Hustlers is a 2019 USA crime comedy thriller by Lorene Scafaria.
Starring Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez and Julia Stiles.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
New Zealand's Sky News has been fined NZ$4,000 for airing footage from a live stream of the Christchurch massacre.
The country's TV censors of the Broadcasting Standards Authority fined Sky NZ $4,000 (£2,100) for airing extensive and obviously news worthy excerpts from the alleged attacker's live stream video, claiming that the video had the potential to cause
significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community.
The footage was a retransmission by Sky News New Zealand of a 24-hour feed from Sky News Australia, a separate, independent company.
The chief censor Bill Hastings, said the New Zealand television broadcasters faced unprecedented circumstances in the hours following the attack, and they played a critical role in keeping New Zealanders informed, but they also had to consider their role
in protecting the community from undue harm and trauma and they needed to exercise a high level of care and discretion at all times.
Two complaints were also lodged against state funded broadcaster TVNZ who aired short clips from the live stream video but these complaints were not upheld by the authority.
Twitter and Facebook have blocked what they described as a state-backed Chinese misinformation campaign.
Twitter said it removed 936 accounts it said were being used to sow political discord in Hong Kong. It said the accounts originated in mainland China and were part of a coordinated attempt to undermine the legitimacy and political positions of the
Facebook said it had, after being tipped off by Twitter, removed seven Pages, three Groups and five Facebook accounts. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy said:
Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government.
The move came after Twitter was criticised at the weekend for allowing China's Xinhua news agency to buy sponsored posts on the network. Twitter said on Monday it would no longer allow such ads, saying: Going forward, we will not accept advertising
from state-controlled news media entities,
Thailand's Digital Economy and Society Minister Puttipong Punnakanta plans to set up a Fake News Center.
The digital minister confirmed that he is looking to create the Fake News Center to:
get rid of fabricated, misleading content on social media which might jeopardize the people's safety and property and violate the Computer Crime Act and other laws.
For instance, content on social media about natural disasters and health care might be fabricated or exaggerated only to confuse and scare viewers. They might be deceived by fraudulent investment scams or lured to buy illegal, hazardous health products
He said a dozen government agencies will be asked to cooperate with the Fake News Center such as the police, the military, the Consumer Protection Board, the Food and Drugs Administration and the Public Relations Department, among others.
New Zealand ISP Spark says it will block the controversial website 8chan if it resumes service, because it continues to host disturbing material.
8chan is currently down after its web host pulled out in response to 8chan being used by US mass shooters. However, Spark said if 8chan finds another host provider, it would block access. Spark said:
We feel it is the right thing to do given the website's repeated transgressions and continual willingness to distribute disturbing material.
The 8chan internet forum was used by the accused Christchurch mosque gunman to distribute his manifesto and live stream the attack.
However Spark seemed to realise that it would now become a magnet for every easily offended social justice warrior with a pet grievance and said that the the government should step in:
Appropriate agencies of government should put in place a robust policy framework to address the important issues surrounding such material being distributed online and freely available.
Technology commentator Paul Brislen responded:
It's very, very nearly the edge of what's acceptable for what your internet provider to be doing in this kind of situation.
I'm as uncomfortable as they [Spark] are about it. They do really need to find a new way to manage hate-speech and extremist content on the internet.
It's much like the Telecom of old to decide which phone calls you can and can't make.
The risk was someone would now turn around and say okay you blocked 8Chan because of hate speech, now I want you to block this other website because it allows people to access something else. It might be hate speech, it might be pornography, it might be
something that speaks out against a religious group or ethnicity.
You start down a certain track of Spark or any of the other ISPs being forced to decide what is and isn't acceptable for the NZ public and that's not their job at all. They really shouldn't be doing that.
Update: New Zealand's chief censor David Shanks chips in
I applaud the announcement by Spark that they are prepared to block access to 8chan if and when it re-emerges on the internet.
This move is both brave and meaningful. Brave, because a decision not to provide users with access to a site is quite a different thing from a decision not to provide a site with the server capacity and services it needs (which is the choice that
Cloudflare recently made). Meaningful, because everything I have seen tells me that 8chan is the white supremacist killer's platform of choice, with at least three major attacks announced on it within a few months. There is nothing indicating that upon
re-emergence 8chan will be a changed, safer platform. Indeed, it may be even more toxic.
We appreciate that our domestic ISP's have obligations to provide their customers with access to the internet according to their individual terms and conditions. Within those constraints, as the experience post the March 15 attacks show, our ISP's can
act and do the right thing to block platforms that are linked to terrorist atrocities and pose a direct risk of harm to New Zealanders.
I know that ISPs don't take these decisions lightly, and that they do not want to be in the business of making judgments around the content of sites. But these are extraordinary circumstances, and platforms that promote terrorist atrocities should not be
tolerated on the internet, or anywhere else. Spark is making the right call here.
This is a unique set of circumstances, and relying on ISPs to make these calls is not a solution for the mid or long term. I agree with calls for a transparent, robust and sensible regulatory response. Discussions have already started on what this might
look like here in NZ. Ultimately this is a global, internet problem. That makes it complex of course, but I believe that online extremism can be beaten if governments, industry and the public work together
A section of a major art festival, Aichi Triennale 2019, in central Japan featuring a statue symbolizing wartime comfort women shut down on Saturday following protests, the organizer said.
