Website News

2012: July-Sept

Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec  


Offsite Article: I'll Bite Your Ear Off...

Link Here28th September 2012
Taunts on Facebook cited by judge as contributing to violent assault

See article from



Offsite Article: Google pulls political YouTube video...

Link Here28th September 2012
After Google's exec in Brazil was briefly detained by police

See article from



Offsite Article: Google official arrested in Brazil...

Link Here27th September 2012
YouTube used in an election slanging match and it's the messenger that gets shot

See article from



Offsite Article: Judge orders arrest of Brazil Google president...

Link Here26th September 2012
A judge has ordered the arrest of Google's president in Brazil after the company didn't take down Youtube videos alleging that a mayoral candidate is guilty of crimes

See article from



Update: Nipplegate...

Facebook take down New Yorker cartoon over a couple of nipple dots in an Adam and Eve cartoon

Link Here11th September 2012
The New Yorker has a Facebook page for cartoons.

It got temporarily banned from Facebook for supposedly violating their community standards on Nudity and Sex, by posting this Mick Stevens cartoon.

The artist redrew the cartoon with a clothed Adam and Eve, but somehow it didn't quite work. Still, at least it kept the nutters of Facebook happy.



Bedaz Root Rate...

Australians given suspended jail sentences for Facebook page rating women

Link Here22nd August 2012

Two men from Australia's Victoria state have been given suspended jail sentences for supposed derogatory postings on Facebook.

They had created a Facebook page which allowed users to rate the sexual prowess of women. The page in question was called Bendaz Root Rate . [ Bendaz is a name].

The two men lived in a town called Bendigo and created the page after seeing similar efforts for other towns. They ran afoul of authorities after the page was noticed and its contents found to contain derogatory commentary that mentioned people well below the age of consent.

The Bendigo Magistrate's Court today deemed the content fell under the provisions of Australia's Criminal Code that prohibit using a carriage service to offend, or publishing offensive material on an information network. The prosecutors claimed that the material could do lasting damage to those it mentioned, and was not merely embarrassing.

One the men was barred from using Facebook for two years. The men were given suspended jail sentences of 6 and 4 months.



Offsite Article: The west's hypocrisy over Pussy Riot is breathtaking...

Link Here22nd August 2012
Our courts now jail at the drop of a headline, for stealing water or abuse sent on Twitter. So who are we to condemn Russia?

See article from



Offsite Article: More Evil...

Link Here22nd August 2012
Bruce Campbell Gives Thumbs Up To Evil Dead Remake

See article from



Easily Offended Sri Lanka...

French tourists get suspended jail sentences for larking about at a temple

Link Here22nd August 2012

A Sri Lankan court has given suspended jail terms to three French tourists for supposedly wounding the religious feelings of easily offended Buddhists by taking pictures deemed insulting.

Two women and one man were detained in the southern town of Galle after a photographic laboratory snitched them up to the police. The pictures show the travellers posing with Buddha statues and pretending to kiss one of them.

The images were later posted on a Sri Lankan website.

A magistrate sentenced the trio to six months in prison with hard labour, suspended for five years - which means they will not actually serve any time in jail. The court also levied a small fine on them.

They were convicted under a section of the Penal Code which outlaws deeds intended to wound or insult the religious feelings of any class of persons through acts committed in, upon or near sacred objects or places of worship.



Ticking Over...

Pattaya GoGo Reviews: Club Nevada

Link Here21st August 2012

Club Nevada is located at the Beach Road end of Soi 13/2 (Soi Post Office)

The bar is still ticking over in its minimalist sort of way. Its probably the weakest of the clutch of GoGos in this soi and next. Far East Rock scores as a hangout bar while Hot & Cold and Las Vegas offer the best hands on fun.

Las Vegas generally has 3 or 4 dancers at a time and 3 or 4 more waiting their turn. The dress code is nude, topless or bikini depending on the girl. The music is oldie rock and it doesn't inspire the dancers very much.

The girls are friendly enough, but sometimes they seem to prefer to vanish off upstairs or outside rather than looking after customers.

Drinks are cheap though, and overall the bar provides a pleasant rather than enthralling experience.




BBFC advise significant cuts for a 15 version of Oliver Stone's new crime thriller

Link Here21st August 2012

Savages is a 2012 US crime thriller by Oliver Stone.
With Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch and Blake Lively. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong language, violence, drug use and sex after BBFC advised category cuts were implemented for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 rating but that their preferred 15 rating could be achieved by making changes to a number of scenes. These were to reduce:

  • various moments of strong bloody violence,

  • sadistic violence,

  • strong sex and

  • some focus on drug use.

When an edited version of the film was submitted for formal rating, changes had been made to satisfactorily address these issues and the film was consequently rated 15.



Update: Prometheus...

