Canberra will introduce an adult rating for video games, even if other states and territories refuse to implement one,
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell has told The Canberra Times.
Corbell made the commitment when he criticised the stalled process for changing the censorship regime: I'm extremely frustrated by the protracted nature of this discussion ... I asked my department earlier this month to look at the options of
unilateral action .
The ACT will only be able to break with other states and territories and introduce an R18+ rating for video games if the Federal Government creates such a category. Currently, unanimous agreement between all jurisdictions is required to make a
change. Earlier this month Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor flagged introducing the adult rating, leaving it to each state and territory to decide the issue for themselves.
Corbell said: We want to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that. This is the right decision for Australian families and
the right decision for parents who want to be able to make informed choices about the games their children play.
MLA Shane Rattenbury, legal affairs spokesman for Greens, conditionally backed ACT Labor's commitment meaning the legislation needed to introduce an R18+ rating for video games would have the numbers to pass the local assembly.
The ACT plan does not involve scrapping the MA15+ category as per the censorial South Australian suggestion.
There appears to be a political purge of Facebook taking place. Profiles are being deleted without warning or
explanation. Facebook has just deleted around 50 sites.
It may well be that these groups are technically in violation of Facebook's terms of agreement, but the timing on the royal wedding and May day weekend, is deeply suspicious.
We don't know for certain, but this purge of online organising groups could be linked to the wider crackdown on protest by authorities in Britain. Either way, it is a scandalous abuse of power by Facebook to arbitrarily destroy online communities
built up over many months and years.
Ultimately, the anti-cuts movement in the UK will need to start organising through self-hosted, open source platforms to avoid reliance upon the very corporate power structures we are aiming to challenge.
Facebook pages that have been deleted: Open Birkbeck UWE Occupation Chesterfield Stopthecuts Camberwell AntiCuts IVA Womensrevolution Tower Hamlets Greens No Cuts ArtsAgainst Cuts London Student Assembly Beat'n Streets Roscoe Manchester Occupation Bristol Bookfair Newcastle Occupation Socialist Unity Whospeaks Forus Ourland FreeLand Bristol Ukuncut Teampalestina Shaf Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut No Quarter Cutthewar Bootle Labour Claimants Fightback Ecosocialists Unite Comrade George Orwell Jason Derrick Anarchista Rebellionist BigSociety Leeds Slade Occupation Anti-Cuts Across Wigan Firstof Mayband Don't Break Britain United Cockneyreject SWP Cork Westiminster Trades Council York Anarchists Rock War Sheffield Occupation Central London SWP North London Solidarity Southwark Sos Save NHS Rochdale Law Centre Goldsmiths Fights Back Occupy Monaco
A request made by the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate, or TIB, to ban a total of 138 words from Turkish Internet domain
names has no legal basis and has left companies unsure of what action to take, according to experts.
Providing a list and urging companies to take action to ban sites that contain the words and threatening to punish them if they don't has no legal grounds, Yaman Akdeniz, a cyber-rights activist and a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi
University, told the Hu rriyet Daily News. Akdeniz said no authority could decide that an action was illegal just by association.
The TIB cited the Internet ban law number 5651 and related legislation as the legal ground for its request. The law, however, does not authorize firms to take action related to banning websites.
The hosting company is not responsible for controlling the content of the websites it provides domains to or researching/exploring on whether there is any illegal activity or not. They are responsible for removing illegal content when they
are informed and there is the technical possibility of doing so, according to Article 5 of the law.
The list of banned words has caused many scratching of heads
The effect of the TIB's request could see the closure of many websites that include a number of words. For example, the website donanimalemi.com (hardwareworld.com) could be banned because the domain name has the word animal in it;
likewise, sanaldestekunitesi.com, (virtualsupportunit.com) could be closed down because of the word anal. Websites will also be forbidden from using the number 31 in their domain names because it is slang for male masturbation.
Some banned English words include beat, escort, homemade, hot, nubile, free and teen. Some other English words would also be banned because of their meanings in Turkish: pic, short for
picture, is banned because it means bastard in Turkish. The past tense of the verb get is also banned because got means butt in Turkish. Haydar, a very common Alevi name for men, is also banned because it means penis
Gay , naked, confession, high school student, breath and forbidden are some of the other banned words.
An Indonesian movie, simply titled ? , has sparked nutter protests, but
many Indonesians feel it is high time society talked openly about inter-religious topics.
The movie's characters explore struggles with their faiths through scenes such as inter-religious marriage or workplaces that challenge the practice of their beliefs. One controversial scene has a character playing a Muslim working in a restaurant
that sells pork.
The film has drawn flak from the hard-line camp, such as the Islamic Defenders Front, which threatened to raid cinemas that screen it. It labeled some scenes blasphemous.
The Indonesian Ulema Council warned that it is considering banning the film for its bold portrayal of some issues, such as implying that it is all right for one to abandon Islam, and for showing alternative paths to God, which the council said
? goes against its beliefs of championing the religion.
Hanung Bramantyo, the director of the movie, has a different view: All I try to do with my films is to present different perspectives. The only way we can wage a proper battle against the stupidity and ignorance that cause so many problems in
our lives is to strive for a well-rounded and informed viewpoint.
Ikea has been accused of exploiting offensive Mafia cultural stereotypes in an advertisement to promote a new kitchen range.
The advertisement, shown on television and the internet, and titled Very Good Fellas , features gangster-like figures who speak with Sicilian and Neapolitan accents as they dispose of a suspiciously large and heavy black bag of refuse.
It turns out that the apparent Mafiosi are simply a group of ecologically conscious friends gathering for dinner, whose conduct bears out the slogan: Behaving well in an Ikea kitchen comes more naturally.
The advertising sparked widespread indignation among people in the south of Italy who claim they are being stereotyped.
Fabrizio Concas, Ikea Marketing Manager, said he was surprised by the reaction and wanted to apologise to all southerners who have felt offended by our advertisement .
A top Italian official has called an Ikea advertisement with two gay men
holding hands in bad taste .
I find it serious and in bad taste that a Swedish multinational comes to Italy to tell Italians what they should think, Secretary of State for family policy Carlo Giovanardi said in a television interview.
The Swedish furniture giant's advertisement shows two men with a shopping bag, holding hands, and the words: We are open to all families .
I think that many clients of Ikea will not find this pleasant, claimed Giovanardi. While Ikea was free to address itself to whom it pleases, the term family as used in the advertisement is in direct opposition to our constitution which
says that family is founded on a marriage , he added.
Gay rights activist Aurelio Mancuso said Giovanardi's statements were dangerous and aggressive and risk fueling the climate of homophobia that drives violence and insults against gays, lesbians and transsexuals.
Three anti-capitalist activists who were planning a mock execution of Prince Andrew with a guillotine to mark the royal wedding have been arrested and detained at Lewisham police station.
Officers arrested Professor Chris Knight, a leading member of the G20 Meltdown group, outside his home in Brockley, south east London at around 6.15pm, according to an eyewitness.
Also arrested were Knight's partner Camilla Power and Patrick Macroidan, who was dressed as an executioner, said fellow activist Mike Raddie, of north London, who was with them.
The three activists were preparing to drive their theatrical props, including a home-made guillotine and effigies, into central London when three police cars and two police vans drew up near Knight's home in Brockley, said Raddie.
Hundreds of officers raided five squats across the capital, and 20 people were arrested.
Around 70 people have already been banned from Westminster after being arrested or charged over previous demonstrations. Police and MI5 have said there has been no direct threat from terrorists including Al-Qaeda or Irish dissident groups. Ring of
steel: Armed police are on guard outside the Goring Hotel in central London where Kate Middleton and her family are stayed last night
Police officers admitted the raids had been brought forward but claimed they were not connected to the royal wedding.
Update: Met accused of sexual assault during pre-emptive policing
30th April 2011. By Jane Fae
The trans community was tonight seething at reports that a Metropolitan Police Officer sexually assaulted a trans woman
as part of pre-emptive policing during the Royal Wedding in London, today
The allegation was made by queer activist Logan Le'Belle, who went to Soho Square intending to take part in a zombie flashmob event. Part theatre, part direct action, this event was conceived as a dramatic means to contrast today's
celebrations with the ongoing climate of cuts.
However, police intervened before the event could get under way, arresting Logan and other participants on suspicion of intention to breach the peace.
According to Le'Belle police officers consistently misgendered both himself and his companion, a trans woman. He described how a police woman cupped his companion's genital area in order to ascertain her genital status before
conducting a search.
Trans activist and writer, Jane Fae reacted angrily to this report. She said: if true, this suggests that the Met have learnt absolutely nothing about how to deal with trans men and women. It means that transphobia is still rife amongst the
rank and file.
If a police officer did this to an ordinary member of the public, they would, quite rightly, be charged with a sexual assault. However, as the trans community knows all too well, ordinary decency often breaks down when dealing with ourselves -
despite the fact that we remain a significant target for abuse and violence as we go about our day to day lives.
I have been in touch with the Met this evening, to see if anyone can shed any light on this incident. It is my fervent hope that it is not true. If it is, I have no hesitation whatsoever in asking that the Met dismiss this officer today .
The Australian TV show The Chaser, which had planned an irreverent commentary to accompany images of
the ceremony, has been pulled from ABC2's schedule, after learning that footage of the event is banned from being used in any comedy or satirical program.
ABC TV director Kim Dalton said he was surprised and disappointed that The Chaser could not be aired, while one of the show's stars, Julian Morrow, described the rule as out of step with a modern democracy.
Clarence House, which oversees the affairs of Prince William and drew up the broadcast contract with the BBC, issued a statement saying that it was standard practice for these kinds of religious ceremonies to include a clause which restricts
usage in drama, comedy, satirical, or similar entertainment programs.
Organizations championing freedom of expression have questioned whether the royals should have the right to impose such restrictions, especially given that the taxpayer will pick up most of the costs involved in organizing the event.
Padraig Reidy, news editor at Britain's Index on Censorship, describes the royal family's control of the coverage as bizarre. He adds that plans for preemptive arrests and restrictions on the right to protest were even more concerning,
branding as unprecedented the police's intended approach.
House on the Edge of the Park is a 1979 Italian horror thriller by Ruggero Deodato (Skyline). See
Shameless Screen Entertainment have announced the scheduled release of Ruggero Deodato's brutal video nasty House on the Edge of the Park starring David Hess and Giovanni Lombardo Radice. The release will include a new special introduction
and interview with David Hess.
Shameless have not yet submitted the film to the BBFC but intend to submit to a BBFC advisory board first, as they did with Cannibal Holocaust .
The current UK releases were passed with massive cuts for:
UK 2009 Cornerstone R2 DVD
UK 2002 Protected R2 DVD
The BBFC noted: Cuts required to several sequences of sexual violence, humiliating depictions of female nudity and gross violence
BBFC removed most of the rape and assault scenes
heavily edited the razor-slashing of Cindy
heavily edited the opening murder scene
removed shots of Tony's head being slammed against a table
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has introduced a new streamlined rating process for games that will only be sold and downloaded
through console and handheld storefronts such as Microsoft Xbox LIVE Arcade, Nintendo Wii, or DSi™ Shop and Sony PlayStation Store.
These games will receive the same recognizable ESRB ratings via a process whose efficiency and ease of use provides the scalability necessary to address the steady increase of games delivered digitally across an ever-expanding multitude of new
devices and outlets.
Publishers of these downloadable games will complete a different submission form than is used for all other games. The new form contains a series of multiple choice questions designed to assess content across all relevant categories, such as
violence, sexual content and language, among others. The questions also address important contextual factors such as the game's realism and visual style, its incentives (i.e., whether a certain action is meant to be avoided or results in failure),
the player's perspective (i.e., omniscient, distant or third person vs. immersed, close-up or first person), and more. The responses provided determine the game's rating, which is issued to the publisher as soon as a DVD reflecting all disclosed
content is received by ESRB.
All other types of games will continue to undergo the traditional rating process, which involves completion of a more open-ended questionnaire and review of a content DVD by a minimum of three raters who reach consensus on the appropriate rating.
The ESRB rating process that has been in use since 1994 was devised before the explosion in the number of digitally delivered games and devices on which to play them. These games, many of which tend to be casual in nature, are being produced in
increasing numbers, by thousands of developers, and generally at lower costs, said ESRB president Patricia Vance. This new rating process considers the very same elements weighed by our raters. The biggest difference is in our ability to
scale this system as necessary while keeping our services affordable and accessible.
All games rated via this new process will be tested by ESRB staff shortly after they are made publicly available to verify that disclosure was complete and accurate. In the event that content was not fully disclosed during this process, the rating
displayed in the console or handheld store will be promptly corrected. In egregious cases of nondisclosure – which include a deliberate effort to misinform the ESRB – the game and - more - all of its promotional materials will be removed from the
store through which it is being sold, pending its resubmission to ESRB.
Broadband providers have voiced alarm over an EU proposal to create a Great Firewall of Europe by blocking illicit web material
at the borders of the bloc.
The proposal emerged an obscure meeting of the Council of the European Union's Law Enforcement Work Party (LEWP), a forum for cooperation on issues such as counter terrorism, customs and fraud.
The minutes from the meeting state:
The Presidency of the LEWP presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace with a certain virtual Schengen border and virtual access points whereby the
Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU black-list . Delegations were also informed that a conference on cyber-crime would be held in Budapest on 12-13 April 2011.
Malcolm Hutty, head of public affairs at LINX, a cooperative of British ISPs, said the plan appeared ill thought-out and confused . We take the view that network level filtering of the type proposed has been proven ineffective.
Broadband providers say that illegal content should be removed at the source by cooperation between police and web hosting firms because network blocking can easily be circumvented.
April 2011 saw the enactment of Information technology Rules Act 2011 which introduce internet censorship to India.
The new repressive rules massively curtail freedom of internet speech and have left many offended as it destroys the internet as a platform of speech and beliefs.
The Act says that any statement that threatens the unity, integrity; defense, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order is to be censored from the web. The act is very vague and is likely to invoke
even more controversy in days ahead.
The new rules empower any official or private citizen to demand the removal of content that they consider objectionable on the basis of long list of criteria prepared by the information department.
The Department of Information Technology is empowered to block any site that displays any disparaging material. Article 19 of the Indian constitution allows for 'reasonable' restrictions. These restrictions have been used so far to ban books,
movies on sensitive subjects like sex, politics and religion. India has also been famed for condemning speeches by famous personalities as seditious.
As part of India's Information Technology (Guidelines for Cyber Cafe') Rules, 2011, cyber cafe' owners are now required to make an effort to stop users from accessing pornographic or supposedly obscene websites.
According to The Times of India, cyber cafe's were notified on April 11th of a ruling requiring them to register with a government agency to ensure their adherence to the new guidelines.
In addition to monitoring porn, the new rules make it mandatory for Internet cafe' owners to install a filtering software and keep a log of all websites accessed by customers for at least one year. It also states that users will be required to
present an identity card before being given access to a public computer. Additionally, building cubicles with a height of more than four and half feet will also be disallowed.
Cyber cafe' owners will be asked to give user logs to the registration agency every month.
If there's a segment that indicates how poorly thought out India's finalized Internet control rules are, it is sub-rule 2 and 4 of the segment pertaining to Intermediaries in the country's finalized Information Technology rules.
Sub Rule 2 states that Users shall not host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of
another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever;
Additionally, Sub Rule 2 also states that users may not publish anything that threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states, or or public order or causes incitement to the
commission of any cognisable offence or prevents investigation of any offence or is insulting any other nation.
Sub rule 4 states that
(4) The intermediary, on whose computer system the information is stored or hosted or published, upon obtaining knowledge by itself or been brought to actual knowledge by an affected person in writing or through email signed
with electronic signature about any such information as mentioned in sub-rule (2) above, shall act within thirty six hours and where applicable, work with user or owner of such information to disable such information that is in contravention of
sub-rule (2). Further the intermediary shall preserve such information and associated records for at least ninety days for investigation purposes.
A new media control law has been accepted by the Icelandic parliament.
The new law seeks to protect children from obscene content and to ensure freedom of speech.
To uphold its goals a new media committee will be created to mediate between the media, the public and government.
But the measure is still proving controversial. It is argued, among other things, that the Iceland is consistently ranked near the top in global press freedom rankings and that the creation of a government-controlled committee to protect and
enforce press freedom is a contradiction in terms which will end up doing the exact opposite.
The fact that the national broadcaster, RUV, is not controlled by the new law is also causing debate. This is the first media law in Iceland to cover the press and broadcast media together.
2,000 people have signed a petition urging the president to veto the law and thereby send it to a public referendum.
The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, appeared to have kicked the ball into the long grass when he asked Ofcom to review the
workability of the government's controversial web blocking plans earlier this year. In fact, the measures continue to move apace.
Proposals are being mooted on two fronts: one could establish a new version of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to deal with filesharing; the other would put Google and the government on a collision course.
Rights holders and internet providers are understood to be roughly in favour of an industry-wide voluntary code . This code would govern how and which filesharing sites are censored. Rights holders would likely have to satisfy a number of
points before a Pirate Bay-like site would be blocked.
The code could establish a independent third body akin to the IWF that would implement the code and ultimately decide which filesharing sites are censored.
Detractors argue that such a newly created body would simply be too expensive and time consuming.
A variant, favoured by the legal professionals, is for a judge to rule whether a site should be blocked after the voluntary code has been satisfied. This would quell ISPs' fears about having to paying compensation to sites that claim to have been
wrongly blocked, and also negate the need for a new body.
Ofcom has been asked to review censorship via website blocking against the backdrop of the Digital Economy Act - in other words, this won't be voluntary, but set in a statutory context.
According to people consulted by Ofcom in recent weeks, the regulator is thought to be leaning down the domain name blocking route . Although Ofcom is not expected to recommend one blocking method over another, it will spell out the pros
and cons of each.
Following complaints from two of the country's largest ISPs, last month the High Court began its judicial review of the Digital Economy
Act, the legislation put in place in the UK to deal with illicit file-sharing.
Both ISPs accused the former government of pushing through the legislation without due process and questioned whether the Act is enforceable under current EU legislation. They also challenged the statutory order, currently in draft, designed to
apportion the costs of meeting the requirements of the DEA. Under the law, service providers are required to take action against subscribers flagged as illicit file-sharers and could be required to block domains associated with infringement.
Now the High Court has almost completely rejected the challenge by BT and TalkTalk, with the ISPs winning only a slight concession on costs.
Mr Justice Kenneth Parker upheld the principle of taking measures to tackle the unlawful downloading of music, films, books and other copyright material. BT and TalkTalk had brought the judicial review, claiming that the measures in the Act were
not compliant with EU law and were not proportionate. The judge rejected the challenge.
The judge ruled ISPs could be made to pay a share of the cost of operating the system and the appeals process but not Ofcom's costs from setting up, monitoring and enforcing it.
The Government will now consider changes to the statutory instrument.
lSouth Australia will soon introduce a new R18 rating for videogames...BUTl....this isn't the great step forward many Australian
gamers have been hoping for.
