A French court case dating back to 2011 has concluded that three of the largest search engines in the world must ensure certain piracy websites are
removed entirely from their search results. Media industry trade groups appealed for the complete removal of 16 domains from Google, Bing and Yahoo. All of the domains were variations of video streaming websites Allostreaming, Fifostreaming and
The search engines in question have been ordered to implement all appropriate measures to prevent access... by any effective means, including by blocking domain names , according to a statement released by the High Court. Additionally,
specific ISPs, including Orange, Free, Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Numericable and Darty Telecom have been told to block the websites locally.
The industry groups also pushed for the ISPs and search engines to pay for all of the censorship and blocking methods that will now need to be implemented, however the court refused, stating: The cost of the measures ordered can not be charged
to the defendants who are required to implement them.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have been given two weeks to meet the court's demands.
Vietnam's internet is changing fast. This week two new offences with large fines have been introduced as part of decree 174.
If a site does not have a proper e-commerce license, does not report changes, and does not report service changes on their site it will be liable to fines of $200 to $1,000
If a site reports incorrect information, and/or falsified information (the 'correctness' of information being decided by the authorities): $1,000 to $1,400. If any of these violations are intentional, the fine is doubled.
This follows up on Decree 72, which restricted the posting of news onto social media. The law states that it will fine people who post propaganda against the state or reactionary ideology on social media channels like Facebook.
Rumblings about a forthcoming announcement to block extremism and terrorist content began this summer. Then last month the Prime Minister made comments during Prime Minister's Questions about blocking extremism:
We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task force---it met again yesterday---setting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites.
Yesterday, in response to a question from Patrick Robinson of Yahoo! at a conference, Home Office Minister James Brokenshire confirmed that an announcement is forthcoming .
The Extremism Task Force , mentioned by the Prime Minister, was set up in the aftermath of the Woolwich murder and is due to report very soon. So one assumes this announcement will likely be related to that.
We don't know what this forthcoming announcement will be. We don't know what sort of content the Government want to see blocked, or why, and how much it extends beyond what already happens through the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit .
There has been no public discussion about this so far. As far as we understand, no freedom of expression groups have been involved. The Guardian suggests the Government want to follow the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) model, who supply Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) with a list of child abuse material they then block.
But the Government's policy on extremism content can't just be that ISPs should block sites that have been classified as extreme by some secretive government body, without any court decision about a law being broken or any public, democratic
discussion in Parliament about the process involved.
This should not be another drift towards vague, unaccountable and privatised Internet regulation. This sort of Internet regulation is about who decides what we - not just terrorists - can look at and do online.
Once again we see that website blocking has become the go-to button for politicians to press when they need to be seen reacting strongly to the latest media outcry.
But website blocking is not an easy or effective option. Anyone who wants to look at blocked content will find a way to do so - it is fairly simple to get around any blocking for a start. It also, unhelpfully, adds an edginess to blocked material
if those making or sharing it can say it is banned by the government.
We also know that unrelated content gets caught by blocking systems. Extremist content is not easy to define. Moreover, as Big Brother Watch point out in their blog, law enforcement agencies can define words like extremism broadly enough to
include groups like political activists or protestors who are not terrorists or seemingly breaking any laws. If law enforcement agencies are responsible for drawing up a list of sites to be blocked, it is not a huge stretch of the imagination to
think that block lists would include material that is not illegal. By accident or abuse blocking powers are likely to lead to blocking lists featuring content that has little if anything to do with terrorism and national security.
It looks like James Brokenshire and the Home Office are following a well trodden path with this approach. When it comes to the Internet the government seems to like voluntary arrangements in which they arm twist Internet service providers into
doing what they want.
That spares the Government from having to deal with complicated issues like involving a court to prove a law has been broken, or a normal policy process that would involve public, democratic scrutiny of their ideas.
The IWF model for dealing with child abuse images is tolerated because their focus is such abhorrent and unequivocally illegal material. This model is not appropriate for less clearly defined content.
Maybe the Government will surprise us with their announcement. But we have seen that when it comes to Internet blocking the government has a tendency to prioritise making favourable headlines above a smart, effective policy fix. So fingers are
crossed in hope rather than expectation.
In an unprecedented move by Lahore High Court, Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan issued a contempt notice to the Chairman of the
Central Board Film Censorship (CBFC) and senior bureaucrat Syed Arshad Ali for failing to stop the exhibition of illegal foreign films in Pakistan.
The struggle to prohibit the exhibition of Indian films has been deeply connected to efforts to revive the fledging local cinema industry by veteran Lollywood and Punjabi filmmakers. They claim that Indian films hinder the progress of local
filmmakers, and their economic gain on Pakistani soil is against the law.
As a result of the notice, the CBFC has refused to is issue a film certificate for the upcoming Bollywood film Bullett Raja .
Ali, the censor board's chairman, issued a statement to the press saying that the censoring of all films had been stopped, and the board would let the courts decide the matter. He maintained that the board had, so far, not censored any smuggled or
illegal content; in fact all of the films (including Bullett Raja ) that had been stopped had already been approved by the Ministry of Commerce.
An American citizen is being held in a maximum-security prison in the United Arab Emirates after posting a satirical YouTube video. He is the first foreign national to be charged with the country's draconian cybercrimes decree.
Shezanne Cassim posted a mock documentary spoofing youth culture in Dubai. For this he has been charged, among other things, with violating Article 28 of the cybercrimes law. This bans using information technology to publish caricatures that
are 'liable to endanger state security and its higher interests or infringe on public order'
Rori Donaghy, Director of the Emirates Centre for Human rights said in a statement that the case has:
Worrying implications for all expatriates living and working in the UAE.
Cassim has been thrown in prison for posting a silly video on YouTube and authorities must immediately release him as he has clearly not endangered state security in any way.
An American consultant living in the United Arab Emirates has begun a one-year sentence in a maximum security prison after a spoof video was ludicrously ruled a threat to national security.
Shezanne Cassim from Minnesota, is behind bars in an Emirates federal prison in the desert outside Abu Dhabi, while family members, lawyers and politicians in the US work diplomatic and legal channels in their attempts to free him.
He was sentenced for allegedly threatening UAE security and endangering public order with an online satirical video mocking affluent Emirates youth who mimic gangster street behaviour while actually enjoying pampered lifestyles.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 USA crime comedy biography by Martin Scorsese.
With Leonardo DiCaprio, PJ Byrne and Jon Favreau.
It is rated R for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence.
According to what could just be press hype, it is reported that Scorsese had to trim sex and nudity to prevent the film being slapped with an NC-17:
Jordan Belfort's biography The Wolf of Wall Street is a story that is rife with hedonism, as Belfort rode out of the 80s and into the '90s making insane amounts of money. Unsurprisingly, some of it was spent on women and sex. The trailers
certainly suggest there will be a lot of flesh on display.
Too much, in fact, as Scorsese had to trim sex and nudity to prevent the film being slapped with an NC-17.
Charlie Countryman is a 2013 Romania/USA action comedy romance by Fredrik Bond.
With Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood and Mads Mikkelsen.
Evan Rachel Wood co-stars with Shia LaBeouf in Charlie Countryman , an indie drama that earned an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America because of some brutal violence, language throughout, sexuality/nudity, and
drug use. According to Wood, however, an early MPAA ruling forced director Fredrik Bond to sanitize a key sex scene in order to avoid an adults-only NC-17.
Wood ook to Twitter to admonish members of the ratings board for their stance on female sexuality, noting that the scene in question was cut down because it showed a male performing oral sex on his female partner.
Charlie Countryman is cut and MPAA R rated for:
2014 Millennium RA Blu-ray at US Amazon
released on 21st January 2014
2014 Millennium R1 DVD at US Amazon
released on 21st January 2014
Indian Film censors of the Central Board of Film Classification have banned the new movie Vedivazhipadu by debutant
director Shambhu Purushothaman. The movie was denied a censor certificate for supposedly offending religious sentiments.
The film tells of the activities of a few husbands when their wives are away for the pongala offerings at the famous temple at the capital city.
Two weeks ago, the head of the Security Service warned about the extent of Islamist extremism. This week, two individuals have been charged with serious terrorist offences. What is the Prime Minister going to do in January when, as a result of
his Government's legislation, some of those whom the Home Secretary has judged to pose the greatest threat to our security are released from the provisions of their terrorism prevention and investigation measures?
The Prime Minister:
We have put in place some of the toughest controls that one can possibly have within a democratic Government, and the TPIMs are obviously one part of that. We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task force---it met again
yesterday---setting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites. Now that I have the opportunity, let me praise Facebook for yesterday reversing the decision it took about
the showing of beheading videos online. We will take all these steps and many more to keep our country safe.
The Prime Minister told Parliament on October 23 that:
We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task force --- it met again yesterday --- setting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites.
Such an announcement has not been preceded by a public consultation, or any engagement with civil liberties and freedom of speech organisations. The threat the freedom of speech is only too clear.
As we have previously warned around the shift of the child safety debate from illegal content to legal content, there is a danger that politicial figurues become embroiled in deciding what we can and cannot see online. The starting point should
be if material meets a criminal threshold, can those involved be prosecuted. Blocking must never become an easier alternative to prosecution.
Dutch lawmakers appear to be having second thoughts about scrapping the nation's blasphemy laws.
Despite a majority of parties in parliament agreeing in 2012 that the law should be scrapped, there now seems to be a rethink in order to placate minority religions . The blasphemy law makes it a crime to insult God, the monarch or to be
disrespectful to a policeman. The legislation was introduced in the 1930s and has not been invoked for the past fifty years.
The Dutch parliament originally concluded that it was a threat to the nation's much-cherished freedom of speech, but now political necessity may change all that.
Now the Nos Television channel reports that doubts are creeping in among leaders of both main political parties. In a debate on Tuesday in the upper house of parliament, or senate, Labour senator Nico Schrijver said that repealing blasphemy laws
would result in minorities feeling insufficiently protected against their religious sensibilities being hurt.
Some suspect that the real reason the coalition Government is backtracking is because it recently agreed to work more closely with the minor religious parties ChristenUnie and SGP to ensure majority support for its economic policies. Both these
religious parties strongly oppose ending the ban on blasphemy.