Theatrical Version set for DVD and Blu-ray but no sign of Director's Cut

Link Here21st August 2012
Full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R

Prometheus is a 2012 US/UK Sci-Fi adventure by Ridley Scott.
With Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green and Michael Fassbender. See IMDb

UK : The Theatrical Version is set for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox [3D + 2D] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012

There's no sign of the much hyped Extended Version of Director's Cut. Presumably the distributors are hoping for a double dip windfall with a subsequent Director's Cut release

There is also a US release

Promotional Material

After scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green, Devil) discover mysterious cave drawings that point to the origins of mankind, they soon find themselves aboard the spaceship Prometheus, sponsored by Weyland Industries and on a journey to uncover the secrets of humanity.

Overseen by the imperious Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron, Snow White and the Huntsman), looked after by the android David (Michael Fassbender, X-Men: First Class), and backed up by a team of scientists, Shaw and Holloway arrive on the isolated moon LV-223 to discover an abandoned alien spaceship and the truth... that not all is as it seems...



Pop Erotica Fest...

Shameless box set of erotica classics

Link Here21st August 2012

Pop Erotica Fest Box-Set

  • UK 2012 Shameless Pop Erotica Box Set [Venus in Furs + The Frightened Woman + Baba Yaga] R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 20th August 201

Promotional Material: Pop Erotica

The third in the series of Shameless-Unwind videotape-themed box-set.

Stylish, imaginative and deliciously twisted, these three cult classics reveal the darker side of passion, love and sex.. Inspired by eclectic masterpieces, from the erotic literary genius of Leopold Sacher-Masoch's Venus In Furs , to Guido Crepax's arousing iconic comic strip Baba Yaga , via the far-out sets of Niki De Saint Phalle in The Frightened Woman , this Erotic Pop Fest also features some of cinema's most alluring leading ladies - think Dagmar Lassander, Laura Antonelli ! - caught up in increasingly bizarre and dangerous sex games...

Shameless' Pop Erotica Box will be presented with specially commissioned artwork from a top British artist emphasizing the videotape-shaped boxset - this time a V2000 ! ... remember those?

Venus in Furs

1969 West Germany/Switzerland/Italy erotic film by Massimo Dallamano.
With Laura Antonelli, Régis Vallée and Loren Ewing. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 after 1:05s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Shameless Pop Erotica Box Set DVD released on 23rd July 2012

The BBFC specified their cuts as follows:

  • Remove all sight of woman's tearful screams turning to pleasure as man continues to rape her (this pleasure being indicated by her making moaning sounds and winding her arms around his neck). Intervening shots of other people may remain.
Previously even more censored:
  • Passed 18 after 2:32s of BBFC cuts for the 1993 Redemption VHS
  • Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for the UK 1971 cinema release
  • Banned by the BBFC for the UK 1970 cinema release

The Frightened Woman

1969 Italy drama by Piero Schivazappa.
With Philippe Leroy, Dagmar Lassander and Lorenza Guerrieri.
See IMDb

An Extended Version was passed 18 uncut for strong sexual threat, humiliation and violence for:

  • UK 2012 Shameless Pop Erotica Box Set DVD released on 23rd July 2012

Previously  censored:

  • An unspecified version was passed 18 after 16s of BBFC cuts for the UK 1998 Salvation VHS

Baba Yaga

1973 Italy Giiallo by Corrado Farina.
With Carroll Baker, George Eastman and Isabelle De Funès. See IMDb

UK: The Reloaded version was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for:

  • UK 2012 Shameless Pop Erotica Box Set DVD released on 23rd July 2012
Previously censored:
  • The Original Version was passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for the UK 1974 cinema release titled Baba Yaga, The Devil Witch. The BBFC deleted two full frontal shot of Carroll Baker




New US region 0 Blu-ray release of classic blaxploitationer

Link Here21st August 2012

Shaft is a 1971 US crime action film by Gordon Parks.
With Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn and Charles Cioffi. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

There are no censorship issues with this release



A Drive for Cash...

ATVOD claim that the BBC should pay its fees for Top Gear clips on YouTube

Link Here21st August 2012

ATVOD has claimed that BBC should pay its extortionate censorship fees for clips of Top Gear and Nigella Lawson uploaded to YouTube.

Video on Demand censors ATVOD carried out the investigation and ruled that the BBC should pay its annual charge for each YouTube channel.

The clips under examination are segments of Top Gear lasting up to nine minutes, along with similar footage of Nigella Lawson and other cooks on the Food Programme . ATVOD claimed that the BBC clips on You Tube resemble linear television programmes .

The BBC consider that the the clips were not TV-like because they are watched in short chunks often by people on the move . The BBC said:

BBC Worldwide considers the duration of programmes to be a key characteristic of the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services

The YouTube channel in question provides only short clips.

An analysis of the five main UK channels over four days demonstrates that only 3.2% of programmes were less than 10 minutes in duration.

