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Censor Watch

2012: November

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I Spit on Your Censorship...

I Spit on Your Grave still getting noticed in New Zealand

Link Here30th November 2012
Full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity

Spit Your Grave Region NTSCA video rental store in Hamilton, New Zealand has been forced to pull a movie from its shelves which was banned by censors in 2011 for scenes of rape and sadistic violence.

United Video owner Mike Puklowski said he had no idea the film was banned even though the store promoted it as banned .

Censors last year approved a re-issue of the 1978 original on Blu-ray, but were scathing of the remake in a March 2011 decision by the classifications office:

The [2010 remake] contains long and realistic scenes showing the brutal terrorisation and rape of a woman by a group of men. Later scenes show her implausible but sadistic vengeance against her tormentors.

It encouraged attitudes that contribute to sexual violence, torture by terror and other extremes of cruelty and violence, particularly against women.

The treatment of the woman before she is raped, is an all-too-plausible and realistic version of the kind of abuse meted out to many women. There is minimal effort to explain the sadistic behaviour of the male characters.

The length of the scenes and their gratuitous focus on [her] suffering offer maximum opportunity for misogynistic pleasure. Viewers are repeatedly invited to share the point of view of the rapists and are therefore placed in the position of prurient voyeurs.

Some viewers may well identify with male dominance and power, and echo the men's enjoyment of the woman's terror and humiliation.

A spokeswoman from the Office of Film and Literature Classification confirmed the film was 'objectionable', a ruling which meant possessing, or downloading it would be an offence.



Update: Feel Free to Insult Me!...

Lords propose amendment to remove the word insult from Section 5 of the Public Order Act

Link Here30th November 2012
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

The Reform Section 5 campaign has taken a major step forward with the tabling of an amendment in Parliament to remove the word insulting from section 5 of the Public Order Act.

The amendment, to the Crime and Courts Bill, was made by Lord Dear, former Chief Constable of the West Midlands police, and countersigned by three prominent lawyers, former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern, former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord (Ken) MacDonald and Baroness (Helena) Kennedy QC.

The amendment has been welcomed by the incoming Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Baroness Onora O'Neill, who said:

There is evidence that police are using this power to arrest and fine people for exercising their fundamental human right to freedom of expression.

Limitations on free speech to deal with offences such as incitement to hatred and violence are clearly necessary. However, a blanket ban on the use of any insulting words or actions is dangerous because it could criminalise anyone who speaks their mind, regardless of their intention.'

A legal change is vital to protect free speech along with better guidance on equality and human rights, to help police find the right balance between legitimate free speech and taking justifiable action against abusive words or conduct.'

The influential Joint (Parliamentary) Committee on Human Rights has also recommended that:

We understand the sensitivities with certain communities on the issue of criminalising insulting words or behaviour, but nonetheless we support an amendment to the Bill which reduces the scope of Section 5 Public Order Act 1986 on the basis that criminalising insulting words or behaviour constitutes a disproportionate interference with freedom of expression.

The campaign to reform section 5 has been led by the Christian Institute and the National Secular Society who last week wrote to every peer asking them to support the change.

Keith Porteous wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society said:

Given the high level of support, especially with such prestigious names, we are highly optimistic that this campaign will be successful. The deadline for the Government to respond to the consultation passed many months ago and there is no credible opposition.



Update: Zombie Censors...

Dead Island: Riptide looks to be banned from Germany

Link Here30th November 2012
Full story: Games Censorship in Germany...German politicians target video games

It looks like the Spring 2013 follow-up to the Zombie-themed action-RPG Dead Island has been banned in Germany. In a recent interview with PCGamesN, Dead Island: Riptide creative producer Sebastian Reichert said this was due to the country's strict guidelines on the sale of violent media:

We have no censored version of the game so we cannot release it in Germany. It feels fucking awkward to have one of the most successful games in years and nobody in your country knows it.

German rules on violent media say that it cannot contain violence against human-like characters and mutilation of corpses. Games often have to be censored so as to be made acceptable for release in the country.



Spitting Blood...

Welsh Government asks TV companies to ban soap opera comments critical of policy about bovine TB

Link Here30th November 2012

The Welsh Government has lodged an official complaint over an episode of Welsh language soap Pobol y Cwm on S4C.

It claimed that the programme breached BBC and Ofcom guidelines with a storyline in which characters protested about the lack of a badger cull to curb TB in cattle.

The formal complaint demanded that the BBC - which makes the soap - and S4C pull a planned repeat of the episode and also prevent internet access to it.

One of the character in the show, fictionally based in west Wales, said the Welsh government doesn't have the backbone to cull badgers. The character Cathryn Richards, known as Cadno , says the Government does not care about the countryside because there aren't enough votes here .

A Welsh Government spokesman said:

Following last night's episode of Pobol y Cwm, we have made an official complaint to the BBC and S4C following what we believe to be a serious breach of BBC and Ofcom guidelines.

We have asked the BBC and S4C to take swift action to address our concerns.

The BBC's editorial guidelines are clear that programmes are expected to ensure that 'controversial subjects' are treated with due impartiality in all their output.

We do not believe this to be the case in this instance.

S4C's director of content Dafydd Rhys said the episode would not be pulled and it would still be available online: We're satisfied that the drama includes a variety of viewpoints which refer to the public debate about plans to eradicate Bovine TB.



Offsite Article: Leveson Goes Too Far...

Link Here30th November 2012
Kirsty Hughes outlines Index's issues with the press inquiry's recommendations. Lord Justice Leveson's report could determine the path of the press in Britain for years to come.

See article from



Updated: Going to the Pictures...

The BBFC update their website

Link Here29th November 2012

The BBFC has updated its website with a bolder and more colourful affair with lots more pictures.

There are new front page features providing a list of classification information for new cinema releases and for the latest DVD classifications.

Most, if not all data items are still available. A slight problem is that when a title search results in a long list of matches, these are presented in endless unordered subpages to click through, rather than a long list that previously was quick to scan through.

In terms of depth of data, the website is way ahead of any other similar site, and now it has better decorated with film posters and colour.

Update: BBFC Insight

The BBFC is pleased to announce the launch of its new website which brings together the main BBFC website, the BBFC website for parents (PBBFC) and the BBFC education website for students (SBBFC). With improved search functionality, the new look BBFC website places film content information at its core, making it easier for the public, parents in particular, to find detailed BBFCinsight information about any film rated by the BBFC.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC says:

We designed the new website to make it easier for parents to make informed decisions about the films their children see whether at the cinema, on DVD or via download. BBFCinsight is designed to be clear and unbiased, giving details about the age rating issues in a film, but also other details parents have told us they like to be aware of, such as examples of mild language, or even themes such as divorce or bereavement that may not impact on the age rating, but might upset some children. Parents can find a short summary of BBFCinsight on DVD boxes and cinema posters and more detailed BBFCinsight is published on the website and the BBFC iPhone and Android Apps.

All BBFC film age ratings come with BBFCinsight, which combines the BBFC's previous Consumer Advice and Extended Classification Information (ECI) under one memorable name. BBFCinsight begins with a summary sentence (like Consumer Advice) then goes straight into a longer explanation about the classification of the film and why it got the rating it did. The new BBFC website also allows users to watch trailers* for new films and sign up to receive regular BBFC newsletters.

John Carr, key adviser on internet safety to the UK Government and Executive Board member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) said:

BBFCinsight and the new BBFC website will prove incredibly useful to parents navigating the wealth of online film content available to them and their families. By providing detailed information about a films' rating before it's released, the BBFC is equipping parents with tools that are timely, intuitive and provide information at a glance, as well as a more in-depth explanation about what their children are going to see. Parents should not have to struggle to find out whether a film or DVD might upset their child or another family member and the BBFC is helping to ensure this is something all families can prevent.

Verity Gill, Founding Director of Grannynet said:

Here at Grannynet we are delighted with the new BBFCinsight tool which we feel adds an invaluable dimension to the already vital support that the BBFC offers to grandparents. Any way in which our members can feel more confident about what their grandchildren are watching will ensure the film selection process is easier and more enjoyable for everyone concerned.

Putting ratings information online

Independent research carried out for the BBFC in 2011 found that 85% of respondents said it is important to have consistent BBFC classifications available for Video-on-Demand content, rising to 90% amongst parents with children under 16. As well as providing detailed BBFCinsight for every film classified, the BBFC's service for streamed and downloaded content, which launched in collaboration with the home entertainment industry in 2008, also provides trusted classifications, category symbols and BBFCinsight to set-top box, video-on-demand and other online content providers. Key affiliates using the BBFC service include Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Europe, Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, BT Vision, Tesco/Blinkbox, TalkTalk, Picturebox and Netflix.


The new BBFC website features all the BBFC's educational content, previously available on the Students' SBBFC website. This includes case studies about controversial films, competitions for kids and information about how to book BBFC educational visits. The BBFC has established a number of partnerships with the film industry and cinemas to increase its contact with parents and children. Dialogue with the public both online and through education seminars, is integral to the work of the BBFC and helps inform the issues raised at each review of the BBFC Classification Guidelines. As part of this education and outreach work, the BBFC visited around 130 schools, colleges and other institutions in 2011, speaking to around 12,000 students.



Prejudiced Against Daily Mail Readers...

BBC TV censor decide that it was reasonable for a news reporter to speak of Daily Mail readers' 'prejudices'

Link Here29th November 2012

When BBC News correspondent Nick Higham suggested Daily Mail readers had prejudices it prompted a complaint that went to the corporation's highest levels.

The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee convened to decide whether Higham, in a report about Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's evidence to the Leveson inquiry, had been unfair to readers of the newspaper.

A single complainant contacted the BBC to say that Higham's report including the prejudices claim had done readers a disservice.

But the trust's editorial standards committee (ESC), the final arbiter of appeals at the BBC, rejected the charge. The ESC said Higham's report was accurate and had not breached guidelines on due accuracy or impartiality.

Higham's report began: He's (Paul Dacre's) the man who runs Britain's second biggest daily with ferocious drive and a natural feel for his readers' prejudices -- though he prefers to call them anxieties.

The BBC, in its response, said the word prejudiced had not been used and was not the same thing as having prejudices , which could be mildly pejorative .

The BBC Trust decided that it was reasonable for the word to have been used, reflecting a certain set of preconceived views held by readers of the Daily Mail.

A spokesman for the Daily Mail confirmed that it did not make the complaint.



Split Opinions...

Australia's advert censors claim lads' mag Facebook page is advertising Facebook and therefore open to censorship

Link Here29th November 2012

Aussie lads' mag Zoo Weekly has been forced to remove several pictures from its Facebook page after they were ruled exploitative and degrading to women by the Australian advert censor.

One picture, posted in October, showed a bikini-clad woman chopped in half across her stomach, along with the caption: Left or right?  The other depicted a woman's bottom with a Nintendo logo on it and the caption: What would you call this console?

Both posts caused 'outrage' among Facebook users and online feminist websites.

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) ruled both posts were in breach of two sections of the code of ethics relating to discrimination or vilification on the basis of gender, and of objectifying, exploiting and degrading women. It also ruled that comments posted by Zoo's fans on the pictures were in breach of the code for using strong or obscene language .

Since July the ASB has considered the content of commercial Facebook pages, including comments from fans, to be a form of advertising and have subjected them to the Advertising Code of Ethics.

However Zoo has criticised the ASB's decision, arguing that its Facebook page is simply an extension of its printed product and therefore should be considered editorial:

To describe Zoo's Facebook page as a 'marketing communication' is to misunderstand the nature of modern media organisations and the way in which they use social media to engage with their audience.



Babes in Australia...

Interesting article outline how Australian TV tried out babe channel programming

Link Here29th November 2012

Australia's TV censor has thrown out complaints made against Channel Nine for broadcasting live phone sex content on its infomercial channel.

BabeTV Live went out on Extra in Queensland and regional NSW after 10pm on 8 October, with some viewers complaining that the exploitative and degrading content should have come with a (softcore) R18+ adult rating.

BabeTV Live features two scantily clad female presenters who encourage viewers to call in at a cost of $4.75 per minute, using provocative language and suggestive actions. Before it begins, the message the following program is for ADULTS ONLY appears on screen.

In its findings on its website, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ruled that BabeTV Live is advertising, since the presenters continually refer to the phone number displayed on the screen, including direct verbal requests to the camera to phone in, using phrases such as 'call me'. Even though BabeTV Live aired for four hours and 43 minutes, ACMA maintained that the content was advertising.

This is considerably longer than the usual duration of a televised advertisement. However, the Act does not specify the minimum or maximum duration of content to qualify as advertising or sponsorship material.

To the point of Nine airing explicit content on Extra, one complaint read:

I would have thought it breaches the general licence conditions that state 'licensees will not transmit datacasting content that has been classified as RC or X18+ by the Classification Board, and that R 18+ must be modified or subject to a restricted access system'. This program is clearly in the 18+ category supported by the fact that you need to be 18+ to participate!

The broadcaster said that BabeLive TV had not been classified because it was live-to-air content -- so the Classification Board could not have seen it before it went to air.

Nine said that BabeLive TV followed MA 15+ guidelines, and had taken steps to ensure this sort of content did not get any racier than material suitable for viewers above the age of 15.

Nine stated its rules for presenters of this sort of content to ACMA:

  • They must be wearing no less than bra and panties/swimwear/etc. and no see-through underwear or nipple covers.
  • Breast cleavage may be visible but not the whole breast, no nipples and no nipple shadow.
  • No pubic hair or nude genital area.
  • No nude rear.
  • No actual or implied sexual activity between the Presenters.
  • May include sexually suggestive touching or position but cannot include the handling, kissing, licking or sucking or sex toys or phallic-like objects.

Nine also said that it had introduced new, stricter rules for presenters, as follows:

  • The Presenters must not touch each other at any time, including kissing.
  • The Presenters must not mention, talk about or refer to any sexual acts or sexually [suggestive] acts.
  • The Presenters must not consume any drink or food on camera.

Even though Nine did not breach any of ACMA's rules, the broadcaster has since stopped airing BabeTV Live.



Extremist Censors...

Moscow court bans internet videos of Pussy Riot's church performance

Link Here29th November 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

A Moscow court has ruled that the video of Pussy Riot's performance in Russia's main cathedral is 'extremist' and ordered it to be removed from the internet.

Three protesters were found guilty of hooliganism supposedly motivated by religious hatred.

The Moscow court banned the video of their February performance and said it should be removed from all websites.



Update: Symbolic Nastiness...

Egypt sentences absent Americans to death for charges associated with the Innocence of Muslims

Link Here29th November 2012
Full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

The California man behind the Innocence of Muslims, the movie that wound up violent thugs in the Middle East, was sentenced to death in absentia in an Egyptian court.

Mark Basseley Youssef was among the seven Egyptian Coptic Christians as was Terry Jones, the Florida-based American pastor associated with burning Korans.

The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and unlikely to ever serve the sentences.

Egypt's official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information, charges that carry the death sentence.



Offsite Article: The Leveson Report...

Link Here29th November 2012
An inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press

See article from



Update: Ending an Insult to Free Speech...

Netherlands set to scrap its archaic blasphemy laws

Link Here28th November 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in the Netherlands...Netherlands considersl blasphemy laws

The Dutch parliament has accepted a motion that will scrap an archaic law making it a crime to insult the religious character God.

A majority of parties agreed that the nation no longer needs the law, which hasn't been invoked in the past half-century.



Update: Malaysia Degraded by Homophobic Politicians...

Political party calls for Elton John concert to be banned

Link Here27th November 2012
Full story: Elton John...International tours censored

  A Malaysian Muslim political party is demanding that Elton John be barred from performing in the country later this week because he is homosexual.

Nasruding Hassan Tantawi, head of the youth wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic party (PAS), said the concert must be cancelled :

Artists who are involved in gay and lesbian activities must not be allowed to perform in Malaysia as they will promote the wrong values.

PAS will demand that the authorities cancel this immoral performance to protect our society from social degradation.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and is punishable by caning and up to 20 years in prison.

Elton John, who is scheduled to perform at a resort outside of Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, is an outspoken supporter of gay and lesbian rights.



The Director's Final Final Final Cut...Honest!...

Oliver Stone announces a 4th version of Alexander

Link Here26th November 2012

Oliver Stone talks of creating a fourth version for 2013:

On Alexander, I released a shorter version [in theaters] because of Warner Brothers issues. And I [was] also rushed. [When] I released the director's cut -- it wasn't called a director's cut . It was called The Final Cut because [earlier] there was a rushed director's cut that I was responsible for. My third version three years later in 2007 was called A Final Cut and I actually added forty some odd minutes -- which I think makes the film better.

I've been asked by Warner Brothers because they did so well with The Final Cut . They actually sold more than a million copies. They've asked me to go back next year and do a fourth version.

 I want to cut it down now because I added too much. I want it to come back a little bit. There's some trimming [needed].

History to date:

The 168 minute Theatrical Version was passed 15 without BBFC for:

  • UK 2004 cinema release
The 160 minute Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for:
  • UK 2005 Warner R2 DVD

See pictorial version details from

The 205 minute Alexander Revisited/The Final Cut was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2007 Warner R2 DVD

See pictorial version details from



Blocking and Electioneering...

Norwegian politicians take inspiration from UK's internet filtering ideas

Link Here26th November 2012

With parliamentary elections slated for 2013, Norway's political parties have picked up on the issue of access to online pornography.

The newspaper VG reported that the country's Christian Democratic Party has come out in support of policies that would require mobile carriers and internet service providers to offer free parental filters to parents. The model would be based on a similar one being pursued by the United Kingdom.