The senate will vote on the plan next Tuesday. The motion was passed by a large majority in the lower house of parliament.
Yahya Hassan is an 18-year-old Dane who is the son of Palestinian muslim immigrants. He is creating a little controversy in Islamic circles and elsewhere with a new book of poetry that was published in Denmark last month. The book contains around
150 poems, many of which are severely critical of the religious environment he grew up in.
His book has been a surprise strong seller with 32,000 copies being sold in about two weeks. The publisher, Gyldendal, says books of poetry in Denmark are lucky to hit 500 copies.
In televised interviews, Hassan has been anything but tempered in his comments about what he views as a culture of hypocrisy underpinning Denmark's Muslim population. His words have prompted arguably the largest debate on religion in Denmark since
the Mohammed cartoons.
After reciting one of his poems, titled LANGDIGT, or LONG POEM, (he writes in capital letters only) on a Danish television station a few weeks ago, he received 27 death threats and police are investigating what they perceive as the
most serious ones.
His poems carry titles like CHILDHOOD and DISGUSTED, dealing with issues like the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, child abuse, and the interplay between violence and religion. Profanity and vivid analogies help carry his work.
A young Danish poet of Palestinian descent has been assaulted and his suspected attacker has been arrested, Danish police have said.
A spokesman said Yahya Hassan suffered a head injury when he was attacked from behind at Copenhagen's central train station Monday evening. Hassan received five to eight punches in the face and body. The suspected attacker, aged 24, was known by
police and now faces minor assault charges.
His book of poetry, Yahya Hassan , has sold more than 17,000 copies since its publication on Oct. 17. The publication has triggered numerous death threats against Hassan, who has police protection during public readings.
Against the backdrop of nationwide debate and with tight security, Danish poet Yahya Hassan yesterday took to the stage at H.C. Andersen School in the Vollsmose area of the city of Odense, for a much anticipated reading of his controversial work.
While the reading took place without serious disruption, a 19 year-old man was arrested to keep the peace . A group of protesters had also gathered outside, telling newspaper Extra Bladet Hassan was trampling on our culture , and a
car from the broadcaster TV2 also had its tyres slashed. The police said they had turned several people away from the premises in the days leading up to the event, and a group of about 10-15 young men were also stopped from attending . Hassan
himself was smuggled out of premises by the police after the event.
Pastors from across the Oklahoma City metropolitan area say they are outraged and offended over a play featuring biblical satire and simulated gay sex.
Members of the clergy are planning a protest to be held at the city-owned Civic Center Music Hall on the opening night of OKC Theatre Company's production of, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told . The play's opening night is Dec. 6.
The comedy features a twist on stories of the Bible. In one scene at the Garden of Eden, God creates Adam and Steve along with the first lesbians, Jane and Mabel.
We feel like we have a responsibility to speak out and say, 'this is wrong,' Rev. Steve Kern of Olivet Baptist Church said. Kern, who is running for a seat in the Oklahoma State Senate, says the play accepts a sinful lifestyle and anyone
involved should pray that gays become straight.
Church leaders from across the metro are asking the city to prohibit the play from being performed on Oklahoma City property.
Microsoft has made it harder to snoop on calls and chats over its Skype phone service in China.
Skype said it had ended an eight-year joint-venture with Hong Kong-based TOM Group and has found a new partner in China:
All user calls, chats and login information are encrypted and being communicated directly to Microsoft via HTTPS. This is a complete about-face for Microsoft from the TOM-Skype era, when all information was processed by TOM and stored by TOM on
servers located in China with absolutely no privacy controls in place.
Outside China, Skype's security and privacy protection have been under the spotlight following revelations, disclosed by Edward Snowden in his leaks of U.S. National Security Agency documents, that the online communication service was part of the
NSA's PRISM program to monitor communications through some of America's biggest Internet companies.
Here in the UK, a storm over child protection online has been whipped up in recent months by populist politicians and the Daily Mail, yes, that's right, the newspaper that likes to photograph a 14yo flaunting her womanly curves
The IWF is advised to drop its remit for investigating illegal adult porn on human rights grounds. It is not a law enforcement agency, and is not well placed to adjudicate on what is illegal and what is not
At the Internet Watch Foundation's (IWF) annual general meeting, former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Ken MacDonald reported on the results of his review into the human rights implications of the IWF's activities.
The independent review was commissioned by the IWF following suggestions that its activities might contravene the rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act.
Lord MacDonald put these fears partially to rest, praising the IWF for the respect and sensitivity with which it had balanced the rights to privacy and freedom of expression with the important task of combating the distribution of child abuse
images online. Lord MacDonald argued the IWF's activities in this area do impact on the rights to privacy and freedom of expression, but in a way which is proportionate and justifiable.
However MacDonald found that IWF activity in other areas may be at risk of contravening human rights.
Firstly, he suggested that the IWF should explicitly limit its scope to child abuse content, removing other potentially illegal content from its remit. Child abuse content is unique in that it is universally condemned by the public and it
is relatively easy for IWF analysts to identify. Other illegal content, on the other hand, is a much more complicated and controversial area of law, where legal defences are potentially available to publishers that the IWF would not be well placed
to adjudicate. IWF decisions to remove or block such content would run a much higher risk of impinging unacceptably on human rights.
Secondly, MacDonald argued that the IWF should limit its scope to identifying and removing child abuse content, as opposed to investigating perpetrators, which is the proper role of law enforcement. In particular, he recommended abandoning for the
time being plans to investigate and disrupt the distribution of child abuse content over peer-to-peer networks. Investigation of peer-to-peer networks, argued MacDonald, inevitably involves a degree of intrusion that, while appropriate in the
context of a criminal investigation, is not an appropriate role for a private body such as the IWF.
The MacDonald report is currently before the IWF board, who will decide whether to accept or reject its recommendations. The IWF has promised to release the report publicly once a decision has been made.
Michelangelo's David and Venus de Milo may soon be required to don fig leaves in Russia, according to a new draft
law proposing making erotic artworks inaccessible to young Russians.
Russia banned access for children to erotic and pornographic content last year, though the country's legislation does not provide a clear legal definition of either. Up until now, content deemed as having significant historical, artistic or
otherwise cultural value has been exempt from the ban.
The rule has spared Russian museums, parks and websites from the need to censor works of antique, Renaissance and modern art that depict nude breasts or bottoms. Moscow's Pushkin Museum, which proudly displays a replica of Michelangelo's David
with uncovered genitalia, held an exhibition of nude art just earlier this year.
But a new draft law on information safety for minors, published by the state media and telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor, proposes removing the exemption for works of art.
The draft law is now for public discussion, for which no timeframe has been announced so far.
In legal advice to the EU Court of Justice, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalon has announced that EU law allows for ISPs to be ordered
to block their customers from accessing known copyright infringing sites.
The opinion, which relates to a dispute between a pair of movie companies and an Austrian ISP over the now-defunct site Kino.to, is not legally binding. However, the advice of the Advocate General is usually followed in such cases.
The current dispute involves Austrian ISP UPC Telekabel Wien and movie companies Constantin Film Verleih and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft. The film companies complained that the ISP was providing its subscribers with access to Kino.to which
enabled them to access their copyrighted material without permission.
Interim injunctions were granted in the movie companies' favor which required the ISP to block the site. However, the Austrian Supreme Court later issued a request to the Court of Justice to clarify whether a provider that provides Internet access
to those using an illegal website were to be regarded as an intermediary, in the same way that the host of an illegal site might.
In his opinion, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalon said that the ISP of a user accessing a website said to be infringing copyright should also be regarded as an intermediary whose services are used by a third party, such as the operator of an
infringing website. This means that the ISP of an infringing site user can be subjected to a blocking injunction, as long as it contain specifics on the technicalities.
After watching 'depraved' porn on the internet, millions of boys are turning into good husbands, fathers, businessmen, sportsmen, teachers, company employees, and even politicians, campaigners and journalists
A nightclub and bar company has lodged an appeal against an Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruling which said one of its
clubs wrongly targeted a 12-year-old with promotional alcohol offers.
The ASA had said the Luminar Group, based in Milton Keynes, must not use the same advert in its current form and urged it to ensure its adverts were not directed at people under 18.
However the Luminar Group said it took great care to ensure their databases for under 18-year-olds and over 18s were kept separate from each other. Tim Howard, head of marketing for the Luminar Group, said:
It would appear that a minor's name was incorrectly added to the electoral register and, as a result, promotional material was distributed in error and we would like to apologise for any offence caused.
In our defence, the data was sourced from one of the country's largest and most reputable companies, who have robust checks in place. We have obviously raised this with Experian who are investigating.
The banned mailshot showed images of two bottles of Moet champagne in an ice bucket with two glasses and two bottles of Smirnoff vodka. Inside the mailing a heading stated CHOOSE YOUR PACKAGE and listed four options available for the
recipient. When the ASA upheld the complaint it said:
Although the understood that restrictions were in place to prevent the mailing being sent to under 18s, we nevertheless noted that errors could occur and were concerned that the mailing offered alcohol to the ASA recipient and his friends.
This month's ASA warning reminds bloggers that they are breaking these specific rules from the CAP's code:
2.3: Marketing communications must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer or for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession; marketing communications must make clear their commercial intent, if that is
not obvious from the context. 2.4: Marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials are marketing communications; for example, by heading them advertisement feature .
Do these rules even apply to bloggers? Writing a blog is not marketing or -- with the exception of blogs hosted and edited by mainstream media companies such the Telegraph -- even really publishing. It's usually a hobby and a form of amateur
journalism. The ASA warning seems to realise this, so says it will also go after the providers of the products, as will Trading Standards. What if a freelance blogger forgets to disclose they received a few quid to write something nice? Could the
company who paid end up the focus of the sanctions instead? Remember, this happened before. And it was chaos then too.
Worst of all is the implied prejudice. Independent bloggers write about stuff for free, while journalists write about stuff for money. When journalists write about products they have been given, or are taken out for a nice lunch, they aren't
forced to disclose it. We assume that the journalist is being objective because they write for a recognised publication, and that they will adhere to the NUJ's code of conduct purely because they're journalists.