Therefore it is a key characteristic of the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services that they last longer than a short period of time.

Television programmes are consumed at home, in comfort on the sofa and the longer duration is indicative of this.

Short form content is not 'television-like' as it is often viewed on the move or during quick breaks in the working day.

The BBC has launched an appeal against the ATVOD ruling to an Ofcom panel.



Update: End of an Era...

Burma ends pre-publication press censorship

Link Here21st August 2012
Full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

Burma has ended pre-publication censorship of the country's media, the information ministry has announced.

The Press Scrutiny and Registration Department (PSRD) said that as of Monday, reporters would no longer have to submit their work to state censors before publication.

However, strict laws remain in place which could see journalists punished for what they have written.

Tint Swe, head of the PSRD, told AFP news agency:

Censorship began on 6 August 1964 and ended 48 years and two weeks later.

Any publication inside the country will not have to get prior permission from us before they are published.

From now on, our department will just carry out registering publications for keeping them at the national archives and issuing a license to printers and publishers..

The head of the BBC's Burmese Service, Tin Htar Shwe, says journalists in Burma are cautiously optimistic about the reforms, but that the end of the law does not necessarily mean the end of the censorship altogether. Many laws still exist under which journalists can be punished for writing material which angers or offends the government, she says.



Party Poopers...

Germany wants Facebook to pay for policing parties organised via its website

Link Here11th August 2012

German politicians are mulling over a law to make Facebook pay for when police break up parties advertised on the social network.

Reinhold Gall, interior minister of the southern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, said:

A commercial internet platform that makes something like this possible also carries a large measure of responsibility.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann added:

Facebook does not meet its responsibilities to protect its users, if the only difference between an invitation to friends and the whole world is just one mouse-click. Facebook has a duty to protect its users and the public with appropriate warnings and preventative measures.

Some mass parties descended into chaos in Germany when hosts did not realise their invitations had reached the entire network rather than just their friends. But one youth who invited 1,500 people to a rave-up on the shores of Lake Constance was fined 200,000 after a massive police operation to stop it going ahead.

Rainer Wendt, chairman of the German Police Union, said:

If you invite people to a Facebook party that sparks a police intervention, you will have to pay the costs.



Just Like Britain Then...

Pakistan invokes internet censorship to block celebrity tittle tattle

Link Here11th August 2012

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has ordered all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block numerous 'scandalous' internet sites, specifically the audio recording of a sensual conversation between two notable opposition parliamentarians.

The footage of a press conference in which a lady TV news anchor, Aysah Sana, claimed that she and a man working with a state organisation have secretly got married and they have a son, is also to be blocked. She made the allegations against the boss of a TV channel who she accuses of betraying her.

This is the first time that the PTA has moved swiftly to order blocking of 'scandalous' websites. Wahajus Siraj, Convener of the ISP Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), said the process on ordering of blocking of websites have become non-transparent and questionable, as it seems that Inter-Ministerial Committee is being used as tool to censor internet for political gains instead of going after the intended anti-Pakistan or blasphemous websites.

One leading ISP said that with five GSM service providers and numerous broadband service providers are to challenge the order.

ISPs also pointed out that blocking popular social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can create major unrest among millions of subscribers which then has a direct impact on the revenue of ISPs.



Torrents of Take Downs...

Searching for what the MPAA wants, not what the user wants

Link Here11th August 2012

Google has announced that it will lower the search engine rankings of websites that receive a high number of DMCA takedown requests, independent of whether the linked content is lawful or not.

The algorithm change is the result of extensive lobbying efforts by Hollywood and the major music labels, and could severely degrade the rankings of websites such as The Pirate Bay, FilesTube, and even YouTube.

Google's Amit Singhal writes in a blog post:

Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.

The move may also encourage media companies to issue even more takedown notices.



Strip Clubs as Dangerous as Temples and Schools...

Three killed in US gun rampage

Link Here11th August 2012

A dispute over a table dance at the Teasers strip club in Newton, Alabama, was motivation for a customer to draw a handgun and shoot people.

According to the Dothan Eagle, Ryan Clark Petersen has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the shooting.

Those killed  were an employee of Teasers, the son of Teasers' owner and a customer of the club. Another customer was injured in the shooting.

Police said the fatal shootings occurred just before midnight at Teasers. Witnesses said a customer had been kicked out of the club, returned with a handgun and started shooting.



Updated: Driving Through Silly Point...

Kevin Pietersen calls for Twitter parody account to be censored

Link Here10th August 2012

Cricketing superstar Kevin Pietersen has stood up to some of the world's most awesome bowlers, but he seems to be left quaking at the thought of a little body line bowling via Twitter.

A parody account, @kevpietersen24 , is wickedly observed and, providing you have an English sense of humour, is extremely funny.

