Censor Watch


  Billions of Cuts...

Sky Atlantic's broadcast of Billions suffers significant subtitle censorship

Link Here 26th April 2017

Billions - Season 1 DVD Not sure if you were aware of this, but Tuesday 18th's premiere of Season 2, Episode 9 (Sic Transit Imperium) of Sky Atlantic's imported US Showtime drama BILLIONS , had a heavily censored subtitle track for Deaf/Hard of Hearing viewers added to it. Every single swear-word was edited.

Fuck became heck, frick, frig, screw, freak, crap Fucking became sucking, fricking, frigging, freaking, freaky, fracking Shit became stuff, hell, crap Pussy became punk Bullshit became bullspit Goddam became gosh-darn, full-blown (yes, really!) Motherfucker became money-grabber Fuck this became forget this

The only rude words that survived intact were crap and ass .

Whoever did that episode's subtitling clearly had an issue with all the adult language. I've never seen anything like this, since the 1980's/90's days of films on ITV (like ALIENS or DIE HARD).


  But does it include censorship by political correctness?...

Reporters Without Borders reports on the latest international rankings of press freedom

Link Here 26th April 2017

Reporters without Borders logoThe 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reflects a world in which attacks on the media have become commonplace and strongmen are on the rise. We have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms 203 especially in democracies.

RSF's latest World Press Freedom Index highlights the danger of a tipping point in the state of media freedom, especially in leading democratic countries. (Read our analysis entitled Journalism weakened by democracy's erosion.) Democracies began falling in the Index in preceding years and now, more than ever, nothing seems to be checking that fall.

The obsession with surveillance and violations of the right to the confidentiality of sources have contributed to the continuing decline of many countries previously regarded as virtuous. This includes the United States (down 2 places at 43rd), the United Kingdom (down 2 at 40th), Chile (down 2 at 33rd), and New Zealand (down 8 at 13th).

Donald Trump's rise to power in the United States and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom were marked by high-profile media bashing, a highly toxic anti-media discourse that drove the world into a new era of post-truth, disinformation, and fake news.

rank - country - improvement in rank since 2016

1 Norway 2
2 Sweden 6
3 Finland -2
4 Denmark 0
5 Netherlands -3
6 Costa Rica 0
7 Switzerland 0
8 Jamaica 2
9 Belgium 4
10 Iceland 9
11 Austria 0
12 Estonia 2
13 New Zealand -8
14 Ireland -5
15 Luxembourg 0
16 Germany 0
17 Slovakia -5
18 Portugal 5
19 Australia 6
20 Surinam 2
21 Samoa 8
22 Canada -4
23 Czech Republic -2
24 Namibia -7
25 Uruguay -5
26 Ghana 0
27 Cabo Verde 5
28 Latvia -4
29 Spain 5
30 Cyprus -3
31 South Africa 8
32 Liechtenstein -4
33 Chile -2
34 Trinidad and Tobago 10
35 Andorra -2
36 Lithuania -1
37 Slovenia 3
38 OECS -8
39 France 6
40 United Kingdom -2
41 Belize -5
42 Burkina Faso 0
43 United States -2
44 Comores 6
45 Taiwan 6
46 Romania 3
47 Malta -1
48 Botswana -5
49 Tonga -12
50 Argentina 4
51 Papua New Guinea 4
52 Italy 25
53 Haiti 0
54 Poland -7
55 Mauritania -7
56 Mauritius 5
57 Madagascar -1
58 Senegal 7
59 Dominican Republic 3
60 Guyana -3
61 Niger -9
62 El Salvador -4
63 South Korea 7
64 Georgia 0
65 Bosnia-Herzegovina 3
66 Serbia -7
67 Fiji 13
68 Lesotho 5
69 Mongolia -9
70 Malawi -4
71 Hungary -4
72 Japan 0
73 Hong Kong -4
74 Croatia -11
75 Northern Cyprus 6
76 Albania 6
77 Guinea Bissau 2
78 Benin 0
79 Armenia -5
80 Moldova -4
81 Cote d'Ivoire 5
82 Kosovo 8
83 Tanzania -12
84 Bhutan 10
85 Sierra Leone -2
86 Togo 2
87 Seychelles 5
88 Greece 1
89 Kyrgyzstan -4
90 Peru -6
91 Israel 10
92 Nicaragua -17
93 Mozambique -6
94 Liberia -1
95 Kenya 0
96 Panama -5
97 Tunisia -1
98 East Timor 1
99 Lebanon -1
100 Nepal 5
101 Guinea 7
102 Ukraine 5
103 Brazil 1
104 Kuwait -1
105 Ecuador 4
106 Montenegro 0
107 Bolivia -10
108 Gabon -8
109 Bulgaria 4
110 Paraguay 1
111 Macedonia 7
112 Uganda -10
113 Central African Republic -3
114 Zambia 0
115 Congo-Brazzaville 0
116 Mali 6
117 Maldives -5
118 Guatemala 3
119 United Arab Emirates 0
120 Afghanistan 0
121 Chad 6
122 Nigeria -6
123 Qatar -6
124 Indonesia 6
125 Angola -2
126 Oman -1
127 Philippines 11
128 Zimbabwe -4
129 Colombia 5
130 Cameroon -4
131 Burma 12
132 Cambodia -4
133 Morocco / Western Sahara -2
134 Algeria -5
135 Palestine -3
136 India -3
137 Venezuela 2
138 Jordan -3
139 Pakistan 8
140 Honduras -3
141 Sri Lanka 0
142 Thailand -6
143 Gambia 2
144 Malaysia 2
145 South Sudan -5
146 Bangladesh -2
147 Mexico 2
148 Russia 0
149 Tajikistan 1
150 Ethiopia -8
151 Singapore 3
152 Swaziland 1
153 Belarus 4
154 Democratic Republic of Congo -2
155 Turkey -4
156 Brunei -1
157 Kazakhstan 3
158 Iraq 0
159 Rwanda 2
160 Burundi -4
161 Egypt -2
162 Azerbaijan 1
163 Libya 1
164 Bahrain -2
165 Iran 4
166 Yemen 4
167 Somalia 0
168 Saudi Arabia -3
169 Uzbekistan -3
170 Laos 3
171 Equatorial Guinea -3
172 Djibouti 0
173 Cuba -2
174 Sudan 0
175 Vietnam 0
176 China 0
177 Syria 0
178 Turkmenistan 0
179 Eritrea 1
180 North Korea -1