Microsoft has admited to punishing Xbox One owners who used strong language in videos posted on the platform.
The new Xbox One went on sale last week and users soon started complaining when they got banned from Internet-connected activities through Xbox Live accounts, including the ability to upload videos to share clips and commentary from their games.
If users use strong language in video comments they run the risk of getting blocked, which some users say they found out without warning, according to Xbox message boards where members vented frustration .
The censorship seems to be Microsoft's attempts to combat vitriol on its new platform, and has been implemented via temporary bans to users.
Microsoft confirmed suspensions over 'conduct violations in Upload Studio'.
Malaysia should reverse a ban on a Christian newspaper using the word Allah to refer to the christian religious character called God, a UN official
said about a decision that fanned religious tension in the mainly Muslim country.
The UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, said in statement:
Freedom of religion or belief is a right of human beings, not a right of the state. It cannot be the business of the state to shape or reshape religious traditions, nor can the state claim any binding authority in the interpretation of religious
sources or in the definition of the tenets of faith.
The Supreme Economic Court of Belarus has upheld a decision by the Ministry of Information to ban the Lohvinau
Publishing House. The company, owned by Ihar Lohvinau is well-known for publishing independent Belarusian literature and promoting national culture.
The reason for the ban was Lohvinau's publication of the Belarus Press Photo 2011 album, which was found to contain supposedly extremist material by a district court.
As well as pictures of cute animals, the album, printed to accompany an exhibition of the best of press photography, featured images of bleeding protesters taken during a crackdown on an anti-government demonstration in Minsk after the
presidential election of 2011.
Andrei Bastunets, a media lawyer and a Vice Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists said:
The Ministry of Information interprets the licensing law too broadly; the licensing regulations in Belarus contain no reference to any 'extremist materials'. Besides, the photo album in question was published long before it was considered
'extremist', it was sold freely in book shops, and the publisher bares no responsibility for the content of it or any later court decisions.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is cut for a PG rated UK cinema release
25th November 2013
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 USA comedy fantasy adventure by Ben Stiller.
With Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott.
UK: Passed PG for infrequent moderate violence, mild language and sex references after BBFC advised cuts for category for:
2013 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 12A rating but that their preferred PG rating could be achieved by making limited changes, including:
to remove sight of naked female pin-up pictures and
to reduce violent threat in a fight scene.
When an edited version of the film was submitted for formal classification, these scenes had been addressed and the film was consequently rated PG.
The Weinstein Company criticised the Motion Picture Assn. of America for assigning the studio's upcoming release Philomena an R rating. The MPAA has now downgraded the rating to a PG-13 on appeal.
Philomena , which stars Judi Dench as a woman trying to locate a son she was forced to give up for adoption 50 years earlier, was initially given an R because it included two utterances of 'fuck', when in fact only one is normally
allowed in a PG-13.
Philomena, which has earned strong reviews, will debut in limited release on Nov. 22.
Metro.us spoke with Steve Coogan soon after that R rating was reversed on appeal. Coogan said:
They reversed their decision today after we appealed this morning, and I was there as a producer of the film putting the case for reappraising the rating. It was myself and Bert Fields --- he's one of the hotshot Hollywood lawyers, a very, very
good advocate, very impressive. He's got a great manner. It's like watching some sort of seasoned Hollywood actor. It's like watching Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men or something. I put forward the artistic side of it. They listened to our
arguments and we convinced a two-thirds majority, which is what's required amongst the panel of people who can challenge the original rating.
It's such a mysterious organization. They have these triggers. If you have more than one profanity then you automatically get an R. But there are examples of other films that have many profanities that have been given a PG-13. We have two
profanities that are quite marked, but I think they're entirely justifiable and if you took them out you'd compromise the integrity of the film. The film has to be judged as a whole, and the film as a whole is quite a gentle story that I think
should be available to everyone because it's got something important to say. Sometimes they have these rules that they adhere to, and there's probably very good reasons for that, but you can't have a one size fits all rule because every
film is different.
A video embedded in an e-mail promoting a sports supplement drink, included text above the video that stated FOR GOODNESS SHAKES! WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? with further text that overlaid the video stating PRESS PLAY TO FIND OUT... .
Upon clicking on the play button, the ad linked to the advertiser's own website, which featured a video that auto played. Text above the video stated CHECK OUT OUR NEW ONLINE AD FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF FOR GOODNESS SHAKES FOR
YOU AND YOUR MATES ... We're giving you the chance to WIN a year's supply of For Goodness Shakes for you and five mates! All you have to do is watch the video below and click on the link at the bottom to share it with your mates
The video featured men in a range of public settings, with only their heads and upper torsos visible. In each instance they appeared to be holding something by their groin and their bodies were shaking with exertion. The final scene featured a man
standing behind a woman in a lift. His body stopped shaking abruptly when he appeared to notice that something had landed on the woman's back. He attempted to brush it off the woman before she stepped out of the lift, at which point it was
revealed that he had been shaking a protein shake. The video closed with an image of the pre-mixed protein shake in a bottle, and text that stated WE SHAKE FOR YOU ... THE PROTEIN SHAKE WITHOUT THE SHAKER .
A complainant challenged whether the video was likely to cause serious or widespread offence because of its implied references to masturbating in public.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA considered that, although there was no explicit sexual content in the video, adults would interpret the men's activities as an allusion to masturbation. We noted that the final scene, which featured a man standing behind a woman in a lift,
would be understood by adult viewers as indicating that the man had ejaculated onto the woman's back, before it was revealed that he had been shaking a protein shake.
We acknowledged that the demographic profile of My Goodness' e-mail database meant that the e-mail containing the video was likely to have been seen mainly by their target audience of young, sports-interested adult men and we considered that the
video was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence amongst that audience. However, we considered that many of the other online channels that hosted the video, such as a news and entertainment website, were likely to appeal to a wider
audience who would find the references to public masturbation, and particularly to ejaculating on another person, offensive.
We concluded that, in the context of marketing for a sports supplement drink and in light of the fact that the ad was likely to be seen by a varied audience, the video was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
Hammer Films are set to remake The Abominable Snowman, their own 1957 cult classic starring Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker. The project is being produced by Ben Holden, who is currently producing Hammer's Woman in Black sequel,
subtitled Angel of Death .
Hammer have said their new version, from Pusher scriptwriter Matthew Read and Angel of Death writer Jon Croker, will be a modern take on the story, in which a scientific expedition's illegal ascent up an unclimbed peak of
one of the world's most formidable mountains accidentally awakens an ancient creature that could spell a certain end for them all .
Apple is censoring digital comics by banning them from apps on the iPad and iPhone.
According to a report from Publisher's Weekly , in 2013 alone Apple has banned a total of 59 digital comics from apps such as Comixology due to the company's censorship guidelines for apps. Most of the comics are banned due to what Apple
views as graphic sexual content.
One of the most notable comics banned by Apple is the new series Sex Criminals by writer Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky. The comic is published by Image Comics, and is a comedic comic about a couple who discover they can stop time
whenever they have sex, and use their power to rob a bank.
Apple originally approved Sex Criminals #1 for the Comixology app, but then rejected the second issue. The third issue was similarly rejected along with a retroactive rejection of issue #1.
Strangely, while Apple banned almost five dozen comics from Comixology and other apps this year so far, it lets those comics into the iBookstore. Apple's content guidelines, it seems, don't actually apply to Apple's own apps.
The Parents Television Council has released its annual Best TV Advertisers List which focuses on companies that
sponsor the least family-friendly TV programming.
PTC President Tim Winter explained:
This year's analysis should provide greater clarity for those members of the public who wish to 'vote with their wallets'.
We base this list purely on the sponsorship behavior we see from these companies.
We encourage the public to use this list when they're shopping.
The list is based on each company's prime time broadcast television ad buys during the 2012-2013 television season. Using the PTC's trademarked traffic light ratings system, each company was assigned a point value based on the number of green,
yellow and red light shows it sponsored.
Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has made a bold prediction:
Censorship around the world could end in a decade, and better use of encryption will help people overcome government surveillance.
First they try to block you; second, they try to infiltrate you; and third, you win. I really think that's how it works. Because the power is shifted.
I believe there's a real chance that we can eliminate censorship and the possibility of censorship in a decade.
The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everyone.
With sufficiently long keys and changing the keys all the time, it turns out it's very, very difficult for the interloper of any kind to go in and do that.
It's pretty clear to me that government surveillance and the way in which governments are doing this will be here to stay in some form, because it's how the citizens will express themselves, and the governments will want to know what they're
In that race, I think the censors will lose, and I think that people would be empowered.
Offsite Comment: Google could end China's web censorship in 10 days -- why doesn't it?
An Edinburgh school that has a mural in its assembly hall featuring a golliwog is to hold extra anti-racism lessons in
political correctness after a woman protested about the supposedly racist and offensive nature of the picture.
Mary Rocha complained to the police, City of Edinburgh council and MSPs after spotting the image when she visited Wardie primary school as a possible choice for her son. Rocha said she was astonished to find that the mural with the golliwog,
painted in 1936 and featuring scenes from Alice in Wonderland, had been restored in 2011 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Rocha said:
It goes back to the American black sambo, the blacked-up face. It's offensive to me: I find it racially offensive.
The golliwog is sitting on an alcove ledge above the Alice in Wonderland figure in the mural's central panel. The mural and Wardie school's distinctive architecture are well known in academic circles. They are part of the international Decorated
School project , which is studying art and school buildings with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Jeremy Howard, a co-ordinator of the Decorated School project said:
This is history: if you start painting it out or get rid of it you're deceiving people about what views were prevalent in the 1930s.
Edinburgh council refused to consider covering up the image but said it would now use additional teaching packs from Show Racism the Red Card at the school. A spokeswoman said:
The mural is of both historical and artistic importance. While we understand the offensiveness of the image, it is in no way indicative of the attitudes of either the school or the council.
Rocha said she would find some other school for her son.
Science campaigners are demanding a ban of alternative-health magazine What Doctors Don't Tell You because of misleading articles. But any attempt to censor this fundamentally silly magazine is misguided and unjustified
The Bombay High Court has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to file a statement clarifying if all
thecensorship guidelines were followed while issuing a certificate to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Ram-leela .
