Censor Watch


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 Update: Obscene delay...

After a long battle with film censors, the gay film Ka Bodyscapes is unbanned, but only after cuts

Link Here 24th September 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Ka Bodyscapes 2016 Jayan Cherian Ka Bodyscapes is a 2016 India / USA gay drama by Jayan Cherian.
Starring Adhithi, Tinto Arayani and Arundhathi. IMDb

Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.

After a long battle with India's film censors of the CBFC, and with the help of a little pressure from the Kerala high court, the CBFC have finally granted Ka Bodyscapes an adults only 'A' rating, after demanding the following cuts:
  • Removal of all references to the right wing nationalist political party, RSS, and the saffron flag wherever they appear in the movie.
  • Additionally, the makers of the film have also been directed to delete all the visuals containing photos of the RSS founder KB Hedgewar and ideologue MS Golwalkar from the movie,
  • removal of a scene with a female character that is shown masturbating.
  • The supposedly objectionable and disrespectful visual of a painting depicting Lord Hanuman carrying books in his hand.


 Update: Non consensual non event...

A few whinges to Ofcom about a vengeful gay set up

Link Here 24th September 2017  full story: Emmerdale...Viewer whinges about ITV soap
emerdale non consensualA few more trivial complaints about the TV soaps.

A nasty character named Rob plied his ex father in-law Lawrence with booze and when he was completely blotto, helped him into bed. And then he dropped an empty condom wrapper on the side table, stripped off and climbed in too! When Lawrence woke up Robert announced they'd slept together and even accused confused Lawrence of taking advantage of him in his heartbroken, drunken state.

The TV censor Ofcom has received nine complaints about the sexual nature of the scenes, and the non-consensual aspect of the storyline, despite nothing actually happening between Lawrence and Robert.

Ofcom responded that it will assess these complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate, code for a rapid consignment to the waste paper bin.


  Nowhere to hide...

Facebook to snoop on users' location whilst out shopping

Link Here 24th September 2017
Facebook logoFacebook is tracking what shops you visit offline to target you with ads online. Facebook has brought in new tools for advertisers that will tell businesses whether you've been to one of their real-life shops or at least for those stupidly sharing their location with the Facebook app.

Select businesses that are eligible for store visits reporting can now also create custom audiences made up of people who have recently visited their store, Facebook said in a blog post. Some of the companies already involved in this are US department store, Macy's and fast food shop KFC.

Facebook is not the first tech company to track the whereabouts of its customers offline in this way. Google's Store Sales Measurement scheme allows the tech giant to track customer credit-card transactions -- both online and within brick-and-mortar shops.


  A new chief pirate fighter...

Charles Rivkin takes over as CEO of the MPAA

Link Here 23rd September 2017
MPAA logoCharles Rivkin took over from Chris Dodd as CEO of the MPAA on 5th of September 2017.

Charles Rivkin was the former assistant Secretary of State for economic and business affairs under President Barack Obama. Before his stint at the State Department Rivkin served as U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco. Before that, he spent nearly 20 years in Hollywood as president and CEO of the Jim Henson Co. and then as CEO of Wildbrain.

Rivkin said in a blog post:

The MPAA's member companies are investing in a variety of new platforms and channels for content. There are now more than 130 lawful online platforms for film and television content in the United States, and more than 480 around the world, allowing global audiences to access creative entertainment where, when, and on any device they want.

Our members are building partnerships with creators around the world, including investing in a growing number of co-productions with studios in international markets, while supporting diverse storytelling through programs with multicultural organizations.

This work is vital to our future. Together, our industry must advance creativity and protect content from new forms of piracy. We must continue to drive innovation both in how we tell stories and reach audiences. And we must expand the global market for films and television programming in our effort to create high quality American jobs.


 Update: Stormy times...

Florida bill introduced claiming porn as a public health crisis

Link Here 22nd September 2017  full story: US politicans and porn harms...US states claim porn to be a public health hazard
Florida state sealFlorida could be the next state to claim pornography as a public health crisis if a Republican lawmaker has his say. State Representative Ross Spano has filed the claim in bill, H.R. 157. Strangely he doesn't seem to have spotted more pressing and obvious dangers such as those resulting from unchecked climate change.

Similar to measures passed recently in other moralist tates, the proposal calls on Florida to acknowledge the alleged dangers of pornography and address the need for education, prevention, research and policy change to protect the citizens of this state.