Some of the in-jokes suggest a source close to the team and Pietersen has been hurt by it enough to get his lawyers to try to close it down.

They could not, though they did succeed in getting the original avatar, a picture of KP at his most gauche with skunk hairdo circa 2005, replaced.

Speculation has raged as to who the authors of the Twitter account are with Pietersen keenest to find out. That he is offended by their exaggerated claims, especially when they refer to him in the third person as KP Genius , suggests he already has a distorted sense of self.

Unless Andy Flower or the England and Wales Cricket Board discover who is behind the fake Twitter account and appeal to their better nature, Pietersen is just going to have put up with a little sledging, or else he'll just have to skulk off to the sub continent.

Update: kevpietersen24 Censored

10th August 2012. See  article from

A Twitter account acting as a parody of England's Kevin Pietersen has been taken down from the social media website.

Reports on Wednesday suggested batsman Pietersen believed some of his team-mates were behind the account, which poked fun at the batsman. However, the England team denied having any involvement with the account.

Even though the identity of who is behind the account is unknown, Pietersen is still thought to be unhappy that some members of the squad followed and engaged with it.

Many of the tweets from the account have been sent while Test matches have been in progress, while players have restricted access to mobile phones and the internet during this time as part of International Cricket Council regulations to guard against corruption.

Indeed, a tweet from the account, which has seen the number of its followers more than double since Pietersen's chagrin emerged, said: It doesn't take that woman from 'Murder She Wrote' to work out that this isn't a team mate of KP. I've been tweeting during Tests!



Controversial Humour...

Facebook page of racial jokes riles Australia

Link Here10th August 2012

A Facebook page filled with racial jokes about aboriginal people has been taken down, after hundreds of people campaigned to have it removed.

SBS reported on the Facebook page, which allows posts with racial memes about Indigenous people. The page was temporarily removed, before re-appearing on the site with a tag noting that the content contained controversial humour .

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy weighed into the debate, saying he thought it should be taken down.

We don't want to live by the same standards that Facebook does, Conroy said: I think it's an offence. It's been reclassified but I think it should be taken down.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke warned the page could be a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act: [The page] potentially does insult and offend, but it probably does more than that. I think the depiction of these images on Facebook actually moves more in to vilifying.

Brisbane resident Jacinta O'Keefe started a petition after a complaint to Facebook failed to result in the removal of the page: It is an openly racist page that is encouraging hate towards Aboriginal people. I find it incredible that Facebook would refuse to remove this page .

The social media site has responded to complaints with the message: After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

But the page ended up being removed anyway as of 6pm 8/8 2012.



Offsite Article: Is not joining Facebook a sign you're a psychopath?...

Link Here 7th August 2012
Some employers and psychologists say staying away from social media is suspicious'

See article from



Offsite Article: Ramadan police target Pakistan's cafe society...

Link Here7th August 2012
Police in Islamabad enforce law forbidding people from eating or drinking in public during Islamic fasting month

See article from



Holding Up...

Pattaya GoGo Reviews: Club Oasis

Link Here6th August 2012

Club Oasis is located on Soi Buakao just down from the junction with Soi Leng Kee and Soi Diana.

I have neglected the long running Club Oasis for a while due to the distractions of seeing how the proliferation of new bars is getting on. But on a recent visit Oasis is still doing fine.

It offers more or less the same mix as it has done for a while. Certainly less customers than in the past, but from my slightly selfish view, this was a good thing. There was a better chance of a little company.

The bar still had a stage full of dancers organised in two teams. The dress code is bikini or less, with no signs of coyotes. There were several attractive girls on the stage in both teams.

The Tina Turner look alike mamasang was back in charge. And from my observations she generally brings a bit of life to a bar.

I'm not sure whether the decline in customers is seasonal, or a reflection of the western world going bankrupt; or else an upsurge in nearby competing gogos. However, I don't think any of the new bars have brought anything particularly new that will dominate the area. So I think Oasis, keeping to its long running way of doing things, will continue doing just fine.



Offsite Article: Dorkland...

Link Here4th August 2012
Daily Mail group in screeching U-turn on parody tweet persecution

See article from



Update: Bad Policing...

Are police realising that its a crap job arresting little people for trivial insults?

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: Trivial Insults and Jokes...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

Police admitted last night that they are being dragged into too many Twitter disputes as a row raged over the decision to arrest a youth who abused Olympic diving star Tom Daley.

The police over reacted and swooped on the home of Reece Messer, 17, at 2.45am yesterday as if he was some sort of highly dangerous master criminal.

Last night, as Dorset police handed the troubled teenager a formal harassment warning, police leaders claimed forces are being dragged into too many petty social media rows.

Officers were asked to look at content 14,000 times on Facebook alone last year and Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said forces do not have the resources to monitor the internet. He said:

There is legislation which concerns causing harassment, alarm or distress. But can we police the internet when someone upsets someone else?

