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Poles apart...

Malaysia's film censors ban for Hustlers for excessive obscene content


Link Here 21st September 2019
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
Hustlers is a 2019 USA crime comedy thriller by Lorene Scafaria.
Starring Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez and Julia Stiles. BBFC link IMDb

Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

Hustlers was banned by Malaysia's film censors of the LPF because of its excessive obscene content. The board said naked breasts, erotic dances and scenes featuring drugs made it not suitable for public screening.

And for comparison the film was uncut and BBFC 15 rated in the UK for sexualised nudity, strong sex references, language, drug misuse.

 

 

Custard pie violence...

Indonesian TV censor ludicrously gets wound up by cartoon violence in Spongebob Squarepants


Link Here 16th September 2019
Children's cartoon Spongebob Squarepants has fallen afoul of Indonesia's broadcasting watchdog. Again.

As reported by Kompas,  the Indonesian Broadcast Commission (KPI) sent a written warning to local channel GTV for broadcasting scenes that allegedly portrayed violence in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

In the warning, KPI said that the movie, first broadcasted by GTV on August 6, portrayed scenes of violence that were inappropriate for children, particularly as it was aired during a time slot reserved for content suitable for family viewing.

In addition, [the movie was aired again] on August 22, 2019 starting at 3:06pm, which contained scenes such as throwing pie at someone's face and hitting someone with a block of wood, KPI Deputy Chairman Mulyo Hadi Purnomo said.

At any rate, KPI ruled that GTV violated several articles in the Broadcasting Code of Conduct and Program Standards (P3-SPS), including the prohibition of content that might encourage children to learn about inappropriate behavior. It said the TV station only received a written warning because this was its first offense of its kind.

 

 

Chinese AI to instil dumb obedience...

Internet censors demand that AI and algorithms point users towards 'mainstream values


Link Here 12th September 2019
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
China's internet censor has ordered online AI algorithms to promote 'mainstream values':
  • Systems should direct users to approved material on subjects like Xi Jinping Thought, or which showcase the country's economic and social development, Cyberspace Administration of China says
  • They should not recommend content that undermines national security, or is sexually suggestive, promotes extravagant lifestyles, or hypes celebrity gossip and scandals

The Cyberspace Administration of China released its draft regulations on managing the cyberspace ecosystem on Tuesday in another sign of how the ruling Communist Party is increasingly turning to technology to cement its ideological control over society.

The proposals will be open for public consultation for a month and are expected to go into effect later in the year.

The latest rules point to a strategy to use AI-driven algorithms to expand the reach and depth of the government's propaganda and ideology.

The regulations state that information providers on all manner of platforms -- from news and social media sites, to gaming and e-commerce -- should strengthen the management of recommendation lists, trending topics, hot search lists and push notifications. The regulations state:

Online information providers that use algorithms to push customised information [to users] should build recommendation systems that promote mainstream values, and establish mechanisms for manual intervention and override.

 

 

Censorship on Demand...

New Zealand government to legislate to require age ratings on Internet TV


Link Here 11th September 2019

The New Zealand government has decided to legislate to require Internet TV services to provide age ratings using a self rating scheme overseen by the country's film censor.

Movies and shows available through internet television services such as Netflix and Lightbox will need to display content classifications in a similar way to films and shows released to cinemas and on DVD, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin has announced.

The law change, which the Government plans to introduce to Parliament in November, would also apply to other companies that sell videos on demand, including Stuff Pix.

The tighter rules won't apply to websites designed to let people upload and share videos, so videos on YouTube's main site won't need to display classifications, but videos that YouTube sells through its rental service will.

In a compromise, internet television and video companies will be able to self-classify their content using a rating tool being developed by the Chief Censor, or use their own systems to do that if they first have them accredited by the Classification Office.

The Film and Literature Board of Review will be able to review classifications, as they do now for cinema movies and DVDs.