The Norwegians seem to be focused on solutions that would mandate that parents be presented with parental filtering options without actually being forced to use them.

Other parties do not sound so keen. Conservative Party spokesperson Andre Oktay Dahl said parental filters is not a political issue, but one for families to address, and added he is more keen to fight child abuse online than tackle abuse of porn, which he said was not as widespread a problem.

Labour Party politician Jan Bhler expressed his party’s support for filters, which he said would be more effective placed on devices, but also argued against moves by the government to block content, saying: We cannot censor the entire world.




Indian film censors want to rename to the Indian Board of Film Classification

Link Here25th November 2012

India's film censorship board is vying to get the word Indian in its title, which would bring it in tune with its foreign counterparts and address. Well-placed sources said that the Board has already written to the Information and Broadcasting ministry seeking that it be renamed to Indian Board of Film Certification from the current Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The source said:

In most nations, the film certification body is identified with the country. Like there is the British Board of Film Classification or the Motion Pictures Association of America. The use of the word 'central' suggests the presence of state boards which is not the case with films.

Secondly, the use of the word 'Indian' would also help that when our films are screened in film festivals abroad, their identity would be more widely known.

The Board also wants its certificates to carry the film classification as well as the reason for that classification to be carried very prominently.

The Board is hopeful that the name change would be cleared by the ministry and has already got a logo with the proposed name designed by the National Institute of Design.



The Parents Television Council Recommends...

US nutters identify the most adventurous TV advertisers and the most nannying

Link Here25th November 2012

The Parents Television Council has released its annual list of the Top Ten Best and Worst Advertisers for the 2011-2012 television season.

Companies were ranked based on the content in the television shows they chose to underwrite with their advertising dollars. Some companies primarily sponsored programs with family-friendly themes while other advertisers appeared on more adventurous shows that included strong language, violence and sexual content.

The Parents TV Council inevitably suggested that their members should patronise companies from the nanny list, but of course the lists are equally useful to those preferring to do the exact opposite.

The most adventurous advertisers were:

  1. Yum!
  2. Toyota
  3. Metro PCS
  4. Sprint
  5. Red Bull
  6. Target
  7. McDonald's
  8. CKE Restaurant (Carl's Jr., Hardee's)
  9. PepsiCo
  10. Apple

The most nannying advertisers were:

  1. Ford
  2. Procter & Gamble (Pampers, Tide, Crest, Downy, Febreze)
  3. General Mills (Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Pillsbury, Old El Paso)
  4. Nissan
  5. Wal-Mart
  6. Clorox
  7. CVS
  8. Brinker International (Chili's, Maggiano's)
  9. Wendy's
  10. SC Johnson and Coca-Cola (tied)



Oh My God!...

New Zealand advert censor dismisses whinges from the easily offended

Link Here25th November 2012

The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has show itself to be a little less PC extremist than its UK counterpart and rejected complaints from the easily offended.

The first concerned an advert for Libra Invisible sanitary pads. In it, a woman said: Oh my God, he's looking, oh my God, as she watched men working out at rugby practice.

A complainant took offence, saying:

There is absolutely NO need for young girls to use the Lord's name in vain and trivial matter.

The ASA judged that although the complainant may have been offended, the phrase Oh my God was a well-used expression.. .:

in light of the generally prevailing community standards, it was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Another complaint concerned an advert for Hell Pizza. In it, a man playing the Devil brags about how he hacked into a Hell employee's Facebook account, stole some of her photos and threatened to show them to her mother, in order to blackmail her into going to work. In a demonic voice, the Devil looks at the camera and says, Which is all that matters to you.

A complainant claimed:

the evil change of voice of the Devil and also the use of bribery in exchange for work from a female is disgusting.

The ASA said the Devil was a regular character in Hell adverts, and the black-humoured and deliberately provocative advert did not reach the threshold to cause serious or widespread offence. It also noted the advert was not shown during programmes aimed at children and although lacking in taste , its intended audience would understand the irony and humour .

The complaint was thrown out.



Making a Mockery of Free Speech...

UAE presidential decree introduces further repressive restrictions on internet websites

Link Here25th November 2012

The United Arab Emirates has tightened its law on internet use, making it a criminal offence to mock its rulers or organise unauthorised demonstrations.

A presidential decree says anyone who creates or runs a website or uses the internet to deride or damage the state or its institutions faces imprisonment. The institutions include the rulers and senior officials across the federation of seven semi-autonomous Gulf emirates.

Activists have criticised the move as a further restriction to freedom of speech. The authorities have also been accused of deporting and harassing human rights defenders, denying legal assistance to political detainees, and intimidating and deporting lawyers seeking to assist detainees.

The amendments to the UAE's existing law on internet crime focus on issues such as online fraud, privacy protection, and restrictions on prostitution, pornography and gambling. However, a major section imposes restrictions on online dissent. The legislation now stipulates:

penalties of imprisonment on any person who creates or runs an electronic website or uses any information technology medium to deride or damage the reputation or stature of the state or any of its institutions.

The minimum prison sentence will be three years. Foreign nationals will also be deported. The law also prohibits information, news, caricatures or any other kind of pictures that authorities believe could threaten security or public order .



PC Justice Ofcom Style...

40,000 fine for broadcasting blurred nudity, but just a 4,000 fine for broadcasting incitement to the torture of gays

Link Here24th November 2012

Ofcom have imposes a financial penalty of 4,000 against Asian Fever Community Radio for incitement to torture gays.

The Finding related to two episodes of the programme Sister Ruby Ramadan Special 2011 , broadcast on 17 August 2011 at 12:00 and 18 August 2011 at 11:00, each approximately fifty minutes in duration, which were broadcast in Urdu.

Ofcom found that two of the presenter's statements in the programme broadcast on 17 August 2011 were likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder. The statements were as follows:

What should be done if they do it [practise homosexuality]? If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture.

Allah states, 'If they do such a deed [i.e. homosexuality], punish them, both physically and mentally.' Mental punishment means rebuke them, beat them, humiliate them, admonish and curse them, and beat them up. This command was sent in the beginning because capital punishment had not yet been sent down.

Ofcom found that these statements were likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder. This was because Ofcom considered that the two statements could be objectively and reasonably regarded as not only condoning but encouraging violent behaviour against homosexual people.

Acts of violence and hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation are prohibited by UK law. We considered that the broadcast of these two statements made by the presenter was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime, i.e. violence or other unlawful acts motivated by hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. For the same reasons we concluded that these two statements were likely to encourage others to copy the sort of unacceptable behaviour towards homosexual people described by the presenter.

Ofcom found these and other sermons to breach their rules:

Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may include... discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of... religion... and sexual orientation)...

Rule 2.4: Programmes must not include material (whether in individual programmes or in programmes taken together) which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour.

Rule 3.1: Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.

Rule 4.1: Broadcasters must exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes.



Updated: UN Internet Toll Keepers?...

Google warns that a UN internet group threatens the free and open internet

Link Here24th November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship

Google has warned that a forthcoming UN-organised conference threatens the free and open internet .

Government representatives are set to agree a new information and communications treaty in December. It has been claimed some countries will try to wrest oversight of the net's technical specifications and domain name system from US bodies to an international organisation.

Google has asked web users to add their name to an online petition to support its view.

The [UN agency] International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is bringing together regulators from around the world to renegotiate a decades-old communications treaty, it wrote on its Take Action site.

Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech - or even allow them to cut off internet access.

Other proposals would require services like YouTube, Facebook, and Skype to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders. This could limit access to information - particularly in emerging markets.

Google added that it was concerned that only governments have a voice at the ITU and not companies or others who had a stake in the net, concluding that the World Conference on International Telecommunications (Wcit) was the wrong place to make decisions about the internet's future.

The ITU is not openly publishing each government's proposals ahead of the conference, however a site called Wcitleaks, run by researchers at George Mason University, has revealed some of the details. Most recently these included a proposal from Russia suggesting that the US should have less control over the internet's operation.

Parts of the US tech industry have also been concerned by remarks by the ITU's secretary general, Dr Hamadoun Toure, that the meeting should address the current disconnect between sources of revenue and sources of costs, and to decide upon the most appropriate way to do so . Gary Shapiro CEA's Gary Shapiro says firms fear having to pay a toll to send traffic through countries' data networks

The ITU is hosting the conference to draw up the treaty between 3 to 14 December in Dubai.

Update: EU warns that a UN internet group threatens the free and open internet

23rd November  2012. See  article from

The UN should not be allowed to take over control of the internet, Euro MPs have warned.

Internet control currently lies largely with US-based groups such as Icann, which regulates the web address system. But reports in the Russian press have suggested the Kremlin and others wanted control of key internet systems passed to a UN agency.

The European Parliament has said the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was not the appropriate body to have authority. Members of the European Parliament backed a resolution which urged member states to reject changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) which would negatively impact the internet, its architecture, operations, content and security, business relations, internet governance and the free flow of information online .

A site called Wcitleaks, run by researchers at George Mason University, has published several documents relating to the new treaty. Among them was a proposal from Russia suggesting that the US should have less control over the internet's operation. Russia said in a document:

Member states shall have equal rights to manage the internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of internet numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and to support for the operation and development of basic internet infrastructure.

Update: Ed Vaizey warns that a UN internet group threatens the free and open internet

24th November  2012.  See  article from

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) should not have a say over the future of the web, according to Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

Vaizey was speaking to The issue is that the ITU was set up to regulate telephony services. Since 1988, lines have blurred between telephony and internet services and as such the ITU wants to amend its rules to extend to internet governance. This is what Vaizey (as well as many other people and organisations including Google) disagree with:

We [the UK government] have made our position clear. We support the multi-stakeholder model for internet governance. Internet policy is made from the ground up, not top-down. The internet has grown effectively without interference from government. We don't think a treaty-based organisation should have a say over the internet.

Vaizey's feelings are echoed by a number of other companies and individuals. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told

The ITU approach is completely broken. Secretive deliberations in which civil society groups (such as Wikipedia) are excluded from the process is hopelessly broken.




Governments object to top level domains being grabbed

Link Here24th November 2012

Following the conclusion of the first round of applications to ICANN for the creation of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), ICANN has published the Early Warnings of objections from governments.

Australia has objected to a suite of generic names on the grounds that a private entity should not be able to gain exclusive control of a generic term for commercial gain. Its objections included .baby (applicant: Johnson & Johnson), .makeup (applicant: L'Oreal) .video and .tunes (applicant: Amazon), and .grocery (two competing applicants, Safeway and Walmart).

Australia also objected to the creation of a set of domains with an overtly negative or critical connotation (including .fail, .sucks, .wtf and .gripe), saying that brand owners may seek to protect their reputations and the gTLD needs a plan to limit the need for defensive registrations.

Other objection include .islam and .halal by UAE, .army, .navy and .airforce by US and India.

The UK only commented on who should run .rugby



Deferred for the Good of the Government...

Malaysian government bans films presumably as it makes them look bad

Link Here24th November 2012

The release of the local film Tanda Putera has been indefinitely delayed by the highest echelons of the Malaysian government.

The film was made by woman director Shuhaimi Baba with partial funding from government film support agency FINAS. It deals with the aftermath of the 13 May 1969 incident, which saw rioting between the country's Chinese and Malay populations and some 200 people killed.

Certain scenes depicting the May 13, 1969 tragedy were questioned by many quarters, Information, Communications and Culture Minister, Rais Yatim said, explaining that the cabinet felt that the screening should be deferred for the good of the society.



Offsite Article: The UK Free Expression Scorecard...

Link Here24th November 2012
Index on Censorship launches its UK Free Expression Scorecard warning there is a worrying outlook for free speech in Britain today

See article from



The Code of Moscow Temel...

Turkish comedy censored by the BBFC for a 12A rating

Link Here23rd November 2012

The Code Of Moscow Temel is a Turkey comedy by Adem Kilic.

UK: Passed 12A for strong language and moderate sex references and violence after BBFC cuts.

The BBFC commented:

Distributor chose to remove a use of very strong language 'cunt' in order to achieve a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available.



Update: Cleared of Non-Traditional Sexual Orientation Propaganda...

Russian court drops legal action against Madonna's gay related comments at a recent gig

Link Here 23rd November 2012
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Charges that Madonna broke a homophobic censorship ban in the Russian city of St Petersburg have been dropped.

Homophobic activists had tried to prosecute the US singer over accusations that she violated St Petersburg's law on the promotion of homosexuality among minors.

The nutter prosecution resulted after Madonna spoke out against the ban on stage and handed out pink bracelets. She also issued a message of support for the imprisoned LGBT-supporting feminist punk protestors of Pussy Riot.

The Trade Union of Russian Citizens demanded 6 million from Madonna and from the company that organised her show.

However on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported that the case had been dismissed by a St Petersburg court. Madonna did not attend the hearing, which had attracted intense media attention in Russia.

Elsewhere in Russia, regional lawmakers in Moscow rejected a homophobic censorship law similar to St Petersburg's. The failed bill attempted to outlaw: non-traditional sexual orientation propaganda to minors.



Update: UN Internet Toll Keepers?...

Google warns that a UN internet group threatens the free and open internet

Link Here22nd November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship

Google has warned that a forthcoming UN-organised conference threatens the free and open internet .

Government representatives are set to agree a new information and communications treaty in December. It has been claimed some countries will try to wrest oversight of the net's technical specifications and domain name system from US bodies to an international organisation.

Google has asked web users to add their name to an online petition to support its view.

The [UN agency] International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is bringing together regulators from around the world to renegotiate a decades-old communications treaty, it wrote on its Take Action site.

Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech - or even allow them to cut off internet access.

Other proposals would require services like YouTube, Facebook, and Skype to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders. This could limit access to information - particularly in emerging markets.

Google added that it was concerned that only governments have a voice at the ITU and not companies or others who had a stake in the net, concluding that the World Conference on International Telecommunications (Wcit) was the wrong place to make decisions about the internet's future.

The ITU is not openly publishing each government's proposals ahead of the conference, however a site called Wcitleaks, run by researchers at George Mason University, has revealed some of the details. Most recently these included a proposal from Russia suggesting that the US should have less control over the internet's operation.

Parts of the US tech industry have also been concerned by remarks by the ITU's secretary general, Dr Hamadoun Toure, that the meeting should address the current disconnect between sources of revenue and sources of costs, and to decide upon the most appropriate way to do so . Gary Shapiro CEA's Gary Shapiro says firms fear having to pay a toll to send traffic through countries' data networks

The ITU is hosting the conference to draw up the treaty between 3 to 14 December in Dubai.



Update: China getting as bad as Britain for overreacting to jokers on Twitter...

Blogger in trouble for joking about the deaths of Chinese communists

Link Here 22nd November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

A blogger is facing five years in prison after he was arrested for writing a joke on Twitter about the deaths of Chinese Communist Party delegates.

Zhai Xiaobing, from Beijing, has received the support of hundreds of internet users following the joke about the party's congress on November 8.

Mr Xiaobing's tweet on November 5 suggested the next movie in the Final Destination horror film franchise would be about the Great Hall of the People collapsing on party delegates.

He posted on Twitter: An earth-shaking debut will be seen at the global premiere on Nov. 8!

Family members said that Miyun county police had taken him away on November 7 and seized his computer.

A Miyun county police officer said that Zhai was being investigated for spreading terrorist information .



Offsite Article: There's no way to stop children viewing porn in Starbucks...

Link Here 22nd November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Filtering doesn't work. It also puts power into censorware firms which help cover up human rights abuse

See article from



Offsite Article: Religion and free speech: it's complicated...

Link Here22nd November 2012
For centuries, free speech and religion have been cast as opponents. Index looks at the complicated relationship between religion and free speech

See article from



The Pete Walker Collection...

With a history of cuts for House of Whipcord and Schizo

Link Here21st November 2012

The Pete Walker Collection

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Die Screaming, Marianne is a 1971 UK crime drama thriller by Pete Walker.
With Susan George, Barry Evans and Christopher Sandford. IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release.

House of Whipcord is a 1974 UK horror thriller by Pete Walker.
With Barbara Markham, Patrick Barr and Ray Brooks. IMDb

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1973 cinema release

The cuts were:

  • to heavily reduce the whipping scenes

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong violence with previous cuts restored for:

  • UK 2005 Anchor Bay R2 DVD
  • UK 1995 Redemption VHS

Schizo is a 1976 UK thriller by Pete Walker.
With Lynne Frederick, John Leyton and Stephanie Beacham. IMDb

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1976 cinema release

Thanks to Salote. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 5 - Shots of knife slashing across naked woman's stomach in flashback killing of mother by her daughter were considerably reduced.

The packaging for Image's 2001 US DVD release retains the controversial tag-line that was dropped from the film's UK theatrical campaign following complaints from mental health organizations: Schizophrenia...when the left hand doesn't know who the right hand is killing!

UK: Passed 18 after 1:03s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1987 Warner VHS

Thanks to Salote. The BBFC cuts were:

  • At 0 min - During opening voice-over, suggestion that schizophrenia makes its victims violent was removed. This was achieved by removing the words "violent and" :

    "Schizophrenia, a mental disorder sometime know as multiple or split personality, characterised by loss of touch with environment and alternation between violent and contrasting behaviour patterns."