At present, a 15 certificate is the highest a videogame can be awarded. But in the new system, all that will change is that previously 15-rated games will become 18-rated games, and stores will not be permitted to sell them to minors.
Games that were refused classification on the grounds that they were unsuitable for 15-year-olds will still be refused classification. Essentially, what was once deemed suitable for teenagers will now be locked down to adults only.
South Australian attorney general John Rau said that he hopes the new system will catch on elsewhere in the country, and explained that the decision was to create a more obvious separation between what is appropriate for adults, and what is
appropriate for children.
There has to be a clear difference between what adults can get and what children can get, he told ABC News. At the moment the MA15+ classification is like a crossover point between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.
Tche system is unlikely to be officially confirmed before July, but Rau thinks it should go through easily. Speaking to Gamespot, he said: There will need to be some regulation or possible statutory amendments made but I don't think it will be
hard to do this. We just have to wait until the federal position becomes clear.
An uncensored version of Oscar Wilde's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray , has finally been published.
JM Stoddart, Wilde's editor, made a number of alterations to downplay the overt homoeroticism in the novel before it appeared in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in June 1890.
He also removed references to the protagonist's female lovers as mistresses , and withdrew other sections that smacked of decadence , according to Nicholas Frankel, the editor of the new, original edition.
But his efforts did not go far enough, and following its publication more passages were removed, The Guardian reported.
One section reading It is quite true I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend was changed to: From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence on me
Frankel said it was time to published the uncensored text, claiming he hoped to bring it out of the closet for a 21st century audience.
An unofficial screening of a film showing footage of a riot in Bristol has been blocked by the police.
A large number of people had been expected to attend the event in a park in the city after advertising had been posted online.
The free Riot Special , which has been organised by Occasional Cinema, was due to take place in Mina Park, in the St Werburghs area of the city.
It was to show footage recorded last Friday night by citizen journalists during the riot in the Stokes Croft area. The advert stated: After the spectacular events of last week we present an evening of citizen journalist footage from the
riot and discussions on how police tactics failed so miserably.
However, before the event could start Avon and Somerset Police used legislation to prevent the screening. A force spokeswoman said: The group was dispersed under legislation available to the police to maintain public safety and reduce the risk
of potential disorder.
Bristol City Council, the owners of the land, also supported this decision. The organisers have now engaged with the police and the event has been moved to a privately-owned property nearby.
Even there the police tried to stop the screening claiming that gathering constituted a rave under the Criminal Justice Act.
Chief Inspector John Holt claimed: This was not about censorship. We believed there was a very real risk to the local community if the screening were to go ahead in a public park. We would always encourage people wishing to organise outdoor
events to engage with us so that they can go ahead safely, peacefully and without disruption to local residents.
Kage Games, LLC, describes its Dog Wars app as a game that will never be in the iPhone App store.
And for good reason. Dog Wars features the training of virtual dogs to fight to the death and challenge other phone users to dogfights.
Alicia Silverstone was so 'appalled' when she heard about the Android phone app that she wrote a letter to the CEO of Google, maker of the Android, and Kage Games, asking that they pull the game right away:
As a mom-to-be and someone who has adopted and loved rescued pit bulls, I join PETA's millions of members in imploring you to cancel this game immediately. If one dog dies as a result of this game, you will not forgive
The app makers seemed to be anticipating a bit of nutter controversy and said in their game description:
It is just a video game. Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can't understand fantasy role play games ... Just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not
mean it is illegal to make a song, movie, or video game about it.
Thai Government officers have raided 13 community radio stations in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces which have been accused of
broadcasting a speech allegedly containing comments offensive to the monarchy.
A joint task force made up of officers from the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the Crime Suppression Division as well as local police carried court
warrants to the community radio stations and seized their equipment.
Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Prawuth Thawornsiri said Isoc had ordered police to take legal action against community radio stations which had broadcast a controversial April 10 speech made by Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn Prompan, since he is facing
lese majeste charges as a result.
The raids included two radio stations in Pathum Thani province belonging to the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
The two were a 105.40 MHz channel in tambon Khu Khot and the 96.35 MHz Red Skills station in tambon Lat Sawai.
Police detained DJ Lucky , chief of the first radio station, and confiscated transmitters, computers and the antennas from both channels.
About 300 red shirts gathered at the Red Skills station in an attempt to prevent the police from taking away the equipment. Police negotiated with the protesters and took DJ Kom , the station head, for questioning at Khu Khot police
Both detainees were later released on bail of 75,000 baht each.
A pub singer has been arrested on supposed suspicion of racial harassment after singing King Fu Fighting in front of two Chinese people.
Carl Douglas had a hit with the song in 1974
Simon Ledger says he fears he will end up with a criminal record for performing the disco classic at a seafront bar on the Isle of Wight on Sunday after two people walking past apparently took offence.
After striking up the melody in front of customers at the weekend he noticed a man of Chinese origin walking past with his mother, making gestures at him and taking a picture on his mobile phone.
He said that he later received a telephone call from police - while he was dining in a Chinese restaurant - asking him to meet officers about the incident. He was then arrested and questioned before being bailed.
Safermedia has voiced supposed concerns over a shot of Mariah Carey on the front of OK! magazine.
The pregnant singer is on the front cover of the latest edition of the celebrity gossip magazine with her belly exposed and her husband, Nick Cannon, covering her cleavage with his hands.
The group is asking people to write letters of complaint to the magazine's publishers and the Press Complaints Commission.
Safermedia claim that the advert demeans women and sexualises pregnancy and motherhood unnecessarily . This is an unusually explicit cover for OK! Magazine ... and is another example of pornography becoming increasingly mainstream
in all forms of the media.
The Catholic Church has whinged at an Italian television advert in which a man resembling Christ tries to ward off the advances of an overweight dominatrix dressed in suspenders and stockings.
The advertisement, for a type of mobile phone earpiece, shows the man tied to a bed in a pose that evokes Jesus on the cross.
Sweating and looking anxious, he winces when a woman in tights and high heels enters the room, thwacks whip on the bed and starts to straddle him.
Hey Dad, can you help me? the male actor says in English, looking upwards as if to God.
The ad for a company called Nodis, was aired on the national television channel, Italia 1.
It's a sordid concept and incredibly insulting to those who believe in Jesus Christ, said an editorial in Avvenire, a daily newspaper owned by the Catholic Bishops Conference. Related Articles
The newspaper's editor, Marco Tarquinio, said the commercial should never have been made. He suggested that Catholics offended by the ad should stop watching the channel and boycott the company's products.
An association of Catholic television viewers, Aiart, made a formal protest over the commercial saying: The reference to Christ is explicit and deeply offensive to religious sentiment .
If you think you've seen this film totally uncut... think again! Synapse Films is presents The Dorm that Dripped Blood in a never-before-seen alternate version containing additional scenes,
extended gore sequences and a different sound mix.
This transfer was created from the only existing 35mm answer print of the original Directors' Cut entitled Death Dorm , a version of the film thought to have been lost for over thirty years.
In the UK the R Rated Version was passed 18 after 10s of BBFC cuts for:
2010 Cornerstone R2 DVD
2003 Vipco R0 DVD
2001 Protected DVD
2001 Vipco VHS
1992 VPD VHS
The BBFC cuts were:
10s were cut from a scene showing a janitor being murdered with a drill.
And before that the R Rated Version was released without cuts by Canon in June 1982. It was added to the DPP list of banned video nasties
in October 1983. It was dropped from the list in September 1985
Another 80's college film in which all the "students" look older than expected. College girl Joanne Murray takes on the unenviable job of readying the student housing building to become apartments, which includes
selling the unneeded furniture, etc. This takes place during a break, so a mysterious psycho is stalking the nearly-empty premises on campus. Need more?
As you can imagine, this is typical slasher stuff, with overly dramatic music that sounds ripped off from Psycho . Don't expect anything earth-shattering; you do get a cheapie, yet solid release for fans of 80's slasher/horror.
80's horror fanatics will still love this cheesefest that was like a poor man's Pieces . I don't know, it's not as gory and weird as Pieces , but it's in that same mindless yet fun stalk n' slash vein....
Expect a low budget, some bad acting, and if those are things you are able to tolerate then Pranks ain't half bad. Best served with lots of beer and a roomful of friends.
Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and 19 other Danish journalists and editors went on trial in Jordan on charges of blasphemy over the
publication of the controversial Mohammed cartoons six years ago.
None of the defendants appeared in the Amman court.
The judge, Nathir Shehadah, decided to conduct the trial in absentia after he considered that the publication of arrest warrants and indictments in the local press served as legal notifications. The trial was adjourned to May 8, when the tribunal
will be scheduled to hear defence witnesses.
The lawsuit was filed by the God's Prophet Unites us Campaign , a coalition of Jordanian academics, lawmakers, unionists, journalists, lawyers and politicians.
The list of charges, which has already been approved by the Jordanian public prosecutor, includes blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed and humiliation of Islam and Muslims.
Even as the formation of the 13-member regulatory body to monitor Indian television content in channels is in its final stages, the
government is keen to retain the final say as far as content goes.
According to a government source:
The regulatory body, the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC), will be ready by the first week of May. It will get 21 days to act on any complaint. The information and broadcasting ministry will wait-and-watch over
the functioning and will step in and ask the BCCC why it hasn't acted within the stipulated time.
Any member of the public can complain to the BCCC, which will be headed by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge and will comprise four members from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), four eminent civil society
personalities, one member each from National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, and a representative from the affected party..
The BCCC's mandate is to censor supposedly objectionable, sensitive and vulgar TV content.
BBC presenter Andrew Marr has revealed he took out a super-injunction to protect his family's privacy - but says
he will not pursue it any further.
Marr told the Daily Mail he was embarrassed about the gagging order he took out in 2008 to suppress reports of an affair with a fellow journalist: I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists, he said. The use of
injunctions seemed to be running out of control, he added.
In his interview in the Mail, Marr confirmed he had taken out an injunction to prevent details about the affair, which happened eight years ago while he was BBC political editor, from being published. He said: Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I
uneasy about it? Yes. 'Sense of proportion' But he added: I also had my own family to think about, and I believed this story was nobody else's business.
Marr who hosts a Sunday politics show on BBC One went on to say he knew injunctions were controversial, and the situation seems to be running out of control . There is a case for privacy in a limited number of difficult situations, but
then you have to move on. They shouldn't be forever and a proper sense of proportion is required.
President Barack Obama's administration apparently likes its entertainment served up family-style: it has asked the US Supreme Court to review a court decision that defanged the FCC's restrictions on TV profanity and nudity.
In two separate decisions, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that the FCC's indecency policy was too vague to be applied in two rather blatant situations. One involved the use of 'fuck' on an awards shows on the FOX network, and the other
concerned full-frontal nudity of a woman on ABC's NYPD Blue. In both cases, the court ruled that the FCC could not impose fines.
Now, acting US Solicitor General Neal Katyal is filing an appeal to the Supreme Court, saying the precedent now precludes the commission from effectively implementing statutory restrictions on broadcast indecency that the agency has enforced
since its creation in 1934.
If the court accepts the case, it will in the coming weeks.
Bowing to pressure from the Indonesian government, Research in Motion (RIM) is now filtering porn from its BlackBerry devices.
The company is reportedly cooperating with the Indonesia's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology that put pressure on RIM last January threatening to ask the six domestic telecommunications operators of BlackBerry's Internet
services in Indonesia to stop supporting the company if it didn't block porn.
A report said the new filter is getting mixed reviews but it doesn't appear it will have a major impact on BlackBerry use in the country.
The Indonesian government has again threatened to shut down BlackBerry services in the region, as the company has not been cooperative , the Jakarta Post reports.
This decision likely comes as a result of Research in Motion (RIM) opting to build their latest datacenter in neighbouring Singapore, despite it having a much smaller BlackBerry consumer market.
RIM had agreed with the government that it would establish a datacenter by December 31st as part of a series of agreements decided upon in September. However it was not specified that RIM would necessarily build the server on Indonesian soil, but
it was expected due to Indonesia having the largest number of BlackBerry users in the south-east Asia market.
All BlackBerry data is processed through Research in Motion's datacenters in Canada, which allows the data to be uniquely secure; something that no other network offers. It also means however that the Indonesian government does not have access to
Britain's Got Talent producers have banned a glamourous act from the live finals over fears of nutter complaints.
Sources told a tabloid newspaper that Lorna Bliss's sexy Britney Spears lookalike act has been dropped by show bosses. An ITV insider told the newspaper: Until yesterday Lorna was in the show, but when they saw the edit they thought it
was too risky. Ofcom could have seen it as show bosses sticking two fingers up at their authority.
TVNZ has won a battle against the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority, which it believes has become increasingly conservative since
its panel was reconstituted last year.
The High Court has ruled that an oral sex scene on the show Hung was not gratuitous, and that the authority was plainly wrong to rule against it.
The broadcaster says it is concerned at a number of decisions that lack consistency, and in our opinion fail to interpret public expectations correctly . TVNZ suggested that a review of the structure and operation of broadcasting
standards regulation may be timely .
It indicated last week that it would return to the High Court to challenge the ruling against the Sunday programme in which a police officer used the f-word when describing his heat-of-the-moment exchange with Aramoana killer David Gray.
TVNZ and TV3 joined forces last month to take the authority to the High Court over rulings against Hung and TV3's soap opera Home and Away .
Justice Asher ruled in favour of TVNZ over the Hung decision on the grounds that it was plainly wrong . The authority had said the scene, in which the main character -- a male prostitute -- gives a woman oral sex, was solely for
the purpose of shocking and titillating the audience . Justice Asher disagreed, saying the scene occurred late at night, in an AO-rated show in which sex plays an inevitable part of the narrative .
However Justice Asher upheld the decision against the Home and Away scene, in which a young girl was shown straddling and kissing a boy while wearing only a bra.
That ruling could prove more significant because it rejected a number of approaches the broadcasters were relying on for their appeals. TV3 had argued the authority ignored its own previous similar rulings, ignored context and the content of other
G-rated programmes, and gave insufficient reasons.
A bill meant to replace Thailand's repressive Computer Crime Act of 2007 was put on hold by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on
19 April 2011 amidst strong criticism, media reports said.
The Nation quoted the prime minister as saying that the draft law, sponsored by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), needs further review.
Groups such as the Thai Netizen Network, iLaw and the Network of Human Rights Law earlier submitted a letter to Abhisit to express their opposition to the draft law which they claimed is worse than the current one.
The Thai Netizen Network said that the amended law does not address old problems but adds more new ones, which will have a wider impact on civil liberty and press freedom. An Associated Press report quoted Sarinee Achavanunkul, committee member:
If the law is passed, fewer people would want to work as webmasters and administrators due to the high burden of liabilities, and Thailand's information technology industry will suffer.
Paiboon Amornpinyokiat, an IT law expert, added that under this proposed law, more people, besides those working with Internet service providers, web hosting and mobile phone companies, could be easily caught in a dragnet, including ordinary
people who have Facebook and Twitter accounts, owing to vague technical terms.
The Nation said that one of the main concerns is the draft law's provision on the setting up of a new commission, to be called the Committee to Prevent and Suppress Computer Crimes, made up of representatives from security organizations.
According to iLaw manager Orapin Yingyongphatthana, the commission will have the power to request computer data.
Paiboon said that another problematic provision of the draft law is Article 16 which could penalize anyone who downloads audio or video files (songs and films), even for fair use (this right is protected under anti-piracy laws). The article states
anyone who illegally copies other computer information into his or her own system that may cause damage to others faces up to five year's imprisonment or a fine of THB50,000 (USD1,670) and/or both.
Article 24 used the euphemistic sounding: information that is inconsistent with the fact in an offense of undermining national security or causing panic. This charge carries a five-year prison term or a fine of up to THB500,000 (USD16,700)
and/or both. According to IT lawyer Paiboon, any media outlet that posts information such as clips from YouTube or data from Wikileak, which may not yet be 100-percent verified, as part of its news story may be charged under this article.
Article 26 states that anyone who posts online any personal information, or any information that may cause damage to a person or his or her reputation, cause the person to be insulted, hated, or shamed, or cause anyone to believe that such
information is true, is punishable for up to five years of imprisonment or face a fine up to THB500,000 (USD16,700) and/or both.
A London trader will be questioned by police after he was accused by Greek authorities of allegedly sending an email which
sent markets crashing.
Paul Moss who works at the London-based Citigroup allegedly sent an email from the Canary Wharf office and said Greece would restructure its debt as soon as the weekend.
He is now being accused of causing a 4.6% drop in Greek bank shares.
The country has been excluded from financial markets because of the crippling debt crises it suffered last year. However, authorities have constantly tried to ease investment fears by saying the debt is manageable.
Greek police confirmed they had recovered a computer from the US bank Citigroup and plan to question Moss about the damaging email .
Horror journalist Alan Jones is set to host a short season of Dario Argento films on The Horror Channel.
Kicking off the season on Friday 13th May (10.55pm) is an uncut and uncensored version of The Stendhal Syndrome starring Asia Argento as Anna, a young police officer who sufferers from a rare hallucinatory disorder which causes her to
blackout when looking at works of art.
Says Alan Jones: This is Incredibly strong stuff, brimming over with copious sexual violence, sadistic rape, razor-blade torture and extreme blood-letting. Argento's most sustained seat-edged, nerve-jangling opening since Suspiria .
Next up on Fri 20th May is Sleepless (10.55pm). A retired police detective is forced back into action to try and solve the case of a serial killer.
Says Alan Jones: A triumphant redefinition of his giallo roots, Argento's symphony of terror goes for shock sensation with set-pieces that shimmer with well-crafted suspense for a full-throttle pulp friction work-out
The Card Player , starring Argento's other daughter Fiore closes the season on Fri 27th May (10.55pm). A serial killer is at large in Rome, playing a deadly game with the city's police. For every woman he kidnaps, the investigating offers
are given the chance to win them back by entering a game of online poker.
Says Alan Jones: A unique twist of fate thriller containing some wonderfully choreographed classic Argento cat-and-mouse sequences, an often heart-stopping thrill ride .
The Horror channel is available on Sky, Virgin cable and Freesat.
A New Jersey Transit worker who was fired after burning pages of a Koran during a demonstration in Manhattan in September
last year has been reinstated, reimbursed for lost wages and benefits, and awarded $25,000 in compensation for the pain and suffering caused by his dismissal.
The reinstatement of the worker, Derek Fenton of New Jersey, was announced by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which sued the transportation corporation on his behalf, arguing that his actions were protected by the First
The reinstatement was part of a settlement agreement, filed this week in Federal District Court in Newark, in which Fenton dropped his suit in exchange for getting his job back.
In America, we have the right to burn all kinds of things --- letters, flags, books, Bibles and Korans, Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the New Jersey group, said.
Jacobs said the case should serve as a reminder to our leaders that they can't punish and censor political expression based on their own emotional reactions or sense of morality.
