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Italy ends censorship of films on moral and religious grounds...

Filmmakers will instead self classify their own movies with age ratings


Link Here 7th April 2021

Born in 1914 at the dawn of cinema, Italy's censorship law felled some cinematic giants including Last Tango in Paris , but is now set to be awarded a 'rejected' rating, as unsuitable for a modern audience.

Film censorship has been abolished, announced culture minister Dario Franceschini in a statement:

The system of controls and interventions that still allow the state to intervene in the freedom of artists has been definitively ended.

As a result, it will now no longer be possible to block the release of a new film or demand edits for moral or religious reasons.

Filmmakers will instead classify their own movies with an age rating. Their decisions will be audited by a new commission made up of 49 members chosen from the film industry, but will be experts in education and animal rights.

According to a survey by Cinecensura , an online exhibition promoted by the culture ministry, 274 Italian films, 130 American movies and 321 from other countries have been banned in Italy since 1944. More than 10,000 were cut in some way, including works by directors such as Federico Fellini. However the last major case of censorship was in 1998 with the blasphemous and grotesque Toto Who Lived Twice , which was strongly criticised by Catholics.

 

 

Sexual Expression is Being Banned Online...

Free Speech Coalition Europe petitions the EU about considering the rights of sex workers in upcoming internet censorship laws


Link Here29th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
The Free Speech Coalition Europe is a group representing the adult trade. It has organised a petition to The Members of the European Parliament of the IMCO, JURI and LIBE Committees on the subject of how new EU internet censorship laws will impact sex workers. The petition reads:

10 Steps to a Safer Digital Space that Protects the Rights of Sexuality Professionals, Artists and Educators

"Online platforms have become integral parts of our daily lives, economies, societies and democracies."

Not our words but those of the European Commission. And after more than a year in the grips of a global pandemic, this statement rings truer than ever before. So why are some of society's already most marginalised people being excluded from these necessary spaces?

Sexual Expression is Being Banned Online

Sex in almost all its guises is being repressed in the public online sphere and on social media like never before. Accounts focused on sexuality -- from sexuality professionals, adult performers and sex workers to artists, activists and LGBTIQ folks, publications and organisations -- are being deleted without warning or explanation and with little regulation by private companies that are currently able to enforce discriminatory changes to their terms and conditions without explanation or accountability to those affected by these changes. Additionally, in many cases it is impossible for the users to have their accounts reinstated -- accounts that are often vitally linked to the users' ability to generate income, network, organise and share information.

Unpacking the Digital Services Act (DSA)

At the same time as sexual expression is being erased from digital spaces, new legislation is being passed in the European Union to safeguard internet users' online rights. The European Commission's Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act encompass upgraded rules governing digital services with their focus, in part, building a safer and more open digital space. These rules will apply to online intermediary services used by millions every day, including major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Amongst other things, they advocate for greater transparency from platforms, better-protected consumers and empowered users.

With the DSA promising to "shape Europe's digital future" and "to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected", it's time to demand that it's a future that includes those working, creating, organising and educating in the realm of sexuality. As we consider what a safer digital space can and should look like, it's also time to challenge the pervasive and frankly puritanical notion that sexuality -- a normal and healthy part of our lives -- is somehow harmful, shameful or hateful.

How the DSA Can Get It Right

The DSA is advocating for "effective safeguards for users, including the possibility to challenge platforms' content moderation decisions". In addition to this, the Free Speech Coalition Europe demands the following:

  • Platforms need to put in place anti-discrimination policies and train their content moderators so as to avoid discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, or profession -- the same community guidelines need to apply as much to an A-list celebrity or mainstream media outlet as they do to a stripper or queer collective;

  • Platforms must provide the reason to the user when a post is deleted or account is restricted or deleted. Shadowbanning is an underhanded means for suppressing users' voices. Users should have the right to be informed when they are shadowbanned and to challenge the decision;

  • Platforms must allow for the user to request a revision of a content moderation's decision, platforms must ensure moderation actions take place in the users' location, rather than arbitrary jurisdictions which may have different laws or custom; e.g., a user in Germany cannot be banned by reports & moderation in the middle east, and must be reviewed by the European moderation team;

  • Decision-making on notices of reported content as specified in Article 14 of the DSA should not be handled by automated software, as these have proven to delete content indiscriminately. A human should place final judgement.

  • The notice of content as described in Article 14.2 of the DSA should not immediately hold a platform liable for the content as stated in Article 14.3, since such liability will entice platforms to delete indiscriminately after report for avoiding such liability, which enables organized hate groups to mass report and take down users;

  • Platforms must provide for a department (or, at the very least, a dedicated contact person) within the company for complaints regarding discrimination or censorship;

  • Platforms must provide a means to indicate whether you are over the age of 18 as well as providing a means for adults to hide their profiles and content from children (e.g. marking profiles as 18+); Platforms must give the option to mark certain content as "sensitive";

  • Platforms must not reduce the features available to those who mark themselves as adult or adult-oriented (i.e. those who have marked their profiles as 18+ or content as "sensitive"). These profiles should then appear as 18+ or "sensitive" when accessed without a login or without set age, but should not be excluded from search results or appear as "non-existing";

  • Platforms must set clear, consistent and transparent guidelines about what content is acceptable, however, these guidelines cannot outright ban users focused on adult themes; e.g., you could ban highly explicit pornography (e.g., sexual intercourse videos that show penetration), but you'd still be able to post an edited video that doesn't show penetration;

  • Platforms cannot outright ban content intended for adult audiences, unless a platform is specifically for children, or >50% of their active users are children.

 

 

Protecting cartoon children...

France blocks access to hentai website


Link Here22nd November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection
The French government has blocked access to the website of the popular hentai outlet Nhentai, with a new government redirect page warning that the site contain images of child porn.

News of this ban was first reported on November 19th , when multiple French citizens took to social media to report that their attempts to access the page were being denied.

According to the generic block page, users were being redirected to this page by the Ministry of the Interior because you have attempted to connect to a site containing image of child pornography, an act which was being done in order to protect the dignity of the [cartoon] victims of abuse seen in the images and protect the internet users and especially the very young, who did not want to find these images.

The French government also noted that access to the website was banned so that the person who is trying to view this images can be made aware of the gravity of his attraction, in order to fight against the sites that produce these images.

 

 

Surveillance backdoors...

The European Commission decides that EU privacy regulations will not apply to the surveillance of internet users when this is aimed at preventing child abuse


Link Here14th September 2020
The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on a temporary derogation from certain provisions of the ePrivacy Directive as regards the use of technologies by number-independent interpersonal communications providers for the processing of personal data and other data for the purpose of combatting child sexual abuse online .

A growing number of online services providers have been using specific technological tools on a voluntary basis to detect child sex abuse online in their networks. The law-enforcement agencies all across the EU and globally have been confronted with an unprecedented spike in reports of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, which go beyond their capacity to address the volumes now circulating, as they focus their efforts on imagery depicting the youngest and most vulnerable victim. Online services providers have therefore been instrumental in the fight against child sexual abuse online.

MEP David Lega commented:

I welcome this legislative proposal that allows online services providers to keep making use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, as a step forward in the right direction to fight against child sexual abuse online. The cooperation with the private sector is essential if we want to succeed in eradicating child sexual abuse online, identifying the perpetrators and the victims. It is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that online services providers are held responsible and prescribe a legal obligation for them to make use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, therefore enabling them to ensure that their platforms are not used for illegal activities.


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