    So that the text should now read -

    "...and alternation between contrasting behaviour patterns."
  • At 12 mins - In flashback of man on train, sight of knife slashing stomach of bare-breasted woman after she leans back on bed screaming.
  • At 74.5 mins - When mallet hits woman's head as she waits for bus, two shots of her face covered in blood were removed (offscreen blows remained). After second blow with mallet in vision, four more shots of bloody face before she sinks to the ground were removed.
  • At 83.5 mins - Sight of needle emerging from head next to woman's eyes was removed (needle entering back of head and initial turn of head remained).
  • At 84.5 mins - Close up of needle sticking out of side of dead woman's eye was removed (MS as camera pulls away may remained).
  • At 95 mins - When woman has flashback of mother copulating, all sight of her bottom being slapped during sex and also of her in suspender belt with legs wrapped around man (before child watches from door) were removed.
  • At 96 mins - Attack on woman's bare stomach was reduced to minimum establishment only, removing knife slashes and stabbing of stomach and all prodding and slashing of blood-stained torso, resuming on child hitting offscreen.

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 Redemption R2 DVD
  • UK 2008 Redemption R2 DVD

The Comeback is a 1978 UK horror mystery thriller by Pete Walker.
With Jack Jones, Pamela Stephenson and David Doyle. IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release.



Calling for Killing on Peace TV...

Ofcom censures Peace TV for discussion about killing apostates

Link Here21st November 2012

Dare to Ask, Peace TV, 8 March 2012, 09:00
Dial Dr Zakir, Peace TV, 9 March 2012, 13:30

Peace TV is an international satellite television channel, which broadcasts religious and other programming from an Islamic perspective. The licence for the channel is held by Lord Production Incorporated Limited. Lord Production is owned by Universal Broadcasting Corporation Limited ( UBCL ) of which Dr Zakir Naik is the Chairman. The IRFI is a UK registered charity of which Dr Naik is also a trustee and Chairman. Dr Naik is of Indian origin and is an international speaker on Islam and comparative religion.

Following routine monitoring of Peace TV, Ofcom reviewed a number of programmes on Peace TV and noted, in particular, the following content requiring further consideration.

Item 1: Dare to Ask, 8 March 2012, 09:00:

This programme consisted of a speaker, Dr Zakir Naik, answering questions on Islamic theology in front of an audience. In response to a question as to whether or not apostates should be put to death, as part of his response, Dr Naik said the following:

One group of scholars, they say that if a Muslim, if he becomes a non- Muslim [inaudible] he should be put to death. There is another group of scholars who say that if a Muslim becomes a non-Muslim and propagates his new faith against Islam then he should be put to death...I tend to agree more with the second group of scholars, who say that a Muslim, if he becomes a non-Muslim and propagates his new faith against Islam, that is the time this penalty is applied.

Item 2: Dial Dr Zakir, 9 March 2012, 13:30

At approximately six minutes into the programme, Dr Naik answered a question about individuals who criticise Islam. As part of his response, Dr Naik said the following: Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin, Issue 218 19 November 2012

As to those who wage a war against Allah...As to those who create mischief in the land you either execute them, you either crucify them, or chop off the opposite limbs (that's right hand and left leg, or left hand and right leg), or you can put them in exile...This is the Islamic philosophy that everyone who wages a war against Allah...this is the consequence.

Ofcom consideed Rule 2.3 of the Code, which states:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may include, but is not limited to...humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...religion, beliefs and sexual orientation).

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

In Item 1, a scholar on Islam, Dr Naik, expressed his views on two interpretations of Qur'anic texts on how apostates from Islam should be treated. He set out both views and said he tended to agree more with the interpretation of Qur'anic texts which states that a Muslim who converts to another religion and who then propagates that religion should be put to death , as opposed to being put to death simply for becoming a non-Muslim. In Ofcom's view, it is potentially offensive for any service to broadcast comments suggesting that it is acceptable to apply a penalty and kill any individual for renouncing their faith.

In Item 2, Dr Naik answered a question about individuals who criticise Islam. As part of his reply Dr Naik stated that, according to the Qur'an, the appropriate response against those who wage war against Islam is to execute them, chop off their limbs, or exile them. Dr Naik did not specify how he defined waging war against Islam. Ofcom noted that his reply was given in response to a question about individuals who criticise Islam. Ofcom considered that for an individual to state on air that it was acceptable to execute, chop off limbs or exile anyone who waged war against Islam , where it was not specified what this phrase actually meant in practice, was potentially offensive

Ofcom concluded that the potential offence was not justified by the context and the broadcaster did not apply generally accepted standards. Rule 2.3 was therefore breached.



Liberty's Human Rights Awards...

Award winners announced

Link Here20th November 2012
Outstanding human rights leaders from all walks of life were honoured for their efforts at Liberty's annual Human Rights Awards in London last night. Inspirational legal figures, young people, artists and campaigners were rewarded for their work in protecting and promoting the rights of others at the ceremony at the capital's Southbank Centre.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:

 It is a joy to celebrate the dedication, commitment and achievements of all our winners and nominees, every one of whom has done so much to protect precious rights and freedoms.

With human rights so often trashed in certain circles, and in the shadow of Secret Courts and the Snoopers' Charter, it is all the more inspiring to reward our winners' efforts.

The Liberty Human Rights Awards 2012 winners and category nominees in full were:

Lifetime Achievement Award:


Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton -- In recognition of a career dedicated to defending and upholding the rights of disabled people in the UK. She has fought hard to change attitudes towards disabled people, focusing on much-needed support as opposed to charity.

Independent Voice of the Year:

Lord Pannick -- For his vocal and forensic opposition to the Justice and Security Bill as a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords. Since becoming a peer, he has consistently held the Government to account on Rule of Law and human rights issues. The other nominees were Salma Yaqoob and The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt. Rev. James Jones.

Human Rights Campaigner of the Year Award:

Open Rights Group and 38 Degrees -- For their effective campaigning work to defend freedom of expression and civil liberties in the digital age which has, in a very short time, made a huge impact in the way social change is effected -- particularly their online campaigns against the "Snoopers' Charter". The other nominees were and Blacklist Support Group.

Lifetime Achievement Award:


Sir Nicolas Bratza -- In recognition of fourteen years' dedicated service as the UK judge of the European Court of Human Rights, culminating in his appointment as President of the Court in 2011. In addition to his judicial work, Sir Nicolas has also played a vital role in seeking to defend human rights and the Rule of Law from unjustified attack.

Human Rights Arts Award, in association with Southbank Centre:

Jenny Sealey -- For her tireless work with deaf and disabled artists. Her commitment to providing audiences and actors with a true theatrical experience culminated in her co-artistic direction of over 3,000 participants at the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games this year. The other nominees were Baaba Maal, Mark Cousins and Deborah Warner, Fiona Shaw and Artichoke.

Human Rights "Close to Home" Award:

Aaron Sonson, Satwant Singh Kenth, Gregory Paczkowski
-- For providing important public information about individual rights and the potential abuse of police powers through their mobile app "Stop and Search". The app itself has now had over 2,600 downloads and over 150 experiences uploaded. The other nominees were Ashley John-Baptiste and Mark Neary.

Human Rights Lawyer of the Year:

Ben Cooper -- For his committed and tireless work on some of the most complex and difficult extradition cases. Ben acted for Gary McKinnon throughout his fight against extradition to the US, finally achieving justice only last month. The other nominees were Raggi Kotak of One Pump Court and Michael Oswald at Bhatt Murphy.

Human Rights Young Person of the Year:

Martha Payne -- For defending free expression when she stood up to her local council after they banned her publishing pictures of schools meals on her blog, NeverSeconds. The council backed down after outcry and, since then, her website has been visited by over six million people and has raised more than 100,000 for charity Mary's Meals. The other nominees were Scottish Youth Parliament and Eilidh Naismith and Billy Davidson.

Human Rights "Long Walk" Award:

Hillsborough Family Support Group, Hillsborough Justice Campaign and Hope for Hillsborough -- For their unwavering dedication to seeking justice for the 96 victims, their families and the survivors of the Hillsborough Disaster. The tireless campaigning efforts of these groups have finally led to the publication of the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. The other nominees were the "Mau Mau" Litigants and Medical Justice.



Offsite Article: BFI Uncut Season...

Link Here20th November 2012
Temple of Doom uncut review

See article from



Update: Consistent with Repressive Values...

Egyptian state prosecutor orders the blocking of all internet porn

Link Here20th November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Egypt...Egypt blocks political and porn websites

Increasing influence of Islamist groups within Egypt has led to state prosecutor, Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, ordering the blocking of all pornographic pictures or scenes inconsistent with the repressive values and traditions of the Egyptian people.

The prosecutor cited a 2009 that ordered all porn sites to be banned, and another this March, when an Egyptian judge decreed that all pornography on the internet was illegal.

Critics of the rise of Islamic parties in the country warn that the move will inevitably be a pretext to censor other speech, as well. Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American activist, tweeted: '

I'm not arguing with anyone about porn but know this: 'ban' porn sites today, ban your sites tomorrow.'



Italy's Film Censors Recommend...

Morituris by Raffaele Picchio, banned from a cinema release

Link Here19th November 2012

Morituris is a 2011 Italy horror by Raffaele Picchio.
With Valentina D'Andrea, Andrea De Bruyn and Désirée Giorgetti. YouTube icon IMDb

The film makers said in a press release that the Italian Culture Ministery (il Ministero dei Beni Culturali), had decided to ban Morituris from Italian cinemas. The film censorship commission claimed that the film was a gratuitous essay of perversion and sadism. The commission unanimously reached the decision to ban the film on grounds of:

offence to good morals, intending acts of violence and perversion against women, motivated by enjoying of overcoming and thrill of self strength, empowered by consume of alcohol and drugs. The avengers find revenge against both boys, guilty of violence, and girls, victims of violence. At last, in acts of extreme perversion, a little mouse is used as a sex tool.



Updated: Fist of Fun Series 2...

Upcoming TV comedy release on DVD childishly censored by the BBC

Link Here19th November 2012

Fist of Fun Series 2 is a 1996 UK TV comedy by Nick Wood.
With Stewart Lee, Richard Herring and Peter Baynham. IMDb

The BBC have made cut their forthcoming dvd release of the 1996 BBC2 series Fist of Fun series 2. 5 minutes from the shows themselves and 3 minutes from a Richard Herring/Stewart Lee podcast extra! The cuts are:

  • Episode 3 - Lady Diana segment
  • Episode 4 - Parents suing a theatre segment
  • Episode 5 - Reference to the child in episode 4
  • Also removed the obsolete bbc email, post and web addresses from the end of each episode and the address of the newsagent that Peter visits.

From the podcast-

  • Reference to drug taking
  • TV executives Stewart Lee's opinion of his poor treatment by the BBC
  • Richard Herring saying Stew would lose his audience if he had sex with a child
  • Section mentioning Alan Partridge rights
  • Section where they talk about buying back Fist of Fun for 2/3rds what the BBC paid them to do it in the first place.

There will be no jokes about pedophilia from the BBC!

Update: Another example perhaps

19th November 2012. See article from

Harry and Paul is a 2012 UK TV comedy.
With Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse and Sophie Winkleman. IMDb

UK: A Re-Edited Version of Episode 4 was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for moderate sex references and discriminatory and racist language for:
  • UK 2012 2Entertain [Season 4] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012
  • UK 2012 2Entertain [Season 1-4] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012

Pure speculation, but it looks like this is another example of the BBC cutting jokes about children after sensitivity resulting from the Jimmy Savile scandal.

A couple of months earlier the same episode had been passed 15 uncut for strong language and moderate sex references. The uncut version ran 1:02s longer than the Re-edited Version.

Similarly episode 3 has been pre-cut by 1:31s.



The Atheist...

Egypt's first film about atheism gets the film censor's blessing

Link Here19th November 2012

After a long wait, Al-Molhid (The Atheist), an Egyptian film directed by Nader Seif Eddin and inspired by a true story, has gained the support and approval of Al-Azhar University, and has been passed by the Egyptian censorship committee without cuts.

The film was referred to Al-Azhar by the censorship committee for a final verdict on its release. Following Al-Azhar's approval, the committee passed the film uncut.

Despite its approval by authorities, the team behind the film has been receiving death threats from extremists in the country. Film producer Adham Afifi said:

We finished filming two months ago and by that time I had full approval of the script, and I was very pleased. I was surprised shortly afterwards when I received threatening phone calls, in addition to Facebook pages opposing the film's release.

But I am determined to release Al-Molhid and am currently negotiating with a number of cinemas for a screening during the upcoming winter-break.

Of course the film was only allowed on condition of depicting atheism as inferior to religion.

The film, the first in the history of Egyptian cinema to discuss atheism, tells the story of a preacher who has an atheist son and keeps trying to talk him into changing his mind. The preacher is also the presenter of a religious program on a satellite channel and starts becoming the laughing stock of viewers after his son's beliefs become known. He get calls on air telling him he is not fit for preaching since he is unable to make his son believe in God.

In order to avoid criticism by Islamists, Seif al-Din has said that the film presents a strong argument about the existence of God and against atheism. According to Seif al-Din, The Atheist is not against religion as some might guess from the name, but is the exact opposite. Seif al-Din explained that through discussing the problem of atheism, the film stresses the importance of faith and the evidence of the existence of God.



Law on Demand...

Poland enacts law for the EU's supposedly minimal regulation of Video on Demand

Link Here19th November 2012

The Polish president has given his written approval to proposed amendments to the country's Law on Radio and Television Broadcasting related to VOD services.

According to the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation (MAC), this will update Polish law with the requirements of the EU Audiovisual Directive.

The amendments follow the principal of minimal regulation and include a requirement for at least 20% of VOD content to be of European, including Polish, origin.

It is yet to be seen if the 'minimal regulations' will be used to suffocate Poland's VOD industry just like ATVOD have done in the UK.



Offsite Article: BFI Uncut Season: Maitresse Revisited...

Link Here19th November 2012
Yasmeen Khan examines Barbet Schroeder's once-controversial 1976 picture, restricted upon its initial release, which is given a Blu-ray upgrade and screened theatrically by the British Film Institute this month

See article from



Dead Sexy...

Forum discussion suggests that the BBFC gave the nod to Nekromantik being shown at a film festival

Link Here18th November 2012

Nekromantik is a 1987 West Germany horror by Jrg Buttgereit.
With Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski and Harald Lundt. IMDb

A German motorway cleaner takes rotting bodies home to a lover who has a necrophilia fetish. This involves the skinning of a rabbit, use of a metal pipe in conjunction with a condom, nudity, and graphic sexual scenes with dead bodies.

An interesting post by Frankie Teardrop cropped up on ;

Just had the privilege of watching NEKROMANTIK on the silver screen (in Leeds, at the tail end of the film festival). Jorg B was present for an affable Q&A... an enjoyable little evening (which seems a bizarre thing to say, given that twenty years ago you imagine cinemas being stormed by riot police for showing same).

Interestingly, one of the festival facilitators happened to mention during his introduction that they'd had to submit Nekromantik to the BBFC in order to get it shown legally, and were told that, in this day and age, it would pass uncut at 18.



Restored and Repossessed...

Second Sight announce a new release of the video nasty Possession

Link Here18th November 2012

Possession is a 1981 France/West Germany horror drama by Andrzej Zulawski.
With Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill and Margit Carstensen. YouTube icon IMDb

Second Sight Film shave just announced:

IN THE WORKS.... we are excited to announce that we are starting work on a Blu-ray release of Andrzej Zulawski's classic POSSESSION.

This is a new Director-Approved restoration, and as well as the existing DVD bonus features we are working on a whole host more. We'll announce further details here as they happen.



Comment: A Watershed for the Internet...

David Cameron set to bully parents into accepting low quality internet censorship

Link Here18th November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The Daily Mail has reported that David Cameron is to bully parents into signing up for impractical internet censorship.

In future, anyone buying a new computer or signing up with a new ISP will be asked whether they have children when they log on for the first time.

Those answering yes will automatically be taken through the process of installing website blocking for content with an adult theme. They will then be subjected to a series of questions about how stringent they want censorship to be.

There will be an option to impose a watershed on adult interest material, and to prevent children viewing social networking sites such as Facebook during certain hours of the day.

Ministers will also demand that ISPs impose appropriate measures to ensure that those setting the parental controls are over 18.

And they will be told to prompt existing customers to install porn blocking technology.

The proposals, due to be announced by the Government later this month, go much further than previously suggested.

Offsite Comment: Victory in sight: government signals climb down from default filtering?

18th November 2012. See  article from

According to reports this Saturday in the Daily Mail and Telegraph, David Cameron will be asking ISPs to ask customers if they have children, and if so, help them install filtering technology.

While the Daily Mail cite this as a victory for their campaign to switch porn off in every household, and allow people to opt in to porn , in fact it would be a humiliating climb down.

...Read the full article



The Burning...

Notable video nasty set to be burnt onto US Blu-ray

Link Here17th November 2012

The Burning is a 1981 US/Canada slasher by Tony Maylam
With Brian Matthews and Leah Ayres. YouTube icon IMDb

Karl writes:

I have it on good authority that the US film distributor, Shout! Factory, will be releasing the gem of a slasher,  The Bruning on blu ray in 2013 at long last.

Good I luv that raft massarce!

The film picks up on the s tory of a camp caretaker who gets horribly burnt as a result of a prank. Five years later he exacts revenge at a summer camp with the help of a pair of shears. Heads and fingers roll.

The film was passed X (18) after 10s of BBFC cuts for 1981 cinema release

Thorn EMI initially released the pre-cert video uncut. They then tried to replace rental videos with the BBFC cut version but most shops stuck with the uncut version. The uncut version of the video was then banned as a video nasty in October 1983. It remained on the list throughout the scare and so became one of the collectible DPP39s.