Fenton was fired two days after the demonstration, accused of violating New Jersey Transit's employee code of ethics by tearing pages from a copy of the Koran and igniting them with a cigarette lighter to protest plans for building a Muslim
community center and mosque two blocks north of ground zero. He was participating in a protest staged by about 2,000 people near the proposed site of the center, 51 Park Place, during a day of memorial and prayer services marking the ninth
anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Scottish Labour has called for more censorship of sectarian internet sites.
It was noted that there have been no prosecutions in recent years in connection with the internet bile that attaches itself to Rangers and Celtic.
Solicitor General Frank Mulholland has indicated that such offences will soon be punishable by up to five years in prison.
But Labour's community safety spokesman James Kelly said:
It's clear from recent days that there are still instances of online campaigns which are sectarian in nature and are unacceptable.
As well as condemning that behaviour, the authorities should be doing all in their power to try and clamp down on that. The job for a future parliament is to look at the laws around the internet and examine whether they're
tough enough or not - and if they're not, look to beef those up.
It's not just a case of saying that these online campaigns are unacceptable and we want the authorities to act. We must ensure that the authorities have got the appropriate tools in legislation at their disposal to clamp
down on this.
Two youth footballers with Scottish senior clubs have been dismissed in recent days over online comments. Max McKee, an under-19 player with Clyde, was sacked after posting on Twitter: Somebody needs to hurry up and shoot Neil Lennon. Berwick Rangers youth player Keiran Bowell was dismissed for an online post which said he wished Lennon had been killed.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said ISPs and hosting companies must take the same degree of responsibility as newspapers or magazine publishers in policing their content: If an ISP or a hosting company is having their service
abused, or is allowing it to be abused in that way, they need to take action to cut people off.
Police were said to be preparing to raid the homes of people allegedly involved in Old Firm internet hate campaigns.
An operation to target people posting racial and religious hate comments about Old Firm stars such as Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers striker El Hadji Diouf is planned ahead of the two teams meeting at Ibrox on Sunday. it was reported.
The Daily Record newspaper said that the addresses were identified with the help of the ISPs.
The BBC was last night forced to blank out parts of Have I Got News For You to protect the identity of a celebrity who has won a gagging order.
Tory MP Louise Bagshawe came close to identifying a married Premier League footballer who had an affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, but was censored.
Last night, as part of the BBC One show's odd one out round, four images of people who have taken out injunctions were displayed with their faces blacked out. Miss Bagshawe, who is also a novelist, said: You're not allowed to know who
they are. They may or may not have done something with ladies who are not their wives. One of them definitely doesn't rhyme with... even though he is a footballer.
When she said the rhyme, the sound was muted and a black bar was slapped across her mouth.
The gay zombie porn flick that caused so much grief in Australia has been included in the line-up for New Zealand's Out Takes 2011 event.
LA Zombie follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. The work by Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce has
full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois Sagat, it features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses.
The film was supposed to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia last August, but was banned by the Australian Film 'Classification' Board.
At the time the festival's director Richard Moore told The Age that LaBruce's blend of sex and violence can be confronting, but I would argue that within the context of the festival, it is nonsensical and patronising to not allow people to
decide what they want to see.
LA Zombie had its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London in October and it was reported by The Yorker that at least one-third of the audience walked out stupefied .
The film is to screen at Auckland's Rialto Cinemas on Monday 6 June and Wellington's Paramount Theatre on Friday 10 June. The Out Takes programme warns that almost all of the movie's content may offend those of delicate disposition.
British MPs have called for Google to be regulated as a dominant player in the Internet industry. The call follows a complaint by a
British-based price comparisons company to the European Commission.
The MPs debated whether Google should be regulated in the context of its dominance as a search engine. The debate was prompted by the complaint by a British company, Foundem, to the European Commission. Foundem operates a price-comparison service
for online shopping. According to the MP Dominc Raab, Conservative Member for Esher and Walton, Foundem has alleged that Google downgraded its search results, and acted anti-competitively in a way which was financially negative for Foundem.
Mr Raab accused the regulators, Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading, of complacency. He called on them to take action against companies abusing dominance. Search engines are the gateways to the Internet, and with a 95% share, Google is in a
dominant position. If Google does not allow consumers to access potential competitors via its search engine gateway, they will be choked out of the market-place he said.
Phillip Lee, member for Bracknell, pointing out that 90% of Britons use Google to find things online, accused Google of suppressing the growth of a business based in his consitutuency. I don't think that one company having that much power is
good for industry
Ed Vaizey, the Minister responsible, gave his support to Foundem, but declined to take any further action because the issue is with the EU Commission.
The cinema film Dum Maaro Dum has secured the Delhi high court's green signal for its release after the film's makers
assured that it would blur some scenes at an air hostess training institute.
Dum Maaro Dum's release was objected to by Frankfinn Airhostess Training Institute which had sought damages worth Rs35 lakh from director Ramesh Sippy for allegedly depicting it in a negative manner in the movie.
In a civil suit to the court, the institute had contended that one of the characters, shown as its student in the film, was given a negative role which tarred the image and reputation of the institute.
The character in the film does not show a student of Frankfinn in a good light. This film does not help in any way to maintain the good reputation and image of the company, the air hostess training institute told the court seeking removal
of certain scenes in the movie.
The company also sought removal of the institute's uniform, the logo and any other similar trademark in the film.
A protest levied in Goa against Rohan Sippy's latest release Dum Maaro Dum has calmed down post release of the film as localites of Goa were seen happy after watching the film.
Political parties and women's organizations were protesting against the film, accusing the filmmaker of tarnishing the image of Goa and Goan women and using derogatory scenes and dialogue.
Just a handful of protesters were seen outside multiplexes in Goa displaying placards and singing songs. Panaji Police had provided tight security outside multiplexes on Friday expecting trouble and an untoward situation.
Movie buffs who watched the film stated that the film does not portray Goa in a negative light as its promos have hinted. Pramod Acharya, journalist stated that the film was entertaining and it contains facts.
A Panorama programme which investigated the Gaza flotilla incident has been largely cleared of inaccuracy and partiality by the
BBC's editorial standards body.
The BBC Trust apologised for three breaches of accuracy and impartiality, but rejected dozens of complaints which were made by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and its supporters.
In Death in the Med , presenter Jane Corbin interviewed IDF soldiers and activists involved in last May's incident. She concluded that those on board the Mavi Marmara ship had been politically motivated and had not acted primarily to help
Following its broadcast last August, PSC demonstrators protested at BBC offices around the country and launched a letter-writing campaign to complain about the programme's content. They said it had included shockingly biased reporting in
Israel's favour. More than 2,000 people contacted the BBC following the broadcast, with around 72% giving negative feedback. The Trust rejected 48 other points of issue raised by campaigners.
But the Trust's investigation concluded the programme had achieved due impartiality and due accuracy overall .
In a separate ruling, Ofcom rejected a complaint from the Free Gaza Movement that it was unfairly portrayed in the programme. The group claimed it had been misrepresented, accused of carrying weapons and that interviews with its members who took
part in the flotilla had not been included in the programme. But Ofcom ruled that Death in the Med had not portrayed Free Gaza unfairly and had not included any allegations to which the group should have been given an opportunity to respond.
The X Factor Final
ITV1, 11 December 2010, 19:00 (repeated 12 December 2010, 09:30)
The X Factor Final was the climax of the seventh series of this popular talent show.
While viewers waited for the voting to be concluded and the announcement of the name of the act which had made it through to the Sunday final show, the programme featured two well known singers. One, Rihanna, performed her latest song, What's
My Name , at 20:32 in a dress which was removed by a dancer during the performance to reveal a strapless top and high waisted pants. Later at 20:47 Christina Aguilera sang the song Express from the film Burlesque in which
she stars. This featured the singer with a number of dancers performing in a burlesque- style of dance and dress.
Ofcom received 2,868 complaints that the performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera were too sexually explicit for broadcast before the 21:00 watershed. Some considered that The X Factor was a family show and that the content of
both performances was not suitable for children to view before the watershed. With reference to both performances complainants commented that they [Rihanna and Christina Aguilera] performed in a very sexual manner and the content was too
sexually explicit and inappropriate for the young audience of this show . With specific reference to Christina Aguilera's performance, complainants expressed concern that: the dancing, costumes and tone were sexually explicit and at odds
with the watershed which should seek to protect children from sexualisation and there were extremely revealing background dancers performing indecent dance moves .
Approximately 2,000 of the 2,868 complaints about this programme were received following coverage about the performances in a daily national newspaper. The newspaper coverage reported on concerns that the performances were too explicit for a
family programme, and included a number of still images of the performances. However, from a comparison of the images it is clear that the photographs that were published in the newspaper were significantly more graphic and close-up than the
material that had been broadcast in the programme, and had been taken from a different angle to the television cameras. Readers of the newspaper would have therefore been left with the impression that the programme contained significantly more
graphic material than had actually been broadcast.
Rule 1.3: Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...
Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach...Just...
In considering this case, Ofcom took into account that The X Factor is a Saturday night programme which many families sit down together to watch.
With reference to Rihanna's performance (which commenced at 20:32), Ofcom noted that she began in a long wrap-around dress and approximately half way through the routine the dress was removed by a dancer to reveal a strapless top and high- waisted
Rhianna's dance routine had some mildly sexual overtones and included images of her gyrating and rocking her buttocks. However, it was largely shot at a wide angle to show all of the dancers on the stage and from a distance. Where there were close
ups of Rhianna, these focussed on her front or her head and shoulders, not her exposed back. Additionally, the camera panned quickly and continuously throughout the performance, resulting in the shots of the individual dance movements of both
Rihanna and her dancers being very brief.
Ofcom was therefore of the view that, taken as a whole, the performance by Rihanna was presented in a style which would not have exceeded the likely expectations of the audience either on 11 December between 20:30 and 21:00 or the following
morning from 09:30. With reference to the content, the performer and the dancers were in Ofcom's opinion adequately dressed with clothing covering their buttocks. The part of the dance routine which featured some gentle thrusting of the buttocks
by Rihanna was in keeping with her performing style, suitably limited and brief in duration, and in Ofcom's view was suitable for a pre-watershed audience.
Ofcom concluded therefore that this material was appropriately scheduled and the broadcaster complied with Rule 1.3.
Christina Aguilera's performance
Ofcom considered that this performance taken as a whole was sexualised in nature to some extent. The outfits of some of the dancers were revealing, with limited coverage of the buttocks, and were of a sexualised nature because they were based on
lingerie such as basques, stockings and suspenders. The outfits, taken together with dance positions featuring thrusting buttocks and women bent over chairs, resulted in a routine which aimed to reflect the essence of burlesque but contained
sexualised elements. Taken individually, some of these images may not be uncommon in programmes broadcast pre-watershed. The routine however had a number of simultaneous, sexualised elements concentrated into a relatively short period of time and
there was therefore a cumulative effect.
We note the explanation given by Channel TV that its control over the detailed nature of the performance itself was limited in this case. In such circumstances, broadcasters must take particular care to employ other measures to retain independence
of editorial control. In this case, we acknowledge that Channel TV had sought to minimise the potential for offence by taking other measures, such as particular camera angles. Therefore, while the dancers did adopt some sexualised positions
intermittently as described above, Ofcom noted that shots of these poses were fleeting, as is expected in a fast paced routine. Additionally, the performance was largely shot at a wide angle to show all of the dancers on the stage and from a
distance – minimising the potential impact.
Importantly, throughout the routine there were no close-up shots of individual dancers so the viewer was not drawn to any one dancer's clothing or actions in detail. The dancers were in effect a backdrop to Christina Aguilera, who was not wearing
similar clothing or following the same dance routine. For all these reasons, the impact of the dancers on-screen was significantly lessened.
Ofcom considered that there was editorial justification for the type of costumes that the dancers were wearing, and the style of the dance routine overall. They reflected the burlesque-theme and storyline of the feature film Burlesque in
which Christina Aguilera starred, and which was shortly due to go on general cinematic release at the time of this broadcast. However, the overtly sexual nature of the burlesque-style routine of the dancers was, in Ofcom's view, nevertheless
clearly capable of causing offence to some viewers and we considered that this content was at the very margin of acceptability for broadcast before the 21:00 watershed, and especially when broadcast on 12 December 2011 at 09:30. However, on
balance, and taking all matters into consideration, including the steps taken by Channel TV to minimise the potential for offence, Ofcom was of the view that this performance was not in breach of Rule 1.3 of the Code.
Ofcom concluded however that the performance was sufficiently justified by the context in which it was presented. In particular the performance was within the likely expectations of the audience for pre-watershed programmes. The broadcaster
therefore applied generally accepted standards and Rule 2.3 was not breached.
Ofcom will shortly be issuing new guidance about the acceptability of material in pre- watershed programmes that attract large family viewing audiences. We will also be requesting that broadcasters who transmit such programming attend a meeting at
Ofcom to discuss the compliance of such material.
Not in Breach of Rules 1.3 and 2.3
Offsite Comment: This is what Ofcom calls 'acceptable'
One blonde dancer is dressed, if that's the word, in a low-cut basque while striking a lewd pose that leaves nothing to the
imagination. Another in skimpy bra, suspenders and stockings leans provocatively over a chair while others leer suggestively into the camera.
The scantily-clad women formed part of the sleazy performance by Christina Aguilera during last year's controversial final of ITV's X Factor. Family friendly? A blonde dancer strikes a raunchy pose that leaves little to the imagination
TV watchdog Ofcom this week ruled that explicit routines by Miss Aguilera and fellow pop star Rihanna were at the limit of acceptability for broadcast before 9pm for a family audience.
But, to the astonishment of many, the media regulator said they did not breach broadcasting rules.
Instead, the regulator rebuked the Daily Mail, saying that some 2,000 of the 2,868 complaints it received followed our coverage of the sexual content of a programme which horrified parents and politicians. Ofcom claimed the Mail used images that
suggested the talent show contained significantly more graphic material than had actually been broadcast . Now readers can judge for themselves.
During the last 10 years, it seems the watershed has quietly been eroded. So much so, that Christina Aguilera's sexual X Factor routine was recently cleared by the broadcasting watchdog of being inappropriate for a young
Ofcom did say it was 'at the very margin of acceptability', but it does make you wonder what they would have to do to breach the guidelines. The argument goes that society has changed and, therefore, what's acceptable on
television has changed.
However, in recent years, far too much emphasis has been placed on 'freedom of expression' with little or no emphasis on the corresponding responsibilities.
The next time you see Christina Aguilera on The X Factor, she will likely be dressed as a nun (and not the perved-up Lady Gaga variety).
Christina-gate is big news in Britain, where Right-wing commentators are of the view that an entire generation risks being corrupted by the sight of Aguilera slow-grinding up against a chair. Which raises the question:
has anyone in the UK ever heard of the internet?
The notion that the most scandalous image a young person is likely to see today is a semi-clad pop singer is beyond ludicrous. Five minutes trawling the web will reveal images that make Christina look like a Saturday morning
TV presenter from 1979.
A typical afternoon in a typical middle-class home. It's just after 4.30pm, I'm back from the school run --- and in the next room I can hear my four-year-old daughter Clio rehearsing a routine she's learnt at her school dance
In front of the full-length mirror in the living room, she's in full performance mode --- although what she's singing today is a departure from her usual material.
At first, the words melt into one. But gradually, I can pick out what she's trying to articulate: I'm a single laydee, I'm a single laydee --- I've got a man on my hips and lipstick on my lips.
The full implication of the words may be lost on Clio, but it's clear from the way she's wiggling her bottom in her own version of Beyonce's booty-shaking tour-de-force that she thinks she looks grown-up.
Clio was doing what many little girls do for fun these days. Scroll through YouTube and you will see hundreds of little girls being filmed by their parents as they perform the explicit lyrics and sexy movements of Lady Gaga,
Beyonce and Britney. The sort of sexually-charged performances that Ofcom apparently deem to be acceptable pre-watershed entertainment, if this week's ruling that The X Factor's most explicit performance ever did not breach broadcasting guidelines
is anything to go by.
A poster promoting a play about incest has been replaced after complaints by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds about its use of religious imagery. The Playhouse said it regretted any offence caused by the original poster.
West Yorkshire Playhouse's advert for its new production of the 17th Century play Tis Pity She's a Whore featured an image of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
It has now been replaced after complaints from some local people and a letter from the Bishop of Leeds. John Grady, from the diocese, said it had received complaints from people who were 'distressed and outraged' by the poster and its use
in the approach to Easter.
The play, written by John Ford, tells the story of a brother and sister involved in an incestuous relationship.
The Playhouse said the poster was intended to represent a sacristy . It said: The focus of the image, and therefore at the centre of the poster is the picture of the children holding hands, the suggestion being that candles are being lit
and prayers given in the sacristy for these children. The validity and relevance of the Pieta image depicting John Ford's controversial 1633 play remains, and will still be seen on promotional material.
Music Video: Flo Rida - Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) 4Music, UK Hot 40, daytime
Also MTV Base and MTV Dance, daytime
4Music is a music and general entertainment channel broadcasting mainly chart music, including pop and R&B/Urban. The channel is owned and operated by Box Television Ltd.
4Music broadcast a music video by the artist Flo Rida for the song Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) . This video was broadcast at various times before the watershed, including at 14:00 and 18:00.
The video was set in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and included images of female dancers wearing both carnival dress and revealing thong bikinis. The dancers were shown dancing in a carnival style in the streets and dancing on the beach in their
swimwear. While doing so they were shown bending over with their buttocks to camera, and repeatedly shaking and playfully slapping their buttocks.
Ofcom noted that throughout the four minute video there were almost 20 very close up shots of the dancers? buttocks (both while they were wearing carnival dress and while dancing in their bikinis on the beach). During the video a female dancer,
who was wearing a thong bikini (and not carnival dress), was shown dancing very closely up against Flo Rida and touching his naked upper body. While she danced in this manner, Flo Rida was shown miming repeatedly slapping the female dancer on her
buttocks in a playful manner.
Ofcom received three complaints from viewers who were concerned about the broadcast of this music video. One of the complainants described the video as extreme crudeness and filth and another said I was shocked to see women in thongs and
bras gyrating and basically dry humping men in this video . Another complainant said that the video was a sexist and offensive video which mostly comprises women in thong bikini bottoms acting in a pornographic manner . All of the
complainants were concerned that the video was broadcast before the watershed and at the time when children are most likely to watch TV . One complainant said …this objectification of women at such an early time and on a channel that
appeals to young people really concerns me.
Ofcom considered Rule 1.3: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
Box Television said that as with many RnB and pop videos, this video could be said to contain a sexual tone and innuendo. However, whilst the video features female dancers wearing thong bikinis and Carnival attire, synonymous with Brazilian
Carnival, there is no nudity, inappropriate touching of the dancers or explicit sexual display .
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3
Under the Communications Act 2003 ( the Act ), Ofcom has a statutory duty to require the application, in the case of all television and radio services of standards that provide adequate protection to members of the public from the inclusion
of offensive and harmful material.
