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Making the UK internet the most censorial and red tape infested outside of China...

The Government salivates over suffocating proposals for censoring internet TV, now that it can go even further than the red tape Dystopia called the EU


Link Here 30th August 2021
The UK Government has just opened a public consultation on proposals to significantly extend censorship laws for internet TV to match the nannying, burdensome control freakery that currently applies to broadcast TV in the UK. The tone of the press release highlights the obvious glee that the Government holds for more censorship:

Government to consult on better protections for UK audiences on video-on-demand services

Audiences could be better protected from harmful material like misinformation and pseudoscience while watching programmes on video-on-demand services (VoD), Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced.

  • Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ could be subject to stricter rules protecting UK audiences from harmful material
  • It would mean audiences - particularly children - receive a consistent level of protection on video-on-demand services as they do on traditional broadcasters
  • Ministers seek views to level the regulatory playing field in consultation launched today

The government is considering how to better level the regulatory playing field between mainstream VoD services and traditional broadcasters and is seeking views on the matter in a consultation launched today. This could mean aligning the content standards rules for on-demand TV services with those for traditional linear TV like BBC 1 and Sky.

Now that the UK has left the EU there is an opportunity to create regulation suited to UK viewers that goes beyond the minimum standards as set out in EU regulation under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

We want to give UK audiences peace of mind that however they watch TV in the digital age, the shows they enjoy are held to the same high standards that British broadcasting is world-renowned for.

It is right that now we have left the EU, we look at introducing proportionate new rules so that UK audiences are protected from harm.

Ofcom data shows a huge growth in popularity and use of on-demand services in the UK. The number of households that subscribe to one rose by almost 350% between 2014 and 2020. In 2021, 75% per cent of UK households say that they have used a subscription VoD service.

Viewers have access to thousands of hours of VoD shows and content at the touch of a button. However, services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ are not regulated in the UK to the same extent as UK linear TV channels.

For example, except for BBC iPlayer, they are not subject to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code which sets out appropriate standards for content including harmful or offensive material, accuracy, fairness and privacy.

This means there is a gap between existing protections for audiences watching traditional TV and those watching newer VoD services. There are some protections for under-18s but minimal rules exist to regulate content. There are very few rules to protect audiences, for example, from misleading health advice or pseudoscience documentaries.

Some service providers have taken welcome steps to introduce their own standards and procedures for audience protection - such as pin-codes and content warnings - but the extent of these measures varies across services. Age ratings are also inconsistent and sometimes non-existent.

The consultation asks for views on whether UK audiences viewing TV-like VoD programmes should receive the same or similar level of protections as when they are watching traditional television. It asks which measures can and should be made consistent across VoD services.

It will also consider whether mainstream VoD services not currently regulated in the UK by Ofcom - like Netflix and Apple TV+ - should be brought within UK jurisdiction to provide accountability to UK audiences who use them.

Not all VoD providers deliver a TV-like experience, so any regulatory change will need to be proportionate, particularly for smaller or niche services, to ensure essential protections like freedom of speech are not affected.

Notes to Editors

  • The consultation is open for 8 weeks and closes on 26 October at 23:45 BST.
  • This review into VoD regulation will form part of a number of measures as part of a wide-ranging broadcasting White Paper into the future of broadcasting which will be published this autumn.
  • The consultation examines the current level of audience protection from harmful content provided through regulation and voluntarily by individual VoD services, and what steps are required to ensure appropriate protection levels for UK audiences going forward.
  • Now the UK has left the European Union, this is an opportunity to improve upon EU aligned provisions under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive with regulations that are designed in the best interests of UK audiences.
  • This consultation does not seek responses on wider broadcasting regulation, nor changes to how television or public service broadcasters such as the BBC or Channel 4 are funded or regulated. This consultation will also not cover changes to advertising rules/restrictions and does not cover topics such as introducing levies/quotas on VoD services. Responses on these issues will not be considered as part of this consultation.

 

 

Updated: Trashed livelihoods...

Moral bankers use onerous new rules to put a stop to sex workers making a living via OnlyFans


Link Here24th August 2021
It's not just state censorship rules that control adult companies, but there are also rules imposed by other organisations for their own reasons. And in this case it is the banking industry that is controlling adult content.

Video sharing site OnlyFans, best known for its creators' adult videos and photos, will prohibit sexually explicit content starting October 1st. The company says it is making the changes because of pressure from its banking and payment providers.

OnlyFans said in a statement emailed to The Verge:

In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,.

Creators on the platform will still be allowed to post nude images as long as they comply with the site's acceptable use policy. More information will be available in the coming days. OnlyFans remains committed to the highest levels of safety and content moderation of any social platform.

 

Update: Will OnlyFans censorship pave the way for Bitcoin to become the coinage of online porn

22nd August 2021. See article from newsweek.com

OnlyFans has been effectively banned by moralistic bankers, so will this in turn be an opportunity for the crypto industry to capitalise by offering platforms that are not held to ransom by financial institutions.

Crypto analyst Christina Rud told Newsweek:

What's essentially happening here is that you have payment providers deciding what's right or wrong which is really scary, and definitely not the kind of society that would champion democratic values.

Rud explains that using blockchain-enabled technology is the way forward for the porn industry because content cannot be censored. The technology also has no central entity controlling it. Therefore crypto-led pornography platforms would be immune to the moralizing whims of boardroom politics.

