An artist has blasted a gallery as fearful after discovering her nude paintings had been censored with strategically placed strips of paper.
Danuta Gray has removed her three watercolours of naked women from Birmingham's Botanical Gardens studio two weeks before her exhibition was due to end.
Gallery bosses have stood by their prudery, which was prompted by an easily offended teacher whingeing during a school trip.
It's a nonsense. You can't even see a nipple! They are showing such ignorance.Nudes have been depicted since the fourth century BC. They are present in all cultures. I never thought that the Botanical Gardens would exhibit such hypocrisy, prejudice and
fear. This is England.
The Botanical Gardens management stood by their decision. A spokesprat alluded to political correctness and diversity saying:
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomes diverse audiences from around the world. We do our very best at all times to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time whilst they are on site. Sometimes we have to adapt spaces for use by different sectors of our
audiences at different times
For the first time in the GTA series' history, commentators are falling over each other to lavish praise on the game. This has completely eclipsed the naysayers and detractors. The moral outcry has simply failed to materialise. But why?
After getting in trouble for not following ATVOD's overly restrictive and unviable child protection rules, Playboy TV decided to move the Playboy
TV website (and Demand Adult website) offshore to Canada.
However ATVOD would not accept that Playboy had actually moved the editorial control of the website to Canada and felt that it should there continue to be subject to ATVOD rules.
ATVOD's reasons cited for their refusal to accept the move seem particularly spurious. From the Ofcom adjudication:
In particular, ATVOD noted the following features of the website as evidence that the Service remained within UK jurisdiction:
a. The contact information (as at 14 September 2012) on the Service was for the UK address of the company Playboy TV UK / Benelux Ltd .
b. Terms and Conditions on the Service refer to being governed by English Law .
c. Domain registration data suggested that the Service is not registered in Canada, but in America.
d. The overall design and layout of the Service had not changed since the apparent transfer to Canada.
ATVOD also noted an email of 10 September 2012, provided by the Service Provider, from the Head of Digital and New Media at Playboy TV UK / Benelux Limited to the Canadian Product Manager. ATVOD argued this email suggested that the
UK Service Provider retained editorial responsibility for the Service.
Playboy decided to appeal to Ofcom about ATVOD's claim. Playboy responded to ATVOD's points:
In particular, Playboy noted that:
a. The fact that the Services' Terms and Conditions referred to are bound by UK Law and payments taken by a UK company had no bearing on editorial control .
b. The Services' American Domain registration, again, had no bearing on editorial control .
c. The Montreal-based company had decided the current design of the Service was sufficient and the redesign of a website is a lengthy process.
In relation to the email of 10 September 2012 cited by ATVOD, the Appellant stated that ATVOD had misrepresented its position and that, in fact, it uploaded videos to the Service as they become available and, as such, no editorial decisions
are taken in the UK.
Ofcom made a few enquiries about staff responsibilities and accepted that editorial responsibility had been transferred to Canada:
In relation to the points cited by ATVOD, Ofcom broadly accepts the Appellant's explanations for the features noted by ATVOD. In particular, although the features noted could be indicative, cumulatively, of a service editorial responsibility for which
has not changed, it is not determinative and evidence that there had been a genuine reorganisation including redundancies in the UK and the taking on of responsibilities by staff in Montreal is persuasive.
Ofcom upholds the Playboy's appeal and substitutes ATVOD's decision with Ofcom's Decision, that the Playboy TV did not fulfil the criterion in section 368A(1)(c) of the Act as at 24 July 2012 and therefore was not the provider of an online video service
subject to ATVOD regulation.
The success of their appeal means that they [Playboy TV] can continue providing hard-core internet porn to UK consumers beyond the reach of British regulation.
Russian Muslims are scrambling to challenge a Novorossiisk court ruling determining the Koran to be extremist , and ordering the destruction of the
book, as translated into Russian by Azerbaijani scholar Elmir Kuliyev.
Forum 18 has found no significant difference between Kuliyev's translation of the Koran and others, including one approved by people who have greeted the 17 September ruling.
Mufti Ravil Gainutdin of Russia's Council of Muftis wrote to President Vladimir Putin:
It is a provocational decision, to destroy, and not just confiscate, the Holy Book of Muslims (..) and the court case and decision took ten minutes?! Muslims are angered by this lawlessness.
Lawyer Ravil Tugushev has lodged an appeal. Muslims' rights are being violated, he complained to Forum 18. Many Muslim, Jehovah's Witness and Falun Gong works have been banned as extremist, with punishments for those who distribute them.
Kuliyev's translation of the Koran was ruled extremist and its destruction ordered by October District Court in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk (Krasnodar Region). The port's Transport Prosecutor filed the case after the book was found in a
parcel during a customs search at the main post office, according to the decision, seen by Forum 18.
The case was decided in a single hearing lasting just ten minutes on the morning of 17 September. The written ruling -- produced the same afternoon - notes that no objections were received .
The ruling does not give any concrete examples of extremism from Kuliyev's translation. Yet it agrees with the investigative report that the work contains statements about the superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims on the basis of attitude
towards religion ; negative evaluation of persons who have nothing to do with the Muslim religion ; positive evaluation of hostile actions by Muslims against non-Muslims , and statements inciting Muslims to commit hostile and violent
acts against non-Muslims.
A gallery in Rome has removed photographs of same sex couples kissing in churches after the Catholic
Church threatened legal action.
The series of photos, by Gonzalo Orquin, was due to be displayed at the exhibition opening at the Galleria L'Opera. But then the plans were ruined by Vatical censors. Orquin explained to The Local.
A letter arrived from the Vicariate of Rome, an organization that is part of the Vatican, which said the church is against the exhibition. I spoke to lawyers and for security reasons we decided not to show the photos,
The Vicariate, an organization that helps the Pope carry out his functions as Bishop of Rome, confirmed it had sent the letter threatening legal action and claimed the photographs could harm the religious sentiment of the faithful . Apparently the
Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual's religious feeling and the function of places of worship.
15 out of 16 photos in the series are of gay and straight volunteer models. Orquin, who is himself Catholic said:
We went to churches, took the photos at the altar and ran off...it's a bit like a flash mob. A number of times we left because there were a people praying. It wasn't easy.
A song by a legendary Russian thrash metal band has been included on the federal list of materials classed as extremist, as announced by Russia's Justice Ministry on its website.
Beat the Demons , a song by the band Korroziya Metalla, was declared extremist by a court on May 22.
The claim of extremism relates to the use of the word 'demon'. The Russian word for demon can also be used as a racial slur, though its meaning is contextual. Bandleader Sergei Spider Troitsky has publicly said that there was no provocation
intended in the call to beat demons.
Troitsky is the sole remaining member of the legendary Korroziya Metalla thrash metal band. The band's first album, The Order of Satan , was released on the group's own label in 1988 after its no-holds-barred content proved too hot even for
Perestroika-era record companies. Korroziya's outlandish concerts also gained the band nationwide notoriety in the 1990s as Spider impersonated Hitler, used Satanist imagery and employed writhing naked women on stage.
Troitsky later turned to politics. His controversial policies caused a stir during his mayoral campaign in Moscow's satellite city of Khimki. His proposed policies included semi-nude female city administration staff, a zoo filled with mechanical animals,
and Germans employed en masse, because they don't take bribes .
Reporters Without Borders takes note of a report in today's South China Morning Post revealing that leading foreign social networks and news websites
will be accessible in the Shanghai free trade zone that is to be inaugurated at the end of the month.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a government source told the newspaper that, as an experiment, the authorities were on the point of allowing access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the New York Times website in the Shanghai
business district of Pudong, where the free trade zone will be located.
Reporters Without Borders said:
By taking this decision, the Chinese government is acknowledging that Internet censorship is bad for business. We regret that this lifting of censorship will apply to just a limited part of the country and that the reasons behind it are purely economic.
Targeted mainly at foreigners, this measure will probably not benefit the Chinese population. It should be extended to all Chinese Internet users, who are now the victims of discrimination in access to information.
As in the Hong Kong free trade zone, the Chinese authorities want the Shanghai free trade zone to attract foreign telecommunications companies that will offer their Internet connection services to companies based in the zone. The restrictions on Internet
access are being lifted with the chief aim of attracting additional foreign investment, and the measure will apply only to an area of some 30 square kilometres centred on Pudong.
Update: Just a rumour. Censorship continues unabated
China's regime doesn't want visitors reading The New York Times after all, even in the free trade zone.
The People's Daily is disputing those initial reports, insisting that internet management measures inside the Shanghai zone will be identical to those elsewhere in China. The state-run media outlet also emphasized that the government plans to
clamp down on any pornography, gambling, drugs, and smuggling within the Shanghai free trade zone, according to The Register.
Ofcom seem to be under the delusion that they are somehow working for citizen interests. They introduce their Annual Plan:
Ofcom's main priority is to ensure that UK communications markets work to support consumer and citizen interests. Ofcom's strategic purposes are to:
maintain audience confidence in broadcast content;
protect consumers from harm;
promote opportunities to participate;
promote effective competition and informed choice;
contribute to and implement public policy defined by Parliament; and
secure optimal use of spectrum.
I didn't spot anything specific about TV censorship beyond looking to encroach on internet censorship. Ofcom seems set on exploiting David Cameron's claim that viewers somehow expect Internet TV to be as repressively controlled as broadcast TV because
they are now watching it on the same device, ie an internet connected TV.
Ofcom is inviting comments about the plans until 24th October 2013.
Google plans to control YouTube comments by tying them to G+ accounts and incorporating algorithms such that friends comments will be displayed first and celebrity comments will be more prominent than those from riff raff
A new Red Bull advert which makes light of the sinking of the Titanic has supposedly 'outraged' relatives of those who died in the tragedy.
The advert jokes that the ship might not have sunk had it been given wings by the drink, Red Bull.
Professional offence takers (thanks to Spiked for the term) at the Titanic Heritage Trust called the advert blatantly offensive .
The Advertising Standards Authority has also received 46 complaints about the cartoon advert.
The cartoon shows a crate of the drink - which advertisers say gives you wings - being winched onto an unidentified ship. The captain asks a dockhand what the drink is, and on hearing the beverage's catchphrase - that it gives you wings he
questions why a ship would ever need wings. The crate is then lowered from the ship, revealing that the boat in question is the Titanic. The captain dismisses the notion that a ship could need wings and walks off.