Other language included in the Republican's two-page resolution accuses pornography of contributing to the hypersexualization of adolescents and claims that kids who view adult content are at a higher risk of developing low self-esteem, eating disorders and a desire to engage in dangerous sexual behavior. The bill also calls pornography potentially biologically addictive and orders the state to create recovery programs from porn addicts.

Lawrence Walters, a porn industry attorney who practices in Florida commented:

This is an embarrassment to the State of Florida. We are more evolved, and have too much respect for individual freedom, to be having this debate. Hopefully it will be short-lived.


 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 73...

Link Here 22nd September 2017
Mrs. Doubtfire DVD Mrs. Doubtfire rated 12 for cunning linguistics

See article from bbfc.co.uk


 Diary: 9 premieres...

September on Horror Channel

Link Here 21st September 2017

Starry Eyes DVD Horror Channel has nine prime-time film premieres in September including the UK premiere of Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer's stunning contemporary occult tale of Hollywood ambition and possession, Starry Eyes.

There are also network premieres for Sam Raimi's ferociously terrifying Drag Me To Hell , Eli Roth's splatter sensation Hostel , Mike Mendes' ultimate B-Movie experience Big Ass Spider , Jonathan King's zombie sheep gore comedy Black Sheep , James Wan's creepy killer-doll horror Dead Silence , starring True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, Robert Longo's cyberpunk action thriller Johnny Mnemonic , starring Keanu Reeves, Bryan Bertnia's home-invasion chiller The Strangers, starring Liv Tyler and John Carp


  'Black' blacklisted...

Advert censor claims that a non derogatory reference to race is somehow likely to cause widespread offence

Link Here 21st September 2017

paddy power bet on blackA press ad by Paddy Power bookmakers, seen in the 23 August 2017 edition of the Evening Standard and the 24 August 2017 edition of the Metro, featured the headline claim ALWAYS BET ON BLACK alongside an image of Floyd Mayweather. Further text stated WE'VE PAID OUT EARLY ON A MAYWEATHER VICTORY BECAUSE WE CHECKED, AND ONLY ONE OF THEM IS A BOXER.

Nine complainants, who considered that the headline contained an obvious reference to Floyd Mayweather's race, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Power Leisure Bookmakers Ltd t/a Paddy Power said the ad was not intended to cause offence on the grounds of race. They said the headline was a gambling related pun as the fight was taking place in Las Vegas and betting on black was a roulette reference. They acknowledged that the headline referred to Floyd Mayweather's race, but said it was not used in a derogatory, distasteful or offensive manner and the overall tone of the ad was light-hearted and humorous. They said the early pay out was not based on Floyd Mayweather's race but on his experience as a professional boxer compared with Conor McGregor who had never boxed professionally.

Paddy Power said the campaign was approved by Floyd Mayweather who found the line funny, rather than offensive or derogatory. The phrase always bet on black was embroidered on the underwear Floyd Mayweather's wore at the official weigh-in for the match in Las Vegas. Floyd Mayweather also posted an image of himself wearing the underwear on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #alwaysbetonblack, which was not part of the sponsorship deal.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The CAP Code required marketers to ensure that ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and for particular care to be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race. The ad appeared in the sports section of two free untargeted newspapers, and was therefore likely to have been seen by a wide-range of people. It featured the prominent headline Always Bet on Black, alongside an image of the boxer Floyd Mayweather, who was a black male. We considered that readers would interpret the headline to be a pun on Floyd Mayweather's race and betting on roulette. We understood that the headline was also intended to be a reference to a 1992 film quote. There was, however, nothing further in the ad which indicated that the headline was a film quote, and we considered that many readers would be unfamiliar with the quote.

We acknowledged that the headline claim did not make a negative statement about Floyd Mayweather's race and had endorsed him to win the match. We also acknowledged that Floyd Mayweather had authorised the claim. However, we considered that readers would nevertheless be offended by the invitation to always bet on the outcome of a boxing match based on a boxer's race, and the message that the boxing match was a fight between two different races. For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race.

We told Paddy Power to ensure they avoided causing serious offence on the grounds of race.


  'White' blacklisted...

Ludicrous supposed offence at Tranmere Rovers 'Super White Army'

Link Here 21st September 2017
tranmere super white armyA Super White Army banner was covered up during an England football match.