Eventually the video was r e-released after 19s of BBFC cuts in 1992 by Thorn/EMI.

Later the BBFC c uts were waived for the 2002 Vipco R2 DVD



No Time for Entertainment...

Ofcom fine E! Entertainment for daytime showing of the bleeped and blurred Girls of Playboy Mansion

Link Here17th November 2012

Ofcom has fined E Entertainment 40,000 for showing a censored version of Girls of Playboy Mansion during the daytime.

Ofcom investigated the programmes broadcast on 27 December 2011 at 10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 21:001. Ofcom explained:

In Ofcom's opinion these episodes of Girls of the Playboy Mansion were clearly unsuitable for children. They included prolonged sequences of nudity (albeit with breasts, buttocks and genitals blurred), particularly during the consecutive episodes showing the search for the 55th Playmate glamour model.

These sequences featured numerous scenes of the models being filmed as they posed and were photographed during casting sessions for Playboy magazine. In addition, there was a sequence of the lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion which featured numerous scantily clad Playboy glamour models posing for the cameras; and shots of a male stripper wearing a thong thrusting his buttocks in the face of the mother of one of Mr Hefner's girlfriends, with a commentary: she needed a good ass in her face .

The episodes also featured repeated bleeped and masked offensive language throughout, which (taken together with the scenes of nudity) demonstrated in Ofcom's opinion that these programmes contained themes of an adult nature and were aimed at an adult audience.

Ofcom noted that the channel had previously fallen foul of Ofcom's censorship laws and decided that a 40,000 fine was warrented



Heads Would Have Rolled...

Director says that he made sound cuts to Breaking Dawn 2 to avoid a provisional R Rating

Link Here17th November 2012

The only way to kill a vampire in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight universe is to rip its head off -- not a very family-friendly method for the legion of young fans clamoring to see the final chapter of The Twilight Saga.

Director Bill Condon showed the MPAA an early cut of the fifth installment some six months before the film was ready for release.

Apparently the MPAA's ratings board initially handed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 a provisional R rating, according to the director.

What did the MPAA take greatest issue with? The sound effects that accompanied the vampire decapitations:

Their big note was the accumulated intensity of [the film's critical scene]. In the end, there were very specific suggestions about how we pull back on the sound and the crunching of the head being separated from the neck. And we did that.



Update: Stereotypically Politically Correct...

Ofcom launches further investigations into Channel 4's gypsy programmes

Link Here17th November 2012
Full story: Big Fat Gypsy Wedding...TV winds up the easily offended

Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings unfairly racially stereotyped the UK's Gypsy and Traveller communities.

The TV censor has decided to investigate a complaint lodged by lawyers representing the Irish Traveller Movement of Britain and a number of individuals that the communities were unjustly and unfairly portrayed and treated by Channel 4.

Ofcom has launched the investigation into the second series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and spinoff show Thelma's Gypsy Girls.

The censor will formally investigate the complaint lodged by ITMB's law firm, Howe & Co, which said that people from the Traveller and Gypsy communities were unfairly portrayed in an untrue and damaging racially stereotypical manner . Howe & Co cited examples of unfair negative images showing the sexual assault of females as a cultural norm in these communities, depicting highly sexualised behaviour, and showing children as wildly behaved, uncontrollable, foul-mouthed, illiterate, uneducated, violent and dangerous .

Ofcom has also decided that the complaint warrants a separate investigation into harm and offence, which is being handled by its 'standards' team.



Stereotypically Censorial...

Steve Bell reported to the PCC over cartoon inspired by skewed coverage of attack on Gaza

Link Here17th November 2012

The Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell has been harangued for a cartoon about Israel's attack on Gaza.

A cartoon appearing in Friday's paper, shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a puppet-master, controlling tiny versions of Foreign Secretary William Hague and Tony Blair.

It was published after Hague said that Hamas bore principal responsibility for the military operation .

Bell explained that the cartoons of Hague and Blair were a side issue to inspiration drawn from a press conference given by Netanyahu in front of numerous Israeli flags. Bell added that he had chosen to draw the cartoon because:

the coverage of Operation Pillar of Defence has been so skewed in favour of the Israeli side, particularly I regret to say on the BBC, that I do personally feel quite a strong need to make the counter argument.

Barrister Jeremy Brier lodged a complaint about Steve Bell's drawing with the Press Complaints Commission claimed that the image was plainly antisemitic.



Update: The Proof of the Honey...

Book banned by Syria and Apple

Link Here17th November 2012
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

Europa Editions, a publisher of world literature, wrote on their Facebook page that one of their novels, The Proof of the Honey by Salwa Al Neimi, has been removed from the iTunes bookstore due to the image on its cover.

The erotic novel discusses the role of sex in modern Arabic society, and its cover features the backside of a reclining, naked woman. This may seem worthy of removal, but, as Europa Editions points out, classical nudes by Ingres, Renoir, and Botticelli, not to mention photography by Man Ray, are not deemed inappropriate by Apple, nor are modern books with similar covers.

The Proof of the Honey has been banned in the author's home country of Syria as well.

For that reason, publishers such as Melville House have called this censorship particularly appalling. Melville House also notes that the timing of the removal is peculiar: the book had previously been available in the iTunes store since 2009.



Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus...

Greek nutter takes court action over Corpus Christi and its gay Christ

Link Here17th November 2012

A production of Corpus Christi in Athens was canceled this month after weeks of almost daily protests outside the theatre by priests and right-wing groups.

Charges of insulting religion and malicious blasphemy have now been filed after Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus lodged a lawsuit against those involved in the play.

Dierctor Laertis Vasiliou and the other defendants could face several months in prison. A trial date has not been set yet.

The charges drew criticism from rights groups and politicians, with the co-ruling Democratic Left party describing the country's blasphemy laws as anachronistic and calling for them to be revised.



Offsite Article: US artwork that angered energy industry pulled...

Link Here17th November 2012
Could it happen here?

See article from



Farewell My Lovely...

1975 remake was once cut for a PG rating

Link Here16th November 2012
Farewell, My Lovely is a 1975 USA crime mystery thriller by Dick Richards.
With Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling and John Ireland. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Park/Spirit R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 12th November 2012.

Censorship History

UK: Passed A (PG) after BBFC category cuts for:
  • UK 1975 cinema release

But thereafter all home video releases have been 15 uncut.

Promotional Material

The first of two Raymond Chandler adaptations starring the mighty Robert Mitchum, Farewell, My Lovely put a capital M (for Marlowe, Menace and Murder) back in the Los Angeles neo-noir. It s 1941 in the city of angels - the police are corrupt, the hotel rooms are cheap and criminality infuses every transaction.

Private detective Philip Marlowe (Mitchum) has been hired by an ex-convict looking for his old girlfriend. He s also investigating the murder of a jewellery-loving client. The two cases start to connect while Marlowe develops an attraction to the married but seductive Helen Grayle (Charlotte Rampling). The body count mounts and it looks like Marlowe is next.

Dick Richards' unflinching and deadly serious adaptation (the third) of Chandler's novel glistens with a suitably pulpy sheen courtesy of Chinatown and Scarface cinematographer John A. Alonzo's lens work and David Shire's ice cool score, while Mitchum dominates as the rheumatic, world-weary Marlowe.




Strong language in email advert somehow eludes the advert censor's prudery

Link Here16th November 2012

An e-mail for a clothing retailer stated Social Effin' Sunday ... We're celebrating a large London-based sporting event (any idea?) with a bonza London collection - get into the spirit of things! Fifty shades of Urban (Oooo, Vicar!) ... Well spank me with a paddle, we're feeling colourful! It may be Sunday, but we're all about colourful clothes, colourful language and downright dirty jokes (sorry Gran) ... ***king facts ... The first known use of the F-word can be found in a poem from 1503: 'Yit be his feiris he wald haue fukkit' ... Dirty joke of the week ... A doctor wanted to write a prescription so reached into his pocket and pulled out a thermometer. 'Damn', he said, 'some asshole has my pen' .

A complainant challenged whether the swearing and sexual innuendo was offensive.

Urban Outfitters said they were a trendy, fashionable clothing line with a street style attitude and that their core demographic was young adults and specifically students. They provided a number of press articles to that effect. They said their intention was to produce a funny, light-hearted ad to attract young shoppers and reflect their trendy nature. They said FIFTY SHADES OF URBAN was a play on the title of a popular book (Fifty Shades of Grey) that would register with their audience and would likely carry a degree of sexual innuendo, even for those who had not read the book. They said the phrases ooo vicar , spank me with a paddle and Effin' Sunday must be seen as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the book which were not in themselves offensive and consisted of words heard in common use, including Effin' , which was a non-offensive way of expressing a swear word.

They said customers must proactively sign up to their mailing list either in store or online. Customers did not have to provide a date of birth when doing so, but they believed those that signed up were likely to be within their core demographic.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not upheld

The ASA considered that the sexual innuendo created by the phrases ooo, vicar and Well spank me with a paddle was mild and that, although it might be considered distasteful by some recipients, it was unlikely to cause offence.

We considered that Effin' , ***king and fukkit , were obvious derivatives of the swear word fuck and that their intended meaning was clear. Furthermore, we noted that the punch line of the joke stated 'some asshole has my pen' . We considered that those references had the potential to cause offence.

We had not seen any data regarding Urban Outfitters' mailing list but we noted that several press articles reinforced their argument that their core demographic was students and young adults and we noted that their website, which was one of the means of signing up to the mailing list, clearly targeted a young adult audience. Although we considered that consumers generally would not expect to receive material that included expletives by virtue of signing up to a clothing retailer's mailing list, we considered that the e-mail was unlikely to seriously offend recipients or to cause widespread offence amongst them.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.



Update: Extreme Forms of Censorship...

Russians new internet blocking law censors 180 victims in 2 weeks

Link Here16th November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media

180 websites have already been blocked under Russia's repressive new Internet law that's been in effect for the past two weeks.

The blacklist compiled by the Federal Surveillance Service for Mass Media and Communications (Roskomnadzor) is secret, but authorities unconvincingly claim that its purpose is to eliminate extreme forms of offensive content.

In its first two weeks of application, the law has produced a few high-profile casualties that critics say point to the fundamental weaknesses of a system that allows authorities to summarily shut down content without any need for a court order or reference to any supervisory body. The definitions of offensive content are also murky, critics say, and could easily include political conversation that looks extremist to a policeman's eyes and other forms of commentary that might be simply misunderstood.

That criticism seems to have already been borne out. This week alone Roskomnadzor has closed down, among others, a Wikipedia-like encyclopedia of satire, which contained an article about how to make hemp (often associated with marijuana) soup; an online library, which included a copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook, a 1970's American-authored manual for radicals; and a popular torrent-tracking website, on which users had apparently exchanged a file called The Encyclopedia of Suicide.

The agency allowed those websites to reopen after the supposedly offensive content was removed. But experts say those examples were hugely popular websites whose closure attracted immediate public attention and a storm of complaints; restoring service may not prove so easy for smaller victims of the law.



Enhancing Online Safety for Politicians...

Australian opposition coalition publishes discussion paper suggesting that an internet censor be appointed for the protection of children using social networks

Link Here16th November 2012

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott has floated a suite of online child safety ideas that would include legislation to appoint a censor for social media, which would become answerable to a Children's e-Safety Commissioner charged with taking a national leadership role in online safety for children.

The proposals stand a very good chance of becoming law as the opposition is well ahead in opinion polls.

The key proposals up for discussion are:

  • a. The benefits that might flow from establishing an independent agency or Commissioner-led body. such as a 'Children's e-Safety Commissioner.' charged with coordinating a national response to online safety, including the development of education campaigns and national guidelines for schools, parents, children and internet providers.
  • b. The role, nature and operation of such an agency or Commissioner if so established, including methods to promote its existence to parents, children and educators.
  • c. Whether or not any existing agencies are capable of performing a national, coordinated role or what may be needed to allow them to do so.
  • d. Whether resources available to the Australian Federal Police are adequate and what additional resources may be required to ensure greater enforcement against illegal online activities directed at children.
  • e. The extent to which existing resources available to the Australian Federal Police are used effectively and efficiently and any options available to re-direct existing resources to address emerging online priorities.
  • f. The extent and capacity of police and law enforcement agencies to interact with relevant international organisations and whether improved global coordination could deliver better online safety outcomes for children.



Model Offence...

Rare to see buddhists easily offended by 'inappropriate' images

Link Here16th November 2012

Photos of models pictured with Buddha statues published on the Internet by a men's magazine have caused an 'outcry' among Thai Buddhists.

Posted on Maxim magazine's Facebook page, one picture shows a lingerie-clad model posed with her hand on a statue's head and on the statue's arm. Another photo shows the topless model with her hands covering her breasts and wearing only underpants posing among dozens of statues. A third photo shows the model Ashley Michaelsen posing for a Hometown Hotties feature seated among the statues with her legs spread.

In response to complaints, Thai Culture Ministry permanent secretary Apinan Poshyananda said he would contact the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), and, because the photos were published on the Internet, the Information Communication and Technology Ministry. He said he would also contact the Foreign Ministry because the photos were from another country.

The various Thai agencies would then notify the magazine about their objection to the inappropriate use of a religious symbol.

Apinan said there have been many cases of Buddhist symbols being used inappropriately and that the Culture Ministry would produce a handbook in Thai and English on the use of Buddhist symbols for commercial purposes in order to prevent future misuse.

Pornchai Pinyapong, president of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, said he had seen the magazine photos and thought they were an insult to Buddhists. He planned to bring the issue to the Parliament's Committee on Religions, Arts and Culture, as well as talk to the Culture Ministry and NOB. The government should push forward the draft legislation on protecting Buddhism so there would be punishments for those who mistreated religious symbols, Pornchai added.



Mediawatch-UK Website Blocked for Porn...

And then they claim that website blocking would be based on clear parameters of what would, and what would not, be acceptable

Link Here16th November 2012

Mediawatch-UK wrote on their blog:

The UK [website blocking] proposal involves an independent regulator which would be tasked with setting clear parameters of what would, and what would not be, acceptable on a clean feed . Websites which felt they were being unfairly blocked would have a right to appeal any decision.

Earlier this year we found that our website and blog were being blocked by filters designed to offer a safe browsing experience for children on mobile devices. These filters are applied as a default on all mobile devices which access the internet unless adult users choose to remove them. Although neither our blog nor our website include pornography such material is alluded to in the context of our campaign and our sites were being filtered out.

We contacted the Mobile Broadband Group and pointed out the misclassification and it was a simple matter to get the restrictions lifted.



Offsite Article: UN Censored...

Link Here16th November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship
Act now to stop unaccountable, censor-friendly UN agency from hijacking control of the Internet!

See article from



The Trilogy of Life...

The Decameron, Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights get the Criterion treatment

Link Here15th November 2012
The Trilogy of Life is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

The Decameron is a 1971 Italian comedy drama by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
With Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli and Jovan Jovanovic.
YouTube icon IMDb

Censorship History

UK: Passed 18 after 22s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1988 Warner VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Full frontal nudity and an erection offended the censors and so had to go

The earlier UK cinema release all subsequent home video releases have been uncut.

The Canterbury Tales is a 1972 Italy/France comedy drama by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
With Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti and Ninetto Davoli. IMDb

Censorship History

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1972 cinema release

From IMDb. The BBFC cuts were:

  • edits to anal sex shots,
  • a man being whipped,
  • Rufus urinating on the crowd during the Pardoner's Tale'

All subsequent home video were rated 15 uncut

Arabian Nights is a 1974 Italy/France adventure by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
With Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti and Franco Merli. IMDb

Censorship History

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1975 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • heavy edits to all shots of genital nudity
  • cuts to a a man firing a phallic shaped arrow at a woman
  • cuts to a naked man having wine licked from his feet

All subsequent home video were rated 18 uncut

Promotional Material


  • New high-definition digital restorations of all three films
  • New visual essays by film scholars Patrick Rumble and Tony Rayns on The Decameron and Arabian Nights, respectively
  • New interviews with art director Dante Ferretti and composer Ennio Morricone about their work with Pasolini, and with film scholar Sam Rohdie on The Canterbury Tales
  • The Lost Body of Alibech (2005), a forty-five-minute documentary by Roberto Chiesi about a lost sequence from The Decameron
  • The Secret Humiliation of Chaucer (2006), a forty-seven-minute documentary by Chiesi about The Canterbury Tales
  • Via Pasolini, a documentary in which Pasolini discusses his views on language, film, and modern society
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Form of the City (1974), a sixteen-minute documentary by Pasolini and Paolo Burnatto about the ancient Italian cities Orte and Sabaudia
  • Deleted scenes from Arabian Nights, with transcriptions of pages from the original script
  • Pasolini-approved English-dubbed track for The Canterbury Tales
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translations
  • A booklet featuring essays by critic Colin MacCabe; Pasolini's 1975 article Trilogy of Life Rejected ; excerpts from Pasolini's Berlin Film Festival press conference for The Canterbury Tales; and a report from the set of Arabian Nights by critic Gideon Bachmann



Objectionable Censorship...

Punjabi film, Sadda Haq, is banned in India

Link Here15th November 2012

The Punjabi film Sadda Haq that depicts real life events from the days of terrorism in Punjab in the early 80s, has been banned in India before its release.

Banning the film's release, the Censor Board cited the depiction of certain events portrayed in the film as objectionable.

Scriptwriter Kuljinder Singh Sidhu said:

History repeats itself when mistakes committed in history are not checked and improved upon. So, we were hoping this film turns out to be an eye-opener for everyone, the government and the people. There are two plots in this film. The first portrays times of militancy and the second reveals the viewpoint of today's youth pertaining to those times.