The court was hearing a petition seeking a ban on the usage of the word Ram in the film's title, which has supposedly hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus.
The petition has claimed that the CBFC had failed to adhere to the censorship guidelines:
I submit that by giving the name to the movie as Ram Leela and showing the main character role by the name of Ram, the picturisation of songs with Lord Rama and his Vanri Sena and showing the main character as womaniser having all the bad habits,
doing all illegal things of conducting a video theatre with porn movies is in fact a character assassination of Lord Rama which seriously hurts my belief in Lord Rama and his ideals.
The main grievance of the petitioner is that the respondents have intentionally named the feature film as Ram Leela so as to obtain undue publicity and income out of the revenues of the movie, that too at the cost of the religious feelings and
sentiments of lakhs of people belonging to the Hindu religion.
The petition has been filed against the CBFC, producer and director of the film, and Eros International. The court directed all named parties to respond by November 27.
Update: Temporarily banned in state of Uttar Pradesh
Ram Leela Has been temporarily banned in Uttar Pradesh by the Allahabad High Court. The film is banned while hearing a petition claiming that the film has controversial and objectionable dialogues and calling for the cancellation of the
Censor Board certificate.
The petitioners also pleaded that since the film also hurt the sentiments of the Hindus by its name and other things portrayed in the film, it should be banned from exhibition.
The abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's notice-and-takedown process to silence lawful speech is well-documented and all too common. Far less common, though, is a service provider that is willing to team up with its users to challenge
that abuse in court.
That's what WordPress.com's parent company, Automattic, Inc, did today and we couldn't be more pleased. Represented by Durie Tangri, LLP, Automattic has joined two lawsuits in federal court under Section 512(f) of the DMCA. Section 512(f) is the
provision that allows users to hold people accountable when they make false infringement accusations.
The suits respond to two particularly egregious examples of DMCA abuse. The first involved Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus. Their website, Retraction Watch , provides a window into the scientific process by documenting the retraction of scientific
papers due to everything from honest error to falsified data. A disgruntled researcher allegedly copied portions of the Retraction Watch site onto his own site, claiming the work as his own, and then issuing a DMCA takedown notice against
The second concerns Oliver Hotham , a student journalist living in the UK. An anti-gay-rights group called Straight Pride UK was incensed when Hotham had the nerve to publish of a press statement they themselves had sent him. So Straight Pride
sent a DMCA notice claiming copyright infringement and, per its policy, WordPress.com took the post down. Hotham was outraged and frustrated because he did not feel he could fight back. But now he's got some new allies. [See
detailed account of the case
Both of these cases highlight a fundamental problem with the DMCA: it creates a world where allegations of infringement are a fast track to censorship, usually with few real consequences for anyone but the user. By standing with its users in these
cases, Automattic is doing its part to help fix that problem. From the WordPress blog :
Until there are some teeth to the copyright laws, it's up to us - websites and users, together - to stand up to DMCA fraud and protect freedom of expression. Through these suits, we'd like to remind our users that we're doing all we can to combat
DMCA abuse on WordPress.com....and most importantly, remind copyright abusers to think twice before submitting fraudulent takedown notices. We'll be watching, and are ready to fight back.
As long-term veterans of the DMCA wars, we know these legal fights aren't always easy, and that many users fear to stand up and defend themselves against false, even harassing, infringement allegations. It's a big help when your service provider
stands with you. Well done, Retraction Watch, Oliver Hotham, and Automattic.
Morality campaign group, One Million Moms are well impressed by Kmart's Christmas TV advert:
Kmart has a new commercial that is not only offensive - but this once family department store has made a deliberate decision to produce controversial advertisements instead of wholesome ones. This is a terrible plan on Kmart's part, especially at
this time of year!
The title of the current ad is Show Your Joe, and Kmart includes sexual content during a Christmas hand bell choir performance. The commercial focuses on several men wearing Joe Boxer underwear thrusting in a sexualized way to the tune of
Jingle Bells. They start gyrating and shaking themselves instead of the hand bells, intending to make their bells ring in song - which is highly inappropriate.
The commercial ends: Shop Your Way, Joe Boxer, Kmart. Get In Get More Christmas.
Normally, we do not provide a link since One Million Moms does not want to contribute to this filth being spread around even more, but we made an exception this time to show how ridiculous and disgusting this ad really is. The link to the
commercial is provided here
for reference only so you will have the information you need to voice your concern. If you would rather not watch the video clip, you may take our word on it, knowing this is not the first or second time Kmart has aired offensive commercials.
This commercial is airing during primetime, even during Christmas movies on family networks such as the Hallmark Channel, which families will likely watch together. Kmart should be more responsible in their marketing decisions.
The BBC's new children's series Topsy and Tim has been described by a few PC extremists on Mumsnet as flabbergastingly sexist
The new version of Topsy and Tim, which began on CBeebies earlier this month, is described as an update for the 21st century. But some parents have said that they will ban their children from watching the show as it reinforces outdated gender
Thousands have taken to Mumsnet to express their opposition to the show, accusing programme makers of ruining their fond memories of the book. One wrote:
It's flabbergastingly sexist - I was so disappointed. Mummy and Topsy do the washing while Tim helps daddy with the man's work. Topsy is inside making cakes and Tim gets told they're not for him and he must go outside and play with the quad bike.
A BBC spokesperson explained that viewers should not be hasty as PC gender propaganda will become more apparent as the series continues:
We're very pleased to be able to bring the Topsy and Tim stories alive for our young viewers to enjoy. It's very early in the series and all of the characters develop over the coming episodes -- after the near-disastrous playdate in the programme
in question, we see how the children learn to mix up their friends and choice of games, finding that it's much more fun if they all play together.
Throughout the series we will also see so-called 'traditional' boy/girl preferences inverted, but always driven by the children's emotional journeys as they mature as individuals and face the timeless milestones of childhood such as learning to
ride bikes, getting their first pet and starting school. We hope our young viewers will enjoy going on those exciting journeys with Topsy and Tim.
The rules India makes for its online users are highly significant, not only will they apply to 1 in 6 people on earth, but as the country emerges as a global power they will shape future debates over freedom of expression online.
We're pleased to announce we've reached an agreement with Trading Standards that it will act as our legal backstop. This means we can refer non-broadcast advertisers who continue to break the rules on misleading advertising to Trading Standards
who can consider legal sanctions to bring them into line.
The backstop power has transferred to Trading Standards following changes to the law which means the Office of Fair Trading, who previously fulfilled this role, no longer has responsibility in this area.
Any advertiser that persists in breaking the rules through misleading, aggressive or otherwise unfair non-broadcast advertising can face referral. Trading Standards can consider taking action against advertisers under consumer and business
In reaching this new arrangement we've worked closely with the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) and London Borough of Camden (LBC) in England and Wales, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland and the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in Scotland - ensuring UK wide coverage.
We've agreed new case handling principles and, importantly, the ASA remains responsible for regulating advertising -- allowing Trading Standards to focus its resources on other consumer issues.
ASA Chief Executive, Guy Parker says:
We already enjoy a close and effective working relationship with Trading Standards. This new arrangement will help us become more joined-up and consistent as well as giving consumers and business confidence that an advertiser who doesn't play by
the rules will face the consequences.
Theatrical and artistic performances In Malta look set to be exempted from morality and blasphemy laws under amendments soon to be discussed in
Culture Parliamentary Secretary Jose' Herrera said that he expected to receive Cabinet backing for the proposals because the removal of censorship was one of our [electoral] pledges .
Asked to explain what amendments were being proposed, Dr Herrera said artistic and theatrical performances would be made exempt from ordinary crimes related to morality in the Criminal Code. This included blasphemy laws, he confirmed.
The amendments were necessary because currently the police could impede any performance deemed to be in breach of the Criminal Code, Dr Herrera pointed out: The people should be the judge of artistic merit, not the police.
Age classification rules will remain in place. Exemptions will only apply to performances in designated spaces , such as art galleries. However pornographic cinemas will not be covered by the changes, Dr Herrera said.
Last year the official theatre censors were disbanded but theatre producer Adrian Buckle said those changes did not go far enough as performances could still fall foul of morality laws in the Criminal Code.
An indie game developed by an Australian is getting national attention this week because of its controversial subject matter: the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that happened almost a year ago in Newtown, Connecticut.
Politicians, journalists, parents of victims, Connecticut state officials, and even the National Rifle Association have weighed in on the game, The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary.
The Flash-based game was developed by Ryan Jake Lambourn, who describes himself in an audio recording that accompanies the game, as a U.S. expatriate from Houston who now resides in Sydney, Australia. The message of his game seems to be that guns
laws in the United States need to change.
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra went said that she has contacted the FBI about the game and urged an investigation:
I'm just horrified. I just don't understand, frankly, why anyone would think that the horrible tragedy that took place here in Sandy Hook would have any entertainment value. It just breaks my heart.
U.S. Senator. Richard Blumenthal, representing Connecticut said:
I find the exploitation of this unspeakable tragedy is just shocking. From what I've heard and what's been shown to me, it's absolutely abhorrent. My hope is that it will be voluntarily taken down because it's offensive and hurtful.
The Wolverine is a 2013 Australia/USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by James Mangold.
With Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee and Tao Okamoto.
UK: The Extended Cut was passed 12 uncut for moderate action violence and infrequent strong language and gore for:
2013 20th Century Fox Extended Edition [3D + 2D] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon
released on 18th November 2013
Cinema Blend writes that the Extended Version is better than the Theatrical Cut
The extended cut contains both a whole new sequence and an extended version of another. The first comes after Logan and Mariko (Tao Okamoto) have checked into the Love Hotel. In the original cut Wolverine has a dream about Jean (Famke
Janssen) while standing guard and passes out, but in the unrated one he is accosted by a group of Yakuza and nearly gets stun-gunned to death before getting saved by Mariko's knife-throwing skills. The extended scene, meanwhile, is a longer
version of the ninja battle in the third act. Not only does the scene have Wolverine performing much better in the fight, it also has Yukio (Rila Fukushima) getting in on the action.
In addition there's more blood spatter throughout the film's fight scenes and more baddies vapourised into a bloody mist.