Trust founder Howard Nelson said he was considering complaining to advertising regulators. He claimed:
It is very offensive and just disrespectful. There is a difference between making a joke and this. I get jokes all the time about icebergs and the like, taking the mick out of my interest in the Titanic, but that is banter. This is blatantly offensive
because it is taking the mick out of the people who have passed away.
Red Bull has refused to pull the cartoon ad featuring the Titanic arguing that the tragedy was so great that it has now made its way
into our language and stressing the irony of its advertisement.
In a statement sent to BeverageDaily.com Red Bull insisted that the advert was not being pulled.
The tragedy of the Titanic was so great that it has now made its way into our language. When people say that something is like 'like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic' they are not making little of those who lost their lives in 1912.
When we say that 'Nero fiddled while Rome burned' we are not making little of those who died in 64 AD. Our ironic advertisement points to an arrogant ship's captain who thought he knew everything, not the passengers who suffered.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now received 100+ complaints about the advert.
A park statue with boobs of bronze has wound up the American Family Association (AFA) in Kansas. The AFA lost
the first round of their battle after the statue was found to be not obscene. However the AFA have now regrouped for another ludicrous legal battle.
Accept or Reject is a bronze sculpture donated to Overland Park Arboretum by sculptor Yu Chang, depicting a fractured, topless woman taking a selfie of her exposed (bronze) breasts.
Previously in 2012 a Kansas group of the AFA circulated a petition to convene a grand jury for the purpose of deciding whether the popular statue was illegally obscene. They got the necessary signatures, and a grand jury of Kansas citizens
gathered to... criminally investigate the statue. Fortunately, the grand jury looked at the statue, looked at state obscenity law, and determined that the sculpture in question did not meet the legal definition of obscenity.
Kansas is among a small handful of states that have a citizen-empanelled grand jury law on the books. Under this process, a group can start a petition drive to seek a particular criminal indictment. If they reach the required number of signatures, around
4,000 in Johnson County, Kansas, a grand jury is empanelled to investigate violations of Kansas law. But until this year, the citizens' influence over the process stopped there.
That changed in 2013. Angry after a string of grand juries failed to return indictments alleging illegal abortion and pornography, groups like Kansans for Life advocated for a bill expanding citizen involvement in the grand jury process. The bill passed
and is now law. Now the law requires the grand jury to call the petition organizer as its first witness, and permits the jury to pay for a special counsel or investigator of its choosing, even to replace the government prosecutor.
The Kansas AFA is now gathering signatures for another attempt at censorship, this time under the new grand jury process.
Update: Brass boobs all a bit to much for Facebook
Facebook's porn filters were apparently so offended by a statue by sculptor Yu Chang that depicts a fractured, topless woman taking a photograph of her
exposed (bronze) breasts, that they removed a post last week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The photo linked to an article about the artwork, which has been the subject of a concerted campaign by social conservatives to get it removed ever since it was installed at the Overland Park Arboretum, south of Kansas City, in 2011. The removal of the
link was accompanied by a 24-hour ban on the ACLU's ability to post to its Facebook page, according to the Washington Post.
Mistakes happen, of course, but in its efforts to appeal the mistaken censorship, the ACLU found out the hard way that getting through to Facebook is a daunting task in and of itself, and that, as the Post put it:,
That's a happy ending of sorts for the ACLU, but as the organization's Lee Rowland points out , ordinary users may not be so lucky. If you don't represent a prominent national organization, it can be a challenge to get Facebook's attention.
Supermarket chain Asda has apologised and withdrawn a Halloween outfit it was selling online as a mental patient fancy dress costume
, after criticism. The item included clothing, fake blood, a mask and a fake meat cleaver.
In a statement, Asda, which is owned by US retail giant Walmart, said the sale had been a completely unacceptable error . The store will make a very sizeable donation to mental health charity Mind
Katie Dalton, of Welsh mental health charity Gofal, wrote on Twitter:
Dear @asda, how on earth did you come to the conclusion that this is an appropriate fancy dress costume? Disgraceful.
And former Downing Street director of communications, Alastair Campbell tweeted:
Look what Asda's selling... what possesses these people?
The charity Rethink Mental Illness also took to Twitter to say it was stunned by the costume's description, but later thanked Asda for responding to the concerns .
All internet connections to Sudan were cut off abruptly on Wednesday afternoon, after riots erupted in northern Khartoum over the ending of fuel subsidies.
The move to cut connections appears to have been done by the government to prevent protesters using social media to organise riots.
Protests broke out after the Sudanese government removed fuel subsidies, with several petrol stations and a university building set on fire, Reuters reported. Security forces fired teargas to disperse dozens of protesters who have demonstrated and set
fire to a police station in Khartoum. The protests have gone on for three days after Sudan's Council of Ministers decided to stop the subsidies. That caused an immediate doubling in the price of fuel.
Offsite: Sudan blacks out internet to hide brutal suppression of protests
A House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee report has condemned Google's failure to adequately respond to
the issue of online piracy and its refusal to block infringing websites on the grounds they might also carry legal material. Citing the recent successful prosecution of a streaming site admin, the committee also calls for punishment in such cases
to be extended to 10 years imprisonment.
During the last couple of years media industry companies have heavily criticized Google for linking to copyright-infringing material in its search results.
Google has responded by removing many millions of links but apparently that's just not enough. In the past couple of weeks the world's largest search engine has become a punching bag for the music and movie industries and today they find themselves
battered again, this time by a British House of Commons report.
The reports finds many targets for criticism but begins with a swipe at the UK's leading Internet rights groups. Open Rights Group
The relationship between the strength of Britain's creative industries and robust copyright laws is acknowledged by the Open Rights Group which aims radically to liberalise the use and sharing of copyrighted content.
While we share the Open Rights Group's attachment to freedom of expression via the internet, we firmly repudiate their laissez-faire attitudes towards copyright infringement.
The report goes on to mention the creation of a new City of London Police unit dedicated to cracking down on intellectual property crime and reveals that a first-of-its-kind conference is being planned to bring players from across the world to London
to discuss enforcement issues.
But inevitably the big guns were turned on the messenger. Google in the firing line again
The Committee begins by quoting Google itself, who at the time were removing around 9 million URLs from its indexes every month at the request of copyright holders. This was countered with information provided by the BPI who said that despite Google's
alleged algorithm changes, the instances of infringing sites turning up in the top 10 results had fallen only marginally, from 63% in August 2012 to 61% a year later. Clearly the Committee are unimpressed. The report states:
We strongly condemn the failure of Google, notable among technology companies, to provide an adequate response to creative industry requests to prevent its search engine directing consumers to copyright-infringing websites.
We are unimpressed by their evident reluctance to block infringing websites on the flimsy grounds that some operate under the cover of hosting some legal content. The continuing promotion by search engines of illegal content on the internet is
unacceptable. So far, their attempts to remedy this have been derisorily ineffective.
We do not believe it to be beyond the wit of the engineers employed by Google and others to demote and, ideally, remove copyright infringing material from search engine results. Google co-operates with law enforcement agencies to block child pornographic
content from search results and it has provided no coherent, responsible answer as to why it cannot do the same for sites which blatantly, and illegally, offer pirated content.
We recommend that the maximum penalty for serious online copyright theft be extended to ten years' imprisonment. Criminal offences in the online world should attract the same penalties as those provided for the physical world by the Copyright, etc. and
Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002.
Finally the report criticizes the delay in implementing the controversial Digital Economy Act, stalled now for the best part of three years. In particular, the issuing of warning notices to infringers should come sooner rather than later.
We recommend that a copyright infringement notification system envisaged by the Digital Economy Act be implemented with far greater speed than the Government currently plans. By targeting information letters to the worst infringers, early implementation
will, we believe, serve an important educative purpose which could percolate more widely.
Overall the Committee's report is a fairly disappointing and unimaginative piece of work. They offer a view of copyright that is too simplistic, one-sided and which effectively tries to reduce the debate to whether you like the creative industries or
not. They thus ignore the wider impact of new technology on citizens as creators and participants in culture, and on how markets for cultural goods can now function most effectively.
Playboy TV Chat is a free to air babe channel. Viewers are invited to contact on-screen presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to
contact the PRS numbers.
The licence for this channel is owned by Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd.
Ofcom received a complaint that a female presenter was simulating sex on the channel between 00:00 and 00:30.
Ofcom noted that during this time a sequence was shown in which the left hand side of the screen was filled by a door. The right hand side showed a table and a female presenter, partially obscured by the door. The presenter was lying on the table,
sometimes on her front and sometimes on her back, with the bottom half of her body hidden by the door but with the naked top half of her body visible to the viewer. The presenter then simulated that she was having sex with an unseen partner behind the
door. At one point, the female presenter knelt by the door and simulated that she was performing oral sex on an unseen man behind the door.
Ofcom considered Rule 4.2 of the BCAP Code:
Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 4.2
On 4 February 2013, Ofcom published revised guidance on the advertising of telecommunications-based sexual entertainment services and PRS daytime chat services (the Guidance )1. The Guidance sets out what Ofcom considers to be acceptable to
broadcast on these services post-watershed2. Ofcom has also made clear in a number of published decisions the type of material that is unsuitable to be broadcast in adult chat advertising content which is available without mandatory restricted
The Guidance states that broadcasters should at no time broadcast images of any real or simulated sex acts (these include vaginal or anal intercourse, masturbation, fellatio or cunnilingus).
Between 00:00 and 00:30 the female presenter adopted a variety of sexual positions with the clear intention of making viewers think that she was having sex with an unseen partner who was behind the door. The presenter was nude. For the most part she
simulated that she was having sex by thrusting backwards and forwards while lying on the table. She also simulated that she was performing oral sex. At one point the impression was given that a man had ejaculated onto her breasts.
Ofcom noted the Licensee's argument that the level of nudity was relatively low. However, in Ofcom's view the intention of the producer and the presenter was to give the impression to viewers that the presenter was taking part in real sexual acts, which
was clearly at odds with the Guidance. In Ofcom's view the broadcast of this material in adult chat advertising content was likely to cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
Ofcom noted the apology provided by the Licensee and the assurances given to Ofcom that this was a one-off error which would not occur again. However, this material was clearly in breach of BCAP Code Rule 4.2.
