A few easily offended Argentines got wound up by a joke during the filming a Top Gear special.
Locals took offence at the H982 FKL number plate on a Porsche driven by Jeremy Clarkson, believing it was a reference to the 1982 Falklands conflict.
Argentina's ambassador to the UK, Alicia Castro, complained about the joke but the complaint was turned down by the BBC. Now she has resumed her torade against the joke by writing to the BBC Trust expressing discontent with how the number plate
fiasco was handled. She claimed Clarkson's behaviour fell well below BBC's editorial values and standards and called for a fresh investigation.
In an interview with the Radio Times Richard Hammond said:
In society as a whole, we love to be offended and have a scapegoat. But at Top Gear we're the first to put our hands up and say we pitched it wrong. We have apologised. We're not in the business of genuinely upsetting or offending anyone. We're in the business of entertainment, and if it fails to entertain, it's wrong. If the public says we stepped over the line, then we have.
The firing of a longtime editorial cartoonist at El Universal newspaper for drawings critical of Venezuela's government caused a protest from former colleagues against the censorship of opposition viewpoints.
Cartoonist Rayma Suprani's firing this
week reflects the country's increasing censorship, according to a statement issued by staff at the newspaper:
We're sorry that (Rayma) is no longer with us and we see (her firing) as one of the major costs that
the new ownership is paying for trying to adapt to an editorial line favourable to the government.
Suprani sent a message over social media saying she was let go because her cartoons made the Maduro government uncomfortable. Her last sketch, published on Sept. 17, showed two medical charts one atop the other. One was labelled
Health and tracked a patient's normal heart beat. The other was labelled Venezuela's Health and showed a flat line.
In major border cities, gangsters essentially edit the local news, ie censor it. Besieged residents witness a wild gun battle in broad daylight but when they pick up a newspaper the next day, they won't find a word about it. See
article from washingtonpost.com
Religious extremists have succeeded in forcing the organizers of Myanmar's Human Rights Film Festival to withdraw the screening of a documentary about a friendship between a Buddhist and a Muslim.
The second Human Rights, Human Dignity film festival
was to have featured the 20-minute documentary The Open Sky , which was singled out by extremists as part of a Muslim conspiracy to dominate Buddhist-majority Myanmar. The film made by young film students depicted the unlikely friendship of a
Buddhist woman and a Muslim woman amid the communal violence which gripped the town of Meikhtila last year.
Min Htin Ko Ko Kyi, one of the organizers of the film festival, explained that The Open Sky was withdrawn from the event to avoid further
conflict and hatred among the Burmese.
An article criticizing the film went viral on the Internet when the film festival opened on June 15. It accused global Muslim groups of funding the film to promote Islam. It also accused human rights groups
of being biased against Buddhists.
The organizers then received threats via social media, warning that angry Burmese would destroy the movie theater and kill the director if the documentary was shown to the public. The commenters also warned that
they would start another riot in protest to the event.
United States Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, one of the sponsors of the event, condemned the online threats made against the festival organizers. This narrow, fearful mindset runs contrary
to everything this festival is about. Everyone who values the meaning of this event must oppose the use of threat and intimidation to suppress speech and censor artists.
The Supreme Court of Venezuala has instituted a ban on pornographic and other sexual content in the nation's media. The court's constitutional branch ordered the elimination of all images of explicit or implicit sexual content in advertisements in
print media of open access to girls, boys and teens.
The ruling applies to ads that promote services linked to the exploitation of sex, such as phone sex lines placed in general access media, newspapers, and billboards.
comes as the result of a case brought by Venezuelan citizen Gilberto Rua in 2009. Rua petitioned the court to order a daily newspaper, Diario Meridiano CA, to cease the publishing of pornographic classified ads in newspapers and magazines for the
Rua claimed that when soft porn is offered in the general access media regularly, children are likely to be exposed to it, encouraging the sexualization of children and teens and leading to promiscuity, acceptance of
unbiblical and unhealthy morals, and early pregnancy.
The ruling also encourages the nation's Telecommunications Commission to monitor song lyrics and ensure that songs with questionable lyrics are reserved for hours when children will not be
likely to be exposed to them.
Venezuela's Supreme Court has order the country's media to censor supposedly sexually suggestive content on TV, billboards, and in music.
The ruling by Venezuela's top court came in a case filed by a citizen representing his underage children who wanted to end
pornographic ads in newspapers and magazines for the general public. The court ordered:
The elimination of all images of explicit or implicit sexual content in advertisements in print media of open access to
girls, boys and teens, relating to ... activity that promotes services linked to the exploitation of sex.
As an example, the Tribunal mentions a Venezuelan sports daily that runs ads of models who are nude, semi-nude or in
underwear in suggestive poses advertising sex phone chat lines.