The sign at Tranmere Rovers' ground was obscured by the FA for the Lionesses' World Cup qualifier, after a player shared the photo online. People responding to the post suggested the banner could be seen as racist.

Tranmere Rovers Supporters' Club said it was not remotely racist and referred to their team's shirts. Supporters' club chairman Mark Bartley said:

The banner had been on display at the ground since the summer, but the words had been our motto for years and the decision to cover it was a one-off [which] will have no impact on us.

We are proud of our club colours, as are all fans up and down the country... and will continue to use the chant at our games going forward, he said. It is not remotely racist - it is simply a reference to the white shirts that our team wear.


 Update: So what are the chances that this will have any measurable effect on terrorism?...

May calls on website services to remove terrorist content within 2 hours

Link Here 21st September 2017  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

2 hour timerTheresa May is to urge internet companies to take down extremist content being shared by terrorist groups within two hours, during a summit with the French president and the Italian prime minister.

Home Office analysis shows that Isis shared 27,000 links to extremist content in the first five months of the 2017 and, once shared, the material remained available online for an average of 36 hours. The government would like that reduced to two hours, and ultimately they are urging companies to develop technology to spot material early and prevent it being shared in the first place.

The issue is of particular concern after last week's attack on a London Underground train at Parsons Green, and follows a British thinktank report, which found that online jihadist propaganda attracts more clicks in Britain than anywhere else in Europe.

Extremist material is shared very rapidly when it is first published in what experts call a starburst effect: more than two-thirds of shares take place within the first two hours, so reducing the amount of time the material is visible can drastically squeeze the number of users who see it.

A government source noted that once an internet user has shown interest in extremist content, the web giants' algorithms keep pushing similar material towards them online. We want them to break the echo chambers, he said.


 Update: Peaceful religion banned in China...

Euphemisms for criticism of islam are banned by Chinese social media

Link Here 21st September 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Weibo logoAllegedly Islamophobic terms used by Chinese Internet users to stigmatize Muslims have been censored by authorities on Chinese social media amid a backlash against national policies considered overly favorable to Muslim minorities.

Searches for green religion and peaceful religion , often used by Internet users to refer to Islam and to circumvent censorship of online speech, showed no results on China's Weibo microblog. Posts containing the phrases cannot be posted for violations of Weibo's complaints related rules. Worse insults against Islam are also blocked in Weibo's search engine.

Discontent and fears of Muslims have been on the rise on China's Internet in recent years. There is unease at Chinese authorities' discrimination policies in favour of ethnic minorities, especially Muslim groups.

To achieve national unity and social stability , ethnic minorities including Hui and Uyghur people enjoy favorable policies including receiving extra points in China's college entrance examinations, more lenient family planning policies and securing a certain ratio of positions in government. The favorable policies are aimed at helping ethnic minorities who lag behind in economic and educational development. They are intended to accelerate development toward greater ethnic unity, Xiong said.


  Dicking around...

Netflix takes down an episode of children's cartoon over penis shaped etched into the background

Link Here 21st September 2017
maya the bee logStreaming service Netflix has pulled an episode of the cartoon series Maya the Bee after a viewer complained it contained an explicit drawing.

A screen grab of the offending scene appears to show an outline of a penis etched on a log in the background.

The 35th episode of the show's first season was pulled after US mother Chey Robinson posted a clip on Facebook,

The TV show is not available to UK Netflix subscribers

Cheeky animators have a history of sneaking in suggestive imagery into cartoons, apparently in the expectation their private jokes would remain so.


 Offsite Article: Where have all the 18 certificate films gone?...

Link Here 21st September 2017
american assassin 2017 American Assassin and mother! are both 18-certificate films that landed in UK cinemas the same week. This is not common at all...

See article from denofgeek.com


 Diary: Frightmare Halloween Festival...

30th September to 31st October. Promotional poster uses ASA censorship as a badge of honour

Link Here 20th September 2017
censored frightmare posterThe advert censors of ASA banned a billboard for Over Farm's Frightmare Halloween event last year after a child became distressed by it. The poster was outside a train station and depicted people in prosthetic monstrous make-up.

Now Over Farm has taken advantage of the ban to promote this year's Frightmare by slapping a 'censored' banner across last years poster.

The 2016 advert featured images of a monstrous man and woman, and a sinister character holding a chainsaw in one hand with a decapitated head in the other.