Ofcom has recorded a number of breaches of the BCAP Code by this Licensee since we issued the Guidance. We are therefore requiring the Licensee to attend a meeting at Ofcom to discuss its compliance arrangements.
ASA get pedantic about whether under 15s are playing a football game based on guesses about appeal to children, assumptions about children's bedtimes, and whether people accurately report their age to Facebook
An in-game ad for the film The Purge , which appeared in the game app Real Football 2013 , included various scenes of violence. At one point a group of people carrying weapons approached a house, and a man's voice said, Anybody tries to
come in, you blast them. Towards the end of the ad, the man told a woman Everything is gonna be OK. She replied tearfully, Nothing is going to be OK.
A complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it appeared on an app that might be played by children.
Assessment: Complaint not upheld
The ASA considered that the themes of violence and fear contained in the ad were likely to cause distress to young and early teenage children, and that care was therefore needed to ensure responsible targeting. We understood that the same ad had received
a post-9 pm restriction when it was cleared for broadcast on TV, and that Universal Pictures had asked their media agency to target those aged 15- to 24-years when placing the ad. We were satisfied that the content of the ad would be suitable for
audiences aged 15 and over, and considered that Universal Pictures should have taken steps to ensure that the ad was targeted as far as reasonably possible to that age group.
The complainant reported the ad having been served to their seven-year-old son at around 9 pm, whilst he was playing the game Real Football 2013 . Whilst we noted Universal Pictures' views on the content of Real Football 2013 , and
acknowledged that the game was not explicitly targeted at children, we considered that the type of strategic gameplay described was likely to appeal to some children, and particularly teenagers interested in football. We also noted that the figures
provided by Gameloft, which indicated a high proportion of users aged 18+, were based only on those users who connected the game to their Facebook accounts and relied on accurate self-reporting of age to that site. We therefore considered that the
audience composition data provided for Real Football 2013 , whilst it suggested that the proportion of users aged under 15 was likely to be relatively low, was not in itself sufficient to demonstrate responsible targeting of the ad.
We understood, however, that the ad had been served on a time-targeted basis, meaning that it would not be shown to users before 8 pm or after 6 am. Gameloft had subsequently extended the restriction to begin at 9 pm. We considered that showing the ad
only after 9 pm was likely to successfully minimise the risk of children aged under 15 seeing it, and that the 9 pm to 6 am time-targeting was therefore sufficient to ensure responsible delivery of the ad. Although we welcomed Gameloft's subsequent
decision to ensure the ad was not shown earlier than 9 pm, because the complaint related to a particular instance of the ad having been shown at 9 pm, we concluded that it had not on that occasion been inappropriately targeted and was not irresponsible.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.2 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.
[Just for background I looked up typical bedtimes for children. The consensus is that teenagers 12+ need 8 or 9 hours sleep per night, and hence typical bedtimes are likely to be 10 to 11pm. It looks likely that a 9pm restriction will not do much to
minimise viewing by 12-14 year olds. It's not like the TV watershed where 9pm is a also a marker to warn parents that programmes might not be suitable, even when the kids are still up for a couple of hours. There is no similar convention for games that
warns parents that games after 9pm may have 15 rated ads served]
A loose moral climate fed the paranoia and fear that allowed Nu Labour to flourish:
(Picture by MichaelG)
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has called for internet providers to block pornography, ludicrously warning against a descent into Sodom and Gomorrah .
Blunkett backed an opt-in system of censorship, claiming the Lib Dems had been wrong to reject it at their party conference last week.
He was speaking at a Demos fringe meeting at the Labour conference:
The Lib Dems in Glasgow debated this and decided they were against automatic protection unless people chose to over-ride it, in terms of pornography on the internet and the protection of children. I think they were wrong.
I think we have a job in this country, in a civilised, free, open democracy, to protect ourselves from the most bestial activities and from dangers that would undermine a civilised nation.
Drawing a parallel with Germany before the rise of the Nazis, he suggested a loose moral climate had fed the paranoia and fear that had allowed Adolf Hitler to flourish:
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Berlin came as near as dammit to Sodom and Gomorrah. There was a disintegration of what you might call any kind of social order.
People fed on that - they fed people's fears of it. They encouraged their paranoia. They developed hate about people who had differences, who were minorities.
There always has had to be some balance, in terms of the freedom of what we want to do, for ourselves and the mutual respect and the duty we owe to each other in a collective society. They developed hate about people who had differences, who were
Each year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works
to ensure free access to information.
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every
reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. Therefore, we do not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges.
The latest list is of books challenged in 2012
Based on 464 challenges that were reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
The Daily Mirror were trying to be clever at the expense of the Sun. They produced an advert using an
illusion where elbows in the bath can look like breasts at first glance, but a closer look reveals just elbows.
The Daily Mirror poster used the illusion with the strap line: We're not like other tabloids and the hashtag #Madeyouthink.
However, the image proved too risque for poster sites on the London Underground, with the ever staid Transport for London, refusing to allow it to be run.
90% of Top Newspaper Headlines Censor Islam in Nairobi, Pakistan Attacks
24th September 2013
And if anyone does notice... It's a 'non-European' elephant. Right!
But not to worry, 90% of readers are adept at filling in the blanks. There's usually enough clues to fill in the blatantly missing information, and if there are no clues, then assuming the most obvious culprit won't be so far from the mark, because that
is why they are hiding the clues in the first place.
A great example of politically correct headline censorship comes from no less than Reuters:
The writer (and no doubt a full editorial committee) felt that religion was important enough to provide information about the victims, but somehow was not important enough to explicitly mention who the attackers were. However the phrase 'suicide bombers'
will be more than enough to allow 99% of readers to fill in the missing information anyway.
ATVOD embark on another bureaucratic waste of money consultation about a disgraceful labyrinth of rules trying to claim that video on demand is TV-like. It is not. It is DVD-like. You buy it and watch it when it suits you. Simple.
This is a consultation by the Authority for Television On Demand ( ATVOD ), the body that Ofcom designated on 18 March 2010 as the co-regulator for VOD editorial content. The purpose of this consultation is to consult on a proposal to adopt new
guidance on the scope of the regulations that apply to video on demand services.
Since April 2010, ATVOD has published guidance as to the factors and criteria that are applied by ATVOD when determining whether a service falls within the definition of an on-demand programme service ( ODPS ) under section 368A of the
Communications Act 2003 ( the Act ) and is therefore subject to the regulatory framework for VOD. In light of its experience since 2010, ATVOD considers that it is now appropriate to adopt revised guidance, and has developed new draft guidance (
the Proposed Guidance ) in consultation with the ATVOD Industry Forum and Ofcom.
If the Devil had his own bible, it would probably take the form of a computer game. It would be sly and witty, enjoyable and slick. It would start with small, almost funny misdeeds.
It would offer the player the joys of money, successful violence and easy, responsibility-free sex. There would be drugs which didn't fry your brain or burn holes in your nose.
You would be made to feel brave, while not actually needing to be. None of your pleasures would be paid for in coin, pain or grief. Hell hound: An image from the heavily hyped and violence-filled new computer game Grand Theft Auto V
Everyone else in the game would be disposable and forgettable. And it would contain one big lie. You would come out at the end happy and unharmed, and wanting more.
As I understand it, this is roughly what happens in the new, much-praised Grand Theft Auto V.
The Irish film censor has published the results of a survey of parents of primary school children. The survey consisted of 267 responses
from an online form and some focus group meetings.
Some of the IFCO findings:
The vast majority of parents (97%) feel that age related classifications are important in protecting their children from viewing inappropriate material. 90% of parents always check the age classification before allowing their children to watch a film.
53% of parents always talk to their children about the films they watch while 22% have a child who has been upset or stressed by the content of a film they have recently viewed. The films most mentioned in this regard were 'Coraline' (PG), Paranorman
(PG), The Hobbit (12A) and 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas' (12A).
The primary concern of parents with regard to classification issues is violence. This is followed by sex and then drug use. Of IFCO's four main classification issues, language is very much of least concern to parents.
The majority of parents (57%) have allowed their children to watch a film classified for an older age group once they had satisfied themselves as to the suitability of the film. In these circumstances, 95% believe it may be acceptable for an under 12 to
watch a 12A rated film while 72% believe it may be acceptable for an under 15 to view a 15A rated film.
The majority of parents regularly agree with IFCO's classification decisions. Of those who disagree, there is greatest divergence over films classified 12A, with 25% of respondents indicating they are sometimes classified too strictly and an equal
number indicating they are sometimes classified not strictly enough .
The vast majority of parents believe that the media in general (film, internet, TV) can have a bad influence on young people and 58% agree that young people copy what they see in films. However, 66% agree that as people move from childhood to adolescence
they are better able to cope with challenging imagery in the films they view.
82% of respondents disagreed with the statement there is no longer a need for film censorship (i.e., the banning of films) .
89% of parents felt that it would be helpful to them if IFCO's classifications were shown before films airing on television in Ireland.
81% of parents believe that while classifications are a useful guide, they should have the final say on what their children can and cannot watch.
Authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in Somalia have banned a private local TV based in UK from operating in the
The reason cited is not airing the speech of regional administration's President, during the New Deal for Somalia meeting in Brussels. Abdurahman Mohamed Farole was among regional leader invited to participate the conference on 16 September, but his
speech at the meeting was not aired by all the Somali owned televisions.
The Information Ministry of Puntland said in a statement that the TV did not air the speech for a reason of hatred and hostility . Defending the pride and the rights of its people. Puntland bans all Universal TV operations inside Puntland
[until further notice] .
Universal Television is a Somali television channel with studio in London, Mogadishu and Hargaysa. It is regarded as the largest Somali satellite TV and was the first of its kind.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg believes games like Grand Theft Auto can have a corrosive effect on player behaviour, the politician said on his LBC Radio show. He said:
Clearly these games can have an incredibly powerful, and I suspect in some cases corrosive effect, on someone's behaviour, someone's outlook; they get shut off, they don't talk to other people, they just stay in their living room, their bedroom hunkered
down in front of their computer. They occupy a hermetically sealed world of their own and that can have a very detrimental effect.
In a free country, what do you do? Do you start saying to people you can't use it for more than X number of hours? No you can't do that. There are, of course, restrictions around content. But we cannot limit people's use of [video games], certainly not
the amount of time they devote to this by law or by edict.
Clegg did not say which research his comments were based on.