The court also calls on the Venezuela's Telecommunications Commission to monitor the content of songs of all music genres to make sure they are acceptable for all users, and that if necessary songs with racy lyrics be played on air only during determined hours. And it orders groups that defend the rights of children and teens to control what minors can see and play in video game arcade halls and on the Internet.
Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico's capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.
Protesters carrying signs that read
No to Censorship and Freedom of Expression marched to the Senate building after organizing the demonstration on social networks.
One of the most controversial articles in the proposed law allows the government to request that
internet providers block access to certain content, applications or services, including cutting off cellphone service or Internet access if it considers there is a risk to public safety.
If they can block Internet and cellphone signals
whenever the government wants that will leave us very vulnerable and go against our own security, said protester Carla Sandoval.
Sports brand Adidas have accepted a request from Brazil's miserable tourism board to ban two T-shirts it marketed ahead of this year's World Cup because they make jokey reference to Brazil's well established sex industry.
One shirt shows a
bikini-clad woman with open arms on a sunny Rio de Janeiro beach under the word-play Looking to Score. The other has an I love Brazil heart resembling the upside-down buttocks of a woman wearing a thong bikini bottom.
designs touched a nerve in Brazil, where people often complain about foreign stereotypes of Brazilian sensuality, even when there is an underlying truth to it.
They also irked Brazil's government, which is campaigning aggressively to shed the
country's reputation for sexy fun.
For the last month, Venezuela has been caught up in widespread protests against its government. The Maduro administration has responded by cracking down on what it claims as being foreign interference online. As that social unrest has escalated, the
state's censorship has widened: from the removal of television stations from cable networks, to the targeted blocking of social networking services, and the announcement of new government powers to censor and monitor online. Last night, EFF received
reports from Venezuelans of the shutdown of the state Internet provider in San Cristo'bal, a regional capital in the west of the country.
The censorship began early last week when the authorities removed a Columbian news network ,
NTN24, from Venezuelan cable, and simultaneously published a reminder that TV stations could be in violation of a law that forbids the incitement or promotion of hatred , or foment citizens' anxiety or alter public order.
Venezuelan Internet users on a variety of ISPs lost connectivity last Thursday to an IP address owned by the content delivery network, Edgecast. That address provided access to, among other services, Twitter's images at pbs.twimg.com.
A separate block prevented Venezuelans from reaching the text hosting site, Pastebin .
No official explanation for the loss of access to these general purpose communication platforms was given by either the government or the ISPs
(the country's largest ISP, CANTV , is government-owned).
William Castillo , the director of CONATEL , the country's media regulator, later claimed that Internet censorship was necessary to fight off online attacks. He said that
his organization had blocked several links where public sites were being attacked.
Last week also saw the Venezuelan government prepare more systematic monitoring and blocking online. The country's official gazette
published last Thursday the details of a new government institution , CESPPA ( The Strategic Center for Security and Protection of the Country ). Among its broad powers, CESPPA can unilaterally classify and censor any information it sees as a
threat to national security. Its structure includes two new Directorates: the Directorate of Information and Technology Studies, which will be in charge of processing and analyzing information from the web ; and the Directorate for Social
Research, intended to neutralize and defeat destabilization plans against the nation . The Center will also provide for a network of situation rooms to be placed in all public institutions (the state ISP, CANTV, is defined as a public
When first announced in October, CESPPA was criticized for being an unconstitutional attack on press freedom. With its new details revealed, it's clear that it will also have a wide mandate to monitor and control all
online communications in the defence of the state.
Even before CESPPA can flex its new powers, however, the Venezuelan government appears to have taken the most drastic step yet against its citizens' free expression online.
Starting late Tuesday night, reports reached EFF of the shutdown of CANTV's Internet access in areas of San Cristobal, the capital of the state of Tachira , and one center of the protests. Venezuelan technologists have been organizing online to spread
information about bypassing censorship and restoring connectivity via the Twitter account @accesolibreve .
With shifting excuses for increasingly heavy-handed Internet controls, the government is undermining its own legitimacy
abroad and among its own citizens. The censorship and blackouts must end.
A few from Chile' s Jewish community are 'outraged' over a Palestinian soccer club's jersey that depicts all of Israel as part of the number one on the back of the team's football shirts.
Club Deportivo Palestino of Chile released its new
jersey that includes the number "1" in the shape of Israel and the Palestinian territories, supposedly implying all of the land is Palestinian, The Associated Press reported.
The president of Chile 's Jewish Community, Gerardo
Gorodischer , is demanding an apology from the club and asking Chile 's soccer association to pull the jerseys.