I don't think we have the resources to do that. We can't have a free-for-all online but we cannot involve the police every time something unpleasant is said.



Updated: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Journalist suspended from twitter after criticising US TV coverage

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Here are three things that NBC prevented their public from being able to watch on network television so far this Olympic Games: live footage of the opening ceremony; live footage of Saturday's swimming showdown between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte; live footage of the USA men's basketball dream team.

A fourth thing they do not want people to see is the email address of Gary Zenkel, the executive responsible for this shambles. And a fifth thing is my Twitter feed, which over the weekend contained a couple of dozen occasionally uncouth observations about their coverage, several of which were accompanied by the trending hashtag: #NBCfail.

Twitter's guidelines forbid users from publishing what they call private information, including private email addresses . There is plenty of sense in this. But I did not Tweet a private email address. I Tweeted a corporate address for Mr Zenkel, which is widely listed online, and is identical in form to that of tens of thousands of those at NBC.

I was not contacted by NBC or Twitter before my account was suspended.

...Read the full article

Update: Twitter Account Restored

1st August 2012. See  article from by Guy Adams

[Shortly before 6pm London time] I had received an email from Twitter support, announcing that I was no longer verboten in Twitter-land:

Your account was suspended because a complaint was filed stating that you had violated our terms of service, it read. We have just received an updated notice from the complainant retracting the original request. Therefore, your account has been unsuspended, and no further action is required from you at this time.


[Twitter] has yet to properly address growing suspicions that its decision to suspend my account was motivated by a business relationship with NBC. The firms are running a cross-promotion throughout the Olympics. Was that why it chose to ignore its own rules?

Yesterday, the website, which is supposedly dedicated to the democratic flow of conversation, did admit it had actually contacted its corporate partner urging it to complain so that my account could be shut down in the first place. A mea culpa on its blog said last night: We want to apologise for the part of this story we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a tweet that was in violation of the Twitter rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our trust and safety team to report the violation... Our trust and safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other. We do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. [But close enough that's exactly what they just did!].

Extract: So what are Twitter's censorship rules

1st August 2012. See  article from

Twitter's rules, available via its help centre , say:

  • Users must not impersonate others in a manner intended to mislead or deceive others.

  • Tweeters are not allowed to infringe companies' trademarks by either assuming their name or logo as part of their profile. Related Articles

  • Members of the service must not publish other people's private and confidential information -- such as credit card numbers or home address -- without their express permission.

  • People will be permanently suspended from the site if they perpetually send spam or abuse -- which is defined as specific threats of violence against others .

  • And tweeters must not infringe copyright rules, use the site for illegal purposes (adhering to the country's laws from which a person is tweeting) or misuse Twitter verification badges (which denote an account's authenticity with a blue tick).

  • Twitter users must not use obscene or pornographic images in either their profile picture or user background.

...Read the full article



Updated: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

A 17 year old arrested for a nasty tweet to athlete Tom Daley

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: Trivial Insults and Jokes...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

A 17-year-old has been arrested after insulting tweets were sent to Olympic diver Tom Daley accusing him of letting his late father down.

Dorset Police have confirmed the teenager was arrested on suspicion of 'malicious' communications at a guest house in Weymouth following a series of abusive messages.

Daley and his partner Pete Waterfield missed out on a medal \ when they finished fourth in the men's synchronised 10m platform diving event at the Olympics.

Shortly afterwards, Daley retweeted a message from user Rileyy69 which said: You let your dad down i hope you know that.

Daley responded by tweeting: After giving it my get idiot's sending me this...

Rileyy69 apologised: @TomDaley1994 I'm sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I'm just annoyed we didn't win I'm sorry tom accept my apology.

The apologetic messages were interspersed with a stream of expletives and further abuse to other users.

Update: Nastier comments than originally reported

1st August 2012. See article from . Thanks to David

The arrest of the guy tweeting insults to Tom Daley seems to be more about specific, if hardly credible, threats of violence that he made to Daley and at least one other individual.

So it's not just the usual thought police thing this time, though with the cops and CPS having cried wolf enough times with previous stupid Twitter cases...

Offsite Comment: The best response to cruel, offensive or disgusting tweets, is simply to ignore them

1st August 2012. See  article from by John Kampfner



Update: Forgive Those That Trespass Against Us...

Not! Church reveals its unchristian side at Pussy Riot trial

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

Vsevolod Chaplin says authorities are not speaking loudly enough about western involvement in the growing opposition movement.

A top official in the Russian Orthodox church said that the trial of the feminist protest group Pussy Riot had been willed by God,. Three members of Pussy Riot stand accused of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred following a February performance in Russia's main cathedral aimed at protesting against Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency.

It was a sin against God and it is God that is judging it, Vsevolod Chaplin, a high-ranking priest who often acts as the church's spokesman, said: And all Christians should know this.