 Updated: CBFC bollox unveiled...

Indian film censor's ban on a woman oriented film overturned by appeals tribunal

Link Here 26th April 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Lipstick Under My Burkha 2016 Alankrita Shrivastava The Indian Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has directed the Central Board Film Certification (CBFC) to grant an adults-only A certificate to the Hindi film Lipstick Under My Burkha with cuts.

Upholding the appeal filed by the film's director Alankrita Srivastava and producer Prakash Jha, the Tribunal noted that there was no violation of guidelines. Neither the visuals nor the dialogues in the film were contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups, as claimed by the CBFC. the tribunal also refuted other CBFC claims by noting: There was no targeting of women of certain community or religion.

The Tribunal explained that the examining committee and revising committee of the CBFC misdirected themselves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film was women oriented. Tribunal head Justice Manmohan Sarin said:

There cannot be any embargo on a film being women oriented or containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women.

The entire matter has to be considered in the perspective of the theme of the film, the story, the characters and the overall impact of the film. As a matter of general approach if the aspect of sexual desires and their expression is sensitively handled without bringing coarseness, vulgarity or obscenity, pandering prurient tendencies, then it is not to be disallowed.

During hearing of the matter, the appellant offered voluntary cuts or reduction in the length of the sex scenes or others which may have been considered unduly long or unnecessary.

However all is not freedom and enlightenment at the FCAT, the tribunal suggested that the sex scenes should by censored as should one occurrence of an 'inappropriate' word.


 Update: Broadcast without consent from some viewers...

A few complaints about a marital rape storyline in Emmerdale

Link Here 26th April 2017  full story: Emmerdale...Viewer whinges about ITV soap
Emmerdale Farm volume 5 DVD Ofcom has received 62 complaints over Emmerdale scenes which saw the character Pierce Harris rape his wife Rhona Goskirk. The scenes, which aired in an episode which started at 7pm, showed Pierce being extremely aggressive and, while the camera panned away so that the scenes were only implied, Rhona's screams for Pierce to stop made it clear what was happening.

A spokesperson for the TV censor Ofcom said: We will assess these complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate. A phrase which usually suggests that the complaints are already on their way to the litter bin.

