Censor Watch

 Latest



  Crying out for change...

A Surrey council amends its cinema rules to allow for parent and baby screenings of 15 and 18 rated films


Link Here 26th May 2017
tandridge district council logoA Surrey council has introduced a policy to allow parents with babies to attend 15 and 18 rated films at cinemas in the district.

Although BBFC 15 and 18 certificates specify that nobody under that age can attend cinema screenings, councils are the ultimate authority for specifying rules and licensing conditions for cinemas in their areas.

Parents are now being offered the chance to watch 15 and 18 rated films with their young children under Tandridge District Council rules.

Some mothers and fathers in the council area had expressed their wish to watch more adult films in parent and baby cinema club screenings.

Tandridge Council has decide to enable this, in theory giving parents the opportunity to watch Quentin Tarentino's Pulp Fiction , Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick, with their children.

However council officers will decide what is and isn't appropriate viewing on a case by case basis. The council said:

It is anticipated that scenes of strong violence and gore, sex and strong threat will lead to greater concern around viewing by children of that age than will strong language, mild nudity and discriminatory content.

This approach will only apply for screenings advertised and restricted to 'parent and baby' only.

 

 Update: Extreme optimism...

Theresa May claims that social media censorship will be a panacea for religious violence


Link Here 26th May 2017  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Theresa MayTheresa May has urged world leaders to do more to censor online extremism, saying the fight against so-called Islamic State is moving from the battlefield to the internet.

Speaking about counter-terrorism at the G7 summit in Sicily, the PM said more pressure should be put on tech companies to remove extreme material and to report such content to the authorities. She led a discussion on how to work together to prevent the plotting of terrorist attacks online and to stop the spread of hateful extremist ideology on social media.

She said that the industry has a social responsibility to do more to take down harmful content. She acknowledged that the industry has been taking action to remove extremist content, but said it has not gone far enough and needs to do more.

She called for an international forum to develop the means of intervening where danger is detected, and for companies to develop tools which automatically identify and remove harmful material based on what it contains, and who posted it.

Update: Norway too

26th May 2017 See article from telegraph.co.uk

Norway is considering introducing uniformed police profiles which would patrol Facebook looking for criminal activity.

Kripos, Norway's National Criminal Investigation Service, is reportedly examining the legal aspects of how police accounts could be given access to areas of Facebook that are not open to the public. It would mean police gaining access to closed groups and interacting with members as they search for evidence of criminal activity.

Police in Norway and elsewhere have previously used fake Facebook profiles to investigate crimes including smuggling alcohol and tobacco.

 

  Intrusive snooping...

Internet companies are attempting to block a US bill requiring that users permission is obtained before gathering people's web browsing history for commercial purposes


Link Here 26th May 2017
US SenateLobbyists for Google, Facebook, and other websites are trying to stop the implementation of a proposed law in the US that would strengthen consumer privacy protections online.

Representative Marsha Blackburn last week proposed a bill that would require broadband providers and websites to obtain users' opt-in consent before they use Web browsing history and application usage history for advertising and other purposes or before they share that information with other entities. The rule in Blackburn's BROWSER Act is similar to a previous proposal blocked by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump.

Currently the internet industry claims to be self regulating with mechanisms in which websites let visitors opt out of personalized advertising based on browsing history. However these rules do not restrict internet companies from gathering such intrusive personal information.

Naturally, lobbyists are trying to stop this from taking effect. The Internet Association yesterday issued a statement claiming that the bill will somehow diminish consumer experience and will stifle innovation. The Internet Association's founding members include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Dropbox, eBay, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Reddit, Spotify, Twitter, and about 30 other Web companies.

 

  Symbolic censorship...

Statue of justice removed from the Bangladesh Supreme Court


Link Here 26th May 2017
themis dhakaWorkers have begun to dismantle the statue of a Greek goddess from Bangladesh's Supreme Court complex, after an outcry from muslim extremists.

The sculpture of Themis, the goddess of justice, wearing a sari was less than six months old, but Islamist groups demanded its removal. They claimed it hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims. The censorship had been demanded at mass protests in Dhaka. The protesters claimed that the figure, which held the familiar sword and scales of justice in her hands, amounted to idolatry.

The statue's creator  Mrinal Haque said it is being removed to maintain peace.

 

  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul...

BBFC advised category cuts required for a U rated cinema release


Link Here 23rd May 2017
Poster Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Long H 2017 David Bowers Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a 2017 USA family comedy by David Bowers.
Starring Alicia Silverstone, Charlie Wright and Tom Everett Scott. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed U for very mild bad language, rude humour after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2017 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that it was likely to be classified 12A but that their preferred U classification could be achieved by removing a single use of discriminatory language ('spaz'). When the film was submitted for formal classification that word had been replaced with a less offensive term ('dork') and the film was classified U.
Summary Notes

A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.

 

 Obituary: Roger Moore...

The Man With the Golden Gun dies aged 89


Link Here 23rd May 2017

View Kill DVD Roger Moore Sir Roger George Moore KBE (14 October 1927 203 23 May 2017) was an English actor. He played the British secret agent James Bond in seven feature films between 1973 and 1985. He also played Simon Templar in the television series The Saint between 1962 and 1969.