Ofcom also has a duty to set such standards for the content of programmes as appear to it best calculated to secure the standards objectives, one of which is that persons under the age of eighteen are protected .
The video included images of the dancers dancing in a very provocative manner, such as repeatedly shaking their bare buttocks to camera, bending over to camera and playfully slapping their bare buttocks. In addition the dancers were shown dancing
closely up against the rapper Flo Rida and touching his naked chest while he repeatedly mimed slapping one dancer on the buttocks. The video also included around 20 close up and intrusive shots of the female dancers? buttocks, some of which were
when they were bent over or had their legs apart as part of their dancing. Therefore for much of the video the dancers? faces could not be seen. Ofcom also considered that some of the lyrics of the song Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) contained
some sexual innuendo (for example, Oh-oh baby, you want some more baby? I love the way you do it cos you do it so crazy… ).
In Ofcom's view, the cumulative effect of the repeated close up images of the female dancers' buttocks, together with some of the provocative dancing and actions in the video, resulted in the video's imagery conveying a highly sexualised theme.
The fact that these images were mainly shown while the dancers were wearing bikinis on the beach, rather than in traditional carnival dress, increased the sexualised nature of the imagery and detracted from the editorial justification put forward
by the broadcaster for the inclusion of these images.
Given the above, it is Ofcom's view that the content of this particular music video was not suitable for children. While the material did not contain any explicit sexual images, it nevertheless conveyed a highly sexualised theme for the reasons
set out above. Further, it is our view that this particular video contained more sexualised images, and in particular close up and intrusive shots of the dancers' bare buttocks, than would normally be expected in a music video of this genre,
broadcast at a time when children were likely to be watching.
We therefore concluded that the material breached Rule 1.3.
Nutters claim that the film, Habemus Papam by the Italian director Nanni Moretti, is an instrument of Satan and
is particularly offensive as it has been released in the approach to Easter.
Bruno Volpe, the Catholic lawyer, has launched suit for defamation against Moretti and the producers under the terms of the Lateran Pact, which extends the same protections to the prestige of the pope as to the Italian president. Volpe said Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope)
, never mentioned the current Pope by name but it was nevertheless clear that it was a parody of Pope Benedict XVI and dishonoured the figure of the Pontiff in general.
Salvatore Izzo, a Vatican expert, branded the work disrespectful and boring in an open letter to Avvenire, the Catholic bishops' newspaper. He said Catholics should boycott the film. Why should we support financially that which offends our
religion? he asked, admitting he had not seen the film.
Antonio Vacca, the bishop of Alghero, described Moretti as an instrument of Satan for separating man from God .
When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and
photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ , he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.
The photograph, full title Immersion (Piss Christ) , was made in 1987 as part of Serrano's series showing religious objects submerged in fluids such as blood and milk. Serrano defended his photograph as a criticism of the billion-dollar
Christ-for-profit industry and a condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends . It was also vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007.
Civitas, a lobby group that says it aims to re-Christianize France, launched an online petition and mobilised other christian groups.
The archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, called Piss Christ odious and said he wanted this trash taken off the gallery walls.
Last week the gallery complained of extremist harassment by fundamentalist Christian groups who wanted the work banned in France. Lambert, one of France's best known art dealers, complained he was being persecuted by extremists who
had sent him tens of thousands of complaint emails and bombarded the museum with spam. He likened the atmosphere to a return to the middle ages .
On Saturday, around 1,000 Christian protesters marched through Avignon to the gallery. The gallery immediately stepped up security, putting plexiglass in front of the photograph and assigning two gallery guards to stand in front of it. But on Palm
Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the exhibition. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass
screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object. The attackers also slashed a Serrano photograph of a meditating nun.
The gallery director, Eric Me'zil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show so people can see what barbarians can do . He said there had been a kind of inquisition against the art work.
The French culture minister, Frederic Mitterrand, condemned the vandalism as an attack on the fundamental freedoms of creation and expression, but recognised that the art work could shock audiences.
Following approval from ICANN, a US quango, the new pornography-only suffix has been added to the Domain Name System.
The first registered addresses, porn.xxx, sex.xxx and xxx.xxx are being used to promote sales of .xxx domain names.
A trade organisation, the Free Speech Coalition, said that it will make it easier for governments to block access to pornography websites and has called on pornographers to boycott .xxx. Saudi Arabia and India have already said they want to block
all the new addresses.
The first tranche of addresses, which will allow brands to buy their trademarks, will reportedly go on sale in November.
Once other high-value keywords have been auctioned off, .xxx addresses are expected to cost around $70, seven times as much as a typical .com address.
The UK government appears to be pressing ahead with plans to filter the internet to prevent porn and filesharing.
Jeremy Hunt had seen some common sense about the plan by asking Ofcom to review if it was workable, it seems that plans to block 100 P2P sites are going ahead anyway.
According to the Guardian there are plans to build a quango similar to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). This would scour the net for illegal images of children, obscene adult content and non-photographic child sexual abuse hosted in the UK
According to the Guardian there is a plan b which involves having a judge rule whether a site should be blocked after an industry agreed voluntary code has been satisfied.
Apparently the government does not want to block whole sites just the parts of them where there is pirated material, which is a greater challenge than domain name blocking.
Dementia 13 was the result of producer Roger Corman's infamous apprentice program at AIP; Corman was shooting his own film and let Francis Ford Coppola get his first director's credit by shooting Dementia 13
on the same location.
Dementia 13 is just a nice little low-budget horror film for which the biggest complaint is that the pace is a tad slow. The story is set in Ireland and if it bears a strong resemblance to Corman's film adaptations of
Edgar Allan Poe, well duh.
Dementia 13 is not a gory film, but more of a character study, which alone makes it somewhat atypical for the time and genre. Coppolla manages to create atmosphere so that the film is more of a psychological exercise
than it is a splatter flick, and the submerged scream is certainly a memorable touch.
Campaigners have whinged that the BBC were cheerleading for assisted suicide after filming a man killing himself at the
famous Dignitas clinic.
Sir Terry Pratchett, a prominent supporter of euthanasia, presents the programme which follows a man in the late stages of motor neurone disease as he travels from Britain to the Swiss clinic. The programme includes the moment of a suicide
victim's death is a first for terrestrial television.
The programme is due to be broadcast on BBC2 this summer, a move condemned by campaigners, politicians, medics and religious leaders. They accused the corporation of being unethical, promoting assisted death and euthanasia, and disregarding the
supposed sanctity of life.
Dr Peter Saunders, director of charity Care Not Killing, said: The BBC is acting like a cheerleader for legalising assisted suicide. It is regrettable that a man's death will be shown on screen but we are also concerned that this documentary
will not be balanced. Given Sir Terry Pratchett's position, the fear is that it will show all the supposed benefits of assisted death with very little redress.
The documentary, entitled Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die , has already been filmed. Viewers will see the man, named only as Peter, struggle to cope with his illness, which leads to loss of mobility and difficulties with speech, swallowing
and breathing. They will then see his final days and hours in Switzerland.
Pratchett said: I am a firm believer in assisted death. I believe everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable disease should be allowed to pick the hour of their death. And I wanted to know more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to
go there myself.
Phyllis Bowman, Right to Life campaigner, echoed fears that the BBC is biased on the topic: The BBC has an agenda -- it has had one for years. Allowing Sir Terry Pratchett to make this documentary is effectively promoting assisted death. My
worry is that it will be presented as the preferable option, or the right thing to do when people feel they are getting old or infirm.
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries warned that the BBC was in danger of normalising a very serious issue : It is pushing back a moral boundary. A programme like this will romanticise assisted death and dying. This is an authored piece so it
will be one-sided. I hope the BBC is thinking of ways it can present the counter-argument.
The BBC defended the decision to show the last moments of a man's life. A spokesman said: Death is an important part of the human experience and is integral to any discussions about assisted dying, which is why it is appropriate for it to be
included. We know that watching a death can be distressing for some members of the audience, so we will ensure that clear warnings are given beforehand. The BBC doesn't have a stance on assisted suicide, but we do think that this is an important
matter of debate.
All the puritan movie-critics that once labeled I Spit on your Grave as the worst, sickest and most gratuitously exploitative horror movie ever made (I'm looking at you, Mr. Roger Ebert) are warmly advised to stay a
million miles away from this Spanish/Argentinean co-production called I'll Never Die Alone .
Every element that made the aforementioned Rape & Revenge milestone a class-sick are intensified several times here, making this one of the most unpleasant, repellent and disturbing cinematic experiences I ever
witnessed. We're talking vastly extended and shockingly graphic rape sequences, uncomfortably long moments of silence, aggregating acts of retaliation, a pounding grunt soundtrack and an overall ambiance of nausea
Australian artists could be forced to have their work checked by censors before being displayed. Some work could be blacklisted despite
being legal, if nutter recommendations to a federal inquiry into Australia's film and literature classification scheme are accepted.
The Senate inquiry, launched by the nutter senator Guy Barnett, has heard submissions calling for any film containing full frontal nudity to be refused classification; artworks and books showing nudity to be classified; all artworks to be
restricted to certain age groups; and that artistic merit should be abandoned when classifying art.
The executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff, said many of the organisations that had made submissions to or spoken at the inquiry's hearings, and members of the inquiry, had tried to demonise artists and
paint them as child pornographers.
We are particularly worried that artists might have to have all their work classified immediately, regardless of the material, she said. There is a sense [in the inquiry] that art is dangerous.
Senator Barnett, who chairs the inquiry, is a critic of the photographer Bill Henson, whose photograph of a naked 12-year-old girl sparked a ferocious debate in 2008. He questioned many of those appearing at the hearings about the Henson
The executive director of the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Robyn Ayres, said that: Classifying all artworks would create a huge workload for bureaucrats and impose heavy costs on artists who would have to pay for their work to be classified.
It would create a huge hurdle for artists and it would create a chilling effect. We have already seen it with [the depiction of children in artworks]. Artists just don't want to be there ... there has been pressure taken over fairly innocuous
work, she said, referring to the collapse of a charity auction for the Sydney Children's Hospital because hospital officials did not approve of a photograph of a six-year-old boy naked from the waist up.
Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva wants the Election Commission (EC) to issue regulations banning politicians from mentioning
the monarchy in political debates.
Abhisit said: [By law] the monarchy is above politics and no party should bring the royal institution into political conflicts. Those who violate the law must face legal action.
He said some politicians and parties are suspected of being involved in activities deemed as offensive to the monarchy. The EC should step in to look into the matter, he said.
Abhisit made the statement after the army lodged lese majeste charges against Jatuporn Prompan, co-leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and two other UDD 'red shirt' figures. They are accused of offending the monarchy in
their speeches at a UDD rally.
Surely nothing to do with personal insult, probably just questioning the wider ruling elite that seems to sit above Thailand's elected government. But difficult to tell as Thailand's press wont publish any details of what was said lest they get
accused of lese majeste themselves.
A new breed of gagging order is preventing miscarriages of justice from being investigated, according to an MP campaigning against
secrecy in Britain's courts.
John Hemming said the rising tide of injunctions granted by the courts threatened to contravene the Magna Carta. The MP has launched an inquiry into excessive and unlawful court secrecy and will put his evidence before the Commons Justice
The new order to which he refers involves a pregnant woman caught up in a High Court battle with her local authority. The order threatens her with imprisonment if she speaks to the media about her case. Journalists could also face jail for asking
questions about the case.
Hemming said: This goes a step further than preventing people speaking out against injustice. It also puts any investigative journalist at risk if they ask any questions of a victim of a potential miscarriage of justice.
I call this the 'Quaero injunction', after the Latin word 'to seek'. I don't think this should be allowed in English courts. It has the effect of preventing journalists from speaking to people subject to this injunction without a risk of the
journalist going to jail. That is a recipe for hiding miscarriages of justice.
Hemming is collecting examples of such orders to place before the Justice Select Committee. He said: What is clear is that almost all of the super-- and hyperinjunctions have no public judgment. That means they are not compliant with the rules
of a fair trial. It is wrong to have a system whereby people can buy the sort of justice they want. That is a contravention of the Magna Carta. Clause 29 of the Magna Carta states that we will sell to no man ... either justice or right .
Cyberattacks, politically motivated censorship, and government control over internet infrastructure are among the
diverse and growing threats to internet freedom, according to Freedom on the Net 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media , a new study released by Freedom House.
These encroachments on internet freedom come at a time of explosive growth in the number of internet users worldwide, which has doubled over the past five years. Governments are responding to the increased influence of the new medium by seeking to
control online activity, restricting the free flow of information, and otherwise infringing on the rights of users.
These detailed findings clearly show that internet freedom cannot be taken for granted, said David J. Kramer, executive director of Freedom House. Nondemocratic regimes are devoting more attention and resources to censorship and other
forms of interference with online expression.
Freedom on the Net 2011,which identifies key trends in internet freedom in 37 countries, follows a pilot edition that was released in 2009. Freedom on the Net evaluates each country based on barriers to access, limitations on content, and
violations of users' rights.
The study found that Estonia had the greatest degree of internet freedom among the countries examined, while the United States ranked second. Iran received the lowest score in the analysis. Eleven other countries received a ranking of Not Free,
including Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. A total of 9 of the 15 countries in the original pilot study registered declines over the past two years. Conditions in at least half of the newly added countries similarly
indicated a negative trajectory. Crackdowns on bloggers, increased censorship, and targeted cyberattacks often coincided with broader political turmoil, including controversial elections.
Countries at Risk:As part of its analysis, Freedom House identified a number of important countries that are seen as particularly vulnerable to deterioration in the coming 12 months: Jordan, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
* Explosion in social-media use met with censorship:In response to the growing popularity of internet-based applications like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, many governments have started targeting the new platforms as part of their censorship
strategies. In 12 of the 37 countries examined, the authorities consistently or temporarily imposed total bans on these services or their equivalents.
* Bloggers and ordinary users face arrest: Bloggers, online journalists, and human rights activists, as well as ordinary people, increasingly face arrest and imprisonment for their online writings. In 23 of the 37 countries, including several
democratic states, at least one blogger or internet user was detained because of online communications.
* Cyberattacks against regime critics intensifying: Governments and their sympathizers are increasingly using technical attacks to disrupt activists' online networks, eavesdrop on their communications, and cripple their websites. Such attacks were
reported in at least 12 of the 37 countries covered.
* Politically motivated censorship and content manipulation growing: A total of 15 of the 37 countries examined were found to engage in substantial online blocking of politically relevant content. In these countries, website blocks are not
sporadic, but rather the result of an apparent national policy to restrict users' access to information, including the websites of independent news outlets and human rights groups.
* Governments exploit centralized internet infrastructure to limit access: Centralized government control over a country's connection to international internet traffic poses a significant threat to free online expression, particularly at times of
political turmoil. In 12 of the 37 countries examined, the authorities used their control over infrastructure to limit widespread access to politically and socially controversial content, and in extreme cases, cut off access to the internet
The ability to communicate political views, organize, debate, and have access to critical information is as important online as it is in the offline world, said Sanja Kelly, managing editor of the report. A more urgent response is needed
to protect bloggers and other internet users from the sorts of restrictions that repressive governments have already imposed on traditional media, Kelly added.
IWF hand over reporting of internet hate crime role to the police
A bit of an alarming concept to have the police running a reporting service. The police seem to continuously side with the complainant without ever considering the merits of the complaint, nor the rights of people caught up in any police
A new service for reporting all hate crimes online has been launched by the police. The website, called True Vision, is
supported by all forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and can be accessed at www.report-it.org.uk.
All reports of incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK previously reported to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) should now be reported directly to True Vision.
The True Vision website provides information about what hate crime is, and includes a new online reporting form. The site also provides links to organisations that can offer support and advice on hate crime related issues.
Eve Salomon, Chair, IWF said:
We are very pleased to see our law enforcement partners develop a comprehensive reporting service incorporating all forms of hate crime. The Internet industry deserves a great deal of credit for funding an IWF service to
receive reports of incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK since 2000 when no alternative system existed. However as new legislation has been introduced to include a wider range of hate crime definitions, the development of one
all-embracing direct reporting service is an excellent idea. Having made a significant contribution to providing a public service for many years the IWF is now pleased to hand over responsibility for racial hatred reports to our police partners.
We now turn our attention to focus more effort on other areas of our remit and in particular the removal of child sexual abuse content wherever it is hosted in the world.
The police believe that the website will help increase the reporting of hate crime by building confidence in victims and offering a range of reporting options for victims who may not wish to talk directly to the police. It also provides links to a
number of organisations who can offer support.
Facebook prudes have picked on acclaimed photographer Renee Jacobs over lesbian imagery.
The issue arose over an advert for an exhibition. This showed two topless women embracing in a modest pose.
Facebook's Terms of Service prevent the posting of anything that is pornographic, contains nudity or is inappropriately sexual.
Jacobs gave the following Statement regarding her removal from the Facebook to SheWired:
Well, we all know that there's been much worse material on Facebook. It's hard to see how this is anything but discriminatory. As a photographer with a background in law, I've tried to adhere strictly to Facebook's Terms of
I believe they have the right to be as prudish and ridiculous as they want, as long as it's applied evenhandedly. This--however--is blatantly discriminatory. The photo does not in any way have nudity (you can barely see the
side of one breast), it's not pornographic (not even under the Supreme Court's nebulous standards of I know it when I see it......
Jacobs, who routinely censors work she puts up on Facebook with strategically placed black bars, is hoping, demanding actually, that Facebook reinstates her original profile, she told SW:
I had more than 1,700 friends and business contacts. If Facebook wants to be taken seriously as a place of business and networking for adults, they need to address this issue.
Comedian Stephen Fry has said he is prepared to go to prison over the Twitter joke
trial. Fry was appearing at a benefit gig for Paul Chambers who is appealing to the High Court against his conviction for sending a supposedly menacing communication. He had tweeted: Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise
I'm blowing the airport sky high!
The benefit gig, at London's Bloomsbury Theatre, aimed to raise funds for Chambers' appeal. Freedom of speech. Among the other celebrities lending their support to the fundraising evening were Al Murray, Rufus Hound, Katy Brand and Father Ted
writer Graham Linehan.
Fry argued that Chambers' tweet was an example of Britain's tradition of self-deprecating humour and banter. Appeal funds This [verdict] must not be allowed to stand in law, Fry said, adding that he would continue to repeat Chambers'
message and face prison if that's what it takes .
Chambers' lawyer, David Allen Green, also addressed the audience, briefing them on the key details of his case. 'Speak freely' Although he was careful not to criticise the courts, he said the decision to find his client guilty does not make me
proud to be an officer of the court . We should be able to have banter. We should be able to speak freely without the threat of legal coercion.
Chambers' appeal is likely to go before the High Court later this year.
In a major operation against online gambling, the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office have charged the founders of the three biggest Internet
poker sites with supposed fraud, illegal gambling and laundering (ie spending) billions of dollars in gambling proceeds.