A radio advert calling on Christians who feel marginalised at work to report their troubles was rightly banned, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
The proposed advert, a 30-second recording for Premier Christian Radio was intended to urge listeners to report their experiences of being marginalised. The advert script was as follows:
Surveys have shown that over 60% of active Christians consider that Christians are being increasingly marginalised in the workplace. We are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate. We will then use this data to help
make a fairer society. Please visit CCPmagazines.co.uk and report your experiences.
Premier Christian Radio's chief executive Peter Kerridge described the decision as an:
Attack on freedom of speech and a bad day for democracy in general. The wording of the advert did not seek to achieve a political end, it had no political message and there was no attempt to influence the listener to a particular viewpoint, so
there appears to be no good reason to ban it.
Naturally we are disappointed with the judgment but will now consider further options which may be available to us with our legal representatives.
The advert was banned by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre, who said it was directed to a political end , and broadcasting it would infringe provisions of the 2003 Communications Act that ban political advertising. In April last year a
High Court judge in London ruled that it was lawfully banned.
Now a Court of Appeal challenge against the earlier judgment was dismissed in a two-to-one majority ruling of senior judges.
A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said:
The courts have upheld the UK's long-standing ban on political advertising, which is a vitally important principle in our country and at the heart of British broadcasting.
For example. Claire Perry said internet firms are currently not doing enough to tackle bullying online and called for more prosecutions of people who make online threats, that she described as misogynistic.
She said bullying would be "driven down" if users could choose to block communication from anonymous users. Perry, who received online threats over the summer, said there should be an online verification process, so people can see if
they are dealing with other users who have supplied their real names or chosen to remain anonymous. She said:
Having been on the receiving end of a storm of Twitter abuse, I don't think the companies do enough. Part of the problem is anonymity of usage.
People post about how they'd like to rape you and kill you because they think you don't know who you are. If there was some way of the company knowing and being prepared to verify that identify and to show you that verification, I think it would
lead to a diminuation in that kind of behaviour.
New Government plans would mean that anybody found with pornography depicting rape, albeit verifiably simulated, could be jailed for up to three
The new rules will be implemented in January and should bring England and Wales in line with the law in Scotland, where the offence carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Prime Minister David Cameron, said the new plans will target websites showing images and videos of rape, whether the websites claim that the act is simulated or not.
It is not yet clear how the law will be amended, and how 'realistic' the rape depiction has to be. No doubt it will be left vague and more innocent people will get caught up prosecutions/persecutions usually kicked off by something else leading
computer seizures and inspections.
A study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Ohio State University recently published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that gun violence
in the most popular PG-13 releases since 1985 has tripled in frequency. The number of scenes featuring gun violence in PG-13 films, the study found, has come to rival or even surpass the rate of such sequences in R-rated movies.
Surely hardly surprising as most high budget action movies now target an PG-13 rating. Guns are not particular popular in higher rated horror films when slightly more nasty and slower deaths are preferred.
The MPAA's ratings board has now responded to the generally negative press coverage of this research. Critics have claimed that the MPAA is far more permissive of violence in PG-13 films than fleeting nudity or a handful of expletives. Dan Romer
of the Annenberg Center said: It may be time to rethink how violence is treated in movie ratings.
Joan Graves, head of the MPAA's ratings board, told The Associated Press that the MPAA is in line with parents' standards. She explained:
We try to get it right. The criticism of our system is not coming from the parents, who are the people we're doing this for.
PG-13 is not a namby-pamby rating, and is intended as a strong warning to parents.
Graves said parents more frequently object to language or sex in movies, and that: they feel they're getting the correct information about the violence:
We're certainly listening on the sexuality and the language. We'd be very interested in adjusting violence if in fact we were hearing from them we're getting it wrong. They don't seem to think that.
Graves said the association is aware of school shootings and other violence and the debate on the possible connection to violence in movies. She said the association is open to making adjustments.
Certainly, it's always under consideration. It's not a static thing, ever.
Google is targeting 100,000 terms associated with online child sexual abuse in a move hailed by David Cameron, who will announce a series of
measures to tackle the problem at a cyber-summit in Downing Street. The prime minister said that Google and Yahoo had come a long way after the internet firms announced a series of initiatives to try to block access to child pornography.
Cameron is set to announce that British and US law enforcement agencies are to jointly target online child abuse by monitoring those who operate on the hidden internet.
Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has announced that a 200-strong team has cleaned up Google Search to target 100,000 terms that can be used to locate child pornography. The changes will soon apply to more than 150 languages. The company is
also showing warnings at the top of its search results for 13,000 queries. Schmidt said:
In the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem. We've fine-tuned Google search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results.
US moralist campaigners, One Million Moms are hyping a new US TV horror drama, Dracula. The group writes:
Warning! NBC's new program Dracula airs on Friday evenings at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT with a TV-14-SV rating. The gory series will air on weekends when children and teens usually stay up later. Not only is this show extremely violent,
but it also includes a high level of sexual content that should be considered pornographic material.
NBC's website describes the series with words like sex, style, mystery and adventure. Even the previews included several brief clips of sex scenes that would be considered soft porn. This program is entirely too graphic in too many ways.
Previews of this program also included: terrifying screams, a rotted corpse, death, murder, a woman burned alive while tied to a stake, spirits, satanic and occult elements, homosexual content, tons of blood (mostly on Dracula's face and victim's
necks) and other gore, including decapitated heads in boxes and pools of blood.
Please send an email letter to the sponsors of this week's episode of Dracula . This week's national sponsors were: Chili's (Brinker), Olive Garden, L'Oreal, Revlon, JELL-O (Kraft Foods) and Rolaids (Chattem). Urge advertisers to place the
program on their do not advertise list in protest of the attempt to desensitize America and our children by promoting inappropriate content.
The Daily Mail is thankfully providing a little hype for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Surely the film makers are appreciative as otherwise the film seems to have proven very uncontroversial compared with the previous film. the Daily
With a public execution, a violent beating and frenzied animals, it hardly sounds like ideal entertainment for children. But film censors appear to think otherwise -- granting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a 12A rating, which means it
can be seen by under-12s if they are with an adult.
In one scene viewers witness a man being flogged and whipped by soldiers and are shown his wounded and bloodied back. Later, an elderly man is clubbed by two soldiers and publicly executed by a gunshot to the head.
The BBFC passed the film 12A for moderate violence and threat and infrequent strong language .
Vivienne Pattison, of the morality campaign group Mediawatch-UK spouted:
The problem with this particular film is that it originates from a book designed for children. Success: The blockbuster has made Miss Lawrence a household name. But critics blast the appeal to children
And there is a very big difference between reading a gory image on the page than burning it into the retinas of young children watching it on the big screen in the cinema.
Although the rating suggests there may be some adult scenes there is still little guidance, and there is nothing in place to stop parents or guardians from taking children as young as six or seven to the cinema to see the film.
The story environment at times is quite realistic and therefore the horrific violence is glamorised.
In a society in which children are exposed to so much violence and adult imagery we should be working to protect youngsters from further exposure in films and games. We don't need to terrify children to entertain them.
Pippa Smith of the religious morality campaign group, Safer Media said:
The film industry puts too much responsibility on parents. It isn't fair they should have to make the decision whether they take their child or not when the guidelines are so vague. Classification on films needs to be much stricter.
US morality campaigners have called for the censorship of a family Guy episode:
It is a violation of Federal Law for broadcasters to air indecent material on the publicly-owned airwaves when children are likely to be in the viewing audience.
Yet that is EXACTLY what the Fox Broadcast Network (not to be confused with Fox News) did this past Sunday, November 10th, with its most recent episode of Family Guy.
The network brags to its advertisers that Family Guy is #1 with Teens ...and because it is a cartoon, the show is watched by tens of thousands of young children every week.
What were children exposed to on Sunday's episode of Family Guy? Unbelievably vile sexual content -- including jokes about child molestation, exploitation, rape, and the sexualized use of food and the perverse internal defrosting of
frozen hot dogs.
Beyond the repugnant sexual content, the overall theme of the episode is that it is humorous for a boy to bully and beat up a girl.
This episode aired at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT -- only 8 p.m. in the Central/Mountain time zones.
Malaysia's Federal Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) has
urged the government to consider internet censorship to stop supposed attacks against Islam.
The call delivered in a sermon stated that given the challenges posed by anti-Islam groups through information technology, it was important that the Muslim community used whatever reasonable strategy available including social media to counter,
answer and ward off the propaganda of the enemies of Islam.
Muslims must be kept updated on current developments so that we get accurate information and not be influenced by enemy propaganda.
You all can also use new media such as YouTube, Twitter and blogs as mediums to send out the right message and spread the teachings of Islam.
While Muslims are working at strengthening the economy and the Malay race, the enemies have not slackened for a minute to run their mission to destroy Islam by using whatever strategy possible, including cyber troopers.
The Islamic body said it was required of Muslims to identify the agenda designed to erode the sanctity of Islam and to also identify those who attempted to do so. Jakim warned that the international line of thinking, such as liberalism and
pluralism, seems to be spreading fast via the internet and influencing the younger generation.
From our observations, many symbols and hundreds of websites on the internet are being used to confuse and weaken those of the Islamic faith.
The Rocket is a 2013 Australia drama by Kim Mordaunt.
With Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam and Thep Phongam.
As The Rocket's campaign for an Oscar nomination gets under way, the Australian film has been banned in the country in which it is set, Laos.
Director Kim Mordaunt's drama, about an apparently cursed 10-year-old boy who wants to help his struggling family, was invited to the Luang Prabang Film Festival next month.
But the Laos censors have stopped the Lao-language film from screening because it deals with the touchy issue of relocating villagers for the construction of hydro-electric dams in the country. The Lao government wants to transform the
country into the battery of South-east Asia by exporting power to Thailand and Vietnam.
Producer Sylvia Wilcyzski said concerns about the impact of dam construction on villagers was one of the reasons she and Mordaunt made the film.
While a record 76 films are competing for the foreign-language Oscar, many Hollywood pundits consider The Rocket a solid chance, given the acclaim it has received in the US, including three awards at the New York's Tribeca Film Festival, selection
for Sundance's touring program and a warm reception at AFI Fest in Los Angeles.