Punjab Officials Suffering from Mental Pollution...

Punjab bans vulgar songs in buses lest the driver gets distracted

Link Here15th November 2012

Punjab transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar has banned drivers from playing vulgar and provocative songs in the state-run transport buses supposedly as a preventive measure against fatal accidents.

According to Kohar, vulgar music is a great distraction for those behind the wheel:

Frequent playing of vulgar music in buses not only generates mental pollution among passengers but is also instrumental in fatal accidents due to distraction.

The minister has issued the ban orders to the state transport department, asking officials to implement the same with immediate effect.

Special teams will soon be set up to conduct random checks on the state transport buses, said a senior official of the transport department.

Agreeing that there has not been any bus accident caused by vulgar music in recent memory, the officials added that prevention is always better than cure . The officials said the state censor board would be of great help in identifying supposedly vulgar songs.



Offsite Article: For God's sake...

Link Here15th November 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
The Director of Public Persecutions *still* doesn't understand how the internet works. Meanwhile, he's planning to censor it

See article from



Jack the Reacher...

Upcoming cinema release cut for a 12A

Link Here14th November 2012

Jack Reacher is a 2012 USA crime drama by Christopher McQuarrie.
With Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for moderate violence and one use of strong language after 2s of BBFC category cuts for:
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

Company chose to reduce two moments of violence (a woman being suffocated by a man and a man being hit over the head with a rock) in order to achieve a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available.

In the US the film is uncut and MPAA PG-13 Rated.



Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection...

A 14 film box set release on UK Blu-ray

Link Here14th November 2012

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection is 18 rated for:

  • UK 2012 Universal R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 12th November 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal Limited Edition R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 12th November 2012

The collection consists of:

  • Saboteur (1942)
  • Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Rope (1948)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • The Trouble with Harry (1955)
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • Vertigo (1958)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • Marnie (1964)
  • Torn Curtain (1966)
  • Topaz (1969)
  • Frenzy (1972)
  • Family Plot (1976)

There is a similar US release featuring one additional film, North by Northwest.

Censorship History

Psycho is a 1960 US thriller by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Vera Miles. IMDb

UK: Passed X (16) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1960 cinema release

The BBFC cuts list read:

  • Drastically reduce shots and sounds of girl being stabbed in shower; the deletions to include all shots of her breasts or navel.
  • The shot of her doubled in the bath afterwards should also be removed.
UK: Passed 15 uncut for:
  • UK 1998 cinema release
  • UK 1986 CIC VHS

From cuts details on IMDb :

VHS releases are fully uncut. The shot of Marion removing her black bra before her shower which was removed by the US censors remained intact in the UK.

UK: The Reclassified R Rated Version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Universal Masterpiece Collection R0 Blu-ray
  • UK 2010 Universal Blu-ray
  • UK 2010 Universal DVD
  • UK 2003 Universal DVD
  • UK 1999 Columbia/TriStar DVD

From on article at it seems that TV versions shown on BBC and German RTL are more complete than worldwide cinema/DVD releases

In particular the extra footage:

  • Norman Bates monitors Marion through the hole a bit longer. She takes off her bra, followed by another shot of Normans face in a close up. After that, we see Marion again, taking the bra off completely. [still preserving her modesty though]
  • After Norman Bates has carried Marion's body out of the bathroom, the shot of him looking at his bloody hands is a bit longer. His bloodied hands make another re-appearance before he washes them in the bathroom

Frenzy is a 1972 UK thriller by Alfred Hitchcock
With Jon Finch, Barry Foster and Alec McCowen.

UK: Passed 18 after 19s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1989 CIC VHS
  • UK 1972 cinema release

Ferman took a dislike to a tactfully handled rape scene:

  • Cut to remove shots of underwear removal
  • Cut close ups of neck strangling from the murder scene.

UK: Passed 18 uncut after the BBFC waived their cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Universal Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition R0 Blu-ray
  • UK 2012 Universal Masterpiece Collection R0 Blu-ray
  • UK 2001 Universal R2 DVD



Political Correctness Spinning Out of Control...

ASA whinge at reckless driving in a car advert set in a computer game world

Link Here14th November 2012

An ad seen on YouTube, promoting the Toyota GT86, appeared during a third-party video. The ad was set in an animated virtual world in which a male character described not being real and how he had no feeling, until he drove the GT86. The car was shown being driven at speed, being followed by a police helicopter and being chased through narrow virtual streets. The car was then shown escaping the city and following signs to the end of the world . The car burst through a glass barrier onto a real road.

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA understood that Toyota had designed the ad to emphasise the unique driving experience of the car rather than the speeds it could achieve. We noted their belief that the central character was always shown to be in total control of the car and did not engage in any dangerous driving. Similarly, we understood that Toyota believed the ad showed the authorities attempting to prevent the character from having an authentic driving experience rather than preventing him from driving in a dangerous way. We considered, however, that a number of scenes depicted the character driving at speed and in a reckless manner, as shown by the reactions of bystanders as he drove past them, and the car chase scenes as the driver dodged, swerved and overtook various other drivers and obstacles.

We understood that because the ad was highly stylised and set in a fantasy environment, Toyota believed that the driving scenes featured were impossible to emulate. Whilst we appreciated that in the world where the ad was set, cars could drive themselves, objects could miraculously appear or disappear and certain everyday objects were contraband, we considered that the roads, public spaces and the car featured in the ad were recognisable as such and were not significantly different from those in the real world. We therefore considered that the driving featured, and in particular the speeds shown, could be emulated on real roads.

We also considered that the highly stylised nature of the ad glamorised the reckless manner in which the car was driven. Because we considered the ad portrayed speed, and the way the car could be handled in a manner that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 19.1, 19.2 and 19.3 (Motoring).



Update: Sensitive to Criticism...

Google report increased government censorship of content

Link Here14th November 2012
Full story: Google Transparency Reports...Google reveals the scale of copyright claims

Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services. In this report, we disclose the number of requests we receive from each government in six-month periods with certain limitations.

Governments ask companies to remove content for many different reasons. For example, some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography. Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction. We hope this tool will be helpful in discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests.

  • UK.

    We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove 14 search results for linking to sites that criticize the police and claim individuals were involved in obscuring crimes. We did not remove content in response to this request. In addition, we received a request from another local law enforcement agency to remove a YouTube video for criticizing the agency of racism. We did not remove content in response to this request.

    The number of content removal requests we received increased by 98% compared to the previous reporting period.
  • US

    We received five requests and one court order to remove seven YouTube videos for criticizing local and state government agencies, law enforcement or public officials. We did not remove content in response to these requests. We received a court order to remove 1,754 posts from Google Groups relating to a case of continuous defamation against a man and his family. We removed 1,664 of the posts, which fell within the scope of the order. We received three court orders to remove 641 search results for linking to websites that allegedly defame organizations and individuals. We removed 233 of the search results requested, which fell within the scope of the orders. In response to a court order, we removed 156 search results because the web pages in question used a trademark in violation of an earlier order.

    The number of content removal requests we received increased by 46% compared to the previous reporting period.
  • Thailand

    We received two requests from the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology in Thailand to remove 14 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy in violation of Thailand's le'se-majeste' law. We restricted three of these videos from view in Thailand out of respect for local law.



Ice Age 4: Continental Drift...

Cut for a BBFC U rating

Link Here13th November 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift is a 2012 USA animation adventure comedy family by Steve Martino , Mike Thurmeier.
With Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed U for mild threat and comic violence after 4s of BBFC category cuts for:
  • UK 20th Century Fox RB Blu-ray
  • UK 20th Century Fox R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Distributor chose to remove a use of the word spastic , as a term to describe a character, in order to achieve a U classification.



PC Pipe...

Native Americans whinge at headdress worn by catwalk model

Link Here13th November 2012

Karlie Kloss walked the runway in a Native American headdress and a Pocahontas-like bikini during the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show. The outfit was designed to represent Thanksgiving.

Native Appropriations, a Native American blog, suggested instead that the outfit represented sexual aggression:

Besides the daily harm of these ongoing microaggressions for Native folks, the sexualization of Native women continues to be an ignored and continuing epidemic...So Victoria's Secret, now is the time to apologize. It's not too late to cut Karlie's headdressed outfit out and leave it on the editing room floor. This isn't fun, this isn't a fantasy character. This is about our cultures, our bodies, and our lives. Native people demand and deserve far more respect than this.

Victoria's Secret has already promised to cut the clip from its December 4 show. And they apologized:

We are sorry that the Native American headdress replica used in our recent fashion show has upset individuals. We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone. Out of respect, we will not be including the outfit in any broadcast, marketing materials nor in any other way.



Offsite Article: Meeting the Director of Malicious Persecutions...

Link Here13th November 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
A panel discussion in London yesterday did not offer much hope that prosecutors and politicians will defend free speech online.

See article from



Offsite Article: Film Review: The Devils Uncut...

Link Here13th November 2012
Ken Russell's true cut of The Devils has been screened sporadically at festivals since 2004. A rare viewing of the director's approved print was an intriguing prospect, and it was far from disappointing.

See article from



Update: In Remembrance of British Free Speech...

Kent police accused of malicious use of the Malicious Communications Act

Link Here12th November 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

A man has fallen victim to Kent Police who detained him for posting an image of a burning poppy on Facebook. He was detained on Sunday night on suspicion of making malicious telecommunications.

The force tried to justify their attack on free speech in a statement:

A man (was) interviewed by police this morning following reports that a picture of a burning poppy had been posted on a social media website.

Officers were contacted at around 4pm yesterday and alerted to the picture, which was reportedly accompanied by an offensive comment.

The offensive comment was the trivial comment:

How about that you squadey cunts

The man was later released pending further inquiries.

His detention was met with disbelief on Twitter, where people mounted a fierce discussion over civil liberties. David Allen Green, a journalist and lawyer for the New Statesman, tweeting as Jack of Kent, wrote:

What was the point of winning either World War if, in 2012, someone can be casually arrested by Kent Police for burning a poppy?

Australian musician and comedian Tim Minchin also expressed his incredulity, tweeting:

You've a right to burn a (fake!) poppy. Whether I agree with the action is utterly irrelevant. Kent Police are out of line.



Not Short on Sexy Stills...

Daily Mail has fun with 'fury' over Kingsmill advert

Link Here11th November 2012

A TV advert showing an 18 year old teenager posing provocatively in shortish school uniform skirt has prompted a few nutter complaints.

The Kingsmill bread advert shows a schoolgirl in the kitchen at breakfast. Her younger brother then relays a warning from their father:

If you think you're going to school in that skirt, you can think again.

The girl, played by actress Tara Berwin, responds by defiantly hitching up her mid-thigh length skirt to strike a provocative pose.

One 'outraged' viewer spouted on a web forum:

Perhaps it's because paedophilia is very much in the public consciousness at the moment but shouldn't this be illegal? Nearly seeing up the skirt of a minor?

Another spewed on Mumsnet:

 I really think it exploits teenage girls. At the end there is a girl dressed in a very short skirt, over-the-knee stockings and it's basically her school uniform.

I just don't see how it's appropriate or what it has to do with a Kingsmill loaf. It's blatantly using sex to sell an everyday product. Another parent noted: I think it's grim, to be honest. The same joke could've been made by dressing the girl in any number of other unsuitable-for-school outfits.

The camera lingers on her giving a twirl, and the over-the-knee socks make her look like she's in "naughty schoolgirl" fancy dress. Yuk.

Of course the Daily Mail peppered the article with lots of sexy stills and exhorted readers to 'scroll down and watch the advert'.



Offsite Article: British film censor faces new challenges after 100 years of horror, killing and sex...

Link Here11th November 2012
After a century looking out for the nation's sensibilities and a new president taking charge, the BBFC has much to scrutinise, not least its own history

See article from



A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas...

Extended version only available on Blu-ray

Link Here10th November 2012
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas is a 2011 US comedy by Todd Strauss-Schulson.
With Kal Penn, John Cho and Neil Patrick Harris. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Extended Cut was passed 18 uncut for frequent drug use for:

  • UK 2012 Warner [2D + 3D Theatrical + 2D Extended] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 5th November 2012
UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for frequent drug use for:
  • UK 2012 Warner R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 5th November 2012

See pictorial version details from . It seems unlikely that the 6 minutes of additional material for the Extended Cut would have had problems with the film censors

Promotional Material

Six years have elapsed since Guantanemo Bay, leaving Harold and Kumar estranged from one another with very different families, friends and lives. But when Kumar arrives on Harold's doorstep during the holiday season with a mysterious package in hand, he inadvertently burns down Harold's father-in-law's beloved Christmas tree. To fix the problem, Harold and Kumar embark on a mission through New York City to find the perfect Christmas tree, once again stumbling into trouble at every single turn.

2D Extra Content:

  • A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas Extended Cut
  • Bringing Harold and Kumar claymation to life
  • I'm doing a puff piece over here - through the haze with Tom Lennon.
  • I hate drugs - through the haze with Tom Lennon.
  • F#*@ you Charles Dickens - through the haze with Tom Lennon.
  • Im just brainstorming here - through the haze with Tom Lennon
  • The Marshmallow man - through the haze with Tom Lennon
  • 19th greatest Christmas story ever told - through the haze with Tom Lennon
  • Deleted scenes



Manhunt for a Scapegoat...

Russia looks to video games to blame for an office shooting massacre

Link Here10th November 2012

After a shooting spree this week, the Russian government is reviewing how violent PC games are handled within the region.

Disgrunted lawyer Dmitry Vinogradov attacked the Rigla pharmaceutical warehouse where he worked this week, killing six colleagues. The attack reportedly stemmed from a breakup with a female coworker, but Russian authorities have also noted that the man was a fan of Rockstar's 2003 action title Manhunt .

United Russia deputy Sergei Zheleznyak said that an inquiry needed to be made with the Russian Federal Surveillance Service for Mass Media and Communications in order for the game to be banned. His colleague Franz Klintsevich went farther with his suggestion that access to violent games should be restricted in the region.

State Duma Committee on Education first deputy chairman Vladimir Burmatov said that there should be a commission to supervise PC game sales.



Offsite Comment: Spare a Thought for Indian TV Viewers...

Link Here10th November 2012
More than 50 per cent of the Dialogue was beeped out during Friends with Benefits

See article from




Once banned BDSM drama gets a UK DVD/Blu-ray combo release

Link Here9th November 2012
Maîtresse is a 1975 France drama by Barbet Schroeder.
With Gérard Depardieu, Bulle Ogier and André Rouyer. IMDb

UK : Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 BFI RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 5th November 2012

Censorship History

The BBFC banned the 1976 cinema release.

The GLC also refused a local cinema certificate while Berkshire passed the film for local distribution after cuts.

However the film was shown uncut on the cinema club circuit.

The BBFC required 4:47s of cuts for the X rated 1981 cinema release.

The movie was a long time coming to video/DVD but all BBFC cuts were waived for the 18 rated 2003 BFI DVD.

Promotional Material

This is the world premiere on Blu-ray (as part of this BFI Dual Format Edition), of this controversial film from director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly, Single White Female, The Valley). It is both a conventional love story and a dark study of fetishism. Starring Gerard Depardieu as Olivier, the young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix.

Based on an encounter with a real-life dominatrix, this story of a Paris prostitute specialising in bondage and sado-masochism was refused a certificate by the BBFC on its original release. The film features graphic scenes of torture and fetishism which the Board described as miles in excess of anything we have ever passed in this field in 1976.

Only released at the time in a handful of club cinemas in 1981, the film was cut by almost five minutes and finally awarded an X certificate. This fully uncut version was first passed in 2003 and is presented in a new High Definition transfer for the very first time.



Update: Bad Ideas Filtered Out...

Australia abandons its general internet blocking policy in favour of blocking child porn only

Link Here9th November 2012

Australia's Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has ditched plans for internet blocking and will instead rely on individual ISPs to block child pornography.

In a surprise move the Government has abandoned plans to block online content that it does not like but has struck a deal with telcos to block about 1400 sites on an Interpol blacklist.

Experts welcomed Senator Conroy's decision to abandon the internet blocking.

In 2009 Senator Conroy said the filter was necessary to protect children from illegal online content and would be 100% accurate but critics savaged the Big Brother approach as a threat to free speech, and pointed out that it would blacklist innocent sites as well.

Opposition spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said it was a humiliating backdown, and said the filter had always been a bad idea . H e told The Australian:

It would never have been effective. It would have just given parents a false sense of security. There is no substitute for parents taking responsibility for their children.

Conroy said in a statement:

Blocking the INTERPOL 'worst of' list meets community expectations and fulfils the government's commitment to preventing Australian internet users from accessing child abuse material online.

I welcome the support of Australia's major ISPs and the Internet Industry Association for taking appropriate steps to meet their lawful obligations. This means that more than 90% of Australians using internet services will have child abuse material blocked by their ISP.

The Australian Christian Lobby said the Government had broken an election promise. Managing director Jim Wallace said it was a great disappointment and spokeswoman Wendy Francis said a broader filter was necessary because:

it is important to prevent unwanted access to pornography. We must protect our children from forming unhealthy attitudes towards women and sex.



Update: Howes About That Then?...

Nutter bill to mandate an internet porn blocking option receives a 2nd reading in the Lords

Link Here9th November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Elspeth Howe has launched a Lords private member bill obliging Britain's ISPs to impose a block block on all pornographic images along with any websites that reference porn or anything else considered adult.