The porn industry has already begun embracing the blockchain. Pornhub first announced it would be accepting cryptocurrency payments in 2018. Then, after it was axed by Visa and Mastercard in 2020, the platform moved to only accepting cryptocurrency for its premium service.

 

Update: Naming names of the disgraceful bankers

24th August 2021. See article from variety.com

The OnlyFans CEO names names of the disgraceful bankers that sought to impose their morality on their customers and have trashed the livelihoods of so many.

OnlyFans founder and chief exec Tim Stokely placed the blame for the U.K. company's move to ban sexually explicit content as of Oct. 1, announced last week, on several major banks in an interview with the Financial Times published Tuesday. He said:

The change in policy, we had no choice -- the short answer is banks, Stokely said. Banks including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon and the U.K.'s Metro Bank cite reputational risk and refuse our business

We pay over 1 million creators over $300 million every month, and making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector. Because several banks have cut off OnlyFans from making wire transfers, that has made it difficult to pay creators, he said.

Stokely also said that OnlyFans is fully compliant with new Mastercard rules, so that had no bearing on the decision to ban porn. He also said the change was not made to appease investors.

 

Update: A change of heart

24th August 2021. See article from tmz.com

OnlyFans has reversed course and will no longer be banning sexually explicit content on its platform starting October 1 ... after outcry from its creators and the general public. OnlyFans announced:

Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard. We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.

As we reported ... OnlyFans blamed its planned porn ban on conflicts with banking partners and payout providers -- suggesting they'd no longer do business with the site due to the sexual content -- but it seems those issues have been resolved.

 

Update: Mastercard censorship rules

28th August 2021. See article from mastercard.com

Mastercard updated its censorship rules for their customers in April 2021. Mastercard wrote:

Enhancing requirements for adult content, preventing anonymous content

This month, we are extending our existing Specialty Merchant Registration requirements. The banks that connect merchants to our network will need to certify that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all illegal content.

Now, our requirements address the risks associated with this activity. And that starts with strong content control measures and clear, unambiguous and documented consent.

Other updated requirements include:

  • Documented age and identity verification for all people depicted and those uploading the content

  • Content review process prior to publication

  • Complaint resolution process that addresses illegal or nonconsensual content within seven business days

  • Appeals process allowing for any person depicted to request their content be removed

 

Update: A good summary from the Guardian

28th August 2021. See article from theguardian.com

Why OnlyFans had second thoughts on banning sexually explicit content. Homegrown adult content site announced last week it was suspending adult content, only to quickly change its mind

 

 

A date with ID verification...

Dating app Tinder confirms plans to introduce voluntary ID verification


Link Here18th August 2021
Dating app Tinder has confirmed plans to introduce ID verification for its users around the world.

The firm said it would begin by making the process voluntary, except where mandated by law, and would take into account expert recommendations and what documents are most appropriate in each country.

It could come into force by the end of the year.

Critics of the idea have argued it could leave whistleblowers exposed, particularly in authoritarian states, and restrict access to online services in countries where ID documents are not commonplace among the entire population.

Tracey Breeden, vice president of safety and social advocacy at Tinder's parent firm, Match Group, said feedback from experts and users would be a vital part of its approach in helping ease such fears:

We know that in many parts of the world and within traditionally marginalised communities, people might have compelling reasons that they can't or don't want to share their real-world identity with an online platform, she said.

Creating a truly equitable solution for ID verification is a challenging but critical safety project and we are looking to our communities as well as experts to help inform our approach.

 

 

Tearful apologies...

Facebook shamed into reversing censorship of the poster for Pedro Amnodovar's Parallel Mothers


Link Here11th August 2021
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Madres paralelas is a 2022 Spain drama by Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Penélope Cruz, Rossy de Palma and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón IMDb

Two women, Janis and Ana, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn't regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way.

Instagram's owner Facebook has reversed a ban on a poster for Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's new film, Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers), showing a nipple producing a drop of milk. The company was shamed by bad publicity after its naff 'AI' censorship algorithm proved a failure in distinguishing art from porn. Facebook said it had made an exception to its usual ban on nudity because of the clear artistic context.

The promotional image was made to look like an eyeball producing a teardrop. Javier Jaen, who designed the advert for Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers), had said the platform should be ashamed for its censorship.

 

 

Who remembers those comic book X-ray specs adverts?...

UK MP Maria Miller wants to ban an app that claims it can work out the nude body that hides behind clothed photos


Link Here3rd August 2021
MP Maria Miller wants a parliamentary debate on whether digitally generated but imaginary nude images need to be banned.

It comes as another service which allows users to guess what people in photos look like undressed.

The DeepSukebe's nudifier website had more than five million visits in June, according to one analyst. Celebrities, including an Olympic athlete, are among those who users claim to have nudified.

DeepSukebe's website claims it can reveal the truth hidden under clothes. According to its Twitter page, it is an AI-leveraged nudifier whose mission is to make all men's dreams come true. And in a blog post, the developers say that they are working on a more powerful version of the tool.

Miller told the BBC it was time to consider a ban of such tools:

Parliament needs to have the opportunity to debate whether nude and sexually explicit images generated digitally without consent should be outlawed, and I believe if this were to happen the law would change.

If software providers develop this technology, they are complicit in a very serious crime and should be required to design their products to stop this happening.

She said that it should be an offence to distribute sexual images online without consent to reflect the severity of the impact on people's lives. Miller wants the issue to be included in the forthcoming Online Safety Bill.


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