Chaplin said he refused to accept the three women's apology, issued in court on Monday, for insulting Orthodox believers. An unforgiving Chaplin said:

Their words had a double meaning Any acceptance of a mistake is a step in the right direction. But they also insulted the patriarch, who is a symbol of the church.

And to confirm the root basis of the Pussy Riot protest, Chaplin praised the growing closeness between church and state:

For the Orthodox believer, like for Muslims, of course the authorities and the church are understood as one thing. Our ideal is the unity of the church and the authorities, and unity of the people and the authorities.

In this way, we are decidedly different from the west. I think attempts in the west to separate the spiritual sphere and secular sphere is a historical mistake. Such a division is not characteristic to any civilisation except the west.



Extract: A Word of Warning...

Visa set out new restrictions banning violent terms on a sex related website

Link Here1st August 2012

The credit card giant, Visa, is asking paysite operators by way of third-party billers and merchant banks to cease using certain terms in certain contexts---for example, the use of the word forced when combined with orgasm, or the use of the word torture when combined with ... well, probably any sexual activity.

Again, why this is being done now is unknown, but Visa/MasterCard appears to be very serious in its intent to remove from websites that accept the cards any hint of sexual activity that could be perceived as violent, even if it is consensual.

...Read the full article



Update: Lords a Leaping for Joy...

Lap dancing in Ampthill approved by the council

Link Here1st August 2012

Plans for a lap dancing club in the centre of the Bedfordshire market town of Ampthill have been approved by councillors.

Residents in the Georgian town had objected to the plans - saying they were not in keeping with the area.

Central Bedfordshire Council have imposed the condition that there must not be any signs, related to the entertainment on offer, outside the premises.



Today's Weather: Cloudbursts Likely at Any Time...

Don't trust clouds in times of extreme PC

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: Cloud Computing...How safe is your dat?...not very

Users of Microsoft's consumer cloud service SkyDrive have had their accounts suspended for inadvertently breaking the terms of their end user agreements.

WMPoweruser reports that a user in the Netherlands, going by the pseudonym WingsOfFury , lost access to his Windows Live account, including Hotmail and Xbox Live, after uploading 9GB of content to a private SkyDrive folder.

After asking for advice on a Dutch forum and contacting Microsoft, he was told his account had been blocked because he had uploaded content that violated the terms of service.

The software giant would not explain what WingsOfFury had uploaded that broke the rules, only that it related to files containing nudity, partial nudity, pornography, or content containing links to external sites that contain similar content.

And in these times of extreme PC the slightest insult can be arbitrarily deemed 'inappropriate' and the mildest picture can be seens as 'sexualised'.

Update: Dropbox: Don't trust it for anything valuable

9th August 2012. See article from . Thanks to Nick

Marco Arment is the creator of Instapaper, co-founder of Tumblr, and Internet-famous software developer. Responding to a listener question about the insecurity of Dropbox, he said:

Anything that is really sensitive or extremely valuable or needs to be kept very secret, I wouldn't store on anybody else's servers. That, to me, seems ridiculous unless I held the encryption keys like with the online backup service that I use.

Marco makes some salient points worth repeating here for users who may not be fully aware of how services like Dropbox typically work and the ramifications of storing your data off-premise. In case you didn't realize, Dropbox holds the keys to encrypt and decrypt your data on their servers.

This means that a Dropbox employee could theoretically view (or steal) your data. Why do they hold the keys? Dropbox isn't just online backup, it's a collaboration tool. In order to offer public file sharing features, they have to be able to decrypt data that is stored on their servers.

They also need to be able to decrypt data for legal reasons -- if they get a DMCA takedown notice or a subpoena from the US government requesting certain files, servers, or even racks of servers [1]. And because Dropbox hosts data for 25,000,000+ users, some of which are undoubtedly doing very bad things, the likelihood of being served with a subpoena is far greater for them than for an individual person or organization.



Update: Unshared Words...

French Supreme Court bans file sharing terms from Google's auto complete

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

The French Supreme Court has ruled that Google should censor the words torrent , rapidshare and megaupload from its Instant and Autocomplete search services.

Music industry group SNEP asked the court to stop the terms from being suggested in Google's searches because, it claimed, Google was thereby facilitating piracy.

A lower court rejected the request from SNEP because it said that these links did not constitute infringement of copyright in and of themselves. However, the Supreme Court has reversed the decision, saying that the relief sought by the group was likely to prevent or partially stop infringements.

The search firm actually already blocks piracy-related terms from Autocomplete, but on its own terms. The web giant announced back in December 2010 on one of its blogs that it was taking steps to stop copyright infringement, including blocking search terms closely associated with piracy.



Update: Zombies vs Nutters...