The Government decided against requiring companies to instead submit videos to the film censor for classification, heeding a Cabinet paper warning that this would result in hold-ups.

 

 

Shooting messengers...

35 people get into trouble with New Zealand police over Brenton Tarrant's mosque murder video


Link Here 3rd September 2019
Full story: Siege of Kalima...Tunisia police harass and close radio station
35 people in New Zealand have been charged by police for sharing and possession of Brenton Tarrant's Christchurch terrorist attack video.

As of August 21st, 35 people have been charged in relation to the video, according to information released under the Official Information Act. At least 10 of the charges are against minors, which have now been referred to the Youth Court.

Under New Zealand law, knowingly possessing or distributing objectionable material is a serious offence with a maximum jail term of 14 years.

So far, nine people have been issued warnings, while 14 have been prosecuted for their involvement.

 

 

Fake news hub...

Thailand outlines its 'fake news' internet censorship centre set for launch in November 2019


Link Here 2nd September 2019
Full story: Intenet Snooping in Thailand...Threatening that Facebook users should be careful what they 'like'
Thailand's Ministry of a Digital Economy and Society plans to open a 'Fake News' Center by November 1st at the latest. The minister has said that the centre will focus on four categories of internet censorship.

Digital Minister Puttipong Punnakanta, said that the coordinating committee of the Fake News Center has set up four subcommittees to screen the various categories of news which might 'disrupt public peace and national security':

  • natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, dam breaks and tsunamis;
  • economics, the financial and banking sector;
  • health products, hazardous items and illegal goods,
  • and of course, government policies.

The Fake News Center will analyse, verify and clarify news items and distribute its findings via its own website, Facebook and Line (a Whatsapp like messaging service that is the dominant in much of Asia).

The committee meeting considered protocols to be used and plans to consult with representatives of major social media platforms and all cellphone service providers. It will encourage them to take part in the delivery of countermeasures to expose fake news.

 

 

Everyone's a winner...

New Zealand's OFLC reports that loot boxes in video games are evolving to something fairer


Link Here 2nd September 2019
Full story: Loot boxes in video games...Worldwide action against monetisation of video games
Loot boxes in video games have come under fire as method of monetising games. Complainers have attacked them as if they were casino gambling, surely an unjust accusation but nevertheless loot boxes can be a rather ruthless way to extract money.

Now the films censors of New Zealand's OFLC are reporting on an evolution towards fairer monetisation methods. The OFLC  speaks about developments in a blog post:

You don't know what you are paying for and if you don't get the item you want then you can end of buying a bunch of them.

People have been getting pretty annoyed about this for a while and pressure built up . In early August, a group of companies that make game consoles announced a policy where they will only allow games that show players their chances of getting items from loot boxes . This chance is commonly called a drop rate by those who talk about video games, as it is the rate at which items will drop. The announcement means that, all things going to plan, games that are published on the PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch will show drop rates from 2020 onwards.

Since the announcement last week, a few game developers have begun removing loot boxes from their games entirely . Their solution is to replace loot boxes with boxes where players can see what is in them. Last week, popular game Apex Legends removed loot boxes less than a week after adding them in.

Players generally view the policy announcement as a positive step forward, although some commentators have pointed out that showing the drop rate doesn't change the dodgy nature of loot boxes, as they are still based entirely on random chance.

The policy appears to be based off regulations that were in place in China until recently, which also required games to show drop rates. Since then, Chinese regulations have intensified, placing limits on how many loot boxes players can open in a day and making games increase the drop rate with each box opened. These regulations have proven effective in giving developers pause. Insiders now recommend moving away from loot box mechanics altogether in the Chinese market .

The fact that China felt the need to strengthen its regulations lends credence to the fact that simply showing players drop rates may not fully manage concerns around loot boxes.

