Asia Pacific Censorship News

 2018: April-June

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 Updated: Just sayin' but the most strident anti-gay politicians often turn out to be gay themselves...

Chinese social media site Weibo launches a 3 month campaign against gay content


Link Here 17th April 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Weibo logoChinese users of the Twitter-like Weibo have started an online protest with the hashtag I am gay in response to a recent government ban of gay content.

About 170,000 Weibo members had used the protst hashtag by midday Saturday before they were censored..

Weibo announced on Fridaythat it has launched a three-month clean-up campaign to get rid of illegal posts including manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality. It is also targeting violent video games, like Grand Theft Auto.

Weibo's move is perceived as a crackdown by President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party on ideas.

There can be no homosexuality under socialism? a Weibo user wrote, according to AFP. It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas.

Update: Backtracking

16th April 2018. See  article from bbc.com

Chinese social media network Sina Weibo has backtracked from a controversial gay content ban after a massive outcry.

Last Friday the microblogging platform said that posts related to homosexuality would be taken down. It prompted a deluge of posts from outraged netizens protesting against the decision. On Monday, Sina Weibo said it would reverse the ban.

Over the weekend many in the LGBT community took to the network to protest against the decision, using hashtags such as #IAmGay# and #ScumbagSinaHelloIAmGay#.

weibo gay protestSome tried testing the ban and uploaded pictures of themselves with partners or gay friends or relatives. Among them was LGBT rights activist Pu Chunmei, whose impassioned post accompanied with pictures of her with her gay son quickly went viral. The picture was captioned: Be yourself, don't hide.

As of early Monday morning many such posts were still online, as censors appeared to struggle to keep up with the deluge.

Then Sina Weibo made another announcement: it said its clean-up would no longer apply to homosexual content. We thank everyone for their discussion and suggestions, the company added.

 

 Offsite Article: At least the Great Firewall helps protect the west from Chinese online competitors...


Link Here 15th April 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Great Firewall of China China's internet censorship should be lifted for the sake of the economy and innovators

See article from scmp.com

 

  Eying the UK policy to save the children by endangering their parents...

Moralist campaign group in New Zealand seems to be persuading the government to consider UK style age verification for porn viewing


Link Here 13th April 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in New Zealand...New Zealand considers internet blocking
Family First logoThe New Zealand moralist campaign group Family First have been campaigning for new laws to censor pornography.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie is calling for an expert panel to consider health and social issues supposedly created by pornography, and somehwhat presumptively, how to solve the problems identified.

More than 22,000 people signed McCoskrie's petition, and this week he spoke to the Governance and Administration Select Committee at Parliament, where he said porn was feeding the health crisis of the digital age.

Parliament's Governance and Administration Select Committee is currently considering the petition and whether to set up an 'expert' panel.

Chief censor David Shanks seems to have been caught up in the pre-censorship momentum. He said more needs to be done to understand porn use, and the effects. Then NZ can get to work tackling the issue. He added that New Zealand needs to take a societal approach to tackling the pervasive effects of porn, including further regulation.

As far as regulation goes, Shanks said New Zealand could consider making similar moves to the United Kingdom, where anyone wanting to watching online porn had to go through an official age verification process. An ISP-level ban, where pornography viewers had to opt in to viewing pornographic content, could also be part of the solution.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification, headed by the chief censor, was dedicating its major research project for the year to the prevalence, and effects of porn.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said he was aware of the issues surrounding pornography use, and he was open to suggestions on what regulatory approach New Zealand could take to tackle problems. However, there was no specific legislation in the pipeline at the moment.

 

  Bombing an iconic line of tanks...

China bans Call of Duty Black Ops II as players can choose to bomb Tiananmen Square


Link Here 8th April 2018  full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
Call of Duty: Black Ops II An American video game that allows players to bomb Tiananmen Square has become the focal point of the latest Chinese censorship crack down.

Although Call of Duty Black Ops II was first released in 2012, officials in the eastern province of Jiangxi singled it out in a recent crackdown that ordered internet cafes to stop their customers playing banned games. A short sequence in the game's alternative reality, in which a character recalls a fictional Second World War bombing raid in the heart of the Chinese capital, appears to have particularly angered the censors.

Another game that fell foul of the censors was a locally produced one, Red Alert 2: Glory of the Republic, which allows players to fight against the People's Liberation Army.

Provincial authorities from the culture ministry visited 39 internet cafes in the province in the last week of March to make sure they were not offering banned games, the report added. More than 5,000 internet cafes in the province have now installed a government surveillance system on their computers. Officials will be notified if users have been playing banned games in the cafes. Nag screens regularly interrupt players at internet cafes without the latest update of the games snooping program.

 

  Trump should declare reverse tariffs to charge Chinese companies more to use US VPNs...

The Chinese VPN ban hasn't kicked in yet


Link Here 6th April 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
nordvpn logo

China's VPN ban came into effect on March 31, 2018, but virtual private network providers are still claiming their users have access to their services in the country.

NordVPN has reportied a lack of information from Chinese authorities about how and when exactly the ban will be implemented. The company also said businesses have reported that so far there have been no announcements from authorities about the ban. The company commented:

We understand the concern of local and international businesses in China, as well as the needs of scholars, scientists, students, and others who vitally need VPNs to freely access the World Wide Web,

Perhaps the rest of the world would well appreciate Chinese VPN blocking, it must surely make trade a bit tougher for Chinese companies to be cut off from the world.

 

 Offsite Article: Outlaw, ignore or exploit?...


Link Here 5th April 2018  full story: Fake News...Declining respect for the authorities is blamed on 'fake' news
BBC logo How Asia is exploiting fake news for increased censorship. by Jonathan Head of the BBC

See article from bbc.com

 

  Real repression vs fake news...

Malaysia's parliament passes another internet censorship law


Link Here 3rd April 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet
Malaysia flagMalaysia passed a repressive new law today that would punish citizens on social media or those working at a digital publication for publishing material deemed to be 'fake news' with a 500,000 ringgit ($123,000) fine and a possible a prison sentence of up to six years.

Led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Anti-Fake News bill passed in parliament today despite opponents who had criticized the bill for impeding free speech and attempting to censor the prime minister's involvement in a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal.

A draft of the bill had specified a prison sentence of up to 10 years as punishment, but the government toned it down to six in the finalized version. 'Fake news' cases will be handled by a court process. Violators could even include those outside of Malaysia as long as they're writing about the country or its people.

The Malaysian law defines fake news as news, information, data and reports which is or are wholly or partly false. News includes stories, video, and audio content.

 

  #RightToBreathe...

Chiang Mai governor censors protest against air pollution citing lese majeste law


Link Here 1st April 2018  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

righttobreathe.jpgThe governor of Thailand's Chiang Mai province has sued a local magazine in an attempt to silence a protest highlighting dangerous levels of local air pollution.

Protestors had contributed pictures of themselves and others wearing pollution masks to a Facebook campaign. One student had painted a picture of a famous local statue of 3 ancient kings, adding pollution facemasks.

The local governor seized on the country's extreme lese majeste laws to put an end to the protest. The broadly-interpreted crime of lese majeste - which can carry decades-long sentences - has cemented a culture of fear and necessary self-censorship across the kingdom. The governor said:

I assigned my official to file a complaint with police yesterday that the picture may have violated the Computer Crime Act as it's inappropriate. The statues of three kings are very sacred and respected by Chiang Mai residents, they were our ancestors.

In an official letter to police, the governor said the painting may affect Chiang Mai's image and its tourism, causing the city economic instability. He did not mention how a reputation for repression and extreme punishment for trivial offences may also have a negative effect on people wanting to visit the country.

 

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