Westboro Baptists still as hateful as ever

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: Westboro Baptists...Reprehensible nutters hate gays and soliders

Counter-demonstrators dressed up as zombies to protest against the nutters of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Eight of the clan spewed their usual nastiness and claimed soldiers died because God is angry with America over gay marriage and tolerance of gay lifestyles.

The Westboro nutter were outnumbered by counter-demonstrators who supported soldiers, and many of them dressed up as zombies after a Facebook campaign.



Update: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Insulting tweets get Swiss footballer sent home

Link Here31st July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

The Swiss Olympic delegation have sent defender Michel Morganella, 23, home from the Games after he posted the message in the wake of the team's 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.

The star posted the message shortly after the game, saying that South Koreans can go burn and referred to them as a bunch of mongoloids.

Gian Gilli, chef de mission for the Swiss Olympic delegation at the Games, said: Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter.

We condemn his comments, which are in fundamental violation of the IOC's Olympic charter and Swiss Olympic's own ethics charter.



Update: Facebook Sucks...

More nonsense Facebook censorship

Link Here29th July 2012

An American woman was banned from Facebook for posting an image of her five-year-old daughter pretending to breastfeed her two-year-old sister.

Lauren Ferrari said Facebook took down the image less than 24 hours after she posted and then banned her from the social network for a week, the KOMO reports.

The mother said Facebook told her she had violated community standards but the mother argued the images were not sexual and asked, What is sexual about breastfeeding?

Stefanie Thomas of Seattle Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children said while the photo was not child pornography it was an example of poor parenting. She said people should think carefully about what they put online and warned that one an image goes online it is beyond their control:

There's no real way of actually getting that image off the internet. So that's something that this family, that these girls, are going to have to ultimately deal with.



Update: The Only Menace is the CPS...

Twitter Joke conviction quashed on appeal as the tweet lacked 'menace'

Link Here28th July 2012
Full story: Police Twitter Twits...Man charged over terrorism quip on twitter

The famous Twitter joke conviction of Paul Chambers has been overturned on appeal, bringing welcome clarity to what is and what is not an offence of this type.

On discovering a week before he was due to take a flight that the airport was closed due to adverse weather conditions, he tweeted:

Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I am blowing the airport sky high!!

There was no evidence that this tweet alarmed any of his followers. It was picked up several days later by an employee of the airport, and it was referred to another member of staff, who took did not consider it a credible threat, but as a matter of procedure it was referred to the airport police. They took no action, other than to refer it to South Yorkshire Police.

Chambers was arrested and charged, then later convicted of the offence of sending by a public electronic communication network a message of a menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003. He appealed from the Magistrates' Court to the Crown Court, and then to the Divisional Court (part of the High Court).

The Court noted that in order to be menacing, as a matter of fact the people who receive or read it, or may reasonably be expected to do so, feel apprehension or fear. So, if those people instead,

...brush it aside as a silly joke, or a joke in bad taste, or empty bombastic or ridiculous banter, then it would be a contradiction in terms to describe it as a message of a menacing character. In short, a message which does not create fear or apprehension in those to whom it is communicated, or who may reasonably be expected to see it, falls outside this provision, for the very simple reason that the message lacks menace.

A CPS spokesman said: We accept the court's reasoning and consider this to be the end of the matter.

Speaking to Index on Censorship, Paul Chambers said he felt relieved and vindicated by the decision, adding that the case should never have got this far .

Chambers's solicitor David Allen Green said: This shameful prosecution should never have been brought.



Update: Censors and Bullies...

Facebook ban advert for scary anti-bullying campaigner

Link Here24th July 2012

An anti-bullying campaigner's ad was banned by Facebook after his heavily-tattooed face was deemed offensive . The ad has attracted more than 10,000 people to join his profile.

Scary Guy (his legal name) gives talks on tackling hate, prejudice and bullying, and not judging on appearances. His is currently touring  Manchester and London schools.

Censors at Facebook told him the ad received negative feedback because his face was provocative . Adding: We take reports of questionable content very seriously.



Minor Minding Data Mining...

Facebook to use data mining techniques to seek out criminal activity

Link Here16th July 2012

Facebook has announced that it is snooping on postings on the site for signs of criminal activity.

The social network is using its data-mining techniques to scan chats and posts between users with a loose relationship for signs of suspicious behaviour. Content that has been flagged up is then reviewed to determine whether further steps, such as notifying police, are required.

The tool will pay particular interest to users who only recently became friends, have no mutual friends, and have a significant age gap between them. Other factors such as phraseology, geographic location and frequency of contact are also taken into account.

Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan told Reuters:

We've never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it's really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate,



You're Only as Old as You Claim...

Twitter ensures users claim to be old enough to follow adult pages

Link Here16th July 2012

In order to legally protect brands that advertise products meant for adults, Twitter has launched a new tool that checks the a new follower claims to be old enough to meet restrictions.