More troubling is the revelation that game publishers previously offered to increase drop rates for people whom they paid to open loot boxes on video. By changing the drop rates, viewers are given an inflated idea of what they are likely to get from loot boxes. This suggestion of false advertising taps into why a lot of players dislike loot boxes and think that they are exploitative and anti-consumer.

These changes show that the industry is starting to solidify a focused strategy in order to deal with the potential harms from loot boxes. The space remains fast-moving. I will do my best to keep on top of it and let you know about more developments as they arise.

 

 

Forever Animal...

Art Exhibition cancelled in South Korea over supposed indecency


Link Here 1st September 2019
On August 1 2019, a South Korean exhibition of drawings and art films was cancelled at the Huam-Garok gallery due to supposed indecency .

Rebecca Goyette's Forever Animal solo exhibition, described by the artist as being about sexual sovereignty, pleasure and healing through connection includes feminist depictions of women, nudity and sexuality.

According to Goyette, she had collaborated with Seoul-based curator Yeu Ryang Choi of Yeu & Me since 2017 and together agreed to show her works to a public South Korean audience at Huam-Garok. Whilst the gallery managers had agreed to show the works, the gallery owner cancelled the show on alleged indecency grounds.

In response to viewing the works, Goyette explains that the owner reacted very negatively and censored my show, stating it was bad for kids.

Goyette states that Yeu Ryang Choi has proceeded with a lawsuit against the gallery on the grounds of contract breach.

 

 

Offsite Article: Hong Kong ISPs warn that restricting online access would be ruinous for the region...


Link Here 29th August 2019
Hong Kong worries that action to quell the protests may include putting Hong Kong behind the Great Firewall of China

See article from techcrunch.com

 

 

Would you press the button to stop all internet porn?...

New Zealand's chief censor entertains TV viewers


Link Here 26th August 2019
Full story: Siege of Kalima...Tunisia police harass and close radio station
New Zealand's Children's Minister Tracey Martin has been calling for ideas to modernise internet censorship laws to protect kids from porn.

So the country's Chief Censor David Shanks has been on the campaign trail seeking to grab some of those powers to censor internet porn.

Shank's made an interesting pitch when invited on to the AM Show on breakfast TV. Speaking of ideas for porn censorship he noted:

Tracey Martin says all options are on the table. There are ethical dilemmas involved in cutting the supply, however. Are we going to become like China, in terms of state-imposed restrictions? And who decides where the limits to those are? These are difficult questions.

He said he once stood in front of a room full of people at a conference and outlined a scenario and said:

'I'm the chief censor. Imagine I've got a box with a button on it - a big red button - and if I push that button, I've terminated all access to pornography for everyone in this country. Should I push the button?'

There was a stunned silence from the room, then someone said, 'Who gets to decide what pornography is?' I said, 'I am! I'm the Chief Censor.' But I think that highlights some of the issues underpinning these questions.

No one in the audience urged him to push the button.

A working party has been set up to investigate what can be done, involving the Office of Film and Literature Classification leads the group, and other agencies involved are Netsafe, the Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, the Ministry for Women, the Ministry of Social Development, ACC and the Ministry of Education.

 

 

World Police...

New Zealand has asked Ukraine to censor the Christchurch gunman's banned manifesto.


Link Here 25th August 2019
Full story: The Christchurch Call...Calls for censorship is response to New Zealand gun massacre

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has contacted Ukraine's Government after Bellingcat investigative journalists revealed that Brenton Tarrent's manifesto was offered for sale in hardcopies via messengers in Ukraine.

New Zealand has made the request through diplomatic channels. News source MFA Ukraine reports on a response from a Ukrainian diplomat saying that Ukraine is concerned by the emerging reports about the distribution of such material in Ukraine:

We are convinced that there must be no place for racism, neo-Nazism and religious hatred in Ukrainian society.

The diplomats also said that they had already approached the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine with a request to confirm or deny the fact of the distribution of hardcopies of the manifesto translated into Ukrainian.

 

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