The FBI said it's indicting 11 defendants, including the founders of PokerStars , Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The feds also seized five Internet domain names
used by the companies to host their poker games and issued restraining orders against 75 bank account used to process payments. The U.S. attorney's office is also seeking $3 billion in damages. The defendants could be sentenced with up to 20 years
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: As charged, these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions
in illegal gambling profits Moreover, as we allege, in their zeal to circumvent the gambling laws, the defendants also engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud. Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to
flout the laws they don't like simply because they can't bear to be parted from their profits.
The feds say the poker sites violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006. The offshore poker companies have argued they operate outside the reach of U.S. law.
A British National Party election candidate accused of publicly burning a copy of the Koran has been freed after the
charge against him was unexpectedly dropped. He had uploaded a video of his burning a Koran in a private garage saying : I am burning the Holy Koran and I hope that you Muslims are watching.
Sion Owens was arrested and charged at the weekend under Section 29 (probably meant Section 4A) of the the much abused Public Order Act. The BNP candidate in next month's Welsh Assembly elections spent the weekend in custody.
He has been warned that police are continuing to investigate the alleged incident and to expect further action. It is understood that his release was due to a technicality regarding the Act under which he was arrested and charged.
Offsite Update: Koran burning was on a private video and was not made public
Something very odd happened at the weekend. A 40-year-old member of the far-right British National Party (BNP) was arrested for burning a copy of the Koran in his own back garden. Yes, it is apparently now a crime to express your disdain for a
certain religious faith in the privacy of your own home. But that's not the end of it. What makes this case especially odd is that the man in question - Sion Owens - was reported to the police by a broadsheet newspaper that claims to be liberal:
the Observer. Since when has it been the job of the respectable, left-leaning press to grass people up to the cops for alleged speech crimes?
When spiked looked into this strange story, we discovered that there are some major disagreements at the Observer in relation to it. The crime correspondent defended the Observer's actions, but one of the paper's top columnists questioned the
wisdom of reporting a private expression of ideas to the authorities.
Owens, a senior member of the BNP who lives in south Wales, does seem to be an odd individual. Going into his garden, placing a Koran in a metal Quality Street box, dousing it with flammable liquid and then setting it alight while a colleague
filmed him - it was a stupid and childish act. However, it was done in a private garden. So regardless of the fact that it was videoed, this was a form of private expression, and therefore none of the state's business.
Fast-food chain McDonalds has had to scrap an ad from the Philippines. According to reports, the ad offended Catholics and Catholic leaders.
The commercial shows a young five-year-old girl asking a boy of the same age if she can be his girlfriend. The boy however rejects the girl. He then goes on to complain that women are too demanding.
The girl then tells the boy that all she really wanted was some French fries from McDonald's. After the boy hears this, he smiles and holds her hand while walking to McDonalds.
Church leaders complained about the advert, saying it sent the wrong message to children. Bishop Deogracias Yniguez, a senior member of the Catholic Bishops Conference, said concerns had centred on having very young children doing such an
adult-themed commercial: We should be very sensitive and recognisant of the culture and the values of our country .
After discussion with the Bishops, McDonald's issued a statement, saying:
We recognise and respect the stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and have stopped airing the said commercial across all television stations.
Over the years, we have strived to produce advertisements that highlight positive values like love for family and charity which mirror what the brand stands for. McDonald's remains committed in promoting positive values and
will continue raising the bar to be better at what we do whether it is our food, our service, to even how we communicate to the public.
A solid, well-crafted giallo that delivers the goods without achieving classic status. Despite the title - and the opening quote from Freud - the film has minimal interest in character psychology. In fact, Mrs Wardh's
vice is little more than a plot device, though the weirdly-scored slow-motion flashbacks are certainly memorable.
The characters are interesting without being in any way sympathetic. The men are manipulative predators and the women play dangerous games. In the last act, the sado-masochistic undercurrents make way for a series of plot
twists. While these are not too predictable, the final solution is unremarkable.
Sergio Martino stages some impressive set-pieces, aided by editor Eugenio Alabiso. While Martino lacks the artistry of Bava or Argento, he certainly knows how to make a movie.
The European Court of Justice has given a preliminary opinion that will have far-reaching implications in the fight against
overaggressive copyright monopoly abusers. It is not a final verdict, but the Advocate General's position; the Court generally follows this. The Advocate General says that no ISP can be required to filter the Internet, and particularly not to
enforce the copyright monopoly.
The opinion is very clear: Advocate General Cruz Villalon considers that the installation of that filtering and blocking system is a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal
data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. By the same token, the deployment of such a system would restrict freedom of information, which is also protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
A Jordan court case will begin this month accusing Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard of blasphemy over the famous cartoon depicting
Mohammed wearing a turban bomb.
Zakarya Sheikh, spokesman for a group of local media outlets that sued Westergaard in 2008 said that the artist and others have been summoned by a magistrates' court in Amman to stand trial on April 25.
These legal measures seek to prevent attempts to insult Islam and incite racial hatred against Muslims worldwide, particularly in Europe, Sheikh told AFP.
Kurt Westergaard has been quoted in local news reports as saying that he would like to go to Amman to stand trial. However, what I fear is that I am convicted in advance. I have no problem with Islam but with the terrorists. He said he
respects Islam but will not apologise.
Christians are planning to protest outside a comedy night called Christ On
A Bike when it visits Lowestoft on 28 April.
Richard Herring's show is billed as a humorous look at Jesus, combining childlike guile with rigorous academic research .
Presbyterians from Oulton Broad claim the show is blasphemous and vulgar . Matthew Pickhaver, church youth worker, said: We plan to peacefully stand outside the theatre and give out a simple tract about the real Jesus.
The Reverend Kyle Paisley, from Oulton Broad Presbyterian church, said: When I looked at the flyer, I marked three things - the vulgarity, the blasphemy and the downright dishonesty of the man. We're just using our right as Christians to say
how we feel.
On his Warming Up blog, Herring said: Some of the more backward people of East Anglia (and imagine how backward that must make them) are planning on protesting, which is probably great news, as that is the one that is selling about the worse so
Managers at the Marin Civic Center censored a painting of a nude female from an annual art show because an employee claimed it constituted sexual harassment.
The National Coalition Against Censorship and the First Amendment Project have now sent Marin County a letter to show them the error of their ways. In it, they sought to explain that:
One painting of a naked lady in a contemporary art exhibit does not constitute sexual harassment. Even if you don't like paintings of naked people it still is not, and cannot be perceived as, the kind of systemic, repeated behavior that creates
a hostile work environment and therefore sexual harassment.
As a public space opened to exhibiting artwork, Marin Civic Center has First Amendment obligations to refrain from censoring work based on personal views. The courts say public officials can't pull strings to get rid of artwork that they
personally don't like. That includes art featuring naked people. That even includes art featuring naked people in a venue where children might see it. The children WILL BE FINE. Really.
When Marin Civic Center officials censored that painting, they not only abridged Silvia Cossich Goodman's right to free expression, they also did a disservice to the people of Marin County by not letting them evaluate art for themselves.
Snoop Dogg has bemoaned a radio censorship ruling which required him to change the title of his single Wet .
Speaking to Vibe magazine, the rapper expressed his frustration at what he perceives to be double standards of acceptability in the music industry: I did a song called 'Wet' and these motherfuckers at radio made me change the title to 'Sweat'.
Snoop Dogg previously claimed that he wrote Wet in honour of Prince William's upcoming wedding to Kate Middleton and hoped that the track would be played at the royal's bachelor party.
Not sure if the lyric would be considered particularly 'appropriate' in the royal household:
Tell me baby are you wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
I'm gonna get you wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
Tell tell me baby are you wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
I just wanna get you wet wet (wet, wet, wet, wet, wet)
A Catholic diocese in Poland has warned that the Harry Potter books are unacceptable because they encourage instructions to practise magic .
The letter from Gliwice diocese also warned that in the best-selling books the dangerous world of magic is presented as good , and preached about the dangers of Halloween and the ancient and pagan Polish traditions associated with St
Andrew's day when people try to predict the future.
It suggested that: Teachers and parents should teach children to go the Lord Jesus if they have problems, and not seek help and answers from fortune telling. .
The seizure of file-sharing related domain names by the US Government hasn't been as effective as the entertainment industries had hoped since many of them simply continued their operations under new domains. To make these type of domain
transitions go more smoothly, an anonymous group has coded a simple Firefox add-on that automatically redirects users to these new homes.
ICE director John Morton confirmed last week that the seizures will continue in the coming years. But at the same time the authorities amp up their anti-piracy efforts, those in opposition are already coming up with ways to bypass them.
One of these initiatives is the MAFIAA Fire add-on for Firefox. The plugin, which will support the Chrome browser at a later stage too, maintains a list of all the domains that ICE (hence the fire) has seized and redirects their users to an
alternative domain if the sites in question have set one up.
On The Wright Stuff this week on Channel 5, Wright invited long-forgotten US actress Stefanie Fading Powers to talk about the tragic murder of 16-year-old Agnes Sina-Inakoju in Hackney, London last year - for which two 20-something gang
members were tried and jailed for life this week.
The broadcast conversation moved onto to the sad tabloid story that a young boy (some reports say a teenager, some a nine-year-old) stored the weapons for the two gang members under his bed before the shooting occurred.
Here is what ensued on FIVE/Channel 5's Wright Stuff from there in on, verbatim:
Matthew Wright: It was one of the most shocking news reports I've ever seen. That someone could peddle up, take his machine gun out and spray people [with bullets], almost without looking
at who he was hitting. [Turns to Powers]: But I guess as an American, you've seen more than your fair share of teenagers and gun stories.
Stefanie Powers: I'm afraid so. And I hate to think that as Americans we've exported along with rap music and the horrible video... I say the horrible video culture. It's the horrible
violent video games [wiggles thumbs] which, I'm terribly sorry, they've been used far too long as baby-sitting devices, so that children are raised with these flashing, hot symbols of violence. And irresponsible violence; there's no
responsibility to the violence.
MW: Absolutely. Which you can equate with a teenage boy who almost certainly would have played just those games, spraying a machine gun without...
Anne Diamond: Well in fact, having just that sort of armoury under his bed - just like you'd have a couple of Nintendos and a PlayStation under your bed.
This time, we've had enough. The line is being drawn. Today, we fight back. Today, CVG launches W.R.O.N.G - a concerted campaign to stop (or at least loudly mock) the Witless and Ridiculous Opinions Of Non-Gamers.
Anyone who opens their mouth on national TV, in the papers or at a major publicly-attended event and chats absolute bull about our hobby, we're badgering you - and badging you. We'll collect up our group of W.R.O.N.G'uns throughout the year, and
give you lot a leaderboard to point and giggle at around Christmas time. Imagine it. It'll be all festive and that.
The editor of topical discussion show The Wright Show has defended last month's Do shoot 'em up games lead to real violence? episode in which panellists linked video game violence to real world violence.
UK consumer group Gamers' Voice had accused The Wright Stuff of favouring uninformed statements and sensationalist representation over a balanced look at the issue in a letter sent to the UK broadcaster.
We always make every effort to ensure that discussions on controversial subjects are fair and balanced, and I am happy that we did so on this occasion, Caroline Davies, editor of the Wright Stuff, wrote in a response.
Despite Channel 5's response, Gamers' Voice chairman Paul Gibson remains unsatisfied and awaits word from OfCom on its complaint.
Whilst their response puts great emphasis on the experience and 'credibility' of the panellists by claiming that they are 'intelligent and reasonable people' they do not in any way refer to the inflammatory and quite frankly
insulting remarks made regarding gamers in general, he said.
Our complaint to OfCom remains a live issue however, and we look forward to the results of that complaint in due course. Overall we are pleased that Channel 5 have taken our complaint seriously and have performed this
review. Even though they do not acknowledge any wrongdoing, we hope that our action will cause the broadcasters and the presenters to carefully consider their statements and subject matter in the future.
Newspaper and magazine trade organisations are speaking out in opposition to the UK's new VOD ATVOD. Several
individual newspaper and magazine publishers are already protesting being included under ATVOD's oversight and having to pay through the nose for the privilege.
The Newspaper Society's director for policy, editorial and regulatory affairs, Santha Rasaiah, told paidContent:UK:
Electronic versions of newspapers and magazines are expressly excluded from the scope of the AVMS directive. Throughout negotiations on the directive and its implementation into UK law, assurances were repeatedly given,
including during the course of Parliamentary debate, that publishers' current online activities, including video clips, would not be caught by the new legislation and did not satisfy the definition of 'TV-like' programme services for regulation
by ATVOD. These recent determinations by ATVOD are therefore surprising and of concern to the industry. It is important that press freedom is not curbed by unintended regulatory creep.
The magazine business' Periodical Publishers Association, working with the Association of Online Publishers, complains that
Atvod has determined that short video clips, collected together on a section of a publisher’s website, fall under the definition of "TV-like" services, as set out in the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations (AVMS).
The PPA argues, however, that video clips on publishers’ websites are not TV-like and therefore do not fall within Atvod’s remit. It is in the process of appealing to media regulator Ofcom.
Barry McIlheney, chief executive of the PPA, said: Essentially, the disproportionate regulatory fees being charged by Atvod are damaging innovative digital businesses and putting them at a disadvantage compared to their European counterparts.
According to the PPA, ATVOD fees can rise to £ 25.000 whereas the next-highest equivalent fee in Europe is (EUR712) per company.
The court case against MP Geert Wilders has resumed.
Central to the session was the dinner at which judge Tom Schalken allegedly tried to convince Islam expert Hans Jansen that Wilders should be convicted.
On 3 May 2010, Jansen met Schalken at a dinner. The latter was one of the three judges who earlier ordered the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) to prosecute Wilders for inciting to hatred and discrimination. The OM itself had concluded Wilders
never made any statements that were an offence.
Both Schalken and Jansen were called as witnesses yesterday. Jansen had already caused a tense atmosphere. Schalken had ordered him at the dinner to distance himself from Wilders, according to the Islam expert. Jansen, known for his criticisms of
Islam, stated that Schalken wanted to show him at the dinner the ruling in which he ordered the OM to prosecute Wilders. Schalken confirmed this in yesterday's sitting.
Captions accompanying a Polish exhibition at the European Parliament have been covered up, after officials
concluded that the wording underneath the photos were too controversial.
The exhibition, entitled Truth and Memory , was organised by MEPs from the conservative Law and Justice party. It's a scandalous situation, said Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP, one of the co-organisers of the exhibition.
His colleague Tomasz Poreba said: All this is happening in an institution that so often has moral platitudes on its lips, calling for freedom of speech .
Responsibility for the decision about the censorship is held by the five so-called quaestors, each of whom represents a different country. One of the five is a Pole, Lidia de Geringer de Oedenburg told Polish Radio that the exhibition organisers
failed to honour the stipulations required, sending the material just a week before the launch, rather than two months beforehand as required. She added that the pictures speak for themselves, and that the captions were not necessary.
The awkward material includes a caption describing a Russian soldier smiling as he breaks up parts of the wreckages. Another tag cites a body thrown onto foil at the crash site. However, one of the co-organisers of the show, journalist
Katarzyna Hejke, says the exhibition reveals the carelessness with which the wreckage of the plane was treated by the Russians.
Russia's culture ministry said it was disgusted by the awarding of a top art prize for a phallus painted on a bridge but vowed to stay out of the controversy as it was not an organ of censorship .
Street art group Voina, (translated as War), won the Innovation prize last week for the phallus which it painted on a drawbridge opposite the headquarters of the FSB security service in Saint Petersburg last summer.
The ministry said it found the work, titled A dick captured by the FSB, provocative, hooligan-like and disgusting, but said that interfering in the jury decision would be a great blow to developing civil society.
In a statement it called the prize a slap in the face for common sense and said the ministry should have intervened at the nomination stage or pulled out as a backer of the prize. The prize is awarded by the State Centre for Contemporary
Art in Moscow, although the ministry said it did not provide the prize money.
Last November, Alan Shadrake was found guilty of contempt of court over his book, Once A Jolly Hangman, which skewers Singapore's brand of capital punishment. He was fined 20,000 Singapore dollars and sentenced to six weeks in jail. Human
rights groups complained that the verdict was harsh and unnecessary.
Shadrake was back in court this week, this time to appeal the verdict. He vows that he will fight his case and doesn't care if he ends up back in a Singaporean jail.
The British author has become an unlikely symbol of resistance to Singapore's thin-skinned elite. The pros and cons of the death penalty are rarely debated in Singapore. Last year Shadrake told the Monitor that he had discovered serious
mismanagements of justice in his research for the book, which contains interviews with a retired hangman.
Singaporean prosecutors argue that Shadrake's book is libelous and erroneous, and told the court that the author was unrepentant and deserved to be jailed. He should reap the consequences of his contempt, a prosecutor said.
A national press ad, in the Times, for Miu Miu featured the model
Kasia Struss sitting on a chair in front of a mirror, holding a handbag in her lap, and wearing a low-cut, sleeveless dress which exposed her arms, shoulders and de'colletage.
Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because they believed the model looked significantly underweight.
CAP Code (Edition 12) 1.3 Response
Prada Retail said that the model featured in the ad, Kasia Struss, was 23 years old and was regarded as one of the current top models. They said that Kasia Struss worked for a variety of fashion houses and had done so on a regular basis for
about five years, and that it was clear from her portfolio, which they provided, that Ms Struss was naturally tall and slim.
Prada explained that the ad featured in its campaign for Miu Miu Spring Summer 2011 collection. The campaign was dramatic and high fashion and featured statuesque models posing in a mirror wearing its garments and accessories. Prada noted that to
make the look more dramatic, Ms Struss' hair was slicked back and she was wearing nude make up with bright red lips. They said that the lighting used for the photograph bounced straight off Ms Struss' body so as to highlight her features and pale
skin. Prada provided an alternative version of the ad which showed Ms Struss from the side and from behind as reflected in the mirror. They said that the image of her back and her frame clearly showed that she was not significantly underweight.
ASA Assessment: Not upheld
The ASA noted that the model in the ad was slim, and that the lighting effects, make-up and low-cut dress emphasised her body shape. However, we considered that the ad was typical of those used for fashion products and that the model did not look
significantly underweight. We therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.
Top Gear is a long-running light entertainment series presented by Jeremy Clarkson, based on a motoring magazine format.
A section of this particular programme was devoted to car news, with the three presenters discussing new cars unveiled that week. One of the presenters, James May, introduced a new sports car from Mexico, saying that it was called the Tortilla
(a name he then admitted he had made up). Richard Hammond then said:
Why would you want a Mexican car? Cos cars reflect national characteristics, don't they? So German cars are very well built and ruthlessly efficient, Italian cars are a bit flamboyant and quick -- Mexican cars are just going to be a lazy,
feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence, asleep, looking at a cactus, with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.
James May responded by describing Mexican food as like sick with cheese on it , which Richard Hammond corrected to re-fried sick . When the discussion turned to the car's price and specifications - both of which were disparaged -
Richard Hammond returned to the subject and sparked the following conversation:
Richard Hammond: I'm sorry but just imagine waking up and remembering you're Mexican. 'Oh no ...'
