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24th September   

Headless Chickens...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Anti-porn nutters make 'porn butchers' protest outside adult industry conference in London
Link Here

object logoA few feminists dressed as  butchers in aprons smeared with fake blood to protests against an adult industry conference in Central London. They explained that they were protesting against the meat market of the pornography industry.

The activists waved hopefully fake meat cleavers and chanted You're not welcome in our city, Pornographers go home!

The US based XBiz adult trade group is having a three day EU conference in Bloomsbury.

Speakers include Michael Klein, president of Hustler, and Berth Milton, chairman and chief executive of Private Media Group. The Xbiz website describes the conference as designed to deliver cutting-edge educational seminars, engaging technology workshops, special guest keynote presentations and high-energy business-networking and deal-making opportunities .

Watching the protest, Claire Wigington, head of marketing of Television X, said:. It's easy to say 'porn degrades women' but the women in the industry know what they're doing .

A nna van Heeswijk, the campaigns co-ordinator of the activist group Object organised the protest along with UK Feminista and other groups.

 

23rd September   

Game Transfer Phenomena...


Nice 'n' Naughty

NHS slap down Daily Mail hype about a new direction of research into the psychology of games playing
Link Here

In the wake of Grand Theft Auto being mentioned in a murder trial, the Daily Mail seized upon a piece of research about computer gaming.

The Daily Mail reported:

How video games blur real life boundaries and prompt thoughts of violent solutions to players' problems

See article from dailymail.co.uk . By Jenny Hope

Daily Mail logoSome video game players are transferring their screen experiences into the real world - prompting thoughts of violent solutions to their problems, say researchers.

Fans of computers can become so immersed in their virtual environment they do things in the real world as if they were still playing.

The findings come after sailor Ryan Donovan was sentenced to 25 years in jail for shooting dead an officer on a nuclear sub to copy the violent video game Grand Theft Auto.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University have for the first time identified evidence of Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), which results in some gamers integrating video experiences into their real lives. The study to be published in the next issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.

The study involved 42 in-depth interviews with participants aged between 15 and 21 years old, all of whom were frequent video game players and had been recruited from gaming forums.

They thought in the same way as when they were gaming, with half of participants often looking to use something from a video game to resolve a real-life issue.

In some cases these thoughts were accompanied by reflexes, such as reaching to click a button on the controller when it wasn't in their hands, while on other occasions gamers visualised their thoughts in the form of game menus.

...

Violent solutions to real life conflicts appeared to be used by few of the players, at least in their imaginations says the study.

One 15-year-old gamer said: There (in the video game) you can get guns. This I want to do in real life, to get some guns, shoot down people. This I want to do sometimes with irritating people.

The study concluded: The close resemblance to real life scenarios in video games may have opened a 'Pandora's Box for some players.

...Read the full article

The UK's national health service has responded to this Daily Mail write up and added a much needed bit of perspective:

Video games blur reality , claims newspaper

Based on article from nhs.uk

nhs logoThe Daily Mail has today reported that video games blur real life boundaries and prompt thoughts of violent solutions to players' problems .

This headline is based on a small study exploring whether frequent video game players integrated elements of video game playing into their real lives - a theoretical process the researchers called game transfer phenomena (GTP). The study showed that most gamers experienced GTP, including experiencing brief involuntary impulses to perform actions as they would when playing a game. For example, they might try to click a button on their controller while it was not in their hand.

It is important to note that not all the players were affected by the games and the degree that people were affected varied significantly from person to person. Additionally, it is not clear from this study whether GTP was related to the game played or whether it related to the specific characteristics of individual game players. Many of the actions reported by participants were also unusual or novel, and do not provide evidence that games affect perception of behaviour. For example, one participant said that they like to pack their suitcase neatly like Tetris blocks.

Further studies will be needed to investigate whether GTP is a real, significant phenomenon and the potential link between GTP and a player's individual characteristics.

...

The Daily Mail's report covering this study tended to focus on the violent and negative aspects of game transfer phenomena (GTP) highlighted in the study. The Daily Mail presents GTP as a proven phenomenon with definite results, but the results of this interview-based study are debatable and GTP is still only a theory.

News coverage also linked the study results to a recent murder trial where video games were reportedly implicated. This angle seemed to be a confused addition to news coverage of the research, as it could suggest to readers that games were found to be the primary cause of the incident, or that they could cause ordinary people to consider murder.

...Read the full article

 

23rd September   

Update: Believing Any Old Nonsense...


Nice 'n' Naughty

US religious investors set to protect the London Olympics from the marauding band of trafficked sex workers
Link Here

christian brothers investment services logoUS religious organisations are gearing up to save London from the mythical hoard of 40,000 trafficked sex workers that travels the world's major sporting events.

The prime movers in the Olympic initiative are Christian Brothers Investment Services, a US fund manager that specialises in investing the money of Catholic institutions.

The project is also backed by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a broader US Christian coalition that speaks for investors, and, in the UK, the Church Investors Group, which encompasses the investments of the Church of England and Church of Ireland.