Four TV ads and a VOD ad, for Just Cavalli, a perfume for women, featured a woman being pursued by a man. The woman made a number of statements, which were accompanied by on-screen text stating the same:
a. The first TV ad showed a woman removing her coat and stating, Just Now . The woman, whilst facing the camera, unbuttoned her top and then stated, Just Fun . The woman then threw her top at the man and was
shown wearing a bra. The man was shown with a naked torso chasing the woman. The woman then stated Just Me . The couple then ran into the bedroom and began to kiss. The ad then showed an image of the advertised product and the woman stated,
Just Cavalli. The new fragrance, just for her .
The ad was cleared by Clearcast with an ex-kids restriction.
Other examples b-e were varitions on the theme on TV and ITV Player
All viewers objected that the ads were offensive, because of the sexualised behaviour.
A number of viewers objected that ads (a) and (b) were inappropriately scheduled.
A number of viewers also objected that ads (d) and (e) were inappropriately scheduled.
One viewer challenged whether ad (c) was appropriate to be seen by children, because they viewed the ad before the programme Wild at Heart, which they considered a family programme.
One viewer challenged whether ad (a) was appropriate to be seen by children, because they viewed the ad during the programme New You've Been Framed, which they considered a family programme.
1. Not upheld. 2-4. Similarly not upheld
The ASA noted all ads showed the woman undressing to reveal her lingerie and that the man was shown with a naked torso. We also noted the ads showed the woman being pursued by the man and that there was a sexual tension between the couple. The ads
did not, however, include any explicit nudity.
We noted the scene of the couple kissing in ads (a), (b) and (c) was brief in duration and considered the ads were mildly sexual in nature. Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the ads distasteful, we considered, in the context of
an ad for a perfume, the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
We considered ads (d) and (e) included stronger images than ads (a), (b) and (c). In particular, we noted the ads included an image of the woman with her crotch raised towards the man whilst he kissed her torso. We also noted the ads included
short scenes of the couple passionately embracing and kissing. We considered those ads were moderately sexual in nature. Although we considered the ads were moderately sexual in nature and might therefore be distasteful to some, we considered
that, in the context of an ad for a perfume, the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
On this point, we investigated ads (a), (b), (d) and (e) under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) and ad (c) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find them to be in breach.
5. Complaint upheld
We noted ad (a) had been given an ex-kids restriction to prevent it from being broadcast in or around children's programming. We understood that that included programmes which had a high index of children viewers.
We considered You've Been Framed!, New You've Been Framed! and Funniest Ever You've Been Framed! were similar programmes and would be viewed as such by members of the public. We therefore sought audience indexing data for transmissions of those
programmes in the four weeks prior to the transmission of the ad, which had been challenged by the complainant.
We considered it appropriate to review transmissions of those programmes between 15:00 and 21:00 on weekdays, because this was a time when children would be out of school and would have the opportunity to view the programmes. The data showed that
in 26% of the transmissions during those times, the programmes were viewed by a significant number of children. We also considered transmissions of those programmes on Saturdays in the four-week period. The data showed that in 26% of the
transmissions during those times, the programmes were viewed by a significant number of children. We also considered transmissions of those programmes at weekend during the four-week period. The data showed that in 25% of the transmissions during
those times, the programmes were viewed by a significant number of children. We therefore considered the audience indexing data showed a significant number of instances where the programme had been viewed by a significant number of children.
We understood that when scheduling the ad, referred to by the complainant, ITV considered a previous transmission of the same programme, during the same time slot the previous week. However, because audience indexing data from the four weeks prior
to the transmission of the ad indicated that the programme had been viewed by a significant number of children, we were concerned that ITV had not taken steps to prevent the ad appearing around such programmes.
On that basis, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
On this point, ad (a) breached BCAP Code rule 32.1 (Scheduling).
A Bangladeshi artist has criticised the Tower Hamlets Council after it banned some of his work from public display.
Saif Osmani was invited to show his work at the Brady Arts Centre in Hanbury Street as part of a season of Bangladeshi drama and art.
But when Osmani arrived on November 2 he says he was told by a council worker with the responsibility for art that four of his pieces, which combine the Pakistani and Bangladeshi flags, might anger hardliners and would not be shown. Osmani
I was told that due to the political situation in Bangladesh I was unaware of what this series of paintings could trigger with the 'hardliners'.
Osmani said the rest of his work was moved to a corner of the room near the toilet and was later hidden by a pull-up banner.
Akhtar Hussain, of art group Avid Art Agency, said:
It is an absolute disgrace that this level of censoring is taking place in the name of political correctness at an event which was supposed to celebrated British and Bangladeshi arts, but instead curtails the content of the art on display.
An adult education centre in Berlin has re-hung a collection of nude paintings days after censoring them out of
deference to Muslims in what critics called an overzealous bid at cultural sensitivity.
The six nude portraits now hang near the public toilets in a second-floor hallway at the Volkshochschule Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
A local politician received more than 300 comments about the initial banning of the nudes. Facebook and text messages and emails ranged from insults to allegations that the neighbourhood was buckling before Islam and needed to be freed
from the religion, according to the daily Berliner Zeitung.
District council member Juliane Witt, who received the messages, overrode the centre's leadership to re-hang the paintings, saying the attempt at religious sensitivity was well-intentioned but infringed on artistic freedom.
The centre's deputy head, Gotthard Haenisch, originally barred the paintings with consideration for Muslim students who might feel uncomfortable with the nudity and be discouraged from coming to class, according to the Berliner
But Ms Witt countered that the move, because it was not requested by students, in itself could be seen as discriminatory.
If you do something to protect someone, then you are defining them, and that can be stigmatising.
Sabine Achour, a professor who focuses on Islam and integration in education at the Free University of Berlin, argues the debate is not one of artistic freedom versus cultural sensitivity, but:
Rather shows how narrow and prejudiced our understanding of Islam is, though Muslims have lived here for decades and have long been active in the art world. It is naive to believe that Muslims have no appreciation for art, or can't distinguish
between art and pornography.
Firoozeh Bazrafkan has the courage to be a truly radical artist and challenge those who might hurt her. She fights for women's rights and intellectual freedom, and her background means her fight has to be directed against radical Islam.
In Denmark Danes reported her to the police for writing that Muslim men abuse and murder their daughters, and adding for good measure that the Koran is more immoral, deplorable and crazy than manuals of the two other global religions combined
Liberal principles once held that the Danish state should only punish Bazrafkan if her words provoked violence. As it was, the court asked for no proof of actual incitement. (There was none to be had.) Instead, it acted as if criticism of religion
was identical to racial prejudice. The white liberal judges therefore ruled that the Iranian-born artist was a racist and gave her a criminal record for condemning honour killings and clerical misogyny.
The indomitable Bazrafkan headed for Passion for Freedom. The annual exhibition is as close as London gets to underground art. The exhibition was to open at London's Unit 24 gallery but the venue pulled out with only days to go. In emails to the
organisers, Unit 24 offered various justifications for wrecking a show that had taken months to arrange. Enemies of the exhibition had made threats, and it was worried about a potential terrorist attack . Unit 24 told The Spectator
it pulled the show because Passion for Freedom could not provide insurance and security.
There was no secret about its decision. But not one of the arts correspondents for the broadsheets or BBC covered the threat to an international exhibition featuring the work of dozens of artists.
Fortunately, the truly radical owners of the Embassy Tea Gallery allowed the rebellious show to take over their space in Southwark, where it will run until Friday. The large crowd on the opening night cheered Firoozeh Bazrafkan.
As some American Chinese continued their protests over a supposedly offensive TV show, US broadcaster ABC has published
an Open apology declaration and promised not to let it happen again.
ABC apologised for a 'mistake' in airing the talk show and promised to permanently delete all related content and cancel the Kids table talk show element of the program.
In Jimmy Kimmel Live aired on October 16, Jimmy Kimmel asked the kids about what to do with the huge debt owing to China. One boy replied, Kill everyone in China. Jimmy commented that it was an interesting idea.
Analysts said Jimmy Kimmel was wrong for not stopping the comment and for failing to explain to the kids that it was not the right notion.
The program sparked 'outrage' and protests from the Chinese communities. Protests were held in cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, demanding a formal apology from ABC and Kimmel's dismissal.
Singapore's internet censor will block access to infidelity website AshleyMadison.com following a public 'uproar' over
the Canada-based site's plan to offer a local service.
Censors from the Media Development Authority (MDA) said in a statement:.
The Ashley Madison website, however, stands out. It aggressively promotes and facilitates extramarital affairs and has declared that it will specifically target Singaporeans.
Tens of thousands of Singaporeans signed petitions urging the government to block access to Ashley Madison and Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing wrote on his Facebook page that he did not welcome the site to Singapore.
AshleyMadison.com is an online dating and social networking service marketed to people who are already in a relationship. It had planned to launch in Singapore on November 17.
Singapore's government has blocked access to the popular adultery website Ashley Madison amid a public 'outcry' ahead of
the company's planned launch.
The Media Development Authority, which censors the Internet, said in a statement that it has blocked access to the Canada-based website because it is in:
Flagrant disregard of our family values and public morality. We will therefore not allow Ashley Madison to operate in Singapore and have worked with Internet service providers to block access to the site.
Moralist campaigners at Family First NZ have written to the Howick and Eastern Bus
Company asking them to remove a supposedly objectionable billboard on the back of their buses. The image advertising Lady Gaga's latest album features the partly-covered naked singer in a provocative pose. Bob McCoskrie, National Director of
Family First NZ spouted:
We expect this raunch culture from shock artists like Lady Gaga, but to display it on a public bus often used as a school bus is unacceptable. The image simply objectifies women as sex objects and is part of the agenda of a pornified music world.
These images should not be 'broadcast' on street billboards and school buses. It is offensive and inappropriate and many parents will not want their children being exposed to larger-than-life porn images. It's difficult to have 'parental
controls' over the images on a bus driving in front of you.
The music industry wants to sexualise and objectify women. But advertisers, and the Advertising Standards Authority, should be doing everything it can to reject this.
We are asking the Howick and Eastern Bus Company to show social responsibility.
An Auckland bus company has asked its advertising agency to remove a racy Lady Gaga billboard from the back of its buses.