The bill would bring in a system whereby adults will only be able to see porn if they specifically opt in after a strict age verification check.

The legislation faces opposition from Liberal Democrat peers, who argue that the proposed system is not the best way to protect children online.

Howe, an independent Crossbench peer claimed the bill was needed because of the dangerous effect that sexual content was having on relationships between boys and girls. She said that access to porn was giving children the wrong idea about relationships and could lead to teenage boys treating girls as sex objects.

Her Online Safety Bill , received its first reading earlier this year but it is now receiving a second reading which is the first chance for debate.

The legislation only has a chance of becoming law if it receives the support of ministers. Only when the Government grants enough Parliamentary time to debate a private members' bill does it have any hope of passing into law.



Update: Mass lobby of Parliament...

Tell your MP that the draft Communications Data Bill is not fit for purpose

Link Here9th November 2012

11th December 2012

The Joint Committee on the draft Communications Data Bill is due to report in a few weeks, after which the Government will consider what it should do in light of the widespread criticism the bill has received.

Many MPs have written to constituents telling them that they will be making up their mind on whether to support the proposals to record every email we send, website we visit and all our social media messages only after the Joint Committee has published it's report.

We cannot afford to leave MPs in any doubt about this Bill - and for that we need your help.

We are calling on all our supporters to request meetings with their MPs on the 11th December 2012. In conjunction with other campaign groups, we intend to make sure that every MP is in no doubt that the draft Communications Data Bill is not fit for purpose. We hope to have hundreds of supporters in Parliament meeting their MPs and highlighting the findings of the Joint Committee's report.

If you're unable to meet your MP on the 11th, you can ask for Big Brother Watch to meet the MP on your behalf.

The most important thing is to contact your MP now asking for a meeting.



It's the Protesters' Fault...

Ofcom censors Russian propaganda supporting Syria

Link Here9th November 2012

Russia Today, 12 July 2012, 10:00

Russia Today is a global news and current affairs channel produced in Russia, and funded by the Russian Government 1. In the UK, the channel broadcasts on the Sky digital satellite platform. The licence for Russia Today is held by TV Novosti.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to a news report about the armed conflict in Syria between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition rebel forces. The complainant considered the news broadcast was biased, because, in the complainant's view, an interviewee was crediting a massacre [in the Syrian conflict] to the rebels and not the government and was not challenged in any way .

A political commentator, Abayomi Azikiwe, interviewed in the programme said that the backers of the Syrian opposition:

...have opposed any effort aimed at dialogue to bring about a political solution to this crisis. They have refused to acknowledge any type of ceasefire. They have continued their aggressive activities against the Syrian Government, and as a result of that the Syrian Government has had no choice except to engage in these military manoeuvres that we've seen over the last couple of days. The onus for the resolution of this crisis strictly lies with the armed opposition and also the opposition which is around the Syrian National Council as well as the other Islamist groups, which have refused all peace plans that have been put forward by the United Nations Envoy, Kofi Annan.

Ofcom considered rule 5.1:

News, in whatever form, must be reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Ruler 5.1

After a long explanation, Ofcom concluded that, overall and on the specific facts of this case, the news bulletin broadcast at 10:00 on 12 July 2012 was not presented with due impartiality in respect of its treatment of the Syrian conflict. Ofcom therefore recorded a breach of Rule 5.1 of the Code.

Ofcom noted that this breach follows other breaches of Section Five recorded against the Licensee in Bulletin 213 . Ofcom is therefore requiring the Licensee to attend a meeting to explain its compliance procedures in this area.



Offsite Article: Football fans need free speech, too...

Link Here9th November 2012
Full story: Football Sectarianism...Sectarian Rangers football song wind up
A man has been jailed for singing a song that mocks a religious leader, yet liberty campaigners have said nothing.

See article from



Offsite Article: Britain's crackdown on Web comments sparks free-speech debate...

Link Here 9th November 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
Los Angeles Times reports on the loss of free speech in Britain

See article from



The BBC Recommends...

Don't Stop the Party by Pitbull

Link Here8th November 2012

Rapper Pitbull has had his latest music video banned by the BBC.

The promo for Don't Stop The Party sees the chart-topping star partying with an array of bikini clad women on board a luxury yacht and includes sexy but modest bedroom scenes. A partly-naked girl strokes herself on a bed and another drinks from a vodka bottle showing the well known brand.

The video is still being viewed online and now has almost five million views since it was posted on YouTube ten days ago.



Working Mums...

A few whinges at Asda advert showing mum working hard at Christmas

Link Here8th November 2012

Nutters have whinged at an ASDA advert they see as sexist.

Under the slogan Behind every great Christmas, there's Mum , a young mother is shown racing around, while the father and the rest of the family put their feet up.

At least 33 viewers have complained to the easily offended advert censors at the Advertising Standards Authority, claiming the supermarket chain's advert is offensive to both women and men.

Radio 4 Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey whinged via her Twitter feed where she referred followers to the Everyday Sexism website.

The commercial has even managed to unite feminists and nutters of the Fathers4Justice campaign in condemnation. The fathers rights organisation has threatened a turkey sit-in at stores if the adverts are not pulled.

Asda, which created the commerical with ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, insisted that it has received the backing of the vast majority in a survey of 4,000 mothers. Asda also said that the response to the ad had been overwhelmingly positive

Asda have released a statement which reads:

To any mums and dads who have been upset by our Christmas TV ad -- we'd like to offer our sincere apologies. It wasn't our intention to offend anyone.

Our ad depicts what many of the 16million mums who shop in Asda tell us they feel. It is intended to be light-hearted and fun and in the main that's how it's been received.

We respect all hard-working parents and know just how tough it is managing a family -- particularly at Christmas.'



Offsite Article: Censorship Overkill...

Link Here8th November 2012
Legal Opinion: Queensland's R18+ legislation is sensible, but already dated

See article from



Killer Joe...

Uncontroversial 18 rated DVD release for the UK but controversially rated NC-17 in the US

Link Here7th November 2012

Killer Joe is a 2011 US crime thriller by William Friedkin.
With Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple. IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody and sadistic violence and sexual threat for:

  • UK 2012 Entertainment One RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 5th November 2012
  • UK 2012 Entertainment One R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 5th November 2012

Censorship History

Never cut but it is notable for being one of the few films to accept the uncommercial option of an MPAA NC-17 (ie 18) rating for its US release.

See review from

Promotional Material

When drug dealer Chris (Emile Hirsch) has his stash stolen by his mother, he plans to dispatch of her and cash in on her $50,000 life insurance to repay his debts. He hires Detective Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a dirty cop who moonlights as a contract killer, who sets his sight on Chris' innocent sister Dottie (Juno Temple) as collateral for the job. But the agreement turns complicated when Dottie forms a bond with Killer Joe and everything begins to unravel. Killer Joe is a controversial and shocking black comedy thriller from director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection).



Behind the Scenes at the BBFC...

New book with contributions from many at the BBFC

Link Here7th November 2012

From promotional material:

Established by the film industry in 1912 as the nation's only official and independent classifier of the moving image, the British Board of Film Classification (originally the British Board of Film Censors) has long been a source of fascination -- and sometimes a bone of contention -- for filmgoers, filmmakers and industry figures. This new book, published in the BBFC's centenary year, addresses Britain's film classification history, and marks an unparalleled collaboration between the Board and leading film critics, historians and cultural commentators.

These writers, given unprecedented access to the BBFC's archives, chart the organisation's history alongside the cultural, social and political forces that have helped shape it. Together they explore shifting public attitudes towards cinema's portrayal of sex and drugs, horror and violence; the different perspectives of the Board's successive leaders; the impact of controversial decisions, and the ever-changing nature of moving image distribution and exhibition.

The book also features unique case studies, written by BBFC staff, focusing on significant films that have provoked debate and controversy both within the BBFC and more widely - Battleship Potemkin, The Snake Pit, A Clockwork Orange, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and many more.

Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age is an entertaining and invaluable insight into shifts in public attitudes over the last century, and how film classification shapes what we see on screen.

Editor: EDWARD LAMBERTI is Information Services Manager at the BBFC.



Riding the PC Juggernaut...

ASA whinges at slightly sexy Playboy TV advert painted on a lorry cab

Link Here7th November 2012

An ad for Playboy TV, in paid-for space on the side, back and cab of a lorry consisted of various images of women.

  • a. The image on the side of the lorry stated RE-TUNE YOUR FREEVIEW BOX TO GET US! and pictured the top halves of four women with their cleavages showing. One was dressed as a policewoman, another as a Playboy bunny, one held her finger between her clenched teeth, and the fourth smiled at the viewer.

  • b. The image on the back of the lorry stated RE-TUNE YOUR FREEVIEW BOX TO GET US! next to a picture of woman dressed in stockings, high heel shoes and latex bodice, leaning backwards against a chair with her head back and eyes closed, and one leg raised and bent backwards.

  • c. The image on the side of the cab showed the back of a woman, her face turned towards the camera, and touching her exposed bottom cheek.

  • d. On the front of the cab, a woman was shown apparently kneeling, with her bottom pushed up, and head resting on her leaning arm. Issue

A complainant challenged whether the images were overtly sexual and therefore unsuitable for display on a lorry.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that although the images on the lorry were comparable to similar ads found in some newspapers and magazines, we nonetheless disagreed with Playboy's assertion that they were not sexually provocative.

We noted the woman wearing a police uniform in image (a) showed a significant amount of cleavage, which was pushed up to accentuate her breasts and made more noticeable by the police neckerchief draped between them. The woman next to her, dressed in a bunny girl costume, was leaning backwards, which also drew attention to her cleavage. One woman was provocatively holding her finger between her clenched teeth. All four women were looking directly at the viewer and, by their facial expressions and poses, implied sexual availability, which was compounded by the text underneath the image which stated RE-TUNE YOUR FREEVIEW BOX TO GET US! .

The woman in image (b) on the back of the lorry was holding a sexual pose, leaning backwards against a chair, her breasts pushed out, one leg raised and bent backwards, her eyes closed and wearing clothing often associated with sexually charged encounters. Although image (c) was partly obscured by both text and the lorry's fixtures, the woman could still clearly be seen touching her exposed bottom cheek, her head thrown back and suggestively pouting.

Image (d), while less obviously provocative than the other images, nonetheless showed the woman apparently kneeling, with her bottom pushed up. We considered that the poses held by all the women, seductively looking directly at the viewer, were sexually provocative.

The ads were in an untargeted, mobile medium and therefore had the potential to be seen by a large number of people who were likely to find the images of scantily clad women in overtly sexual and provocative poses, offensive. We considered that, because the pictures were overtly sexual and could be seen by anyone including children they were likely to cause serious and widespread offence and were irresponsible. We concluded that the ads were unsuitable for outdoor display and therefore breached the Code.

The ads breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Diversity of Censorship...

Channel 4 censors the word gay from daytime broadcasts of The Simpsons

Link Here7th November 2012

Channel 4 has admitted to editing the word 'gay' out of The Simpsons as the word was judged inappropriate for transmission before 6pm.

The term was removed from a Sunday lunchtime showing of a 1994 episode called Homer Loves Flanders .

In the episode Homer Simpson goes to an American football match with his God-fearing neighbour Ned Flanders but is initially embarrassed to be seen with him. The pair bond and Homer yells: I want everyone to know that this is Ned Flanders ... my friend!

His workmates Lenny and Carl overhear him and Lenny says: What d'he say?

Originally Carl replies: I dunno. Somethin' about being gay.

But on Sunday his line was cut and the episode switched to advertisements after Lenny speaks.

Channel 4 told The Independent claimed that it was a 'mistake' was caused by an overly cautious compliance checker.

Channel 4's gay censorship seems to be somewhat at odds with the fine words on their website:

Diversity in TV and the media, it's a big subject - and a top priority for us at Channel 4. After all, a key part of our remit is to appeal to people whatever their culture, nationality, religious persuasion, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, race or age



Apple's Book Censors Recommend...

Hippie 1 and Hippie 2 by Peter Ovig Knudsens

Link Here7th November 2012

A Danish author's ebooks documenting freewheeling hippie nudity have been rejected from Apple's iBookstore in that country, even after the author and publisher covered up the offending naughty bits -- with images of ripe red apples.

At issue are two ebooks for the iPhone and iPad. These feature 14  images from acclaimed photographer Gregers Nielsen.

Perhaps the choice of apples rather than neutral black blocks offended Apple's pride as much as its prudery

Knudsen's Hippie Company first tried to get uncensored version of the two ebooks Hippie 1 and Hippie 2 into Apple's iBookstore, but as Hippie Company reported in a press release, Apple required the images to be censored. The publisher then did so by placing red apples over the exposed breasts, penises, and what have you, then resubmitted the two ebooks.

Apple then accepted them, and put them up on its Denmark iBookstore. However, Hippie Company's witty censorship methodology was apparently not appreciated: after four days, they were removed without explanation



Old Jokes...

The National Pensioners Convention recommends Candy by Robbie Williams

Link Here7th November 2012

A pensioners' group has attacked Robbie Williams for making a joke about violence towards the elderly.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) wants the star to apologise for remarks he made on BBC1's The Graham Norton Show .

His new music video for number one hit Candy shows him punching an elderly woman.

During the chat show, Norton remarked:

That's quite a shocking image isn't it?

Williams replied:

It is, isn't it. They wanted me to kick a dog and I'm an animal lover, so I was just not having that. Then they said 'punch a pensioner' and I was like 'Yeah, I'm in'.

NPC general secretary Dot Gibson said:

Celebrities should think twice before making ageist comments which seem to imply that pensioners should be treated in a degrading way. Elder abuse is a serious issue and needs to be tackled rather than seen as a bit of a joke.

A BBC spokeswoman responded:

Robbie was a wonderful guest on this week's show and this comment was clearly a joke. Fans of The Graham Norton Show know, understand and expect this irreverent type of banter amongst the guests. No offence was intended.

TV censor Ofcom said it had received one complaint over the on-air comments.



Update: South African Council of Churches Recommends...

Lady GaGa

Link Here7th November 2012
Full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

The South African Council of Churches wants to ban Lady Gaga from performing in South Africa.

The church group claims to be concerned about the supposedly  destructive impact Lady Gaga could have on South Africa's youth when she performs here later this year.

According to Channel24, Reverend Mxolisi Sonti said they are afraid that Gaga's visit could lead to an exponential growth of Satanism in South Africa.

According to Channel24, the group are planning a march to the department of Arts and Culture in Pretoria, where they will be handing over a written request to stop Gaga's visit to the country.

Lady Gaga kicks off her shows in South Africa with a performance at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on 30 November, before she moves to the Cape Town Stadium on 3 December.



Comment: No More Fun...

Miserable campaigners ask supermarkets to stop advertising in the Sun

Link Here7th November 2012
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

Nutters opposed to the Sun's topless Page 3 have targeted supermarkets across Britain as they stepped up their campaign for an advertising boycott of the tabloid.

Members of the campaign group No More Page 3 claimed Page 3 was a sexist relic of an unhealthy 1970s culture that was at odds with the family values promoted by supermarkets. Founder Lucy-Anne Holmes said:

Supermarkets are selling family values and yet they are advertising with a newspaper that encourages people to see women not as a human but as an object. We are calling for them to stop advertising with the Sun and send out a really positive message that they value their female customers.

No More Page 3 has written to four supermarkets, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Asda, asking for a meeting to discuss the issue of advertising in the paper. Tesco and Morrisons said that they would meet campaigners, Sainsbury's and Asda have refused.

Local groups, organised via Facebook, have petitioned shoppers outside stores in about five different locations. While

The campaign has attracted 51,000 signatures of support on a petition.

In the past week the group confronted Lego with a spoof figure of a topless girl after the toy company ran a joint promotion with the Sun.

Update: Authoritarian Feminists

7th November 2012. From Dan

Regarding the anti page 3 campaign. It seems now the Conservative Left and authoritarian feminists have adopted the tactics of Right wing moralists, harassing advertisers in order to stop them sponsoring things they object to.

The middle class Conservative feminists and middle class Right wing puritans have found common ground in their censorious crusade to ban anything to do with sex and have found common ground in the tactics they adopt in an attempt to achieve this.

Also left wing newspapers like The Guardian have adopted a Daily Mail outlook towards the sex industry but cover it up with faux concern over the objectification of women.



Offsite Article: Biased Call for Due Impartiality...

Link Here7th November 2012
Full story: Leveson Inquiry...Considering UK press censorship and regulation
MP Alun Cairns attacks Channel 4 over Hugh Grant's Leveson documentary which he claims does not show due impartiality

See article from



Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist...

Previously cut documentary released uncut on UK DVD

Link Here 6th November 2012
Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist is a 1997 US documentary by Kirby Dick
With Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose and Kathe Burkhart. IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sexual content and very strong language with previous cuts waived for:

The BBFC commented:

The BBFC took the view that, in the light of the publication of new Guidelines in 2009 and the recent legal clarification of the 'harm test', the risk of harm identified with regard to this work could no longer be considered such as to provide a sound basis for intervention.

See  review from

Censorship History

UK: Previously passed 18 after 3:42s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2001 BFI R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

Cuts required to two scenes showing strong sado-masochistic activity (asphyxiation, the piercing of the skin of the penis, the insertion of a large metal ball into the rectum, the hammering of a nail through the tip of the penis) which would be highly dangerous if copied and which are likely to encourage imitation in viewers with an existing interest in sado-masochistic activity.