At the heart of their 'concerns' is the mostly mythical issue of human trafficking, which 'often' takes place for the purposes of prostitution. Major sporting or cultural events tend to bring in an influx of visitors and these periods have been linked with increases in trafficking, prostitution and sexual assault.

At last year's football World Cup in South Africa and at the US Super Bowl this year, Christian Brothers and the Interfaith Center fired off letters to publicly-quoted hotel and leisure groups asking them to detail their policies for avoiding association with this sex trafficking thing. After the South African campaign, hotel chains Hyatt, Accor, Carlson and NH Hoteles introduced training programmes for staff; and Accor, Carlson and NH signed up to an industry code of practice on countering sex trafficking.

At a meeting in Paris last week, Christian investor groups from around the world agreed to work more closely together. The London campaign will be one of their first joint initiatives. The UK and Irish churches have agreed to begin writing to UK-listed hotel groups - along similar lines to the previous South African and US campaigns.

In a statement announcing the tie-up, Richard Nunn, the chair of the Church Investors Group, said: It is important we use our voice as investors to hold companies to high ethical standards.

 

22nd September   

The Art of Censorship...

Kidscape call for major retailers to drop art photography books featuring children
Link Here

kidscape logoChild protection campaigners at Kidscape have suggested that retailers should stop selling art photography books featuring children. In particular, they are are targeting David Hamilton's The Age of Innocence .

Such books are widely available through major booksellers such as Waterstone's and Amazon.

But now Michele Elliott, founder of Kidscape, would rather see these books banned, not by the usual British justice/political process, but by retailers banning them off their own initiative.

Elliott said: If you get to the publishers and the people who are retailing it then you stop it going out to thousands and we send a clear message.

Elliott was referring to a case where a child porn prosecution rightly failed because the only items he had were from widely available books such as David Hamilton's. In February this year the judge questioned why a man was prosecuted for possessing the indecent images of children when they were available in mainstream bookshops. Lord Justice Richards said it was very unfair that he was taken to court. He overturned the conviction and cleared the manl's name.

The Crown Prosecution Service's application for a retrial was refused after the judge concluded that re-prosecuting Neal was not in the public interest .

Surely it part of a civilised society, that citizens know where legal lines are drawn. It is fair and just for someone to assume that widely available books are legal to possess. If the authorities or campaigners have issues with these books, they should take it up with major players, not persecute the little people living within, what they perceive as the law.

 

21st September   

Updated: Fag End Campaigners...

Anti-tobacco nutters think their own pet interests are above all other considerations in film classification
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

UKCTCS logoTobacco campaigners have attacked incompetent film regulators and insouciant politicians for failing to act upon evidence suggesting that teenagers are being lured into smoking by seeing it in movies.

The call by the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies for a complete overhaul of film regulation to protect young people from pervasive and highly damaging imagery has been rejected despite what the centre considers compelling evidence.

 Alison Lyons and John Britton from the centre wrote:

Smoking in films remains a major and persistent driver of smoking uptake among children and young people, which the actions of irresponsible film makers, incompetent regulators and insouciant politicians are abjectly failing to control.

Researchers at the University of Bristol found that 15-year-olds most exposed to films in which characters smoked were 73% cent more likely to have tried a cigarette, and nearly 50% more likely to be a current smoker, than those who watched the fewest films featuring smoking.

The campaigners call for films that feature smoking to be automatically classified as 18 and to be regarded as dangerous as illicit drugs and violence.

A Department of Culture, Sports and Media spokesman said:

The Government believes the current arrangements provide sufficient control on the depiction of smoking in films and a total ban would be a disproportionate interference. This action would undermine the credibility, and therefore the quality, of domestically produced films.

Update: BBFC Reply

21st September 2011. See article from telegraph.co.uk

The BBFC said its current guidelines were proportionate; take due account of the available evidence of harm; and reflect the clear wishes of the public .

David Cooke, the board's director, said:

Glamorising smoking has been included as a classification issue in our published classification guidelines.

There is, however, no public support for automatically classifying, for instance, a PG film at 18 just because it happens to contain a scene of smoking.

 

12th August   

Comment: Blame Warriors...

The Last Samurai blamed for tragic death of 8 year old
Link Here

last surai The Daily Mail wrote:

A boy of eight whose parents allowed him to watch violent movies was found hanged after viewing a film that features ritualistic suicides.

Lewis McGlynn had been watching the Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai , which has a 15 certificate, when his father discovered him hanging from his bedroom door.

His family and neighbours desperately tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at hospital shortly afterwards.

An investigation revealed Lewis had a large number of DVDs in his bedroom that belonged to his older brother, but his parents, John and Beth, had not stopped him watching them. He also had a habit of playing out scenes in films.

Hertfordshire coroner Edward Thomas warned of the danger of allowing children to watch adult movies as he recorded a verdict of accidental death following an inquest in Hatfield: He may well have been doing some of the things he might have seen in videos, he told Mr and Mrs McGlynn. You described he wanted to be Indiana Jones with a whip and things like wrestling. I think he was playing around. It's so important that these videos have 18 or 15 certificates. They are there for a purpose. It's important that kids do watch what is suitable for their age. He didn't need to die.