Jeremy Clarkson: It'd be brilliant, it'd be brilliant because you could just go straight back to sleep again. 'Aaah, I'm a Mexican ...'
Richard Hammond: ... that's all I'm going to do all day ...
Jeremy Clarkson: That's why we're not going to get any complaints about this -- cos the Mexican Embassy, the Ambassador's going to be sitting there with a remote control like this [slumps in seat and snores]. They won't complain. It's fine.
Ofcom received 157 complaints from viewers. The complainants were offended by these comments, which they considered, in summary: to be derogatory, racial stereotypes and as such cruel, xenophobic, discriminatory and racist.
Ofcom considered these complaints under Rule 2.3 of the Code, which states:
In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...
Ofcom Decision: Not in breach
In this instance, we recognised that the comments made about Mexican people were based on negative national stereotypes and had the potential to be very offensive both to Mexican people specifically, as well as to viewers more generally.
Ofcom therefore considered whether the broadcast of these offensive comments had been justified by the context. In this case, Ofcom took into account that Top Gear is well known for its irreverent style and sometimes outspoken humour, as well as
the regular format of the studio banter between the three presenters. We considered that viewers of Top Gear were likely to be aware that the programme frequently uses national stereotypes as a comedic trope and that there were few, if any,
nationalities that had not at some point been the subject of the presenters' mockery throughout the history of this long running programme. For example, this same episode featured a competition between the UK's Top Gear presenters and their
Australian counterparts, throughout which the Australians were ridiculed for various national traits.
In this instance, therefore, Ofcom considered that the majority of the audience would be familiar with the presenters' approach to mocking, playground-style humour, and would have considered that applying that approach to national stereotypes was
in keeping with the programme's usual content, and the presenters' typical style. Ofcom was of the view that the majority of the audience would therefore be likely to have understood that the comments were being made for comic effect.
However, Ofcom notes that taste in comedy can vary widely, and that these comments would not have been to everyone's taste. Ofcom is not an arbiter of good taste, but rather it must judge whether a broadcaster has applied generally accepted
standards by ensuring that members of the public were given adequate protection from offensive material. Humour can frequently cause offence. However, Ofcom considers that to restrict humour only to material which does not cause offence would be
an unnecessary restriction of freedom of expression.
Given the comedic intent and the context of this programme, Ofcom concluded that the broadcast of this material was justified by the context. The programme was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.3.
The privately-owned Standard newspaper which was in 2010 banned by the Gambia authorities has been given the green-light to operate.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that the decision was announced by the newly appointed State House Press Secretary, Fatou Camara, during a rare interaction between President Yahya Jammeh and media owners and editors in the
The sources said following the lifting of the ban, Sheriff Bojang Snr., the editor of the Standard which is published monthly, announced that the newspaper would reappear on the newsstands on April 1. However, the sources said the newspaper did
not appear as announced.
Personnel of the notorious National intelligence Agency (NIA) on October 2010 acting on the orders of President Jammeh suspended the newspaper after it made its second appearance. The Standard in its maiden issue on August 2010 ran an article
about former President Dawda Kairaba Jawara based on information from the book authored by the editor.
Shameless Screen Entertainment has submitted a fully uncut version of Cannibal Holocaust to an advisory board at the
BBFC who have advised them that the film would (only) have to be cut by 14 seconds! (compared with 5:44s of cuts at the last submission in 2001).
At 18 minutes - Remove sight of man killing small mammal with a knife. Cut required from 0:18:21 - 0:18:35.
In conversation, Deodato has advised Shameless that, in his mind, the muskrat scene was the only animal-killing in the film where the animal was sacrificed, all of the other animals were eaten as was normal practice in that part of the world.
The BBFC feels that all previous cuts to the scenes of sexual violence can now be waived as the scenes in question are horrifying and repugnant, and clearly not designed to eroticise or promote sexual violence. As for the other animal cruelty
scenes (the turtle, monkey and pig), the BBFC's view is that these killings were quick, clean and humane and therefore do not contravene BBFC policy.
Shameless has now decided to release not one, but two versions of the film! This means that the Shameless release will feature this longest ever UK version and Deodato's 21st Century Edit, which will see the animal cruelty toned down. As a result,
Deodato's version will contain less animal cruelty than the BBFC classified version!
The uncut region 2 DVD of Dead Hooker in a Trunk is available at UK Amazon
for release 23rd May 2011
A double feature of the films Dead Hooker in a Trunk and The Taint has been cancelled after its venue, the Roxy Theatre, received complaints about the film titles and wording on posters around Saskatoon.
Dead Hooker in a Trunk plays something like a Quentin Tarantino movie whilst The Taint is a low-budget, independent movie about tainted water than turns men into women-killing zombies. The violence is said to be more against the men than the
Complainers whinged about both the title Dead Hooker in a Trunk,a so-called grindhouse moviie, and the use of the words Kill women in the advertisement for the feature The Taint.
The screening was organized by the Dark Bridges Film Festival. Dark Bridges creator John Allison said he was surprised to hear Magic Lantern, which owns the Roxy Theatre, decided to cancel the event: It's a very slippery slope when we start
saying this topic is not appropriate to talk about. Grindhouse movies generally are not serious. They are satires. It's pushing boundaries and trying to make you question your beliefs on some of this stuff.
Last week, Allison put up posters around town. The next night, nearly all of the posters on Broadway had been torn down. He also received several complaints via email. Several people wrote to Allison that free speech should not include hate
speech. 'Kill women, kill women' is not only poor judgement and bad taste but it's very threatening and dangerous.
Allison was then informed the screening had been cancelled.
The film's creators, Vancouver sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska, say the people complaining are being closed-minded about the film's title: I am shocked and saddened that someone in this day and age could be so closed minded about the mere title of
a film. Without attempting to research the film in the slightest, they rushed to judgment and condemned something that in fact should be something that Canadians should be very proud of.
Magic Lantern said: Our theatre does not play pictures that are smut nor use titles whose only purpose is to shock and offend .
Meanwhile in Britain, Dead Hooker in a Trunk has been passed 18 uncut with the comment: Contains strong bloody violence, gore and one use of very strong language
A screening for the films Dead Hooker in a Trunk and The Taint, which was pulled from the Roxy Theatre by the theatre owner, has been moved to the Broadway Theatre.
The movie night, sponsored by the Dark Bridges Film Festival, was pulled after the Roxy and organizers received several complaints about the poster, which featured the words kill women on the promo for The Taint. The poster was also torn
down at various locations around the city.
The Dark Bridges double feature will play at the Broadway Theatre on April 22 at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
New Zealand singer Tiki Taane has been arrested for singing the rap song Fuck the Police , says he has performed the song many times live and hopes to keep his relationship with police positive .
In a statement Taane, who will appear in court on Friday, said he was arrested at an R18 concert in Tauranga:
I was handcuffed and taken to the cells where I spent the rest of the night.
I have been charged with disorderly behaviour, likely to cause violence, for reciting the lyrics to a song by an American rap group called NWA.
This song is a protest song written by Ice Cube in 1988, and I have often played and sang along to it at my R18 concerts with no trouble at all.
Taane says the concerned promoter and his DJ were taken in but later released uncharged.
Some people at the show said the singer began singing Fuck the Polic e when police carried out an inspection of the club.
A police inspector said because of an incident that happened during the visit, police returned after the bar closed at 3am to speak to staff and entertainers. When they approached Taane afterwards things got out of hand , a witness said.
Taane said his performance was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. Unfortunately I think a certain officer got a little bit upset and wanted to come back and prove a point, I guess, by arresting me and then walking me out in handcuffs in
front of the audience, so I'm a bit bewildered by it.
The 1984 movie Red Dawn portrayed a Soviet invasion of the continental United States wherein a group of high school
students identifying themselves with their high school mascot (the Wolverines) are forced through circumstances to form up into a guerilla force conducting operations behind enemy lines. The film was a big hit as the Soviet Union was considered
the greatest threat to the United States at that time.
In the fall of 2009 plans were put forth for a remake of Red Dawn, this time, rather than Soviets, it was to be Chinese invading the US and set in Washington State. The new film was to be completed and released in November, 2010. The filming was
completed however the release was stopped.
It seems that Chinese pressure and US concern about possible consequential loss of trade opportunities put a stop to it.
The film has now been edited in post production and will feature a coalition of Chinese and North Korean Iinvaders. And it will be the North Korean element that will be the focus of the film. Film editors have replaced Chinese insignia and flags
with those of North Korea.
the Chinese have censored an American movie and to an extent as to make it unbelievable. How many people think North Korea could accomplish a ground invasion in the continental United States? The idea is laughable. Now on
the other hand how many people consider a Chinese ground invasion as a plausible possibility?
Baby clothes with bad taste jokes about martyrdom and extremist Jihadist creeds have come to the attention of politicians.
Clothes and T-shirts with slogans referring to al Qaeda can be bought on the popular Cafepress website, which is run by a company based in California.
The items included a baby suit for newborn children carrying the slogan, Your 77 virgins are waiting for you in heaven so pull up your linen and start your grinnin, which refers inaccurately to the 72 virgins that are said to await Islamist
martyrs in paradise.
Another baby suit declares, as for the disbelievers [Christians] they shall have an everlasting torture, a painful doom, while a one Ummah T-shirt was also available.
But Cafepress was also looking to cash in on those supporting the war on terror, with one T-shirt proclaiming, Take your jihad and shove it.
Another design printed on baby suits, T-shirts and even thongs was the slogan proud infidel. It was printed with two crossed machineguns and a target.
The Dancing on Ice series was hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, and the judges are Robin Cousins, Emma Bunton and Jason Gardiner. Celebrities are paired with professional ice skaters and perform live routines each week. The judges
give criticism and advice to the contestants following their performances. The contestants are mentored by Karen Barber, the Head Coach, and ex-Olympic ice skaters, Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean.
On 23 January 2011, following a performance by the celebrity Jeff Brazier and his professional partner Isabelle Gauthier, judge Jason Gardiner commented:
The Jackson 5 are very tight and you aren't. You're choreography, especially in your arms, is still very, very sloppy and messy and it almost looks like you're weak and there's moments especially in your facial expressions
as well with everything, it's almost like you're missing a couple of chromosomes.
Ofcom received 242 complaints about Jason Gardiner's reference to missing a couple of chromosome ', which complainants considered was highly offensive, particularly to those with chromosomal disorders , discriminatory and completely inappropriate
Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 of the Code:
In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context (see meaning of context below). Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive
language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate
information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.
Ofcom noted the Licensee's explanation that when referring to Jeff Brazier missing a couple of chromosomes , Jason Gardiner had, in fact, intended to reflect his opinion that Jeff Brazier's facial expressions resembled that of a chimpanzee.
In Ofcom's opinion, it was more likely that viewers would have interpreted Jason Gardiner's comment to be a derogatory remark associating Jeff Brazier's facial expression with a human chromosomal disorder, and therefore demeaning people with such
human disorders .We therefore concluded that the material was capable of being highly offensive to some viewers.
Ofcom noted that Jason Gardiner is well known for being the most critical judge on Dancing on Ice, is often acerbic in his comments and wishes to reinforce that image within the well established format of the show. We noted that the studio
audience often reacts in a negative manner (by booing, for example) to his remarks and his comments are often countered by the other judges.
We also noted that following the exchange between Jeff Brazier and Jason Gardiner, the programme presenter Holly Willoughby asked the head coach, Karen Barber, for her view and she strongly criticised Jason's comments and the manner in which Jason
had delivered his criticism: Well, I think it, um, it doesn't have to be personal Jason. Your criticism can be about what's on the ice. You get very offensive, you don't need to do that ... it doesn't have to be so hurtful, your comments .
We considered that this was a live broadcast in which Jason Gardiner's comment was unscripted, and the audience was likely to have expected his comments to be acerbic and negative. In Ofcom's view, Karen Barber's comments, to some extent,
mitigated the remarks made by Jason Gardiner. However, we did not consider that these contextual factors were sufficient to justify the inclusion of the comment, given its potential to be highly offensive.
However, Ofcom also noted the measures taken after the broadcast by Jason Gardiner, who made clear in a public statement that it had not been his intention to offend, or indeed for the comments to have had the meaning that some viewers took from
them. We also took into account the measures ITV had taken, discussing the matter with Jason Gardiner to ensure he understood viewers' concerns and that the matter would not be repeated. Ofcom also notes ITV's public apology, and apologies given
to complaints it received directly from viewers. In view of the steps taken by both the licensee and Jason Gardiner, Ofcom therefore considers the matter resolved.
The review, Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood, is due out next month. It claims that nine out of 10 parents think that their children are growing up too quickly because of increasing sexualisation and commercial pressures,
mainly from the internet and television.
The review has found that direct advertising through mobile phones was the marketing tool that most angered parents, with 35% believing it wrong. Products linked to social networking websites which invite children to click on them were second on
the list of features to upset parents.
Although mothers and fathers want their children to have a mobile phone for safety and social reasons, they now realise it leaves them powerless to stop access to inappropriate internet sites, including pornography, the review claimed.
The review, conducted by Reg Bailey, the chief executive of Mothers' Union, a Christian charity, has also claimed growing concerns about the exposure of children to sex on television.
In a poll of 1,000 parents, the review has found 41% said that in the previous three months they had seen television programmes or advertisements before the 9pm watershed that they considered wrong for their children to view because of their
sexual content. 40% said they had seen window displays or advertising hoardings inappropriate for children.
Bailey is unlikely to call for new legislation, but will argue that the process for parents to lodge complaints should be strengthened and simplified.
Parents concerns are said to include:
Children are growing up to quickly and behaving in an overtly sexual manner before they are old enough to really understand what sexually provocative behaviour means.
Celebrity culture, adult style clothes and music videos are encouraging children to act older than they are.
Lack of responsibility from business and government in allowing advertising to children.
Too many clothes, toys, games, music videos or other products that are inappropriate for the age group they were aimed at.
The use of phone and text adverts when promoting products for children.
The increasing pressure to buy non-essential items for their children so they don't feel left out.
Public places (shop window displays, advertising hoardings) that they felt were inappropriate for children to see because of their sexual content.
Programmes or adverts on TV before 9pm watershed that they felt were unsuitable or inappropriate for children due to their sexual content.
The up market magazine, Vanity Fair has wound up locals with an article panning the Gulf city state of
Dubai. The magazine's April edition is on sale in bookshops but with the three pages of the column headlined Dubai on Empty removed.
The UAE newspaper censors of the National Media Council denied censoring the magazine. Local sources suggested the action against the Dubai-bashing article may have been at the initiative of magazine distributors rather than a case of formal
The missing piece was written by A.A. Gill who commented:
There is no greater compliment for a journalist than to be hand-censored. If anyone has any doubt about what I wrote about Dubai, the fact that you can't read it in Dubai makes the case.
The article slams Dubai and its expat and Emirati residents, as well as its giant shopping malls, its treatment of workers and legal system. Gill even belittles the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building that is the pride and joy of Dubai.
Regulating pornography is not for the faint-hearted. I know because I have spent hours viewing, discussing and
ruling on the television variety. Somebody has to: as a member of the Ofcom content board from its inception in 2003 until last summer, I sat on the sanctions committee, which -- like it says on the tin -- sanctions broadcasters. Frankly, it was
busy work, as you might imagine from the most casual trawl through the electronic programme guide.
Personally I don't think we should police what adults choose to view in privacy ....BUT... I do take seriously the vulnerability of children and others whose circumstances appear to Ofcom to put them in special need
In pre-Ofcom days I was a broadcasting standards commissioner, when words like taste and decency were part of the regulatory world. Imprecise and subjective, they were replaced in 2003 by harm and offence. The world has moved
on and a new act is needed. But, before that, I hope there will be evidence-based assessment of how to protect the vulnerable. And that politicians will show a bit more initiative than the former home secretary Jacqui Smith did (in her 5 Live
report on porn) in finding out what's available.
The US House and Senate are both drafting rogue sites legislation that will likely support website blocking at the domain name
level and will require online ad networks and credit card companies to stop working with sites on the blacklist. That idea is controversial enough when only the government has the power to pursue the censoring; it gets even more controversial if
private companies get the right to bring a censorship action in court without waiting for government to act.
Both houses of Congress are considering such a private right of action as they work to review and revise last year's COICA Web censorship bill, but Google can't say strongly enough what a bad idea this would be.
Appearing at today's Legitimate Sites v. Parasites hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Google's Kent Walker was clear: a private right of action to bring a COICA claim would give rightsholders tremendous leverage over Google.
Walker went so far as to warn of shakedowns from private companies wanting to force changes in Google's behavior.
Last year's version of COICA included no private right of action, but that could change this time around. As Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said today, We could begin to grant a right of private action... I would be the first to be critical if we
step over the line, but I think that there's more that can be done, and I think that we need to use this hearing as another opportunity to come up with some legislation that we'll all be proud of.
Notably it is the first in the Scream series to qualify for a BBFC 15 cinema rating rather than the usual 18 rating. Hopefully a result of the BBFC trend to more realistic ratings rather than any watering down of content.
In the US, the cinema release is R Rated which generally covers both UK 15 and 18 horror film ratings.
The BBFC offered the consumer advice: Contains strong violence, gore and language and further explained:
Screa4m is the fourth instalment in the popular series of horror films, in which the masked killer returns to the town of Woodsboro. The film was classified 15 for strong violence, gore and language.
Like the previous instalments, SCRE4M is steeped in a deliberate awareness of its own history and that of the horror genre in general, with characters regularly commenting on modern horror films. This invests the action with
a knowingly comic and ironic edge. The BBFC's Guidelines at 15 state Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised and Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The
strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable . The attacks on victims are preceded by tense and terrifying set-ups, which carry a strong sense of menace and which
contain the kind of jump moments that are a staple of the horror genre. However, this sense of threat and menace includes no significantly sexualised elements and nor does the violence itself, which is mainly executed by the masked
character of Ghostface. Stabbings and slashings have bloody consequences, with injuries seen on faces, bodies, and on the walls and floors of various domestic settings. However, the attacks have a frenzied nature and are rapidly-paced with no
undue dwelling on their gory results, nor any strong sense of sadism in the violence.
The film also contains multiple uses of strong language. At 15 the Guidelines state There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, 'fuck') .
Tramadol Nights was a six-part comedy series which was written by and featured the controversial, alternative comedian Frankie Boyle. The series featured the comedian in various stand-up and comedy sketches which covered topics such as
AIDS, cancer, religion, racism, sex, paedophilia, rape, incest, war and disability.
In the second episode of the series Frankie Boyle made various comments about the former glamour model and reality TV personality, Katie Price (formerly known as Jordan), and her eight year-old son, Harvey, who is known to have a medical condition
and learning difficulties.
Frankie Boyle said:
Apparently Jordan and Peter Andre [Katie Price's ex-husband] are fighting each other over custody of Harvey. Well eventually one of them will have to lose and have to keep him.