Summary Review: A perplexing film

It takes a certain kind of brave and twisted person to turn his life and body into an S & M performance piece. Bob Flanagan is both sick and brilliant. Flanagan survived cystic fibrosis until the age of forty-two - a very long time. He attributes this to constantly inflicting pain on himself relentlessly over the years.

His dominatrix partner Sheree, helps him with is goals. The various scenes are sometimes spliced with dark humor and other times simply shown in their bleak gruesomeness. There is nothing that Bob and Sheree have not done to him to inflict pain in the most disgusting ways possible. It's an entirely different world and it takes a strong stomach to watch. This is a perplexing film.

Promotional Material

Bob Flanagan was an American performance artist, stand-up comic, poet and lifelong sufferer from cystic fibrosis. He was also a masochist who found that his S&M experiences helped manage the pain of his illness. He met his perfect dominatrix partner in Sheree Rose, and married her in 1982 while she hung him upside down from a ceiling (as Flanagan wryly comments during one of his shows: You always hurt the one you love).

In this internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentary Kirby Dick follows Bob and Sheree through the last years of Flanagan's life. Deeply moving, often hilarious, Sick is a profile of a unique artist, giving an insight into Flanagan's warmth, courage and, especially his sense of humour.


  • Presented fully uncut and uncensored for the first time
  • Dick on Sick (Kirby Dick, 1997, 8 mins): producer/director Kirby Dick reflects on his experience of making Sick
  • Sara's Sick Too (Kirby Dick, 1997, 15 mins): short film revisiting Sara, a fellow cystic fibrosis sufferer who we see meeting Bob through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Sick
  • Feature length audio commentary by Kirby Dick and editor Dody Doran
  • Live performances with director introductions
  • Deleted scenes with directors introductions
  • Original soundtrack
  • Original trailer



Shafted by Ofcom...

TV censor whinges at innuendo in daytime speed dating show

Link Here6th November 2012

Love Shaft
Channel 4, 2 and 9 June, 10:35 and 23 June, 09:50

Love Shaft is a speed dating series which was broadcast as part of T4, the weekend youth-oriented morning segment on Channel 4 aimed at 16-34 year olds. The programme is largely set in a lift where a young male or female contestant seeking a date is presented with a series of potential dating partners as the lift stops at different floors. The contestant can only choose one potential partner to be with them in the lift at any time. The aim of the programme is for the contestant to find a partner to take on a date by the time the lift reaches the penthouse floor. During the course of the programme, the voice of the lift (called Lift in the programme and in this Decision) discusses events in the lift with the contestants and their potential dating partners, and makes comments about the participants. Meanwhile from the penthouse the family and friends of the contestants monitor the progress of the contestants in the lift, consult with the contestant in the lift about their potential partners, and discuss the events taking place with the programme presenter in the penthouse bar.

Ofcom was alerted by a complainant to these three episodes of the programme because they included adult themes throughout, sexual references and innuendo. They were broadcast at a time when young children were available to view on a Saturday morning. Ofcom reviewed the material and noted, for example:

Contestant Joel was asked about his ideal girl. Joel replied:

I really love massive tits, a lovely arse...

The voiceover explained the premise of the programme:

[W]hen the lift stops he [the contestant] will meet some hot to trot totty all desperate for a date in the lift with him but there is no room for a threesome...he will have a chance of a dream date with whoever is in the lift with him whether they are a stunner or a bummer.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:

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

Channel 4 stated that the tone of this programme was cheeky, witty and full of entendre and risqu banter, especially from the voice in the lift who makes sassy and humorous remarks and asks probing questions to the contestant and potential date . The broadcaster considered the programme was appropriate for a pre- watershed transmission and the content would not have gone beyond the generally accepted standards of the T4 audience and a T4 show.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

The editorial premise of the programme was speed dating, in this case meeting potential dating partners after a brief experience of one another in a lift. Given this, the programme included a number of flirtatious sexual references and innuendoes which were not necessarily sexually explicit when considered individually and in isolation. For example, Ofcom did not consider the words sausage and baps per se to be problematic.

However, in Ofcom's view, there were references and language used in the programmes, including words such as massive tits and slut which were plainly sexual even when considered in isolation. Ofcom did not accept that children would not have understood the use of this type of language.

In Ofcom's view, the cumulative effect of all such references throughout the episodes was to heighten the adult nature and sexual theme. As such, Ofcom considered the material was unsuitable for children.

Breach of Rile 1.3



Updated: Intent on Prosecution...

Legal argument against a blasphemy charge dismissed by Poland's Supreme Court

Link Here6th November 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Poland...Under duress for minor comments about religion

Poland's Supreme Court has ruled against against a legal argument used in the defence of  a rock musician who tore up a Bible on stage.

Adam Darski, front man with a heavy metal group named Behemoth , ripped up a copy of the Bible during a concert in 2007, called it deceitful and described the Roman Catholic church as a criminal sect .

The Supreme Court was asked to rule on legal arguments thrown up by the musician's trial in a lower court on charges of offending religious feelings. It said a crime was committed even if the accused, who uses the stage name Nergal, did not act with the direct intention of offending those feelings, a court spokeswoman said. Lawyers for Darski, argued that he had not committed a crime because he did not intend to offend anyone.

The lower court will now decide if he is guilty. The maximum sentence is two years in jail, under Poland's criminal code. However, it is extremely rare for anyone convicted of this kind of crime in Poland to serve prison time.

When it comes to bishops' opinions on controversial social issues, I listen to them, but I

In one indication of the changes in society, the blasphemy trial does not appear to have harmed Darski's show business standing. He is one of four judges on The Voice of Poland , a talent show broadcast on national public television.

Update: EU speaks out against blasphemy prosecution

6th November 2012.  See  article from

The European Commission has said that Poland's prosecution of a rock group for blasphemy is against European values.

It said in a written statement for EUobserver that national blasphemy laws are a matter for the domestic legal order of the member states. But it added that EU countries must respect international pacts. It cited the European Convention of Human Rights, a Poland-signatory treaty attached to the Strasbourg-based rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, on freedom of expression:

This right protects not only information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also those that offend, shock or disturb.



Ban This Filth!...

Letters From the Mary Whitehouse Archive in a new book by Ben Thompson

Link Here6th November 2012

From promotional materials:

In 1964, Mary Whitehouse launched a campaign to fight what she called the propaganda of disbelief, doubt and dirt being poured into homes through the nation's radio and television sets. Whitehouse, senior mistress at a Shropshire secondary school, became the unlikely figurehead of a mass movement: the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association.

For almost forty years, she kept up the fight against the programme makers, politicians, pop stars and playwrights who she felt were dragging British culture into a sewer of blasphemy and obscenity.

From Dr Who ('Teatime brutality for tots') to Dennis Potter (whose mother sued her for libel and won) to the Beatles - (whose Magical Mystery Tour escaped her intervention by the skin of its psychedelic teeth) - the list of Mary Whitehouse's targets will read to some like a nostalgic roll of honour.

Caricatured while she lived as a figure of middle-brow reaction, Mary Whitehouse was held in contempt by the country's intellectual elite. But were some of the dangers she warned of more real than they imagined?

Ben Thompson's selection of material from her extraordinary archive shows Mary Whitehouse's legacy in a startling new light.

From her exquisitely testy exchanges with successive BBC Directors General, to the anguished screeds penned by her television and radio vigilantes, these letters reveal a complex and combative individual, whose anxieties about culture and morality are often eerily relevant to the age of the internet.



Studying Censorship...

Hindus call for the ban of the movie Student of the Year

Link Here5th November 2012

Student of the YearKaran Johar's latest film, Student Of The Year , has hit rough weather. Radha, the song from the movie has caught the ire of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), a right wing organisation.

Members of HJS demonstrated in Goa's capital Panaji, demanding that the Censor Board ban the movie for derogatory references to Radha, the mythological character, who was Lord Krishna's lover and childhood friend. The organisation claimed that calling Radha sexy as the song's lyrics do, is an insult to the sentiments of Hindus.

Recently, a voluntary organisation in Indore too had moved a petition before a local court seeking action against Johar and singer Shreya Ghoshal, among others, for using objectionable words against Hindu deities in a song. Names of Radha and Krishna are being misused to promote the song, Shri Vision Social Empowerment and Welfare Association secretary Manish Vishnoi had said in a statement.



The Five-Year Engagement...

Extended version on Blu-ray only for its UK release

Link Here4th November 2012
The Five-Year Engagement is a 2012 US comedy romance by Nicholas Stoller.
With Jason Segel, Emily Blunt and Chris Pratt. IMDb

UK: The Extended Version was passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex and sex references for:

  • UK 2012 Universal [Theatrical + Extended] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 29th October 2012

See pictorial version details from . The additional footage in the extended version is uncontroversial. It adds a new character of Violet's ex, but nothing particularly important.

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex and sex references for:

  • UK 2012 Universal [Theatrical + Extended] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 29th October 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 29th October 2012

Promotional Material

The director and writer/star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall team up again for the irreverent comedy The Five-Year Engagement. Beginning where most romantic comedies end, the new film from director Nicholas Stoller, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Rodney Rothman (Get Him to the Greek) looks at what happens when an engaged couple, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle. The film was written by Segel and Stoller.



Extremist Censors...

Russian prosecutors office is investigating The last Temptation of Christ for extremism

Link Here4th November 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Poland...Under duress for minor comments about religion

Martin Scorsese's 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ has fallen under the suspicion of Russian prosecutors on the wave of recent global fuss over religious sentiment.

The investigation was initiated at the request of Viktor Grin, deputy general prosecutor, who claims the film:

insults the feeling of millions of [Christian] believers and has a negative impact on public morals.

A spokesperson said that the Prosecutor's Office:

is currently conducting a psychological and linguistic probe of the film's concepts.

Experts of the Russian Institute of Culturology engaged in probing the film for extremism say they haven't found anything unlawful in it. The Institute's director, cinema critic and historian Kirill Razlogov said:

Our institute has come to the conclusion that such works should not be subjected to investigation, as this is a work of art and not a political statement.

The Last Temptation of Christ is based on a controversial 1953 novel by Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The film interprets the life story of Jesus Christ and offers a disclaimer, saying that the storyline is not based on the Gospels and thus differs from the commonly accepted view on Jesus' life.



Banning Criticism...

Indian state bans the film Teen Kanya for anti-state messages

Link Here4th November 2012

West Bengal's administration came under fire after it stopped the screening of Bengali film Teen Kanya .

The screening of the film was stopped at the state-run Star Theatre in north Kolkata pparently on the grounds that it carries an anti-state message. The film had been passed by India's film censors.

The film portrays the controversial Park Street rape incident. After the Park Street incident, the chief minister had come under fire for blaming the victim for the crime. Mamata Banarjee had gone to the extent of calling the woman a CPM cadre and the rape, a political conspiracy.

State home secretary Basudeb Banerjee claimed the government played no role in banning the screening.



The Human Centipede: First Sequence + Full Sequence...

Human Centipede 1 is uncut, But Human Centipede 2 is cut.

Link Here3rd November 2012

The Human Centipede: First Sequence + Full Sequence:

  • UK 2012 Monster Films [Human Centipede 1+2] Steelbook Blu-ray/R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 29th October 2012
  • UK 2012 Monster Films [Human Centipede 1+2] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 29th October 2012
The Human Centipede is a Netherlands horror thriller by Tom Six.
With Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie. IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence, threat and horror

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

UK: Unbanned and passed 18 for very strong bloody violence and gore, and sexual violence after 2:37s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Monster Films [Human Centipede 1+2] Steelbook Blu-ray/R2 DVD Combo
  • UK 2012 Monster Films [Human Centipede 1+2] R2 DVD
  • UK 2011 Bounty Blu-ray
  • UK 2011 Bounty R2 DVD
  • UK 2011 cinema release

The BBFC commented on their cuts:

Company was required to make 32 individual cuts to scenes of sexual and sexualised violence, sadistic violence and humiliation, and a child presented in an abusive and violent context. In this case, cuts included:

  • a man masturbating with sandpaper around his penis

  • graphic sight of a man's teeth being removed with a hammer

  • graphic sight of lips being stapled to naked buttocks

  • graphic sight of forced defecation into and around other people's mouths

  • a man with barbed wire wrapped around his penis raping a woman

  • a newborn baby being killed

  • graphic sight of injury as staples are torn away from individuals' mouth and buttocks.

Previously banned by the BBFC.

Uncut Version

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



Miserable Margate...

Thanet Council bans giant King Kong from Margate sea front

Link Here3rd November 2012

Margate Council have banned a giant inflatable gorilla from the town's seafront.

The 15ft blow-up King Kong model sat above Funshine Amusements in Marine Terrace this summer until planners decided it needed planning permission because as the seafront is a conservation area.

Thanet council ordered the removal of the inflatable King Kong claiming that it is harmful to the visual amenity.

Fans of the installation say it brightened up the area and a Facebook campaign to save King Kong attracted hundreds of supporters.



Update: Black Day...

Russian internet blocking blacklist goes live

Link Here3rd November 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media

The Russian law supposedly aimed at the protection of children from harmful web content has come into effect. From now on, authorities will be able to force certain web pages offline, without requiring a court order.

It primarily refers to internet sources containing child pornography, suicide instructions or those promoting drugs. In cases with other kinds of illegal information, the decision on whether or not to ban a website will be made by a court.

A register of websites with information that is banned to be distributed in Russia went online on Thursday. The blacklist is operated by the country's media and communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor. Ordinary internet users will be able to check whether a particular internet site has been banned but cannot see the list.

Now anyone (anonymously) can use the source to report on a website they believe to be illegal or suspicious, and the watchdog is obliged to respond (but not necessarily block the website).

Under the law, once a website with censorable content is discovered, Roskomnadzor has to inform the owner of the source and their hosting-provider and demand that the prohibited information is removed. In case the source is still available 48 hours after such a request is sent, access to it will be blocked by Russian ISPs.

Update: A little propaganda maybe

3rd November 2012. See  article from

Russia says it has received 5,000 reports of child pornography on the Internet in the first 24 hours under a new internet censorship law.

Officials at Roskomnadzor, the regulators and censors for mass media and communications, said that they were surprised by the large number of complaints. But they added that nearly 96% of the warnings proved to be unfounded.

A spokesman said 10 Internet service providers had already been asked to contact the owners of offending sites and remove the content within 48 hours.

Activists say the new law may be used as a pretext for shutting down websites seen as critical of the government.



Ifs and Buts...

100 hours of community service for heckling the prime minister

Link Here3rd November 2012

A man who shouted no ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts at Prime Minister David Cameron during a speech in Glasgow in July has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

Activist Stuart Rodger admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by violating a security cordon; shouting and failing to desist; attempting to approach Cameron and causing fear and alarm. His sentence was reduced from 150 hours of community service to 100 due to his guilty plea.



Offsite Article: Economic and Legal Censorship...

Link Here3rd November 2012
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
Channel 4 boss David Abraham speaks of Danny Boyle court case and the chilling effects of Britain's libel laws

See article from



Belgium Gambles on Internet Censorship...

Major gambling sites are blocked in Belgium

Link Here3rd November 2012

The Belgian Gaming Commission recently announced that it has blacklisted five more online gambling operators. One big name that has surfaced is a subsidiary of digital entertainment. The firm has responded by saying they think the laws governing online gambling in Belgium are contrary to the European Union rules of free e-commerce among members. digital entertainment refuses to even apply for a license to operate there on principle. Now they have no business in Belgium because most of their offerings have been blocked by the ISPs.

The government gaming commission claims that internet censorship is the most effective way to control unlicensed gambling web sites. ISPs are to receive hefty fines if they do not comply with the laws. The company has launched a number of legal challenges to the existing Belgium legislation. It is also seeking the European Commission's help by putting proper and consistent guidelines in place that adhere to E.U. basic e-commerce rules, and demand that Belgium rescind its biased laws by lifting the ban on unlicensed online gambling operators.

The fifty web locations now blocked in Belgium are a list of the who's who of online gambling operators in Europe, among them William Hill Casino, Titan Poker and others. Operators do have the means to subvert the ISP blocking but Belgium in it oppressive wisdom decided to fine players who were on these illegal sites with charges of as much as EUR25,000 if caught playing at an unlicensed internet punting location.



Father's Day...

Banned in Australia

Link Here2nd November 2012

A Canadian horror-comedy, Father's Day has been banned by the Australian Government Censorship Board two days before it was scheduled to screen at the Monster Fest Film Festival at Melbourne's Cinema Nova.

Festival Director and Monster Pictures Manager Neil Foley commented:

This is an outrageous decision. Yes Father's Day is an edgy film, but it is an hilarious and over-the-top spoof that, despite it's gore, is actually one of the sweetest films in the Monster Fest program!"

Father's Day tells the story of a one-eyed vigilante named Ahab who sets out to stop the murderous rampage of a psychopath dubbed "The Father's Day Killer"

The Australian Film Censorship Board explained:

The film is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code:  films that depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.

Father's Day screened earlier this year at Sydney's Night of Horror Film Festival' where it won awards for Best Feature Film and Best Director as well as numerous other awards. The film had been granted a temporary festival exemption by the Classification Board on the occasion of the Sydney screening.

In the UK the film was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong violence, gore & sex & scenes of sexual violence & torture for:



Midnight Movies Volume 9: Zombie Double Feature...

Upcoming US DVD release features the video nasty, Zombie Creeping Flesh

Link Here2nd November 2012

US: Midnight Movies Vol 9: Zombie Double Feature is MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2013 Blue Underground R0 DVD at US Amazon released on 29th January 2013.