Emmerdale have worked closely with Rape Crisis and Women's Aid throughout the preparation and execution of the storyline and an Emmerdale spokesperson said:

Emmerdale has a history of raising awareness of difficult subjects and consequently Rhona and Pierce's story was thoroughly researched and carefully signposted prior to transmission including a warning advising viewers of a shocking assault. In accordance with rigorous compliance regulations, the drama was intentionally implicit rather than explicit.


 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 66 Part 1...

Link Here 26th April 2017
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs DVD The classification of remakes of children's cartoons

See article from bbfc.co.uk


 Update: An unwanted censor speaks about suicide and internet TV...

Outgoing New Zealand censor whinges at the government for slow progress in granting censorship powers over Netflix

Link Here 23rd April 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in New Zealand...New Zealand considers internet blocking
thirteen reasons whyNew Zealand's outgoing chief censor has urged the Government to hurry up and deliver the law change it proposed on streaming services like Netflix.

Eight months since the Government announced a plan to update broadcasting rules, including making online streaming services subject to classification and content standards, chief censor Andrew Jack has revealed his frustration at what he says has been a total lack of progress.

Jack spoke to the Herald on Sunday in the final week of his six-year tenure at the top of the classification office and cited concerns around pornography as well as how issues like suicide, rape and sexual violence are being used by entertainment companies for commercial gain - beyond the reach of regulation. He whinged:

Nothing has actually happened, just nothing. And I have to say that is a source of significant frustration. We know some of this material is causing harm, we know the measures which can improve the situation, but nothing has actually happened.

The only entities winning out of the current situation are the entities selling depictions of sexual violence as entertainment.

In my view, you can't just announce you're going to do something, and not do it.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry said the Government intends to refer the bill to a select committee this year. She said:

Work on the bill has been fairly complex. It needs to be future-proofed in an era of rapid technological change, as well as being practical for existing providers and not putting barriers to the entry of new services.

In his final days as chief censor, a role he wanted to continue but was unsuccessful in seeking a third term, Jack said there were other aspects to consider, specifically around pornography and depictions of suicide and sexual violence. Jack said there was absolutely a concern over pornography becoming an unwelcome form of sex education in young generations, though more research needed to be done to understand what exactly young Kiwis are consuming online.

Jack spoke of complains about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why:

I can't talk specifically about the series you talked about because the classification office has called that in and is in the process of deciding whether that needs to be subject to a restriction or a warning on it.

Historically as a country we've tried the 'let's not talk about it' approach [to suicide] which has not been successful. We've an appalling rate of youth suicide.

Where those issues are dealt with in a positive way, it's a really good thing. But it's where you get depictions of suicide which are instructional, or two-dimensional or suggest it's a viable option for dealing with some of the tribulations life sometimes deals at you.


 Offsite Article: A dangerous tweet...

Link Here 23rd April 2017
twitter 2015 logo Jail for a joke: student's case puts free speech under spotlight in Spain

See article from theguardian.com


 Offsite Article: Slitheen tool smuggles browsers into cyber-Tardis...

Link Here 23rd April 2017
Doctor Who 5" Action Figure - Slitheen Doctor Who-inspired proxy transmogrifies politically sensitive web to avoid government censorship

See article from theregister.co.uk


  A year of worthy protection from fraud and worthless PC easy offence...

ASA and CAP publish their joint annual report

Link Here 21st April 2017
asa 2017 The Annual Report 2016 reveals how our work has changed and how ASA adapted to a fast changing advertising landscape where nearly half of the work now involves regulating online ‘advertiser-owned’ ads , material that just five years ago wasn’t covered by the rules. 

2016 marked the five year anniversary of the ASA and CAP extending the advertising rules to cover companies’ and other organisations’ own ad claims on their own websites and social media spaces, for example on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter.  The Annual Report reveals the impact of that change.  In the last five years:

  • The ASA has resolved 41,383 complaints about 36,872 online ‘advertiser-owned’ ads
  • Those ads accounted for 1 in 3 complained about to the ASA
  • 88% of complaints about online ‘advertiser-owned’ ads were about misleadingness, compared to 73% for complaints across all media.

The report highlights the regulatory challenges the changing advertising landscape poses, with the lines between offline and online and between paid-for, ‘owned’ and ‘earned’ advertising becoming increasingly blurred.  And the report shows how technological change has influenced the ASA’s strategy to have more impact and be more proactive.  