Mentioned by Techcrunch this week, Twitter and Buddy Media have partnered to develop an age verification tool that will allow brands to screen out users admit to being too young. For instance, the first time that a user under the age of twenty-one attempts to follow the Coors Light Twitter page, they will be send a direct message through Twitter with a link to an age checking page. Once the user enters the day, month and year of their birthday as well as agree to another privacy policy, they will be able to follow the brand if they claim to be over the age limit. Twitter will retain the claimed age for  future verifications so that the user won't be hassled with repeat requests.

According to Twitter's head of product marking Guy Yalif, he stated We are trusting users to input their valid birth date. We have no plans to self identify their valid birthdate or cross reference this with third-party data.

Buddy Media has been testing the new age verification tool with alcohol brands. In addition to alcohol companies, the pornography industry, gambling organizations and pharmaceutical companies could also start using the age verification tool to protect themselves legally while increasing their advertising budget on Twitter.



Update: Orthodox Homophobia...

Russian christians organise petition to ban Facebook over same sex marriage icons

Link Here14th July 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

According to Russia Today, nutters from the Orthodox Church are angry at the Facebook's decision to launch same-sex marriage icons, calling them gay propaganda .

The nutters apparently claim that the icons could make young people tempted to explore homosexuality. In fact, the church in the city of Saratov, southern Russia, asked issued an ultimatum requesting that the social network stop flirting with Sodomites .

The nutters have organised a petition to get Facebook banned in the country. Vladimir Roslyakovsky, leader of the Orthodox public organization, spewed:

We demand only one thing: Facebook should be blocked in the entire country because it openly popularizes homosexuality among minors.

The US goal is that Russians stop having children. [They want] the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah, Roslyakovsky said. But I am confident that Russian laws and reasonable citizens will be able to protect their children from a fierce attack of sodomites.



Update: Facebook Acts as Judge, Jury and Executioner...

Facebook condemned by Article 19 for rubbish censorship procedures that were exploited to help hide allegations of torture in Syria

Link Here8th July 2012

Facebook has apologised after it incompetently deleted a free speech group's post on human rights abuses in Syria. The website removed a status update by Article 19, which campaigns for freedom of speech, that linked to a Human Rights Watch report detailing alleged torture in the Arab country.

Dr Agnes Callamard, the executive director of Article 19, accused Facebook of acting like judge, jury and executioner in the way it removes material from the website.

Facebook told the Guardian that the post was mistakenly removed after being reported as containing offensive content. A spokesman said:

The link was reported to Facebook. We assess such reports manually and because of the high volume, occasionally content that shouldn't be taken down is removed by mistake. We're sorry about this. The organisation concerned should try posting the link again.

Dr Agnes Callamard, the executive director of Article 19, was somewhat underwhelmed by Facebook's censorship procedure. She said:

The deletion shows the looming threat of private censorship. We commend Facebook for creating tools to report abuse, but if your post was wrongly deleted for any reason, there is no way to appeal. Facebook don't notify you before deleting a comment and they don't tell you why after they have. Facebook act like judge, jury and executioner.

Facebook is now widely recognised as a quasi-public space and as such has responsibilities when it comes to respecting free speech. They can't just delete content without some kind of transparent and accountable system. International law says that censorship is only acceptable when it is clearly prescribed, is for a legitimate aim -- such as for public health -- and is necessary in a democracy.



Twitter Transparency Report...

Twitter joins Google and reports on pressure from governments and companies to censor tweets

Link Here3rd July 2012

Twitter writes on its blog:

Wednesday marks Independence Day here in the United States. Beyond the fireworks and barbecue, July 4th serves as an important reminder of the need to hold governments accountable, especially on behalf of those who may not have a chance to do so themselves.

With that in mind, today we're unveiling our first Twitter Transparency Report. Inspired by the great work done by our peers @Google, the primary goal of this report is to shed more light on:

government requests received for user information, government requests received to withhold content, and DMCA takedown notices received from copyright holders.

The report also provides insight into whether or not we take action on these requests.

One of our goals is to grow Twitter in a way that makes us proud. This ideal informs many of our policies and guides us in making difficult decisions. One example is our long-standing policy to proactively notify users of requests for their account information unless we're prohibited by law; another example is transmitting DMCA takedown notices and requests to withhold content to Chilling Effects. These policies help inform people, increase awareness and hold all involved parties----including ourselves----more accountable; the release of our first Transparency Report aims to further these ambitions.

We've received more government requests in the first half of 2012, as outlined in this initial dataset, than in the entirety of 2011. Moving forward, we'll be publishing an updated version of this information twice a year.

Twitter reports for the first half of 2012

  • 849 requests for information about 1181 users of which 63% were at least partially provided
  • 3379 copyright take down requests covering 5874 accounts. 38% of the requests were enacted removing 5275 tweets and 599 media items

Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec  


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