Clegg added that parents bear a heavy responsibility to make sure the games their children spend time with are age and content appropriate. He also said that parents should try to ration their children's time spent playing games because overuse
can be problematic.
ATVOD's only adult industry representative on its board will be leaving his position on Thursday when his term expires.
Chris Ratcliff, the programming director for Portland Broadcasting (Television X), will leave the eight-member board after serving an 18-month term.
Emphasizing to XBIZ that he was not removed from the position as a non-independent director, Ratcliff said that he doesn't believe the non-renewal of his seat was a deliberate attempt to disengage with the adult industry. But the net result is
Ratcliff told XBIZ:
A small co-regulatory board with only four non-independent directors cannot represent all industry sectors at all times. It was felt that small mainstream businesses did not have a voice and so I step aside to let those providers come to the fore.
I do not believe that this is a deliberate attempt to disengage with the adult industry, but the net result is the same. The ATVOD board has severed ties with the industry and so we lose direct representation at the heart of regulation.
Children are being exposed to sex and violence in video games which should carry adult classifications, outraging Attorney-General John Rau.
Rau said 13 video games released this year were rated MA15+ but carried a higher age rating in Europe and the US. [Perhaps he is referring to the equivalent 16 rating in Europe and 17 (M) rating in the US]
These particular games have been assessed as having intense violence, blood and gore, nudity and suggestive themes.
I am asking the new Commonwealth Attorney-General to have a look at the way the Australian Classification Board is assessing these games and assure the community that the rules are being applied appropriately.
Rau said he would prefer not to use the South Australian Classification Council to review the games and up their classification in the state even though he has the power:
The preferable position is to do it nationally because ... if other states had a completely different regime to ours not only would it be confusing for retailers but it would also mean there's an opportunity for people to buy online and interstate and
have things posted to here.
Ofcom has announced the appointment of three new members to its Content Board.
The Content Board is the committee of the main Ofcom Board with delegated responsibility for TV and radio content issues, including setting and enforcing quality and standards. It includes members who represent each of the four nations of the UK.
The new appointments are:
Andrew is the founder and Executive Director of Digital Life Sciences, which uses online technologies to deliver better healthcare services.
Andrew served for 13 years as Head of News & Current Affairs for BBC Northern Ireland and as a member of its senior management board. He has extensive experience of radio and television production.
Previously Group Digital Officer at LOVEFiLM, Lesley is Chief Operating Officer for Engage Sports Media, a digital production studio specialising in sports programming and distribution.
The appointments take effect on 18 September 2013.
No study has ever shown that violent video games result directly in actual violence, let alone mass shootings. That doesn't mean it isn't possible, though the numbers suggest it's very unlikely.
Analysts estimate 18 to 20 million copies of Rockstar's GTA V will be sold worldwide by the end of March, 2014.
It's possible that someone who buys and plays the game will later go on to carry out a horrible shooting. Should that happen, it will almost certainly occur in America, which boasts far and away the highest number of mass shootings
(and shootings in general) while boasting no higher rate of video game consumption.
The article also has a knock at tabloid reporting in the Daily Telegraph and notes:
The Telegraph's Nick Allen described the [Washington] shooter's darker side which saw him playing violent zombie video games in his room, sometimes from 12.30pm until 4.30am. Is it odd to describe a mass murderer's darker side
not as his killings or other unstable interactions with people, but as an activity he shares with millions of other people?
Tottenham Hotspur fans who use the word Yid should not face prosecution, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister entered the row after the Football Association last week issued a statement warning supporters they risk receiving a banning order or even criminal charges if they continue to air the word.
For years Tottenham, who have a strong Jewish following, have been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic abuse from opposition fans. In an act of defiance, some fans started using the word Yid themselves, and chants of Yids , Yid Army
and Yiddos are regularly sung in the home stands at White Hart Lane.
Cameron told The Jewish Chronicle:
There's a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult.
You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted - but only when it's motivated by hate.
An ad on YouTube for the 18 PEGI rated videogame The Evil Within showed a darkened corridor, interspersed with shots of work tools. It showed a man sitting, in a darkened room, at a workbench, working with barbed wire and then cut to a man who was
studded with broken glass. It also showed large, shadowy figures carrying menacing weapons and a man wrapped in barbed wire, with bloodied creatures crawling around a warehouse. It later showed a flayed human corpse which was also wrapped in barbed wire
and it then cut to a bubbling pool of blood, out of which a blood covered multi-limbed creature arose and crawled towards the camera. The ad then showed what looked like a man lying down with a metal box on his head, out of which exploded, what appeared
to be, bloody tentacles. Issue
The complainant, who saw the ad, which was attached to and shown before a video about a children's play set, challenged whether:
the ad had been responsibly targeted because it appeared before a video which would appeal to children; and
the ad's content was distressing and offensive because it was excessively gory. CAP Code (Edition 12) 1.3 4.1 4.2 Response
Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA noted the ad was targeted to males aged 18 to 35 who were signed into their YouTube account. We understood, however, that the ad could still be served to users who had previously searched for horror movies and/or video games, even when they were
not signed into their account.
The complainant had searched for YouTube content featuring the children's toy, Thomas the Tank Engine and was presented with the ad before his chosen video played. We also understood from the complainant that he signed out of YouTube and
nevertheless had been served the ad. We acknowledged the steps Bethesda had taken to ensure targeting so that the ad would only be served to those who were signed into their YouTube accounts and who had sought out similar products based on the user's
Google search terms. However, we were concerned that even though the ad was targeted to signed in YouTube users, there was still the possibility the ad could be served to users who were under the age of 18 whom, by way of their internet searches,
had expressed an interest in video games and/or horror movies. Because there was a possibility that users under the age of 18 could be served the ad, we concluded the ad had not been responsibly targeted.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).
We recognized the ad was atmospheric and created a sense of apprehension and reflected the theme of the game, survival horror. We acknowledged Bethesda had taken steps so that the ad was served to those over the age of 18 and who had sought out material
relating to video games and/or horror movies. Although there were no acts of violence against people depicted in the ad, it contained images of a person covered in shards of glass, someone wrapped in barbed wire, a flayed corpse wrapped in barbed wire,
bloodied creatures crawling around a warehouse-type building and a bubbling pool of blood, out of which a bloodied creature rose. Multiple shots of bloodied fingers, caused by handling barbed wire, featured throughout the ad and the end shot featured
what appeared to be a man's head exploding into bloody tentacles. We recognized the ad contained content which reflected the game's theme, which we also noted was PEGI-rated 18. However, we considered those images were excessively gory and were likely to
cause distress and offence to some who saw the ad.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence).
Images that supposedly sexualise children should be removed from the streets of Plymouth, say city councillors.
They backed a move by Labour councillor Kate Taylor to draw up guidelines to restrict what images can be displayed on council property. Taylor claimed without offering any evidence:
Power and control over the female body, and pressure on boys to conform to a hyper-masculine ideal, are having a real and damaging effect on our day-to-day lives.
We as a single authority have little control over the use of sexualised advertising used by companies and businesses across the country.
But we do have an opportunity to send the message the Plymouth City Council is doing whatever it can to make sure our children grow up loving themselves for who they are.
Nicky Williams, the Cabinet member for children and young people, said that although the council could not control advertisers, it could control images on display in Plymouth's public places and council-owned buildings.
Councillors instructed chief executive Tracey Lee to draw up guidelines for the use of such imagery.
The Daily Mirror has a bit of fun with the new Grand Theft Auto V and spouts:
In the 18-rated violent crime game's most shocking scene yet, the player is instructed to pull out his victim's teeth with a pair of pliers
A brutal scene in a new computer game where players carry out gruesome torture techniques has been condemned by teachers.
Today sees the official release of Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the most highly-anticipated games of all time.
In a torture scene in the PEGI 18-rated crime game, the player is instructed to pull out a victim's teeth with a pair of pliers. Gamers then pour a flammable liquid over a victim tied to a chair. Players then smash the victim's kneecap with a monkey
wrench and give him electric shocks using spark plugs as he pleads for mercy.
Alison Sherratt, president of the Lecturers and Teachers Association was suitable 'outraged':
Up until now we've been warning of the dangers of children seeing these games but saying it's the parents responsibility to keep children away from these video games. But this scene takes things a step too far and the games makers need to consider what
they are producing.
Children in our playgrounds are displaying more violence and we have conducted polls and found they are viewing games like GTA. My concern is that little brother or sister walk in to the room and start watching something like this because an older
brother is playing it. They don't understand the difference between reality and fiction because it's so awfully graphic and real. and they do copy it. They imitate what they see and this scene is taking it way too far.
Labour MP Keith Vaz says he is astonished by the torture scene in GTA 5 and contributed a sound bite:.
I am astonished at the level of violence depicted in this game.
It is worrying that this type of content could be accessed by young people, particularly considering the previous links to real-life violence. It is important that the video game industry takes steps to fully inform the public about the level of extreme
content. Responsibility also lies with parents to ensure that their children do not access these types of games until it is appropriate.
Liberal Democrats have resoundingly rejected plans for an automatic block on internet pornography.
The motion, proposed by Floella Benjamin, the former children's television presenter, suggested all computers should block out pornography unless a user specifically opts to receive it.
The rejection of the motion will be seen as a warning to Nick Clegg, who has already signed up to coalition proposals that means people will automatically have an anti-pornography filter on new computers unless they switch it off.
Despite the leadership's position, several Liberal Democrat speakers stood up to oppose the motion, with one arguing it was counter to all liberal instincts .
Jess Palmer was cheered by members after saying a pornography filter would have prevented her from discovering fan fiction with some adult themes and finding out about asexuality.
Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, successfully asked for the motion to be referred back to the party's policy committee for a rethink. He said there are some problems with children accessing internet pornography but this is not the solution.
Update: Crappy website blocking algorithms cited in vote against internet censorship policy
Cllr Sarah Brown, who represents Petersfield on Cambridge City Council, was successful in urging Liberal Democrat members to
reject calls for software companies to filter out pornography.
Adults would have had to opt in to view pornography under the proposals, which will now go back to party bosses for redrafting. The vote put the party at odds with the Conservatives.