Key figures for 2016 included: 

  • The ASA resolved 28,521 complaints about 16,999 ads
  • 4,824 ads were changed or withdrawn as a result of ASA and CAP action (a record year and a 5% increase on 2015)
  • CAP delivered 281,061 pieces of training and advice to industry to help companies and organisations get their ads right (another record year and a 10% increase on 2015)
  • The ASA and CAP delivered strong enforcement, with 8 websites taken down, one successful prosecution of an alternative therapy provider following referral to our legal backstop, Trading Standards, and two arrests pending prosecution


 Update: Blocking unblocking...

Russian government gets nasty with internet censorship circumvention services

Link Here 21st April 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russia flagThe Russian government is preparing to scale-up its war on people accessing blocked webssites by hitting services that provide workarounds. A new bill developed by the government requires VPNs and other anonymizing services to stop providing access to blocked domains. If they do not, they themselves will also be blocked. Search engines also face sanctions for linking to banned sites.

When it comes to blocking websites, Russia is quickly emerging as a world leader. Tens of thousands  of sites are now blocked in the country on copyright infringement and a wide range of other censorship grounds.

Of course, Russian citizens are not always prepared to be constrained by their government, so large numbers of people regularly find ways to circumvent ISP blockades. The tools and methods deployed are largely the same as those used in the West, including VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and dedicated services such as Tor.

To counter this defiance, the Russian government has been considering legislation to tackle sites, tools and services that provide Internet users with ways to circumvent blockades. According to local news outlet Vedomosti , that has now resulted in a tough new bill.

Russia's plan is to issue a nationwide ban on systems and software that allow Internet users to bypass website blockades previously approved by telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor. This means that if a VPN, proxy or similar tool unblocks torrent site RuTracker, for example, it will be breaking the law. As a result, it too will find itself on Russia's banned site list.

The publication says it has confirmed the bill's existence with a federal official and several Internet service provider sources.

As previously reported , Russia also has search engines in its sights. It wants to prevent links to banned sites appearing in search results, claiming that these encourage people to access banned material. The new bill reportedly lays out a new framework which will force search engines to remove such links. Failing to do so could result in fines of up to $12,400 per breach, clearly a significant issue for companies such as Google and local search giant Yandex.


 Offsite Article: Tory porn censors...

Link Here 21st April 2017  full story: UK Governments Consults on Age Checks for Porn...Government proposes censoring porn websites that are not age verified
The Independent What could happen after the government crackdown on online pornography

See article from independent.co.uk


 Update: Ex Object...

Extreme feminist campaign group officially wound up

Link Here 21st April 2017  full story: Obscene Private Chat...Extending OPA to private internet chat
object logoObjectNow Ltd, the company used by the extreme feminist campaign group Object, has been officially wound up.


  Shot down...

Advert censor ludicrously bans bar glassware advert for humorous references to the Karma Sutra

Link Here 20th April 2017

karma shotra A video ad on the online drinks retailer 31Dover.com's website and on Youtube, seen in February 2017, opened on a blurred background and title text The Karma Shotra appeared. Bar paraphernalia including glasses, bottles and a variety of alcohol products were then shown with doodle drawings such as arms and faces overlaid on them. These characters were shown smiling and touching each other in a sexual manner. Subtitles appeared throughout such as The Cork Screw and The Rim Job , each followed by the characters engaging in sexual activity.

Two complainants, who believed the ad strongly linked alcohol to seduction, sexual activity and sexual success, objected that the ad was socially irresponsible and breached the Code.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA considered that the video as featured on the advertiser's own website and on their YouTube channel was an ad which fell within the remit of the CAP Code. The video featured alcohol products and referred throughout to the website URL where products could be purchased and was therefore clearly directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods and services provided by 31Dover.com.

We considered that the ad strongly linked alcohol to sexual activity. The ad plainly features sexual innuendo, sexual references and sexual activity in association with the promotion of alcohol products and 31Dover.com. We did not consider that because there was no human and alcohol interaction and there were no specific alcohol products or brands featured that this impression would have been eclipsed. Because the ad linked alcohol with sexual activity, we concluded it was socially irresponsible and breached the code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 18.1 18.1 Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise. For example, they should not encourage excessive drinking. Care should be taken not to exploit the young, the immature or those who are mentally or socially vulnerable. and 18.5 18.5 Marketing communications must neither link alcohol with seduction, sexual activity or sexual success nor imply that alcohol can enhance attractiveness. (Alcohol).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told 31Dover.com to prepare future advertising in a socially responsible way and not to link alcohol to sexual activity in their future marketing communications.