Zombie Creeping Flesh (Hell of the Living Dead) is a 1980 Italy/Spain horror by Bruno Mattei.
With Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo and Selan Karay. YouTube icon IMDb

Censorship History

A pre-cut version with about a minute of  violent scenes removed was passed X (18) without further BBFC cuts for the UK 1982 cinema release.

However the distributors felt that the film was too long and decided not to release this version but to shorten it. The distributors cuts now totalled 14:32s minutes, especially the interminable SWAT team footage. This was then released without BBFC approval for the UK 1982 cinema release.

The significantly shortened and pre-cut cinema version was release on VHS on the Merlin Label in October 1982. It was banned as a video nasty in July 1983 after being successfully prosecuted in Brighton. It was dropped from the list in July 1985

James Ferman refused to view a 1993 submission from Video Gems. This was during the Jamie Bulger moral panic and Ferman advised that it was not a good time to release a video nasty.

Eventually it was passed 18 uncut for the UK 2002 Protected/Vipco VHS

Nightmare City is a 1980 Italy/Mexico/Spain horror movie by Umberto Lenzi.
With Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter and Maria Rosaria Omaggio . YouTube icon IMDb

Censorship History

UK: A version pre-cut by about a minute was released on pre-cert video for
  • UK 1982 VTC VHS
UK: A version pre-cut by about a minute was passed 18 after a further 3:05s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1986 Stablecane VHS

From IMDb. BBFC heavy edits to:

  • shots of exploding heads
  • neck bitings
  • a woman's eye and breast being stabbed with a spike
  • an arm removal
  • the elevator attack
  • shots of bloody wounds
  • a woman's breast being sliced off with a knife.

UK: Passed 18 uncut after BBFC cuts were waived for:



Passed 18 for the Fetish of Back Patting...

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey praises the BBFC and the home entertainment industry for their work to provide online film classifications

Link Here2nd November 2012

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey, today opened the BBFC's international film classifiers conference in London. He praised the BBFC for their work with the home entertainment industry to bring well understood and trusted BBFC age ratings and content advice to films streamed online. During his opening speech, he said:

The Film Policy Review -- which reported to Government this year, under the leadership of Lord Smith -- recommended that we should aim to connect the widest possible range of audiences with the broadest and richest range of films from around the world. However, in the digital world this means that information provided to consumers about and through classification is becoming even more important, enabling people to use technology to select the content that is right for them.

In independent research carried out for the BBFC last year, 85% of respondents said it was important to have consistent BBFC classifications available for VOD content, rising to 90% of parents of children under 16. I therefore welcome the innovative work being done since 2008 by the BBFC in partnership with the home entertainment industry to bring well understood and trusted BBFC age ratings and content advice into the online space. I saw in action for myself in 2011 the BBFC's then newly launched Watch and Rate service for classifying online content. It's a great example of self regulation -- a quick and effective service which gives parents the reassurance of a trusted age rating for films and videos being distributed online, without creating a disproportionate burden on content providers and platforms.

I'm pleased that one of those platforms -- BT Vision -- will be here tomorrow to brief you on its experience in using BBFC age ratings for its Video on Demand offering. BT Vision and platforms such as Talk Talk, Netflix and Tesco's Blinkbox deserve credit for putting parental empowerment and child safety first by working so closely with the BBFC in this area. I look forward to other platforms -- several of which are in discussions with the BBFC -- to do likewise.

Tomorrow BT Vision, one of 38 home entertainment platforms and film studios using the BBFC's service for online film content will discuss their use of BBFC digital services at the international conference, which is attended by classifiers from 17 countries across the globe.

The BBFC's service for streamed and downloaded content was launched in collaboration with the home entertainment industry in 2008. The service provides trusted classifications, category symbols and Consumer Advice to set-top box, video-on-demand and other online content providers. Key affiliates using the BBFC service include Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Europe, Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, BT Vision, Tesco/Blinkbox, TalkTalk, Picturebox and Netflix.



Update: Filtering Out Claire Perry Bollox...

Open Rights Group report on parliamentary debate about blocking porn

Link Here2nd November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Yesterday there was a Westminster Hall debate about the responsibilities of Internet companies. You can read a transcript over at the Parliament website . Be warned - for anybody who cares about freedom of expression online, it doesn't make for particularly pleasant reading. It includes general calls for internet companies to take down offensive material, criticisms of YouTube for publishing the infamous video insulting Mohammed, and the now familiar calls for default-on network filters to protect children online.

It's useful to note that Westminster Hall debates aren't particularly formal interventions or statements of the Government's policy. They are secured by MPs who want to discuss something important to them, and can indicate MPs feelings and signal to the Government what Parliamenarians' priorities might be.

But even though it's just a Westminster Hall debate, it seemed important to note that I spotted Claire Perry MP citing a statistic that I haven't seen before, and which got my spidey senses tingling. She suggests that the number of parents installing network filters at home has dropped ten percent over the past three years, standing now at 39%.

This seemed to contradict some of the statistics I've seen from recent research such as the EU Kids Online project. They found that 54% of parents say that they block or filter websites at home or and 46% track the websites visited by their children. These findings are far higher than in Europe generally, with the UK topping the country ranking for use of filters , that The UK is near the top of ranking of countries in terms of parents actively mediating their children's safety.

So this afternoon I've written to Claire Perry asking her about this statistic - where it's from and what it means. You can read the letter below. We'll let you know her reply as and when we receive one.

It's an important issue, because too often we see evidence in this debate that doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny. For instance, the Safety Net campaign, which has led calls for default-on network filters, state that 1 in 3 10 year olds have seen pornography online (Psychologies Magazine 2010) . This is in the The Facts section of their website. However, the figure comes from a chat that Psychologies magazine had with a group of 14-16 year olds in one school in London in 2010.

It's important we're dealing with robust evidence, so we are all clear the nature of the problem we're looking at.



Knickers in a Twist...

Las Vegas nutters whinge at Guns N' Roses gig advert

Link Here2nd November 2012

A poster featuring a cartoon scene of a woman who appears to have been raped has been plastered across Las Vegas to promote an upcoming Guns N' Roses gig.

Activists and local public officials are 'outraged' by the illustration, which appeared on advertisements for the group's upcoming four-week run at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from October 31 through November 21.

Las Vegas Commissioner Mary Beth Scow told the Las Vegas Sun:

It's clearly inappropriate. Maybe it's the risk of doing business with a rock band, but I guess we'll have some remorse over this decision. It's a lesson learned.

The graphic used for the ads was actually a toned down version of the cover for their Appetite for Destruction album, which showed an unconscious woman with an exposed breast and her underwear pulled down. A menacing robot stands over her appearing to be ready to attack. The original CD cover was criticized and eventually was replaced.

The ads that appear on buses and taxi cabs in Las Vegas do not show the woman's exposed breast or her underwear, but the explicit graphic is included in the poster that appears on the band's website.

Lisa Lynn Chapman, a spokeswoman for Safe Nest women's shelter, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

It functions as a mechanism to normalize violence against women, and that's not OK. When we start looking at pictures objectifying women, we say, 'OK, this is Vegas'. This is beyond the pale, even for Vegas.



Right Rumpus...

Corpus Christi play cancelled in Greece following far right protest and church objection

Link Here2nd November 2012

A play dramatizing the story of Christ and the Apostles has been closed down following protests from the far right Golden Dawn party and religious groups that it was blasphemous, theater officials said.

Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi , directed by Albania-born Laertis Vasiliou, had been staged at the Hytirio theater in the central Athens Gazi district for the past three weeks.

Organizers said in a statement: Performances of Corpus Christi at Hytirio theater will stop. It was not our intention to provoke ‘religious sentiment’ or to create tensions. They said they were sorry that people ended up being beaten and abused because of the play. They said they respected the Greek Orthodox Church, which had objected to the play’s showing.

The Athens premiere of the play on Oct. 11 after opponents led by Golden Dawn staged a protest in which a journalist who was using his mobile phone to video it was beaten.



Broken Promises on Human Rights...

UN groups calls on an end to nasty adultery laws

Link Here2nd November 2012

A United Nations group of independent experts has urged countries to eliminate laws that classify adultery as a criminal offence, noting that they give rise to punishments that range from fines to flogging and death by stoning or hanging.

Adultery must not be classified as a criminal offence at all, said Kamala Chandrakirana, who currently heads the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.

Established by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council in September 2010, the Working Group's focus is charged with identifying ways to eliminate laws that discriminate against women or are discriminatory to them in terms of implementation or impact, and helping States to ensure greater empowerment for women in all fields.

Ms. Chandrakirana noted that in many countries, adultery continues to be a crime punishable with severe penalties:

Provisions in penal codes often do not treat women and men equally and establish harsher sanctions for women, and in some countries, rules of evidence value women's testimony as half that of a man's.

We urge all Governments which retain criminalization of adultery and allow the imposition of fines, imprisonment, flogging, death by stoning or hanging for convictions of adultery, to repeal any such provisions and to ensure that all accused enjoy their rights to a fair trial.

In a statement issued at the end of the Working Group's fifth session in Geneva, the Working Group's experts recognized that in accordance with some traditions, customs and different legal systems, adultery may constitute a civil offence with legal consequences in divorce cases. However, they stressed that this does not mean it is an offence that is punishable by imprisonment, stoning or hanging, among other practices.



Offsite Article: Linx Reports on Parliamentary Debate about the Snooper's Charter...

Link Here 2nd November 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May faced tough questions when she appeared before the Joint Committee on the draft Communications Data Bill.

See article from



Offsite Article: It's My Right to Laugh at Offensive Humour...

Link Here2nd November 2012
During Halloween party season I spotted perhaps five Jimmy Savile outfits. I laughed until my sides hurt - and so did everyone there. By Sara C Nelson

See article from



Greed in the Sun...

New US Blu-ray release of French/Italian action comedy once cut by the BBFC

Link Here1st November 2012
Greed in the Sun is a 1964 France/Italy action comedy by Henri Verneuil.
With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Lino Ventura and Reginald Kernan. IMDb

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

Censorship History

UK: A short version was passed A (PG) after BBFC category cuts for:

  • UK 1965 cinema release



Canada is Not Far Enough for ATVOD...

ATVOD driving Playboy TV offshore

Link Here1st November 2012

Scope Determination Service: Demand Adult Service provider: Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd


On 9 June 2011 Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd notified the above Service to ATVOD.

On 19 June 2012 Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd wrote to ATVOD stating that Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd intended to move editorial responsibility for the Service to the group's head office in Canada.

On 21 June we requested further information on the transfer of responsibility for the Service, which we received from Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd on 11 July 2012.

On 24 July Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd confirmed that the transfer of responsibility had been completed (to Playboy Plus Entertainment, Inc in Montreal) and on 9 Sept and 10 Sept provided further evidence (in the form of email correspondence).

ATVOD's Determination

Taking all the relevant considerations into account, including the evidence you have provided, ATVOD, as the appropriate regulatory authority, has determined in accordance with section s368A(1) of the Communications Act 2003 that as at 14 September 2012, Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd is the provider of the On-Demand Programme Service named above.

The email evidence provided by Playboy UK (Annexes 1 to 3 - REDACTED) does suggest that a process of transfer has been in operation, with correspondence discussing redundancies of staff in the UK and information on access to various sites (including the Service) requested by the head office in Montreal (although the emails refer to, this appears to redirect to the notified service at

However, it is ATVOD's view that the evidence suggests transfer of editorial responsibility for the Service has not yet been completed.

Written information on the site itself (Annex 4 - REDACTED) as at 14 September 2012 refers to PlayboyTV UK / Benelux Ltd and the associated UK address, and refers to the Terms and Conditions as being government by English law. Domain registration data suggests that Demand Adult is registered not to the Canadian entity but to the US address of Playboy Enterprises International Inc (Annex 5 - REDACTED). Furthermore, the email correspondence from David Cooke of 10 September 2012 (included in Annex 1 above) states that [s]ince Montreal took over, we in the UK have been updating the sites as per the previous editorial plan, which was simply uploading content as it becomes available from the content department....we're only refreshing with new episodes when they have been transcoded. Montreal...[have] not got around to taking a look at how they might change things more drastically in terms of presentation or sale yet . This strongly suggests that PlayboyTV UK / Benelux Ltd retains editorial responsibility for the Service as defined by s368A(4) of the Act, ie. That PlayboyTV UK / Benelux Ltd still exercises general control over selection and organisation of the programmes constituting the Service. This is further supported by the fact that the overall design and layout of the Service does not appear to have changed in any significant details (Annex 6 - REDACTED).

Should circumstances change, with a full transfer of editorial responsibility to an entity outside the UK, then ATVOD will of course consider any evidence relevant to a new request to withdraw notification of the Service.



Monitoring PC Extremism...

ASA bans computer monitor ads with sexy images on screen

Link Here1st November 2012

The 24 inch Monitors page of, which offered PC monitors for sale, featured images of 20 PC monitors. Eighteen of the images included a woman wearing underwear on the monitor screen.

A complainant challenged whether the images were offensive, because they believed them to be sexist and degrading.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the ad included images of women in their underwear and that two of the images showed women wearing only knickers and concealing their breasts with their arm and a pillow respectively. We therefore considered the images were likely to be seen as sexually provocative and had the effect of making those women appear sexually available. We also considered many of the models had sultry expressions on their faces and were shown in provocative positions, such as being laid on their backs with their arms outstretched or crawling towards the camera.

We considered sexually provocative images of women bore no relation to the products being advertised and that the ad therefore objectified the women by portraying them as sexual objects. We considered that because the ad objectified women it was also sexist and degrading. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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



Update: Thai Blockosphere...

Thailand's list of blocked website URLs reaches one million

Link Here1st November 2012

Thailand's first blocklist was created by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in January 2004 during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration. It blocked 1,247 URLs by name.

Thailand's first blocklist marked the first and only attempt at transparency by Thailand's Internet censors. Every subsequent blocklist, the webpages blocked, the reasons for blocking and even the number of pages blocked is held in secret by Thai government.

Following Thailand's military coup d'etat on September 19, 2006, the military's fifth official order on its first day in power was to block the Internet. Under the coup regime, tens of thousands of webpages were blocked.

The coup government's first legislative action was to promulgate the Computer Crimes Act 2007. In its first drafts, the CCA prescribed the death penalty for computer crimes; this was modified in the final law to only 20 years in prison.

The new elected opposition government has continued the folly of its predecessors. It was further revealed that Thai government censorship was rising at a rate of 690 new pages blocked every single day.

Thailand's censorship has shown no signs of abating and almost none of the webpages blocked during the emergency have been unblocked. In 2012, more than 90,000 Facebook pages were blocked. So are online pharmacies and gambling sites.

To date, Thailand has spent THB 2,173,913,043---more than two billion baht---(almost USD $71 million) to censor our Internet.

On December 28, 2011, Thailand was blocking 777,286 webpages. Today, November 1, 2012, Thailand blocks ONE MILLION URLs



Updated: Austerity of Democracy...

Greek TV journalists walk out in protest at government censorship

Link Here1st November 2012

The Greek government is facing another strike, this time from journalists. Greek state television staff have begun work stoppages to protest what they say is increasing government censorship.

The country has been shaken by  scandals in which authorities were seen as being heavy-handed and using selective justice to punish political dissenters. One concerns presenters Marilena Katsimi and Costas Arvanitis, who were suspended indefinitely from a popular current affairs morning show carried by national broadcaster ERT. The suspension came after they criticized right-wing interior minister, Nikos Dendias.

ERT workers staged a walkout during scheduled programming and said they will organize 24-hour rolling strikes until Katsimi and Arvanitis are reinstated.

Dendias was recently forced into an embarrassing turnaround over accusations of police torture of left-wing anti-fascist protesters, who were detained during a motorcade protest against racism a month ago. Several days later, a report, supplemented with photos, appeared in the UK's Guardian newspaper claiming that the demonstrators were beaten, spat on and denied water while in custody. The interior minister initially branded the accusations as false, and said the government should sue the newspaper for defaming Greek democracy . But later, a medical evaluation confirmed that the activists may in fact have been abused.

This revelation was discussed on the Katsimi and Arvantis' show. Within an hour of the broadcast, Aimilios Liatsos, ERT's head of news, demanded to see the transcript, and then replaced the presenters without even talking to them. Liatsos released a statement saying Katsimi and Arvanitis violated basic journalistic ethics with unacceptable insinuations that did not give the minister a chance to respond .

Katsimi said that the explanation amounts to an attempt to muzzle free discussion of politics.

Nikos Dendias has now told parliament that the complaints of activist detainees will be investigated.

Update: More Censorship

1st November 2012. See  article from

Greek journalist Spiros Karatzaferis was arrested on 31st October after threatening to publish damaging allegations about the country's struggling economy. Karatzaferis said he had obtained information from hacking collective Anonymous, allegedly containing classified documents and email exchanges relating to Greece's financial bailout from international funders.

Offsite Article: Even More Censorship

1st November 2012.  See  article from

Free speech faces abyss

The arrest of editor Kostas Vaxevanis for exposing alleged tax cheats is just the latest attack on free speech in Greece. Democracy itself is now in danger, say Asteris Masouras and Veroniki Krikoni the full article

Update: Acquitted

2nd November 2012. See  article from

Investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, whose Hot Doc magazine published a leaked list (nicknamed the Lagarde list ) of over 2,000 names of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts, has been acquitted of breaking data privacy laws. In a video uploaded the night before his arrest earlier this week, Vaxevanis said: They are after me instead of the truth. His arrest drew widespread condemnation from rights groups and international media.

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