Moore took over the role of Bond from Sean Connery in 1972, and made his first appearance as 007 in Live and Let Die (1973). The longest serving Bond to date, Moore portrayed the spy in six more films.[1][2] Appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for services to charity. In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

His family announced his death in Switzerland from cancer on 23 May 2017

Roger Moore's classic take on James Bond did not trouble the censors too much but two of his films were cut:
Octopussy is a 1983 UK/US James Bond action film by John Glen.
With Roger Moore, Maud Adams and Louis Jourdan. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb
A nipple slip was cut from the opening credits but otherwise uncut.
A View to a Kill is a 1985 UK/US James Bond action film by John Glen.
With Roger Moore, Christopher Walken and Tanya Roberts. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb
Cut by the BBFC at the advice screening stage and the cuts have persisted for all releases since

The BBFC commented:

The film was originally viewed by the BBFC in an incomplete form, with the music score unfinished and the opening and closing credits missing.

During this advice screening, the BBFC requested that a heavy crotch kick and a double neck chop, both given by Bond, be removed from the film to get a PG rating. These cuts occur during the fight in the hidden room under Zoran's stable. If you watch the scene closely, or even frame by frame, the scene is somewhat sloppy in a couple of places. When the film was edited, the pre-cut version was submitted for a formal rating.

During this stage of classification, the Board asked for an alteration to the opening titles on a shot of an almost nude woman. Its hard to speculate which woman this refers to, but viewing the titles it seems likely that it could be the woman seen through a scope near the beginning, who becomes defocused and blurry whenever she turns the front of body towards the camera, or the mirrored image of the dancing women at the end as Michael Wilson's name appears. She too, goes out of focus on a profile shot where her nipples almost become clearly visible.

 

  The Rookie...

Gavin Salkeld's Cutting Edge reveals the BBFC cinema cuts for a 15 rating


Link Here 23rd May 2017
edge the rookie The Rookie is a 1990 USA action crime comedy by Clint Eastwood.
Starring Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen and Raul Julia. BBFC link IMDb

The film was cut in the UK for a BBFC 15 rated cinema release.

See these cuts in Cutting Edge Quick Trims video on YouTube

 

 Update: The published rules are fake...

Facebook's real censorship rules are leaked


Link Here 21st May 2017  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Facebook logoThousands of pages of internal documents from Facebook have been leaked, revealing the censorship rules used to identify user content that is to be censored.

Among the rules detailed in documents obtained by the Guardian are those covering nudity, violence and threats.

A threat to kill the US President would be deleted, but similar remarks against an ordinary person would not be viewed as credible unless further comments showed signs of a plot.

Other rules reveal that videos depicting self-harm are allowed, as long as there exists an opportunity to help the person.  Videos of suicide, however, are never allowed.

Film of child and animal abuse (as long as it is non-sexual) can remain in an effort to raise awareness and possibly help those affected.

Aside from footage of actual violence, Facebook must also decide how to respond to threats of it, what they call credible threats of violence. There is an entire rulebook for what is considered credible and what is not. Statements like someone shoot Trump will be deleted by the website, but comments like let's go beat up fat kids, or I hope someone kills you will not. The leaked documents state that violent threats are most often not credible, until specific statements make it clear that the threat is no longer simply an expression of emotion but a transition to a plot or design.

Facebook's rules regarding nudity now makes allowance for newsworthy exceptions. like the famous Vietnam War photo of a naked young girl hit by napalm, and for handmade art. Digitally made art showing sexually explicit content is not allowed.

 

  Backward Together...

The conservative manifesto on internet censorship


Link Here 21st May 2017
tory manifesto 2017 mock upBuried at the very end of the Conservative election manifesto is a line of text that could have an enormous impact on how Britons use the internet in the future.

Conservative advisers suggested to BuzzFeed News that a future Tory government would be keen to rein in the growing power of Google and Facebook.

The proposals -- dotted around the manifesto document -- are varied. There are many measures designed to make it easier to do business online but it's a different, more social conservative approach when it comes to social networks.

Legislation would be introduced to 'protect' the public from abuse and offensive material online, while everyone would have the right to wipe material that was posted when they were under 18. Internet companies would also be asked to help promote counter-extremism narratives -- potentially echoing the government's Prevent programme. There would be new rules requiring companies to make it ever harder for people to access pornography and violent images, with all content creators forced to justify their policies to the government.

The Manifesto states:

Our starting point is that online rules should reflect those that govern our lives offline.

It should be as unacceptable to bully online as it is in the playground, as difficult to groom a young child on the internet as it is in a community, as hard for children to access violent and degrading pornography online as it is in the high street, and as difficult to commit a crime digitally as it is physically.

New laws will be introduced to implement these rules, forcing internet companies such as Facebook to abide by the rulings of a regulator or face sanctions: We will introduce a sanctions regime to ensure compliance, giving regulators the ability to fine or prosecute those companies that fail in their legal duties, and to order the removal of content where it clearly breaches UK law.

A levy on tech companies -- similar to that charged on gambling companies -- would also be used to support awareness and preventative activity to counter internet harms. The Conservatives even see this model going further, announcing their desire to work with other countries develop a global set of internet regulation standards similar to those we have for so long benefited from in other areas like banking and trade.

May's manifesto also raises concerns about online news, warning it is willing to take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is essential to our democracy, while pledging to ensure content creators are appropriately rewarded for the content they make available online.

On a more positive note, the Conservative party manifesto contained one significantly welcome provision, which was that the party would not proceed with implementing the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry, and would repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 -- both measures that RSF has campaigned for. RSF and other free expression groups viewed Section 40 as threatening to press freedom, particularly its cost-shifting provision that, if implemented, could have held publishers that did not join the state-approved regulator liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit.

In contrast, both the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos stated that the parties would disgracefully move forward with the unjust stage two of the Leveson Inquiry.

 

 Offsite Article: Virtually consent free...


Link Here 21st May 2017
Samsung Gear VR W/Controller - Latest Edition If a user created a VR version of their real life girlfriend would they do things to her that they knew she would refuse in the real world?

See article from independent.co.uk