Vivienne Pattison, director of lobby group Media Watch UK, said the death highlighted the dangers of exposing children to extreme violence : Violence is not a taste issue but a harm issue and this case unfortunately shows what can happen when children are exposed to extreme violence. Parents must ensure they keep these films and games out of reach of children.'

Comments: Wonder Woman

12th August 2011. From David

Vivienne Pattison Vivienne Pattison, director of lobby group Media Watch UK, said the death highlighted the dangers of exposing children to extreme violence: [,,,]. Parents must ensure they keep these films and games out of reach of children.'

Hang on, is that actually her recommending proper parental responsibility instead of just banning stuff? Wonders will never cease!

 

11th August   

Updated: Unblamed...

Evening Standard changes its mind about blaming the riots on Grand Theft Auto
Link Here  full story: A Riotous Blame Game...So what is to blame for the 2011 hoodie riots

Grand Theft Auto IV game The London Evening Standard, whose front page suggested Grand Theft Auto had inspired London's riots, later issued a reprint binning the game blame reference altogether.

The paper originally carried the blurb: Children as young as ten, inspired by video game, among the looters , along with a Lawless London headline.

However, the sub-head later switched to: Children as young as ten hunted by Police . All reference to Grand Theft Auto was also removed from the main story.

The change followed pressure from CVG's WRONG campaign, as well as other games media and outraged fans on Twitter.

...Read the full article

Update: Safermedia join in the GTA Blame Game

11th August 2011. See  article from  facebook.com

Safermedia write:

We are in the process of drawing the government's attention to the role of the media in the riots. Not the only cause, but a very significant one that must not be ignored. See how the hugely popular videogame Grand Theft Auto glamourises crime.

 

3rd August   

Moralist Advert Censorship...

Vandals easily offended by Kelly Brook street advert
Link Here
kelly brook angel  advert Two Muslims have been fined for vandalism. They sprayed black burkas on images of hot women in street adverts.

They told the judge in their recent court appearance that it's a sin for women to dress provocatively, and that they were just trying to do good, reports the Daily Mail. They painted over a gigantic-bosomed angel on a Lynx deodorant ad, and defaced a poster for Nicolas Cage's new film Drive Angry , among others.

Hasnath and Tahir, both 18, told police that the way the women had been photographed was against their religion. Hasnath said: If someone was to look at our wife or mother or daughter with a bad intention, we would not like it, so we were just trying to do good.

They admitted to six counts of criminal damage, and were fined £ 283 each and released on a 12-month conditional discharge.

 

15th July   

Updated: Beyond Belief...

Multicultural arts censorship in Britain
Link Here

beyond belief How do we define a community? That question has been all too rarely asked in the debate about cultural diversity and community empowerment. In fact, much cultural policy as it has developed over the past two decades has come to embody a highly peculiar view of both diversity and community. There has been an unstated assumption that while Britain is a diverse society, that diversity ends at the edges of minority communities. The claim that The Satanic Verses is offensive to Muslims, or Behzti to Sikhs, or indeed that Jerry Springer: The Opera is offensive to Christians, suggests that there is a Muslim community, or a Sikh community or a Christian community, all of whose members are offended by the work in question and whose ostensible leaders are the most suitable judges of what is and is not suitable for that community.

...Read the full article

Update: Believable Self Censorship

15th July 2011. See  article from  thestage.co.uk

Munira Mirza, the Mayor of London's adviser on culture, has warned that the arts sector has become very nervous about offending ethnic and religious minority communities, resulting in an era of self-censorship.

Speaking at an event organised by Index on Censorship, Mirza said:

I think a different type of censorship has emerged over the last 20 to 30 years which is not explicitly controlled by the state, but is almost internalised within the arts sector and by thinkers, writers and intellectuals.

There is a culture now of people thinking twice about what they say about particular communities. I think, as it happens, that people from those communities are less inhibited. I think there is a greater fear on the part of the establishment and the people outside those communities.

The arts world, on some level, has become very nervous about saying things which are deemed to be offensive or controversial.

The Index on Censorship's event was scheduled around the launch of its pamphlet, Beyond Belief - Theatre, Freedom of Expression and Public Order.

 

10th July   

Addicted to Nonsense...

Selling the cure for porn 'addiction'
Link Here

help porn addiction logo Britain's first 24-hour counselling service for online pornography 'addiction' has been launched.

HelpAddictions.org will operate 24/7 to support a few of the UK's estimated 1.2 million adult addicts.

The service includes live telephone sessions with trained counsellors and accountability software that monitors online activity and sends a list of viewed x-rated websites to users' therapists. Other treatments include a home study program, daily exercises, audio files and access to a confidential online forum where users can discuss their conditions with, and support, fellow addicts.

The six-week 'cure' costs from £ 89 to £ 349

Update: Closed

11th October 2016.

The website is now closed and was last seen in 2015.