Cllr Brown, who campaigns for transgender rights, said filters on public computers had stopped her from visiting her own blog - as well as websites on issues such as safe working conditions for prostitutes. She said:
As an equality campaigner I have seen first hand the effects of Internet censorship. I have been frustrated when trying to access LGBT news sites, or reading blogs of people campaigning for quality, sex education, breast feeding, safer working conditions
for those involved in sex work, drugs information, and so on.
I have even been disallowed access to my own blog, which, by the way, was shortlisted for a Lib Dem Voice award this year, because, apparently, it contains adult content .
Perhaps campaigning for equal rights for vulnerable and abused minorities is adult content , but so-called porn filters shouldn't be blocking it.
She said the motion had good intentions, but argued:
In seeking to protect children from porn, automated filters will block political campaigners, satire, support sites for victims of homophobic bullying, sexual abuse and eating disorders, breast feeding campaigners and the blogs of members of this party.
It is profoundly illiberal and will cause real harm to things of value.
The BBFC's website for children ( cbbfc.co.uk
) has been rellaunched. The CBBFC website has been updated with a new design, making it easier to use on tablet devices as well as laptops and PC's. The new CBBFC website also includes a section adults, where parents of younger children can read about
BBFC age ratings and find answers to frequently asked questions from other parents.
Lucy Brett, Head of Education at the BBFC said:
Through our work with primary school children across the UK, we know they enjoy learning about age ratings and telling us what they think about how films they love have been age rated. The new CBBFC website lets them explore these ideas. It is based on
the most common questions we are asked by children and their parents; 'What can children see at what age?'; 'How does the 12A certificate work?' and 'What it is like to be a BBFC Examiner?' The new website also offers age ratings for recent film
releases, including our detailed information for families and filmgoers BBFCinsight, and lets children tell us what they think through opinion polls, competitions and an activity which lets them 'examine and rate' film trailers.
Everything is designed for younger audiences to help them get to grips with age ratings. We've even rewritten our Classification Guidelines for children so they can engage with our work and understand our age ratings in the context of their own viewing,
while an area for parents and teachers outlines how we work, our education programme for schools and Kids Clubs and family events.
By running the poster competition we want to encourage children to start to recognise what film ratings are suitable for what age groups and why, giving them the chance to put themselves in the picture.
The previous CBBFC website launched in 2003 and the new website retains many of its popular activities, including rate a trailer, BBFC competitions and news about the latest kids films rated U, PG and 12A.
Ofcom has announced it is in contact with German authorities as it investigates whether Kiss FM owner Bauer is a fit and proper broadcaster,
after complaints that it publishes a magazine that is said to glorify German Second World War soldiers.
Ofcom has contacted Germany's Federal Review Board for Media Harmful To Minors, the censor responsible for monitoring issues such as coverage of war atrocities.
Bauer said none of its publications trivialise or glorify National Socialism or war crimes
Bowing to international pressure, Bauer Media has announced it would stop publication of Second World War title Der Landser (The Squaddie).
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has claimed that the magazine was making the Third Reich acceptable to a new generation of Germans.
Jewish leaders were appalled that the magazine included tributes to the brutal Waffen-SS. The director of Global Jewish Advocacy, Deidre Berger, claimed:
They encourage young people to have an affinity with World War Two. They are glorifying it and leaving out any mention of Germany's role in the Holocaust.
Bauer insisted it had been legal saying a German lawyer concludes that Der Landser complies fully with the stringent legislation in Germany and neither glorifies nor trivialises National Socialism. Its statement announced it has decided to
cease publishing the series .
Russia's anti gay 'propaganda' law is having wide and chilling effects on gay film making.
Filmmakers of a film with the translated title of A Winter's Journey have found that the film has been effectively banned despite winning approval by Russia's film censors and winning two prizes at separate film festivals. The film tells the story
of a gay classical singer falling in love with a street-smart petty criminal.
Director Sergei Taramayev told AFP he was saddened it could not be shown at the Kinotavr film festival after receiving such high critical acclaim. He said:
For the organisers of the festival it was uncomfortable, because there is such a law, so they thought it was better not to get involved.
At least people who were in the jury told us that this was the reason why we were not accepted for Kinotavr.
The film's co-writer Lyubov Lvova said festivals feared they could lose funding if they showed the film:
At many festivals, Russian ones, this scared the organisers a lot. They were afraid of this law, that it could stop them getting financing for their festivals.
Taramayev said they did not even submit the film to Russia's main film forum, Moscow International Film Festival, because of its anti-gay organiser, Nikita Mikhalkov. He said:
He supports the government's line and is a very political director and we realised that they would not take us.
Producer Mikhail Karasyov wrote in an email to AFP:
As for a cinema release, at the moment we are holding talks, but so far there is nothing concrete.
Male and female readers of the Sun strongly support Page 3 topless models, according to the chief executive of the paper's publisher
Mike Darcey said that ultimately any decision on the future of the Page 3 models is up to the Sun's editor, David Dinsmore, but that he believed customers are very happy with the Sun's editorial offering.
Darcey said that focus groups with those readers showed that both male and female Sun readers are happy to continue to see Page 3 in the UK's best selling daily.
There are around 12 million people a week who read the Sun and they are very happy with the package that is the Sun. And so they continue to buy it. We ask them, we have focus groups with them, ask what they think and they very strongly continue to
support that. That's true across male readers, female readers. And in the end this is a product people can choose to buy or not to buy.
My Son is a 2013 USA drama by Jarod O'Flaherty.
With Restin Burk, Kate Randall and Micheal Willbanks.
Rated R (17A) for some violence and drug use
The filmmakers behind the faith-based flick My Son were shocked when their low-budget movie was handed an R-rating from the Motion Pictures Association of America. Now, the church behind the movie is claiming that the MPAA handed out the strict
rating because of the film's religious message.
Jarod O'Flaherty, the movie's director, told Fox News:
When you compare the content that is this film to even the mildest PG-13 action movies that are out there, the content of our film comes in as much less graphic... So it raises some questions about what was it in this film that got us the R-rating?
O'Flaherty said he's convinced the rating had to do with the religious message the movie promotes.
I don't know that they set out to do something bad towards our little movie. I think it's more of a reflection of how Hollywood views Jesus in general... I mean the evidence speaks for itself.
The MPAA told Fox News:
The rating board is comprised of parents who work to give films the rating they believe a majority of American parents would give. Each rating is accompanied by a descriptor that offers parents more detail about why a film received a rating -- in the
case of 'My Son,' the R rating is for some violence and drug use. The rating is simply intended to inform parents of a film's content so that they can make their own viewing decisions on behalf of their kids; it is never an indication of the quality of a
Japan is to lodge an official complaint about a cartoon in a French newspaper that links the Fukushima
nuclear disaster with Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics.
The cartoon, which appeared in the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine , shows two sumo wrestlers -- each with an extra arm or leg -- with the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the background. At the edge of the panel, a TV
announcer dressed in a hazardous materials suit says: Marvellous! Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport.
The chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said a formal complaint would be lodged with the French embassy in Tokyo, claiming that the cartoon hurt the victims of the triple disaster that struck Japan's north-east coast on 11 March 2011. He said:
It is inappropriate and gives the wrong impression about the issue of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi. It is extremely regrettable.
In a bid to censor supposedly obscene and violent content in children's reading , the Chinese government has released a circular calling for stricter supervision over children's publications.
The document, jointly released by five departments including the Ministry of Education and the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said:
The children ' s publications market has been thriving with many quality works that boost healthy development , but problems also exist , such as shoddy quality , improper content and overly high prices.
The circular urged administrative departments to strictly ban publications that contain murder, violence, obscenity and erotic content. It also told publishing houses to train professional editing teams for children' s titles.
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar.
With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna.
The film proved controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still running high. Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A similar
incident has been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained that the film is only partially based on fact:
We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too.
Madras Cafe invoked the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as terrorists. Several court cases later, the film was released across India, however cinemas
in the state of Tamil Nadu refused to show the film.
Three major cinema companies in the U.K. decided not to screen Madras Cafe . The film was to have opened in the U.K. on August 28, 2013 in theatres owned by Cineworld, Odeon and Vue.
But on August 24, protests began outside the head office of these theatres, organised by Sri Lankan Tamil groups led by the Tamil Youth Organisation (U.K.). Carrying placards that said, Inciting violence is not entertainment, Ban Madras Cafe
, Ban hate speech , its members shouted slogans and burnt copies of the film's posters. The protests somehow managed to elude press coverage, despite the dramatic theatricals of posters being burned.
The anti-Madras Cafe campaign went on the Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation. An online campaign called on Tamils to sign a petition against the film, and to telephone theatres to protest the screenings.
When the cinemas complied with this demand, exultant messages appeared on the page. The theatres played down the ban though, perhaps suggesting that they had little desire to oppose the censorship, and certainly didn't want to take it any further.
A senior executive from Odeon, in response to a question from The Hindu, merely said her company does not wish to cause any offence to any local community groups and hence took the decision. A Cineworld spokesperson was equally guarded. Our
policy is to show a wide range of films to different audiences. However, following customer feedback and after working with the film distributors, we have decided not to show Madras Cafe.
The issue then sank from public gaze, but a few voices have registered disquiet. It is hard to believe that we are living in a first world country, said a senior media industry executive who did not want to be named: A group of people
created a ruckus in front of Cineworld's offices, and the film is withdrawn! And neither does the U.K. government nor the Indian High Commission intervene.
Conversations with South Asian activists suggest that they did not want to get involved because they do not wish to mess with the pro-LTTE Tamil groups, which are well organised and militant.
The disgraceful Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young claims that ZOO magazine made her look incompetent and immature when they photoshopped her head onto the body of a lingerie clad model.
Hanson-Young is suing the magazine on several grounds over the photo and article entitled ZOO's Asylum Seeker Bikini Plan , published in July 2012.
But NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum struck out several of her arguments, saying she did not believe the photo made the senator look incompetent or immature. Justice McCallum, however, granted Senator Hanson-Young leave to argue her case in
front of a jury at a later date.
The magazine had said it would house the next boatload of asylum seekers in the ZOO office , if the Greens' immigration spokeswoman would agree to a tasteful bikini or lingerie photo shoot.
Senator Hanson-Young claims the magazine gave rise to several imputations, including that she is not a politician to be taken seriously and that her pro-asylum seeker stance is ridiculous .
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number developer Dennaton Games is currently reviewing a scene that sets up a sexual assault, but
doesn't actually show it happening. Some early players voiced concerns about its place in the top-down shooter.