The protesters were taking easy offence at the Statue of a Girl of Peace . This depicted a Korean comfort women, or ianfu in Japanese. The term is a euphemism for the women, including Koreans, who provided sex, generally against their will, for
Japanese troops before and during World War II.
Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura, who heads the organizing committee, told a news conference that there are growing worries about safely managing the Aichi Triennale 2019 as it had received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes. One of the faxes
it received read: I will bring a gasoline container to the museum.
The statue of the girl was part of an exhibit in the art festival's section titled After Freedom of Expression? Most of the artwork on display in that section could not be displayed in Japan in the past due to censorship or self-censorship, the
Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
The Malaysian film censor has cut scenes which depicted depicted men kissing and having sex with one another. Safaruddin Mohammad Ali, head of the Film Censorship Board explained:
We do not allow any scenes that promote LGBTQ in films that are for public viewing.
Separately the film censor commented that although it is about the real life of Elton John, it is not for him to allow the public to see whatever he does or whatever activities he indulges in that is not our culture,
The film was also cut by the distributors in Russia over fears of the country's anti gay laws. Rocket man was also banned in Samoa.
Back in February Kotaku UK reported on a game called Devotion disappearing from Steam , following the discovery of a piece of in-game art that mocked Chinese president Xi Jinping. We checked back in May, and the game had not reappeared .
The Chinese Communist Party, world-famous for its sense of humour, has now decided that merely disappearing this game was not enough. Now it has revoked the business license of one of the game's publishers, Indievent.
Without a business license, you cannot legally operate in China. So that's that for Indievent. worldwide. Devotion was developed by the Taiwanese studio Red Candle, but of course the Chinese market is essential for its economic viability.
And of course another point of this extreme censorship is that it sends a message to game publishers worldwide. Now doubt most of them have an eye on the possibility of sales to China.
It seems that Devotion has been totally sunk by the Winnie the Pooh incident. Red Candle Gamessaid in a statement:
For the past four months, the art asset incident related to Devotion has caused immeasurable harm to Red Candle Games and our partner, (Chinese publisher Indievent),
While mediation is still in progress, Red Candle's co-founders have reached a unanimous decision to not re-release 'Devotion' in the near term, including but not limited to obtaining profit from sales, revision, IP authorization, etc. to prevent
The studio extended its apologies to all impacted teams and personnel, and is taking full responsibility for any and all losses.
The Hidden Sword is a 2017 China action drama by Haofeng Xu.
Starring Qing Xu, Jue Huang and Aoyue Zhang.
Latest film of Xu Haofeng, a new master of Chinese Wu Xia films, screenwriter of Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster. The new film tells a Chinese Wu Xia story happened in 1930s, but with a new presentation.
Long-awaited martial-arts film The Hidden Sword announced Monday that its theatrical release this Friday in China has been cancelled, presumably the latest casualty of a censorship campaign that is damaging the country's box office.
The Chinese film censors had granted the film at least enough permission to appear at international film festivals and it won awards at Montreal and Taiwan.
However the censors seemed to get cold feet at the domestic premiere. It was banned just 4 days before its premiere.
Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz, chairman of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) has been interviewed by the New Straits Times.
He reported that eight films had been banned in 2018:
Dua -- Dunia Untuk Aku (Malaysia)
Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuthtu (Malaysia)
Love, Simon (US)
A Fantastic Woman (Chile / Germany / Spain / USA)
The Happytime Murders (US)
He also made a fe comments as to why these had been banned
Any film with LGBT elements, whether directly or indirectly promoting or propagandising this element, will be banned. That was why Dua -- Dunia Untuk Aku was banned.
The animated film Bilal was banned as its portrayal of Islam was not in accordance with the Sunnah practised in Malaysia.
The Bollywood movie Padmaavat , meanwhile, was axed as it depicted Muslims negatively.
The other movies contained LGBT elements or had extreme sexual scenes.
Zamberi also spoke of the board's discussions to add an extra age certificate to Malaysia's line up. Currently, films are classified as U, P13 or 18. Zamberi said most of the time, local distributors and producers seek a U or P13 classification.
He said that there was a significant gap between the P13 and 18 categories and so the LPF is mulling introducing new classifications, like P15 or P16, to bridge this gap.
VPNs recently came under the scrutiny of the Indonesian government after authorities placed restrictions on social media during the May 21-22 election protests. At that time, the government temporarily banned certain features of social media to censor
the communications that it did not like. Inevitably many Indonesians turned to using VPNs to bypass the ban, causing a sharp increase in VPN downloads.
In response, the government claimed that VPNs, especially the free ones, may pose threats to users' private data and that they should be uninstalled.
Now the Information and Communications Ministry (Kominfo) chipped in saying that Kominfo will not hesitate to block VPNs that aren't licensed in Indonesia. The licensing requirement seems to be a tenuous correlation that VPNs are somehow equivalent to
ISPs, and ISPs Indonesia must be licensed.
This connection is not quite confirmed as yet and Kominfo is set to meet with the Association of Internet Service Providers in Indonesia (APJII) to discuss a possible VPN provider ban.