Family First NZ said it has received notification from the Howick and Eastern Bus Company that they have asked their advertising agency to remove a billboard advertising the popstar's latest album from the back of its buses.
We're stoked that Howick and Eastern Bus Company have responded to the concerns of families and have shown social responsibility, Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, said.
The Producer's Cut of Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers got a 35mm screening in LA.
The Producer's Cut is the original version prepared by the film makers. It was substantially reworked into the Theatrical Version as a result of feedback from preview audiences.
A bootleg copy of this original cut (ie the Producer's Cut ) has circulated at conventions and festivals but has never been officially released. It features more of Donald Pleasence's final performance.
Film critic and event organiser Brian Collins Explained:
just this week, [writer Daniel] Farrands and producer Malek Akkad sprung a surprise on me -- they had a 35mm print of the original cut! As far as we know, it's only shown that one time for the test screening (and perhaps again for the cast and
crew who saw their work otherwise mangled by the studio), so this is a HUGE 'get' and a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it on the big screen in 35mm. No, it doesn't mean that the film will be getting a DVD/Blu-ray release for sure, but it's
certainly a big step forward, as the studio had to sign off on us showing it and they were totally cool with it.
Three complainants wrote to the BBC Trust following the decision of the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) not to uphold their complaints regarding an edition of Desert Island Discs broadcast on 10 February 2013, which featured the journalist Julie
All three complainants stated that the BBC had shown bias in playing The Exodus Song by Andy Williams (chosen by Ms Burchill as one of her eight desert island records) whilst in 2010 BBC Radio 1Xtra had broadcast a performance by Mic
Righteous in which the lyrics Free Palestine has been edited by adding a sound effect over them. The complainants saw a contradiction in the BBC's approach to these two programmes, and stated that this contradiction demonstrated a lack of
impartiality (which some complainants also felt had been demonstrated by a lack of a balancing programme to the Desert Island Discs programme, which would have represented the opposing view). The complainants also stated that the BBC showed
bias in playing the Israeli national anthem, which was another of Ms Burchill's chosen records.
Burchill introduced her choice:
It's Exodus, the Exodus theme by Andy Williams, who's got a wonderful voice. I love this song. It's from a film about the birth of Israel. I have been fascinated by the Jews since I was a child. I don't know why I got no Jewish blood and when I
hear this song oh dear I'm going to cry. Exodus by Andy
The song was played in a censored version with the following lines deleted:
To make this land our home If I must fight,
I'll fight to make this land our own
Until I die, this land is mine
And later when Burchill was asked to pick just one disc for her desert island:
I would pick HaTikvah, the Israeli national anthem. I would lie on the beach, reading my friend's book, getting drunk on this cocktail, and I'd listen to the Israeli national anthem and I would think about this beautiful country so far away from
me and I would be happy.
BBC Editorial Standards Committee decision: Appeal did not qualify for further consideration
The Committee noted the points made by the complainants regarding the potential for offence in the broadcasting of the Israeli National Anthem and the Exodus song and in calling Israel a beautiful country . The Committee recognised the
offence the complainants had undoubtedly felt at the inclusion of these personal musical choices in the programme, but reiterated the BBC's right to broadcast challenging content as long as it complied with the Editorial Guidelines.
The Committee agreed with the points made by the Head of Editorial Standards that:
Listeners to BBC Radio 4 would be aware that Desert Island Discs was a very well-established format and Julie Burchill was well known for having strong views.
And that: Ms Burchill gave her reasons for choosing the two pieces of music, which did not include matters of current political debate.
The Committee concluded that there was no reasonable prospect of success for the appeals in relation to the Editorial Guidelines on Harm and Offence or Impartiality.
A new campaign named Rewind&Reframe is a joint project run by the gender extremists End Violence Against
Women Coalition, Imkaan and Object. It will launch a website with women from a variety of backgrounds writing, blogging and commentating on the portrayal of women in contemporary music videos. A petition is also being started to call on the
government to act.
Justine Roberts, founder of the website Mumsnet, said:
There's no doubt there's a huge amount of racism and sexism in music videos and it's great that this campaign raises awareness about it. I can't see any reason why these videos wouldn't be classified in the way that other forms of media are
but the truth is that it won't be a silver bullet.
Technology these days makes it pretty nigh on impossible to stop under-18s viewing and sharing this kind of material so as parents it's important to talk to them about what's wrong with it. As a society we need to consider how we've got to a
situation where misogyny and racism is so commonplace.
Tomorrow evening a debate will be hosted at the House of Commons, chaired by Labour MP Kerry McCarthy and attended by MP Claire Perry, the prime minister's personal Mary Whitehouse. Perry has said she has the backing of David Cameron to push for
solutions -- including an age classification system for music videos and the clear labelling of airbrushed celebrity pictures.
On the night of Saturday November 9, Venezuelan President Nicola's Maduro announced publicly his decision to block access
foreign currency valuation websites including dolartoday.com, tucadivi.com, lechugaverde.com, dolarparalelo.com, dolarparalelo.org, preciodolar.info and dolarparalelo.tk, all of which track the unofficial price of foreign currency. After foreign
currency exchange controls were put into force in the country in 2003, unofficial or black market pricing of foreign currency was declared illegal. Nevertheless, unofficial currency exchanges remain very much a part of the Venezuelan
Last Wednesday, inflation in Venezuela shot above 50%, causing the value of the Bolivar to plummet and prompting the President to accuse currency speculators of waging economic war on the government.
In his television address, Maduro also announced that Conatel, the administrative body responsible for telecommunications, has opened a case against private Internet service providers in the country, for allowing the disclosure of the price of
the parallel [black market] dollar. This is just one tactic in what has been termed the economic war : amongst other measures, on Friday, the owners of popular e-commerce websites MercadoLibre.com and TuCarro.com were called to meet
with members of the cabinet to establish mechanisms to regulate prices at which users can post items for sale on these sites. The decision has been carried out through the Ministry of Science and Technology, without any administrative
A miserable health minister has called for a ban on supposedly dangerous mobile phone apps that he claims encourage young people to binge-drink.
Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem Minister for Care, called on Google and Apple to launch an urgent investigation into irresponsible drinking games sold through their online markets, which he claims could fuel drink-related health problems and
The calls followed a Mail on Sunday article digging around for 'outrage' uncovered hundreds of alcohol-related apps and promotions on social media sites that critics claim target youngsters and popularise excessive drinking. This newspaper
identified more than 340 alcohol-related apps available to download on the Google and Apple stores. Some of them have been downloaded tens of thousands of times by British users.
Examples of drinking games online include Let's Get Wasted on Google Play, which has been downloaded 8,000 times in the UK, either for free or for just 83p.
The game selects a player roulette-style and they are instructed to drink what the app suggests. Volumes are decided at random. Players monitor their alcohol levels through stages including tipsy , boozy , well-oiled , drunk
and loaded. If a player refuses a drink, the game makes a chicken noise. The winner is the first to reach the final stage of wasted .
After The Mail on Sunday alerted him to the games, Lamb obliged with an 'outraged' sound bite:
It's pretty abhorrent and I condemn those organisations because it promotes behaviour which has a massive impact on our A&E departments and police forces. The damage that it can do is immense, so I think the people who promote these apps
should think again.
Conservative MP Andrew Percy, a member of the Health Select Committee, called the apps dangerous and backed Lamb's call for a ban.
Thailand's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) wants to revise the Computer Crime Act of
2007 but several media groups in the country are opposing changes to the law.
The ICT claims that reforming the law is necessary to curb the growing menace of cybercrime but critics fear it would lead to greater online censorship .
On October 24, five media groups in Bangkok issued a joint statement rejecting the amendments drafted by the Ministry. They include the Thai Journalists Association, Thai Broadcasting Journalists Association, Online News Providers Association,
Information Technology Reporters and Academic Specialists on Computer Law Group.
The amendments would further tighten the Computer Crime Act (CCA), a law that has been widely criticized for its harsh penalties for various kinds of online speech. It includes the lese majeste law under which several netizens have been imprisoned
for criticizing the king online.
Among proposed amendments to the CCA is a measure that would allow authorities to block websites without seeking prior approval from a court and the ICT Minister. Under the current law, authorities cannot have sites blocked without a court order.
Media groups speaking out against the amendments to the CCA are particularly opposed to this amendment, calling it a violation of the people's right to information. Further, they have demanded that the government drop the draft proposal as it:
Lacks standards of training for responsible officials and grants excessive power to the authorities. The groups added that the bill goes against Internet communication infrastructure and places disproportionate burdens on website operators,
Internet and mobile phone service providers, and Internet users.
An editorial in the Bangkok Post derided the 2007 law, arguing that it has become a tool for harassing government critics and must be scaled back:
The CCA is the basis for massive internet censorship, sometimes compared with that of China. It has imprisoned people to longer terms than parallel, non-computer laws allow. And it has almost never been used for the purpose it was supposedly
There is no longer even an estimate of the number of websites and pages closed or blocked by (the ICT) ministry. Certainly it is well into six figures. The ICT minister, using opaque and unaccountable appeals to a court, can effectively block any
website from standard online access, without accountability, appeal or even the knowledge of those involved.
The editorial argued that the government should shift its focus back to the original intent of the law, which was to prevent online financial crimes such as phishing and identity theft.
Supporting the five Thai media groups is Reporters Without Borders , which cautioned the government not to approve the amendments and to withdraw the legislation in its entirety:
The bill -- in addition to eliminating a requirement for a judicial warrant to block a website -- would allow that action without approval from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, thereby distancing the law even more from
In response, the ICT claims that because the proposed amendments have gone through public consultations, there should be no controversy over their passage.
Britain is holding up an agreement on internet freedom among the 47 members of Europe's human rights watchdog after objecting to a probe
into the gathering of vast amounts of electronic data by intelligence agencies.
The government is declining to endorse a political declaration by the Council of Europe that could conclude that Britain's mass snooping regime is illegal.