I have a theory that Jordan married a cage fighter [Alex Reid, Katie Price's second husband] because she needed someone strong enough to stop Harvey from fucking her.
Solicitors acting on behalf of Katie and Harvey Price complained to Ofcom that the comments were discriminatory, offensive, demeaning and humiliating. The solicitors informed Ofcom that Harvey has a condition called septo-optic dysplasia, and is
also on the autistic spectrum. The solicitors stated that Harvey has very restricted sight, needs constant medication and has learning difficulties. Harvey, as a result of his condition and medication is large and strong for his age .
Ofcom also received approximately 500 complaints about the comments, including, from the learning disability charity Mencap and from the Royal London Society for the Blind. In summary, the complainants stated that it was highly offensive,
discriminatory and abusive to broadcast these comments about an eight year-old disabled child. The complainants were also offended that the comments named a child as engaging in rape and incest.
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 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context (see meaning of context below). Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive
language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation).
Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.
Ofcom Decision: In breach
Ofcom was of the view that the material in question appeared to directly target and mock the mental and physical disabilities of a known eight year-old child who had not himself chosen to be in the public eye. As such, Ofcom found that the
comments had considerable potential to be highly offensive to the audience.
It is important to note that the Code does not prohibit the broadcast of offensive or potentially offensive material, but requires that it is justified by the context.
Channel 4 argued that the comments were wholly justified in the context because it gave careful consideration to the broadcast of the series in advance and applied a number of measures to ensure its content complied with the Code.
We noted that Frankie Boyle is an established comedian, who has appeared on a number of comedy television programmes. He is also well known for his controversial and provocative humour, which often plays on his negative views of society and
Further, we noted from Channel 4's statement that the programme was carefully considered by senior editorial staff and edited in advance of broadcast. We also noted that the programme had been scheduled to begin at 22:00 to lessen the risk of
offence and was preceded by a clear warning to the audience about the very strong language and uncompromising adult content which some viewers will find offensive.
Ofcom considered that, even taking into account contextual factors such as the nature of the series as a whole, its scheduling, publicity and the clear pre-transmission warning, these comments went beyond what would have been expected by the
majority of viewers of a late night comedy show broadcast on Channel 4.
Therefore, in view of the particular circumstances of this case, Ofcom concluded that on balance, the context of this programme was not sufficient to justify the broadcast of this material.
However, in view of the careful consideration Channel 4 took in the broadcast of the series overall, Ofcom concluded that the broadcaster was clearly aware of its responsibilites under the Code and had attempted to comply with the Code's
requirements. Taking into account the challenging and provocative nature of the content of the Tramadol Nights series overall, Ofcom did not consider that these breaches demonstrated a fundamental failure of Channel 4's compliance procedures.
Rather, in Ofcom's view, this case involved an erroneous decision on a matter of editorial judgement on the broadcaster's part.
Breaches of Rules 2.1 and 2.3
Complaints about the rest of the series
Frankie Boyles Tramadol Nights (mental health sketch and other issues)
Channel 4, 30 November 2010 to 29 December 2010, 22:00
The second episode of the series included a sketch which showed a man calmly talking to camera, in what appears to be his kitchen. He said the following:
I have mental health problems. There's a lot of stigma attached to mental health, a lot of people are unfairly stigmatised when their conditions allow them to lead perfectly normal lives.
The camera then pulls out to reveal the man holding a knife and images of his dead wife and three dead children covered in blood on the floor. He then says:
Who the fuck am I talking to?
Ofcom received eight complaints about the broadcast of this sketch, including a complaint from the mental health charity, Rethink. The complaints raised concerns that the sketch inferred that people with mental illness are violent; promoted
discrimination against people with mental illness; mocked people with mental illness; and was misleading.
Ofcom Decision: Not in breach
In this case, the sketch depicted a man talking to the camera who explained: I have mental health problems . He then talked about how many people with mental health problems are unfairly stigmatised by others when, in fact, ...their conditions allow them to lead perfectly normal lives
. The sketch ends as the camera reveals that the man is in fact a violent murderer.
Ofcom considered that some viewers may have understood the sketch, on its face, to have been mocking people with mental health problems by inferring that they are likely to have violent tendencies. Taken in this sense, Ofcom accepted that the
sketch had the potential to cause offence in that it appeared to seek to derive humour from ridiculing people with mental health issues and reinforcing stereotypes about them.
However, Ofcom noted Channel 4's submission that intention of this particular sketch was in fact to satirise an established public campaign Time to Change , which aimed to stop discrimination against people with mental health problems.
Further, Channel 4 argued that the sketch set out to reverse the concept of the original campaign, which attempted to challenge the stereotype that those with mental health conditions are violent.
Ofcom was of the view that the Time to Change campaign itself was unlikely to be widely enough known to the audience for the sketch's particular intention to be clear to viewers. However, Ofcom considered that, whilst the material had the
potential to cause offence, most viewers would have been likely to understand the nature of the sketch, and importantly, that its intention was not to ridicule those who have mental health problems, but to target public information campaigns of
this nature, and society's unease about dealing frankly with the subject of mental health.
Ofcom considered that the intention of this sketch -- to use satire and controversy to make a joke about society's attitudes to mental health - would have been well understood by the majority of the audience. Ofcom also considered that the sketch
would not have gone beyond what would normally be expected in a programme of this type, particularly taking into account the nature of other material in the series which also frequently used satire and controversy to derive humour from society as
a whole, or its attitudes to particular issues.
On balance, we therefore concluded that the broadcast of the material was justified by the context, and the sketch was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.3.
Further, we found that Channel 4 had applied generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from this material, which was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.1.
Other issues raised about the series
Ofcom also received complaints from viewers which raised a number of other issues about the content of the series. In summary, the complainants were offended by certain content, which included: references to AIDS and cancer; references to Jesus
and religious dress; comments about rape and paedophiles; sketches about a quadriplegic stuntman; and the involvement of children in a sketch which included swearing, sexual abuse and violence.
Ofcom assessed these complaints and the relevant content of the series. In view of the nature of this late night comedy series, and the other relevant contextual factors about the series as a whole (as set out above), Ofcom concluded that the
material did not raise any issues under the Code.
Ofcom also received approximately 70 complaints from viewers who were offended by the inclusion of what they considered to be racist language in the series. Complainants referred, in particular, to the broadcast of language such as paki ,
nigger and black pussy .
Ofcom viewed the relevant content of the series and noted that in all cases when language of this nature was used it was clearly positioned as observational comedy, which targeted the views and attitudes of society rather than particular black and
minority ethnic communities. The language was always presented as a reflection on a character he was playing.
Ofcom concluded that the material was clearly editorially justified and in keeping with audience expectations for this late night comedy programme. The content was therefore justified by its context, and Channel 4 applied generally accepted
standards in its broadcast.
Not in breach of Rules 2.1 or 2.3
12th April 2011. From Andrew
For those of you outside of the UK (the only country apparently willing to put up with her shit), Katie price is a former glamour model also known as Jordan. Long story short, this woman has been married 3 times in the same amount of years, and is
popularly known as an egotistical, materialistic, media whore. Yet now, like so many people in her position, the boot has switched feet, and the own medicine is not liked.
Katie Price is now moaning about Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle making a derogatory compliment out her heavily disabled son, Harvey. Price herself, has milked this disablement to her advantage over during the tenure of her sons life, to not only
win magazine covers, but also to the point that she has been publically made out to be a wonderful mother.
Ok, so onto Frankie Boyle. The Scottish comedian is NOTORIOUS for jokes about taboo subjects, such as child molestation, racial bigotry, and rape. The chance that Price actually watched the show in question is very unlikely. Had the joke not been
aimed at her she would have probably laughed along with everyone else. Anyway she has stated on more than one occasion that she doesn't understand upper class people or high brow humour.
Glamour model Katie Price has called for the sacking of the Channel 4 boss who allowed the broadcasting of a bad taste gag by comedian Frankie Boyle about her disabled son Harvey.
The reality TV star, real name Katie Price, has written to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt claiming that David Abraham's position is completely untenable as chief executive of the official broadcaster for the 2012 Paralympics.
The show drew more than 500 complaints, including from Mencap and the Royal London Society for the Blind, who also called for Abraham to quit his job.
The Burma junta's censorship board director Tint Swe said that the new parliamentary government would relax the current
press censorship policy in accordance with the new Constitution, the Flower News Journal reported.
' The first step will be made on the day the new government takes office. But, as a result of the freedom of the press, the publications need to take responsibility, the journal quoted Tint Swe as saying.
Tint Swe also said that publishers and journalists of most journals and magazines will not need to pass articles through the censor board prior to publication.
... HOWEVER ... the new policy only applies to publications focusing on sport, entertainment, general knowledge, health, children's literature, the supernatural and technology. Publications which print articles about politics, business and
news will still need to pass articles through the censorship board prior to publication.
Books and journals that have already been published will need to go via the censor board after publication. Printing houses and publishers must also be licensed by the state.
Burma's draconian censorship board, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division (PSRD), has issued a warning to several Rangoon-based journals not to try to take advantage of the PSRD's new post-publishing censorship regulation.
Editors at several weekly journals have been ordered to sign statements promising not to violate press regulations either in print or in photography. At least six journal signed the pledge the first day, said a Rangoon-based sports journal
Beginning on June 10, publishers were permitted to run stories on sports, entertainment, technology, health and children's literature without PSRD approval. However, they were instructed that they still have to follow rules protecting the Three
National Causes ---the basic principles espoused by Burma's military rulers---and avoid any writing that damages state instability.
Myanmar has loosened press censorship on business and crime publications, local media reported.
A total of 54 journals, magazines and books will no longer have to submit their content to censors before publication, according to a report in the Myanmar Times, after changes introduced on December 9.
News media will continue to be subject to pre-publication censorship.
The Daily have had a bit of a rant about rap music in connection with the gun killing on a submarine.
MichealG kindly notes that `dead presidents` when used in rap music, refers to the depiction of formers US presidents printed on US banknotes. It does not refer to any kind of violent activity.
The Daily Mail keep writing these blame pieces, but thankfully no one else seems to get very interested.
The Daily Mail wrote:
Who let Moondogg the rapper guard sub? Sailor held after gun killing on HMS Astute changed his name by deed poll - and wrote violent rap lyrics
The Royal Navy faced serious questions over its recruitment policy last night after disturbing details were revealed about the sailor held over a gun killing on a nuclear submarine.
Hampshire Police have been given more time to question Able Seaman Ryan Donovan, 22, after the fatal shooting of Lieutenant-Commander Ian Molyneux on board HMS Astute.
But it is now known that Donovan, who was unemployed before joining the Forces, bizarrely changed his name by deed poll to Reggie Moondogg . Social networking websites reveal that he wrote a series of violent rap songs
in which he boasted about being big and mean and a serious sinner and talked about dead presidents .
Hilary Clinton has introduced the 35th annual report to Congress on the state of human rights around the world.
In recent months, we have been particularly inspired by the courage and determination of the activists in the Middle East and North Africa and in other repressive societies who have demanded peaceful democratic change and
respect for their universal human rights. The United States will stand with those who seek to advance the causes of democracy and human rights wherever they may live, and we will stand with those who exercise their fundamental freedoms of
expression and assembly in a peaceful way, whether in person, in print, or in pixels on the internet. This report usually generates a great deal of interest among journalists, lawmakers, nongovernmental organizations, and of course, other
governments, and I hope it will again this year.
I'm also pleased to announce the launch of our new website, humanrights.gov. This site will offer one-stop shopping for information about global human rights from across the United States Government. It will pull together
reports, statements, and current updates from around the world. It will be searchable and it will be safe. You won't need to register to use it. We hope this will make it easier for citizens, scholars, NGOs, and international organizations to
find the information they need to hold governments accountable.
We were particularly disturbed by three growing trends in 2010. The first is a widespread crackdown on civil society activists. For countries to progress toward truly democratic governance, they need free and vibrant civil
societies that can help governments understand and meet the needs of their people. But we've seen in Venezuela, for example, the government using the courts to intimidate and persecute civil society activists. The Venezuelan Government imposed
new restrictions on the independent media, the internet, political parties, and NGOs. In Russia, we've seen crackdowns on civil society groups turn violent with numerous attacks and murders of journalists and activists. In China, we've seen
negative trends that are appearing to worsen in the first part of 2011.
As we have said repeatedly, the United States welcomes the rise of a strong and prosperous China, and we look forward to our upcoming Strategic and Economic Dialogue with Beijing and to our continued cooperation to address
common global challenges. However, we remain deeply concerned about reports that, since February, dozens of people, including public interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals, and activists have been arbitrarily detained and arrested.
Among them most recently was the prominent artist, Ai Weiwei, who was taken into custody just this past Sunday. Such detention is contrary to the rule of law, and we urge China to release all of those who have been detained for exercising their
internationally recognized right to free expression and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all of the citizens of China.
Beyond a widespread crackdown on civil society activists, we saw a second trend in 2010 -- countries violating the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association by curtailing internet freedom. More than 40
governments now restrict the internet through various means. Some censored websites for political reasons. And in a number of countries, democracy and human rights activists and independent bloggers found their emails hacked or their computers
infected with spyware that reported back on their every keystroke. Digital activists have been tortured so they would reveal their passwords and implicate their colleagues. In Burma and in Cuba, government policies preempted online dissent by
keeping most ordinary people from accessing the internet at all.
The third disturbing trend of 2010 was the repression of vulnerable minorities, including racial and ethnic and religious minorities along with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In Pakistan, for example,
blasphemy remains a crime punishable by death. And the blasphemy law has been enforced against Muslims who do not share the beliefs of other Muslims, and also against non-Muslims who worship differently.
In the first two months of 2011, two government officials in Pakistan who sought to reform the law, Governor Taseer and Minister Bhatti, were targeted by a fatwa and assassinated. Also, in Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria, violent
attacks by extremists have killed dozens of people who have been peacefully practicing their religions, Christians and Muslims alike. In Iran, we have multiple reports that the government summarily executed more than 300 people in 2010. Many of
them were ethnic minorities. For example, in May, four Kurdish men were hanged in Evin Prison. They had been arrested in 2006 for advocating that Iran should respect human rights. They were reported to have confessed to terrorism under torture.
And because I believe, and our government believes, that gay rights are human rights, we remain extremely concerned about state-sanctioned homophobia. In Uganda, for example, homosexuality remains illegal, and people are being harassed,
discriminated against, threatened, and intimidated.
Does anyone else feel that television censorship has become very annoying these days?
I can understand when they blur the image of a cigarette, a gun or a knife when someone is holding it. But football highlights? Since there is often a beer commercial sign behind the goal, the image is blurred and you can't
see how and when the ball went in, or how the goalkeeper reacted.
In one cooking show they even blurred a knife when the chef was scoring a fish or slicing spare ribs. Cooking wine bottles are also blurred.
In a show about dairy farming, you guessed it, they blurred the cows' nipples!
But when it comes to night-time melodramas, you are allowed to watch eye-gouging, cursing, women pulling each other's hair and slapping each other back and forth. Whack! Whack! Whack! On some evening news programmes, they
don't hesitate to show the corpses of flood victims or a murdered person whose body has been mutilated and beheaded.
Despite being Thai, sometimes I get frustrated trying to make sense out of this stuff.
A society promoting Hindu Vedic traditions has approached the Madras High Court with a plea that the Union government
and Central Board of Film Certification be directed to revoke the censor certificate issued to Tamil film Sattapadi Kutram , produced by S.A. Chandrasekaran.
According to the petitioner, the film contains several scenes hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. Members of the petitioner's society were shocked while watching the movie in which one of characters, dressed as a Hindu sannyasi/guru
wearing saffron clothes was involved in illegal, deceitful, immoral and dishonest activities, the petitioner said.
it has been stated that scenes depicting Hindu ascetics as terrorists and police killing them in an encounter hurts the sentiments of the Hindus world-over.
The producer and director of the film had created the character with a mala fide intention to hurt the religious feelings and faith of Hindus, the petitioner added.
HDS alleged that there were scenes that depicted the judiciary in bad taste too: The director had been highly irresponsible in his unwarranted interference with the judiciary .
The scene in which a corrupt High Court judge is kidnapped by the youth and threatens him to deliver judgments according to their whims and fancies was also criticized by the High Court Judge Jyothimani.
The petitioner sought a court direction to the director of the film to remove all unwarranted scenes from the film.
China won't be getting the new Bill & Ted movie when it comes out, thanks to a decision by the General Bureau of Radio,
Film and Television to ban any further movies or TV show about time travel.
Chinese viewers have been enjoying successful TV shows like Shen Hua (Myth) , which involves a teenager travelling back 2,000 years and hooking up with prominent historical figures like Xiang Yu (a Qin Dynasty military general).
However the Chinese censors claim that these types of shows distort history for the sake of entertainment. ChinaHush reports that the decision to ban time-travel as a theme was made rather suspiciously on the 1st April, with the Bureau then
releasing this statement: The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty.
The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.
A row has flared over an advert by an animal rights group which claims that giving children meat is child abuse .
The poster depicts an overweight young boy eating a burger. It states: Feeding kids meat is child abuse - fight the fat - go veg.
Peta says it paid for the billboard poster in Merthyr because the town has a problem with overweight youngsters.
But the county council said the message it conveyed was stereotypically offensive and blatantly inaccurate.
Meat Promotion Wales said: Peta's agenda is to force everyone to peruse a vegetarian lifestyle and they are willing to exploit the suffering experienced by genuine child abuse victims to further their own agenda. Red meat is an essential part
of a healthy diet and we will be making a fresh complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about this poster.
The ASA said it had received two complaints in response to the poster.
Information leaflets and posters have been sent to every police force in the UK advising the public on how to identify and report
offensive or illegal terrorism related content.
Security minister, Baroness Neville-Jones, said that it's vital that online extremism is taken seriously: I want to encourage those who come across extremist websites as part of their work to challenge it and report it through the DirectGov
By forging relationships with the internet industry and working with the public in this way, we can ensure that terrorist use of the internet does not go unchallenged.
Websites reported to Directgov via its online form are referred to the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit. The specialist team of police experts work with industry and partners in the UK and abroad to investigate and take down
illegal or offensive material if necessary.
In the last year, reporting through Directgov has led the government to remove content which has included beheading videos, terrorist training manuals and calls for racial or religious violence.
The Reporting extremism and terrorism online website defines what content is of interest:
What makes offensive content illegal
Not all offensive content is illegal.
The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to:
have or share information that could be useful to terrorists
share information that urges people to commit or help with acts of terrorism
glorify or praise terrorism
Examples of what makes terrorist or extremist content illegal are:
speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence
videos of violence with messages of praise for the attackers
chat forums with postings calling for people to commit acts of terrorism
messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group
instructions on how to make weapons, poisons or bombs
At the polling station set up at St Catherine's Catholic Church, Gymea, Monsignor Brian Rayner ordered a Greens party
volunteer remove himself and his political posters from his property because of ideological differences.