Matt Keene, partner at Over Farm, said:

We apologise to anyone who has been disturbed by our advertisement. As the largest Halloween festival in the south west, we're committed to ensuring that this year's Frightmare is as heart-stoppingly horrifying as possible, and we admit that we may have outdone ourselves last year. We are, however, working hard to minimize any additional angst within the community.

The event starts on Friday October 6 and continues throughout the month.


  Silencing Middle Eastern news...

Saudi bans Al Jazzera from appearing on Snapchat app

Link Here 19th September 2017
aljazeera on snapchatAl Jazeera is Middle Eastern news service based in Qatar that competes with the likes BBC World News. It seems to provide a balanced view of world news, perhaps modelled on the BBC, as opposed to the more propaganda based services along the lines of RT from Russia.

Balanced reporting on Middle Eastern affairs doesn't seem to go down well in Middle Eastern countries, who clearly would prefer something a little more under their control. So these other countries are putting a lot of pressure on Qatar to silence Al Jazeera.

The latest example of such censorship pressure is that the social network service, Snap has been censored in Saudi Arabia over its inclusion of Al Jazeera in its Discover App.

Snap has now complied with Saudi censorship demands to remove news outlet Al Jazeera's curated content from its Discover Publisher Channels in Saudi Arabia. Discover is Snap's digital media selection of content tailored to a young audience.

Al Jazeera is less than thrilled. Acting Director-General Mostefa Souag said in a statement:

We find Snapchat's action to be alarming and worrying. This sends a message that regimes and countries can silence any voice or platform they don't agree with by exerting pressure on the owners of social media platforms and content distribution companies,  This step is a clear attack on the rights of journalists and media professionals to report and cover stories freely from around the world.


 Updated: Offensive to Eurocrats...

EU bans greek cartoonists from exhibition celebrating 60 years of the European Union

Link Here 19th September 2017
greek mep on brexitjpg  
  Banned cartoon by Stelios Kouloglou

SYRIZA MEP Stelios Kouloglou has filed a complaint with the European Parliament President Antonio Tajani claiming that several sketches by Greek cartoonists will not be allowed to go on display in an exhibition that is being organized by the Greek politician and French MEP Patrick Le Hyaric, celebrating 60 years of the European Union.

According to Kouloglou, Greek cartoonists were censored, as 12 out of 28 their sketches were rejected because they allegedly violated European Union rules that prohibit offensive material appearing in EU exhibitions.

Offsite article: See the censored cartoons

16th September 2017 See  censored cartoons from rt.com

Update: And it turns out that the cartoon censor is a British MEP

19th September 2017 See  article from express.co.uk

It has emerged that an MEP involved in the organisation of the event, the British MEP Catherine Bearder, has rejected 12 of the drawings which are critical of the project. The not so Liberal Democrat member representing the south east of England is the Quaestor - Members of Parliament who deal with administrative matters directly affecting MEPs - in charge of the exhibition.


  Catholic News Service recommends Mother!...

Rated O, morally offensive

Link Here 17th September 2017
Poster Mother 2017 Darren Aronofsky Mother! is a 2017 USA horror mystery thriller by Darren Aronofsky.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Ed Harris. IMDb

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

'A film review on the Catholic News Service writes:

What's all too apparent, however, is that the film's treatment of religion -- one of the major themes it seeks to address -- is relentlessly negative and briefly sacrilegious.

The author's celebrated work is clearly meant as a stand-in for the Bible. But those on the receiving end of his revelation misunderstand and misuse it.

After a pregnancy troubled by the disorder surrounding her, moreover, Lawrence's title character gives birth to a son whose fate recalls the death of Jesus. In depicting his version of the Passion and the Eucharist, though, Aronofsky grotesquely caricatures both.

Viewers who shun Mother! on that basis will also be sparing themselves a two-hour ordeal and quite a bit of head-scratching.

The film contains blasphemous images, a negative portrayal of religion, much strong and sometimes gory violence, semi-graphic marital lovemaking, a glimpse of full nudity and occasional profanity and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive.


 Offsite Article: Searching for our true selves...

Link Here 17th September 2017
Google logo A study of Google searches suggests that we are not quite so politically correct on Google as we are in more public spaces

See article from newstatesman.com


 Offsite Article: Ministering social development...

Link Here 17th September 2017  full story: Games censorship in New Zealand...Gal*Gun video game banned
david shanks oflc Interview with a new chief censor: how to ban a video game in New Zealand

See article from thespinoff.co.nz


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