Britain intervened during a Council of Europe ministerial conference on Friday in Belgrade, Freedom of Expression and Democracy in the Digital Age , where a document was due to be signed by the 47 members of the body. The document, entitled
Political Declaration and Resolutions , says that the Council of Europe should examine whether the gathering of data by intelligence agencies is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Shami Chakrabarti , the director of Liberty, said:
Bad enough that our authorities engaged in blanket surveillance without democratic mandate or legal authority; worse still when they attacked the ethical journalists who exposed that scandal. Now they delay the Council of Europe's action on the
issue and risk turning Britain into an arrogant bad boy on the world stage. The nation that led the establishment of post-war European human rights now jeers at the Strasbourg court and tolerates no scrutiny for spooks or privacy for ordinary
people. Churchill must be spinning in his grave.
UK Sport is a sports agency responsible for investing over £100 million per year in Britain's best Olympic and Paralympic
athletes. It is accountable to Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The group has been threatening to use its financial clout to impose morality on athletes by telling them that if they go to lap-dancing or strip clubs they will lose Lottery funding
New guidelines for eligibility for funding released by UK Sport, which oversees sports funding for Olympic and Paralympic athletes, included a line in its section on misconduct and disrepute which read attending a lap dancing or strip club
regardless of gender .
It was described by the chief executive of one sports body as akin to treating sports like a nanny state , and boxer Luke Campbell, who won Olympic gold at bantamweight and has since turned professional, concurred. He told The Telegraph:
It's laughable. I just find it hard to fathom how they came up with this. It's just completely ridiculous. Going to a lap club or strip club is just harmless fun. Why would they want to tell athletes what to do in their private lives?
Anyone taking their sport seriously would not be out in nightclubs anyway. We are role models, and we are looked up to. I'd rather see them concentrate on banning Lottery funded athletes if they are smoking, or have been drunk and disorderly,
rather than this.
From the UK Sport funding eligibility document What stars cannot do:
Commit acts or make comments (whether in the media or online such as through tweets, social networking site comments, texts, blogs etc) which...shock or offend the community or which manifest contempt or disregard.
Tell a sexist joke or make a sexist remark at a private meeting, the contents of which are subsequently disclosed.
Attend a lap dancing or strip club, regardless of gender.
UK Sport has declared a false start over its ludicrous threat of removing funding from athletes who visit lap dancing or strip
clubs. The organisation said in a statement:
As a result of the consultation ahead of launching our new eligibility policy, a number of respondents requested examples, to suggest potential actions or behaviours that might, in theory, be considered acts of 'misconduct' or 'disrepute'.
We accept that one of the examples we included was not helpful and has subsequently led to confusion. Therefore we have taken the decision to remove the example.
That said, the purpose of including the illustrative examples remains, that we expect our elite athletes who benefit from the privilege of public funding to act as role models to inspire the nation.
Four Swedish cinemas: Rio Cinema (Stockholm), Roy (Gothenburg), mirror (Malmo ), Red Mill (Helsingborg) that are run by the National Organisation People's Houses and Parks have introduced a politically correct approval symbol for movies.
The launch of the scheme is in partnership with WIFT (Women in Film and Television) and Fair Service.
An A-labeled film is a small indication that in this film, there are two women with names, talking to each other about something other than men.
The so-called Bechdel test has its origins in a 1985 storyline in Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. It may sound like a low bar. But several big name films have not been 'approved'.
Ellen Tejle , who runs Stockholm's Rio, one of the participating cinemas said:
The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test.
The Guardian adds a number of current releases and Oscar contenders that fail the test: Alfonso Cuaro'n's Gravity , despite its starring role for Sandra Bullock; Lee Daniels' The Butler, about a presidential servant and the civil rights movement;
and Captain Phillips , Paul Greengrass's piracy drama, which involves an all-male gang of pirates attacking an all-male shipping crew.
But of course a seal of political correct approval may be a mixed blessing. It may be that some cinema goers use it to identify films best avoided.
Siobhan Freegard, the founder of Netmums website claims that many parents fear music videos have become too sexualised and violent.
In a survey of some 1,500 website members, most (82%) said their children had repeated sexual lyrics without knowing their meaning. And 75% said they tried to stop children watching music videos.
Freegard claimed parents were most angry that their children were being exposed to lewd viewing on programmes shown before the 21:00 watershed for family viewing. She said:
Modern parents aren't prudes - they know sex sells ...BUT... there's a strong feeling that things have gone too far now. It's toxic to tell young kids casual sex and violence are something to aspire to. '
Most (75%) of parents with daughters said very sexual pop acts were teaching girls they would be judged on their looks, not their achievements or personality .
About half of parents with sons said they were frightened explicit footage made them believe women were too sexually available and that they should have unrealistic porn-star-style body shapes .
Two-thirds of parents taking part said they thought young female singers were being exploited.
Downton Abbey was accused yesterday of using a 'sickening' rape as a 'gratuitous' plot device to liven up the ITV drama's script.
A controversial scene on Sunday night in which a housemaid was subjected to a 'brutal' assault by a valet sparked nearly 100 complaints from 'disgusted' viewers.
Katie Russell from the campaign Rape Crisis said ITV should have made it clear the episode contained sexual violence so rape victims could switch off. She said:
They had a warning about violence before the programme but it wasn't an explicit warning about sexual violence.
The scene was clearly an implied rape, and that can trigger terrible memories in rape survivors. Content like that can be very traumatic.
Author and anti-rape campaigner Bidisha ShonarKoli Mamata claimed the show's author Julian Fellowes had added the attack simply to enliven a dull storyline:
You can't just insert a scene like this into a cosy drama. You have to treat rape sensitively, rather than use it as a plot device
And of course the Daily Mail rounded up a few trivial tweets, but none are worth re-telling
Ofcom said it had received 30 complaints yesterday and was assessing whether to hold a full investigation. But of course this will be no where near breaking any rules and the investigation will soon end up as a one liner, no case to
answer, in the Ofcom complaints bulletin.
And indeed TV censor Ofcom has said that it will not formally investigate Downton Abbey' s controversial rape storyline.
ITV received 200 complaints from viewers and Ofcom a further 244.
A warning had been aired before the broadcast, which an Ofcom spokesperson confirmed had been taken into account, as had the fact that the attack took place off screen. The scene was also broadcast after the 9pm watershed.
It was not investigated as together with other complaints after careful assessment, Ofcom has decided not to pursue because they did not raise issues warranting investigation .
Removing the offence of blasphemy from Irish law will be discussed by the Convention on the Constitution this weekend.
Academics and legal experts will give presentations at the two day event, with members of Atheist Ireland, the Humanist Association of Ireland, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland due to give their
The Convention will then make a recommendation to Government, which will have four months to respond with a debate in the Oireachtas.
The constitutional offence of blasphemy should be replaced with a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred, the constitutional convention has recommended. A series of votes were taken:
Whether the reference to the offence of blasphemy should be kept as it is in the Constitution:
38% said Yes,
61% said No
1% undecided or had no opinion.
In a follow-up question about replacing the provision with something else:
53% said it should be replaced with a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred
38% said the offence should be removed from the Constitution altogether
9% undecided or had no opinion.
Asked whether there should be a legislative provision (presumably outside of the constitution) for the offence of blasphemy:
50% said No
49% said Yes,
1% undecided or had no opinion.
The 100-member forum comprises of 33 politicians and 66 members of the public.
[Of course religious people shouldn't be get too enthusiastic about hate crimes that supposedly protect their views, more often than not it is religious people who fall foul of the very same provisions that they
After months away from the small screen, TV satirist Bassem Youssef is back on the air but it is uncertain how long he'll
stay. After a four month absence returned to the airwaves last Friday with a new episode of his weekly TV show Al Bernameg (The Programme). The episode sparked a new wave of controversy, reflecting the deepening divisions in Egyptian society.
The Public Prosecutor ordered an investigation into a legal complaint against Youssef, one of several filed by citizens angered by his mockery of the military chief. Others were upset by jibes he made at the former ruling Islamists. Youssef has
been accused of inciting chaos, insulting the military and being a threat to national security.
Friday's episode played on the sensitivity about the recent coup. The word coup was never once mentioned on the programme. In one scene, Youssef is seen putting his hand over the mouth of one of his assistants in an attempt to silence him as
he utters the now-taboo word.
An Egyptian television station has refused to air the latest episode of its star satirist's comedy series, after his show drew
criticism for mocking the current fervour for Egypt s army.
Private channel CBC stopped the Friday night broadcast of Bassem Youssef 's show minutes before its 10pm airtime. Instead, a broadcaster read out a statement claiming that Youssef's production team was involved in a dispute with the channel's
board over contractual and content issues.
The channel did not give further details. But earlier this week a CBC newscaster read a statement distancing the channel from Youssef's criticism of Egypt's widespread pro-army sentiment , censuring him for using phrases and innuendos that may
lead to mocking national sentiment or symbols of the Egyptian state.
Bassem Youssef, Egypt's top satirist, has returned to television for the first airing of his show since it was shut down three months ago. The heart surgeon turned comedian sent up the public and media for the adulation heaped on Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi, the army chief widely expected to be the country's next president.
In taking aim at the frenzy of support Sisi, Youssef went further in his criticism of the army-backed political order than anyone else currently allowed on the airwaves. Pledging not to discuss political issues that got his popular show The
Program taken off the air by private broadcaster CBC in November, Youssef showed that all topics in the country lead back to Sisi, who overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
After attempting in a mock game show to explore subjects ranging from cooking to sports, Youssef asked with exasperation: So what are we going to talk about?
A man was banned from Facebook for being homophobic after posting a comment about his favourite childhood dish which read,
I like faggots .
Robert Wilkes was referring to the traditional British meat balls which are usually made from butchers' off-cuts minced together with onion and breadcrumbs but he was blocked from the site for 12 hours after other users complained about his
language, which is used as derogatory term for gay men in the US.
Speaking to The Sun, he said:
It may have a different meaning in America but I used it in a food context. Facebook allows beheading videos, cruelty to animals, stabbing and terrible swear words -- but not this. It's political correctness gone mad.
But this was not a one off mistake by Facebook incompetent censors. The comment was posted in response to a report that Eileen Perrin had her account similarly locked for 12 hours for posting a picture of savoury dish. Eileen said:
A lot of people on the Facebook group found it very funny and started saying things like 'free Eileen'.
Facebook claimed that the word had been misinterpreted.