Monsignor Rayner, whose Gymea church was paid $550 by the Electoral Commission to be leased as a polling booth for the day, told The Sun-Herald he would not have let the Sex Party or the Communist Party on church premises either.
I am environmental ... But why would I allow a group who are pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-same-sex marriage and anti-Catholic teaching on private property?
Instead, Monsignor Rayner told Greens volunteer Colin Ryan he could stand on the adjacent footpath.
Ryan said he had never encountered anything like this. I thought it was a joke at first .
Greens MP John Kaye called it a violation of free speech.
The church has to make up its mind. If it wants to be part of the democratic process then it has to allow for freedom of expression. If not, then it should remove itself from elections and miss out on the public funding.
An Electoral Commission spokesman claimed it was powerless to intervene. Such disputes were matters ... between the parties concerned .
Sex Party president Fiona Patten said that religious organisations were paid good money to use their tax-exempt
premises for a public service and they had abused that relationship. These two examples of intimidation and favouritism being evinced by clergy at polling booths, are clear indications of a breach of Section 151 of the NSW Electoral Act which
expressly forbids this sort of behaviour under threat of 100 penalty points or 3 years jail , she said. The fact that an alleged Electoral Commission official has even come out in the Southern Courier backing the priest's actions and
telling the Sex Party to Stop trying to blame the Catholic Church for all your woes , is highly irregular and shows bias on this issue .
She said that the Electoral Commission was very strict about what could be displayed on the perimeter of a polling place and the Sex Party and the Greens had adhered to these conditions. The NSW Electoral Commission must have a role to play to
ensure that conditions are respected , she said. They need to clarify for the public whether these instances of interference are acceptable or not. If the priests had ordered Labor and Liberal posters taken down this would be under
investigation now .
She said that it was incredibly hypocritical of church officials to take aim at Sex Party and Greens' policies on sex and gender, when their own backyard was littered with the broken lives of thousands of sexually abused children and they still
would not allow women as priests.
The Sex Party has formally written to the NSW Electoral Commission asking for an investigation of the matter.
A pizza company has caused nutter 'outrage' in New Zealand with billboards advertising hot
cross buns accompanied by the slogan: For a limited time. A bit like Jesus. Instead of the traditional Christian cross, the buns bear an inverted pentagram.
The giant billboards, placed by the Hell Pizza company, have been posted around Auckland.
Lloyd Ashton, a spokesman for New Zealand's Anglican Church, condemned the advertising campaign as disgraceful:
It's disrespectful to what a lot of people hold very dear.
They've dared here to take a clumsy poke at something that numbers of people hold sacred.
Patrick Dunn, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland, said:
I suppose in some ways they are acknowledging that Jesus was around for a limited time, but a number of people might decide to boycott Hell pizzas for a while and I will be one of them.
New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority confirmed it had received complaints about the billboards and would be investigating.
A U.N. human rights expert has said that EU-requested changes have not removed his concerns that Hungary's media law could be used to limit
Even after amendments to the law made at the request of the European Union, Hungary's media regulations still fall short of the required benchmarks, said Frank La Rue, the U.N. Human Rights Council's special investigator on freedom of
Every time we hear about balanced coverage or objectivity of the press ... it inevitably becomes, with time, a form of censorship regardless of what the initial motivation was, La Rue said. The press is accountable ... to the public and
never to the state and much less to the government.
La Rue said he was shocked to hear officials advocating things such as a framework of control for news media. He also criticized high fines that a media council can impose on editors and publishers for vaguely defined offenses, and the
limits on journalists protecting the identity of confidential sources.
Zoltan Kovacs, the government's communications chief, said the government supports the ideals of freedoms of the press and opinion ...BUT... that local peculiarities need to be taken into account when those principles are applied.
Four full-page ads for Jack Wills clothing appeared in their 2011 edition of The Spring Term Handbook.
The first ad showed a young woman from the shoulders down who was standing with one leg raised and bent at the knee. She was wearing a shirt and a short skirt that lifted to show her upper thigh, buttocks and the lower section of her knickers.
The second ad showed a group of three young women and two young men beginning to undress on a beach. One of the men was removing one of the women's tops to reveal her bra.
The third ad showed the same group at a distance running out of the water wearing only their underwear.
The fourth ad showed a young man and a young woman embracing and kissing. The man was topless and the woman was wearing only knickers. The side of the woman's breast was clearly visible and her left leg was raised and wrapped around the man who
was holding it in position. From the left of shot water was sprayed on the couple. Issue
Nineteen complainants objected that the ads were offensive and unsuitable for publication in a clothing catalogue that was targeted at and seen by teenagers.
Jack Wills stated that their brand was targeted at university students aged 18 to 22 years old and that all of the models featured in their catalogue (the 2011 Spring Term Handbook) were at least 18 years old. Their logo stated that they were University Outfitters
and they advised that they drew inspiration from the hedonistic university lifestyle . They said their marketing was intended to project a positive, fun and sometimes flirtatious image which they believed was an accurate
reflection of student life.
Assessment: Complaint Upheld
The ASA noted that all recipients of the Jack Wills catalogue had confirmed they were over the age of 18, but considered that some under 18-year-olds might have viewed or received the catalogue.
We noted the images in the catalogue were intended to tell a fun, hedonistic and flirtatious story of university life and we considered that those images would be appealing to younger teenagers, because they portrayed a lifestyle to which they
We noted that each of the images contained partial nudity and considered that the fourth image in particular went beyond what could be described as fun or flirtatious. Because we understood that younger teenagers could have both direct and
indirect access to the catalogue and because we considered the fourth image in particular to be overtly sexual in nature, we concluded that the catalogue was sufficiently provocative as to present a risk to younger teenagers.
The catalogue breached CAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 5.1 (Children - harm and offence).
The public prosecutors' office in Wiener Neustadt, in Austria, said that it had received a complaint by the MKOe Mauthausen
Committee against Tortendesign, a bakery in the village of Maria Enzersdorf near Vienna, for offering customers cakes decorated with swastikas or a baby raising its right hand in a Nazi salute.
This is a particularly abhorrent example of how money is made from Nazi filth. We're going to file a criminal complaint, said Willi Mernyi, the group's chairman.
While the cakes are not actually put on display in the shop window, a catalogue containing photographs of the designs is made freely available to customers. The Nazi cakes were advertised in a separate adult section of the catalogue
containing pictures of other inappropriate cake designs, such as penis-shaped marzipan sweets.
Pastry chef Manfred Klaschka told ORF public television: If someone orders it, I make it. I don't really think about it. I have to make a living. Related Articles
Austria bans neo-Nazi activities and the public display of Nazi symbols, as well as attempts to glorify the Nazi era and deny the Holocaust.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says congressional lawmakers are discussing taking some action in response to the Koran burnings of a
Tennessee pastor that led to killings at the U.N. facility in Afghanistan and sparked protests across the Middle East, Politico reports.
Ten to 20 people have been killed, Reid said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation : We'll take a look at this of course. As to whether we need hearings or not, I don't know.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Congress might need to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech, in light of Tennessee pastor Terry Jones' Quran burning, and how such actions result in enabling U.S. enemies.
I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war, Graham told CBS' Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation Sunday.
Sucker Punch has rightly been hailed as one of the nastiest films of all time.
Even critics who turned a blind eye to the sexual agenda of last year's Kick-Ass --- which featured a foul-mouthed 11-year-old female assassin --- have turned on this film's fetishised slutty schoolgirls and its
drooling misogyny .
Even some of the teen fans who normally applaud celluloid sex and violence have denounced it. One warned apocalyptically: Sucker Punch goes beyond awful to become a commentary on the death of movie-making. Hailed as
one of the nastiest films of all time, Sucker Punch has been given a 12A certificate
Irresponsible: Hailed as one of the nastiest films of all time, Sucker Punch has been given a 12A certificate
But hardly anyone has noticed that Sucker Punch is the most glaring example yet of the failure of our certification system.
The Hindu serial nutter Rajan Zed has taken the opportunity of a new Indian film censor to call for censorship.
He has urged Leela Samson, the newly appointed chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of India, to halt the 'unnecessary' violence and 'vulgarity' of Indian films.
He claimed that seeing the continuous increase in the vulgarity and violence in Indian films, it appeared that the Board of the largest filmmaking country had lost the sense of India's cultural milieu and was ignoring the directions given in the
Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that they were fully supportive of the artistic freedom and expression and did not want any unnecessary censorship ...BUT... were highly concerned about the increasing
presence of the immodest, explicit and risque' scenes in the movies which were there simply for mercantile greed having nothing to do with cinematic elements.
Rajan Zed appealed to Samson to view the films as a regular Indian mother who was struggling to raise her children to become moral and successful citizens of India of tomorrow and not as the mother whose children attended night-clubs and
late-night parties and knew no moral boundaries.
Zed pointed out that CBFC certification team needed to be retrained in what India stood for and what were our moral perimeters.
Ways have to be found to guarantee privacy and provide protection from malicious allegations, but these oppressive court orders are
not the answer
The revelation by the Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming of a new breed of hyperinjunction , which forbids the recipient talking about it to MPs, is one of the most disturbing developments in the contest between legitimate privacy and the
need for open justice.
In an age when accusations can be made anonymously on the internet, ways have to be found to guarantee privacy and provide protection from malicious allegations, but these oppressive court orders are not the answer. As the Times said, there are at
least 30 orders blocking publicity in high-profile cases, as well as a new type of order -- the hyperinjunction -- which affects parliamentary privilege by preventing discussion between an MP and his constituent.
By mid April, a panel headed by a retired judge with the mandate to monitor television channels will be in place.
It will report on sensitive and supposedly vulgar content on television. This panel will also take up public complaints regarding any 'objectionable' content on TV, ministry sources said.
A watershed period or time for adult viewing will be fixed from 11 pm to 5 am. Watershed hours will have content that is meant for selective viewing which may not necessarily mean adult content. So naturally it's not a free-for-all situation,
the source said.
At present, the I&B ministry has facilities to record programmes of 300 TV channels on a 24-hour basis and store recorded content up to a period of 90 days.
A pre-movie advertisement promoting an Easter church service was banned from California theaters
because of its mention of Jesus.
Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, California, created the 30-second ad to air for three weeks on 45 movie screens across Orange County.
The commercial questioned claims like the disciples stole the body and Jesus didn't actually die on the cross . It asked moviegoers Did it really happen? And ended with Why we actually believe in the resurrection.
But the ad was pulled for its controversial material, mainly its mention of Jesus, and its failure to comply with specific guidelines set by National CineMedia. The agency for the national theater remarked that their constituents might be
offended by such an advertisement.
Senior Pastor Mike Farabez of Compass Bible Church responded to ABC: There are certain things that they won't advertise, and there was no mention of Christ or Christianity or anything like that, that would preclude us from having an ad.
The church is promoting their Easter services elsewhere now. Their ad on Youtube features a warning at the beginning stating the commercial you are about to view was deemed too controversial to be shown as a paid advertisement in our local
movie theaters because the name of Jesus Christ was used. Please help us spread the word by forwarding this video on and join us for Easter at the Bren.
Uzbek security services have closed down bookstores specializing in religious literature in Tashkent, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.
Twenty bookstores in the Kitoblar dunyosi (World of Books) book trading center have been raided by Uzbek National Security Service (NSS) agents, police, tax officers, and representatives of the government Committee for Religious Affairs in the
past week and closed.
Kitoblar dunyosi was the only place allowed to sell books on religion, primarily on Islam and mainly published in Uzbekistan.
According to a RFE/RL source, bookstore owners were selling only books approved by the state.
Local human rights activists say authorities have intensified their already tight grip on religion in the wake of the recent antigovernment uprisings in the Middle East. At the same time, the government is continuing its crackdown on what it calls
radical groups willing to overthrow the constitutional order.
Human rights groups have criticized the authorities, saying many people have been labeled extremists and jailed for peacefully practicing their religion.
The government is also getting tougher on activities such as proselytizing and importing and disseminating religious literature. Officials have confirmed around 15,000 Bibles have been confiscated in the past year.
Flying Dog Brewery is suing Michigan's state Liquor Control Commission in federal court over its prohibition of the Raging Bitch beer label.
In its complaint the beer maker alleges the agency is censoring its free speech, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
The 20th Anniversary India Pale Ale label urges customers: Remember, enjoying a Raging Bitch, unleashed, untamed, unbridled -- and in heat -- is pure GONZO.
Ralph Steadman, an illustrator best-known for collaborations with author Hunter S. Thompson, penned the disputed phrase.
The drinks censor banned the label and affirmed its decision on appeal. The commission based its ban on its power to censor language on the bottle that is detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public .
long awaited reforms of Australia's censorship of computer games look set to fail after Victoria state declared its 'strong
concern' that the move will legalise games with high levels of graphic, frequent and gratuitous violence .
Backed by a groundswell of support from the gaming community, the Gillard government is determined to fix the classification system for computer games, which allows unsuitable games to be rated for 15-year-olds, yet bans popular games for adults.
But the Ted Baillieu government's Attorney-General, Robert Clark, has echoed the concerns of the Australian Christian Lobby, putting him on a collision course with the federal government, which requires the backing of all states and territories to
change classification laws.
Clark told Fairfax that he welcomed one impact of the reform, that some games classified MA15+ would move to the higher rating of R18+. But the move, he said, would also mean allowing games to be sold in Australia that are banned because of their
high levels of violence:
[This] needs careful scrutiny and public debate. The Coalition government is very concerned that the draft guidelines currently being proposed by the Commonwealth would legalise games with high levels of graphic, frequent
and gratuitous violence, including violence against civilians and police.
Clark said the community should have a chance to discuss the draft guidelines, which have not been made public, and see what sort of games would be legalised. The Victorian government will decide our position based on our assessment of whether
the final proposal will adequately protect the community, he said.
But Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O'Connor, told Fairfax:
The public has been consulted extensively on this matter and overwhelmingly support the introduction of an adult classification for games/
About 60,000 submissions were received in the last consultation round, showing huge community support for the introduction of an adult computer game classification. I await state and territory governments' views on the draft
guidelines and remain open to sensible suggestions consistent with community expectations and good public policy.
Most of Mexico's largest news media outlets have agreed to a set of drug-war reporting guidelines, promising not to glorify drug
traffickers, publish cartel propaganda messages or reveal information that could endanger police operations.
The voluntary, self-policed guidelines are the first of their kind in Mexico, where more than 35,000 people, including at least 22 journalists, have been killed in drug-related violence since the government stepped up its offensive against cartels
in late 2006.
We in the news media should condemn and reject the violence arising from organized crime, the agreement says.
It also vows to ignore and reject any information coming from criminal groups with the purpose of propaganda.
Scarface is a 23 year old masterpiece directed by Brian de Palma and is so influential that it defined a decade in some ways, in terms of the fashion that main character Tony Montana (Al Pacino) wore and the music and the era
of the drug industry that also defined the 80s.
The story revolves around the actual event of Cuba throwing its prisoners onto boats headed for America and the film picks up on this idea and invents the character of Montana who along with friend Manny enter America as illegal immigrants and
through a chain of events rise up to head an organisation that smuggles drugs. But just as life seems cosy for Montana a war erupts among a rival drug lord and the violence really kicks in and if you ever wondered what a death by chainsaw looks
like, it is here in all its glory.
This is a film that certainly glorifies violence and creates a cool guy who is also a real nasty piece of work, the film is iconic with great quotable lines and a new generation has embraced this fully, so its legacy is safe
and in terms of being a masterpiece, yes this is clearly one of the great movies of all time.
Once upon a time Facebook had an anything goes attitude to what people posted. But now Facebook walks on eggshells, fearing
obscenity suits and nutter 'outrage'.
Facebook have just made the University of North Florida's newspaper, The Spinnaker , take down their profile pic, the cover of their latest edition.
The cover depicts a couple engaging in oral sex, the cover story being about the news that there may be a link between throat cancer and performing oral sex on someone infected with the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Spinnaker's Editor-in-Chief Josh Gore defended the image, which was taken of UNF students, saying that it got people to read the story and this was not pornography.
Many companies use Facebook to reach the 4 million or so users in Sweden. One of these is Bjo rn Borg,
who since 2007 has a large platform of user-generated content on their page. Fans upload their own images and every week the company chooses a picture, which becomes the Swedish export of the week .
The happy snapper gets rewarded with free underwear and a chance to see his or her image posted on the official Bjo rn Borg Facebook page. But this particular image, taken by Jacob Mohr Hansen from Denmark, proved too much for Facebook. The
picture got many hits and many users left comments. But by the evening it had been erased.
We realized it was probably the most daring image we had ever uploaded, but were confident it was still within what is considered OK, Micke Kazarnovicz, responsible for digital communication at Bjo rn Borg, told The Local. But
Kazarnovicz' Facebook account had been frozen. In order to get his account back he had to promise not to upload any more 'pornographic' images.
They saw this as pornographic, but to us it was really more a laugh, completely tongue in cheek. There is no eroticism at all in the picture, just nudity, said Kazarnovicz.
Kazarnovicz said that : Facebook needs to be more aware of the cultural differences of its users. Otherwise they are promoting a cultural uniformity that really shouldn't be pursued.
Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages over
a page on the social network which called for a Third Intifada against Israel.
Facebook this week shut down the Third Intifada page, which had almost 500,000 fans, but the lawsuit filed in a US court claims that the social network showed negligence by not quickly responding to appeals to remove the page.
Besides awarding damages, the complaint calls on the court to bar Facebook from allowing the Facebook page titled 'Third Palestinian Intifada,' and other related and similar sites, which advocate violence and death to Jews.
The suit was filed in Washington DC Superior Court by Larry Klayman, who describes himself in the complaint as an American citizen of Jewish origin who is active in matters concerning the security of Israel and all people.
Facebook dismissed the case as without merit and said it would fight. Facebook said the page was initially tolerated because it began as a call for peaceful protest but direct calls for violence began appearing and the page was
removed for violating Facebook's policies.
Even as the Gujarat government banned the book on Mahatma Gandhi by Joseph Lelyveld that has run into controversy for references suggesting he was a bisexual and a racist, the Centre is now mulling a law that would make showing any disrespect to
the Father of the Nation an offence punishable with a jail term.
Sources in the Law Ministry said the ministry had been asked to suggest amendment to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, so as to make any action or gesture that shows disrespect to Gandhi an offence at par with an offence
against the National Flag or the Constitution.
Minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed to Open Rights Group that Government ministers are talking to copyright lobby
groups and ISPs about a voluntary “Great Firewall of Britain” website blocking scheme.
We need you to act now.
They want to block websites that music and film companies accuse of copyright infringement.
But a 'self regulatory' censorship scheme places decisions about what you can and cannot look at online in the hands of businesses. It would remove the vital judicial oversight required by existing powers. Inevitable mistakes would lead to the
censorship and disruption of legitimate traffic from businesses, publishers and citizens. And there is little evidence it will have any beneficial effects for the creative economy.
The good news is that the Minister has promised to include civil society groups in future discussions. We need to be there to counter the pressure rights holders are exerting on decision makers.