Dennaton Games' Dennis Wedin explained that the scene has been removed from the newest version of the Hotline Miami 2 demo while the developer works out a way to potentially alter its content.
We're going to work with it, see if we can fix it. You get a bigger picture when you play the whole game, which is lost in the demo of course.
The controversial scene appears during a level transition. You play as the Pig Butcher and smash your way through hordes of bad guys, leaving a bloody mess in your wake.
Following the formula of the previous Hotline Miami game, once you reached the end of the level, the character would either rescue a target or kill them. Your target in the controversial scene is a blonde who appears to fight just as well as any of the
men in the room. However, once you defeat her the game prompts you to FINISH HER. But instead of a needlessly violent kill, Pig Butcher pins her down and drops his trousers. At that moment a voice yells CUT........Pig Man, well done, but don't
be afraid to be rougher. And you there, blondie. You need to work on your femininity. Act more helpless and scared. You know, more girly.
Australian broadcaster, ABC, says it is protesting a Facebook decision to censor a Reuters image from its latest #Knowthestory
marketing campaign because it features a naked man.
ABC managing director Mark Scott tweeted the censored image which shows a naked man facing riot police protesting against harsh Greek budget cuts in 2012.
An ABC spokesperson said the public broadcaster has asked Facebook to reverse its decision:
The ABC stands by the image in the #knowthestory ABC News campaign, an ABC spokesperson said. We acknowledge some people might find the image a bit cheeky but we believe it is a powerful and legitimate news image and feedback indicates that Australians
are indeed interested to #knowthestory.
The ABC is disappointed with Facebook and are continuing to ask them to reverse their decision.
Facebook's rules ban nudity unless they embarrassed by publicity, in which case nudity is fine.
China has unveiled repressive new measures to stop the spread of what the government calls irresponsible rumours, threatening offenders with three years in
jail if untrue posts online are widely reposted, drawing an angry response from Chinese internet users.
China is in the middle of yet another crackdown on what it terms online rumours , as the government tries to further repress social media and the discussion of politics.
According to a judicial interpretation issued by China's top court and prosecutor, people will be charged with defamation if online rumours they create are visited by 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times. That could lead to three years in
Users of China's popular Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging site expressed anger about the new rules. It's far too easy for something to be reposted 500 times or get 5,000 views. Who is going to dare say anything now? wrote one Weibo user.
Cuban artist Erik Ravelo's latest project is a personal artwork, unrelated to his career as a creative director at Benetton, has managed to outrage the easily offended.
I had people writing me, threatening me, he said in a phone conversation with the Huffington Post. At first the project was fun but it got a little out of hand.
Los Intocables, which translates to The Untouchables, is what Ravelo refers to as a human installation, featuring a variety of issues plaguing children around the world. Several works features both a child and an adult posed to
demonstrate a contemporary evil, whether it be gun violence, molestation or the threat of nuclear war. Each work features a child being crucified on the back of an adult, each scene attempting to tell a different story about the loss of innocence.
The human sculptures are then photographed with the child's face blurred, resulting in images as visually jarring as they are conceptually saddening. It's art, it's communication, Ravelo explained.
Facebook obligingly have censored Ravelo's project. Halting his likes at 18,000, he has been prevented from uploading more images. I am used to governmental censorship from Cuba but with this, he paused, my first reaction was 'woah.'
I'm probably not alone among parents in dreading the likely question: Why has she done this?
That's the more troubling aspect of Wrecking Ball. Maybe Cyrus has done this entirely of her own voliition. And it is certainly not my place, as a 44-year-old man, to pronounce on how 20-year-old women should display their sexuality. But whatever her
reasons for making the video, Cyrus does send a message: that the best way for young women to be noticed is to sexually objectify themselves. And, in this case -- sadly -- it seems to have worked.
It's now five past noon, and Wrecking Ball has had 14,453,182 views on YouTube. It's added more than a million since I started writing this piece.
Music videos by Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears have been deemed too explicit for daytime television in France. The country's broadcast watchdog has told channels to only show Cyrus' video for Wrecking Ball and Spears' video for Work Bitch after 10pm.
In a statement, the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) watchdog said some channels were showing them in the daytime and without any parental guidance warnings. The Cyrus video, which mostly features the young pop star writhing around naked, is too
sexually explicit, it says. And Spears' video, which shows her in bondage gear, shows a sadomachistic universe representing women in a way that risks shocking many viewers .
Britain's Got More Talent ITV2
13 April 2013, 20:35,
14 April 2013, 17:30
17 April 2013, 06:30 and 13:25
Britain's Got More Talent is the companion show to the ITV talent series Britain's Got Talent, which aims to find an unknown star from the general public to perform at the annual Royal Variety Performance.
A complainant alerted Ofcom to scenes of nudity in the episode broadcast on 13 April 2013 at 20:30.
Ofcom viewed a recording and noted a performance by Scarlet around 20:55, which included the following:
Scarlet unzipped, dropped and stepped out of her dress entirely, leaving her wearing only a necklace and with a feather boa to cover her body (which she picked up from a chair at this point). She turned to the audience to reveal her naked bottom, which
she wiggled. This sequence consisted of: a two second close-up of Scarlet unzipping the back of her dress; a two second mid shot of her wriggling her bottom out of the dress; a one second close up of her bottom; a two second long to mid zoom showing
Scarlet in wide shot with her naked bottom to the audience; a two second mid shot of Scarlet shaking her naked bottom to the audience; and a later one second shot of Scarlet shaking her naked bottom to the audience. The images were pixellated and
intercut with shots of the audience and the judges' reactions.
At the end of the routine, Scarlet turned back to the audience, her feather boa covering her front, and presenter Declan Donnelly came on stage and handed her a dressing gown.
Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:
Children must...be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3
The performance in question was a burlesque act, which is a variety genre characterised by flirtatious comedy, mime, dancing and striptease. We noted that this performance as a whole lasted approximately 90 seconds and contained shots of Scarlet removing
her dress and shaking her naked bottom at the audience (as set out in the Introduction). We noted that from the point when Scarlet removed her dress, there were five individual shots totalling around 10 seconds giving particular focus to her naked and
As already pointed out Ofcom guidance states that: It is important to note that in pre-watershed content, Ofcom would not expect to see singers and dancers wearing clothing that does not adequately cover their bodies (in particular their breasts,
genital area and buttocks) .
Ofcom considered in this latest broadcast that the nudity was more evident than the previous case due to the frequency and close-up nature of some of the images of the performer's naked buttocks. While we noted the nudity was pixellated, Ofcom disagreed
with ITV and considered it was of limited effectiveness and did not sufficiently obscure the performer's naked buttocks.
Taking into account the level of detail in this sequence, Ofcom did not consider that the Licensee had taken adequate steps to limit the images of nudity. The frequency and detail of these images in context of a striptease in a burlesque act meant that
on balance they were not suitable for children.
Free TV is an industry body which represents all of Australia's commercial free-to-air television licensees. The body
has now made a call to scrap the TV watershed citing that it gives an unfair advantage to competing internet TV.
In a submission to the Australian Communication and Media Authority, Free TV Australia says the restrictions on what can be shown during children's viewing hours have become irrelevant with adult material available to any home at any time through the
internet or pay TV.
It has called for the removal on time zone restrictions which it says are out-dated and put free-to-air broadcasters at a disadvantage.
Free TV Australia says while the protection of children remains an enduring concept, there are now more effective tools to protect children, including parental locks.
But the South Australian Attorney-General John Rau says any change to the times when adult material can be screened would be:
Well out of line with community expectations. As a parent, I would be appalled if my children were exposed to programming that displayed
I believe it is unrealistic to expect parents to monitor every single program that their children watch on television, particularly during school holidays.
Nominet has launched a review of its registration policy for .uk domain names. The scope of the review focuses on whether there should be restrictions
on the words and expressions permitted in .uk domain name registrations.
Nominet currently has an open policy on domain registrations since 1996, which has played a key role in promoting a dynamic and open internet in the UK.
However, concerns over this approach have been raised by an internet safety commentator and subsequently reported in the Daily Mail. Nominet was also contacted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in relation to this issue and are keeping them
informed of our actions.
The review is to be independently chaired by former Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald QC.
Lord Macdonald will work with Nominet's policy team to conduct a series of meetings with key stakeholders, and to review and assess wider contributions from the internet community, which should be received by 4 November 2013. The goal is to deliver a
report to Nominet's board in December of this year, which will be published shortly thereafter.
Nominet are now seeking contributions from the public via this online form
in relation to this policy review.
An Ella Baché outdoor advertising campaign has been banned in Australia because the models' serious facial
expressions increased the sexual overtones of the image, according to industry self-regulator, the Outdoor Media Association (OMA).
The advertising campaign, was to be featured in billboards in all major cities, depicting three models with three serious expressions on their faces under the tagline Skin solutions as individual as you are .
Ella Baché also shot the three models smiling in the same pose - which was seen by the OMA as "acceptable as it is less sexualized and is relevant to the product" - and this shot will be used as a substitute following the ban.
Faie Davis, Ella Baché creative director said:
This bizarre decision is the epitome of political correctness, indicating that as a society we are becoming very fearful of putting a foot wrong, with the result that stymies creative thinking.
Yet now we are seeing self-appointed regulators making sexual judgements about facial expressions, which borders on the laughable. This sort of thinking displays why Australian advertising is falling behind the rest of the world, as creativity is being
squeezed out by political correctness.
The Co-op supermarket chains has announced that 4000 stores have now banned lads' mags as
Steve Murrells, the chief censor of retail for the Co-operative Group, claimed:
As a community-based retailer, we have listened to and acted upon the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom said they objected to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores.
We believe individual, sealed modesty bags are the most effective way of addressing these concerns, so we will no longer be stocking the titles that have failed to meet our request. This action will make our stores more attractive to families with young
children, by creating a more family-friendly shopping environment.
The Guardian itself appears to be becoming increasingly censored, especially on anything sex-related. What had originally seemed like the work of a few puritan journalists now seems to be official editorial policy
Censorship of the BBC could be moved from the BBFC Trust to Ofcom.
The Sunday Times has reported that the plans are seen as evidence of the government's anger at the scandal-prone corporation, most lately about recent generous payoffs to senior staff. Chris Patten and Mark Thompson are due to appear before the Commons
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tomorrow for a showdown about the payments.
Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative member of the PAC, said:
Whoever is telling the truth here, it is clear that the governance of the BBC by the Trust is broken. It has clearly failed to adequately scrutinise the way the corporation has been spending public money.
A senior source at the Culture, Media and Sport department said:
It is clear that the trust, which is both a cheerleader for the BBC and its regulator, does not work. There are contradictions.
Under the plans the BBC would be run on similar lines to Channel 4, which is publicly owned but censored by Ofcom. The corporation has been subject to Ofcom regulation on matters of obscenity, privacy and harm, since 2007, but has maintained its
independence on questions of editorial impartiality. The plan would require primary legislation, and would take effect from the BBC's next charter beginning in January 2017.
Tessa Jowell, the former Labour culture secretary who set up the trust, said it should remain as the voice of the licence fee payer and warned that Ofcom might become too powerful..
Ofcom has announced it is in contact with German authorities as it investigates whether Kiss FM owner Bauer is a fit and proper broadcaster,
after complaints that it publishes a magazine that is said to glorify German Second World War soldiers.
Ofcom has contacted Germany's Federal Review Board for Media Harmful To Minors, the censor responsible for monitoring issues such as coverage of war atrocities.
Bauer said none of its publications trivialise or glorify National Socialism or war crimes
Bollywood songs and dance numbers featuring sexily dressed women displaying supposedly vulgar moves have been ordered to be pixellated or blurred on television. The Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC) says that scenes 'objectifying' women or
displaying them suggestively will have to be blurred or pixellated.
The censorship has started with Tu Bhi Mood Mein , a playful raindance number from Indra Kumar's soon-to-bereleased adult comedy Grand Masti . The song is now being aired on music channels with pixels covering 'objectionable' parts of the
images. The uncensored promos of the film have gone viral on YouTube.
CBFC chief censor Pankaja Thakur explained:
Songs that are moderate in content are acceptable to the TV audience but the board is careful when it comes to something that is either too vulgar or inappropriate. Special instructions are thus given for toning down such songs,
According to directives of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, films with A certification (Adults only) have to be re-certified for TV viewing by the censor board. For this reason, the A-certified Grand Masti has been scrutinised for TV viewing.
The film is rated 12A for infrequent strong language and moderate sex references.
There are five uses of strong language ('fuck'), which occur in different comic situations and with no undue aggression. The film also contains milder bad language, including hell , shit , prick , dickhead , dick , smart arse
, arseing , bugger , screw that , screwed up , sod all , bum , Christ and bastard .
Anyway this appears to be a slight change to the guidelines as the last time it was mentioned, only 4 'fucks' were allowed in a 12A rated film.
A negative public reaction to the government's disgraceful lobbying bill and its effect on censoring campaign groups has led to a promise to make
Liberal Democrat sources said the government will retreat on some parts of the lobbying bill as early as next week, after campaign groups raised serious concerns that it would have a chilling effect on their campaigns.
The news comes days after MPs attacked the bill as a dog's breakfast and a mess when it was debated for the first time in the House of Commons.
Labour attacked its sinister restrictions on campaigning by campaign groups a year before an election, while backbench Tories expressed reservations about its impact on free speech.
It is understood the government will offer to remove several controversial clauses, including ones that said campaigning could count as political if it procures success for a candidate, even if it does not endorse a specific party. Charities from Oxfam
to the Royal British Legion feared this could make them subject to spending limits on political campaigning in the year before an election.
Sources close to Nick Clegg said the amendments would mean no extra charities or third parties would be caught by the restrictions, though some that faced limits in 2010 would still be affected by new limits.
Even with the promised concessions, the lobbying bill will still mean third parties are subject to tougher restrictions on political campaigning.
The Electoral Commission has warned the new spending limits could mean it would have to ask groups in breach of the law to take down blogs or stop political rallies. The watchdog said the bill would create a high degree of uncertainty.
Australia's Coalition has made a couple of last minute changes of mind about its internet censorship policy.
Under a last-minute plan, which was not accompanied by any press release or announcement, Australian mobile phone and ISPs would be required to censor adult content on the internet unless users opt out.
But by Thursday evening, the Coalition's communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, announced the policy had been changed so that users would opt in if they wanted websites to be blocked.
All I can say to you is mistakes happen. As soon as I became aware of the policy having been released in the form it was I took steps to correct it.
The opting in to website blocking policy had received the tick of approval from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and other senior Liberals before being released, but was apparently misunderstood by those who first presented the policy.
A US metal band has been barred from performing in Malaysia, after officials claim the group would infringe the country's religious sensitivities. The Communications and Multimedia Ministry refused to grant the band a permit.
Last week, the Department of Islamic Development also objected to the group's performance, claiming that the music the group performed mixed metal songs with verses from the Koran.
In a statement Lamb of God said:
We would invite anyone offended by our music to engage in a discussion regarding the true motivations behind our work, especially before publicly slandering us based on assumptions and shallow misinterpretation.
The Cape Town Fish Market has apologised for a television advert the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claimed offended black people and must be withdrawn.
The commercial features a white man playing different characters to demonstrate how truth can be bent in order to mislead. The character uses his fingers to show inverted commas to indicate that sometimes fresh fish is not really fresh. In one
scene his face is blackened and he speaks in a thick African accent.
The ASA, after considering complaints lodged by two people, banned the advert.
In its ruling, the ASA said the complainants found the commercial to be offensive as it portrayed a stereotype that black politicians were liars.
This technique is known as 'blackface', and is an inherently racist form of acting. The black character is depicted with derogatory intention, speaks with a thick accent and recalls a stereotypical black dictator. To achieve the desired result of showing
a corrupt official, there was no need for the man to be made out to be black.
José Ramón Larraz Gil was a Spanish director of exploitation and horror films such as the erotic and bloody Vampyres (1974).
Born in Barcelona , Larraz started his career as a comics writer. He began making films in England, then in 1976 apparently relocated his operations back to Spain. He made many different types of films, but is best known for his horror films. His last
few horror films were Spanish/ American co-productions. He apparently retired from filmmaking in 1992 at age 63.
Larraz died, aged 84, in Málaga on 3 September 2013.
Symptoms (1974) aka Blood Virgin
The House That Vanished (1975) aka Scream and Die , aka Don't Go in the Bedroom
Vampyres (1975) aka Daughters of Dracula , aka Blood Hunger
The Coming of Sin (1978) aka The Violation of the Bitch
Thai groups iLaw and Movie Audience Network have organized a film competition to defy local film censorship.
Unlike other film contests, where prizes may be awarded for aesthetics, technical directing or acting, the film competition organized by three local organizations, Internet Dialogue on Law Reform (iLaw), Bioscope Magazine and the Movie Audience Network,
will present awards to the director of the film most likely to be banned by the Thai authorities.
According to the organizers, the Film Likely to be Banned project aims to challenge the 2007 Film and Video Act, which grants to the Film and Video Board under the Ministry of Culture the authority to ban films which might undermine public order and
morality , or affect national security and the honour of Thailand .
Last year, Shakespeare Must Die was banned under the Film and Video Act on the grounds that it would cause rifts among the people in the nation. The film is about a dictator who killed the king to become ruler, and was an adaptation of
Shakespeare's Macbeth. In late 2010, the film Insects in the Backyard was barred because a scene featured students in school uniforms having sexual relationships.
The short film contest, under the slogan closer to the edge with artfulness, opened for entries in April, and will present the awards this Saturday.
The contest received 40 films submitted by amateur directors from all over the country. 15 have been shortlisted for the award. The films will be screened before the awards ceremony at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre this Saturday, September 7th.
The event will not however screen three films that were considered by the organizers as having legal implications that were too risky.
The ISP TalkTalk has told education minister Sarah Teather that the government should downplay its focus on pornography blocking and try to stop
suicide sites instead, the Guardian learned.
In a meeting with Teather, who as an MP led a campaign against the sexualisation of children, TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding said:
Suicide is more important to parents than porn, so why mandate [filters against] porn and not suicide?
According to notes from the meeting in May 2012, released under a Freedom of Information request, Harding said that the government's plan to make users choose whether to opt in or out of being able to access sites designated as porn would be
David Cameron has said that he wants to see ISPs being more proactive over pornography. But a source at one ISP criticised Cameron's overt focus on pornography and claimed politicians and the media are absolutely obsessed with it .
A TalkTalk spokesperson said suicide was the most commonly blocked subject matter by customers using its Homesafe content filtering software, followed by self-harm, pornography, weapons and violence in that order.
By 2010, suicide had become the single biggest caused of death for those aged 15-49 in the developed world, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Russia is now proposing even tougher measures against those who facilitate piracy. A new bill has been approved which allows for fines of up to $29,853
for service providers, search engines and users who fail to comply with a blacklist of sites already subjected to copyright complaints.
Just over a month has passed since Russia introduced new legislation aimed at cracking down on online piracy. The law, which has become known as Russia's SOPA, takes a tough line with those offering or linking to illicit content online.
Copyright complaints against a site or service can lead to that domain being added to a national blocklist, if their operators fail to render the illicit content inaccessible within a few days.
Just 34 days after the initial law was implemented, the government is pushing through further punitive measures for pirates and those deemed to be assisting them.
According to Vesti.ru a parliamentary committee has approved a new bill which will allow a range of Internet entities to be fined if they fail to block content and sites as dictated by the country's blacklist. The bill, which was approved in the first of
three planned readings in the State Duma, introduces fines of up to one million rubles ($29,853) to be levied against search engines, web hosts, ISPs, and even regular web users. The heaviest of fines will be reserved for companies failing to comply with
the requirements of the blacklist, while punishments for regular users are expected to sit around 5,000 rubles ($149).
The Australian Sex Party has come up with an amusing political advert joking that Australians like sex but they don't like getting fucked. They are fucked by being denied gay marriage, legal euthanasia, sex education and freedom to take drugs
A brochure, for Fireball Whiskey, featured text which stated TASTES LIKE HEAVEN BURNS LIKE HELL . The ad also
included two Polaroid style photographs in the top right corner of the page. One of the photographs featured four people standing in a nightclub. One of the people held a sign that included the Fireball logo and read THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I
COME . Text within the body of the ad beneath the heading FIREBALL ACTIVITY stated Throughout the year, the Fireball team will be committed to delivering exciting activity across the country to support the spread of the Fireball phenomena
[sic]. From being the Kerrang Awards' spirit of choice to sponsoring Loaded's National Tour, you will always find Fireball at the centre of the party .
