpublish his page. On Tuesday Facebook said it had reviewed his appeal and the page could once again be viewed publicly. Wain said:
I did not realise posting videos of Zakir Naik or Dawah Man [another Islamist preacher parodied on Veedu Vidz] could get you banned, especially when they can post their own videos talking about their own beliefs pretty frequently, pretty
And they should be allowed to express their opinions, and that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that, but when I express my opinion on them, I get banned.
The current situation is that while preachers such as Zakir Naik, who support terrorism and the death penalty for LGBT people and apostates, are given a platform on Facebook, those who challenge or mock these views are censored. This is a very
poor reflection on Facebook and its attitudes to liberal values and to free expression.
The Entertainment Software Rating Boar d (ESRB) has announced that it will begin assigning a new "In - Game Purchases" label to
physical ( e.g., boxed) games.
The In - Game Purchases label is one of several interactive elements that ESRB currently assigns to notify consumers about the interactive or online features of a digital or mobile game. Consumers can expect to start seeing this new notice on all
games that can be purchased in stores and wherever those games can be downloaded in the near future.
ESRB president Patricia Vance said:
The video game industry is evolving and innovating continually, as is the ESRB rating system. ESRB's goal is to ensure that parents have the most up-to-date and comprehensive tools at their disposal to help them decide which games are
appropriate for their children/ With the new In-Game Purchases interactive element coming to physical games, parents will know when a game contains offers for players to purchase additional content. Moreover, we will be expanding our efforts to
educate parents about the controls currently at their disposal to manage in-game spending before their kids press 'Start'."
The new In-Game Purchases label will be applied to games with in-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency, including but not limited to bonus levels, skins, surprise items (such as item packs, loot boxes, mystery
awards), music, virtual coins and other forms of in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes and upgrades (e.g., to disable ads).
The ESRB also launched ParentalTools.org
, an easy - to - use one - stop resource for parents
In May 2017, the Australian major news platform, news.com.au published an article titled Islamic
State terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay
A week after it was published on May 31, 2017, the Attorney-General's office contacted news.com.au to demand it be taken down, saying the Classification Board had ruled it should be refused classification as it directly or indirectly advocated
It appears to be the first time section 9A of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 has been used to censor a news report, since it was first added in 2007. The action has alarmed the publisher of news.com.au as
Australian media in general were not informed the Classification Board had the power to ban news stories or that the eSafety Commissioner had the power to instigate investigations into news articles.
A separate Press Council investigation into the article was commissioned and the Council has ruled in news.com.au favour, accepting there was public interest in its article publicising the disturbing ways Islamic State was trying to target
News.com.au has just published the Press Council decision and it reveals that news.com.au was not given the opportunity to defend the article prior to it being censored.
News.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito said any censorship of the media by a government department raised serious concerns about press freedom.
This is a deeply concerning development of media censorship. The Classification Board has silenced the reporting of a legitimate threat to the Australian public, she said. Australians have a right to know if their safety or lives are being
placed at risk -- there can be few more important matters of public interest.
The secretive way the Classifications Board acted in this way is a direct attack on freedom of the press and journalists should condemn it.
Cases of art censorship on Facebook continue to surface. The latest work deemed pornographic is the 30,000
year-old nude statue famously known as the Venus of Willendorf, part of the Naturhistorisches Museum (NHM) collection in Vienna. An image of the work posted on Facebook by Laura Ghianda, a self-described artivist, was removed as inappropriate
content despite four attempts to appeal the decision.
The NHM reacted to Ghianda's Facebook post in January, requesting that Facebook allow the Venus to remain naked. There has never been a complaint by visitors concerning the nakedness of the figurine, says Christian Koeberl, the director general
of NHM. There is no reason to cover the Venus of Willendorf and hide her nudity, neither in the museum nor on social media.
An Italian porn star who dreamt up a fun filled stunt at a recent referendum has been banned from Instagram ahead of a
general election lest she repeat it.
Paola Saulino previously promised a blow job for those that voted against constitutional reforms. The reforms were duly rejected Paola launched her Pompa Tour - which translates as Oral Tour - during which she claimed to have pleasured 700 men.
She says she has just been barred from contacting her 430,000 followers over fears she may try and swing the vote, which is due to take place on Sunday.
Saulino said she has complained to Instagram about being banned, saying she is paying the price for her lifestyle
It is a little bizarre that a government that has been in office for long enough to pass plenty of laws that effect people's lives. Presumably if they feel a little insecure, it is because they haven't done a good job in doing things that attract
support. And then to think that elections can be swung by trivial propaganda or a silly stunt, it's insulting to the electors, and so the politicians deserve to be kicked out.
Chinese censors are battling to silence criticism of Xi Jinping's bid to set himself to reign over China for the
rest of his life.
The Communist party claim that the move is an acknowledgement of overwhelming support for Xi. However, there has been widespread online push-back in China since it was announced on the eve of an annual political congress in Beijing. So the
Chinese censors have ramped up their efforts to stifle discontent with the proposal.
In a blog post, Victor Mair, a University of Pennsylvania China expert, said censors had taken quick, drastic action after the internet was flooded with complaints. For instance the following earch terms have been blocked on Twitter-like Weibo:
Ten thousand years, used as a term like Long live!
Xi Zedong, a hybrid of the names of Xi and Chairman Mao Zedong
the letter N, for unknown reasons, perhaps even a typo
China has also been aggressive in criticising the west for joining in the debate.