The complainant challenged whether:
the ad breached the Code, because the person holding the sign which featured the text THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME appeared under 25 years of age; and
the claim THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME was offensive, because they considered it was a sexually explicit reference.
The ASA noted the CAP Code required that people shown drinking alcohol or playing a significant role in a marketing communication must neither be, nor seem to be, under 25 years of age. Although the person holding the sign, which featured the text THE
HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME , was not drinking, we considered that in appearing in the photograph with promotional material for Fireball Whiskey, they were playing a significant role in the ad. Because the person appeared to be under the age of
25, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 18.16 (Alcohol).
We considered the claim THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME would be understood by consumers as a sexually explicit reference. We considered the presentation of a person, who appeared under the age of 25, in conjunction the claim THE HOTTER
YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence).
India's Supreme Court has ordered the government to take steps to block porn sites and has granted four weeks to
produce a plan.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the morality campaigner Kamlesh Vaswani who claimed that although watching obscene videos is not an offence, pornographic sites should be banned as they are one of the major causes for crime against women.
The petition alleged that over 20 crore porn videos or clippings are freely available in the market, which are directly been downloaded through Internet or other video CDs.
The sexual content that kids are accessing today is far more graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive and has put entire society in danger so also safety threats to public order in India.
The petitioner most respectfully submits that most of the offences committed against women/girls/children are fuelled by pornography. The worrying issue is the severity and gravity of the images are increasing. It is a matter of serious concern that
prepubescent children are being raped.
The petition also asked that watching and sharing obscene videos should be made non-bailable and cognisable offence.
The Australia's advert censor has upheld a complaint against an outdoor ad for a Townsville strip bar featuring a buxom
woman in a low cut top. The poster for the Santa Fe Gold nightclub features the woman with the message I'm waiting. xxx .
One complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) claimed:
This ad is completely degrading to women, showing a large cleavage and implying she is available to be oggled.
The majority of the Board considered that in connection with the text 'I'm waiting', the sexual nature of the business and the sexualised image of the woman, the advertisement presented the woman in a manner that was subservient and degrading.
The Board noted that the advertisement is above a car park which is used by patrons to family restaurants and entertainment centres and so it is likely to be viewed by a broad audience which would include children.
The Board noted that the woman was wearing a bra or low cut top. The Board agreed that the neckline was very low and that the nipple of the woman's left breast was seemingly exposed. The Board agreed that although it is difficult to determine exactly
whether the nipple is visible, the first, likely impression and perception is that there is an exposed nipple and that the position of her breast would suggest that that is where the nipple would appear anatomically. The Board considered that the low cut
top exposed the majority of the woman's breasts in a sexually suggestive manner.
Whore of the Orient , a new computer game from the developer of L A Noire , is being harangued for not
having a politically correct title.
A prominent member of the Australian-Chinese community is whingeing that the game is supposedly an attempt to disgrace Chinese culture, history and traditions .
Jieh-Yung Lo has vowed to take his complaint to the Human Rights Commission on grounds of supposed racial vilification:
Australian institutions should be encouraged to fund projects and initiatives that cultivate mutual understanding and prosperity in the Australia-China relationship. We need to build greater trust and cultural understanding rather than promote division
It seems that Whore of the Orient is an historical nickname for the city of Shanghai. The game is set in 1936 in a city described in promotional material as the most corrupt and decadent city on the planet, where anything can be had or done for
the right price .
It's the use of the word 'Orient', more even than the word 'whore', that is the issue. The O-word is very similar to the N-word for African-American communities. It's a 19th century racial-colonial conception and it's especially painful for older people
in the communities. That was a very bad time in China, and people don't want or need to have that dragged up.
Tunisian authorities arrested cameraman Mourad Mehrezi,whose for filming someone throwing an egg at the minister of culture.
The authorities claim that Mehrezi was involved in the protest but the only evidence against Mehrezi is an alleged confession he says he did not sign. The director of his television station has said he was present filming for his station.
Police arrested Mehrezi, who works for Astrolabe TV, on August 18, 2013, two days after he caught on camera the film director Nasreddine Shili hitting Culture Minister Mehdi Mabrouk in the face with an egg. On August 23 the public prosecutor brought
charges against Mehrezi that include conspiracy to assault a public servant and harming public morals. Mehrezi's trial will start on September 5.
Blurred Lines is a song recorded by Canadian-American R&B recording artist Robin Thicke for his 2013 album of the same name. The song features guest vocals from American rapper T.I. and American singer and producer Pharrell.
The single has peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as well as topping the Billboard R&B Songs chart. It has also become Thicke's most successful song on the Billboard Hot 100, being his first to reach number one.
The song has been a worldwide hit, topping the charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.
The music video was released on March 20, 2013, and was made in two versions; the first video features models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue, and Elle Evans being topless, the second features them covered. The topless version of the video was removed
from YouTube on March 30, 2013, for violating the site's terms of service regarding nudity, though it was later restored, but flagged as restricted to adults.
Critics such as Tricia Romano of The Daily Beast suggested that the song and the music video trivialize sexual consent. She charges that many female fans were uncomfortable with both the song and the video. Her article quoted feminists who interpreted
the song's message as being promotion of rape culture because the title Blurred Lines and portions of the lyrics like I know you want it encourage the idea no doesn't always mean no and that some women who are raped are asking for it.
Criticism was also leveled at the song's video, which has been labelled eye-poppingly misogynist . Thicke said that the Diane Martel--directed video was tongue-in-cheek.
Three Auckland law students have made a parody version of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines . The parody replaces the topless female models with topless men and changes the lyrics to voice their frustration at the claimed sexualisation and
subjection of women in the original. Example lines from Adelaide Dunn, Olivia Lubbock and Zoe Ellwood are: We're feeling the frustration, from all the exploitation...what you see on TV, doesn't speak equality, it's straight up misogyny.
The well made tongue-in-cheek satire, entitled Defined Lines , immediately went viral, but the irony of the message was clearly lost on some, as it was removed by YouTube after being reported for indecency and featuring inappropriate content. It
was later restored.
Its got a fair way to go to overhaul the original though, that has now racked up 17 million views.
Today the BBFC becomes the new regulator of mobile content, replacing the Independent Mobile Classification Body, which had regulated
this content since 2004. From 2 September, the BBFC will provide the UK mobile network operators EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, with a new independent Classification Framework for content accessed via their mobile networks. Mobile Operators will use this as
a basis for their code of practice for content, meaning content that would be age rated 18 by the BBFC, can be put behind access filters.
The Classification Framework designed by the BBFC allows mobile operators to classify their own commercial content and to calibrate the filters they use to restrict content accessible by children via a mobile operator's Internet access service. Such
content will include pornography and other adult sexual content, pro-ana websites and content which promotes or glorifies discrimination or real life violence.
The BBFC's new partnership will better enable EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to make consistent, evidence based and transparent decisions about the use of Internet filters and will make a significant contribution to protecting children from unsuitable and
even harmful content accessed through their mobile devices.
It seems that the BBFC have just patched up their film classification guidelines and ignored the consequences of trying to apply this to a much broader medium such as a large website.
Back in 2004 when the IMCB were in charge, the rules were envisaged to control video clips and the like provided by mobile phone companies, but David Cooke's introduction seems to suggest that the scope of this has been extended to take in internet
It makes sense to speak of 'repeated' use of the word 'cunt' for a 90 minute film or 1 5 minute video clip, but how does this apply to a massive website such as the Guardian newspaper? It will have many uses of the word 'cunt' spread thinly throughout
1000's of pages. Is it ok to use asterisked spellings such as 'c**t'?
The BBFC speak of references to porn terms being 18 rated but how would this apply to a list of R18 DVDs with titles and cuts using explicit porn terminology?
The BBFC opts out of discussing how effective age restrictions are such, as self declared age like on the BBFC website. Does such an age gate mean that the BBFC porn terms don't trigger an 18 rating (Can other websites use this same technique?)
The BBFC doesn't mention anything about links to other website. Does a link to a porn website mean that the linking website is 18 rated?
And what about pixellated nudity sex scenes.
The questions are endless and the BBFC document is woeful at answering even the most basic.
Perhaps the BBFC could provide a few illustrations such as how it classifies its own website, or how it would classify the Daily Mail website? Enquiring minds need to know.
A repressive law banning Vietnamese online users from discussing current affairs has come into effect.
The decree, known as Decree 72, says blogs and social websites should not be used to share news articles, but only personal information. It also prohibits the online publication of material that opposes the Vietnamese government or harms
national security .
The law also requires foreign internet companies to keep their local servers inside Vietnam.
It has been widely criticised by internet companies and human rights groups, as well as the US government. Last month the US embassy in Hanoi said it was deeply concerned by the decree's provisions , arguing that fundamental freedoms apply
online just as they do offline .
The Asia Internet Coalition, an industry group that represents companies including Google and Facebook, said the move would stifle innovation and discourage businesses from operating in Vietnam .
A TV station in Thailand has agreed to allow government-approved 'Islamic experts' to censor the script for a TV serial
after a small but vocal Muslim group whinged that the show 'misrepresents' their religion.
The soap opera Fah Jarod Sai (Desert Horizon) stars Thai actors in a romantic melodrama portraying an imaginary Arab-style royal officer who falls in love with a girl who is half-Thai, half-French, in a fantasy kingdom named Hinfara.
On August 22, a small, outspoken Bangkok-based group, Muslims for 'Peace', demanded Channel 7 cancel the series.
On August 24, in response, Channel 7's executives met Thailand's Muslim leader Aziz Phitakkumpon, who is the Chularatchamontri or State Counselor for Islamic Affairs, which is an advisory position approved by the prime minister and appointed by
The Muslims for 'Peace' presented their complaint to Channel 7, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). The Muslims for Peace's petition claimed:
We are afraid that the lakhorn [soap opera] could eventually have large-scale and unpredictable effects on Muslims if the ICT Ministry and the NBTC do not cancel Fah Jarod Sai.
Apparently the complainants felt that it was misleading to show the Muslim religion allowing its believers to be cruel to women and children.
The station had already broadcast four episodes and had eight remaining episodes. These last episodes will now be censored prior to broadcast.